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Superman Politics

by Kevin D. Williamson

Trump’s Carrier deal is government busyness, not the government’s business

The strange thing about bailouts, such as the one Donald Trump and Mike Pence just organized for the Carrier air-conditioner company, is that they are detested in theory but relatively popular in practice, at least when they are put together by your guy. When Barack Obama boasted of having saved GM, he wasn’t scoffed at as a meddling know-nothing who used other people’s money to save incompetent corporate managers and rapacious union goons from their own stupidity and excesses — he was considered a friend of the working man, or at least a well-intentioned would-be friend.

The automaker bailouts were never generally popular. A small majority of Americans disapproved of them, but that majority was lopsided: Sixty-three percent of Democrats approved of the bailouts, while 73 percent of Republicans opposed them. Political tribalism is strong here: The Trump-Pence Carrier handout is supported by 40 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents, and a remarkable 87 percent of Republicans, according to a Politico poll.

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