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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Let Them Eat Tweets

 


どこかの国の首相がミュージシャンとコラボして大荒れしたのと同じ時期に豪華な家で無邪気にチョコレート好きを披露して大顰蹙を買った政治家がいたようです。下院議長のナンシーペロシは動画でPelosi's SHOCKING let them eat cake momentというタイトルを付けられています。トランプ陣営が放っておくわけはなく”𝑳𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎.” - 𝑵𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒚 𝑨𝒏𝒕𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆という政治広告をすかさず打っていました。




Let Them Eat Tweetsというのは7月に出る本のタイトルのようでNew Yorkerの記事で知りました。共和党のミッチ・マコーネル上院多数党院内総務は日本人には馴染みがないかもしれませんが記事では金権政治の元凶のように描かれています。New Yorkerの記事は『ダーク・マネー―巧妙に洗脳される米国民』でコーク兄弟を取材したJane Mayer



A Reporter at LargeApril 20, 2020 Issue
The Senate Majority Leader’s refusal to rein in the President is looking riskier than ever.
By Jane Mayer April 12, 2020

In a forthcoming book, “Let Them Eat Tweets,” the political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson challenge the notion that the Republican Party is riven between global corporate élites and downscale white social conservatives. Rather, they argue, an “expedient pact” lies at the heart of today’s Party—and McConnell and Trump embody it. Polls show that there is little voter support for wealthy donors’ agenda of tax cuts for themselves at the expense of social-safety-net cuts for others. The Republicans’ 2017 tax bill was a case in point: it rewarded the Party’s biggest donors by bestowing more than eighty per cent of its largesse on the wealthiest one per cent, by cutting corporate tax rates, and by preserving the carried-interest loophole, which is exploited by private-equity firms and hedge funds. The legislation was unpopular with Democratic and Republican voters alike. In order to win elections, Hacker and Pierson explain, the Republican Party has had to form a coalition between corporatists and white cultural conservatives who are galvanized by Trump’s anti-élitist and racist rhetoric. The authors call this hybrid strategy Plutocratic Populism. Hacker told me that the relationship between McConnell and Trump offers “a clear illustration of how the Party has evolved,” adding, “They may detest each other, but they need each other.”

なぜマコーネルがトランプの弾劾裁判で支援したりしたのか、不人気な富裕者優遇政策を実施するにあたって、トランプの人気は欠かせないものだからというのがこの新刊の内容のようです。現にマコーネルは地元のケンタッキー州では不人気でトランプの人気がなければ当選も危ういとか。本の出版社の紹介文を抜粋します。

How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality
by Jacob S Hacker (Author, Yale University), Paul Pierson (Author, University of California, Berkeley)

A groundbreaking account of the dangerous marriage of plutocratic economic priorities and right-wing populist appeals—and how it threatens the pillars of American democracy. 

The Republican Party appears to be divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard—and with Donald Trump’s ascendance, the upstarts seem to be winning. Yet how are we to explain that, under Trump, the plutocrats have gotten almost everything they want, including a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, regulation-killing executive actions, and a legion of business-friendly federal judges? Does the GOP represent “forgotten” Americans? Or does it represent the superrich?

In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history. Conservative parties, by their nature, almost always side with the rich. But when faced with popular resistance, they usually make concessions, allowing some policies that benefit the working and middle classes. After all, how can a political party maintain power in a democracy if it serves only the interests of a narrow and wealthy slice of society?



記事ではマコーネルの生い立ちから利益誘導の政治を進めることで上院で力をもち、オバマ政権、トランプ政権での彼の振る舞いを取り上げています。分かりやすい例を挙げるとFOXを立ち上げたセクハラおじさんRoger Ailesが彼の初当選の立役者だったとか。金権政治のサークルが透けて見えるところです。

In 1984, McConnell ran for the Senate against the Democratic incumbent, Walter (Dee) Huddleston. McConnell later admitted that he’d begun planning his campaign the moment he’d been sworn in as county judge / executive. Nobody expected an unprepossessing, little-known local official to defeat Huddleston, but in the final weeks of the campaign McConnell surged to an upset victory, thanks, in large part, to a television ad created by Roger Ailes, the Nixon media adviser who later became the mastermind behind Fox News. Ailes was helped by Larry McCarthy, a virtuoso of negative campaign ads who later made the racially charged Willie Horton ad, attacking the 1988 Democratic candidate for President, Michael Dukakis. The McConnell ad depicted a pack of bloodhounds frantically hunting for Huddleston, ostensibly because he’d missed so many Senate votes while off giving paid speeches. It was funny, but Huddleston’s attendance record, ninety-four per cent, wasn’t out of the ordinary, and his speeches violated no Senate rules. Yet, as McCarthy proudly told the Washington Post, “It was like tossing a match on a pool of gasoline.” That year, McConnell was the only Republican who defeated an incumbent Democratic senator. Two years after criticizing Huddleston’s outside speaking fees, McConnell went on a lucrative eleven-day speaking tour of the West Coast. (McConnell’s spokesman says, “The Leader never missed a vote.”)

トランプを当選に導いた一因でもある政治の機能不全ですが、マコーネルがいかに上院のするべき仕事をしていないかというのも記事に触れています。

Under McConnell’s leadership, as the Washington Post’s Paul Kane wrote recently, the chamber that calls itself the world’s greatest deliberative body has become, “by almost every measure,” the “least deliberative in the modern era.” In 2019, it voted on legislation only a hundred and eight times. In 1999, by contrast, the Senate had three hundred and fifty such votes, and helped pass a hundred and seventy new laws. At the end of 2019, more than two hundred and seventy-five bills, passed by the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, were sitting dormant on McConnell’s desk. Among them are bills mandating background checks on gun purchasers and lowering the cost of prescription drugs—ideas that are overwhelmingly popular with the public. But McConnell, currently the top recipient of Senate campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has denounced efforts to lower drug costs as “socialist price controls.

トランプを落選させるのは不可能なことではないでしょう。でも、このような腐敗し機能不全に陥っている政治をどのように治していけるかは、すぐには解決できない難しい問題です。Let Them Eat Tweetsが通じなくなったと分かれば、今度はtweetsではないものを探すのではないでしょうか。

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