Good riddance to Tom MacArthur

Tom MacArthur is a Republican congressman from New Jersey who tried the familiar two-step of pretending to be a moderate while being a Trumpista. I am very glad to report that it was announced today that he has lost his seat to Democratic challenger Andy Kim, leaving the New Jersey Republican congressional delegation, like the California one, in tatters with just one congressperson from the former five, with some of the lost seats having been held by Republicans for decades. The House is now 229-198 in favor of the Democrats, a swing of 34 seats so far, with eight seats still undecided.

In May 2017, I posted a video of MacArthur getting a well-deserved shellacking from an impassioned but articulate constituent for his support of the Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare after promising not to do so. The infuriated speaker vowed that MacArthur would pay in the 2018 election for his betrayal of his promise and that prediction has come true. In fact, Kim said he was inspired to run because of MacArthur’s vote on the Obamacare bill. (If you cannot see the embedded video, go here.)

Bye, Tom. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.


  1. jrkrideau says

    I remember the video. Tom MacArthur is gone? Lovely. The person “talking’ to him was magnificent. I have no idea who Andy Kim is but he or she cannot be worse than MacArthur.

    I have never been able to comprehend why as rich a country as the USA does not have decent health care.

    IIRC, a Brazilian friend, a couple of years ago, told me that Brazil (not the wealthiest of countries) had universal health care. She said that it was not very good but it was there.
    (Note, good may be relative , at the time we were in Canada about 2km from a world-class tertiary health care facility.)

  2. lanir says

    The opposition to social programs in the US is pretty simple to understand. It’s a mix of “taxes are theft” and “I work hard, why should I pay for benefit payouts to people who don’t.” The main beneficiaries are the rich of course, but it’s consistently sold to the middle class and poor as well.

    Somewhere in our history someone rich who had a fair grasp of PR and marketing or maybe just happened upon successful marketing techniques, decided that providing benefits for the great unwashed masses was not in their best interests (Ayn Rand wouldn’t be the first, just one of the more famous promoters of this). So they sold the idea to other rich people. This probably wasn’t hard. And then sold it to the great unwashed masses by implying that each individual worked hard and deserved it but that there were people who weren’t working hard who did not. Essentially they exported the rich person’s perspective to poor people who could not afford it. This sounds ludicrous, especially if the individual in question cannot afford to buy healthcare or other benefits themselves, but that’s how it works. They sell the idea by saying that if you can’t afford healthcare now, how will you afford it when you have to help pay for everyone to have it? This is disingenious because real single payer universal healthcare if paid for by taxes and the rich pay more (which is why they object to it in the first place). It would be vastly more affordable for the poor but the wealthy can fund lie campaigns that mislead everyone (search for info on “death panels” and then compare/contrast with members of Congress pushing to kick millions of people off of healthcare, some of whom will literally die because of it).

    A lot of it comes down to taxes. In America there is a very popular way of looking at taxes as unfair. They’re not viewed as being a method for government to fund the various types of infrastructure our society depends on (roads, unemployment insurance, police, firefighters, disaster recovery programs, armed forces, social security for the elderly and disabled), but rather as a form of theft. This is not entirely untrue as we have a bloated military budget which serves to substantially enrich a small segment of our society, but it’s very hypocritical. Usually the military budget is pitched as the one thing to keep in these scenarios. What’s never mentioned is how any of this is supposed to work without taxes.

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