The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Michael Maiello's picture

    It's Very Important That Democrats Not Overreach




    But, what if I'm tired of being the good guy? Why can't I be an asshole too? I mean, everybody else is doing it so why can't we? And other assorted rock album titles.

    Finally, the House Democrats can get to the bottom of Benghazi!

    I'll take Ben Gazzara instead.

    Flower, there are important discussions evolving here.

    However, I hereby render unto Flower the Dayly Line of the Day Award for this here Dagblog Site, given from all of me to all of her.


    Yeah, pretty goooooooooood.

    Why, thank you Mr. Day! That brightens up my evening!

    You joke, but I was just looking at the U.S. maps on the home page of the NYTimes, toggling back and forth on the tabs between House, Senate and Governors. And dang if the one showing House results isn't the reddest map of all. Red, red, red everywhere except for tiny pockets of blue in scattered urban areas. The other two maps have way more blue color.. My simplistic gut "dumb brunette analysis" from that: the only people that like a strong federal government are truly truly clustered in the geographically-tiny urban centers. (Yes, if you went by population they are the majority, but still, that map of the U.S. is shockingly red.) That maybe many of those outside those little blue areas prefer to keep Dems away from federal power because they tend to overreach with the federal programs and bureaucracy and also give preference to the small urban pocket areas. Many are quite open to having them in charge of state and local government because in those positions they can't tell everyone in the country what to do along the lines of one size fits all and can more easily be held accountable. How weird that that synchs with giving Dems a bare majority in the House so that Trump's federal overreach can be checked? All depend on what your definition of weird is....

    Edit to add: one thing for sure: we finally had a mid term election with high turnout. Whatever the picture is, it is a much truer picture of the country than we have had in quite some time.

    Yeah, that's the reality of it.  A bunch of people have clustered in and around cities while a bunch of other people have specifically chosen to live in places where they will be left alone...

    Struck me reading first thing this morning: the reality that won't synch with that eventually: you can't both live with modern conveniences of any kind and be left alone. It's a delusion. In actuality we will need bigger more centralized government to protect us to able to be left alone. You will need a big brother to keep the other big brothers away.

    Edit to add: and then there's even dangerous little brothers with drones! wink

    The red map probably reflects a high degree of gerrymandering. There are more people in urban areas. Democrats win more statewide votes but fail to gain seats in local legislatures. Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado have proposals to change the impact of gerrymandering.

    The process won’t begin until 2020, so the impact won’t be felt until 2021.


    I know gerrymandering is a major problem I think it's safe to say have posted on it and drawn more attention to it than you have here. That said: major apples and oranges in your comment 1) state government districts are not the same as U.S. House districts. 2) you think it's going to work to draw urban districts huge geographically and make rural people drive 200 miles to vote, that's gonna make for a happy all get along country? The true answer is a much longer way down the road; less districting of any kind, more less affected by geography of any kind, more nationwide majority rule, less emphasis on geography. Internet ideological tribalism becomes the new geography. That is why entities like Russia are playing with manipulating it, they see the future.

    Sorry that I ventured into “your” topic.

    From the article

    In Michigan, for example — ostensibly a swing state — Democrats could have matched their exceptional performances in 2006 and 2008 and still failed to flip a single congressional seat, Brennan Center researchers argued before Election Day. Republicans controlled nine out of Michigan’s 14 congressional seats heading into Tuesday. As of early Wednesday morning, Democrats had flipped one seat.

    “In the long run, we’re moving toward a world where Democrats can routinely get a majority of the vote and still not be able to gain meaningful electoral power,” argued David Shor, the head of political data science at Civis Analytics, a Democratic consulting firm.

    If you wouldn't write condescendingly and preachy, as if I didn't know anything about topic, you wouldn't get it back in kind. I don't own any topics here. How about saying something like this in reply: but what about gerrymandering? instead of implying I am ignorant about it.

    My comment was benign.

    Okay, come on.  The only fighting allowed today is between the "wave" and "not a wave" camps of the party.  I fully expect that this division will split us forever into two tribes.

    Lol. I didn’t know I was in a fight. I thought I was just making a point.

    Democrats win statewide majorities and gain no seats in local state houses. Democrats cast more votes nationally. but the Presidency is awarded to the person with fewer votes. States are going to have to address the issue. Nationally, the question of whether the Electoral College, a process put into place because of slavery, should continue.

    Every sensible person I know hates the electoral college but we've built a system that's stuck us with it.

    On one hand, the founders were good at coming up with stuff an enduring system, but I wish they had a little more confidence that subsequent generations might be smarter than they were...

    Norm Ornstein, the only liberal at AEI, has noted by 2040 70% of our population will reside in 15 states.

    The simple math is, then 30% of the population will live in 35 states, and they will elect 70 senators. And they are mostly white, low or uneducated Fox News watching rurals.....

    When the Constitution was written, the population difference smallest state to largest was only 8, now it's around 60. By Wyoming standards, California should have 60 Senators.

    Add to that democratic imbalance,  the adoration of the small state Fox news indoctrinated white rural herrenvolk for the neon glowing flim flam man, and it is shocking to say the least. The constitutional deck is stacked against a sane, effective federal government that can face facts, tell the truth, get elected and meet the challenges and issues of this century.

    I honestly believe Obamacare will be the last great progressive legislation at the federal level for a very long time.

    From Josh:

    "Millions more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton to be President two years ago than Donald Trump. The total vote for the House will likely be an aggregate total as large or larger than any wave election in the last 30 years. And yet they’ll end up with a relatively modest majority. These facts are deeply embedded in geography and constitutional structure. They will very hard to change. But a critical task of Democrats going forward will be to delegitimize an electoral system that consistently produces such results."

    "Delegitimize"? you'd have to change the system, and the GOP won't allow it.

    Republicans and their Base do not care if their power or election (see GWB, SCOTUS, 2000) is won legitimately or illegitimacy.

    "the Senate that placed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court — the 49 senators in the Democratic “minority” represent almost 40 million more people than the Republican “majority.”


    When disasters happen in Trump country, people rush to help. When NYC was hit by a hurricane, Republicans wanted to find ways to cut social programs before they wanted to deliver aid

    It's a bit misleading - nothing too rural about Dallas-Ft Worth, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Charleston, Phoenix, Boise, Nashville, Tampa, Indianapolis, Salt Lake, Oklahoma City, along with smaller cities like Shreveport, Tucson, Little Rock, Tallahassee, Raleigh, Springfield, Chattanooga, Biloxi, Cheyenne, Abilene... this image of homesteading Republicans, cowboys on the ranch or good ol'boys in nature is a joke - unless nature includes a pub or a football game.

    Despite what you say, overall: #1 point @ WaPo's Daily 202 10 midterm takeaways

    THE BIG IDEA: The 2018 midterm elections were a referendum on Donald Trump. Two-thirds of voters said the president was a factor in how they voted, according to network exit polls. That allowed Democrats to win control of the House, and Republicans to expand their majority in the Senate. Here are 10 takeaways from the results:

    1. Backlash to Trump materialized in the suburbs.

    Nancy Pelosi looks poised to get her speaker’s gavel back after eight years as minority leader, and it’s thanks to college-educated suburban women. . From Denver to Dallas and Detroit, the Democratic path ran through the suburbs. Republican incumbents went down in the ‘burbs outside Chicago (Peter Roskam), Minneapolis (Erik Paulsen), St. Paul (Jason Lewis), Houston (John Culberson) and even, unexpectedly, Oklahoma City (Steve Russell). [....]

    The border of urban/rural is where the swings are.

    I know I am a harpie on this, but Independent registration keeps rising. It's a liberal/swing/conservative divide we've got, and not Dem vs. Republican, and it's going to stay for the forseeable future until people get more used to globalization. Libertarian memes affect everything. Dems in Congress need to somehow lose the big Federal government/nanny state branding and present themselves more like a lot of Dem governors do. Lots of you like to say Dems should fight back more. I don't see that as answer. To voters who aren't true blue Dems, "freedom" is the issue, and fighting against more federal government is often much more okay with them than fighting for more federal government. Therefore, there's no way around having to be as moderate about policy and bipartisan approach as Obama and Hillary (both got majority). Dems by their very nature of their goals have to be much less aggressive than those viciously fighting for less federal government.

    Uneducated people in suburbs, right?

    Not sure if it is the same for other states but here in Georgia there are rarely any Democrats to vote for outside of top state offices and in urban areas. Even though the entire state legislature, Senate and House, is up for reelection every two years the Democratic Party rarely fields a candidate outside metro areas. There were more Democratic challengers this year but still in far too many Districts, Republicans (usually incumbents) ran unopposed. It's even worse at regional and local levels. Most of those elections are effectively decided at primaries in March. All this is the result of the national Democratic Party's choice ~1984 to bet its future on urban voters. So far, it has not worked out very well for them.




    again, thanks for valuable input, espec. when it's this local stuff that is this nuance often left out of national media analysis

    After thinking on it for a few minutes, I think "people with pride of place" is a very useful stereotype to think about politically. Along the lines of Michael's comment upthread but going much further

    Yeah, that's the reality of it.  A bunch of people have clustered in and around cities while a bunch of other people have specifically chosen to live in places where they will be left alone...

    by Michael Maiello on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 10:59am

     There are not just the traditional rural loner types of "fewer nosy neighbors" and "less gummint the better" but the types that refuse to leave a dying small town and resent others for doing that. (The syndrome also pointed out in that recent NYTimes article about East Germany.)  They refuse to confront the death and the ruts to nowhere. And expect the help to come to them to put it back the way it was.

    And then there are us "progressive" types who get on the Greyhound bus to go where the action is now. Who always strived to get away from our parents' lives since the day we realized it might be possible. (Just like great-grandpa did when he saved up for that boat trip to America to get away from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and all it meant, including the class system.)

    It's the two main American types?

    It's not just those not visualizing ever leaving Dying town, Ohio.  And those expecting FoxConn to come to them in Wisconsin rather than moving to LA or wherever. It's also the young men of the inner city of Chicago or Ferguson who cannot even visualize getting on a Greyhound bus to go for one of those jobs in North Dakota. Too frightening to leave the comfort of home and tribe, would rather not have to learn new different street smarts? Everyone who lives in NYC for a while knows born and bred white lower & middle class New Yorkers just like that, would rather brave whatever NYC is than anywhere else, because they don't want to learn new street smarts.

    "Pride of place" = "interlopers"?
    Careful about memes - they could just be marketing.

    PP, I was taken with the meme because it explains populist tendencies, not because it explains whether that type will vote Republican or Democrat. The figures don't surprise me at all. Actually, it surprises me that the "born in Texas" vote for Beto wasn't higher. Cruz has become the ultimate DC swamp insider, willing to pander to the current heads of this party past the point of humiliating himself. Beto clearly ran the type of campaign to appeal to "pride of place", as the Cruz counter-talking-points clearly showed. Cruz ops showed Beto was dangerous to Cruz on that front by counter attacking precisely that meme, trying to brand him as carpetbagger coming in with Hollywood money and Hollywood cuisine. You figures showed that didn't work very well, confirming my impression that Cruz is the one who is coming across as a foreigner now. I can't see how anyone could see him as a tried and true Texan, actually.

    Edit to add: but if you don't like it, here's the classic alternative explanation, hah:


    The South won't start to vote for Democrats because of nonwhite/Hispanic voting. It will start to vote for Democrats if the Southern suburbs start to vote like Northern suburbs.

    — Sean T at RCP (@SeanTrende) November 8, 2018


    Myself, I think that may not ever happen in Texas. I don't think it has ever thought exactly like the rest of the South, either. It acts like it's own country, has extremely strong "pride of place," maybe the strongest pride of place of all he states, like night and day between it and like, Alabama, Arkansas or Mississippi. Just because they've voted the same recently doesn't mean they are or ever were the same, at all.

    What I do see here is the real problem of a two-party system.This state is so strong it hasn't really fit in with either party ever. To Texans, LBJ and Ann Richards were tough Texans, not  lily livered libruls


    here's another outside-the-usual-partisan box interesting twitter thread by libertarian economist, adviser to Sen. Lee of Utah, includes argument that white anxiety is misread and that the wealth difference between black and white needs to be fixed for the whole system to work. Sums up that his is not all a wildly helpful perspective, I know. But sometimes the correct narrative isn't politically convenient. I think he means not helpful to classic GOP memes.

    Cavaet: Michael's not gonna like it because at one point he refers to agreeing with a David Brooks op-ed.cheeky

    and ta-da, just saw, always glad to see ol' Ed thinking along same lines:

    I thought everyone realized Texas is the Southwest, that they do ranching mire than farming, that they wear cowboy hats because they have longhorns, not dairy cattle, and they deal with water issues that define much of the land west of the Mississippi (plus big, flat, dry).

    Plus they have a shorter history, stole their land as ungrateful settlers, lived by the gun of the uncontrolled cavalry (read Corman McCarthy's Blood Meridian for an unflattering portrayal of the Mexican Wars), and are much less defined by genteel cotton plantations / slaveowners butting up against Louisiana/Arkansas than the Hispanic cum Conquistador culture of the West.

    That maybe many of those outside those little blue areas prefer to keep Dems away from federal power because they tend to overreach with the federal programs and bureaucracy and also give preference to the small urban pocket areas. 

    Late to this. AA, that's a very simplistic and, dare I say, Republican reading of what's happening. There is no inherent incompatibility between rural interests and federal power. Most of those now-red rural areas were quite enthusiastic about federal programs for most of the 20th century. The overbearing government you describe is a deliberate caricature crafted by conservatives to convince white, rural Christians that federal power threatens their traditions and livelihoods. In particular, the caricature is designed to transmit the idea that the federal government only cares about African-Americans, immigrants, LGBQ, etc.

    on the Parkland "kids"...I was thinking about them last night so I was glad to run across this on my feed, retweeted by someone I follow:

    So, here are the election results from the county I live in:

    Rural. Very rural.  There is a little pocket of militia in the upper middle of the county. There's prolly some of them on their way to hep the Army down on the Mexican border. Population is mostly white, old. not well educated, and it seems like everyone fought in one damn war or another and I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't a few Civil War widows hanging on just for spite. Everyone shoots. Don't expect the younger generation to go against the conservative gene and become progressive. It's bone deep here. Likewise, a high school diploma is a big fricking deal. They all say they're going to attend college but most do not and those that do tend to drop out and just go work at the wal mart. But, only if they stay.  Most move away.  To an urban area. 

    So, yeah, my county is typical of who ends up in the cities that are turning red.


    That's an amazingly depressing observation.  Anybody born there with the kind of temperament to want to change things... leaves.

    Yes, they leave one way or another.

    Amazingly depressing indeed.

    weird, Michael, as you are summing up nearly exactly the scenario described in this 11/5 NYT article One Legacy of Merkel? East German Men Voting for the Far Right (I had plopped it on my thread about most violent extremists being male, but actually it might be more appropriate here. It really grabbed me for some reason.The reporter doesn't really focus on the physically violent of the main memes is that Merkel is a target of anger because she's one of those that left them and left them behind, like many other East German women...)

    Apparently Bret Stephens read your blog and thought he too should write his blog because this election was super bad for democrats, I like your blog better tho’.

    Good news seems to keep dribbling in. How'd things go w your efforts? Been a long 2 years, I presume.

    I read that this morning!  If he weren't Bret Stephens, I'd have thought he'd meant to file that column to another timeline and had a problem with the TARDIS.

    Where there is no need to talk about overreach anymore, from Cook Political Report U.S. House editor:

    "Reagan Dem" central is lost! "Breaking" tweets explaining why here and here and here

    another summary tweet:

    Once CA results are finalized & Maine ranked-choice vote is calculated, this could easily end up being a *39* seat Dem gain in the House. If provisionals erase an 890 vote R margin in #GA07, could even hit +40, but unlikely.

    — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 10, 2018

    Will $ean Hannity give the losing Republicans jobs on his show? 

    I'm waiting to see if  Crazy Dana  gets an offer from Fox or will have to settle for RT..

    A reminder: they can overreach all they want as long as it's about health care. All the other stuff everyone is yammering about is more iffy:

    Latest Comments