Home Daily News Clips Thursday News: Trump Appealing to “Voters’ Primal Fears”; MSNBC Disgraces Itself; 2016...

Thursday News: Trump Appealing to “Voters’ Primal Fears”; MSNBC Disgraces Itself; 2016 Campaigns Set to Rev Up in Virginia


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, February 18. Also check out the spot-on political cartoon by the always-superb Tom Toles.

  • From the Virginia Senate Dems:


    HB 2 reported, re-referred to Senate Finance in 8-7 party-line vote

    RICHMOND — This afternoon, the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources voted along party lines to advance Del. Israel O’Quinn’s (R – Bristol) HB 2, which would require that the General Assembly sign off on Virginia’s plan to comply with Clean Power Plan requirements. The bill is identical to Sen. Ben Chafin’s (R – Russell) SB 21, which has already passed the Senate. If the full House and Senate approve either bill, that measure will be sent to the governor to be signed, amended, or vetoed.

    Said Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D – Accomack), “Already, climate change is hurting communities in Hampton Roads and on the Shore. The Clean Power Plan offers a way to swiftly and responsibly address recurrent flooding, sea level rise, and other growing dangers. Rejecting that opportunity is a grave mistake.”

    Said Sen. Donald McEachin (D – Henrico), “The Clean Power Plan will help us to mitigate or prevent the worst effects of climate change — but instead of moving forward, my Republican colleagues have again voted for inaction and delay. We need to keep politics out of this issue, and allow the experts to act.”

  • Video: Hillary Clinton’s New Virginia TV Ad Discusses Broken Criminal Justice System. According to the campaign, “the 30-second spot is airing in Norfolk as part of the campaign’s Virginia ad buy.”


  • Quizzical

    I don’t buy the psychological analysis of Trump’s appeal, such as presented in the article about Trump and the conservative psyche. There’s a lot of phoney long distance mind reading in such pieces.

    Trump has a businessman’s shrewd sense of what transactions are profitable and what ones are losses, and he is sharing that viewpoint with voters and helping them reassess this country’s relationship to the rest of the world. People are hungry for those insights because powerful people rarely have been so candid.

    So people are responding to him because he is giving them useful insights.

    One example is when Trump, as a rich guy, confirms that there is a type of quid pro quo at work with political contributions. Giving money means the politicians take your phone calls. Yeah, we all kind of knew that already, but Trump absolutely confirms it.

    Another example is that Trump is spotlighting the fact that the United States does not seem to get a fair return for opening our markets to the rest of the world. It’s a bad deal. We open up our markets, then our markets are flooded with cheap goods, and our manufacturers either go out of business or move their factories to countries that offer cheap, well-educated workers,universal health insurance, and tax breaks. The U.S. spends an astronomical amount of money on a huge military deployed worldwide, with the result that other countries can and do spend far less on their militaries and more money and effort on working to take away our market share and our industrial base.

    We have been in wars continuously since 9/11 in the Middle East, obviously not to take control of oil resources, but rather to try to stabilize the major oil producing countries there, which benefits China more than us. The reason we have cheap oil at the moment is not because the Saudis are grateful for all of our efforts, it is because the Saudis are engaging in monopolistic anti-competitive tactics to kill off our domestic oil fracking industry. People are saying now that they are doing it to kill Iran’s oil industry, but the Saudis’ price war was well underway before the Iran sanctions were lifted. So our blood and treasure expended in Iraq and Afghanistan hasn’t been a good deal.

    Trump stands up there and says that for a long time our political leaders have been stupid as businessmen, and the voters, even though they are not economists, know intuitively that he has a point because they have been living with the consequences of such decisions for decades.

    Bernie Sanders is tapping into the same sense of unrest and the sense that our leaders have gotten us into bad deals. In his stump speech, he points out that we are the only industrialized country in the world that does not offer universal health insurance, and asks why. He points out that most other advanced countries offer free or very inexpensive education in their universities. He points out that the middle class is shrinking, and that the top .1% have become incredibly more wealthy. Bernie is pointing out, just like Trump, that the working middle class is getting a bad deal. Bernie doesn’t point out that the reason that other countries can do these things, and we can’t, is that we are spending astronomical sums on our annual defense spending, and on our wars.

    Trump and Sanders, the pundits say, are weak on foreign policy issues, and that seems to be true. But at the heart of both of their campaigns, I think, is a re-evaluation of what the role of the United States should be in relation to the rest of the world.