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Defeating Puzder

[ 84 ] February 27, 2017 |

CJ_2girls

I interrupt the present civil war on the left between supporters of two excellent candidates for a position of relatively moderate power that has been blown up into a referendum on whether the future is a glorious revolution or Wall Street domination for mentioning how the left can actually do some pretty great things when it comes together. Andy Puzder blames the left for defeating his nomination as Secretary of Labor.

In his radio appearance, Puzder was even more vehement in denouncing “the left” than he was in denouncing the media. He said the left launched an “enormous campaign to wear down my support.”

“The left is trying to sink as many of the president’s nominees as possible,” Puzder said. “So in that sense, it really wouldn’t have mattered what I believed or who I was or what the process was. They were going to campaign against me as a means of hurting the president.”

Once again, Puzder did not enumerate or respond to the objections raised by labor unions and other left-of-center groups about his nomination, nor did Hewitt bring them up. These concerned labor violations committed by franchisees of CKE Restaurants; sexually provocative ads Puzder approved and defended for Carl’s Jr.; and Puzder’s opposition to raising the minimum wage even to $10.10.

Let’s be clear. It’s not only the left that defeated Puzder. It’s the left plus his extreme positions plus his hiring an undocumented housekeeper plus his grotesquely sexist advertisements for his shitty burgers plus being a wife beater. But without the left opposition to him, he is our Secretary of Labor. Of course, for Puzder, it’s also the left that is destroying the nation, a nation where wifebeaters should be powerful government figures.

Puzder, whose confirmation hearings were repeatedly delayed due to complications in divesting himself of CKE assets, accused Democrats of going “full throttle” once they saw some Republicans wavering. He surmised that Democrats and unions opposed him because he was a successful businessman who could help President Donald Trump create jobs and economic growth.

“I don’t believe their concern was that I would be bad for workers. I think their concern was that I would pursue policies they opposed and that workers would benefit,” he suggested. “So the implications of that for the left would really have been devastating.”

More jobs and a growing economy, Puzder added, would force more competition among employers for workers, increasing wages and benefits. He argued, however, that unions and “big government progressives” didn’t want to see those benefits “because it would confirm that no matter what the mainstream media’s been telling working and middle-class Americans, pro-growth economic policies are, in fact, in their best interest, and big government’s not.”

Totally dude. That’s why the 1930s through the 1970s saw the greatest gains for working class people in this nation’s history and the repeal of those regulations and implementation of Republican class warfare has decimated working Americans.

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  1. howard says:

    there is one thing not to lose sight of: gains in median household incomes occur when we have well-distributed growth based on substantial new jobs, which is to say it should be easy to point with pride at the combined records of jfk-lbj-carter-clinton-obama as compared to nixon-ford-reasgan-bush-bush.

    or to say this in a less roundabout way: were i a dem politician, i would be talking loudly about growth too, and about how democratic policies based on protecting workers, improving the safety net, support for upward mobility through everything from community colleges to eitc, and (in a slightly better future) against oligopoly have a proven track record of generating growth for all of the economy, not just the one percenters and their fellow travelers.

    • C.V. Danes says:

      Except that wages have been flat in real terms for 30 years, and there’s been a couple of Democratic presidents in there during that time period.

      • humanoid.panda says:

        Except that the only sustained period of wage growth in that period happened under Clinton, and there is some evidence that another wave might have started couple of years ago.

        • howard says:

          exactly, this is critical here. there is an easy, proven track record for getting the kind of high-intensity economy that promotes wage growth, and democratic administrations try to the extent possible to follow it.

          i feel about democrats and growth the same way i feel about the aca: of course the track record isn’t perfect, but when you consider the alternative, here in the real world, the track record under democratic policies is far better for the median household than the track record for republican policies, and i’m all for saying that loudly (and, of course, in a better bumper sticker than i’m capable of dreaming up).

    • herewegoagain says:

      You say all that, but people in the midwest look around and millions still don’t have jobs (they’re not even looking) and their wages are shit. Meanwhile in their imaginary past only one parent had to work etc.

      We had the whitehouse for 8 years and what do they have? Yeah, you got us out of a hole, but now what? We stand at ground level forever? Fuck this shit – that guys gonna take a job from a mexican and give it to a white person. That’s clear as day to me. Not “gains in median houseblah blah blah…

      I’m pretty sure we just tried this.

      • C.V. Danes says:

        Fuck this shit – that guys gonna take a job from a mexican and give it to a white person. That’s clear as day to me. Not “gains in median houseblah blah blah…

        Yes, those jobs picking fruit, cleaning hotel rooms, and living the life of an undocumented nanny are going to be oh so fulfilling. I can’t wait to hear the stories.

        • Nobdy says:

          Not just fulfilling but so high paying. I wish I had some of that sweet undocumented nanny dosh. I hear some of them can even afford to speak to their own kids on the phone twice a week while the rich people’s kids are napping or at ballet class.

        • herewegoagain says:

          Is that what you think they heard? Nanny jobs?

          Maybe this is why we lost.

          This was an election, not a dissertation. Precisely 0% of it is required to be factual, and that’s just the way it is, whether you like it or not.

      • DrDick says:

        Meanwhile in their imaginary past only one parent had to work etc.

        Hardly imaginary, as that was the norm from 1950-until the late 70s-early 80s. It is the reality I grew up with.

        • prognostication says:

          I mean, it was more common than not for women not to work in that era, sure, but it was far from strange for a woman to be working well before that. In 1950, over a third of women 16+ were in the workforce, including more than 40% 16-24 and nearly 40% 35-44. The trend grew 1960-1980, and you are correct that 1980 is the first census in which sizable majorities of women in all cohorts younger than 55 were in the workforce.

        • Darkrose says:

          For white people, sure. My mother worked full time when I was growing up in the 70’s. Same with all of my black friends. I thought it was weird when I met my first white kids my age and their moms didn’t work.

        • Colleen says:

          Yes, but people also lived in 1300 sq foot homes with one bathroom, one car, without the endless conveniences of electronics/ internet/ cable ect. No one wants to go back to living like our 50s grandparents.

        • Abbey Bartlet says:

          Hardly imaginary, as that was the norm from 1950-until the late 70s-early 80s. It is the reality I grew up with.

          That’s some Betty Friedan talk right there.

          • DrDick says:

            It is where she and the others of that generation of feminists were coming from and were fighting against. I am not valorizing it. As I often tell my students, they do not live in the world I grew up in and we can all be grateful for that fact. However, working class jobs routinely paid enough to support a family on with one earner. You could even live on the minimum wage.

      • Fuck this shit – that guys gonna take a job from a mexican and give it to a white person. That’s clear as day to me.

        I don’t think the Democratic Party, or any progressive movement, can have any truck with that kind of “clarity”.

      • Spider-Dan says:

        I think Trae Crowder nailed it: the secret is just to lie.

        There is no combination of policies that will make cheap labor in Asia simply disappear. We cannot wave a magic wand and reopen all the closed Rust Belt factories and Appalachian mines.

        But that isn’t a very good campaign speech! So I guess we have to start telling people that we are going to force GM/Apple/Walmart/etc. to build everything in America. Then it will all work out!

    • Tzimiskes says:

      I agree with this. Another frame I would like to see used is that broad based growth is really hard but benefits everyone. Redividing the pie is relatively easy but can only benefit a few, like maybe one percent.

      Business has realized this and focuses on policies that redivide the pie between workers and management, with a bit left over for shareholders. Yet the business community has been able to get away with the frame that pro growth policies that improve the lot of employees are redividing the pie while the policies advocated for by the business lobby to redivide the pie are instead pro growth. How have they been able to maintain this frame in popular culture and the news media despite decades of evidence against it?

      • C.V. Danes says:

        Business has realized this and focuses on policies that redivide the pie between workers and management, with a bit left over for shareholders.

        Actually, what business has realized is that once you take away workers’ rights, you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want.

      • Nobdy says:

        What are you talking about redividing the lie can only benefit a few? If you take pie from the few and give it to the many then it benefits the many.

        Like what? What?

        The U.S. has plenty of pie. We should pursue growth of course, but right now all the growth goes to the top so it actually doesn’t help the people who need it.

        Our primary issue IS division of the pie.

        • liberal says:

          Yeah…the fraction of income going to capital is really, really high these days.

        • Tzimiskes says:

          What I mean is that one percent of people can benefit from a lower growth rate if it means they get a slightly larger share of the total economic pie. This doesn’t work in the long run for the economy as a whole since even with the economy as unequal as it is the 99 percent is not going to see their incomes grow for a long period of time simply by redividing existing resources.

          Given the size of the economy the majority always have a dominant strategy of increasing economic growth. A small minority that finds a way to exercise control will always find it superior to gain greater control of existing resources for themselves even at the cost of growth. The majority of the economy is still not in the hands of the 1% so a greater share of the existing economy benefits them more than growth that helps everyone equally. So for instance they seek to move production overseas even though studies show it hurts individual businesses because they would prefer to gain leverage over the labor force rather than gain efficiency through better production methods.

          I really need more space to fully flesh this out but it’s something I’ve been considering since getting my MBA.

          • Nobdy says:

            I understand what you mean now, but the problem is that there is no constituency for what is abstractly best for society, at least at the margins like that.

            People want policy that is going to help them.

            Growth is only useful to you if you get a piece of it, so the issue right now is distribution. Nobody cares if the abstract GDP goes up and they still can’t pay their rent/buy a fourteenth yacht.

            • Tzimiskes says:

              I think that Reagan managed to tie the idea that helping capital would create a tide that lifts all boats. The effect of that is still with us and I think this still has an influence on my parents generation. They have difficulty supporting policies that benefit them personally but would hurt everyone.

              This is why I think it is important that Democrats work to advance the idea that policies that benefit workers are pro growth without explicitly going down the redistribution road. People really want to believe that what is good for them is good for everyone. Make an argument that increasing labors income will benefit everyone without trade offs for anyone is something that more people might believe since it satisfies the just world fallacy. This is complicated because the powerful have influence to oppose it, but the idea that benefitting labor helps growth has more support than Reagan had for his pro capital policies. Helping labor would eventually shift income shares away from capital, but I think it is best to ignore this, let the 90% think what is best for them is best for everyone, people seem to like thinking tjis way.

          • los says:

            Tzimiskes says:

            one percent of people can benefit from a lower growth rate if it means they get a slightly larger [relative] share of the total economic pie.

            That precisely reflects operating “philosophy” of Banana Republicans/Somalian Galtlords.

            But eventually under Banana Republicanism, the Banana Republicans’ takings becomes absolutely less than it would have been under non-Banana Republicanism. Banana Republicans become relative Yertles[1], at the top of the turtle pile in absolute cesspools.

            ______________
            1. while regularly assassinating uncles, older brothers, etc.

        • JdLaverty says:

          Right on. “Growth” doesn’t really mean a damn thing if nearly all of the gains wind up in a handful of Swiss bank accounts (or BVI or Cayman accounts, depending on your favorite flavour of tax evasion)

          • los says:

            The same quantity of resources spent to build and maintain an apartment building produces more value than spent building and maintaining a robber baron’s alternative alternative alternative summer mansion.

      • los says:

        Tzimiskes says:

        redivide the pie between workers and management, with a bit left over for shareholders

        the robber barons steal from everyone else, including smaller businesses.

  2. wengler says:

    He surmised that Democrats and unions opposed him because he was a successful businessman who could help President Donald Trump create jobs and economic growth.

    Keep fucking that chicken, you Pudz.

    • C.V. Danes says:

      I think he prefers hamburger.

    • burritoboy says:

      Let’s not forget that the primary reason this jackass had the big businessman title was that he devised a huge inheritance tax dodge and insider trader defense for the actual guy – Carl Karcher – who started Carl’s Jr and spent decades of his life working the concept.

    • efgoldman says:

      Keep fucking that chicken, you Pudz.

      Waah waah waah
      Fucking RWNJs, whether they’re billionaires or out of work miners, nothing is ever their own fucking fault,
      No bridges, coathangers or sparrows for any of them.
      A competent administration – Dem or Republiklown – would have let this whiny entitled asshole within 3000 miles of a cabinet post.

    • los says:

      wengler says:

      Keep fucking that chicken, you Pudz.

      “Somebody” should “investigate” what might be going on in Puzder’s basement.
      Theorists claimed an underground network beneath Comet Ping Pong; however, the restaurant actually has no basement, and the picture used to support this claim was taken from another facility.

      Where’s Milo?

  3. C.V. Danes says:

    “I don’t believe their concern was that I would be bad for workers. I think their concern was that I would pursue policies they opposed and that workers would benefit,” he suggested. “So the implications of that for the left would really have been devastating.”

    No, I think it was unanimous that you would be bad for workers. Our concern was that you would pursue policies we opposed that are demonstrably bad for workers. And the implication for that would indeed have been devastating. For the workers.

    Schmuck.

    • JdLaverty says:

      Even in the age of Herr Trump the casual lying-out-the-ass still manages to astound me. That anyone could suggest with a straight face that a pudzer labor department would be *suppressing laughter* pro-worker is really a pretty amazing development in mendacity.

  4. NewishLawyer says:

    I don’t really get Pudzer’s statement and the same would be true if it was a liberal candidate brought down by the GOP and/or conservatives.

    This is how ideological and oppositional politics work. Trump put forward Pudzer for Secretary of Labor, the left correctly found him objectionable and set forth upon trying to defeat his nomination.

    Do people really not understand this aspect of politics?

    I think the left should respond with “Of course we sunk your nomination and would do it again and again if we needed to.”

  5. herewegoagain says:

    I think it was just the wife beating video. This guy isn’t Trump. He survived all that other shit, they couldn’t have cared less. It just got too hard for Collins et al to vote for this shit.

    • efgoldman says:

      This guy isn’t Trump. He survived all that other shit, they couldn’t have cared less.

      Well if DOL Secretary was an elected position, this Pudz probably would have gotten 80% of RWNJ mouth breather flying monkey votes, too.

  6. Cheap Wino says:

    He sounds butthurt. Hope it’s a long term illness.

  7. Crusty says:

    Why does he say he was defeated by the left as if its something sinister or scandalous? Yeah, the left defeated you because you’re a rotten miserable fucker nominated by a president who is on the right, whether because he himself is on the right or because he’s an empty vessel captured by others on the right.

    The Atlanta Falcons want to let you in on a big secret- they were defeated by the Patriots! Scandalous! Two teams on the field and one of them won! (never mind bad play calling, etc.).

    • leftwingfox says:

      Because everything “the left” does is illegitimate and sinister, of course.

    • Breadbaker says:

      From January 20, 2001, through January 20, 2009, at noon, opposition to the President was treason. From January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017, at noon, opposition to the President was a sacrament, whence it became treason again.

      It’s sort of like the “unitary Presidency” argument. It only applies when Republicans are in office.

      Remember Schumer sending McConnell his own damn letter? It’s like that.

  8. Mike G says:

    He surmised that Democrats and unions opposed him because he was a successful businessman who could help President Donald Trump create jobs and economic growth.

    Yeah, that must be it. Because everybody hates jobs and economic growth. This guy really has his finger on the pulse.

  9. encephalopath says:

    The left objected to his nomination for substantive reasons and opposed his nomination. They didn’t lie about him or misrepresent his business record.

    Yet he acts like this is out of bounds and a terrible affront to his something something. Had he never been introduced to politics before last month? I’m supposed to put my trust in your super smart businessy business acumen when it’s clear you have no idea how anything works?

    What is the point of Puzder’s whinging? I don’t get it.

  10. Gareth says:

    his grotesquely sexist advertisements for his shitty burgers

    The President has framed copies of Playboy with him on the cover, and that didn’t cause any controversy during the campaign. So I doubt a few bikini commercials had any effect on Puzder’s chances. And Carl’s Jr burgers are fine.

  11. Brien Jackson says:

    Not to go there but…

    “Interrupt the present civil war on the left between supporters of two excellent candidates…”

    Can we stop this kind of nonsense? There are exactly zero people here who have voiced any problems with Ellison or his candidacy.

  12. Chip Daniels says:

    Puzder…accused Democrats of going “full throttle” once they saw some Republicans wavering.

    Outrageous! How dare Democrats fight!

    Why aren’t they curled in a fetal position and begging forgiveness like usual?

  13. Fidalgo says:

    For fast food, the all natural grass-fed burger is actually pretty good.

    A notch below shake shack and in and out, but clearly better than BK, McDonalds, etc. Also probably marginally better from an animal welfare perspective.

  14. Chip Daniels says:

    I remember long ago in the 90’s, when I was transitioning from right to left, George Will wrote something telling to the effect that if you asked a conservative for his political orientation, he would say “damn right, I’m conservative!” while a liberal would nervously wring his hands and mutter “Labels do not matter”.

    Whatever you think of Will, it struck me at the time as a pretty fair shot; But I’ve seen the times change, where now I am seeing a lot more “Damn right I’m a liberal!” type comments.

    We need more of this, please.

  15. Brett says:

    While I’m glad to hear Puzder whine a ton, it makes me sad to think that what probably sunk him was the unauthorized immigrant housekeeper, not the lousy labor record of Carls Jr or his unpleasant personal record.

    Also – Carls Jr hamburgers are delicious. Not the best, but better than most of the other big national fast food chains.

  16. Murc says:

    I look at that picture and think “Those poor girls! Hay, even what is probably fake hay, is very very scratchy and irritating! They must by very uncomfortable, and that was probably before the photographer told them to arch their backs.”

  17. Abbey Bartlet says:

    “The left is trying to sink as many of the president’s nominees as possible,”

    I mean…yes?

    • Murc says:

      And I mean, we aren’t even being unfair about it.

      Elaine Chao sailed right through with like what, ninety votes to confirm? She’s actually competent to do her job.

      In a way, we continue to adhere to the norm of “the President has wide latitude to staff the government; we object only to the nominees who are gross outrages rather than merely ideologically odious to us.”

      It’s just that Trump keeps nominating gross outrages.

  18. klhoughton says:

    Of course, for Puzder, it’s also the left that is destroying the nation, a nation where wifebeaters should be powerful government figures.

    I believe we can call this the Affleck Effect, though that’s difficult to say out loud.

  19. Bloix says:

    Puzder lost because he was too squishy on immigration (fast food employers LIKE immigrants!) “The left” didn’t defeat him any more than it defeated DeVos or Sessions.

    He’s not whining – he’s trying to rewrite the history in order to regain his cred with the new racism.

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  22. […] professor of history at the University of Rhode Island and a labor commentator at the progressive blog Lawyers, Guns & Money. He […]

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