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Sen. Perdue Slammed For Blatant Anti-Semitism In Campaign Ad

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sen. David Perdue of Georgia is among the incumbent Republican senators who is seeking reelection this year, and the race is becoming increasingly bitter. In fact, a recent attack ad against Perdue's Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, is drawing criticism for using anti-Semitic imagery.

A fundraising ad from Perdue, according to the New York Times' Rick Rojas, depicts Ossoff — who is Jewish — with an enlarged nose. The ad shows Ossoff with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, in a 2017 photo from Reuters and claims: "Democrats are trying to buy Georgia."

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Fearful GOP Senators Drop Attacks On Obamacare

In 2014, Republican David Perdue ran for an open Senate seat in Georgia promising to “Repeal ObamaCare” and “replace it with more affordable free market solutions.”

Six years later, his campaign reelection site has removed all traces of that promise and says only that lawmakers must “finally get after the real drivers of spiraling health care costs.”

Perdue is not alone. A comparison of 2014 and 2020 campaign sites for Republicans in competitive Senate races finds that seven have made their original 2014 anti-Obamacare language disappear.

As public support has grown for the law, Senate Republicans have gone from making their opposition to Obamacare a major campaign thrust to being virtually silent on the issue. Public opinion on health care policy could be one reason.

On Thursday, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed that 53 percent of Americans now support the the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and just 37 percent oppose it.

This is a significant increase since November 2014, when Kaiser found 37 percent support for the law, compared to 46 percent opposition.

Other Senate Republicans have shifted their language on the issue in the years since.

Like Perdue, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) each highlighted their desire to get rid of the Affordable Care Act on their 2014 websites.

“Joni is staunchly opposed to the Obamacare law,” Ernst said back then, noting that she backed immediate repeal and replacement with unspecified “common sense, free-market alternatives that put patients first, and health care decisions back in the hands of each of us rather than Washington bureaucrats.”

Her website today promises merely to identify “solutions for affordable, quality health care for Iowans.”

Graham bragged in 2014 that he had opposed Obamacare “from Day One” and “has repeatedly voted to get rid of it. Whether it is Repeal and Replace, Defund, Opt-Out or Delay, he has consistently opposed this massive new entitlement.”

That section is no longer linked from his homepage, which makes no mention of healthcare and touts his “long history of relentlessly pursuing solutions over partisan politics.”

Capito’s 2014 site even included a special page for visitors to share their traumatic “Obamacare stories.”

“If you support repealing and replacing Obamacare with healthcare reforms that will actually work, or have your own story about how Obamacare has affected you and your family, we want to hear from you,” the site urged.

Today, she notes her work on juvenile cancer, pregnancy and childbirth fatalities, Alzheimer’s, “and investing in research to explore innovative treatments and cures for diseases,” but says nothing about “repeal and replace.”

Then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (who is now seeking his old seat against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones), then-Arizona Rep. Martha McSally (who was appointed to fill the late John McCain’s senate seat days after losing a 2018 senate race), Montana Sen. Steve Daines, and Texas Sen. John Cornyn also had overt anti-Obamacare language on their 2014 pages. Their current sites do not yet appear to mention Obamacare or any political issues.

GOP members notably shifted their focus following a failed attempt in 2017 to roll back the health care law. House Republicans passed a bill that year that would have repealed Obamacare and increased the number of uninsured Americans by tens of millions. It failed by one vote in the Republican controlled Senate.

In the wake of that vote, Republicans began circling around a spate of other topics. In the 2018 midterms, an array of vulnerable House Republicans also removed any trace of their Obamacare opposition from their campaign websites, choosing instead to promote their stances on subjects like immigration and their votes to pass the deficit busting GOP tax bill. Many still lost their seats in the blue wave that handed control of the chamber to the Democrats.

As Americans have seen Obamacare implemented and considered Donald Trump’s unpopular alternative, approval for the 2010 law has significantly increased over time.

Still, the Trump administration and Republican state attorneys general are seeking to get the entire law struck down in federal courts. Trump said earlier this month that if the challenge prevails and the GOP regains the House this November, “your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far.”

Thursday’s Kaiser poll showed just 35 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the Affordable Care Act, versus 54 percent disapproval.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Danziger: Unreliable Narrators

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.

Trump Wished For A Whiter America All Along

So the cover has now been ripped off the rationalizations about President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, the tissue paper peeled away from his insistence that he only wanted to get rid of terrorists, rapists and drug-dealers. Back during the campaign, you’ll recall, Trump and his supporters insisted that their goal was to rid the country of criminals who were sneaking in illegally.

Even then, most voters knew better. Trump was clearly pandering to those white Americans who were unhappy with the cultural changes of the last half-century, including the shifting demographics that are weakening their political and social influence. Trump’s election was, in large measure, a backlash against the first black president.

Now, Trump has enthusiastically embraced a new Senate proposal that would limit legal immigration, with a goal of cutting the number of immigrants in half within 10 years. It’s refreshing, actually, to have this agenda out in the open: Trump and his allies want to make America white again.

That’s a longstanding goal of some of his closer compatriots, including his chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Indeed, Bannon’s views are more xenophobic than those of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA).

Their bill would limit the ability of naturalized American citizens and legal residents to bring in their relatives, something current law generously allows. They would grant preferences to English-speakers, business owners and the highly educated.

Bannon, by contrast, once ranted that “engineering schools are all full of people from South Asia and East Asia. … They’re coming in here to take these jobs.” Meanwhile, he claimed, American students “can’t get engineering degrees; they can’t get into these graduate schools because all these foreign students come.”

That’s of a piece with the nationalism of some of the Republican Party’s more xenophobic thinkers. Several of them have complained for decades about a change in immigration policy pushed through by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in the mid-1960s. It allowed people from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East to come to the United States in large numbers, rather than restricting legal access mostly to people from Western Europe, as was the case before.

The ultraconservative Pat Buchanan wrote a book called Suicide of a Superpower, in which he forecasts a swift decline for a nation that has allowed itself, in his view, to be overrun by people of color. Journalist Peter Brimelow — himself an immigrant from Great Britain — founded a web-based magazine called VDARE, which traffics in ugly racial stereotypes and longs for a whiter America.

Cotton and Perdue claim that their bill is copied from policies put in place by Canada and Australia, both of which use a “merit-based” system that awards points for job skills and English-language proficiency. But both of those countries take in more immigrants, based on their populations, than the United States does. (Immigrants account for about 22 percent of Australia’s population, about 20 percent of Canada’s and about 13 percent of ours, according to the Migration Policy Institute.) The United States is not in danger of having its social safety net overwhelmed by foreigners.

Still, there are thoughtful conservatives — among them, former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, an immigrant from Canada — who argue that the United States would be better served by an immigration policy that favors those who are better educated. Indeed, research does show that some low-skilled Americans may be aced out of entry-level jobs by low-skilled immigrants.

But most economists believe that we are better off with an immigration policy that welcomes newcomers. Many of those low-skilled immigrants take jobs that Americans simply won’t do — jobs such as plucking chickens and harvesting crops. Besides, immigrants tend to have more children than native-born citizens, which has helped the United States avoid the economic slump that befalls countries with too many elderly retirees and not enough working-age adults.

Of course, for many Trump supporters, all those black and brown babies are the problem. It doesn’t matter how hard their parents work or how well they speak English. They make the country look different — and that, apparently, is unacceptable.

Cynthia Tucker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007. She can be reached at cynthia@cynthiatucker.com.