armchair guerrilla's picture

    Breaking: White man from Vermont dismisses claims of racism, sexism, homophobia, slams Democrats.

    This statement encapsulates my problems with Bernie.

    "Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don't agree, because I've been there. Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with, it wasn't that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election," Sanders said.

    Where to begin? First, it's a straw man. Nobody is saying everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe. More important, this minimizes the undeniable fact that Trump's "win" was premised on explicit appeals to white nationalism and overwhelming support from white men. Needless to say, tens of millions of women, people of color, immigrants and LGBTQ, the ones whose rights are threatened, feel differently, despite the self-serving statements of the octogenarian socialist from Vermont.

    Second, it's more than a little ironic to blame Democrats for "losing" an election in which we got 3 million more votes despite outrageous interference by the FBI, Russian hackers (possibly in conjunction with the Republican nominee) stealing and selectively releasing confidential internal communications and spreading false news tarring the Democratic nominee (some of which, it should be noted, targeted Sanders supporters), a media environment that spent as much time dissecting the Democrat's email server management as on Trump's serial lies, scandals and corruption, and a Republican party that actively sought to suppress minority votes.

    Pray tell, then, how the Democrats "lost" the election? Was it by standing up for civil rights and inclusion, the environment, immigration reform, universal healthcare, expanded access to higher education, higher minimum wage, gun regulation, criminal justice reform, etc? Maybe, just maybe, one reason we "lost" is that after listening to rants like this, enough people were convinced that despite all this, the Democrats were the ones responsible for the financial crisis, de-industrialization, rising healthcare and college costs, and income inequality. Maybe, just maybe, if instead of attacking Democrats as corporate tools Bernie had spent even a little time pointing out how Democrats have fought for solutions in the face of Republican obstruction, we'd have a different occupant in the White House. Maybe, just maybe, as we confront an authoritarian monster who threatens our Democracy every day, blaming the ones fighting the good fight is not the best strategy.

    I recognize Bernie is the most popular politician in the country right now. Dems are falling over themselves to soak up some of that popularity. He was originally sold as someone who would expand the Party's reach. Unfortunately, statements like these lead me to wonder if he's done more to drive voters away.

    I want to like Bernie. I really do. But every time I start, he says something to remind me that with friends like these...


    Armchair, let's dig a little deeper here (ahem). Why do you think Sanders delivered this message? Because he hates Democrats and wants Republicans to keep winning? He has been transparent about his intentions. He wants to transform the Democratic Party in order to revitalize it. So I ask you, how do you change a party without pointing out its flaws?

    I can tell you how you avoid changing a party. You avoid changing it by blaming its losses on the opponents' dirty tricks e.g. hackers and racists. You avoid changing it by downplaying the losses, i.e. clinging to Clinton's popular vote edge over an incompetent lunatic while ignoring the fact that Democrats have less power than any point since 1908. And you avoid changing it by marginalizing the dissidents who "attack" the party.

    Now maybe you feel that Democrats don't need to make any substantive changes because everything is peachy, but surely you can understand why some of us aren't so sanguine about the state of the party and why we might feel the need to demand a few changes, despite the risk that our criticisms may reflect poorly on the party.

    Armchair Guerilla points out a major problem with Sander's message. Black voters take offense. The first rumblings after the election was to toss black and Latino voters under the bus by telling the Democrats to stop "identity politics". This was in the setting of white voters electing the guy who forced Obama to produce a full form birth certificate. Trump made racist Steve Bannon his senior advisor. Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions is the Attorney General. TA big chunk of white voters had no problem with Trump's entourage. 

    Black voters are told that the Democrats have to change their message to attract voters who elected a racist. This is problematic. Democrats lost a chunk of Southern voters after the Civil Rights laws passed. What should the Democrats have done to regain those voters? Other than throwing blacks under the bus, those white voters were not coming back.

    Surveys of Trump voters show they harbor deep racial animus. Blacks cannot ignore this reality

    Republicans gerrymandered many districts. Black were shoved into jigsaw shaped enclaves. Tea Party candidates have safe seats as a result. The so-called Freedom Caucus is able to obstruct at will without fearing any consequences. If Freedom Caucus members compromise, they will face a primary challenge by someone even wingnuttier. That is our situation.

    Bernie never caught fire in the black community because he is tone-deaf

    "Now maybe you feel that Democrats don't need to make any substantive changes" - oh blather, the Straw Man is back - Wizard of Oz part III?

    Not going to ruin a nice spring day, April Fools or not. Rave on.

    Black people know or work with white voters who support Trump. They have heard and seen that these Trump supporters are not bothered by the stench of racism coming from the Trump administration. Trumpkins rationalize the racism by pointing out that Trump can't be racist because "that black girl Omarosa supports him". That is a direct quote from a white female Trump,supporter.

    Blacks know plenty of white people who saw the writing on the wall and supported Hillary. These folks want Gorsuch opposed even if it means the nuclear option will be used. They reject the argument that if Gorsuch is opposed, the next nominee will be worse. The next nominee will be worse no matter what happens with Gorsuch. These were the people who participated in the Women's March.

    Trump supporters were not bright enough to know that they were receiving Obamacare. They stuck will Trump even though he raised the amount of money needed to get a mortgage, attempts to pollute the environment, and allows ISPs to sell private information. Trump supporters are willing to go along with this as long as they see a Muslim ban, Latino's deported, and blacks put in their place. Sanders is wrong.


    I ask you, how do you change a party without pointing out its flaws?

    You don't change the party by tearing it down to the point like the cliche from the Vietnam era, “We had to destroy Bến Tre in order to save it.”

    And Bernie sure seems to have flipped quite a bit in a short time from the following.

    “Our campaign, from day one, has understood some very basic points, and that is: First, we will not allow rightwing Republicans to control our government, and that is especially true with Donald Trump as the Republican candidate. The American people, in my view, will never support a candidate whose major theme is bigotry, who insults Mexicans, who insults Muslims, and women and African Americans. We will not allow Donald Trump to become president of the United States. But we understand our mission is more than just defeating Trump, it is transforming our country.”

    That was his response right after getting his hat handed to him in the California primary.


    OGD, accusations of disloyalty and subversion have long been used to silence dissidents. Here's a more appropriate Vietnam War analogy for you: "America, love it or leave it." Conservatives savaged anti-war protesters for "tearing down" the country. But of course, the protesters weren't anti-American; they simply disagreed with the policies of the country's leaders and were using their voices to create change.

    Back to the future, Bernie Sanders is not against the Democratic Party and does not want to "destroy" it. He simply disagrees with the policies of the party's leaders, so he's using his voice to try to create change in the party.


    He is working to alienate the most loyal group of Democratic voters.

    If he were challenging the policies of Dem leaders, I wouldn't be upset. Seems to me he's dismissive of the all-too-legitimate concerns of loyal Democratic voters and all-too-eager to throw them under the bus. Here's another way to translate the statement: "Stop talking about racism, homophobia, etc. That's what got us into this pickle. Instead, let's talk about the legitimate grievances of (by implication) white working people who turned against us because we ignored them and concentrated on all that other stuff." The first part is needlessly divisive. The second part is just wrong.


    Or, to put it another way, his message isn't that dissimilar to the one Trump ran on. Democrats have played "identity" politics and ignored white working class folks.  

    I believe that Bernie Sanders would take issue with the injection of the word "white." He believes that the modern Democratic Party has failed to represent the interests of the working class, regardless of race.

    Nice, but he was largely dismissive of contests in the Deep South, which represented the voice and vote of a huge proportion of the party's black vote. His support among Hispanics was largely anecdotal based on 1 exit poll in Nevada, ignoring his loss. More important, he never seemed to make his message connect with a high percent of voters of color. 


    Really, we have 2+ pieces to a message, and if we can get them meshed together we may have a winning combination, but until then it's "if wishes were horses..."

    Wolraich... No cigar...

    Oh wow... Thanks for tha history lesson and advice. Bernie's only 4 years my senior. I'm quite old enough not to be bamboozled by all this flinging of bullshit. I venture to say I'm at least 10 degrees to the LEFT of what Bernie currently purports to be. Oh and, I also understand the reasoning at this time for his statement. It takes quite a bit of bombast to cut through the media fog to stay current as "...a voice for the people."

    You see... my old saw cuts both ways.


    Alas, age offers no antidote to bullshit, as Trump voters have amply demonstrated. But I did not mean to lecture you, only to counter your analogy with one that I found more appropriate.

    Ftr, I'm probably a degree or two right of Bernie, which I guess makes me 10 degrees plus a few right of you. But I agree with him that the Democratic Party has lots its way, and it disturbs me to see progressives lambaste him for saying so.

    What progressives are lambasting him for saying the party needs work? Straw Man 3.0

    "Needs work" would indeed be a straw man. But that's not what I wrote. I chose the phrase "lost its way" for a reason. Do you agree that the Democratic Party has lost its way? That it lacks vision and ideological core? If so, then we may be closer than I thought. If not, well then, not a straw man.

    I know that you won't address this but part of the reasons Democrats became timid was because when they took bold action like Civil Rights bills, white voters abandoned the party. When Obamacare was passed, white voters left again. Red and Purple state Democrats know that if they are "too radical" they will lose to Republicans. When in the modern era have a majority of white voters praised Democrats for being "radical"?

    We've had this argument too many times before, rmrd. There is simply no point in having it again. In any case, I'm not here to argue about whether Sanders is right. My point is that his attempt to hold the Democratic Party responsible for its historic losses is not intended to undermine the party but to rescue it. Whether his solution will work is a separate question.

    Michael, the only reason it was a "historic" loss was simply too many (including sadly myself) were optimistically trusting polls that have gotten much worse since the departure of Gallup and the expansion of social media. (Flawed polls that Bernie fans still cling to as validating his supposed popularity and electability, ignoring the social media trench war of the actual election and the wildly diverging results). Nate Silver warned again and again about unknown unknowns, that we simply didn't have good data, and that a "70% chance of winning" really really really means a 30% chance of losing, and again he was proven prescient and insightful.

    It wasn't terribly more historic than Kerry or Gore's losses - Kerry losing by 3 million votes without Hillary's baggage... or Dukakis' 7 million vote rout or Mondale's embarrassing loss by 17 million votes, 1/5 the vote tally, or Carter as incumbent losing by 8 1/2 million.

    But I've been pointing out over and over again that Obama only won in 2012 by 4% despite rescuing the country from a meltdown, and 7% in 2008 after the debacle of Bush, the Iraq War and the financial meltdown, as well as a completely ditzy inexperienced & unhinged GOP VP candidate.

    Did Obama not speak enough for these disenfranchised workers in 2008? Or was Hope & Change vs. sheer incompetence & corruption & war-weariness tempered by innate racism to come out a draw? or some other factor that made what should have been a slam dunk, a "Democrats race to lose" a too-close-for-comfort experience? (To a large extent, I think we just vote by party, and there isn't that much indecision, even with glaring crisis or mismanagement, and that's largely a lifestyle/friends-and-family choice, not an issues decision)

    What I'm simply not getting is who the target of our soon-to-be new-and-improved "ideological core" is, and why should we expect they'll respond to our overtures since all I see is a heavy response to dog whistles, fear mongering and red meat issues.

    The excited people at Bernie rallies in no way outnumber the excited people at Trump rallies, and it's still down in the thin margins of how we lost this election, and I don't think these 2 groups share that many values aside from what Michael Moore describes as the desire to give a big fuck-you to the establishment. I'm used to the ones on the right responding to global warming with "I'm going to leave my SUV idling all night and leave all the lights on". I'm used to getting emails like "if you see someone on the left who says they want peace, haul off and hit him. Then hit him again. Then hit him again..." Along with fear of Muslim Obama. Yeah, sent to me by a family member & others. What's the unifying "core" principle to unite us under these circumstances?

    But *why* they're giving that fuck you to Democrats who've by-and-large championed unions and greater worker rights and a higher minimum wage and affordable health care for the struggling and tried to continue unemployment benefits after the crash, while continuing to reward the guys who almost always (until Trump) rage against these values is still a mystery, and until we come up with a better formulation of what specifically defines this behavior, we're largely shooting in the dark. Yeah, trade could maybe explain something if the Republicans hadn't largely backed the same trade policy and went much much further in supporting banks and offshore tax amnesties and protecting tax avoidance by large corporations even as "downsizing" hit a fevered pitch.

    Do Americans not read the papers, is Fox & Breitbart & Facebook just completely drowning out basic facts, and if so, why would us changing policies help things vs. getting much much better at explaining ourselves and telling them what's actually going on? Sure, if we can invent a free source of money and pass out wealth and beauty, they might - *might* back Democrats, or at least a Democratic presidential candidate. But I still doubt it - like the spider, it's getting to be part of their nature.




    As I've said many times, Democrats have less power today than at any point since 1910. That's historic and tragic. It didn't happen over a single election, but it culminated with this election of a singularly unfit candidate.

    So what do we do about it? We can wag our fingers at Fox News and Putin and all those "deplorables," but that won't restore the Democrats power. This is Sanders' point. The first step is to admit that the Democratic Party has a very serious, long-term problem that cannot be rectified by communication consultants or policy tweaks or small-bore reforms. If you agree with that, we can have a serious discussion about how to fix the party. If not, we're just ships passing in the night, and further discussion on this topic is a waste of time.

    "This is Sanders' point. The first step is to admit that the Democratic Party has a very serious, long-term problem that cannot be rectified by communication consultants or policy tweaks or small-bore reforms."

    Again I don't know why you act like anyone denies this. We've gotten pummelled at state level for years, and we're largely powerless in both houses of Congress, White House, and soon the Supreme Court. Meanwhile we have little idea of what will fix the growing jobs & wages quandary that seems to be one of the main roots of the disquiet. Plus the GOP can focus on the much simpler, more homogenous task of making white people happy, largely men and the wives who follow them obediently (cf Mike Pence), while we have a dozen constituencies to cater to in our big tent, with often conflicting needs & wants. Communication consultants might help with cutting through the faux news tsunami but it'd be foolish to think that people just aren't seeing or understanding the Democratic message over the last 15 years.

    And of course Trump getting some 53% of the white female vote seems mind-boggling and quite confusing and largely irrational, but we have to figure out what they were thinking, their version of "rational", to make any progress. 

    Has there been a Democratic message over the last 15 years? What is it?

    Economic recovery, civil rights, rich pay fair share, protect SS & social safety net, expand health care coverage, safeguard women's right to choice, collaborate with world on climate, promote technology/jobs to lead world in renewable energy, protect air/water and environment, protect job retraining, services for jobless and poor, regulate Wall Street, protect consumers from fraud CFPB, work to protect human rights, push for legislation for practical immigration reform.

    That's not a message. It's a long list of priorities.

    Republican message: We'll protect America's way of life from government overreach

    So make up some bullshit line full of platitudes completely detached from reality and sell it to the DNC. I hear Hope & Change and reaching across the aisle is popular, esp. for Beltway media types, even though in practice it's unworkable and a recipe for disaster. Did Kerry or Gore even have a slogan?

    I didn't think "Stronger Together" was that bad. But what the hell do I know anyway.

    AG ...

    Yup! Not too shabby at all.


    We''ll Protect You from Republicans Overreach!

    actually not a bad suggestion, not bad at all. especially as inherent in it is avoidance of nanny state fears. Is of course stealing their juju.


    Folks, by message, I don't mean a catchy slogan like "Stronger together" or "America first." I don't mean a list of policies either. I mean an overarching theme which subsumes all the specific issues. Most Republican political issues fall under the rubric of "government overreach"--taxes, regulations, health care, gun control, environment, school choice, social security, and so on. They use this simple, intuitive concept of federal abuse of power and spin it out in every possible way.

    Democrats used to have something similar--a central theme about reigning in corporate power which subsumed all the specific issues (regulation, labor laws, anti-trust, environment, etc). But we don't talk so much corporate power anymore, not the party leaders anyway, and we haven't replaced it with anything else.


    You seem to be implying we're not having a serious discussion. I think we mostly are but you're speaking in generalities. I, and I think most here, agree with your general statements about the state of the party and the need for change. We apparently/possibly disagree about the specifics. We don't think Sanders lying about or turning a blind eye to the appeal to racism and sexism in the Trump campaign is the best way to change the party. Or what is possibly my personal bugaboo, portraying the democratic party as the party of the liberal elite.

    Every serious discussion must eventually get into specifics and I have no idea what your opinion is on the specific issue this blog was addressing. At some point it might be helpful if you get beyond generalities and actually address the blog and comments and let us know whether you think lying about the extent and influence of racism and sexism in the Trump campaign is a good path forward in beginning the needed changes to the democratic party.

    O-K - you wrote in another post on this blog that you'd like to see the Democratic Party move to the left.  Here you acknowledge the Democratic Party is in need of change.  What specific changes do you think the Democratic Party should embrace as part of its move to the left?

    Well gee, explain how "needs work" differs from your earlier "Now maybe you feel that Democrats don't need to make any substantive changes because everything is peachy, but surely you can understand why some of us aren't so sanguine about the state of the party and why we might feel the need to demand a few changes, despite the risk that our criticisms may reflect poorly on the party."  And that "everything is peachy" wasn't an absurd way to phrase people's views who definitely don't see the status quo as acceptable?

    "Lost its way" sounds definitive, but it's not - *here* it's entirely subjective, depending of course on what specific path(s) you think it should be on. "lacks vision and ideological core" is also lackluster and vague.

    Hillary had tons of vision - including details on how to implement. She lacked messaging, and perhaps some of her vision was out of step with a better direction and list of priorities for 2017 - that's why I want a debate, not an overhaul by dogmatic fiat.

    No, we weren't blindly wandering out in the woods without a plan or with startstruck/corrupt ideas completely detached from reality. Student loan relief & education reform, assistance for largely white Appalachian workers dependent on dying coal, significant increase in minimum wage, body cams for police with other protections for blacks especially from abuse, banks having too much hold on the economy, large multinationals not paying their share of taxes, the ineffectiveness of austerity, (mostly white) addiction in the heartland, crumbling infrastructure, voter disenfranchisement, industrial pollution, the need for stronger unions & worker protections...

    In the horserace we may have relied too much on polling data, but we do that every goddamn election and we're constantly tweaking our models to win last election, not the current one - Obama won with his, so it's by definition "visionary", while Hillary lost 2 times with very different ones, so it's "lost its way". Every campaign will have these internal debates about how best to spend time & campaign funds, especially if it gets into panic stages.

    Yeah, we also always debate small donors vs. large ones, as well as superdelegates and electoral college, etc. The biggest takeaway is that in both parties, the non-established (vs. the innacurate "non-establishment") candidates were able to make a strong run for office under current rules, with 1 actually winning his part and the general elections. Should we have taken Dennis Kucinich's lack of success as a sign the party had lost its way? Jesse Jackson's defeat? lots of folks who hate Hillary were cheering Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama - is that an anti-establishment predilection, or simply an arbitrary selection of favorites over whatever missing principles we're supposedly debating?

    The only domestic/economic areas I really see us significantly arguing are immigration and trade, with the left largely ignoring the right's complaints about immigration and both sides having trouble figuring out a useful beneficial trade policy model that supports job and wage growth - something no one's really figured out how to handle effectively, as pointed out in mocking and unflinching terms by the World Bank's own chief economist.

    Environment and global warming we're largely agreed on the push for renewables etc., aside from some fracking bickering that to me seems to be ignoring the obvious (that we can't do without it, and that it's greatly helped relieve our oil dependency from Russia & the Mideast, which is worth its weight in gold).

    On Healthcare-for-all we're all agreed it needs to be expanded, as we have been for 25+ years, but how politically and industry-wise (with America's peculiarities over other countries) a quandary if we ever even have near the votes, and the ACA cost-savings still not fully realized.

    And then there's military/security situation, where we still have some disagreements, but Id guess the last few months have likely shifted viewpoints here quite a bit, so it'd be useful to take the pulse again.

    My biggest disappointment with the election is simply that we as a nation don't seem ready to step forward very far on women's rights and treatment, despite a lot of big talk, as exemplified by Republicans feeling safe to talk about denying maternity benefits as part of health care. Is that "losing our way" or simply being too progressive for our own electability?

    Also, if emphasizing class over identity politics still means giving benefits to blacks and Hispanics, we're going to run right into the racial resentments even if whites are getting benefits at 3x the rate of minorities. That's how our nation swings, and it feeds right into our traditional race-baiting.

    Anyway, I'm just not getting the "lacks ideological core" bit, since you don't seem to be such a fan of defining everything in terms of class either. Is it just "not enough passion"?

    In the 1930s and 40s, the ideological core of the party was protecting the little guy from corporate excess and predation. There were always other issues, but that was the fundamental commitment that bound the diverse coalition together. What is the core that binds Democrats together today? HRC did not articulate it. Nor did Bill or Obama. I don't know what our ideological core is. More importantly, the voters don't know what it is.

    Sanders would have us return to the core ideology of that earlier era. Maybe he's right, maybe not. But at least he's grabbing the bull by the horns and trying to shake the party from its complacency. His attempt to hold the party responsible for its losses rather than blaming them on others is part of this reform effort. Whether or not you agree with his vision, I'm trying to make people understand that he doesn't want to undermine the party; he wants to return it to its former glory.

    The GOP and Trump use blatant racism to garner the white working man/women vote.  Racism trumps Sanders/Hillary/Dem goodies like free college.

    Even the great FDR had to pander to the racists of the 30s to get his New Deal programs passed:

    Southern Senators threatened a long filibuster that would effectively block everything on the calendar, including the Social Security Act, which was FDR’s most cherished accomplishment. Despite a heated campaign by White, President Roosevelt remained silent on the filibuster and the anti-lynching bill died without a vote.

    It is a pipedream to think some socialist programs to help rural whites will pry their votes from racist Republicans. The WaPo and the NYT both had articles on how fed programs helped Trump voting whites in OK, and that Trump wants to cut those same programs,  but they still support Trump.

    The lefty Bernie brigade ignores, and dismisses in effect, this fundamental racist exploitation by the right, and it seems only economic collapse causes it not to work at election time.

    Yes, this is an excellent example of Sanders' point that too many Democrats simply dismiss Republican voters as unreachable and unredeemable. It's a hopeless philosophy. Might as well throw in the towel now.

    PS According to recent analysis by Nate Cohn, one of the biggest factors in Hillary's loss was white working class Obama voters who switched to Trump. Are these people racist too?

    Note I did reference this quandary re: Navalny at the end of my last Mosul piece, that people are quick to brand him or Kiev leaders as incorrigible xenophobes and neo-Nazis, when they're mostly looking out for their own interests (and if they weren't white we might give them a patronizing hall pass - more on the trending "collusion" word). But Navalny may be racist as well, as these voters, and we still may have to deal with them. 

    My wife is telling me yesterday about all the continual sexist asshattery coming out of "liberal" artists here, male and female alike. They think they're enlightened cause they know the latest happenings in the art world, but many have their morals and acceptance and misogyny all twisted up. Should she ignore that? Should we ignore the racism or seeming acceptance and encouragement of racist and supremist attitudes among many Trump supporters? Female Trump backers wearing "Trump can grab my pussy any day" t-shirts doesn't make the comment and attitude any less sexist. Being in a crowd of 50% the electorate doesn't make racist comments any less racist. Can we shun and ignore these people? Hardly. But we need a careful approach.

    Should she ignore that?

    Nooooo, cause: in the art world, the more outrageous you are the more the wealthy throw money at you. It doesn't really matter what you are sayin' or what "side" you are on, here passion has great ($$$$$$$$$$$) value. The capitalist art market is the worst possible system for the arts except for all the others that have been tried from time to time. wink (Try avant garde art sometimes with a dictatorship or a theocracy or public funding via "everyone gets a vote on what is good art" and you'll see.)

    In the 1930's, 1/4 the population were farmers. In the 1950's, much of our workforce was in mines and factories. Now the "little guys" are often female and sitting at desks. It's not so easy to use the stereotypes of the past for an evolving situation, such as internet workers with 401(k)s or a lot of people running SoHo businesses. Many (the vast majority?) of kids now are largely in school and at soccer camps, not in the street selling matches or milking the cow. But I do recall some heavy drumbeats the past years of lowering the influence of the banks and fixing the extortionary costs of healthcare. That's Democratic ideology.

    What's a bigger issue than the crime rate in the 90's? Clinton addressed it - Granny couldn't go to the market safely without getting mugged, her granddaughter might get raped or shot by some gang activity. Yeah, it wasn't our "core" philosophy, just as addressing booming immigration - legal and illegal - wasn't our core, just as dealing with the welfare situation that didn't seem to improve since the 60's wasn't our core. Even the Cold War wasn't our core - we were busy trying to keep weapons out of Europe as the Republicans were upping their ultimately successful game of chicken (and even today Carter & Brzezinski are still lambasted by our own party for setting a honey trap for the Russians - a much bigger deal than letting our hamhanded meddling in Iran fall apart). 

    Of course in 1936, *80 years ago*, the only "them" was the Nazis - everyone in America was in sucky shape, and the conservatives had been completely discredited, so just helping everyone - all little guys at that point, or 95% - was a no-brainer. Today FDR would simply be a war-monger in modern Democratic parlance.

    Also, our relative wealth these days gives us more room to focus on lifestyle issues and non-essentials. You'd think keeping guns out of the hands of murderers would be "helping the little guy", including the thousands of kids who die each year from handling mom & dad's firearm, "17,383 American children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention" with 2800 of those unintentional. Is our attempt to "help the little guy" welcome there? How about women in abusive homes or trying to prevent an unwanted pregnancy - even contraception is an affront to these callous bastards. 

    Society is fragmented, ideology is fragmented, people's desires are frequently contradictory and hypocritical. And thanks to micro-targeting, we can keep them all disgruntled and raging against their own interests forever. Have you considered that trying to find a "core ideology" may just be self-defeating? Republicans have largely abandoned their ideology and gone to completely malleable self-serving partisanship. I suppose if we can use Undivided or other theoretical framework to get ourselves to win elections it might be worth revisiting, but in the case of a public that's showing if not saying it doesn't want to act on principles, perhaps we should start believing them and act accordingly?

    I'm not saying that things are the same now as then. I agree that Sanders formula might not work in the 21st century. I was just answering your question about what it means to have a core ideology. Dems had one then. They don't now. 

    I like "Stronger Together" and Big Tent and Jackson's Rainbow Coalition as long as it includes whites including Jews. I didn't have any problem of picking out the message of bringing the benefits of our society to everyone, of removing the fear and uncertainty, of "No Peoples Left Behind", of security and tackling long-standing problems through being prepared, focus and dialogue (just not so much with the rightist obstructionist dead-enders - life's too short). I did think LGBT took a bit too much oxygen (especially the transgender bathrooms thing) considering recent progress in gay marriage etc, what with the bigger crises and needs of other interest groups and the unfortunate  rallying point it offered the GOP in North Carolina and elsewhere.

    As expected, you raise an excellent point, which I would like to address, but must defer for now to enjoy this spectacular day with my children among the urban "elites" in my leafy, progressive NYC suburb. Will get back to this later.

    Fair enough. I will take my daughter to Central Park (also leafy and progressive) and look forward to your reply. 

    Here is Biden making a similar point about the Clinton campaign ignoring middle class whites.

    Why is it that Whites did not hear the message that Blacks, Latinos and Asians heard? Why were they so comfortable with Trump's racism?

    Asians and Latinos both voted 29% for Trump, outperforming Mitt Romney.

    The category "whites" has many different kinds of voters in it of many ethnicities and of varied prejudices.

    I think pollsters could easily drop the "Latinos, Asians and Whites" category polling and replace that with more specific cultural and class based categories and everyone using their polls would be better off with more useful information.

    To me a flip side to your questions is: why do Afro-Americans vote as a bloc, almost like Hasidic Jews who vote as the rebbe tells them to? Why don't they believe anymore in trying to break down racial walls based on skin color? How can anyone who is prejudiced according to skin color get beyond prejudice by skin color when black skin color indicates voting a certain way and everyone with black skin color is lumped by many with back skin color into a separate sub-culture called "the Afro-American community" that they proudly laud as different from the rest of society?

    Do not some Blacks, Latinos & Asians have stereotypes about "all whites"? Why do we think a minority of whites will always stereotype that way as well? I don't think it's possible to rid @ society 100% of this kind of stereotyping and demonization of "the other". As race and ethnicity in this country get so mixed that people cannot figure out tribes from skin color, someday it might be more along the lines of internet tribe vs. internet tribe, and not by skin color, but it won't disappear.


    P.S. Even the loud and proud self-described tribe known as "the LGBT community" had a figure of 14% for Trump.

    88%  of blacks voted for Clinton. The majority of blacks did not vote for Trump. Trump got a higher percentage of blacks voted for Trump than voted for Romney. Trump got 1% more of the black vote compared to Romney. 70% of Latinos and Asians did not vote for Trump. Why do majorities of whites vote for the party that works against their interests?

    Trump made mortgages more costly, wants to destroy healthcare, is attempting to pollute the environment, and wants your personal information sold by your ISP. Why do majorities of whites vote Republican? What's the matter with Kansas?

    Edit to add:

    There are white voters who supported Hillary and cannot stand Trump. The white s who voted for Trump are not going to be easily swayed. If majorities of minority groups vote for Democrats, we should work to remove barriers they face at election time.

    Blacks and Latinos see themselves as separate groups because society sees them as different. Police abuse is one point of differentiation. Drug use in minority communities is a crime. Drug use in white communities is seen as a health issue.

    African Americans vote for Democrats in part because the Republicans are openly hostile. Do you think that Trump, Bannon, etc. are not appealing to racists? The real question is why Ben Carson and Omarosa are silent on the issue.

    Do you really believe that blacks should stop complaining about unequal situations up to and including voter suppression?

    What the fuck is Biden talking about? $92k household is the start of the top quintile. Hillary would have gotten booed of the stage as massively out of touch if she'd gotten into the plight of the top 20% earners, and besides, she won these voters - it's the down-and-out 20k-$40k household that elected Trump. There's a reason Biden was such a crappy candidate - twice.

    Ha! Not totally wrong. But it's only top quintile if you count students, interns and retirees and rural low-cost communities. It's a pretty average life earnings path to be making 60'000 at, say, 40 years of age. 

    Also, I don't think Biden was criticizing Clinton for only appealing to people around the poverty line. But, hey, just another old white guy intent on destroying the Democratic party in your book, I guess. 

    Tina Fey calls on white women who voted for Trump to take responsibility for their actions


    If you read Kristof today in "Trump country" you find Trump voters whose "lives were saved" by various federal social/safety net programs, including domestic violence prevention, who are still "loyal" to Trump.

    A commenter described the relationship of the GOP to the GOP white base: it is an abusive one.

    The Base votes Republican, gets nothing from Republicans.

    The Base will take help from safety net programs legislated by Democrats, but like spousal abuse, will not abandon the abuser, the Republican Party.

    As is very often the case with domestic abuse, it's existence is rationalized,  denied, excused and the relationship continues.

    The victims often express anger against those who point out the need to end the relationship.

    Just like Trump voters in the Kristof piece say they are angry about people who say they were conned.

    Next:....Why don't blacks vote Republican?

    Because Republican policies and rhetoric are blatantly racist, and in a country still replete with racism.

    Civil rights can only be protected by the elected government.

    Blacks also often are abused by authorities, and sensitive to lies by authorities. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, a black man in Philly was asked, "Why do blacks, by a huge margin, not support the invasion of Iraq?"

    "Well, it's like when a cop shoots a guy who was no threat, and later says, I thought I saw a gun."

    Some criticize blacks for feeling that they are separate from their white counterparts. It is hard to take that argument seriously. 

    The mystery isn't why 80 to 90% of blacks vote against republicans and for democrats. It's why so many whites keep voting against their interests and for republicans. When those on the far left tell me Trump will be so bad people will turn against the republicans in mass and vote democratic I think of Brownback. The man basically destroyed the economy in Kansas. So bad that most of the republican politicians in the state begged the people to not reelect that crazy republican. He was reelected. That's a mystery I can't even begin to understand. As the Kristof article illustrates, the question is why don't so many white people get it? As the republican party embraced the crazy why didn't the party collapse?

    But blacks not voting for republicans, I can think of a thousand  reasons. Why would anyone vote for the party that's trying to take away their right to vote? That alone is more than enough of a reason.

    Thanks. The idea that blacks are isolating themselves ignores the way society deals with blacks. The idea that blacks would not complain about police abuse, voter suppression, and other issues is absurd.

    Another reason poor whites vote against their interest has been described as psychological compensation, "dress up".

    In a Kentucky county where over half of working age adults are dependent on SS disability, 85%+ vote GOP.

    Why? They vote Republican because that is the Party of the white man, and "rugged individualism".

    A Republican vote, just for that moment, takes away some indignity of their dependence.

    It means that at least as Party politics goes, they are one and the same with rich successful white men, like Rush, O'Reilly, Mitt Romney or Donald Trump. It feels good to be in that club.

    I agree AG. Racism and sexism was a significant part of Trump's campaign. We can debate the degree of its' significance but to deny the racist and sexist appeal is a lie. Is the implication from Sander's statement that we should lie or turn a blind eye to that racism and sexism to increase the number of white male votes?

    I also have a big problem with this statement by Sanders, " We need a Democratic Party that is not a party of the liberal elite but of the working class of this country." Republicans are constantly claiming the democratic party is the party of the elite, or the liberal elite, or the coastal elite. This is another lie used to turn the working class against the democratic party and it's decidedly harmful for democrats to parrot that republican lie.

    However one might define elite it's hard for me to see that definition to include 48% of the voters. If we define elite by income Hillary beat Trump by about 10 points among voters earning less than $50,000. If we define it by education while Trump did beat Hillary among voters with only a high school education or some college 45% and 43% of the lower educated voters still voted for Hillary. I have personal experience with this with my sister, a democrat who supported Hillary, who has only a high school education and works at Home Depot. She is hardly an elite and there are tens of millions of democrats just like her.

    I understand that Sanders would like to move the party to the left. I too would like to see the democratic party move to the left. I just don't see how turning a blind eye to racism and sexism or spreading republican memes and lies is the way to do that.

    I understand that Sanders does not see any profit in vilifying Trump voters. That is not a strategy for winning some of them over. But his statement verges upon apologizing for them. To dispense with any responsibility for the rhetoric that brought Trump to power infantilizes these voters. Sanders colors them so desperate, they will jump into any van that slows down enough for them to get onboard, no matter who else is riding along. I do not see how a grass roots movement that calls for a progressive agenda can avoid condemning that sort of irresponsibility. I certainly will have no part in one that does not.

    Sanders colors them so desperate, they will jump into any van that slows down enough for them to get onboard,

    I agree with this and I think it's where he is clueless and being a dreamer about the appeal of "socialism". Not. going. to. happen. Bernie.

    Now New York Fed Head Dudley has fallen for that sweet sweet socialism...

    The New York Fed chief called the lack of free college in the U.S. “a political decision” as opposed to an economic one, adding that as “college becomes more important in terms of future outcomes,” debating that policy is “a reasonable conversation to have.”

    ah yes, this is the type of fun surprise I see happening so far with reaction to Trump shenanigans and Trump admin leadership failure. All kinds of surprising words out of many mouths, feeling free to break silence along the lines of "well maybe it is true that we need health insurance coverage for all." Ironic that on this thread where everyone is once again revisiting very old news: the failure of the Dem party. The new news is all about the GOP message discipline (selling fear of what the Dems or socialists could do to you) being blasted to hell and the GOP splintering into its many real factions.

    Maybe this country really did need this Trump horror and Bannon chaos to birth the new coalitions?  Maybe some of those Trump voters aren't so very very dumb? surprise

    I suppose Sanders speaking on the behalf of Trump voters is also a sales pitch for his ideas. But I am trying to say something else about his apology.
    Whether a Trump voter is racist or not, saying yes to Trump is saying yes to a language of intimidation, hatred and fear. Whatever the voters' intentions may ultimately be, they have gotten what they asked for through the acceptance of that language. They are that acceptance.  While I encourage a political formation that would persuade them to make other choices, what they have chosen needs to be opposed. They share responsibility for the rhetoric that would make my world small and uninhabitable if it were to spread too far.

    I love Bernie and I think he and Elizabeth Warren delivered an extraordinarily powerful presentation that should unite all of us who care about the American people.  One major reason that I supported Bernie last year is because his policies and record demonstrated beyond peradventure to me that he would be a (much) better President for people of color than his Democratic opponent.
    All that said, Bernie's statement that Trump voters were not "racist" not "deplorable" was divisive and poorly phrased. A better way for him to make a similar commentary would have gone something like this:
    Progressive Democrats cannot congratulate ourselves on our superiority to supposedly 'deplorable' Trump voters. Yes some Republicans make overt appeals to our worst instincts - our insularity, our xenophobia, our fear of people who are different - and yes, sadly, some voters respond to these appeals.
    But Republicans are also finding fertile ground among hard-working Americans who, just like hard-working Democrats, love their families and their regions because they see a Democratic Party that ignores them. They see Democrats who mock them and their communities. They see Democrats who don't fight for them to have good jobs but instead willingly join Republicans to send our once mighty manufacturing base overseas so Wall Street can make obscene profits from $1/hour laborers while Main Street withers on the vine.
    Will we win over every white working-class voter if we champion medicare-for-all, strong unions, tuition-free public schools and universities, and an end to job-destroying trade deals? No, of course not.  There will always be some who are motivated more by racial and gender animus than their economic interests.
    To win this small set of right-wing voters over, we would have to forsake our fight for racial and gender justice.  That we will never do.  But we can and will renew and redouble our efforts on behalf of the poor, struggling  Americans, workers, and the middle-class.

    Thank you. Considering Trump's overt sexism in calling women pigs and charging that female journalists asking tough questions were just on the rag, and the sexist insults against Carly Fiorina, not to mention the good-ol-boy caught-on-tape pussy rant combined with his *own* laughing description of leering at underage girls in a changing room, etc. etc. makes Trump deplorable and his followers who largely ignore this behavior deplorable. His smearing of Mexicans in horridly racist terms as all criminals, his labeling blacks as all living in the ghetto, and backing more police abuse against the defenseless, and his encouragement of violence at his rallies all make him and his fervent supporters deplorable. His penchant for bullying and lawsuits and illegal or barely-legal business activity makes him and his apologizers deplorable. His ambition to build that wall and steal the Mideast's oil and flippant know-nothing view of foreign affairs is dangerously deplorable, and anathema to values non-deplorable Republicans and conservatives once held.

    Funny, when the Republicans lose an election following principles they believe in, they don't declare their principles wrong. Since the time of Goldwater, they've been working on their mythology and rebuilding around a take-no-prisoners approach.

    Me, I'm fine adapting to new and better theories and approaches that map reality better - just last year we discovered the universe has a bizarre 12-planet configuration with 1 far-away planet off triangulated, we measured a gravity wave for the first time and we found out there's an ocean's worth of water embedded below the earth's crust - if nature is so surprising, why wouldn't the function of socio-political systems be an evolving art-science as well? But still, building up the right's deplorable notions and giving them a free get-out-of-the-doghouse card seems largely unwarranted. A few principled conservatives have consistently objected to Trump's worst speech and behavior, but most of the dissenters have quickly fallen in line for expedience and power's sake. Make them wear it, Bernie - it's cretin behavior that deserves to be called out as much as the worst excesses of banks.

    You're welcome.

    Trump is exposing the fact that there is no Conservative core belief except money. Russia is our new BFF. Evangelicals are willing to praise a man has never read the Bible. Conservative and Evangelical views turn on a dime when they smell power. Trump supporters do not care when Latinos, blacks, women, or Muslims are attacked. They offer no objection when their own internet data is stolen. These points have to be made.

    Evangelicals are willing to praise a man has never read the Bible. Conservative and Evangelical views turn on a dime when they smell power.

    If a sub-culture choses to become a voting block about some issue, this is the way they successfully use a democratic system. Purity gets you nowhere.

    Leave the hypocrisy issues to pop culture and comedians to eviscerate. They do that job quickly and well in our culture. We have gay marriage now everywhere when I thought it wouldn't happen in my lifetime, I think mainly due to them, not to angry activists expressing outrage.

    Wrong motivation. Falwell's son is a monster fundraiser - Liberty now has a $2 billion+ endowment. The evangelicals are going for the loot. Heaven can wait, it seems.

    Another smart guy back in December 2015

    By Janell Ross @ Washington Post

    [....] So here we are, seven years later, and a now President Obama has said some things about this same set of voters — white Americans, and specifically men with limited education who once had near-exclusive access to industrial jobs that paid family-sustaining wages — and the Republican candidate who so many of them seem to support, Donald Trump.

    Here's a portion of what Obama told NPR News in the interview airing Monday:

    I do think that when you combine that demographic change with all the economic stresses that people have been going through because of the financial crisis, because of technology, because of globalization, the fact that wages and incomes have been flatlining for some time, and that particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck.

    You combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear. Some of it justified, but just misdirected. I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That's what he's exploiting during the course of his campaign.

    Sound at all familiar? It should. Obama just made largely the same, perhaps less-volcanically phrased argument that he did all the way back in 2008 about the psyche of economically struggling, largely white voters. He shared his ideas on what brings these voters political comfort but perhaps not the real solutions that they seek. Just read the two statements again.

    And then there's this: There is objective evidence that the president is in large part correct. [.....]


    this line of Ross' is important, that Dems keep revisiting this every election

    These are the people the 2004 book "What's the Matter with Kansas" was talking about.

    Sanders at leas it trying to address it with a new approach. You or I may not agree with that approach, but at least it's saying "open your eyes as to self-destructive approaches."

    Yes, it always behooves to keep in mind that the anti-Trump contingent is a majority. But it also behooves to keep in mind that Independent voters are a majority, and therefore all kinds of manipulations of demographics can win an election for an anti-Dem candidate. AND FINALLY: keep in mind: Sanders is really an Independent, he decided that was the wise way to go long ago, to be true to self.

    Jesus, am I the only one who remembers Hillary getting blasted as racist in 2008 for paying attention to white voters in Appalachia? Then in 2016 she's paying too much attention to blacks and Hispanics (while they misquoted her coal comments to derail her retraining/revitilization plane). They beat the shit out of her over and over and then are upset cause she looks blue.

    The more I think on it, the more I see Al Gore and Hilary as nearly identical candidates with nearly identical results, they won a majority of the voters but not enough of them. As part of the new DLC wing, Bill Clinton offered "change" from the same old same old liberal Dem party. By circumstance, Gore and Hillary could not do that. Obama's win I see as a combo of all the excited young things getting out to vote for a moderate which persuaded more jaded Independents to think: well look at that, all the youngins excited about a centrist because he is black, we'll give the Dems one more try.

    It's really the Dem party that is the problem and always has been.

    Ask any liberal New Yorker why we had Guiliani and Bloomberg as mayors for so many years and why some of oldsters are having bad dejas vus allover again now with DeBlasio in charge. We should have known better when we heard the old style Dem party talk from him.

    And yes, listen to Bernie when he keeps his beliefs out of it and talks political analysis. I think he does understand, I think that's why he became an Independent.

    Trump too was at least trying to seem like he was addressing it with a new approach too while Clinton trotted out old worn tropes about corporate subsidies, retraining, inevitable globalization we just can't do anything about. There was no effort to even try. 

    There is a pretty solid correlation between counties which dropped the Democrats and went with Trump in the last cycle on the one hand and counties which suffer disproportionately from the foreclosure crisis and from the opioid epidemic. The same hick town white working class that gets mocked remorselessly in liberal media and so can be freely ignored. These are the people the Obama administration thought should serve to "foam the runway" for the banks to glide unscathed through the financial crisis. If the opioid epidemic is any indication of despair, it's only gotten worse over the course of the Obama years. 

    Is it really that hard to imagine that some of the constituencies that flipped from voting for Obama in 08 and 12 to voting Trump in '16 did so for his economic platform, bashing Wall Street and globalization, promising an even playing field to compete with Asia, higher taxes. Sure he was lying. But he was selling something that looked like a solution whereas Clnton's platform looked like a long-form shrug of indifference. Which isn't just a dig at Clinton. Obama's vibe in the above bit you quote is pretty much the same "meh, yeah it sucks, oh well", and that is after 7 years where by many metrics these communities are no better off than before. 

    So when Sanders says to listen to these people and appeal to them, I don't think he means to turn a blind eye to racism and the bigotry. He means to pitch them something that actually looks like a good-faith effort at dealing with the problems in their communities rather than just saying "suck it, you will be even worse off with the GOP". The fact that he is getting so much push-back from democrats on such a basic point isn't an encouraging sign that there is any interest in trying to win these constituencies back. 

    So when Sanders says to listen to these people and appeal to them, I don't think he means to turn a blind eye to racism and the bigotry. He means to pitch them something that actually looks like a good-faith effort at dealing with the problems in their communities rather than just saying "suck it, you will be even worse off with the GOP".

    Yup. And he's also saying don't fight back with name calling and prejudice yourself. Yes, that's the Jesus and Martin Luther King and Ghandi thing. And I'll admit I am the type that is cynical about that, as I am cynical about Sanders and his attempts to sell socialism in general. But better than just doing the same tribe vs. tribe intolerance thing over and over and over for a half century now.

    The two that won big, Bill Clinton and Obama in that half century, both were deep down believers in tolerance and even pandering to troublesome near nasty demographics sometimes. Both with early on major political speeches about one United States, not "them vs. us" tribalism. Bill learned from losing and coming back, Obama from having an incredbily multi-culti background his whole life, having to navigate all sorts from all sorts of tribes, including outside the U.S.

    AA, On the same kind of note, but from a different angle, here's a link I thought you might like, you being the link-meister extraordinaire:

    Zadie Smith's thoughts on Brexit which hit a chord with me. Not a big fan of her style, but the take on Brexit and the dynamics of anger and fear and social estrangement seemed on point.


    Thanks Obey, I do like it. First, great illustration, says it all:

    Nigel Farage canvassing for ‘Leave’ votes during the Brexit campaign, London, May 2016. He resigned as leader of the UK Independence Party on July 4, shortly after the referendum. ~ Ian Berry/Magnum Photos

    Nigel Farage canvassing for ‘Leave’ votes during the Brexit campaign, London, May 2016. He resigned as leader of the UK Independence Party on July 4, shortly after the referendum.

    She says she thought Farage to have a "racial obsession." But wait, is that what it was?.....

    And I love her approach on the metaphorical intro. story, the mea culpa:

    An intemperate e-mail, filled with liberal paranoia. By contrast the reply I received was sane and polite.

    And I also like her segue into the lunacy that was Northern Ireland.

    and this, love it

    Ultimate democracy! Thumbs up or thumbs down!—but in practice delivers a dangerously misleading reduction. Even many who voted Leave ended up feeling that their vote did not accurately express their feelings. They had a wide variety of motives for their vote, and much of the Remain camp was similarly splintered.

    There is a lot to think about in this essay, not the usual lefty screed.

    I agree. It is a very thought provoking article. I'll ad a quote to those you noted.

    The profound shock I felt at the result—and which so many other Londoners seem to have experienced—suggests at the very least that we must have been living behind a kind of veil, unable to see our own country for what it has become. 

    Glad you guys liked it. 

    A bit I find echoed in the Trump election:

    Extreme inequality fractures communities, and after a while the cracks gape so wide the whole edifice comes tumbling down. In this process everybody has been losing for some time, but perhaps no one quite as much as the white working classes who really have nothing, not even the perceived moral elevation that comes with acknowledged trauma or recognized victimhood. The left is thoroughly ashamed of them. The right sees them only as a useful tool for its own personal ambitions. This inconvenient working-class revolution we are now witnessing has been accused of stupidity—I cursed it myself the day it happened—but the longer you look at it, you realize that in another sense it has the touch of genius, for it intuited the weaknesses of its enemies and effectively exploited them. The middle-class left so delights in being right! And so much of the disenfranchised working class has chosen to be flagrantly, shamelessly wrong.

    AA Obama understood that Trump tapped into frustration. He understood that these white voters were misguided.You see the problem as white voters being attacked. You ignore how the Obamas and the black community were/are treated. Martin Luther King Jr was a subhuman Communist to many whites. When he died, he became a Saint. Muhammad Ali was a Muslim draft-dodger. When he died, he became a Saint. Name the living black political figure that these voters respect. Obama had to produce his full form birth certificate. Those are the Trump supporters.

    These voters have no problem with disenfranchisement. They are willing to tolerate pollution. They reject science. You pretend that name-calling has been one-sided. You ignore "Libtard", "snowflake", etc. Ann Coulter became a celebrity slamming Liberals. Trump uses Alex Jones as a source, and those white voters don't blink. The ridicule goes both ways. Barack and Michelle were depicted as monkeys or as a pimp and one of his women. Deplorable.

    Blacks suffered economic devastation and had to claw their way out. The town of Flint, Michigan was poisoned. Nobody blinked. Hillary visited Flint and offered aid, something neither Trump or Sanders felt necessary. I find myself siding with Fran Rich in believing that reaching out to the deplorables will have little effect

    The DNC headed by Perez will reach out to the deplorables, so we may see some positive results.Im not holding my breath. The Democratic Party will reach out.

    P.S. On Nobody is saying everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe.

    I see rmrd on this site, for just one example, basically saying it all the time now, including labeling them  "the deplorables." He can't be the only one doing that on the whole internet and media. Just sayin'

    Sanders is right that liberal leadership needs to counter that very self-destructive attitude that reinforces bad trends.

    This April 2 WaPo article on what rural Trump voters in Oklahoma are thinking now that Trump may cut some of their favorite programs has one anecdotal that says it all

    Harris voted for Barack Obama when he first ran for president in 2008 because she liked his promise of change. But he disappointed her in a number of ways, including, in her eyes, being too sympathetic to Muslims. She voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 and Trump last year.

    This woman once voted for a man with black skin with a Muslim name because she wanted "change". She is also obviously prone to various prejudices about the "other". Obama once got her vote, the white-skinned Clinton did not. It's just that simple, or complicated.


    Sigh, yes, they jumped on the trendy Obama bandwagon once and then fell back into bad habits? Yes, as I said elsewhere here in more detail, enabling Trump's overt hyper sexism and predator/voyeur behavior, racism, encouragement of violence and threats of destruction & oil theft for foreign lands, along with his business strongarm lawsuit practices, business excesses and flagrant illegal use of a non-profit ranks one as pretty deplorable, whether they tithe, pet the neighbor's dog or give to the Boys and Girls Club. While I hate to break the Godwin's Law tripwire, we set a standard some time ago that individuals are responsible for resisting encroaching fascism and repression, and can't just fall back on an apathetic "we didn't know" excuse, especially with massive amounts of digital ink spilled on same topics. Or have we outgrown that minimal standard of self-responsibility in 75 years?

    I do use the term deplorable. They are not all racists, obviously. They are, however, comfortable with Trump courting racists. I rate them the same way I would have rated white southerners who remained silent during Jim Crow.

    The woman in your example felt that Obama was too sympathetic to Muslims. Hate crimes against Muslims are spiking.

    Do you think that a Muslim might consider her rationale for voting for Trump deplorable?



    are you interested in winning elections or in expressing outrage?

    to do the former, you have to be interested in secretly being smarter than those you deplore

    democracy and freedom of speech, it's not pretty, it requires tolerance of some pretty ugly thinking

    I'm expressing my opinion here at dagblog. I will work for Democratic candidates in my area. I will make donations. I am not mounting any opposition to the DNC reaching out. I am expressing my opinion that the outreach will be futile. I am tolerant of free speech.I am not personally required to tolerate racist thinking and actions, otherwise I would be a Republican.


    if interacting with the deplorables requires tolerating some pretty ugly thinking, aren't you agreeing that you want me to tolerate racist thinking? 

    How about simply answering the question are you telling that I need to tolerate racists?  Should I tolerate pedophiles and rapists?

    yes, according to that definition. You don't tolerate rape, but you tolerate convicted rapists and pedophiles. I don't see what you don't understand. Your alternative is tribal war, it's the way to: war. You let people express racism or sexism or homophobia and show their true selves. Much better than pushing them underground to acts. Thinking nasty thoughts vs. acting on nasty thoughts. Rule of law keeping people who hate each other living together under the same "roof." Tolerating each other in order to have civilization.

    Some of your comments seem to me to be arguing: segregation now, segregation forever! You don't want to live with these others, you can't tolerate them. You may not mean it, but that's how some of your comments come off to me. I thought you might take it as helpful for me to point that out, I guess not. I guess this: you don't want to be tolerant, you want to rile people up and fight.

    *Your pedophile example is particularly bad! Short of chemical castration, they can't help what they think, it's a sickness. Not like racism at all.

    Edit to add: racism is not the same as slavery. Slavery is an act, it should not be "tolerated", you fight it.


    P.S. Do I need to drag out that tired old Rodney King quote?

    Cut the crap, I am stating that I have the right criticize statements and positions. You put up the straw man argument. Active rapists and pedophiles who act on their desires are not tolerated. When David Duke supports Donald Trump, Duke's racist background is broadcast far and wide. When Trump pretends that he doesn't know the name Duke or waits for several days before commenting on Duke's white supremacy, you point out the hypocrisy. I use racist, rapist, and pedophile to indicate active behavior.

    I would note that iit has been argued that racism is a mental disorder just like pedophilia. Racism as mental illness was used as a successful defense in a shooting. The legal precedent has been set.

    Beta blockers were shown to decrease racist tendencies in one study. On the other hand, some fear that labeling racist as a mental disorder of an individual prevents dealing with systemic problems that produce racist effects.

    ​The point is that racism is considered a mental illness by some psychiatrists.

    Finally, let's address the segregation nonsense. I don't tolerate active racists, preferring the company of sane people. Perhaps after beta blocker or antipsychotic drug therapy, racists can be cured. You should review the meaning of segregation.


    I'm done. We disagree. No use in continuing. You don't get what I am saying and you think it is an insult. Sorry for the latter, I assure you it is an issue of miscommunication. I promise I will not be offering criticism about how I think you putting all Trump voters into a stereotypical racist tribe is counterproductive to your cause..As hate speech vs. hate speech is definitely allowed in a tolerant society, no matter how counterproductive it is. One final word: Just know that if my lifelong liberal Democrat father saw some of your latest comments, I am 100% sure it would turn him back into the racist thoughts he often had before he had a half Afro-American granddaughter and his wife, my mother, taught him tolerance.

    That is simply pathetic. I'm responsible for turning a racist into a racist. I suspect your father has evolved much more than you think. I suspect he at least partially gets Black Lives Matter. Your statement is pure nonsense. I doubt he looks upon David Duke with favor. BTW, my words weren't responsible for Dylan Roof either.

    You continue to say that I label all Trump voters as racist. I stated that the diehard Trump voters are willing to tolerate racists. If I support Louis Farrakhan, I am excusing his anti-Semitism. Do you have a problem if I support Farrakhan as long as he votes for the Progressive?

    Well no, you don't "tolerate convicted rapists and pedophiles" - you tolerate them if they're in jail or somehow going through a rehabilitation process and have showed some sense of remorse, not say leading the nation. There are plenty of convicted rapists who go back and do it again. And if a pedophile is taking to the airwaves to support Manblo or some other predatory behavior, you protest and shut him down.

    To stand up for RMRD, Digby reminds us below of Trump's incitement to violence. I'm sure rmrd is much more concerned about Trump's attacks on the black community, but he's still pretty much an equal time defender in other areas.

    Here's John McGraw getting a suspended sentence for shoving his arm into a black guy's jaw at a rally - and the guy, Rakeem Jones, giving him a hug. But at least McGraw is going through the process of repentance, even though his apology was rather vague and lame and "both sides do it", and Jones notes the white guy caught on tape gets a suspended sentence while his buddy, presumably black, is facing up to 5 years for fighting. Jones, of course, was simply exercising his right to free speech and peaceful protest. So it wasn't equal - McGraw was simply violating that right, tied to Trump's explicit encouragement to "punch them in the face" with Trump offering to pay his defense. Deplorable. Thank Hillary for coming out and saying that, whether it cost her the election or not.

    This particular event didn't feature the worst of it. In Nevada he said, 

    Oh, I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There's a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches, we're not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks. 
    You know, I love our police, and I really respect our police, and they're not getting enough. They're not. Honestly, I hate to see that. Here's a guy, throwing punches, nasty as hell, screaming at everything else when we're talking, and he's walking out, and we're not allowed -- you know, the guards are very gentle with him, he's walking out, like, big high fives, smiling, laughing -- I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you."

    On NBC he said he might pay the legal fees for a North Carolina man who assaulted a protester:
    The Republican presidential frontrunner has said he is looking into the possibility of paying legal fees for a man who punched a protester at one of his rallies last week. John McGraw, 78, was caught on video sucker-punching a protester who was being led out of an arena in Fayetteville, North Carolina. When questioned on NBC’s Meet the Press Trump said he has ‘instructed his people to look into’ footing McGraw’s legal bills.

    A racist may never commit a crime.  By definition, pedophiles and rapists always do.  Thus you have not posited a legitimate analogy.  In addition, you probably have your own prejudices and biases that you want others to tolerate.  Finally, you probably share at least some economic interests with many racists.  You probably want to bring good manufacturing jobs back to America.  You probably believe that hard-working Americans deserve a comfortable retirement and healthcare.  Since you don't believe in tolerating racists, what infallible test do you propose we use to identify them and, once identified, what do you believe we should do with them?  Deport them?  Round them up and put them in camps?

    AA posted a link about tolerance. The tolerance post came after stating that I should remain silent  when people had ugly thoughts. I asked if he was saying that I should tolerate racists. Now you are repeating the idea that I should tolerate racists based on common economic goals. You are both supporting toleration of racists. I reject the premise that I have to agree with racists to attain an economic goal. I know many people who do not want to be associated with racists. I share economic goals with these people. I believe that their are enough of thes good people that I don't need to tolerate the racists.

    Are you publicly stating that you would tolerate a person who supported voter suppression, the Muslim ban as proposed by Trump, and separating mothers from children at the border to gain a political economic goal? This is bizarre.

    Actually I saw one program to reach out to pedophiles *before* they committed acts, that seemed to be having some success, as I imagine many pedophiles know they have somewhat unnatural or at least societally unacceptable yearnings, and some are grateful to have a way to talk and channel it elsewhere.

    Perhaps we can do something similar with racists, since racist attacks can occur on a much more fine-grained level, such as a taxi driver not picking up a ride on a cold night, or denying a black person a pay raise or promotion they deserve, or denying blacks the vote based on an errant sense of superiority, or simply treating them with cold, callous behavior if not outright hostile and violent contempt. Though when it comes to police throwing a black guy unsecured in the back of a van to break his back or disappearing a black suspect into a secret incommunicado building for days/weeks of interrogation, we're far past the pre-emptive stage.

    Can you believe it's 2017 and this is still a topic for even discussion?

    artappraiser, also see this analysis by Cohn. This woman is not an isolated example. He calculates that Obama voters who switched to Trump swung the election.

    fascinating.certainly not racists if you are going to use the traditional definition of that term.

    Your assumption runs counter to data that suggests racial bias trumped party line in the 2016 election.


    Like duh - this was covered months ago by the same guy I believe. Yeah, Hillary's not male, 25 years younger and she gives too many details when people want empty promises that guys are especially adept at. Bernie wrapped Wall Street around her neck and Trump kept it there despite the irony and chutzpah. Ditto for trade including Trump's Chinese dealings. Trump talked bullshit about restoring coal and the press bashed Hillary for an out-of-context killer quote. Bernie killed much of Hillary's early support with unions, and Trump and allies managed to dampen support and turnout from black males a bit while Hispanic turnout was softer than trumpeted (and as I noted before, probably unhappy about Dems' support for Cuba among Fla voters.  But overall the white contingent was more important. Piece by piece, bits of the Obama coalition were lost. Not too much, but enough where it counts.

    But Hillary put together the coalition of the future. It didn't win last year, but it will in 12, 16, 20 years. We all jumped the gun on how adaptable America was to change. Though I'd guess there was anan irreversible shock that went through the female population after the election, and it's possible Trump's embarrassing performance can cause lasting damage to the right (though I've thought that before...)

    PS - and don't forget about the continuous lies told about Hillary that stood as a constant demotivator and vote stealer.

    PP - you argue that Clinton lost because America wasn't as ready for change as many Democrats thought. But wasn't Trump the change agent in the election and wasn't Hillary the candidate of more of the same?  Bernie is by far the most popular politician in America today and he is the one who is front and center every day calling for change.  Doesn't it seem likely that the Democratic insiders who pushed Clinton's candidacy underestimated the amount of change America wanted?

    In a head to head race, Public Policy Polling suggests Joe Biden would be better against Trump than Bernie Sanders.

    I always thought Biden would have been a stronger candidate than Clinton.  Seems like both he and Bernie would have prevailed.  It's too bad.

    What would make Biden stronger - ability to put both feet in mouth? He's pretty boring on the stump. And he's got tons of ties to the insurance industry - how to square that with the supposed anti-establishment mood?

    In my view the electorate went crazy and choose a conman. Hillary was the most competent candidate. There was nothing wrong with the Democratic Platform.

    A segment of voters felt disrespected and punished the country for ignoring them even though Democrats rescued the economy despite Republican obstruction. Trump voters remain loyal even as he enacts programs that destroy their safety net.I don't know how you reach those voters. What do those voters want to hear? Hillary told the truth about coal jobs. Trump lied and Trump won.

    No, Hillary wasn't the candidate of "more of the same" and no, Bernie isn't the most popular politician despite all the self-serving rhetoric. Jesus, our polling SUCKS. Why are we still dancing around bullshit flawed metrics that couldn't even accurately predict the most important states, missing by 10% or more at times. We know it's wrong, we still don't know how bad. Please quit relying on this.

    And considering that Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million votes despite Comey and Russians and the "insurgency" and constant media bashing, do you ever ask yourself whether you underestimated the amount of Hillary and her message the country wanted?

    One of the things that frustrated me about Bernie, the left wing of the Democrats and many commentators, is the tired overuse of the term "change." People were convinced we need a "change." But what do they mean by "change"? I wanted a change too. A change from the Republican minority (numerically at least) that frustrated change for 8 years. Sure, maybe one could argue for a change in the Democratic approach, but that subtlety was completely lost. Instead, it became "change" the corrupt Democratic establishment. (I'm still waiting for someone to tell me who exactly, besides DWS, needed to be "changed.") How we managed to turn an election to succeed the administration of a popular, successful and consequential President - one whose "change" agenda had only begun to be implemented - into a narrative in which we needed a drastic "change" has to go down as one of the most self-defeating strategies in history.

    Biden ran for President twice. Last time he got less than 5%. As the Senator from Delaware, he had more connections to the finance industry than Clinton. Sure, his years as VP made him far more popular than the last go-round, but he really doesn't have much more than Clinton to recommend him, except, as is obvious, his penis and jovial persona. Maybe that would have been enough, maybe not. I don't care to speculate.    

    The problem is that one can ever use "no one" or "all" now that the internet exists. One can't write any sentence with out a caveat or two. One cannot even say that no one is claiming that Obama and Hillary are literally demons come to earth from the depths of hell because Alex Jones said just that. As evidence to support his claim that they are actual demons he said both Clinton and Obama smell of evil and sulfur, attracting flies when no one else does.

    As soon as I saw AG write, "Nobody is saying" I knew someone was going to nitpick over it. I knew it before I got to the point of reading what it was that Nobody was saying. That type of nitpicking bullshit argument has become so common that I'm careful to always use most or the vast majority or some such other qualifier in every statement I make. By far the vast majority of writers on every web site I read, even the mostly left leaning sites, are not claiming that everyone who voted for Trump is a racist or sexist. Even rmrd, who sees the effect of racism and sexism as paramount, has posted that he doesn't think every single person who voted for Trump is a racist.

    I don't recall reading anyone who claimed they're all racists though I'm sure someone somewhere has. The percentage of people who might have said, "They're all racists!" is likely so close to zero that in my personal opinion the statement, "Nobody is saying everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe" is effectively true.

    It's also important to keep in mind that many of those voters voted for a chimera that they now see is not there:

    And nobody likes an "I told you so!"

    And I think what people like Sanders and Michael Moore (and I have not often been a fan of either, but they do deserve respect in that they have fought long enough to know what is stupid to do, what doesn't work) in speaking out about demonization of Trump voters is: let's start trying to win some of these people over right now. Especially on individual issues they might have thought Trump cared about.

    Sure I buy that claiming that there are lots of liberals out there calling them racists, sexists and homophobes is hyperbole. But the main point of welcoming the disillusioned instead of holier than thou "I told you so" rather than bemoaning their stupidity or motives is self defeating. If you need pure motives in voters, you are sunk in a non-parliamentary democracy.

    Wow. Always amazed at the thoughtfulness of the responses here and not in a Phil Donahue'ish way. I wish I could spend more time here, but with a full-time job and two kids, another full-time job, time is scarce. I'll definitely try to do so - so much better than the suck of social media (faint praise, I know). I think everything I might have said has been covered already, but I did promise Michael W a response. So here it is.

    1. How do you change a party without pointing out its flaws? Well, it seems to me you should start by actually joining the Party first. I know that sounds like a cheap shot, but it points to something more important. You don't change a party by showing up in a Presidential election and casting a pox on the entire house. You build a movement and a constituency through and within the party. That's hard work. You don't swoop in every four years as the far left is wont to do, and blame the leaders for failing to achieve your agenda. And nobody's saying it's out of bounds to criticize Party leaders. But what Sanders did seems to me much more malign. He basically echoed the same criticisms Republicans have been pushing for years: Democrats are smuch urban elites who don't care about ordinary people. (Does anyone remember when Hillary Clinton was rightly taken to task for her remakrs about "hard working Americans?) Or that Democrats are captive to "identity politics." Now, some people, and certainly many Sanders supporters, would agree with those criticisms. I don't.

    2.  "You avoid changing it by blaming its losses on the opponents' dirty tricks e.g. hackers and racists. You avoid changing it by downplaying the losses, i.e. clinging to Clinton's popular vote edge over an incompetent lunatic while ignoring the fact that Democrats have less power than any point since 1908. And you avoid changing it by marginalizing the dissidents who "attack" the party." There is nothing inconsistent with pointing out the very real dirty tricks that delivered the election to Trump and reforming the Party. Those dirty tricks should cast a pall over the administration and we should point them out at any opportunity. They also put into context the magnitude of the "loss." The Democrats weren't wiped out. The country is highly polarized and the close result was entirely predictable. Far from marginalizing the dissidents, the Dems have bent over backwards to avoid criticizing Sanders. He's become one of the leading faces of the Party to which he doesn't even belong. The Party incorporated his positions into its platform and Clinton ran in large part on his issues. That's how politics works. The failure of the Democratic Party in downballot races and midterm elections is a serious problem. I don't have a good answer for that - I don't really think Bernie does either. Some of the blame has to go to Obama and the leadership, but it's more complicated than accepting campaign contributions from corporate interests, though, I can tell you that.

    3. "Now maybe you feel that Democrats don't need to make any substantive changes because everything is peachy, but surely you can understand why some of us aren't so sanguine about the state of the party and why we might feel the need to demand a few changes, despite the risk that our criticisms may reflect poorly on the party."

    Definitely, not all is peachy with the Democrats. And again, there's nothing wrong with criticisms. When Bernie entered the race, his stated goal was to push the party further to the left. He succeeded. Wildly. That commendable message inspired what turned out to be a yuge following I didn't think possible. The most compelling rationale for Sanders candidacy was that it helped (or could have helped) awaken the Democrats from soulless technocracy - restore some mojo, so to speak. Somewhere along the line, though, he went from promoting a more ambitious agenda to slamming the Democrats as sellouts, more interested in doing the bidding of their corporate paymasters than helping people. Anyone who was not down with his particular brand of progressivism was part of the problem. This was incredibly damaging in an election to succeed a popular Democratic incumbent. It denigrated the enormously consequential achievements of the administration and blurred the distinction between the party that sought to use government o help people and the party that used every trick at its disposal to oppose and even break the government's ability to do so. 

    When Sanders launches into his broadsides about Democrats allegedly cowering in fear of corporations, or when Michael Moore says we need to "take back" the Democratic Party, I really don't know exactly what they're talking about. Is he talking about the people who fought for decades to protect the social safety net? Who have sought to protect civil rights for disadvantaged groups? The same folks who fought to extend unemployment benefits during the recession? Who expanded Medicaid and provided subsidies to millions to purchase health insurance? Who support raising the minimum wage? Who passed the most significant finance industry reform in a generation? Who created the CFPB? What about all those pesky “job killing” regulations protecting our health and safety that the Republicans are intent on getting rid of? Or the rules extending overtime pay? I’m sure there’s items you’d point to – e.g, capitalizing banks while only half-heartedly attempting to bail out underwater homeowners, failing to stand up for labor unions, trade – but those reflect policy choices, often compromises necessitated by the realities of balancing and appealing to divergent interests. At a time when we could have been touting these achievements, we were stuck defending a rear guard action from our own.

    Armchair, thank you for taking the time for such a considered response to my admittedly slapdash comment. I'll try to answer your points, and I do hope that you'll have the time to continue the discussion.

    1. "You don't change a party by showing up in a Presidential election and casting a pox on the entire house. You build a movement and a constituency through and within the party." I agree. Reformers need to build momentum at the grassroots and fill the party ranks with reform-minded officials from bottom to top. That said, while high-profile presidential campaigns are not sufficient on their own, they do help nurture these grassroots movements. Sanders (and Warren and others) have inspired reformers to run for those state offices. I would also note that Sanders doesn't "swoop in" every four years. He's been saying this stuff all along, but no one paid attention until he ran for president.

    2. "There is nothing inconsistent with pointing out the very real dirty tricks that delivered the election to Trump and reforming the Party." Pointing out the dirty tricks is not inherently inconsistent with reform, but reform can be hindered if the party fails to take responsibility for its failings. We have on this thread and elsewhere too many Democrats who just write off Trump voters as unredeemable racists, which lets the party off the hook for failing to reach these voters. (I do think Sanders made his point too strongly and could be construed as saying that racism was not a factor in the election, but his comments elsewhere don't support such an interpretation.)

    3. "He went from promoting a more ambitious agenda to slamming the Democrats as sellouts, more interested in doing the bidding of their corporate paymasters than helping people." Here I think we get to the nub of the matter. Bernie Sanders is not just a critic; he's an insurgent. And insurgencies aren't pretty. We have this gauzy image of the original progressive movement as an enlightened movement that spread through powerful ideas. It wasn't. It was a bitter, tooth-and-nails insurgency that nearly destroyed both parties. Progressive pioneers savaged party leaders as corrupt tools of industry. They used divisive rhetoric and mounted ferocious primary challenges. They showboated and obstructed. They fought to change parties that fiercely resisted change.

    We have seen this phenomenon more recently in the Republican party. You think what Sanders said about Clinton is nasty? You should see that Pat Buchanan said about George H.W. Bush. His campaign rhetoric severely damaged Bush and may have cost him the presidency. Or look at what conservatives say about Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders every day, what Trump said about the Republican establishment. Or the history of the decades long campaign to purge the "RINOs." All along, centrists and pundits complained that these folks were going to destroy the party by dividing it and driving it too far to the right. But it didn't happen. Instead, they revitalized the party and delivered the biggest majorities that it has had since the early 20th century. The insurgency worked.

    By the standard of these conservative insurgents and the original progressive insurgents, Sanders is a lightweight. Frankly, I don't think he's aggressive enough to seriously reform the party. I suspect that he will be followed by folks who will be more incendiary. It won't be pretty, but I believe it's necessary.

    Yeah, Pat Buchanan felled Bush Sr, Bernie largely felled Hillary - good analogy. I'd rather have Bush Sr than his son or Gingrich, and Hillary than Trump. I'm still waiting for the supposed advantages of the "insurgency", aside from more exciting pep rallies. Okay, half insincere snark. But only half.

    More exciting pep rallies mean more excited voters, which means more votes. Buchanan may have contributed to Bush Sr's downfall, but his populist right-wing insurgency also contributed to the Republican Revolution, which had a more enduring effect. Since 1994, Republicans have dominated Congress for 16 of the last 20 years. You may not like it, but Republicans are pleased by those numbers.

    Depending on how you mean that, that was disproved - Hillary beat Bernie handily in the primaries - she won 11 more states and nearly 4 million more votes - a 12% difference. So yes, a seemingly boring, status quo candidacy can get more votes than an exciting one. Sure, Bernie got more votes than if he'd been more boring, but that was only an eensy part of the election.

    You're missing the point

    Think I'm just worn out and don't care, so should quit for now. But I'm not convinced your fave populist insurgency is always what's needed or the only way to reinvigorate a party

    Do appreciate AG setting off a pretty invigorated thread though.

    Perhaps not always, but there have only been four or five massive political turnovers in US history, and most of them were inspired by populist insurgencies.

    1) In the 1820s, Andrew Jackson revolted against the once dominant Democratic-Republicans and created the Democratic Party (populist insurgency)

    2) In the 1850s, Republicans supplanted the Whigs (more of a schism than an insurgency)

    3) In the 1890s and 1900s, dual populist insurgencies rocked both parties. Democrats went left; Republicans splintered, then went right. In 1912, the once dominant Republicans got crushed.

    3a) Republicans rebounded in the 1920s then got crushed again by the New Deal, this time for half-a-century. I see this as an extension of 3, but you can make an argument that it was a separate turnover.

    4) In 1994, the Republican Revolution ended decades of Democratic dominance, the result of a conservative populist insurgency that started in the 1960s.

    Note, I'm only counting long-term turnovers and realignments. Democrats' 2006-2010 majority, for example, was fleeting and mainly at the federal level.

    PS No need to respond. I'm sure we'll carry on this debate later. Agree, it's been a good discussion


    Michael - Appreciate the historical perspective. You wrote a book about that, right?!? I'm not nearly as well-versed. It may well be that breaking eggs is necessary for the omelette. I'm not confident the result will be anything we want to eat. One of the virtues of the American system - and a fault as well - seems to me to be stability. The system by-design seems to require some buy-in from both sides in order to get anything done. As you note, the Republican Party largely abandoned that model in the 90s and we've been reacting to it ever since. Obama's approach was to keep at at and gradually steer the ship in a different direction. I think he was naive to expect the modern Republican Party to do anything other than oppose him in lockstep all the way, but he eventually realized that and went at it alone (or more accurately, through the Executive Branch). The result was considerable progress toward progressive goals. We had a chance to solidify and extend those gains. The left was understandably frustrated and angry, but IMHO, set its sights on the exact wrong culprits. As a result, we now face the prospect not only of those gains being snatched back but catastrophically reversed. The increase in activism is heartening and the Party is trying to corral (and coopt) the energy. At the same time, there is an aspect of the Sanders insurgency that is coming to resemble the Faith Militant. Hard to say where all this will lead - there's a non-trivial chance that Trump will irrevocably fracture the country - but I have to say, the oft-derided status quo seems far preferable. But I am rambling...


    Actually, there are a number of parallels between Obama and Theodore Roosevelt, the subject of my book. Both were progressive presidents who tried to compromise with recalcitrant conservatives in Congress but eventually resorted to executive action when compromise failed.

    One of the lessons I drew is that it's a fool's quest to compromise with opponents who aren't negotiating in good faith. In fact, it's worse than a fool's quest because the inevitable failure to achieve effective legislation just dispirits voters. Think about the sad post-Sandy Hook background check bill that wouldn't have accomplished anything even it had passed.

    A better strategy is to shoot for moon with big, ambitious proposals, even though they stand no chance of passing the current Congress. Those big ideas attract voters who punish legislators for obstructing them. Most of the big legislation of the 20th century occurred between 1912-1916 and 1932-1936 after wave elections in which progressives demanding radical changes decimated conservatives who had bottled up the legislation. Those demands came not from the pragmatic center but the ideological fringe--the only ones crazy enough to push for legislation that seemed so impossible at the time.

    Sanders is derided for his pie-in-the-sky ideas--universal healthcare and free education. But we actually need more ideas like these, which may take decades to achieve, to recapture the majority necessary for serious legislative change.

    As I mentioned above, the free college tuition idea seems to have piqued the interest of the New York Fed. Not exactly a bastion of socialism. Some of these ideas spread surprisingly fast and move our beloved Overton window.

    Hmmm, I thought the Overton window only opened to the right.

    anyway, I plunked down my bitcoin for Unreasonable Men this eve, since I'm always interested in learning how to be more Unreasonable, and at least can look for juicy tidbits to toss back in MIchael's eyes. Let the deeper debate begin - for the soul of the party. Me, I'll play Mephistopheles. A Faustian bargain indeed.

    I have a serious question that perhaps merits a separate thread. When Michael Moore says we need to take back the party, who exactly would we be taking the party back from? I'm sure there's plenty of consultants and lobbyists hanging around but beyond that, what's he talking about?

    My related question, which is the more pointed one, is what are the drastic reforms needed to "transform" the party? Is it all - as Sanders seems to suggest - refusing to accept anything other than small contributions from individual donors? If that's the case, my impression is that's superficial and self-defeating. What else is there? Ellison and Perez seemed to have pretty much the same ideas about reforming the Party, neither of which were so consequential as to leave much of an impression. Is it all about optics? Policies? I'm not deeply involved with Party politics on a granular level, but my impression is that the "Party" is a collection of local, state and national groups consisting of people who devote their time, money and energy to promoting Democratic issues.

    In other words, a lot of people are saying the Democratic Party needs to transform but do most of these people even know what the hell they're talking about? I consider myself very well informed (if not always correct), and I have no idea.  

    I second this question - but I would put it differently. What do democrats, and progressives generally, think needs to change in the Democratic party going forward? What, if any, are the lessons of the last election?

    To go first - I would like to see the party move towards the more popular elements of Sanders' agenda's%20agenda.png

    without thereby downgrading any of the strong positions defending women's rights and minority rights. 

    That would involve a very different donor network and think-tank network than the current one. so it will be a fight happening through some primary challenges I guess. 

    I know others disagree on the merits or viability of this strategy, but I would really like to see what people want from the party. 


    I think voters have gone crazy. Trump was obviously unqualified. In other races especially local races, gerrymandering plays a role. Gerrymandered district provide a safe haven for Republicans who want to destroy government. Kansas reelection the guy who put the state in bankruptcy. I don't see a rational message that can be effective. 

    After all this, though, I stand chastened by the wisdom of Charles Pierce. Just because Bernie pisses me off sometimes, I regret opening up the wound when we surely have bigger fish to fry. Here's Charles' rebuke (I'd do one of those neat little text blocks, but I'm pretty technically illiterate):

    "I am sick of the useless posturing, the vain heckling, the shined-up counter-narratives that have nothing to do with the damage that is being done now, at this moment, all over the government, to every progressive accomplishment back to the turn of the last century.

    I have seen bad Democratic presidential campaigns. I have seen good Democratic campaigns. Hillary Rodham Clinton ran a very average Democratic presidential campaign, and she did so on the most progressive platform a party has put forth in a half-century. At the same time, anyone who denies the progressive energy that the Sanders campaign brought to the election is a fool. The rest of it was a collection of unprecedented flukes all coming together at once: the Russian hacking, the Comey meddling, journalistic malpractice of a kind that always seems to occur when there's a Clinton on the ballot, and, yes, the latent racism and xenophobia and fear of The Other that always resides in the dwindling white majority when it does anything en masse—like voting.

    That was the accelerant, as the arson squad says. That was what got people to the rallies. That's what got them on their feet when they were there. That's what got people punched in the head....And that was a big part of what got enough people to the polls to activate that creaky slaveowner's doomsday device known as the Electoral College. So, I guess I disagree with what Sanders said at the Orpheum. But I'm not going to define my politics going forward based on that disagreement.

    This clamorous futility has to end. There's too much at stake. The country is going off the rails and there's a cartoon character at the wheel..."

    The DNC will reach out and try to recruit Trump voters. Hopefully minority voters won't be discarded in the process. If minority voters get the message that we are being told to just ignore the racist segment of Trump voters the DNC tries to recruit, minority voters may feel betrayed and simply stay home. Sanders statement was way off base and served to alienate minority voters more than address needed Democratic Party reforms. No one thinks the Democratic Party doesn't need reform. I'll be out voting in 2018. If the bottom line Democratic message is "get over your obsession with racists", many minority voters will stay home. 

    RMRD - what reforms do you believe the Democratic Party needs?

    Aside from not welcoming active racists to the party, Democrats could actually follow the party platform

    The development of enough backbone to force the nuclear option on Gorsuch is a good start. 

    Note: It is likely that some red state Democrats will be reluctant to do things like oppose Gorsuch. They could lose their seats otherwise. In some circumstances, I could be persuaded to accept a Democrat who votes with the Democrats 70-80% of the time rather than the Republican who will vote with Democrats 0% of the time.

    Ok, so no change to the party platform at all. Got it.

    Because everything is going so swimmingly. 

    Read the friggin Platform. Look at what the platform says. They need to actually do what they friggin' state in the mother friggin Platform!

    You want them to put more stuff in a Platform that they are not following anyway?

    They aren't going to 'do' anything at all for the time being, if you mean pass laws.  And you know that.

    We're talking about what they should promise to do if given power, and how to make that sale in a credible manner. 

    It is hard to *credibly* say you will fix NAFTA or scrap the TPP and its ideological offspring or reinstate Glass-Steagall or open up Medicare to buy-ins or propose a Public Option, for instance, if you are taking piles of cash from mulitnationals fighting those proposals heart and soul, or if you staff your inner circle with their henchmen or you are yourself complicit in in creating the policies/agreements you are now attacking. 

    Sure it is already hard to get a Democrat to even say any of those things, but as an institution they hate Sanders for shedding light on the insidious effect of corporate cash on the party's governing stance. 

    Look at the party establishment now trying to push Corey Booker to the front of the stage in the preliminary stages of a 2020 run, and he immediately votes against the Drug Importation bill - against the party platform. 

    Yup, leading elected Democrats aren't following the party platform, insofar as it even includes a few concrete checkable positions. I think the platform needs a few more serious policy positions that create credibility by being the kind of thing a Goldman Sachs crony or a Pharma shill couldn't bring himself to even say. 

    Obey, if they are under pressure to follow the Platform that contains the things Sanders pushed for, adding more words is an effort in futility.

    With all due respect, I don't think "act like you really intend to enact the platform" is a viable election strategy. Not even sure I know what that would involve as steps. 

    Anyway, my point went a bit deeper to addressing the reasons for them not actually supporting the platform

    Getting cash out of elections is not going to happen. Pressure to adhere to some of the Platform is an easier option.

    I disagree on the money part. Sanders held his own with mostly small-money donors.

    And as for your strategy - which part of the platform? Where do you plant the flag?

    "Held his own" is not what an insurgent needed, and it misses a key point.

    Hillary outraised Bernie $47m to $15m the first quarter, $30m to $26m the second, $38m to $34m the third. Yes, he made a good showing, but that $32m gap to start with undoubtedly hurt. Trump had free media play; not Bernie. He needed to get his message across to new voters, which takes money - perhaps can be done more efficiently, but still not free. And a good deal of Hillary's base was waiting to donate for the general elections, not primaries. Bernie shook up the market for small donors, but I still have questions how sustainable and repeatable it is. If we have a less than exciting candidate like John Kerry, are we condemning ourselves to a huge money gap by emphasizing the small donor way as the only way?

    Yes Sanders held his own in a democratic primary with small donors. But that doesn't prove that he could have gotten enough small donors to run a competitive general election campaign. It doesn't prove that hundreds of people running for the house could get enough small donations in addition to that or that 50 senators could get enough too. Or that all democrats running for state congresses and governorships could also get enough small donations. In a normal election year each presidential candidate spends over a billion dollars. Without any large donations the democratic candidate would need to get more than 10 times the small donations that Sanders got. Add in the hundreds of down ballot races and I'd bet you're talking about another billion. Now perhaps democrats don't need to spend as much as republicans to win. But to simply match republican spending small donors would need to send off more than 10 and possibly as much as 20 times as much money. I don't think that's ever going to happen.

    Please, you want to have a serious practical debate about trade, let's do it. You want to yell NAFTA NAFTA NAFTA, and we'll end up with the same silliness. I remember it taking 1-2 hours to cross the border, hundreds of lorries lined up, and repeating that for every damn country. Now I can hop in my car and drive for 1500+ clicks and only stop for gas. I can sell to 20+ countries and not worry about figuring out a bunch of different laws and tax rates and what not. I remeber the communist days with a whole shelf dedicated to one kind of weird tomato-cabbage-carrot sauce, 1 kind of bread, and having to change money illegally on the street, with fruit and vegetables largely digusting and unaffordable 6 months out of the year. There are some responsibilities and costs to these freedoms, but Americans are so insular and self-absorbed, they don't even fathom aligning themselves with the rest of the world and what it means, good and bad. 

    TPP was designed as a *balance* to Chinese hegemony and a boon to other Asia-Pacific states, many rather poor. Whether it accomplished half of its goals is something to discuss, and it's quite possible the usual suspects piled on their favorite regressive wishlist, but it'd be nice to discuss it in larger twrms than just what Topeka thinks or the vapid assumption that we in 2017 can just close our borders and not suffer unacceptably heavy costs than our free-trade based economy has adapted to. We've been occupying Latin American countries for cheap fruit, sugar and coffee for 100+ years - we're babied on free trade that we forced on 1 1/2 continents, dumping our cars and oil and medicines and bathroom cleansers on every sector of the globe. And now we think we want to put up more trade barriers to protect our idealized/fictionalized marketplace? Well fuck us.

    PP - you write that you are prepared for a "serious practical debate about trade."   Okay, let's engage in one.  We have seen American wages stagnate over the past 40 years for all but the top 10% or so.  Many, not all but many, economists blame "free" trade among other policies for this.  It certainly seems to make sense that a company will play workers who are paid $1 or less per hour against those making $20+ per hour and will hire the former and fire the latter whenever it can possibly do so.  Thus, it would seem that NAFTA, CAFTA, MFN for China, etc. made it much easier for corporations to off-shore many jobs which they have indeed done.

    Yes of course, there are other causes for increasing wealth disparities besides the trade deals.  But a serious debate about them would recognize that they have exacerbated, if not caused, very serious difficulties for dozens of millions of Americans.

    I have never forgotten the  angry response of my friend KM in 1993, who then worked for a domestic textile manufacturer, to an NYT op-ed in favor of NAFTA.  KM bitterly noted that the Times editors were not likely to see their jobs sent to Mexico.  Now, KM imports fabrics from China, Korea, and Vietnam since we barely produce any here any more and our once thriving textile mills are mostly shut down.  Fewer jobs here means higher unemployment and lower wages.

    My solution (and Bernie Sanders's) is to raise the price of imports at the port of entry through tariffs so that those who wish to access our markets will be incentivized to take advantage of the resulting cost advantage of manufacturing in this country.  What's yours?

    So we don't worry about 3rd world poverty, just ourselves, right? 1.4 billion Chinese people can muddle along, right?  Same as Indonesians, Thai, Bangladeshi.... Why should we care? There's always been poverty in India, always will, eh?

    Of course if we "raise the price of imports", those people will never to think to put tariffs on Procter & Gamble bathroom supplies, American mobile phones, American cars, American pharmaceuticals, American fertilizers, American Barbies, American music & movies, American tractors & heavy equipment, American jetliners, banks, cloud/IT companies, Netflix films, Amazon books, beer, food, etc., etc., etc.

    Have i ever complained about multinational companies not paying their share of taxes? Of course I have, along with criticism of the easy tax holidays...

    And more and more we're exporting services on top of goods, now >$700 billion a year, with a >$250 billion surplus (i.e >33% surplus, simply amazing)

    So really, are these tariffs for real, or a non thought-out knee-jerk reaction? How many jobs will we lose, how far will wages fall iff we get in a trade war with the rest of the world?

    So my iCrap is going to cost more money because it's shipped from China. You'll have to pry my future curved screen iPhone from my cold, dead hands.

    Okay you want cheap electronics.  How can you have them and bring back rising wages to working-class Americans?

    You failed to adduce any solution to the specific problem I identified, i.e., stagnant wages over the past 40 years.  A serious discussion would include your alternative solution.  I will be happy to respond to the parade of horribles you identify as likely to result from tariffs as soon as you have posited what you believe is a better option.  Oh and a serious discussion includes a willingness to change one's position.  I am perfectly prepared to embrace other solutions to a very serious problem we face.  Are you prepared to change your opinion?

    What am I, Jesus of economics? *NOBODY* has solutions yet for wage inequality and worsening job security. As I pointed out, Romer, World Bank's chief economist was railing against that very idea, that to criticize something you have to have a solution in place. If I note that certain vaccines are ineffective or have side effects, am I obligated to come up with my own vaccine? Of course not. Now, we've talked about a minimum livable wage & a few other ideas, but there's no comprehensive plan in the works and only a rudimentary understanding of what's happening and what might help.

    So we don't worry about 3rd world poverty, just ourselves, right? 1.4 billion Chinese people can muddle along, right?  Same as Indonesians, Thai, Bangladeshi.... Why should we care?

     First we should  make our garden grow.. Or more honestly ,  instead we should do that.

    The argument for protection is ¨ it does the trick.¨ (Keynes ,1930) 

    Clinton and Obama got most things right .Not that. The opposite ´s true of Trump.

    If an imaginary device wiped out the rest of the world we 'd be able to feed and clothe ourselves at least as we did in 1870 when that was essentially the case. But with the knowledge we´ve gained since giving us  a surplus to utilize/ distribute as we´d like. 

    Have to run now, but short answer: I'm quite Dean Baker-ish on trade. 

    I.e. the working classes got shafted while professional classes got coddled and protected. TPP looked like a continuation of that, aside from its geopolitical virtues. 

    I'll try to put up something longer in the next couple of days. But NAFTA/TPP are just examples of things workers care about that the democratic party ignores or actively antagonizes them on 

    Peracles, some thoughts: 

    Cheerleaders for NAFTA and WTO style "free trade" agreements make three arguments:

    1. "Overall" they increase growth and productivity and so living standards in all participating countries - lifting 1 billion people out of extreme poverty

    2. They make consumer products cheaper for every one involved

    3. Raising barriers again will lead to trade war.

    As regards (1), "overall" is the word doing all the work. When all of the benefits in the US are going to the top 10% then it has a slight appearance of pissing on workers while telling them it's raining money. It's not just indifference to how it affects them, it's actively mocking them in a pretty sociopathic way. And we wonder why they get pissed at this argument, and can't just accept the "science" of those smart people in the big universities. Who are you going to believe, the NYT's Krugman or your lying eyes? These "free trade" deals maintain high barriers to entry to professional fields (legal and medical services, immigration restrictions for IT programmers, etc) and allow massive protectionist measures to banks (how many other industries get full government insurance against bankruptcy?). And then we scratch our heads and wonder HOW ON EARTH do doctor's, lawyers, bankers' income keep rising while everyone else's fall? Just SO HARD TO PUT ONE FINGER ON WHY... 

    Then to pile on with that sweet sweet plea for how anyone arguing against these deals is just a selfish dick who doesn't appreciate how much it has helped poor asian and latin american workers escape poverty. When these deals clearly help help make the US coastal elites a big fat pile of cash while also benefiting foreign workers, and only flyover country has to pay for this economic miracle with the destruction of their communities, loss of their jobs, well that doesn't look like a plea for their understanding. It's going to be received as a big fat middle finger in their face. Maybe it will be better received if doctors, lawyers, corporate suits and bankers see their incomes cut back to their level in the 60's, in solidarity with the plebs, and to help out those poor foreigners, then it might seem sincere. 

    Which brings us to (2). Oh great! Yes we can all get H&M t-shirts now for five bucks and an Ikea couch for 100, but medical expenses have gone through the roof and are double what the rest of the world pays, so we can't pay for meds and have to resort to heroin for pain management. The banks can commit fraud on a gargantuan scale and get a trillion dollars in cash as well as unlimited loan garantees and no punishment. And you probably can't afford to sue the banks for an illegal foreclosure anyway because lawyers are too expensive. What other important stuff is cheaper? College? ha. You sound like Marie Antoinette - sure you're homeless and take heroin, but at least you get a cheap t-shirt!! 

    As for (3), I think lowering barriers in ways that are helpful to workers makes sense. the drug importation bill is an obvious one. Stopping the massive implicit government subsidy to banks which somehow is allowed by WTO rules would be another. Free college education would be another, which even NY Fed's Dudley seems to think is viable. 

    Of course none of this is possible as long as the Democratic party is stuck in this odd dependency relationship with big pharma and wall street. And don't give me a bull-shit list of the things the party has done over the last eight years. They are complicit in pumping up the cost of services and then try to give a small fraction of the losses back as 'subsidies'. ACA being the prime example. Workers are right to call bullshit on this mafia-model of public service: destroy people's livelihoods and then give working families a charitable bag of groceries out of the goodness of your heart. 

    ok I should probably stop this rant before I get worked up. But hopefully you get the gist of my perspective on the issues you raise

    My take's simpler. I'm not a fan of any particular organization - I'm simply looking for solutions.

    I keep noting the objections of the WTO's chief economists on our actual understanding and evolution of monetary theory, and have largely been critical of austerity et al (except when the Greeks are just oblivious to any sort of self-responsibility and refuse to pay taxes & not funnel money across to banks in Switzerland... at some point, what can you do?). World Bank, European Central Bank, etc. - poor scores through crises over the years. To continue:

    1) We overall have low inflation, but have lower or stagnant salaries while some prices are rising.

    In particular, I think the biggest contributors to household inflation are housing costs, healthcare and education. (there maybe a 4th, though I think energy & car are fairly constant; energy maybe even going down).

    If the ACA ever rounds the bend to drive down the cost curve, and we elect someone to revamp education fairly and affordably, then our continued housing mess should be the only *huge* issue on the costs side. I've been quite critical of the slow compromising road we took to do this, but I can't change it except through who we're able to elect, and that's quite rigged and complicated these days.

    As Bob Somerby points out ad nauseum, we pay 2 1/2 times more per capita for healthcare as any other advanced country. And it has nothing to do with Mexico or China taking our jobs - it's simply a stupidity tax for our own internal psychotic system, but because we're hurting, we blame the others. Same with education - how come high cost Germany can manage lower-cost schools? Perhaps because they're not greedy bottom-feeding maggots exploiting what we consider our foremost "greater good" experience of our lives. To be fair though, Democrats of all stripes have been pretty insistent on fixing health care/insurance and education, so there's not to persuade or complain about *except* for execution.

    But if we didn't have vulture insurance companies and tuition reaching $40K a year, our salaries and our job growth would likely be sufficient to keep most of us quite happy, even augmenting our WalMart basement bargain shopping & mandatory Apple phone with even other quality goods. But stop blaming some kid in Shenzhen or Bangalore or Nairobi or Juarez for trying to make a much lower buck than we make just to survive. Raising all boats is still a mandatory consideration in my eyes, and this callous us vs. them or simply we we we is pissing me off.

    Oh yeah, the trillion+ dollars we spent chasing mirages in the Mideast - think how that looks to a country like India with a yearly budget of $32 billion to service over a billion people. Yeah, America blew its paycheck at the racetrack, and now it's back to complaining about the hippies and poor blacks. What's new.

    And yeah, we get cheap knock-off shit via Walmart & other retailers that make it hard for our own toy or small electronics industries to survive. But we're doing damn well in IT, agricultural equipment, jetliners, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, cars, oil/gas, military equipment, etc, etc, etc, while we own much of the financial & IT infrastructure that will control things going forward.

    2) On the jobs & wages side, we have a couple things working against us. First, between China's opening in 1980 & the collapse of the wall & Soviet Union in 1989-1992 we expanded the available global workforce by a couple billion. Additionally, countries like Malaysia, India, Brazil and Vietnam modernized quite a bit at the same time that online internet technologies expanded the ability to outsource & coordinate a lot of this work.

    This is a big hump that will eventually settle down, but like with Keynes, in the long-term we're dead as well. Still, Germany survived the post-wall East German unification tax and all things EU until it's largely accounted for now almost 30 years later. Population growth has largely leveled off, so we're not facing an expanding Asia that would have worsened this situation.

    There are several other aspects to consider. One of them of course is that jobs to China have vastly improved jobs & wages for what was once a destitute backwards agricultural paradise of 1 billion+ people. That progress hasn't come without cost as they battle pollution, heavy inflation, huge internal migration, overdevelopment and the loss of much of their cultural past. This is not unique to China, but it has been much faster & in much greater volume than anywhere else.

    Since I don't even live in the US, I have trouble reducing the equation to simply the US vs. everyone else. I'm looking for win-win solutions in the global economy, but often from the US perspective they not only feel like they should never lose, but that should be winning by a lot, 24x7, certainly more than anyone else.

    3) Modernization - the cycle of obsolescence and bankruptcy is getting faster, and the business world is looking for solutions that require less labor and/or utilize less costly labor, at least where labor is expendable and not so essential to the quality & delivery of the good or service. Cloudified online expandable services are all the rage, while robot automation 2.0 is getting past its hype curve into actual production. This genie isn't going back in the bottle, so we'll have to get much better at figuring out how to equitably distribute money as we fight imbalanced growth that tends to coagulate around certain industries, certain locales, etc, to the detriment of everyone else. This isn't unique to the US by any means, so I think of a solution as more likely to come out of global cooperation and putting the ol' thinking cap on, rather than expecting some homegrown populist movement to find a comprehensive humanitarian solution.

    4) I'm not against barriers per se - on goods, on borders, on various requirements. I find lowered barriers more convenient and think in many cases they lower unnecessary structural costs, but one lesson I took away from Malaysia's defense against a Soros monetary speculation that butchered everyone else was that sometimes it helps to have some restrictions available as a policy measure to ward off attacks. This is one of the big concerns in the EU re: the Euro & non-differentiated policy, which lowers the ability of individual nations to take unilateral measures that might have better effect. As I consider the EU a growing and cooperation experiment, I take this simply as a challenge to improve on, not a final condemnation or expectation that any problem will be solved completely. Of course the US has similar regional issues, such as the South running non-labor factories to siphon work away from the north, or much of our IT brainpower migrates to SF or Boston, etc., along with overspecialization as West Virginia - our version of Greece without the tax avoidance and sunny beaches - has to deal with.

    5) I'm certainly not against bank restrictions, lowering unnecessary subsidies (including Fannie Mae et al unless we really find it's helping and not just exploiting citizen home ownership or propping up unscrupulous mortgage companies & landlords. At the same time, easy credit (& easy bankruptcy) have been great underpinnings of our success - driven more through greed than benign intentions, though sometimes the latter, to conform to Adam Smith's "invisible hand". Venture Capitalists are quite active in digging out & funding a huge variety of startup business models. I think much of it is bullshit, but if 1/10,000th hits paydirt, that's quite likely to be our next Google or Amazon or eBay. Another aspect is that the banks of 10 years ago may not be the banks of today, in that that behavior, challenges, details of competition & revenue, and specific applicability of particular regulations may have shifted significantly. I'm skeptical of people's certainty that something like Glass-Steagal can be assumed to be forever valid or 90 years later even as the underpinnings of our economy & financial system continue to revamp every few years, through multiple huge crises. A lot of simplistic curealls in all things.

    6) NAFTA like TPP is simply an agreement based on evaluation of production, movement of goods and people, payments, and other issues. I don't see it as inherently good or bad, just as I don't see the much more complicated European Community trade model as good or bad outside of whether it works effectively for X,Y or Z, meaning particular people, industries, transactions, social cohesion, crisis avoidance, et al. If there's a problem with NAFTA, just renegotiate, but be specific (our trade representatives, not necessarily you personally) about what the issues are, what the seeming solutions & workarounds might be, and so on. Many of the people who mock Trump's wall are quite eager to have an economic and de facto population one in its stead. If we help improve trade that bolsters both economies as well as reining in corruption, part of the idea is that the type of Mexicans who drive illegal immigration may not feel so desperate to live here, but will find the Mexican States perfectly sufficient. God knows we have enough retirees heading there for the low cost and lots of sun.

    But while I think NAFTA has been largely disastrous for Mexican farmers (but a boon to Iowa - why are *they* complaining?), I think there are other areas that have been exaggerated. Much was made of Zenith relocating TV assembly south of the border, but these were old CRT's which were quickly getting eliminated by LCD/LED panels, and even Japanese companies like Panasonic couldn't stay competitive in this high investment, heavily commoditized and low margin market, so basically *all* TV production is out of China now. We don't appreciate how many of these industries are roughly like horse-and-buggy or the equally anachronistic CD production - you can't put up borders to keep out the next technical advance - the Communists tried & failed miserably.

    Alright, enough, back to work.

    Or maybe it´s none of the above?

    We´ve been ¨in ¨ for 96 months.  ¨ How about more of the same?¨ isn´t exactly a stirring slogan.

    Inheriting the nearly collapse of Capitalism wasn´t the path towards automatically  getting a permanent lease on  the  white house.

    One alternative is  we should just keep on keepin on. Or as a wise man once put it 

    ¨Don´t just do something. Stand there.¨



    Trump thought that he could control the crazies. He was not bothered by praise from David Duke. He thought that it was funny for his white followers to attack the "others" who protested at his rallies. The razes can't be controlled. You never invite them in. At the leadership level we have Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions. In Congress we have Steve King. The crazies have no redeeming qualities. They only stink up the place.

    It has been very disheartening to have to argue that racists should be kept out of the Democratic Party. I have been told that I might agree with a racist that the sky is blue and that we agree on the economy. I have been told that if I keep saying the word "racist", I may turn a racist into a racist.

    Republicans let the racists in because they wanted their votes. When Steve Bannon, the white supremacist, came into the Trump campaign, Republicans were silent. When Steve King makes a racist statement, most Republicans are silent. That is what a political party has to do when they invite the racists in just to get some votes. The stench sticks. Racist Milos Yiannopoulos has been ostracized not because of his racism, something that was OK with Conservatives. He was booted because of supporting pedophila.Racism was OK. Tomi Lahren made racist statements and was a star at Glenn Beck's Blaze Network. Lahren was booted from the Blaze not because of racist comments but because she called Conservatives hypocrites. Bill O' Reilly is in trouble now, not for being amazed that blacks ate with forks and knives, but because of sexual harassment The Republicans catered to racists and are reaping the whirlwind. Democrats should simply avoid the trap.

    Donald Trump’s Race War

    His message of tribalism is his most successful and dangerous accomplishment.

    The power of ethnonationalism lies in its ability to easily activate the most primitive and powerful human impulses. People do not need to follow politics closely to grasp elemental concepts like which ethnic group enjoys the support of a party or of a government.... there is a clear defensiveness in the administration’s response to such acts of hate that betrays a sense of kinship. “Obviously, any loss of life is tragic, but I’m not going to get into, like, that kind of — to suggest that there’s any correlation I think is a bit absurd. So I’m not going to go any further than that,” Spicer told reporters after the Kansas attack...

    Obviously, Sanders was not offering an invitation to racists, but he minimized the influence of Trump's racist message. People who don't care about polluting waters, taking Meals on Wheels away, ISPs selling information, and voter suppression are not likely to respond to any message from Democrats. Not all of Trump supporters are racists, but you will see very few Trump supporters protesting horrible government actions. There is silence on separating children from their mothers, police abuse, the Muslim ban, the Mexican wall, etc. Trump supporters may not all be racists, but only a minority will object to racist behavior by the Trump administration.. Don't let the Devil into our house.

    Republicans view blacks as shiftless and lazy according to a new study from the University of Chicago

    Exactly what one would expect.

    The 'progressive revolutionists' don't grasp the reason Red America will never vote for lefty causes like single payer is will cover everyone, even those lazy blacks. They'd rather go without.

    As Chait says in my link, the supposedly economically insecure noble white Trump voters of the herrenvolk still support Trump even though his goal is to make them even more insecure. They stick with him due to his racist scaremongering and ethnonationalism. 

    We're talking about winning BACK the 3 million Obama voters who swung to Trump this election in swing states. Or at least some portion of those 3 million. So we aren't talking about those attracted to Trump's race baiting but to his talk of bringing working class jobs back to those communities. 

    The discussion included bringing racists into the party.

    No one is suggesting inviting racists into the party, unless you are back to suggesting ALL Trump voters are racists by virtue of voting Trump. 

    But ok, let's say for the sake of argument that we are generous with our attribution of the 'racist' label to cover anyone defacto prefering Trump to Clinton, we should still look at what can be done to improve that turnout. My argument has been that they have ample economic grievances that the Democratic party could address if it wanted to, and I think that if they did, that would help. Calling them all racist scum without changing the economic message doesn't seem like a vote-getter to me, although it's definitely cathartic. So knock yourself out!

    I think I'll leave it at that

    I said that the DNC will be reaching out to the people you want targeted. I maintain that many of those voters voted race over economics and harbor racist ideology. I provided links supporting that position. It is important that black Americans maintain a grasp on the realities of race in America. Trump faces a lawsuit for inciting violence at his rallies by stressing racial grievances. Trump has not changed from the time when he was sued for housing discrimination. Jeff Sessions is going to pull the DOJ away from combating police abuse. Sessions has not changed from the days when he tried to convict allies of Martin Luther King Jr. Steve Bannon is a known racist as pointed out by Rep. Elijah Cummings.

    One reason I am concerned about the racial feelings of the voters in your outreach net is that some Democrats used the dog-whistle term " identity politics" as a reason that Democrats lost. The term suggested to me that some Democrats were ready to jettison black voters. Coupled with the idea that some Democrats now suggest that race was not a component in the votes Trump received is very concerning. Sander's comments did not ease my concerns. I will leave it at that.

    I think gearing up to increase turnout of Democratic voters in the midterms is our best option. I think that third party candidates will not be a major issue in the midterms. Hopefully, people will be ready to vote given that Trump is attempting to destroy the United States of America.

    Rmrd, there are already racists in the Democratic Party. And shoplifters and child abusers and drug dealers and even killers. If Democrats ejected all immoral people from the party, they would never win another election. The problem is not encouraging an immoral person to vote for a good cause. The problem is when you,

    a) Encourage people to vote for immoral reasons (e.g. keeping non-whites out of the country)

    b) Allow immoral people into leadership positions (e.g. Mr. Trump)

    Republicans do both, and it's reprehensible. No one here is recommending that Democrats do this. On the contrary, we want to help immoral people to become more moral, to focus on love rather than hate, to let their better angels triumph. The civil rights movement did not just inspire statutory change; it also inspired sociological change. Our perceptions of race have evolved since the 1950s, and they will continue to evolve as long as we don't give up on changing people's hearts and minds.

    I am starting a "Child Abusers Against Trump" group, myself. If we can get them on our side, no telling how far we can go.


    When Democrats/Liberals use the dog-whistle " identity politics" they are placating the racists. Review some of the commentary here and it suggests appeasement. Democrats fight voter suppression, Muslim bans, separating immigrant mothers from their children, insane transgender bathroom laws etc. The racists within the Democratic Party know this.

    National politics is a tricky game - particularly when you are relying on a coalition whose interests don't all overlap (Democrats) as opposed to a fairly unitary block (Republicans).

    Winning "back" Trump WWC voters, who have been defecting from the Democratic Party for decades, in any event, may be a fool's errand, and is certainly not worth abandoning our core commitment to equality. I have my doubts that these voters will respond to promises of more government intervention a la Sanders. Of course, it's possible. We only need a handful after all. It's also possible more culturally conservative candidates could recapture some support. Russ Feingold and Zephyr Teachout underperformed Clinton. Jason Kander, who can assemble an M16 blindfolded, outperformed. Go figure. And Ohio, which elected Sherrod Brown with one hand, elected Rob Portman, free-trading Republican, with the other, by a greater margin than they gave to Trump. I don't think there's any one-size-fits-all approach, definitely not Sanders' "you're either with me or the billionaires" dichotomy. There's also the possibility that enough of those WWC voters who swung to Trump eventually wake up to the reality that his policies screw them. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

    And now add to the mix the fact that the most fertile ground for the Democrats going forward seem to be moderate, diverse suburban and sun belt regions that have been traditional Republican strongholds but voted for Clinton this time around. They are in play, particularly in 2018, and beyond. Clinton did better in Texas than Ohio, right?

    Like healthcare, it's "complicated."    

    Yup the coalitions are a lot more fluid. Hispanics in Texas finding out that religious conservatism is less of a priority than immigration and civil rights. I won't claim to understanding what is going on in Ohio, other than to note that the usual big city - suburbia - small town divides apply there as everywhere else. 

    If some issue from the Democratic party canon needs to be sacrificed (or rather down-graded) in order to expand the coalition, well I guess as you say, gun rights is a candidate. Call it the Kander coalition. If there are gun nuts out there who want single payer health care and free college, great

    As a city guy myself, I think gun regulation is critically important (although as a public defender, I am appalled that, as is often the case, enforcement of gun laws entails ridiculously jacked up sentences for young people of color), so I wouldn't be happy with that change.

    As a (perhaps) interesting side note, in retrospect, it's quite possible Clinton would have won the election had she NOT taken such a strong stand against guns or had she made some gesture to cultural conservatives (e.g. the infamous Sister Souljah moment). To her credit, she did not, and did not pivot an iota from the primary to the general.

    Like "deplorables", they bitch if she doesn't take a stand and bitch when she does, though mostly she's pretty outspoken.

    Thanks for this comment!

    Interesting long read Peracles. Not sure it was responsive to anything I said, or even if it was meant to be. 

    you said:

    when the Greeks are just oblivious to any sort of self-responsibility and refuse to pay taxes & not funnel money across to banks in Switzerland... at some point, what can you do? 

    The Greeks have a primary surplus. Their debt load is just unsustainable. The ECB could soak up the losses without the slightest harm to the rest of the EU. Projections estimate that the Greek economy will never start to recover under current demands. They have been at 40% unemployment for 5-6 years right ? How long should their sentence be ? Or is this some kind of 30'000 year Promethius sentence ? At this point imposing hardship is just a version of Old Testament morality, sacrifice-your-children-for-the-glory-of-Wall-Street. 

    I've been quite critical of the slow compromising road we took to do (ACA/housing mess/education policy), but I can't change it except through who we're able to elect, and that's quite rigged and complicated these days.

    So this is your conclusion on these issues ? Blind hope on ACA will someday magically start bending the curve, handwaving at someone eventually doing some unspecified useful thing people will like on education and housing. Sounds like an awesome platform there. This is your ‘simpler’ take ? Yes ‘simpler’ is one way to put it. I’m snarking because you are quite noticeably sidestepping lefty solutions like medicare-for-all or drug importation or anything that looks like part of a potential solution. Right now the democratic party won’t touch anything that upsets big pharma or the MMA or the health care industry generally. ACA passed only because it was a win-win-win : insurance co’s, doctors and pharma all winning out. I don’t see how you get the cost curve to budge if you won’t take on any of the people who are billing those costs. So the democratic party line is pretty much like what you say in the bit I cite here, as hopeless, passive and unresponsive. Real vote-getter, that pitch !

    And that is the general problem with Clintonite win-win-win solutions, helping both Corporate stakeholders and workers. Not a whole lot of credible ones left in that basket. Deregulating Wall Street to increase investment and growth creating well paying jobs. That one’s gone too.

    As for your strawman argument about blaming foreign workers, you didn’t read anything I said. Again, as I said, the democratic establishment doesn’t get to lecture the ornery out-of-work masses as long as they themselves are making megabucks out of « solidarity » with hard-working Mexicans and Chinese while American workers get shafted. You don’t get to call them xenophobic racists. It reeks of bullshit. It wasn’t the only way the globalisation deals had to be set up. Good chunks of Europe managed to do so in a Pareto optimal way. You  - and Clinton – make it sound like that was and is an impossibly complex task. It’s a hard sell. People won’t buy it and rightly so.

    So, yes, your take is simple, i.e. it’s that you find it utterly mysterious that, when we deliberately distribute upwards all the gains from deliberately selective liberalisation, somehow all the gains end up at the top of the income distribution. Hm - says the democratic party - we shall go away and study this odd phenomenon and get back to you when we have solutions. 

    /end of rant

    On the more hopeful side, I think Wall Street's heyday is over. the 47 year bond bull market is probably over, putting an end to that cash-cow. By the same token, the 47 years of keeping labor markets slack to ratchet down inflation rates is also over. That was a big factor in capping worker wages. 

    On the less hopeful side, the robots and AI are coming, with who knows what result. 

    Not quite sure what you're talking about. I went to work for Soros a bit to help these 3rd world types when the US was bailing out for its "peace dividend". I'm sure quite a few of these disgruntled out-of-work folks supported Bush in his chimera in the Mideast. Can't lecture them? Fuck them - they've been lecturing me most of my life. It's really basic economics - shoot your wad on something stupid and you can't pay the rent. Yeah, it's an abusive relationship where the 1% steal from the rest - but when we try to say and do something about it, we're the dirty fucking hippies. I live in Europe - we don't tear down socially responsive, cohesive programs here. There's a huge block of grants for people trying to bring different countries together, provide innovative change. The US can't even figure out basic health care and thinks maternity care can be stripped out - how retarded is that?

    I told you and others again I disagree with Google and Apple and others not paying their share of taxes, and Hillary strongly agrees - where do you think you're going attacking me on that? It's the "no taxes" dead-enders who set this whole shitstorm rolling 35 years ago, and it keeps gaining steam.

    But yes, we're xenophobic racists - just look at our Latin American policy for 200 years, slavery, Chinese coolie policy, Mideast policy, SE Asia policy... exceptional, eh?

    By 'fuck them' I take it you mean drop the pretense of trying to win them over? It seems in your experience they are too far gone to be amenable to anything like progressive policy. Am I getting that right?

    And nice to see there is a concrete policy - ending inversions - that we agree on. 

    By "fuck them" I mean they're not 7 years old -  they're grownups and they have to learn to pay something for their mistakes along with reaping benefits of things they do right. Vote for an asshole who drives the economy into the geiund along with a swnseless war, well yes, you don't get that payraise or locked socual security box. For fuck's sake, my life savings dropped by 60+% because of that motherfucker's "weak dollar" approach to increasing sales by being a cheapass, plus hugely raised my taxes by taking away the foreigned earned exclusion for investment income. I largely don't live in the US because of pre-existing conditions and the fucked up medical situation there. Do I get to complain now, or is it only some dumbass uneducated white yokel from Iowa or Texas or the Appalachians, that hearland without a heart? Half the time these are dumbshits who can't even watch a movie with subtitles - big yuck-yucks on that when they're not talking about Freedom Fries and turning the Middle East into glass. Well, I don't tell them to eat shit and die - only eat shit until they come to their senses and stop fucking up. No pain, no gain. Aren't these the bit talking, self-sufficiency guys? All this coddling just forestalls the inevitable. I vote and donate in their interest - they just mock mine. My candidate will save them a ton in health and education costs - theirs will cost me a fortune if I ever have to return.

    I noted above that Frank Rich took the same position regarding Trump voters  in a New York Magazine article.

    The people who want to appease Trump voters are as out of touch with the message they are sending to black and Latino voters as Bernie Sanders.

    Good link. Had missed it when it came out I guess. Personally I agree with everything Rich says in there. Not sure how I and you ended up seeming at odds here. This sums up what I think needs to happen:

    The Democrats must set priorities. In a presidential election, a revamped economic program and a new generation of un-Clinton leaders may well win back the genuine swing voters who voted for Trump, whether Democratic defectors in the Rust Belt or upscale suburbanites who just couldn’t abide Hillary. But that’s a small minority of Trump’s electorate. Otherwise, the Trump vote is overwhelmingly synonymous with the Republican Party as a whole.

    I.e. regaining that small minority of genuine swing voters. 

    And I never meant to even intimate that there should be a fudging of core anti-racist and anti-sexist values, as Rich warns against. 

    That makes it all the more a fool’s errand for Democrats to fudge or abandon their own values to cater to the white-identity politics of the hard-core, often self-sabotaging Trump voters who helped drive the country into a ditch on Election Day.

    Was one of ArtAppraiser's 5,476,972,816 posts last month - not sure how you missed it. I recognize it for its mention of Wolfe's Radical Chic, a book I'd forgotten I read among his more celebrated tomes like the coming-of-age "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". (Pump-House Gang? The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamlined Baby? I must have had a lot of time in those days....)  It's hard to wrap my head around how conservative we've grown 50 years later.

    Jesus. I'm going to have to quit my job to keep up with AA's reading assignments

    Glad that we agree. Like I said, the DNC will go after that small slither. I think it's futile, but I'm not going to be blocking the attempt.

    From the comments:

    It's simple, the GOP has stolen the message of the "little guy" from the Democrats even if the GOP seldom if ever delivers on these promises. And even more importantly, the GOP has managed to co-opt Christianity in North America by exploiting wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage. Never mind that the GOP is stealing grandma's "meals on wheels" or actively fighting against a minimum wage that would directly benefit people they know. ..

    I think the Republicans are reading Wolraich's "Blowing Smoke" and using it as a playbook against us. Even Grandma's in cahoots.


    Easy enough for you, though - I have to take classes on how to talk to myself. Here I am, son of the South yet I don't own a gun, couldn't find a church if you paid me, don't panic at the sight of an Arab, and feel no inner stirrings from that resounding stump slogan "Make (white) America Great Again" - what's wrong with me? Shit, I don't even own a Lynyrd Skynyrd album anymore. People be talkin'....


    Thanks for writing this. Bernie has a disconnect that often makes him very unappealing to many people of color. He either misspoke, is removed from reality, or attempting to play some form of 3D political chess. His comments were misguided.

    I can get as wrapped up as the next person in the Bernie v Hillary war...but it feels like a waste of time at the end of the day. When push comes to shove, most of us (I think) would support the platform of either person perhaps with some changes here and there, even if we really preferred one over the other.

    Both candidates have said things about the other that were counterproductive, dumb, and hurtful. The arguments against, and in favor of, both people are mostly reasonable and plausible, and elections are over-determined events, so it's impossible to isolate one key factor with certainty that swung the election.

    Don't we all believe that it the economy AND civil rights are equally important? Maybe one side emphasized one set of values to the detriment of the other. Okay; let's correct that and move on. If it seemed that we cared more about minorities than white working class folks, then let's remedy that and move on. If it seemed like the opposite, then let's remedy that and move on.

    Does anyone really think Bernie and his followers are racists? Does anyone really think that Hillary and her followers don't care about miners? I don't. But we aren't living in BernieWorld or HillaryWorld. We're living in DonaldWorld and that is what needs to be addressed.

    Just saw this and couldn't agree more. In fact, feeling a bit remorseful for stoking the fire yet again. The problem I have is that your eminently sensible approach is that there is a loud and vocal segment on the left - of which Bernie seems to be the main instigator - for whom no policy prescription the Democrats offer will suffice. Thus, we have the spectacle of the Democratic "unity" tour in which Sanders continues to insist the Party is failing despite the fact that it is led by one of the most liberal members and has adopted the better part of Sanders' agenda. No surprise that so many voters - the independents Sanders was supposed to bring to the Party, believe it is corrupt and out of touch.  

    I think you just pegged this whole shebang in one paragraph, counselor. Just mho.

    If there were 10 identical clones of Bernie in Congress, each Bernie would say unity is impossible, because the other 9 aren't truly progressive.

    Sad, but true

    I'm still surprised that a party in the worst shape electorally nationwide since the early 1900s seems so little inclined to look inward at what to improve. Nope it's got to be because of the irresistable charm of a geriatric curmudgeon that people feel the party is out of touch. Who in the party leadership is connecting to the grass roots? Pharma Booker? Wall Street Schumer? Hope-on-the-Ballot Perez? Maybe Warren, but Obama threw her conspicuously under the bus. Maybe try to find someone with the wild hot magnetism of Sanders and the party can turn itself around. Or ... maybe ... that old dude has been pushed forward as a mouthpiece for frustrations BECAUSE the frustrations already were there. 

    This is frustrating. Democrats got Obamacare passed. As limited as it was, they got it passed. The Republicans are now trying to dismantle it and throw millions off of healthcare. We see this and argue about how worthless a party the Democrats represent. After Obamacare passed, voters decided to kick Democrats out of office. Back in the day when Civil Rights laws passed, Southerners especially pushed Democrats out of office. Does anybody pay attention anymore?

    We're not arguing about "how worthless a party the Democrats represent". It's a fact that it is in terrible shape, that the electoral results are very bad. We, or at least I, am arguing that the question should turn to how we turn the situation around rather than bitching about something that an old socialist said that made Tom Perez uncomfortable. As if that were what was holding the party back. "If only Bernie would give us his mailing list and say nice things about us". If he did that, his army of discontents would abandon him. He isn't their leader because of charisma, they have elevated him to that position because of the message he conveys. You fix the Bernie problem by figuring out how you want to deal with the army of discontents. Not by whining about mean old Bernie. 

    Dagbloggers were told to hold back on criticizing Bernie during the run up to the election. The idea was not to alienate Bernie supporters hoping they might vote for Hillary. Those who disagreed with Bernie were told to tone things down. Members of the voting public are unaware that the new health care they receive is Obamacare. They casted votes for Trump. When confronted with the fact that Trump threatens to end their healthcare, they are surprised. The ones that are dimly aware that they are on Obamacare said that they thought Trump was kidding about destroying their healthcare. Trump is breaking promises on labeling China a money manipulator and the Wall. Polling show that despite the lies and the incompetence, Trump has the same level of overall support that he had at the election. His voters are not budging.

    Given a marginally bright voting public, we might consider pointing out the positive things the Democrats are doing whether than constantly portraying them as screws. Healthcare and rescuing the auto industry are two major positives. As bad as you think Senator Booker's ties to Big Pharma, he is not crafting a tax pla n that benefits the rich and corporations like the Republicans. I wonder if we might treat the Democrats like we treated Bernie for a brief time period. Trump our common enemy.

    I appreciate the sentiment. Not to seem unthankful, but you do realize that you are writing these words of conciliation at the end of a mile-long collective anti-Sanders manure dump. 

    So we just continue the friendly fire attacks on Democrats. I operate on the premise that large numbers of Trump supporters BWI ll not come to their senses by 2018. Attacking Democrats only aids Trump. Telling the 96% of black women voters who tried to save from Trump that they are loathsome practitioners of "identity politics" only serves to alienate. If we want Independents and Democrats who stayed home in 2016 to pull the lever for Democrats, we might think of something nice to say about the Democratic Party.

    Fall mountain, just don't fall on me. 

    A neutral summary of our Dagblog debate:

    I don't think your crowd's preferred strategy of going for minority turnout and tacking on suburban affluent conservatives is going to get you an election winning coalition. In the House, you just get bigger majorities in districts that are already democratic. In the senate the dems are defending 25 seats, so they will be lucky if they don't cede a filibuster-proof majority to the GOP. And now Perez has just told pro-lifers - even those vocally defending Planned Parenthood - that they aren't welcome in the party. Not sure how that increases turnout among religious minorities. So there is literally no plan to win an election. The plan is to shit on Sanders and get all offended at any attempt to enlarge the coalition. 

    It is unfortunate that many are operating under the assumption that the Democratic Party must choose between economic populism or social justice.  Obviously, it must pursue both.  Some Clinton supporters, e.g., David Brock's crew, and Third Way centrists wrongly (I would argue dishonestly) contend that Bernie's populism masks an antipathy towards racial/sexual/gender justice.  In fact, they go hand in hand and Bernie's record on social justice is very strong.

    What did you think of the Sanders-Perez unity tour?

    Obama tapped Perez to be DNC Chair because there are fundamental differences between Bernie's worldview and Perez's which is much closer to Obama's.  Under this circumstance, I don't see how there can be unity.  Ultimately, the Democratic Party has to embrace the economic populists, represented by Bernie, by adopting their message and tactics or to remain in the arms of the corporatists as Perez wants.  This circle cannot be squared.

    All that's good and pure is Bernie, the rest is evil in the arms of the corporatists. When you see the world that way we can't ever get along. Fortunately I doubt that there are many Sanders supporters see the world in such black and white colors as you do.

    It's over - neither Bernie nor HIllary are running again, so it doesn't matter what their records are.

    It simply matters whether we address any blind spots going forward - no key issue/constituency left behind.

    Perhaps some argue Sanders has some antipathy towards social justice issues. I don't believe that.  I think he supports all the social issues democrats support, they just have a low priority for him. Heath Mello is the worse sort of anti-abortion zealot. He voted for forced ultrasounds before abortions which is not medically necessary instead is fake science designed to shame women out of having an abortion. I could respect someone who is anti-abortion if they didn't support the lies and fake science used to shame, scare, and hassle women who want an abortion. The Mello incident illustrates if someone aligns with Sanders' economic populism he will ignore the worse sort of views or votes on other issues. I think Sanders would prefer if they were progressive on the social/racial/gender issues as well but it's just not all that important to him.

    Having a big-tent attitude towards pro-life democrats only seems a problem for the DNC when the candidate is an economic progressive. Pelosi and co are happy to support all their pro-life democratic colleagues in Congress. Saying it is 'just not that important to him' is insulting just like it would be if it were directed at Pelosi. 

    And what? Am I to be concerned about Pelosi's feelings? (not that she'll ever read my comments anyway).

    Everybody has their pet priorities. Some nicely spread out their interest in other issues, others are "the rest be hanged". We obviously understand there are ranges of beliefs on

    1) defense & security

    2) importance of ethnic-gender-sexual orientation (and

    2b) often related regionalism, up-down ageism....)

    3) jobs-income-class

    4) budget-spending outlook & economy

    5) money-influence in government-building coalitions

    etc. Each has its opportunity for success, paradox, hypocrisy, cutting-off-our-noses, scandalous obliviousness, purity policy unreality, etc.

    Really? You think Pelosi doesn't care about reproductive rights? Sincere question. 

    I always just assumed she had a solid record/reputation on the issue. 

    I was just responding to your "insult" word.

    Pelosi's in a slightly different position - she's been maintaining party leadership and trying to keep different districts in play. While her abortion credentials are largely (or entirely) impeccable, as leader she can't afford to dismiss those with somewhat different position (though one would hope someone completely out of step with party ideals would be cut loose despite the D- prefix).

    Bernie, on the other hand, is proposing to remake the party with ideals that will win. He's not known for being that concerned about gender issues, and since he's very sparing with who he supports - Ossoff didn't make the cut - he's open for criticism as to what concerns will make our new "progressive" platform, since gas pipelines and fracking are in his top tier, but defending against the nationwide attack on abortion hasn't made his priorities list AFAIK.

    Fair enough. I'm just perplexed why everyone here finds Bernie so suspect on abortion issues (can you do better than 100%? on your PP score?) or civil rights issues where he has a very strong history. The democrats have been solid and reliable defenders of these issues for decades while they have slipped rightwards on economic issues. Hence why hee sees a need for vocally pushing back on that part of the democratic platform. When you think this rightward shift is what is keeping democratic leaning voters uninspired and at home on election day, then that is what you play up. 

    Pro-life? Fuck that. All they are is anti-abortion and there's nothing pro life about the anti-abortion crowd. We can't really have an honest conversation when you're using the euphemism they use to lie about their agenda.

    Whether it's insulting or not isn't the issue. Is it true? Does the evidence support the contention? Mello doesn't just support forced ultrasounds. He voted to have a doctor present for chemical abortions with RU-486 which is medically unnecessary and simply makes abortions harder to obtain and more expensive.  He voted for screening requirements to make sure a woman getting an abortion had provided fully informed consent which is another lie used to make abortions harder to obtain and more onerous for the women. He voted to prohibit abortions at 20 weeks.

    Mello is among the worse of the anti-abortion crowd and Sanders didn't seem to think that important. Whether it's insulting is not germane and a matter of opinion. I'm sure some in the anti-abortion crowd would see it as praise. You know, like good news bad news. I'm sure some people are thinking the bad news is Sanders is pro-choice but the good news is it's not a very high priority issue for him.

    Cool. Let's knee-cap Donnelly's re-election campaign next. Can't wait to see Perez tell him he isn't welcome in the  Democratic party and that the state of Indiana can go to hell. 

    I was under the mistaken impression that we were doing a big-tent thing. But apparently we are going to litmus test our way to armageddon. 

    Are we doing the big tent thing? Because that tent didn't seem big enough for Sanders to endorse Ossoff. Sanders seems to be really stingy about who he's willing to endorse. So who is it that's got the litmus test? I'm all for being part of team democrat but I do have limits to what I can support. Sanders has limits too and his limits are more stringent than mine. In fact it doesn't seem to me that Sanders wants to be part of the team at all.

    Sanders begrudgingly endorsed Ossoff. Perez threw Mello under the bus.

    Sanders could and should have done more. But Perez is being deliberately divisive.

    Look, Mello threw *himself* under the bus - those were bullshit anti-female laws he *sponsored*. Whether Perez plays Big Tent forgiveness or "we gotta draw a line somewhere" is up to debate, but it's far from " Tim Kaine's personal beliefs vs his pro-women voting record".

    Like PP said, Mello threw himself under the bus. But here's the thing, no one out side of Nebraska would even know the name Mello if Sanders hadn't decided to endorse and campaign for him. Sanders brought the mayoral race in Omaha to national attention so now we're talking about his abortion votes and the role and value of abortion rights in the democratic party. Sanders created a huge problem for Perez and other democratic leaders that had to be addressed somehow and you know, there was no good way to address it. Mello is absolutely the worse anti-abortion democrat to represent the anti-abortion wing of the democratic party. A wing that I and many other democrats can just barely tolerate in the so called big tent, and only because I am on team democrat. So do you think Sanders helped or hurt the democrats going forward by using one of his rare endorsements for Mello for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska?

    Does everyone know that Elizabeth Warren, as well as Pelosi and Schumer, is for "no litmus test"?

    Rmrd, to correct the record, I asked people to avoid insulting Bernie OR Hillary because most of us were sick of the same food fight over and over for months on end, and because I was tired of moderating personal feuds related to primary. It had nothing to do with alienating Democratic voters.

    Michael, in seeing you having to tend to this debate for the umpteenth time, it just struck me how little it has to do with the new Trump effect, whatever lessons people may want to take away from it. Alienating party line voters is one of the tactics Trump used: he attacked his party faithful all the time, even to the point of calling them names. While Mr.Romney was ever the gentleman trying to keep all coalitions happy, always walking on eggshells. One must always keep in mind that Trump won strategically and not with a majority of votes, of course, but Romney lost and Trump won.

    And look at the food fights in the Republican Congress now. Talk about factions. If that's not big tent of people who disagree I don't know what is.And they don't really have a leader.

    he attacked his party faithful all the time

    Not sure I get your meaning. He attacked his opponents in the primary and various members and caucuses in congress. But not blocks of GOP voters, or did he? And not sure what the strategy is in alienating his own voters. Care to elaborate?

    I meant more like this: it was clear that the actual functionaries of the GOP wanted "anyone but Trump" and were dismayed at his success, had to be dragged kicking and screaming to support him at the end. I actually didn't pay that much attention to any policy disputes. I imagine there weren't many because: Trump wasn't really interested in should now be clear to everyone...hah....

    thanks. got it.

    That's a good point, AA, though I would say he attacked the party establishment, not the party faithful. He correctly intuited that a large share of Republican voters don't like the Republican Party, which certainly helped him in the primary. That said, he did not perform as well as Romney among Republican voters in the general election. Romney got 93% to Trump's 88%.

    establishment that's the word, thank you. happy to have your input on what I said, was not thought out, just sharing what popped into my head.

    To add to what Mike just posted.  I have had Republicans recently tell me that if there had been anybody but Clinton nominated by the DNC, they would not have voted for Trump. 

    And if anyone but Trump, some wouldve voted GOP. And if not Hillary, some would have voted Trump. I can play this guessing game all day. I *do* know she got 65 million votes to 62 million, and if your friends had gotten off their high horse and at least held their collective noses it would have been more. All the bullshit hope of Trump being not so bador better than Hillary has been proven dead wrong in the first 100 days. How about a little less visceral pride and misguided "principle" and more basic common sense and reality-informed choice next time?

    Example - Hillary would already be threatening North Korea and Iran and China and Mexico and striking Syria her first 3 months? She would have put more Goldman Sachs heads in her top administration? She would have tried to kill Obamacare and give a huge tax cut to the rich? She would have appointed an anti-abortion, anti-workers' rights nut to the Supreme Court? How people can never admit their mistakes is amazing to me.

    Thanks. The bottom line is that you can't fix stupid. People voted for Trump against their own specific interests. Coal miners admit that they didn't expect their jobs to come back. Democrats tried to save health care for retired coal miners. Coal miners voted for Trump. How can people not realize that their health care was not provided by Democrats? How can they be surprised that the GOP had seven years to fix healthcare and only recently threw together a healthcare plan? If voters are that stupid, what can Democrats say to win them back? 

    AA...not many Democrats right now understand how fractured the Republican Party is right now.  We will see more of this over the Trump tax cuts and budget fights.  The Republican congress is feeling a pushback from their voters on repealing programs they need and the greed of corporations.  

    Mike pointed out up thread, that there was an insurgency in both parties that nearly destroyed both parties in a backlash against industrialist during the progressive era..  Trump's con is throwing gas on the right's insurgency. It is going to probably get ugly.  

    Democrat insurgency has organized under Sanders and so far no strong leader has emerged for the right.

    Thanks for bringing this up. 

    Is running insurgents the plan for 2018? If not, how are candidates bound by Bernie's economic criteria?

    As I walk around Donald World, waiting for the drugs to wear off, I see this amusement park has one unifying narrative, a single moment of inertia that precipitates the motion sickness experienced on every ride: The accumulation of Debt.

    The first and most obvious meaning of this is financial. All the tax and deregulation schemes under consideration transfer the costs of today's production to the taxpayers of tomorrow.

    The degradation of environmental protection transfers the cost of today's production to the next generation. Additional interest will be charged for stopping efforts underway to pay for yesterdays' costs.

    The cessation from efforts to expand the sphere of equal protection of law for all citizens will make the future resumption of that work more difficult, expensive, and dangerous.

    The decline of the State Department at a time when it needs to be made stronger and more effective will make the future resumption of Foreign Policy a gargantuan effort requiring years to simply return to the weak condition it is in now.

    In light of the impending darkness, it behooves the Democratic Party to prepare for its inheritance. Whatever could have been the best policy to improve the Republic in 2016 is not going to be enough to address what is coming.

    For Ocean-kat. Thanks for the response. Apparently Mello didn't support "forced" ultrasounds. They were optional.

    Apart from that, Mello gave a strong unequivocal pro-reproductive rights statement and had a decent 100% Planned Parenthood score in 2015, the only year he was scored as far as I could see. Didn't research it in depth. 

    So not sure about "worst of the worst". Beyond that, if Stothert were not so obviously worse on reproductive rights, maybe I would see your point. 

    Did Sanders make the right decision in endorsing, along with Perez and Daily Kos (and many others probably), before the two latter changed their minds? Seems like it was a broad collective decision, or at least communal. I incline to agree with the position that Sanders, Pelosi, McCaskill and others stuck with: pitch a big tent and tolerate those who disagree as long as they don't obstruct reproductive rights. I don't see how you can pin the blame for the whole kerfuffle on Sanders. As for those who are going out of their way to lie and smear the Democratic candidate for votes he cast 7 years ago? not sure it is the most productive use of people's time. That said, some people feel strongly that only candidates with a strong pro-abortion history should be allowed to stand, even in very conservative districts, where the alternative is usually a republican who is worse.

    Of course, you don't need to convince me that the whole "vote for the lesser evil" framework is not always convincing. Everyone has personal lines they won't cross. To be very honest, I'm ambivalent. First, it seems like bad politics to me. Many latinos and blacks are religious and have sincerely held anti-abortion views although they go along with the democrats because of the rest of the policy platform. If that is the case (I don't know if that is an outdated assumption), if you signal to them that not only is everything they cherish in the Dem platform negotiable, but support for abortion is non-negotiable and a hard red line, then that diminishes support.

    Perez's statement makes it seem like people with anti-abortion convictions are not welcome in the party. How much will it diminish support? Who knows. Depends on whether we go on to litmus test every candidate in every local election in this way. 

    Secondly, you lose whatever foothold the party has in socially conservative districts, not only national representatives, but in local and state-level elections. The democratic party doesn't look good when on one hand they talk about the urgency of ousting Trump and the Republicans, but then end up in an internal food-fight over something their own candidate voted for 7 years ago. It shows a lack of seriousness. And if the candidate was a solid progressive on other issues, if he won and made lives better in that red district, then that might open minds that would otherwise be blindly anti-democrat. These wins matter also as footholds and showcases. But these considerations seem in your mind to pale in comparison to the evil of his past legislative record. And I respect that. But what now?

    Is that the plan now? We go after Donnelly, exaggerate his already poor reproductive rights record? He is clearly worse than Mello. Do we advocate for pulling DNC support for his campaign? Or do we fight for him to confirm his frankly miraculous win in Indiana, because he will vote with democrats on 80% of issues, ALL of which are vital, no matter how much of a dick he is on women's issues? 

    Those aren't rhetorical questions. Maybe taking a strong stand on certain core issues that resonate, that shows that the democratic party has core values around which it will brook no slight wavering, maybe that can draw in voters elsewhere. People can be drawn to a party with principle, that bends to no one on certain issues and apologizes to no one for it. It worked for the hard right in the GOP. But I don't sense that is the right play here and now. Not with Trump and not with the disadvantageous shape of the electoral map (where more big-city voters doesn't win you new districts). 

    Obey, where is your data regarding blacks leaving the Democratic Party over the issue of abortion.Republicans use every opportunity to tell us that blacks should leave the "Democrat Plantation" because of the issue of abortion. In 2016, 26 Conservative black pastors said that blacks would abandon Democrats because of abortion. Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Hillary. Since you are throwing black voters out of the party, at lease realize that abortion is not a deal breaker

    Martin Luther King Jr served on a Planned Parenthood committee.

    Abortion will not lead to an exodus of black voters. Democrats who abandon so-called "identity politics" will cause the exodus. Democrats will seize 2018 defeat from the jaws of victory by rejecting racial justice. The racists are not going to join the Democratic Party, they already have a party, the GOP.

    Democrats are going to follow Sanders tone-deaf and losing approach to black voters

    ​Even Black Agenda Report knew the Sanders approach failed

    ​There is no plan on how to win black people who voted for Trump, but there certainly is a plan to drive away black voters and abortion is not on the list of reasons.



    You say, "Everyone has personal lines they won't cross" but you're not discussing personal lines. You're discussing the politics. My political analysis is we should try to avoid a national discussion within the democratic party on this highly controversial issue. It will come up often enough without making it a national conversation. No matter what is said it's going to turn off a couple of large blocks of democratic voters. What Sanders did was turn an obscure mayoral race in an obscure city in a small low density state in to a national conversation on abortion views in the democratic party. A mayoral race in Omaha, Nebraska. Really? That's the race Sanders needed to bring up for the whole nation to consider? Is that good politics?

    If I wanted to play devil's advocate I could write a post like your's on a half dozen issues. We need to pull back on climate change for the miners and smoke stack industries. We need to soften our support for gay rights since the religious see homosexuality as a sin. We can't support police reform to push back racism or justice reform of the courts since it antagonizes law and order whites. It seems easy for you to advocate pulling back on democratic support for abortion rights. Is it as easy to pull back on every contentious issue? Or is there just one, like for Sanders, only economic populism can brook no compromise?

    We all have issues that are high priority and issues that have a lesser priority. Abortion rights is one of my high priority issues. Mello voted five times on abortion rights and I disagree with every one of those votes vehemently. I certainly don't know the policy views of the democrat running in every city as large ore larger than Omaha, Nebraska but now that it's become national news I know I'd have real difficulty voting for Heath Mello.

    At some point, it becomes "Why be a Democratic Party member?". I can just stay home. I've been told to let the racists in if I want to win. I've been told don't worry be happy because upper bracket income for blacks is only $100K/ year less than the white guy. Are people listening to themselves?

    Highlights of 2010 LB 594 Mello voted for:

    Requires a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health practitioner, physician assistant, registered nurse, or social worker licensed under the Uniform Credentialing Act to do the following at least 1 hour prior to the performance of an abortion (Sec. 4): -Evaluate the pregnant woman to identify if she had the perception of feeling pressured or coerced into seeking or consenting to an abortion; -Evaluate the pregnant woman to identify the presence of any risk factors associated with abortion; and -Inform the pregnant woman and the physician who is to perform the abortion of the results of the evaluation in writing, including a checklist identifying both the positive and negative results of the evaluation for each risk factor associated with the abortion. -Requires physicians performing abortions to form a "reasonable medical judgment," documented in the permanent record, that (Sec. 4): -The preponderance of statistically validated medical studies demonstrates that the physical, psychological, and familial risks associated with abortion for patients with risk factors similar to the patient's risk factors are negligible risks; -Continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated by induced abortion; or -Continuance of the pregnancy would involve less risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman than if the pregnancy were terminated by an induced abortion. -Defines "risk factor" as any factor, including physical, psychological, emotional, demographic, or situational factor, for which there is a statistical association with 1 or more complications associated with abortion, such that there is less than a 5 percent probability that such statistical association is due to chance (Sec. 3). -Authorizes women to collect damages via a civil action against a physician for the wrongful death of her fetus if, upon proving by a preponderance of evidence, the physician knew or should have known that the pregnant woman's consent to the abortion was either not fully informed or not fully voluntary (Sec. 6). -Authorizes the parent or legal guardian of a minor to collect damages via a civil action against a physician for the wrongful death of the minor's fetus if, upon proving by a preponderance of evidence, the physician knew or should have known that the pregnant minor's consent to the abortion was either not fully informed or not fully voluntary (Sec. 8).

    Particularly like this text in the law:


    . -Defines "risk factor" as any factor, including physical, psychological, emotional, demographic, or situational factor, for which there is a statistical association with 1 or more complications associated with abortion, such that there is less than a 5 percent probability that such statistical association is due to chance 

    I note there is no mention of countervailing health, mental, physical, financial or other risks of proceeding with the pregnancy, no balancing or assessment of the preponderance of risk.  Typical no grey zone authoritarian bullshit of right wingers. No ability to sue Mello if an abortion is denied and the mother suffers irreparable harm.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Ocean-Kat, Rmrd and NCD. Obviously this did not go down well, and I should probably take a step away from topical political commentary and attempts at dialogue for awhile. It's frustrating and unproductive to all involved it seems. Sorry if I offended you. 

    We are just expressing opinions. No hard feelings on my part.

    Obey, may I take a stab at keeping you in the dialog? I think it's an interesting one.

    I perceive a funny double-standard going on here--on both sides. Sanders and other leftists are often accused of being "purists" who would damage the party for the sake of idealism--at least when we're talking about economic/class questions like whether Democrats should accept Wall Street money. But here on abortion, the positions have reversed. Those who insist on an unwavering commitment to choice are criticized for applying a "litmus test" that will damage the party's prospects.

    I suggest that the purity-pragmatism debate is a false controversy too easily bent to suit divergent political positions. The truth is that political parties and movements require purity and pragmatism. Too much purity alienates voters; too much pragmatism reduces a party into an uninspiring mush. We all recognize this on some level; the real difference is where we draw the lines-that-must-not-be-crossed. Sanders would fortify the line against accommodating corporate interests while softening the line against abortion restrictions. Others would do the opposite.

    So ultimately it comes down to priorities. What is the most pressing issue for the party and country at this moment in time? Income inequality? Race? Women's rights? Climate change? Corporate power? I assume that everyone here believes that all these issues are important, but we differ over which principles must be defended at all costs and which may be compromised for pragmatic reasons.

    As an Independent (not to mention as an ex-cafeteria-Catholic) it all sometimes seems very silly to me.

    I think that until the blogosphere was created, people didn't argue about this stuff as if they were actual card-carrying members of a party and therefore had a say in what it did. They might say "I always vote Democratic" or something like that. Now it's like: personal.

    REAL PERSONAL.  the cult of personality around certain factions is just: too much sometimes. As if people don't believe or want certain things, but rather want to follow a person in the party,.

    Do you see people say: I'm a Romney fan tried and true, because only he can save this country? Nope

    Reminds me a bit of all the Kennedy Camelot crap, my mother fell for it hard. But mostly I think this phenomenon started with the DEANIACS and just won't go away. (Except the individual leaders change all the time, the cults fade fast, and the guy or gal is then allowed to be a normal pol again, like with Obamania.)

    Leave you with a quote that can have many meanings:


    ~ Groucho Marx

    Also hits me as strange: someone saying "I don't want to be in this party if those other people are going to be in it." As if either you or that other kind of person is a card carrying member. As: nobody can stop someone you don't like from voting for one of your party members even if you are a card carrying member, makes no sense to say that.

    It only seems strange if you regard political factions and parties purely as vehicles for rational goal-seeking, but of course, there's a tribal element as well. People tend to personally identify with factions and parties the way we once identified with clans. According to that analogy, political leaders stand in for chiefs or warriors, and an insult or injury to the tribal champion represents an attack on the tribe itself. Naturally, undesirables should be excluded from the tribe.

    Of course, rational goal-seeking plays a big part as well but less than we think. We tend to assume that our party identification conforms to ours beliefs, when it's often our beliefs that get molded by our identification. That's why people who join parties gradually absorb the party's credo even if they didn't start off that way. That's why working class voters give their allegiance to the "Joe the Plumber" party even though it doesn't represent their interests. And that's why these fights at dagblog get so personal and factional.

    As an independent, you may look down on such tribal behavior, but that's a bit hypocritical. While some may be less susceptible than others, no one is immune to this tendency. It's written into our genes.

    Nicely put Michael. To some extent a point I was trying to make in some muddled way. Along with the view, my view, that maybe now is the time for a bit more pragmatism than purity from all parties.

    These things should be weighed up in part with the opposing danger in mind. In this case, Trump. It's a pretty classic prisoner's dilemma, with much to be gained by cooperation (say, a majority in Congress that can protect ACA, welfare programs, reproductive rights, civil rights) and much to be lost by defection,eg. Bernie undermining Ossoff and Perez undermining the Nebraska guy, which, if it continues, will lead to the advancement of the GOP agenda against all parties, whether you are an economic leftist, pro-choice, or a social justice advocate.

    What I perceive now is that, not only on the right, but also in the democratic party, there is a deficit of trust. The rationality of the 'cooperation' option in this particular dilemma depends also on what you expect from your fellow 'prisoners'. Economic leftists do see values progressives as out to undermine their agenda, and I've slowly come to see that the converse is also true. The "cooperation" option is less rational when you expect your fellow prisoners to defect. 

    I don't necessarily see it as 'hypocrisy' like you do. It makes eminent sense to protect your wing of the party if, like Rmrd, you see Sanders as a threat to the strength of the party's social justice agenda, or if, like Ocean-Kat, you see him as unserious about reproductive rights. And, yes, I have my suspicions about the seriousness of Perez and company when it comes to reducing corporate influences in the party, no matter how much he holds hands with Sanders. 

    There is a point where the arguments are no longer about polling numbers or the fine print of this or that piece of legislation or public pronouncement or policy platform. It's not something we can settle with a few links. It's about trust. And it's eroded. My frustration isn't with anyone's Wrongness on any issue. That would be alot less frustrating, because then it's a question of argument and information. And there is hope for common ground. Mutual distrust is a vicious circie, where the more forcefully you argue your case, the worse the distrust gets. And beyond that, I realize I'm not well-placed to vouch for Bernie. I haven't looked into his eyes and seen the depths of his soul. What do I know.

    I wish there were more mutual trust, and it's frightening to think what this internal conflit is going to lead to, but this particular fight seems fruitless for me to engage in much further., I don't know that it is an issue I have any particular talent for advancing. I can feel that  someone-is-wrong-on-the-internet trigger-finger sensibility coming on and that is never a good sign. It's not constructive. I'll try to find something else to argue about. 

    Thanks for the thoughtful response, Obey. Hypocrisy may be too strong a word. The point is that it's rhetorically inconsistent to denounce purity while defending litmus tests or vice versa. And that such accusations distract from the real debate, which is not about idealism vs pragmatism but how to prioritize economic equality vs social equality. And yes you're right, the debate would go easier if we acknowledged that everyone here (and Bernie and Hillary) values both economic and social equality and if we recognized that people have genuine heartfelt reasons for leading with one or the other at this time. It's when we get hung up on who has ulterior motives or behaves badly or acts irrationally that the discussion breaks down.

    PS Awesome cartoon. My wife will appreciate it. I'll send it to her right now, I mean, after I finish setting people straight on the internet.

    the debate would go easier if we acknowledged that everyone here (and Bernie and Hillary) values both economic and social equality and if we recognized that people have genuine heartfelt reasons for leading with one or the other at this time.

    Thanks for weighing in and stating the obvious but who in this thread has not acknowledged that?

    This thread began when I disagreed with Hal's comment, "Some Clinton supporters...contend that Bernie's populism masks an antipathy towards racial/sexual/gender justice." To which I replied, " Perhaps some argue Sanders has some antipathy towards social justice issues. I don't believe that.  I think he supports all the social issues democrats support, they just have a low priority for him." It certainly seemed to me that all subsequent comments accepted that we all value both economic and social issues. So how is it that you think this debate went hard when we've already acknowledged what you think we need to to make it go easier?  You're weighing in at the end of this conversation but it doesn't appear to me that you've actually taken the time to follow the conversation.

    I've personally communicated with dagbloggers on both sides who questioned the rationality and ulterior motives of folks on the other side, so no I don't think everyone has acknowledged it. This conversation went fairly well. Others not so much. But we're getting better I think.

    I'm not offended either. We disagreed but no one made any personal attacks or insulted the other posters. Our differences of opinion were discussed and maybe gave us and others food for thought. I'd be happy if you expressed yourself more at dagblog not less since you're capable of debating without getting emotional and descending into personal attacks.

    I believe in "improvement." I believe Democrats will improve our lives on all the issues I care one degree or another. So I pull the D, and that's it.

    It's trickier at the primary level, but then, so much is going to change between the primary and the time someone takes office, how can anyone get THAT worked up about anything someone says in the primary?

    Plus, the country is moving on many of these issues in ways that have little to do with who wins in November. The left pushed inequality as an issue into the mainstream to the point where Republicans felt they couldn't ignore it and had to adopt it to a degree, and Trump won parodying it. No Democrat won.

    The identity and social justice issues are tougher to give ground on because people rightly see these issues having a direct impact on their lives at a basic level. Will I be able to get an abortion? Will I be able to vote? So, it's harder to compromise on these issues than on, say, the minimum wage.

    Nonetheless, the country is compromising on these issues. Abortion is, in fact, a lot harder to get these days in many states. I'm sure some Voter ID laws will hold up.

    At the woman's march post inauguration, I understand there was an interesting argument over which groups got to be sponsors. Apparently, there were some liberal, pro-life feminists groups who wanted to sponsor it, but they were rejected. I think this was a mistake; an interesting dialogue could've ensued that might have moved the issue forward and created a space in the Democratic party for a certain kind of pro life position.

    compromise: a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.

    What are the mutual concessions made, the reciprocal modification of demands that resulted in a compromise on abortion or voter id? I don't see that happening. We're not compromising. Stop pretending we are. We're losing. Battle after battle. The question is how much will we lose? Will we lose totally, stop it at some point before total loss, or begin winning again?

    eta: Here's what could happen if democrats got together with republicans to reach a compromise on voter id. One possibility might be that democrats accept a voter id requirement along with a robust program that makes it easy for people to get an acceptable id. But that's not what's happening. Republicans are not just passing voter id laws they are making it increasingly difficult for minorities  to get an id. They're reducing the number of DMV offices especially in minority areas. What exactly is the compromise in that? That's a loss for the democrats.

    I haven't been here for quite a while, but if you're the person who plays or played trumpet, I seem to remember your saying quite strongly that Democrats would be unable to defeat the common sense notion that one should have an ID to vote. IDs are required in many other situations, why not voting?

    You weren't arguing for Voter IDs, as I'm not here. It was more that Democrats needed to recognize the common sense power of the argument and not try to defeat it head on. So maybe you were thinking about the "robust program" you mention above.

    You can't demand compromise except from a position of strength. If we're just losing, then the other side has no need to compromise. The only time Obama got the Republicans to move was when he held a card they wanted.

    Abortion is a much tougher issue, and I don't have any answers for you. I'd be interested in listening to those liberal, pro-life women's groups that wanted to co-sponsor the march just to see what might be possible based on their views.

    Where we have policy logjams, the side that comes up with a creative breakthrough that cuts through the old lines of debate has a big electoral advantage. You steal the other side's issues, which is like stealing their ammo. On some of these issues, people are tired of slinging the same old pile of mud; a breakthrough would be a relief and thus very attractive.

    Yes, I've written on voter ids before. I'm surprised anyone remembered. Mostly in this post I was responding to your choice of the word compromise to describe what's currently happening.

    The voter id issue is all politics. There's no appreciable voter fraud but you'll never convince enough voters it doesn't exist. By accepting voter id legislation democrats might be able to defuse that issue and push to include a robust program to help people get a voter id. If republicans don't cooperate democrats might be able to turn the issue against them. They might be able to depict republicans as attempting to restrict voter rights instead of fighting voter fraud. I don't think the public that supports voter id wants to restrict voter rights of legal voters. Even if we don't have the votes to force a compromise sometimes if we play the politics well enough we can get enough public support to get republicans to compromise.

    Sometimes it's possible to come up with a creative breakthrough. But I've looked at the abortion issue enough that I doubt a discussion with anti-abortion groups would be fruitful, no matter how liberal or feminist they might be on other issues. Their end goal is to ban all abortions and any compromise they might make would be like a treaty the US made with the American Indians. Only valid until they have the power to take more ground.

    What often happens is the Republicans trick us (or we trick ourselves) into pushing the most outrageous life issue to the fore, so in 2004 they were able to rally the troops over gay marriage and in 2016 North Carolina it was transgender bathrooms. We never accept these issues as a challenge, adapting to a new worldviews - instead it's an obvious right that has to be met right now and to be against is to be a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. So Kerry loses and Hillary loses, but we push that social agenda forward a little bit. They of course try it on abortion with faked planned parenthood videos, but the "gays are raping our young boys" or some racial freakout always get more mileage for them.

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