Hopefully this time Democratic politicians and our media will, finally, call the GOP out on Wanniski’s and Reagan’s Two Santa Clauses scam and put an end to it once and for all…
Where is the line between political maneuvering and conspiracy to defraud? Where is the line between legitimate partisan differences and criminal intent to deceive? Ultimately, where is the line between "the will of the people" and the rule of law?
The average American can probably tell you where that line is, if they're being honest. And perhaps most people would say this line has surely been crossed (given the facts, no thanks to our "there there, now" media). Therefore, at what point is this no longer a matter that can be addressed through voting, and instead, an acute threat to democracy that demands intervention from the Justice Department?
I ask, where is the line? I ask, at what point is this no longer in our hands alone?
I answer, the line is 40 years back and the point is NOW.
Will people ever wise up to this bait and switch game? I have my doubts, and the GQP will continue to run this scam once they achieve their goal of complete power without public accountability.
Thanks again Thom for this cyclic history of Santa Clauses. Even on 2d or 3d hearing it shocks me. Why our news media across the color spectrum from blue to red ignore this obscenity is truly sad. But also, the failure of Congress is built-in and structural. It may never be repaired. And the megaphone of our electric-powered social media has put billionaires very much in charge.
Today our Attorney General attempts to explain the difference between an addiction to power and an addiction to drugs, under federal law.
All of the various shortcomings of our media coverage will be on display today, as the FCC (Freedom Caucus Clowns) know that the public is woefully under- or mis-informed about these topics by our media. Understanding this, Mr. Jordan will refer to the "classified documents" case in the same way that our media does - not revealing that the classification status of any and all docs is irrelevent under the charges, because the charges are "national security" violations, not classified documents violations. Just one example of where our media coverage falls short, and follows the essential framing that was put forward on "truth social".
I knew this had happened but never heard the story behind it. Thank you! We studied both trickle-down economics and the Laffer curve in college- hard to make this idiocy sound rational! Smart people I know still believe both!
Thank you Thom for this explanation of the crisis that we all know but few understand. This article must be shon and shared to 200 million Americans in order to incite a revolution against the top 10% of our country.
Only through knowledge like this can we ever hope to save our economy and our Democracy. How do we get the national media onto this track immediately?
Isn't this a story that 60 Minutes, or CBS Sunday Morning would take on? Maybe even Rachel Maddow? Send them what you've written that won't reach the big audiences these shows have. Are they all cowed by our oligarchical rulers? Or how about all those true crime shows, for an episode outside their boxes?
Thank you Mr. Hartman. I am ashamed to say I never heard of Jude Winniski until now. I remember how Reagan turned everything around, or should I say turned everything on its head? I wondered for years how Daddy Bush could call Reagan's policy "Voodoo Economics" while competing against Reagan in the GOP primary, yet adopt that same policy himself when he (Daddy Bush) arrived in the White House. Now thanks to your writing Mr. Hartman I see. Bush obviously had not heard of Winniski until he had power and was only then informed of Winniski's evil, clever plan, by conniving Economists in the Milton Friedman/Alan Greenspan School of thought.
Your readers, Mr. Hartman, might be interested to know that after WWl the fascists in Italy, did the same thing to engineer a takeover of their government. Wealthy Italians were petrified by the bolshevik's "Socialist" takeover in Russia. So they invented economic theories which claimed austerity for the masses was necessary for "Fiscal responsibility." Rather than use up space here to elaborate their successful scheme, I refer readers to Clara E. Mattei"s excellent book THE CAPITAL ORDER, How Economists Invented Austerity And Paved The Way To Fascism, Univ. Chicago Press, 2022.
For the last four decades, since "The Reagan Revolution" we have been on the same rails here in the U.S. After the Bolshevik takeover in Russia the initial response of the wealthy elite in America was to go underground. They more or less disappeared from public view. They did this out of design for fear of being identified by an angry public and facing something similar to a Bolshevik movement here. After Herbert Hoover's Great Depression and WWll, they ducked lower out of sight. But they were always in a state of anger and agitation over Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal which helped ordinary Americans live a good life.
Eventually, with the appearance of President Reagan, armed with what I now know were Winniski's ideas, the American Elite saw their opportunity. So the they jumped onto Newt Gingrich's Contract With America, and have come out of hiding. The forty years since Reagan have produced in America an echo of those events in Italy during the rise of Mussolini and his Fascisti.
Whenever someone tries to tell me Reagan cut Federal taxes I have to them he increased my taxes. He shut down deductions I relied on to reduce my taxes.
"...and the path back to the people is.....?"
Ultimately, that is THE question. Right? I'm not convinced that the vote, by itself, is the answer. I think we need to be sober in our judgment of what is possible in this impossible moment we find ourselves in. The GOP has gerrymandered us into oblivion, has enacted laws in many states to make voting HARDER (if not impossible for some), and drowned us in a pandemonium of lies. For decades.
So yes, what is the path back to the people when they are disenfranchised or otherwise hobbled in electing legitimate representatives?
Nobody wants to be here in this moment of fracturing. But life presents us with reality - not the moments of our choosing. So... Here we are.
Thank you, Thom, yet again, for not only describing on a daily basis the various terrible situations that are currently threatening this country (among others), but for including the history of how and when -- and because of whom -- these situations started, and then grew to gnaw at our democracy and our lives.
But the so-frequently referred-to "mainstream media's" continuous, communal "failure to report" on these same events, situations, and their histories; their "refusal" to "pay attention" to what is, and was, happening virtually in front of them (and us) for decades, and which so clearly has adversely affected the lives of almost everyone in the U.S., except for those you call the "morbidly rich" -- that gigantic information black hole is a mystery.
Is it simply the fact that the rich folks who own the various media outlets instruct their editors and managers and writers to remain mum about what is actually going on? And those editors and journalists agree -- en masse, throughout the vast media outlets -- to obey those instructions, and to then ignore, or minimize, or simply not examine or report on, the facts? That's understandable here and there, I suppose, for this publication or that network. But for the entire, generalized "media"?? The stories, the histories, which all seem so crystal clear as you lay them out; not only about this "Two Santa Clauses" story, but about so many that you report on in your shows and newsletters, and write books about? That's what I have a hard time understanding.
Freedom of the press still exists, at least in a pretty large majority of places in this benighted country. Why do these stories -- apparently available to you and others who want to know and research and write and talk about them -- remain under wraps, as it were, with only your voice, and the seeming few who do similar reporting, telling what appears to be the "truth," while the truly massive "mainstream media," that presumably have the means, the resources, the people, the motivation, the information, the sources, the outlets to report accurately and in a timely way, stay quiet, or bury the stories, or do only half-hearted, incomplete reporting? I have to say, I don't get it. Is it simply the old adage, credited to Mark Twain, as well as to Charles Haddon Spurgeon: :"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on"?
I remain mystified, frustrated, and angry, that so much of our politics, and the actions of our legislators, and the voting of our people, are based on a lack of knowledge of the truth of what's actually going on in all of our lives! And I don't fully understand WHY that is the case!
Thom, you are absolutely correct about the two Santa Clauses. I don't think NBC will ever expose their audience to it though? I'm sure that all the right wingers in different nations are trying to do the same thing in order to destroy happiness and cause human suffering, because their mommy didn't love them enough. I can see why they didn't!
I suggest that the left goes along with all this insanity and by next election time, there will be such a mess, caused by the right wing greedy bastards, the Dems will take the house and Senate and executive branch and add seats to the supreme Court if Biden will let them.
Thank you for commenting.
I believe we are reading from the same page here, if you'll allow me to clarify a few points.
1) I acknowledge that the question I posed is an uncomfortable one. Essentially, I asked if it was time for the DOJ to intervene in matters which have been, to this point, the exclusive burden of the people. I asked this question not because I think it's a good idea in practice - or even possible - but to illustrate the indisputable fact that we do find ourselves "...on extremely dangerous ground". I tread this ground because it is the ground before me, not the ground I wish for.
2) Indeed, our system is a two-way street. The nightmare of the DOJ bringing RICO against an entire political party is not lost on me - neither is the precedent it could set.
3) I should have worded "the average American can probably tell you where that line is" differently. Your words are more in the spirit of what I was attempting to say, so thank you for sharing!
In conclusion, to be absolutely clear, I am not retracting my words or questions. I do believe that we need to think beyond "get out and vote". What "beyond" even is, I have no idea. Truly. But I do know that we are in a desperate moment, the clock is ticking, and the status quo doesn't seem like enough given the GOP's absolute violence to the franchise. When those in power are the ones who write the rules about who comes into power - we are powerless as a whole. For now, vote like hell.
Nixon the crook kicked off the lying and as he disgraced his party and was leaving, Wanniski apparently decided to pick-up where he left off. It groomed Republican generations to come to accept this crazy magical-thinking. Other conservatives who didn't actually buy that trickle-down crap decided to accept all the lies as the way to beat and own the libs.
As much as we are amazed by Republican acceptance of Trump's lying, this shows us how decades of lies got them to where they are in 2023 with an orange albatross hanging around their party's neck. He is their "colossal" idiotic ideas personified---here comes Santa Claus!
When our mainstream press is owned by oligarchs one cannot expect them to reveal the secrets of the continued wealth gap in this country. Wickipedia owned by Google, Fox by Rupert Murdoch, CNN is a publicly traded company by Biggest shareholder is ATT. See more here. https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/futureofmedia/index-us-mainstream-media-ownership
Beware the media. It has an agenda, and that is not to serve the people. They serve their owners and shareholders interests. Thank you for not being the mainstream press and pointing out that Reaganomics is evil. So many people I grew up with embraced it, and were Democrats converted, went and made tons of money, and loved that he had justified greed and a ME, ME, ME attitude. I could not believe they all fell for it. Later some admitted their mistakes. Their mistakes are ones we all suffer for. We are watching this played out again. It is really frightening.
Perhaps it would be better to explain it as the Santa Clause (Dems) vs. Santa Scrooge (GOP)?