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wishstar

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Member since: Thu Jan 8, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Who Broke Politics? Latest Nov 4 Editorial by Paul Krugman in NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/opinion/who-broke-politics.html?ribbon-ad-idx=6&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article

"As far as anyone can tell, Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House — and the leader of what’s left of the Republican establishment — isn’t racist or authoritarian. He is, however, doing all he can to make a racist authoritarian the most powerful man in the world. Why? Because then he could privatize Medicare and slash taxes on the wealthy.
And that, in brief, tells you what has happened to the Republican Party, and to America.

This has been an election in which almost every week sees some longstanding norm in U.S. political life get broken. We now have a major-party candidate who refuses to release his tax returns, despite huge questions about his business dealings. He constantly repeats claims that are totally false, like his assertion that crime is at record highs (it’s actually just a bit off historic lows). He stands condemned by his own words as a sexual predator. And there’s much, much more.

Any one of these things would in the past have been considered disqualifying in a presidential candidate. But leading Republicans just shrug. And they celebrated when James Comey, the director of the F.B.I., broke with policy to lay a heavy thumb on the election scales; if Hillary Clinton wins nonetheless, they have made it clear that they will try to block any Supreme Court nomination, and there’s already talk of impeachment hearings. About what? They’ll find something."

What was the purpose of this assault on the implicit rules and understandings that we need to make democracy work? Well, when Newt Gingrich shut down the government in 1995, he was trying to, guess what, privatize Medicare. The rage against Bill Clinton partly reflected the fact that he raised taxes modestly on the wealthy.
In other words, Republican leaders have spent the past couple of decades doing exactly what the likes of Mr. Ryan are doing now: trashing democratic norms in pursuit of economic benefits for their donor class."




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