A Path to the Maryland Governor's Mansion for Ben Jealous

    Former NAACP President Ben Jealous has indicated that he will compete for Maryland's Democratic gubernatorial nomination and the right to square off against Larry Hogan in next year's general election. Mr. Jealous faces a daunting task. In order to take on the "deeply popular" Republican, he'll have to beat a slate of other Democrats while likely facing staunch opposition from Maryland's Democratic Party. 

    Read the rest of my op-ed here. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-governor-jealous-201...


    Congrats, on the op-ed, Hal, and thanks for letting us know about Jealous's candidacy. I suspect that we'll see a number of Sanders-like populists in the 2018 primaries. The real test will be whether any of them can pick up seats in Republican districts.

    Thanks Mike.  The Democrats I believe will continue to struggle mightily.  The loss in Kansas stings a little.  There are races coming up in GA and MT.  If we can win one, it would suggest real change could be in the offing.  Until/unless the Democratic Party remakes itself as a truly progressive populist party though, I will be pessimistic.  Indeed, the signs from Ben Jealous aren't auspicious.  He recently consulted with and, if he runs, will likely retain a Maryland politico with deep ties to the Democratic establishment here.  https://marylandmattersblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/jealous-guy-seasone...

    Sad :-(

    #2 story on Politico.com right now: Dems to unveil populist agenda showing Sanders' sway

    I'd read that article - did you find it said something besides a promising headline?

    It at least showed they are planning somethin' along the lines of what Hal would like to see, we just don't know what yet. Also that they are thinking of doing it strategically, as in: when Trump loses the faith of more of his base due to things they know he's going to be doing. That's not an unreal expectation given the reaction to the Health Care bill. Come to think of it, that may be why just recently Trump reversed on the latter, said that he wants to address health care before tax reform, because he knows he is going to be dissing his base on other stuff he's got to throw them one promise fulfilled?

    I found it disappointing - vague and contradictory, with folks saying we don't have a message but we don't need one? 5 months after the defeat, we lose a contest in Kansas without even putting national money & resources into it because why? we're busy coming up with some vague Bernie-inspired paean to the public but we ain't got there yet? I'd rather see us take Bernie's platform lock-stock and barrel rather than this deer-in-the-headlights inaction, and you likely know the irony in that. Like what's the difference between now and the last election cycle when they didn't seem to do fuckall, kind of letting a bag full of candidates roast on a spit or hang from trees? I hope the Undivided coalition is doing a better job at moving forward in concrete ways. Perhaps we should rebrand DCCC/DNC with the big marquee letters URGENT so they know what's expected when they go to work each day.

    I'd pay more attention to what Schumer says than some unnamed congressperson, but I agree with you that the article is vague. There's nothing specific about the message, just the promise of a message. The test will be whether they fulfill the promise.

    I'm with you on this PP.

    Thomas B. Edsall did an op-ed on topic for today's NYT: Reaching Out to the Voters the Left Left Behind

    Haven't read it yet....lotsa graphs....lotsa links...

    New Republic on the GOP base, Dems might have better luck with turnout than getting this crowd to turn Dem, free college isn't gonna work with them:

    As Trump continued gaining ground in the polls, Evangelical Pastor Moore began to realize that the campaign represented nothing short of a battle for the soul of the Christian right. By backing Trump, white evangelicals were playing into the hands of a new, alt-right version of Christianity—a sprawling coalition of white nationalists, old-school Confederates, neo-Nazis, Islamophobes, and social-media propagandists who viewed the religious right, first and foremost, as a vehicle for white supremacy. The election, Moore warned in a New York Times op-ed last May, “has cast light on the darkness of pent-up nativism and bigotry all over the country.” ...Evangelicals have traded Ronald Reagan’s gospel-inspired depiction of America as a “shining city on a hill” for Trump’s dark vision of “American carnage.” And in doing so, they have returned the religious right to its own origins—as a movement founded to maintain the South’s segregationist “way of life.”....“The overwhelming support for Trump heralds the religious right coming full circle to embrace its roots in racism,” says Randall Balmer, a historian of American religion at Dartmouth College. 

    Sounds deplor.. bad.

    Can we put this logical fallacy to sleep already, NCD? We long ago agreed that many Trump voters will never vote Democrat. It does not follow from this that all Trump voters will never vote Democrat. If even 5 percent of Trump supporters switched sides, it would mean a Democratic landslide. So unless you have evidence to demonstrate that 95+ percent of Trump voters are unredeemable racists and religious fanatics who will never change their minds, you have no argument.

    It's not a logical fallacy to recognize why a large segment of Trump voters vote against their interests. The New Republic piece describes it well, with commentary from a progressive evangelical leader who recognized what Trump was doing last summer.

    Of course it's not all of them. For those who progressives do not win over, let's admit the probability it may not be the "Democratic Party Organization" that is to blame, a favorite excuse bandied about here. 

    Increasing voter turnout is critical for Democrats, and yes, a 5% switch to Dems would be huge. 

    Yeah I get it. In 2010, I wrote a book about how Republicans used racism and religion to recruit these folks. It is important to understand this, but it must not become an excuse for writing off voter outreach. Of course turnout is important, but it only goes so far, and it's more useful as a short-term election tactic than a long term political strategy.

    Now we can argue about how best to reach out to people who voted for Trump. Maybe Sanders' ideas aren't the answer. But in you comment, you seem to imply that growing the party by reaching out to Trump voters is a waste of time. That's not only false, it's self-fulfilling and self-destructive fatalism.

    There's a difference between Trump's base and Trump voters. I think most of us know that and the confusion comes from sloppy writing. We should take care to differential between Trump's hard core base that cannot be reached by democrats and the voters who may not have liked Trump and just voted for the republican or just voted against Hillary or who got fooled and are open to realizing it. It's good to point out when people over generalize Trump's supporters, necessary to make changes to reach the moderate republicans, but it's also important to not makes changes to reach the unreachable.

    Sure, with the caveat that there's a lot of fuzziness built into these categories. It may be more helpful to focus on who is reachable, rather than who is not. I've been thinking about the people who voted for both Obama and Trump. These guys are so completely different--ideologically, temperamentally, demographically--it's hard to imagine how you could vote for both. But one thing they have in common is that both presented themselves as change agents. The hunger for change, which is also corroborated by opinions polls, seems to be spreading across the industrialized world. It has found outlet in xenophobic demagogues from the U.S. to France to Hungary, but it's also driving a left-wing resurgence, a la Sanders, Corbyn, Tsipras. If the Democrats offer voters a compelling story about changing the status quo, they can reach people casting about for an agent of change who unfortunately landed on Donald Trump (and who will be disappointed by him). 

    There is another reason people voted for Trump and they knew he would be terrible. They did it to force change in the Democrat Party. 

    The Democrat Party

    "The Democrat Party?"  Really?  I guess those same people who voted for trump in order to force change in the Democratic Party, are the same ones who use the word "Democrat" incorrectly, as an adjective just to show disrespect.  In other words, people who are not Democrats, and who put their ideology over country; over the environment; over the elderly; over all the people who will lose benefits; over world peace; over women's, and all other civil rights; and over everything else that anyone realizes is good.

    The harm they did is unforgivable.

    Funny how the propaganda terms all get recycled, left or right. Does Trump rail against "neoliberals" as well?

    Forcing change may not be so easy with Supreme Court justices put on the court at age 49, or in the case of Clarence Thomas, 43.

    The Susan Sarandon (bat) wing of the party is so good at leading the party (into a ditch), she should run for office herself. She's great at insight ("Hillary could have health issues"), predictions ("There's going to be [an indictment]. I mean, it's inevitable"),  the truth ("Bernie Sanders accepts Pope Francis' invitation to travel to the Vatican") and threat analysis ("I believe in a way she is more dangerous...I think we’ll be in Iran in two seconds....But this is what we’re fed -  ‘[Trump's] so dangerous. He’s so dangerous,'” Sarandon said, shrugging off Trump’s most controversial rhetoric as too implausible to be considered a serious threat. “Seriously I am not worried about a wall being built, he is not going to get rid of every Muslim in this country… but seriously, I don’t know what his policy is. I do know what her policies are, I do know who she is taking money from, and I do know that she is no transparent, and I do know that nobody calls her on it”. Damn that Hillary, she's *still* covering up her Parkinson's.

    Amazing slogan, "vote Republican - they're not as bad as the Democrat" - if anything points to the "Democrat" party as being too stupid to drive/survive, this would be it. Fortunately it seems to be the Independents doing the backseat driving without a map that are responsible for most of the idiocy.

    . I've been thinking about the people who voted for both Obama and Trump. These guys are so completely different--ideologically, temperamentally, demographically -- it's hard to imagine how you could vote for both.

    I agree.  Here in Virginia we have a Democrat who admits to voting for George Bush.  TWICE!  Fortunately, we have another choice.  Tom Periello, who is a really good guy and very progressive.  He was a political novice when he ran for and won, one term in the House.  He got some very good assignments through Obama's State Department and he is like a new man.  He is everywhere, and is now a little ahead of Ralph Northum.

    The other good news?  They both are beating the Reps in current polling.  There are 3.  One is a complete idiot, another is a bad speaker, and the third is a better politician, but he is running on all the GOP things that the tide has shifted on, including health care.  Now if the legislature could go Dem, we could (Maybe) even get Medicaid expansion here.


    I agree with your preferred candidate in the Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial primary CVille.  From what I've read Tom Perriello is the right, er left, choice!

    tom periello 'a good guy and very progressive'?  i guess it's in the eye of a partisan.  just another in the long list of 'good dems' who don't blink at f'ing over africans for resources and neo-coloniasim.

    Yes, I think he is very progressive.  I read the article and I still thin so.  Being allied with the US is likely what will save Burundi from the fate of Rwanda.  I also disagree that the US was acting as an imperialist power, based on what this article cited.  Trading with the US is not the same as being taken advantage of.  

    But if you think he isn't progressive enough I guess you could try to persuade a bunch of people to vote for the republican, who wants to wreck health care, including continuing to prevent Medicaid expansion, lower taxes for the wealthy instead of funding infrastructure, dropping support for education (both el-hi and college), and on and on and on....

    Go ahead!  Knock yourself out!

    It's also important to note that there are Trump voters who voted for Obama and other Democrats but have seen their standard of living decline as a result of neo-liberal policies supported by leaders in both parties.  Such voters can be reached by Democratic politicians who espouse truly pro-poor and pro-worker, as opposed to pro-corporate, policies. 

    There's a real danger, however, that centrists Democrats will successfully misrepresent Hillary's loss as a repudiation of progressive politics - "she was the most progressive Democrat ever" - so as to cajole the party even further to the right on economic matters or, at a minimum, prevent populists from taking the party back.

    Hal, I have read many, many explanations for why Hillary lost, but I've yet to see any Democrat argue that she lost because she was too progressive.

    Mike - from a Feb 22 Third Way article by Lanae Erickson, who worked for President Obama and pushed for same-sex marriage and other "progressive policies," and Jim Kessler, a former Chuck Schumer staffer:

    Last year, in hopes of energizing the so-called “emerging majority” which would deliver inevitable Democratic victory, Democrats approved what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–VT) rightfully called “the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”26 The assumption of the loud proponents of demography-is-destiny was that an ideologically-pure, liberal set of values and policies was what Democratic voters wanted, and what would appeal to the ascendant Rising American Electorate. What they didn’t realize was that neither the country, nor the growing demographic groups they so doggedly targeted, describe themselves as liberal.

    Yeah, you need better examples. Thirdway.org is not exactly a Democratic powerhouse, and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky was a member of President Obama's third Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships--not exactly inner circle stuff. Hillary's progressivism is not even the main point of the article.

    Ftr, I agree with their indictment of the demographics = destiny theory, but their point about progressivism is out of place here and inconsistent with their argument that voting behavior is not static.

    I wrote: "There's a real danger, however, that centrists Democrats will successfully misrepresent Hillary's loss as a repudiation of progressive politics - 'she was the most progressive Democrat ever' - so as to cajole the party even further to the right on economic matters or, at a minimum, prevent populists from taking the party back." 

    As you point out, Third Way is not in any way progressive.  But I did not write that left-of-center democrats would argue that Hillary was too progressive.  I argued that centrists, like Hatalsky and Kessler, would.  Likewise, the fact that neither Hatalsky nor, I suppose, Kessler were in Clinton's inner circle is irrelevant to my point.

    I'm just saying that it's not a real danger at this point--a false threat. There is no evidence of Democratic leaders "cajoling" the party to move right. The folks at thirdway.org are marginal players.

    Okay.  Thanks for taking the time to read closely what I wrote and for commenting.  It is much appreciated.

    Very good points by all. Dems may only get appreciation for what they did for rural areas and elsewhere after 2008 crash when the GOP base once again are shafted by the GOP as the Grand Old Plutocrats cut or attempt to cut safety net federal programs to pay for tax cuts on the rich. Trump Budget Director Mulvaney:

    Bad spending, to me, in terms of its economic benefit, would be wealth-transfer payments. It’s a misallocation of resources. Infrastructure is sort of that good spending in the middle, where even if you do misallocate resources a little bit, you still have something to show for it. It’s tangible, it may help economic growth, and so forth. At the other end of the spectrum, at the very other end, is letting people keep more of their money, which — while it can contribute to the deficit in a large fashion — is the most efficient way to actually allocate resources. It’s a little less important to me if infrastructure adds to the deficit. And I’m really not interested in how tax reform handles the deficit.”

    Getting back to Ben Jealous...

    He'd be better off if he kept it simple and promised the voters
    lower prices on crab cakes, beer, pit-beef and Berger cookies.

    Now that's populism...


    Saw Jealous at the local rally for Sanders. The good news is that he doesn't have the taint of Martin O'Malley. A few days after the second anniversary it is worth remembering that  a lot of people laid the death of Freddie Gray at the feet of O'Malley's get tough policing tactics.

    The bad news is that the sort of technocratic firms that donate to establishment Dems are very entrenched in MD cities. NIH types near DC, and Hopkins types near Bmore. 

    More bad news is that Larry Hogan isn't that unpopular.

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