Picking sides in the future

I was reading about populists and the Democratic Party in The Washington Post and growing annoyed because we’re meandering around populism and liberalism and mixing up what I think are regional differences in one big stew of stern warnings not to go too far Left.

Like this:

But Stern cautioned that the bigger test of who holds power inside the party is proving those ideas can attract voters beyond staunchly liberal states or cities.
“It is fair to say that more liberal places find politicians first who are more willing to step out on these issues,” he said. “But it is not a shift until it’s seen to work in Minnesota or Wisconsin or New Mexico or Arizona.”

Sherrod Brown is quoted in the piece and I think he nails the whole liberal populist definition in one paragraph. They should have just led with this:

“Fundamentally, there’s two things that elections and governing are all about — the future and whose side are you on,” he said. “Democrats win elections and govern well when we keep that front and center. . . . It’s always important to put some new face on this, and it matters how you dress it up, but fundamentally it’s the historic difference between the parties.”

In Brown’s formulation there are two parts to being a Democrat- “the future” and “whose side are you on”. He has both of those components- he’s a progressive and he’s an economic populist and he wins in a 50/50 state. Not by a lot, but no one wins in Ohio by a lot. He’s a liberal populist.

Here’s a politician in Kentucky who is focusing mostly on the second part of Brown’s recipe, “whose side are you on”. She isn’t in a 50/50 state and if she wins no one will ever mistake her for a “liberal firebrand” but this is classic populism:

For now, Ms. Grimes benefits from not being Mr. McConnell. She is pitching herself to the conservative Kentucky electorate as a pro-coal, pro-labor Democrat and portrays the leader as a symbol of an out-of-touch Washington. “If the doctors told Senator McConnell he had a kidney stone,” she likes to say, “he would refuse to pass it.”
On a frigid February afternoon, hundreds of cheering union members and party activists turned out to hear Ms. Grimes. She cast herself as an advocate for women and the middle class, called for raising the minimum wage and issued a spirited defense of collective bargaining rights.
But it was her repeated assault on the senator as a man who “doesn’t get it” that really fired up the crowd.

She’s for working people (men and women) while Mitch McConnell is a wealthy, corrupt, out of touch DC pol who doesn’t get it. In so many words. If I may paraphrase. To use Brown’s definition again, she’s mostly “whose side are you on” with just a little nod to “the future.” It’s possible to put together different combinations of those two elements and win in Ohio and maybe even Kentucky. In fact, I don’t know how Democrats stand a chance in some of these places without economic populism. As far as I can tell, it’s the only reason Brown is competitive in the more conservative areas of this state. We probably don’t need populism to win in Massachusetts and New York, but we absolutely do need it to win in Ohio and Kentucky.

197 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    What’s the deal with Andrew Stern? I’m seeing his name a lot these days, often taking a stand you don’t normally associate with a union guy.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    The end of the article.

    One thing Democrats seem to agree on is this: If Clinton decides not to run, there will be chaos inside the party.

    The whole article was really just another “Dems in Disarray” piece from the Village. Yawn.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    And Brian Schweitzer needs to shut his pie hole.

  4. 4
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t know why they think she’s not running. I think Bill Clinton will be all but kicking off her campaign when he goes to Kentucky for Grimes.

  5. 5
    RaflW says:

    FYWP – comment appears to be in booboo land.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The dangers of populism are not that it will go too far to the left economically, but rather the potential for anti-intellectualism and intolerance of minority rights that sometimes go hand in hand with populism. The late 19th century populists weren’t the most socially advanced folks.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Good point. American populism has traditionally been associated with racism, extreme religiosity, or both.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Right, I agree. I think that is a danger, but that isn’t the danger business-friendly Democrats are identifying. In fact, they’re going in the other direction, to the old standby, “liberal elites on the coasts”.

  9. 9
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Baud: Schweitzer is the Next Howard Dean, and perfectly positioned to be the not-Hillary.

    A governor from a vy. white Northern state with a tiny population, who isn’t as liberal as his champions think he is.
    A perfect blank slate for the netroots to project all their hopes and fears onto this go-round.

  10. 10
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Schweitzer isn’t going to win a damn thing attacking President Obama.

  11. 11
    the Conster says:

    Can Sherrod Brown be talked into running? I really don’t want to vote for Hillary.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    aimai says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, I think this is a very important point. How can Kay, or anyone, talk about “populism” in the American context and not talk about racism, sexism, and anti-immigrant policies. From the anti Irish, chinese exclusion acts, etc..etc..etc… American populism especially in the west and south but of course also in the North East, are soaking in a “which side are you on, boys” which is always racist and anti immigrant, especially where those two things are conflated.

  14. 14
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @aimai: It’s in danger of finding its mirror image in an “Inequality? What inequality? We’re perfect on the social issues!” wing of the party…

    Coaliton politics ain’t beanbag.

  15. 15
    JGabriel says:

    “If the doctors told Senator McConnell he had a kidney stone,” [Grimes] likes to say, “he would refuse to pass it.”

    To be fair – only if the doctor was a Democrat.

  16. 16
    ralphb says:

    Brian Schweitzer doesn’t sound like he’s running for the Democratic nomination, more like the Sirota primaries.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @aimai:

    “Populism” has become shorthand for economic populism. Like when people say that the Democratic Party used to be more “liberal,” what they mean is that the Party used to be more “economically liberal.” Democrats have never been more socially liberal than they are now.

  18. 18
    dww44 says:

    Kay, I so enjoy your posts. The best thing about them, in my opinion, is that they aren’t just almost always on the money, but they are so real and measured. You never demean those with whom you disagree. Your comments in blogs are much appreciated, as well.

    Last night I was watching Chris Hayes on MSNBC and he had an Ohio AA Democratic senator or rep on talking about the voting rights law that just passed in the legislature and that Kasich has already signed into law. I thought to myself, can’t wait for Kay to post on this and if there’s any chance at all to mount a successful legal challenge/pushback to this further erosion of access to the voting booth in Ohio.

  19. 19
    Violet says:

    @Baud:

    Good point. American populism has traditionally been associated with racism, extreme religiosity, or both.

    Looks like the Tea Party has that locked down.

  20. 20
    RepubAnon says:

    This sounds like a press release from another Democratic Party political consultant with a losing track record getting ready to lose another election. Yes, back in the 1980s there were a bunch of folks in the then-vibrant middle class who voted their racist fears rather than their long-term economic interests. They could afford to – they were making good money.

    Currently, the only populists in the voters faces – are the Tea Party. The Tea Party is still playing to the racist/homophobic fears still alive in the electorate. The big difference between the 1980s and today is that the middle class no longer feels economically secure.

    In short, the conventional wisdom regarding going too far to the left is the political equivalent of France’s decision to build the Maginot Line – an outmoded strategy that ensures defeat due to the many changes over the years. How about a simple message: the Republican Party wants to ship your jobs to Vietnam – ironic, as so many of them were draft dodgers.

  21. 21
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    I’ll bet it’s time to change that.
    Appealing to people’s baser instincts/prejudices gets some fired up but of course it doesn’t look ahead. It isn’t about solving anything, it’s about the appearance of power and conserving it.
    Brown’s – the future and whose side are you on is an idea whose time has arrived. Communication, however lame, has allowed the young(and some not so young) to start to figure out that doing anything else is not in their best interest. As an old I don’t have as much future to look forward to but if I was 20ish? What’s my future? Be all consumed in debt for the rest of my life, work till I die, live in a small crappy box?

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The Howard Dean Story has reached complete incoherence. We need a localized 50 state strategy, but the President must lead it. The 50 state strategy is about running Democrats in every race, but if they win they’re all blue dogs and we need to purge them, immediately, and then elect liberals by getting Howard Dean to run the 50 state strategy. It’s a fable at this point. It has nothing to do with the Power Point and single over-worked organizer that was the reality of the fifty state strategy. I don’t recognize this tale that is told over and over.

  23. 23
    aimai says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I think that is unfair to the net roots (such as they are) because its a really different time and they have grown up a lot.

    Dean was rallying people and giving a voice to something pretty big–he wasn’t liberal on every axis but he was the only person running an anti-war campaign and he had done more on the health care and gay rights front than any other potential candidate who was actually running at the time. What is Schweitzer’s shtick, in comparison? He’s not running against a Republican president or an unpopular war–he’s specifically running a trimmer’s campaign (to the extent he’s running–lets say a trimmer’s, white guy, resentment based “toe in the water” exploratory committee).

    The net roots are, foolishly, crazed for Elizabeth Warren. Not because its crazy to love her–and I do–but its crazy to act like a person who is absolutely 100 percent an organization fighter, a disciplined foot soldier who respects the order of precedence in battle, is going to suddenly throw her hat in the ring to challenge a woman she respects and admires and who she thinks has a good shot at winning the presidency and keeping it in dem hands. EW cares more about gaining a working majority in the Senate, House and Presidency than she does about running the show herself and that is something these morons simply can’t get their head around. Everyone of them would want to be king for a day if he could.

  24. 24
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Actually, Dems aren’t afraid of economic populism in Massachusetts or New York, either. It’s these shitheads running national campaigns who think that thirdwayism will be a successful strategy, like, ever.

    The DLC is part of the reason the Democratic party lost Appalachia. You can point at the racism, but xenophobic outbreaks follow economic devastation like mosquitoes after the rain.

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    Speaking of strange bedfellows, LGM has a post up about unions donating to the US Fracking Chamber of Commerce in support of the Keystone pipeline. My mind is officially blown.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....f-commerce

  26. 26
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kay: I don’t either. I was on the county and town Democratic committees then, and was a Dean delegate to state convention, in ’04. Nothing against the man. But against the myth, lots.

  27. 27
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Right

    @Baud:

    Right populism has always been popular in the US–still is.

    No major party is selling right populism these days–although some FOX shills still preach it. One wonders if right-populist voters ever catch on that they’ve been trussed and offered up for the delectation of Wall Street by “their guy”.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    xenophobic outbreaks follow economic devastation like mosquitoes after the rain.

    This is absolutely true.

  29. 29
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Davis X. Machina: or an R. Paul

    He needs to go away.

    Fortunately, I don’t think D primary voters are as dumb as his backers seem to think they are. He’s no John Edwards.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: It’s odd, but I almost always get nervous about a focus on populism. At the same time, I support the vast majority of the current economic “populist” proposals. I just prefer to think of them as social democratic – which, I suppose, would push buttons for a lot of other people.

  31. 31
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: You’re right–it’s pure GOS fable by those that want a fantasy election outcome and need somebody on their side to blame. The notion that millions of their copatriots are just, let’s face it, assholes, is just too enorme.

    I’m white, and if you’re white, you don’t want to think ill of other white people but… come on. Nobody pointed a gun to 65% of white people or like 95% of white southerners and forced them to defend their white privilege. They did it because Black people aren’t in their circle of empathy–you know, 13% of the population, 3x as many as there are Jews or openly* GLBT people–which, you know, makes them JERKS.

    I get depressed every time I run smack into that, however. Segregation is still a reality in this society and a very evil thing. It is a setup designed to allow ignorant people with power to stay ignorant. Same reason Jews in medieval period were corralled into ghettos.

    *-like, supposedly, number of bi people is way higher than this, but most people who decide to try all the things don’t identify as bi, and that’s cool–plenty of us gay people tried it all and don’t identify as straight or bi either

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I think it’s become a kind of shorthand for “liberals are marginalized” but to me it’s not a very good shorthand because Howard Dean is not really all that liberal.

    Also, honestly? 2006 was a wave year in this state. We had huge corruption at the state level among Republicans. Stealing from workers comp in this state? It was a walk. I don’t know that the fifty state strategy had a thing to do with, particularly as half the state Democratic staffers worked on the 50 state strategy. They move within a circle. It’s not like the “Howard Dean people” went anywhere.
    Our regional person was a Howard Dean Democrat and then a Ted Strickland Democrat and then a Barack Obama Democrat. He seems to be making this transition without a whole lot of angst.

  33. 33
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    True but it’s not 1895. Despite economic similarities the social and political trajectories are way different. As an obvious example: women couldn’t vote in the heyday of the Populist Party.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Our regional person was a Howard Dean Democrat and then a Ted Strickland Democrat and then a Barack Obama Democrat.

    I like to call those types of people “Democrats.”

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    No major party is selling right populism these days–although some FOX shills still preach it.

    I disagree with that. Republicans have a populist line. It’s Mike Huckabee. Tea Party people have a populist variant. I think the difference is they don’t have a populist variant that is secular. It’s always combined with religious conservatism.

    That’s actually the big strength of liberals, in my opinion. They manage populism without veering into social conservatism or backwards, regressive fantasies about how wonderful everything was in 1956. 1956 sucked for a lot of people. Liberals get that part.

  36. 36
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @aimai: Throw down, aimai! I second everything in your last paragraph. There are way too many so-called liberals who are dying for an authoritarian dictator to make their reform wet dreams come true.

    The fact that civil wars are bad for children and other living things, or any other practical concern, is lost on them.

    The people who got mad at Obama in the first few months because he wasn’t the inverse-Bush II dictator they’d been hoping for really made me shake my head.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Well, right, but it’s not like he denounced Howard Dean and all he stands for. Presumably he took away whatever was valuable about the 50 state strategy.

    Obama didn’t conduct some massive purge of Dean Democrats. I see them all the time.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    You should be nervous. Populism has, as far as I can tell, always about how groups need to band together against another group because of some supposed defect. Black, Irish, don’t speak your language, religion, etc. Populism about opportunity for everyone? That really is social democratic ideals in action. I’m just saying that so many people are in the “out” group now that there is an opportunity to actually make something better. Not an easy fight for sure, but one worth fighting. Populism actually being correct for once?

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anoniminous: You don’t think there are a lot of voters who would vote for a “jump, you fuckers!” anti-Wall Street, economically populist party that didn’t worry about promoting liberal social issues? I would bet there are.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Ruckus:

    One of the nice things about the 99% framing by OWS is that you can’t segregate out disfavored groups like that.

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You don’t think there are a lot of voters who would vote for a “jump, you fuckers!” anti-Wall Street, economically populist party that didn’t worry about promoting liberal social issues?

    This is what the Tea Party believed itself to be, back in the Santelli days — or Santelli 5 minutes, to be accurate. So there is a constituency. How big? I don’t know. If it were biggish, I think we’d see the evidence in the primaries. Or in state legislatures. Could there be another Huey Long?

  42. 42
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    Exactly.
    Money has been used as a separator, “Do you want that black man getting your paycheck?” but the grouping was racist, or religious or ancestry. But now money is the grouping. And the young are much more willing to look at money as the only grouping.

  43. 43
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @trollhattan: Nothing is written stating that when you vote for your local officers and your local officers vote for the international officers that they have to be smart, or capable.

    Btw, having the delegates vote for the international officers is probably cheaper than direct elections but it kind of favors “constituent service” (ie, to local officers) and fluffing their egos versus guiding the union in the right direction for rank and file. When rank and file are losing their frigging jobs by the thousands and the officers are like “Brother John is such a nice guy, you know”, you got problems.

    Then again, the Teamsters as I understand it direct-elect their international president and they still elect jerkwads–by hefty margins, even if there are election irregularities going on, and there probably are.

    US labor law is all “heads we win–tails you lose”. Any mistake by leadership of the union is magnified for the workers, and the government won’t do shit about any problems until it’s way, way too late. Individual workers can sue but most in the bottom 40% don’t have the means, the time, or the education to successfully pursue a case against employers. (You need actual evidence, not a litany of grievances you can recall by heart, for one thing.) Or against a union, for that matter.

    US law got rid of most of the IWW’s tactics, which were geared towards the needs of people with little education and limited english skills, and replaced it with a management-friendly AFL/craft union approach that basically doesn’t work for a lot of American workers. Of course, these workers blame their union, but it’s the US Congress that passed those laws which all unions must work under.

    What’s interesting is that the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s, though they came at it a different way, ended up replicating some of IWW’s old tactics by running a community wide campaign–boycotts, rather than general strikes, marches across police barricades, rather than picket lines. And unions that chose to partner with the community can still benefit from these tactics–you know, until they make that illegal too. Look at how TPTB dealt with Occupy.

    Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. Never forget.

  44. 44
    Carol says:

    No one in the MSM or punditry class has the foggiest idea how well leftish populism would play because the democrats abandoned the left 30 years ago and adopted corporations instead. The true populists who have run recently, have won. True, they won in fairly blue districts, but Warren, e.g., won against a conservative incumbent (who probably won because of D Party arrogance).

  45. 45
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I think (= opine) there is a Power Law distribution of economic populists not worried about liberal social issues. Without data it’s impossible to assign numbers, draw the curve, and determine their electoral “value” – so to speak. My experience is those who heavily weight against liberal social issues are not potential Left Democratic voters.

    (And that last little bit of anecdotal evidence is worth everything you paid to read it! :-)

  46. 46
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud:

    What’s the deal with Andrew Stern? I’m seeing his name a lot these days, often taking a stand you don’t normally associate with a union guy.

    He left the SEIU a few years ago for academia but is still pretty close to Obama. To the extent he’s quoted accurately in the article, the framing he uses is … not optimal, I agree.

  47. 47
    Glocksman says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised.
    Keystone will provide 3900 construction jobs, which benefits their members.

    That said, the building trades unions who actually give money to the fucking Chamber of Commerce can die in a fire.
    There are other ways to pressure Obama that don’t involve giving Satan a favorable mention in the House of Commons.

  48. 48
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, populism and demagoguery are semantically very close.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    Close to Obama or not, it seems like he’s been aligning himself with the Harold Ford/Evan Bayh/etc. folks (based on my happenstance review of his recent press statements).

  50. 50
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: I kinda disagree, and think you’re proving my point with Huckabee. He’s a FOX news contributor, not a politician, since several years now.

    Tea Party “populism” is so transparently pitched at the petty bourgeois I don’t see how one could call it that. Perhaps your tea toddlers are different in Ohio. In Florida they’re all about poking people below them on the economic ladder in the eye. They say stuff like they’ll have to wait in line to see a doctor if more people get health insurance.

    The one thing that seems to animate my white, rural coworkers in the GOP direction is the continual drumbeat of Obama’s gunna take yer guuuunz. Guns are an existential thing to these people as while my specific coworkers do NOT do this, they are part of a population famous for working for cash for some months of the year and then hunting and fishing for food some months of the year, in defiance of the capitalists, who can’t stand the way they just walk away from the job. There’s a huge amount of status in being able to walk away and come back rather than being “job-scared”. To lose your rifles would be to lose an enormous amount of social status, as well as taking an economic hit. Venison’s a lot tastier than beans every night.

    It’s total brainwashing–one told me that filling out a little slip every time he sold a gun to his brother or whatever was too much government intrusion. I mean, you have to wait in line at the fucking county tag office and pay up to change one name on a car title, but filling out a fucking slip and mailing it in is too much work. You know what? Fuck you. But the NRA has worked these people good, I must say. That’s not even getting into the gun hobbyists/fanciers. Some of them make me nervous.

    Anyway, I don’t hear a ton of standard tea party sloganeering from these folks. They’re emphatically the wrong social class. Heck, plenty of them are hurting right now because Medicaid wasn’t expanded, or because PPACA forces families to get family plans through employers that are NOT subsidized, and this is very expensive! Because PPACA was more pitched towards people making 2x what they make! And they will tell you so.

  51. 51
    Cervantes says:

    In Brown’s formulation there are two parts to being a Democrat- “the future” and “whose side are you on”. He has both of those components- he’s a progressive and he’s an economic populist and he wins in a 50/50 state. Not by a lot, but no one wins in Ohio by a lot. He’s a liberal populist.

    Kay, what is your take on Brown’s vague (I won’t say meaningless) reference to “the future”? It’s not at all clear to me, especially when he’s simultaneously telling us we “must not lose sight of [our] tradition as the party of progressive ideas.”

    Can this half of the formulation be stated a little more coherently, I wonder.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anoniminous: I don’t see those people as potential left/liberal voters. Nor donI think they should be pursued if pursuing them would require jettisoning a commitment to equal rights. Again, I approach the issues of economic “populism” from a social democratic point of view. They are measures that move us toward a more fair and equitable society.

  53. 53
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Some dipshits actually think the Libertarian party is this party.

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud: Nor have I done more than a “happenstance” reading, either.

    I’ll see what I can do.

  55. 55
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    Have it on my desk by Monday morning. ;-)

  56. 56
    Ruckus says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    There was and is a constituency but they are mostly olds who also looked at the old populist ideas that it was some group(like themselves, if they were honest) looking out only for members of that group, ie: blacks, LGBT. They weren’t seeing everyone getting screwed, only their group and they believe they were getting screwed by other groups looking for their share of the pie. IOW traditional populists. What the OWS is/was talking about is economic opportunity, not handouts, not religious BS, not racial BS, and this affects almost everyone. Maybe not 99% but pretty close. Lack of economic opportunity, inequality, these are more basic than the social issues. Doesn’t mean the social issues should take a back seat, they are vitally important and directly tied to the entire idea of opportunity and equality. Just that grouping by economics includes everyone. Every other grouping excludes someone.

  57. 57
    Glocksman says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Those would be the ‘idiotarians’, right?

    Because only an idiot would believe that the Libertarian Party is ‘populist’ for anyone except the 0.01%.

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    Money has been used as a separator, “Do you want that black man getting your paycheck?” but the grouping was racist, or religious or ancestry.

    But that’s why it’s always been harder for liberal populists. They can’t set one group against the other or the whole thing disintegrates. I have a friend here who puts it like this: “they want white, straight, male working class voters and we want working class voters”. That’s pretty much true for Mike Huckabees brand of populism, but I would add “Christian” to his tiny tent boundary :)

    Republicans here said it after 2012. “White working class men didn’t turn out!”. And then they got quickly to work planning on how to get white working class men to turn out. That’s all. They see it as exclusionary, “IF them then NOT the other”. This is a very narrow view, but it’s also easier, right? They don’t have these big struggles to hold the thing together.

  59. 59
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Anoniminous: I agree. Some Republicans tried to run as economic populists in the South in the last few years and all of them face-planted.

    First problem: no money
    Second problem: no money
    Third problem: no money

    Also, if you suck on women’s reproductive freedom and throw off enough Dixiecrat cues, then white women, Black women, and Black men won’t vote for you and you will lose.

    Part of the reason the D party sucks in Florida is that the leadership doesn’t really “get” that you need those three demos to win in Florida (btw, Crist has the whole package although there are reproductive rights groups concern trolling Crist on reproductive freedom b/c they like Nan Rich better) once you get out of Broward County. Just because the SE coast is the ECONOMIC engine of the state does not mean you can run the state by winning that region. You need to win the entire state.

  60. 60
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cervantes: SEIU sucks.

    I love their rank and file and love that they try to organize the unorganized. But they have a long history of hiring extremely questionable people as field organizers, people who turn around and bite them–bite all unions–in the ass.

    They also raid as furiously as the Teamsters. Look, if the LU got rid of you guys, it was for a reason, so grow a sense of shame and FUCK OFF.

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    @Glocksman:

    They’re funding an organization who explicitly state the following position:

    Employers are being bombarded with new regulations and enforcement tactics from the various federal departments that cover the workplace. The Chamber’s Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits Division, along with the Workforce Freedom Initiative, focus on advancing employer concerns and interests in a wide array of policy debates. From pushing back on flawed OSHA proposed regulations, to leading the fight against Department of Labor and NLRB actions that would enhance unions’ ability to organize, to exposing the unions’ role in the efforts to impose a $15 “living wage,” the Chamber is the leading employer voice on matters affecting workplace policy and these divisions of the Chamber ensure that the employer view will be well represented.

  62. 62
    Jeremy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: That entire episode showed me that some so called liberals act like the teabaggers. Same coin just different sides.

  63. 63
    amk says:

    Nice analysis, Kay.

    Hoping not mcconnell wins.

  64. 64
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    I think he’s talking about equal rights and civil rights, but one could also take it as “the future” in economic terms. He gets slammed for his trade positions, and you know how that goes. He’s defensive on “protectionist”. He can’t be backward-looking, economically.

    I think it’s equal rights and civil rights because he’s very strong on those issues. He’s unapologetically liberal in terms of not shying away from race and women’s rights and civil rights for gay people. I think those two things are tied. I think he can BE strong on those issues in conservative areas BECAUSE he’s an economic populist. That’s what he sells in conservative areas. We have a lot of older Democrats who are personally anti-abortion, for example. They love him, although he’s 180 apart from them on that, because he’s talking about their paychecks when he’s here.

  65. 65
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cervantes: The future/a dream/hope, I see it as all the same thing for Democratic politicians. They have to give something better to strive towards. As for traditions, Democrats must learn from the past, not stubbornly attempt to recreate it.

    Millions of people have diminished circumstances in life that government could help fix. (We know this is true because look at the rest of the G7/8/9 compared to this country.) That’s what the D party is selling. The other guy says government is the problem, now let’s cut taxes.

  66. 66
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Glocksman: If they weren’t idiots, they wouldn’t be libertarians.

  67. 67
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Baud: The only person Andy Stern’s ever aligned himself with is Andy Stern.

  68. 68
    Redshift says:

    @Baud: Yeah, but in my local experience, the Dean campaign had a lot to do with making them active Democrats. Most Dean campaign veterans I know aren’t seeking purity ponies, so while they have easily moved on to being Obama Democrats, etc., that list begins with Dean Democrat, and before that they were just people who generally voted Democratic.

    To be fair, there are also plenty who started as Obama Democrats, and locally, from Jim Webb’s campaign, since both of those were real grassroots operations, too. But it’s a striking contrast that there was no influx of John Kerry Democrats, for example.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    Populism about opportunity for everyone? That really is social democratic ideals in action. I’m just saying that so many people are in the “out” group now that there is an opportunity to actually make something better. Not an easy fight for sure, but one worth fighting. Populism actually being correct for once?

    That’s another way of saying that the elites have gone so far beyond what any reasonable polity can stomach that it’s time to call them on it.

    More than that, it’s time for a sustained attack on their immorality.

    Our candidates may use different words, of course — and perhaps should.

    Thanks.

    (By the way, I left you a response re American racism yesterday.)

  70. 70
    Cervantes says:

    @dww44:

    Kay, I so enjoy your posts. The best thing about them, in my opinion, is that they aren’t just almost always on the money, but they are so real and measured. You never demean those with whom you disagree. Your comments in blogs are much appreciated, as well.

    (Just wanted to second this, again.)

  71. 71
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @trollhattan: You have no idea how much that “Fight for 15” digs at the petty bourgeois aspirations of some skilled and semi-skilled laborers, many of whom make below or barely above 15 themselves.

    Construction workers often consoled themselves that at least they made more than other workers. If accented, furrin born fast food slaves can make 15 then what does that make them, a carpenter making 13 or a drywall hanger making 9 or a electrical apprentice making 12? A fucking fool, right?

    They are too dumb or shortsighted to see that their own wages will go up because DUH OF COURSE THEY’D GO UP. They even say dumb stuff like “I’d quit today and work at McDonald’s for $15/hour”. DUH YOU DUMBSHIT.

    Just because someone is in a union doesn’t mean they don’t go in for spite-voter logic. That’s been the Achilles heel of the US labor movement since the very beginning.

  72. 72
    Cervantes says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The only person Andy Stern’s ever aligned himself with is Andy Stern.

    Why do you say that?

  73. 73
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    You are righ… correct. It’s always easier to select one trait in a group and focus on that. We liberals don’t generally do that. We want to be inclusive. But it’s like herding cats. Individuals of course have all their own beliefs and prejudices, no matter what group they may fall into. Just because someone puts them into a group doesn’t mean they put themselves into that group. Gay republicans is an example. I ask how could a gay person belong to another group that hates their very being? They don’t.
    But economics affects us all, all colors, all sexual orientation, all religions or lack of, everyone. That’s where we need to unite. What made Obama popular? He appealed to everyone economically, your small contribution will help. Even if you only put in $5 you were important. That was the message. He included everyone. The reality of our politics has taken the edge off that message.

  74. 74
    Botsplainer says:

    If Grimes wins, I give her about a 3 month window until the Purity Progressive Activists begin whimpering about how she “sold us out”, and how they brought her the margin of victory. It’ll be over something near and dear to the patchouli and peace crowd (maybe an energy/environment vote, or perhaps some defense appropriation that keeps Guantanamo open). She possibly could hurt the feelings of some of the more radical LGBT activists, perhaps a refusal to make some appearance at some tear-stained event full of whining and sobbing, which will be treated as prima facie evidence that she would have delivered a couple of kicks to Matthew Shepard herself, had she been there.

    Or maybe she just won’t vote to put Mumia on Mt Rushmore.

    Whatever it will be will be annoying as shit, and they’ll work to get her a primary challenge from the left.

    I hate those fucking people. They’re as guilty as the teabaggers of seeing to it that we can’t have nice things – all emotion, little reason.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    And, I agree it’s a little cryptic and open to interpretation, BTW.

    I think it goes back to how narrow our categories are, perhaps best illustrated with Chris Matthews. He seems to struggle so much with his categories. I just cringe when I hear him with “lunch bucket voters” because he so clearly means this subset which is exclusively white, male and in Pennsylvania. Those are the standard voters against which all other voters are measured. It’s just so obviously about what HE is. He’s the standard.

    I reject that! What nerve to even think that! :)

  76. 76
    Botsplainer says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    If accented, furrin born fast food slaves can make 15 then what does that make them, a carpenter making 13 or a drywall hanger making 9 or a electrical apprentice making 12? A fucking fool, right?

    Dunno where you’re from, but around here, drywall hangers and finish carpenters tend to be Latino. I’ll grant your point on apprentice electricians and plumbers – the testing requires English language knowledge.

  77. 77
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cervantes:Why? This.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    Saw that, thanks.

  79. 79
    Redshift says:

    @Cervantes: I take the vague concept of “the future” as a reference to the fact that liberalism is fundamentally optimistic about progress, that we can make life better for everyone over time if we have the will to do it. Conservatism is built on the fundamentally pessimistic idea that the country/world is going downhill, and therefore we must work to return to the glorious past, and failing that, at least try to show the decline and protect “traditional” privileges from those who would take them away.

  80. 80
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    The whole article was really just another “Dems in Disarray” piece from the Village. Yawn.

    I’m currently taking a class on Russian foreign policy, and one of the books I read lately chose to describe the chaos of political parties that emerged in the 1990s by saying “the democrats were in disarray.” That was pretty funny, I thought.

  81. 81
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    The Howard Dean Story has reached complete incoherence. We need a localized 50 state strategy, but the President must lead it. The 50 state strategy is about running Democrats in every race, but if they win they’re all blue dogs and we need to purge them, immediately, and then elect liberals by getting Howard Dean to run the 50 state strategy. It’s a fable at this point.

    To the extent that “The 50-State Strategy” means “Democrats” should run for office everywhere, I think it’s unexceptionable.

    And yes, some “Democrats” elected in this way will not be to my liking. The thing to do is to elect them, anyway, and then use power to make policy that moves their constituents slowly in our direction. (This takes skill, obviously.)

    Yes, it’s not the be-all and end-all of strategy but do you see a way of moving forward without doing this?

    (Not particularly interested here in praising or criticizing Dean himself.)

  82. 82
    Cervantes says:

    @Davis X. Machina: OK, thanks. I was aware of those connections (particularly familiar with Eli Broad), but I don’t see how they outweigh, invalidate, or negate his decades of union work.

  83. 83
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    I’m currently taking a class on Russian foreign policy

    As opposed to Soviet?

    If so, I’d be interested to hear what the class thinks of Russian policy towards former Soviet neighbors.

    (Thanks.)

  84. 84
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: I laugh at them. They can’t bring out the vote any more than they can reason their way out of a paper bag. They mostly exist to demotivate people online because they’re a complete laugh in person. I’ve never known them to be much of a force in any election unless you count Florida 2000, and as others here have stated, that outcome was overdetermined. So exactly where a teeny, tiny margin might matter. Expect them to be too dull to perceive even this, however.

    Would you want an airy-fairy logorrheic dipshit knocking doors for the Democratic party in the first place? I say, let them man that Jill Stein booth or spend hours making anti-GMO buttons; keeps them out of mischief.

  85. 85
    NotMax says:

    Watching the growth among the political class of the ‘HRC is the Messiah’ meme is beyond troubling.

  86. 86
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    Dean was rallying people and giving a voice to something pretty big–he wasn’t liberal on every axis but he was the only person running an anti-war campaign and he had done more on the health care and gay rights front than any other potential candidate who was actually running at the time.

    Worth remembering.

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    But think how powerful a bond religious conservatism is. That’s what they have in common. It’s really profound. That’s why I think we marginalize the most, um, passionate among us at our own peril.

    No one ever rallied around the Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s just not that potent a bond. Stern may be afraid of the populist argument, but Democrats are dead if they’re 100% wonk, all head and no heart. “Ladders of opportunity” may be fine as actual long-term policy, broadly, but it isn’t going to reach people who are economically insecure and make them vote.

  88. 88
    Redshift says:

    OT: Pretty amazing events in Ukraine today. I know people there from hosting Ukrainian kids for a couple of summers, and it’s kind of amazing to get “likes” from them on Facebook when I post an article from a Ukrainian journalist about the real issues people are protesting (primarily corruption and consolidation of power by the president, not EU vs Russia) and they post Washington Post articles about the luxuries of the presidential palace. I try not to be over-optimistic about twitter activism and stuff, but even if it doesn’t help as much as we might hope, it’s still a new world.

  89. 89
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    And yes, some “Democrats” elected in this way will not be to my liking. The thing to do is to elect them, anyway, and then use power to make policy that moves their constituents slowly in our direction. (This takes skill, obviously.)

    Ha. That brought back memories of my time at GOS:

    Losing the House is painful, and will cause lots of problems for two years (or more). However, it does give us an opportunity to reshape the ideological composition of the House Democratic caucus in a positive way. Imagine if we can retake the House with the CPC maintaining this new plurality.

    As for the departed Blue Dogs, we can do without their sabotage which did so much to deliver House Democrats into the minority.

    ETA: I permanently left there shortly after the 2010 elections.

  90. 90
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: Actually, you’re right, here drywall hangers are usually not Latino, they are poor, down and out Blacks and whites; also, seems like a lot of finishers traveled from the Midwest (like, Ohio) down to Florida; the initial “carpentry” is done by dirt-cheap, probably under the table Central Americans who don’t know what they’re doing, then they bring in actually skilled laborers to fix all the fuckups, so basically recutting and shimming door and window openings all day. The workers get screwed but also the fool who paid for the building. But Florida doesn’t give a shit about building standards.

    In Florida in general I’ve heard that carpentry is very diverse in terms of who gets into it.

    I guess I mentioned drywall because it’s demonstrative of the wide range in pay rates in construction, but yeah, most of them know they’re the 99% and would immediately benefit from a min wage increase. This particular region doesn’t have a large permanent Hispanic population–most of them are migrant farm workers who come to pick berries and move on–but does have a large pool of Anglo broke people with backs to be bent for very little money.

  91. 91
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Agree.

    I’m darn tired of losing. And it’s not that what we want doesn’t resonate with voters. It’s because we go into battle armed with rubber chickens, one such being sacrificing voters we could get by going after voters we’ll never get. We don’t have to give up liberal social values for economic “populism” … we can work to achieve both. And, if I’m reading the polls correctly, by doing both we’d “hetrodyne,” coming out the other side with substantial (enough) majorities.

    @Another Holocene Human:

    That’s good to know. Thanks.

    To continue the riff …

    I don’t see how we can win in the South without a economic “populism” + liberal social values message and platform. The latter will get us close but the former is what propels to Victory. Moreover it’s the right thing to do. So a WIN! all the way around.

  92. 92
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Redshift: I take it you’re not one of those evangelicals hosting Ukrainian kids in the hopes of setting up and completing an illegal (under Ukrainian law) adoption?

    Saw some stuff on this last night and wanted to puke. I think Ukraine is likely to follow Russia’s lead and shut down or restrict American adoptions soon. Especially with the corruption-buckets out of government in last few days.

  93. 93
    aimai says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Santelli was 100 percent not a “jump you fuckers” anti wall streeted. He specifically argued that people should join in making sure that their neighbors, who were overextended on mortgages, jumped to their deaths and took the haircut the banks were not taking. Maybe the tea party pretended later not to get that but the people I know who were tea partyish at the time were entirely focused on the fear and rage that Santelli was tapping: that someone just like them (white, workign class, with a mortgage) would get bailed out while they would end up being the tax paying sucker. In Santelli’s original rant he was specifically attacking mortgage holders/homeowners who got in over their heads. Not bankers, not wallstreet.

  94. 94
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Anoniminous:

    It’s because we go into battle armed with rubber chickens, one such being sacrificing voters we could get by going after voters we’ll never get.

    Quoted For Truth.

    I want to copypasta it five times, but that would be trollsy. So I’ll just think it. Whoever said that above about Tweety’s lunchbucket–right on.

  95. 95
    Hill Dweller says:

    @NotMax:

    Watching the growth among the political class of the ‘HRC is the Messiah’ meme is beyond troubling.

    The Clinton’s have made a lot of allies in corporate America(and by extension the Village) since Bubba left office.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    @Kay

    For what it’s worth, the marginalization of “the most, um, passionate among us” can be traced directly back to McGovern’s loss. That nomination/campaign was not the genesis of such marginalization, but did cement it in place (perhaps laminate it for longevity would be a more apt description), IMHO.

    (Full disclosure: Proudly voted for George McG in ’72.)

  97. 97
    Botsplainer says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    They mostly exist to demotivate people online because they’re a complete laugh in person. I’

    They do sop up a shload of resources – case in point being some of Calamity Jane’s paid crowd in 2009-2010. The townhalls that year were nuts. Bluedogs were coming home to try and talk to constituents, and the meetings were scream sessions where bluehairs shouted about Hitler and Death Panels. Rather than going to the meetings and calming things down (either by advocating calmly from the left or defusing some of the fear), the paid activists sat in their basement and blogged discord, discontent and tons of complaints about the obvious sellout. I do blame the extent of the bagger wave in 2010 on them – they were the folks getting paid; instead of sniping from the sidelines, they should have been countering the nutso right.

    It was almost too perfect, as if it had been planned.

  98. 98
    Redshift says:

    @Cervantes: My only real problem is with absolutists. I can support someone and not agree with all of their policy positions. (I’m looking at you, Mark Warner!) I can vociferously argue against a politician’s position without having to believe that it was a mistake to elect them or that they’re Not A Real Democrat. Similarly, the fact that a politician feels they have to take a certain position to get elected or that they’re faithfully representing their constituents doesn’t mean I just have to say “well, okay.”

  99. 99
    mai naem says:

    I was listening to a reporter on XM(it wasn’t a RW pundit/reporter)- I think it was TPM’s Sahil Kapur talking about the McConnell race. Anyhow, he slipped in that Grimes was doing well on the money front with a lot of outside donations including George Clooney and Woody Allen – I’m figuring this is Clinton connected fundraising(Clinton and Grimes’ dad go back years with the dad doing the catering at Chelsea’s wedding.) I’m just wondering when they’ll have an ad go up about Grimes accepting money from “Child Molester Woody Allen.” Yeah, it wouldn’t be ethical and probably not legal but that hasn’t stopped the GOP before.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: The 50 state strategy based on the idea of more and better Democrats is completely unobjectionable. I think that some people fail to understand the more and better are separate categories. By all means, support a Blue Dog in Georgia because she will be infinitely better than any Republican. At the same time, in safely Democratic districts, push for the most liberal candidate during the primaries. Over time, one gets both more and better Democrats.

    I am not suggesting that you do/did not understand this.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @Redshift:

    My only real problem is with absolutists.

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

  102. 102
    Anoniminous says:

    @NotMax:

    As I see it, HRC is comforting to both the political class and the 1%. She is considered a “Known Quality” smack in the middle of the ruling consensus and so not a threat to the status quo.

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    I wasn’t suggesting that we cast out or marginalize people by groups. I am suggesting that our economic problems transcend the religious, racial, sexual, whatever groups. And that we need to see that grouping people this way really does keep economics working against all the groups in the long run. Some more than others of course but everyone suffers. I believe that we are at or near the point that if we don’t look forward to the day when inequality causes massive failure and retaliation and fix that, we will fail as a country. And the result will probably not be as good as what we have now and certainly not as good as it could be. We have been practicing populism in this country for ever. It sort of worked as long as there was room and opportunity. Not for everyone but still sort of worked. And in small areas populism will work because some groups can be pushed away. But in this big country with it’s competing(as we are currently structured) groups, it doesn’t work. Does it? But as we are a tribal species, all I’m really suggesting is a much bigger tribe, a much more inclusive tribe, one where at least the opportunity to survive reasonably is the defining characteristic.

  104. 104
    Botsplainer says:

    @Baud:

    I permanently left there shortly after the 2010 elections.

    Bowers always was dumb as a fucking stump.

  105. 105
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Anoniminous: You aren’t the only one who thinks that way. Black church groups/activists in North Carolina have been working for a few years now to try to neutralize the GLBT wedge issue and expose it as the fatal distraction and divider it is to try to peel religious Blacks away from the coalition that is working to secure their civil rights, economic opportunities, access to education, etc. That’s why Obama’s deft handling of DOMA and the same sex marriage issue was a lot bigger than a lot of white commenters realize. By not overstepping and starting a backlash, but pushing forward when the moment was right, he gave cover to a lot of people caught in the middle and made it acceptable to openly advocate for GLBT rights even within the ‘church community’.

    That’s one reason the voter suppression is being dialed to a fever-pitch. They’ve lost their latest wedge and they don’t have another one ready. Everything RNC PR BS has tossed out there lately has been an utter loser. Plus these ALEC laws have exposed the GOP of today for who they really are.

    You can win a Southern state with Blacks, Latinos, students, and enough white women: although you might not win white women overall, if you get enough white single heads of households to actually fucking vote and reduce that minority to a flyspeck then you got yourself a coalition!

    I bet you could even get some downmarket white men to come out and vote if the party was fucking FOR something instead of chasing the dead and running away from everything or trying to run statewide with highly-educated suburban enclave gerrymandered district hothouse flowers, because, hey, donors. The Mitt Romneys of statewide elections.

    ETA: and that coalition above can win if it’s about GOTV all the time–nerdy pitches to 50$K+ households who vote like clockwork will NOT succeed, see Sink, Alex.

  106. 106
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Dubya was a Sith?

    Explains much.

  107. 107
    Redshift says:

    @Another Holocene Human: LOL, no. Our program was part of the multinational Children of Chernobyl program, which brings poor kids from the affected areas for a six-week health respite. We actually have a kid we hosted from Belarus who we’d love to adopt, but international adoptions from there have been screwed up for way longer than Russia.

  108. 108
    Kay says:

    @NotMax:

    I completely understand that, and sympathize, some, but I feel like they’re pulling it out almost as a boogeyman. There has to be some recognition that time marches on.

    Remember when Republicans decided that Jimmy Carter was a good campaign smear? I overheard a conversation where two young people who were completely perplexed. To them, Jimmy Carter builds houses for poor people. In 2012, I had one young woman ask me whether Nixon was a Republican or Democrat. My youngest child thought missiles blew up the planes that hit the world trade center. He’s 11, and we never discussed it with him until we watched a documentary. He was asking about “the missiles” that hit the planes that then flew into the buildings. That’s how he had made sense of it. Planes aren’t weapons to him.

  109. 109
    Botsplainer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    At the same time, in safely Democratic districts, push for the most liberal candidate during the primaries.

    Issue – what about the ones who are cartoonish and provide useful foils in nationwide elections? Case in point, Dennis Kucinich.

  110. 110
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: Paid activists tend to be young people who did well in college, exactly the WRONG skillset to actually turn out people for direct action!

  111. 111
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Anoniminous: and Olds.

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Redshift: Wow, that’s pretty cool.

  114. 114
    Davis X. Machina says:

    You can win a Southern state with Blacks, Latinos, students, and enough white women: although you might not win white women overall,

    No mention of the all-important role played by the netroots? Harumph.

  115. 115
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: This is why competitive districts are good for the party, even when it might be tempting to gerrymander away once you seize the reins.

    F***ing narcissists seem to be cultivated in those 80% D districts with stunning regularity.

  116. 116
    NotMax says:

    @Kay

    There has to be some recognition that time marches on.

    Inertia and intra-party politics go together like hamburgers and buns.

    But I fundamentally don’t disagree with what you state. Sadly, it is a truism that the extant political structure can be coaxed to the right, but has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the left.

  117. 117
    Botsplainer says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I bet you could even get some downmarket white men to come out and vote if the party was fucking FOR something instead of chasing the dead and running away from everything or trying to run statewide with highly-educated suburban enclave gerrymandered district hothouse flowers, because, hey, donors. The Mitt Romneys of statewide elections.

    A good old-fashioned Old Left/Labor campaign – lots of shoe leather, yard signs, pithy statements to middle-sized crowds of working people. Trips to church picnics and community festivals. Appearances at casual charity events. No whining about the plight of the homeless, or of the simpering philosophy of some prominent pacifist. Engage people where they live, let them meet you, talk about things that impact their lives.

    I like it, and there are a lot of places where that sort of campaign can turn a purple area blue. It definitely works in Louisville Metro, and would show a high success rate in Central/Southern/Western Kentucky (the Northern KY suburbs of Cincinnati are lost for a generation, and Eastern Kentucky east of I-75 is a basket case that I wish we could just give to West Virginia).

  118. 118
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I left out the ISO, too; I’m sure they’re butthurt, or they would be, if they read this blog.

    Funny, NAACP is on my “call to bring out peeps” list and the ISO… isn’t. Also love how they told me they would conditionally support me b/c I came out to support them once… coalition building, yer doin it rong.

  119. 119
    Botsplainer says:

    @Kay:

    Remember when Republicans decided that Jimmy Carter was a good campaign smear? I overheard a conversation where two young people who were completely perplexed. To them, Jimmy Carter builds houses for poor people.

    I made my kids read the much-maligned “malaise” speech. Their response?

    “What was wrong with it?”

    Frankly, he was saying things that American conservatives didn’t want to hear, but which were absolutely true.

  120. 120
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: funny you say that about the homeless b/c in my area, most of the homeless have jobs, so an increase in minimum wage would be the #1 thing that could improve their lives, that, and Florida Medicaid being less of a clusterfuck, but we need a new governor and new speaker of the house for that

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Botsplainer: I have a soft spot for Dennis. Years ago, I did work for the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus during the tort reform fight and Kucinich was a state senator at the time. He was one of the best people at articulating our side’s arguments and making pro-tort reform witnesses look like idiots during their testimony. One witness testified that 90% percent of his ladder making company’s costs were due to law suits and litigation avoidance. Dennis just asked him what it was about his ladders that made them so much more dangerous than ordinary ones. The guy just sputtered in response. Of course, we lost the legislative battle, but that was foreordained.

  122. 122
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Every time I see someone casually elide “the base of the Democratic party” with “shouty people on the internet’ one of my few remaining hairs falls out.

  123. 123
  124. 124
    Tommy says:

    @Botsplainer: Union district where I live. Unions are a powerful force, but alas almost a Republican district. As you said labor. We could IMHO win elections all around here if we just put boots on the ground.

  125. 125
    Anoniminous says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    That really makes my day. Thank you.

    A detestable tradition in American politics is screwing AAs by saying the right things to get their votes and then “compromising” away what was promised. Not possible in the situation you describe.

  126. 126
    Baud says:

    Somewhat related, this seems to be making the rounds:

    Millennials seem to be veering away from the Democratic Party and becoming more apathetic, maybe it’s because neither side seems to give a damn about us. Even Obamacare, for all its benefits, has the side effect of making younger adults at low risk for health problems pay more into an insurance scheme to reduce costs for mostly older Americans. The Republican Party despises us, and the Democratic Party seems to think it’s enough that just opposing blatant Republican bigotry and the most outrageous economic exploitation will be enough to rally us around the flag.

    Somehow I don’t think it’s going to work. Nor should it. Supporting the Democratic Party is still the only viable option because the other side is depraved. But frankly, at this point neither political party actually deserves our votes.

  127. 127
    NotMax says:

    @Botsplainer

    If they are willing to watch/listen, might one suggest Mario Cuomo’s convention speech, still a barnburner lo these many decades afterwards.

  128. 128
    Botsplainer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Dennis just asked him what it was about his ladders that made them so much more dangerous than ordinary ones. The guy just sputtered in response. Of course, we lost the legislative battle, but that was foreordained.

    The witness sputtered because the question turned into a combative Graysonism, a verbal bomb unrelated to the issue being discussed.

    What he should have said (and what all opponents of tort reform should get to) was “why should you or your insurers profit at the expense of people who are injured due to flaws in your products”? Direct, to the point, and gets an important point out to the public – tort reform is an income transfer by victims to those who injure them. We deem those profit streams more than we do the well being of the consumer or other third parties who are injured due to screwups”.

    In that instance, Dennis played true to form and didn’t carry the day because he didn’t understand that the purpose of political rhetoric is to change the minds of the changeable.

  129. 129
    Cervantes says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I made my kids read the much-maligned “malaise” speech. Their response? “What was wrong with it?”

    That’s the thing: just reading the speech won’t tell you what his mistake was.

    Context is everything (else).

    Frankly, he was saying things that American conservatives didn’t want to hear, but which were absolutely true.

    I’d say so.

  130. 130
    Tommy says:

    @NotMax: I kind of forgot that. Wow. That speech could be said today and it have would have meaning. The shining city on the hill is really a tale of two cities.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Botsplainer: There were no changeable minds on that committee or anywhere else in the Ohio Senate at that time. Calling out a witness for making a bullshit claim was really about the best thing that could be done in that situation. It’s not like the other arguments weren’t being made as well. This was a state that had been turned inside out politically by the elections of 1994. Tort reform was going to win and win on a party line vote.

    IOW please peddle your reflexive Kucinich hate elsewhere.

  132. 132
    Anoniminous says:

    @Ruckus:

    I am an Olds, too.

    Statistically speaking, Another Holocene Human is accurate. The largest bloc of support for George Wallace in 1968, especially in the South, was young, white, males which in 2014 are old, white, males. Selective targeted GOTV (of the neighbor-to-neighbor type) can and will work at flipping their vote and even getting some in the coalition but historically – I hate to say – as a group it is a voting bloc we’re not going to get.

    Better to spend campaign money reaching young women, overwhelmingly Democrat and notoriously hard to get into the voting booth, and getting them to vote.

  133. 133
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cervantes: In politics, being right to soon is much, much worse than being wrong the same way everyone else was being wrong at the time.

    (Cf. the recently released Fed Free Markets Operations Committee transcripts from 2008.)

  134. 134
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Baud:

    Even Obamacare, for all its benefits, has the side effect of making younger adults at low risk for health problems pay more into an insurance scheme to reduce costs for mostly older Americans.

    The exact same thing happens in a single payer system.

  135. 135
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Even better when they are shouty people who are shouty about NOT being members of the Democratic Party and even bragging about all the Democrats they won’t vote for–!

    It’s just lolGOP trix to keep their captive moderate GOP voters from trying the pool on the other side of the fence.

  136. 136
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Even Obamacare, for all its benefits, has the side effect of making younger adults at low risk for health problems pay more into an insurance scheme to reduce costs for mostly older Americans.

    The people who really get screwed under Obamacare are older adults who are healthy. They get the age-banded bump in premiums and they don’t use a whole lot of health care. Maybe we could say this: “healthy people get screwed in health insurance schemes, but on the flip side, they’re healthy, so there’s that”.

  137. 137
    jibeaux says:

    Personally, I would like to clone Sherrod Brown and run him in NC. I think populism would do well here, but all the Democrats seem so scared of the 50/50 nature that all they want to do is keep their heads down and be boring as all get out. Kay Hagan shouldn’t be running scared of an asshole from a disastrous and unpopular legislature (Thom Tillis, likely to be nominee), but she is, because after six years she’s still a blank slate.

  138. 138
    Baud says:

    @Hill Dweller: @Kay:

    Why can’t we have an insurance system where everyone gets out more than they put in?

    I blame Obama.

  139. 139
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Baud: I guess if you buy into GOP lies it’s easy to believe “BOTH SIDES DO IT!”

    I have plenty of bones to pick about Dem leadership screwing younger voters, but PPACA?! When you pay 1/3 the cost for insurance of older purchasers and have the option of purchasing catastrophic coverage AND the government just gave your megacorp employers a giant boot in the ass about providing real, affordable healthcare coverage, granted a bit botched because apparently Senate D’s fell for some lobbyists’ gambit and made it difficult to enforce the law with respect to part time workers? That law? Jeezus, stop getting all your news from Politico.

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @Anoniminous:
    Don’t disagree at all. Was just pointing out that olds, like most other unreasonable groupings are not all inclusive. I’d bet that most of the olds on this blog are pretty staunch democrats, but that doesn’t get us out of being a minority among olds.

  141. 141
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Hill Dweller: Yes… but… Single payer being tax-paid rather than user-fee-paid can be more progressive. Young people getting out of college now (not necessarily having graduated, also, too) are really, really pinched economically. So one more bill sounds really horrible. If you don’t have subsidized Stafford loans which have some programs to reduce your loan bills when you are broke, or parents who can keep you on their insurance, you’re looking at potentially unpalatable options.

    However, it’s really NOT TRUE that the young are subsidizing the old here–there’s a 3X spread in premiums and according to Mayhew that is really not that far off the mark.

    You know who’s REALLY fucked?! Poor single young people in states that refused to expand Medicaid.

    Oh yeah. Both sides do it. Not.

  142. 142
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: Ding ding ding.

    Too bad the media runs partisan or interest group press releases, rather than informing the public.

  143. 143
    Baud says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Obamacare has subsidies to account for that situation, however. Not saying it’s perfect, but if you’re going to do a comparison, you have to take that into account.

    ETA: Agree 100% about the failure to expand Medicaid.

  144. 144
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    Basically that they pursued integration in a common community (the CIS) starting in the 1990s based partly on Russian interests (wanting to coordinate policy on ethnic issues; stomping out Islamic fundamentalism; simply wanting to be the big dog in that part of the world, basically their own Monroe doctrine) but also based on the republics’ own requests – most of their leaders were presiding over weak states and very much wanted Russian assistance in securing their borders and stabilizing their regimes, especially in places like Tajikistan where you had bona fide civil war going on. Not quite the same in the west, since the Baltics are pretty big non-fans of the Russians, and the Ukraine is, well, look at TV.

    (And no, actually, we spent a whole lot of time on the Soviet era, even some time on the pre-Soviet era. We’re only getting to the post-Gorbachev stuff now – the above is taken from the readings for next class, haven’t talked much about it yet).

  145. 145
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Baud: Good point. I’d actually forgotten because of the situation I and my coworkers are in, re: subsidies. Not only that, but the silver plans have additional support when you get services.

    Something the writer of that angry flameout apparently is ALSO unaware of!

  146. 146
    Anoniminous says:

    @Ruckus:

    It was an outburst of frustration at our generation. I shouldn’t have directed it “at” you.

    Apologies.

  147. 147
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    Speaking for myself, the simple fact that Obamacare allowed me to keep my parents’ insurance through three years of un- and under-employment makes it a godsend. That alone should be reason enough to vote Democrat for the rest of my life. When I finally turned 26, I spent one month paying into some private insurance plan before the ACA things became available in January. The ACA’s plan costs close to half what the pre-ACA one did.

    Is it perfect? No. Is it better than what I would have to worry about if it wasn’t there? Fuck, yes. Got a problem with the way things are now? Good; now that you’ve seen which direction of the spectrum makes things better, vote for more left-wing candidates.

  148. 148
    Ruckus says:

    @Anoniminous:
    Another point.
    Dean’s 50 state idea to me really said, we can’t afford to give up any votes, no matter what group they belong to or identify with. We have to attempt to reach the olds. Yes we may not be entirely successful but even 20% may sway an election. What I have been posting here today is in my opinion a basis for that. Everyone is involved with money, most of us because we have very little and need more to have anything like a life. That is our common thread. All other grouping is subtractive and is about the pie is only so big so that someone has to lose. The pie grows if we allow it, it has been growing even as the 99% is losing it’s slice. That’s why OWS hit such a nerve. We have to change the narrative from get your slice to we can make the pie bigger and increase everyone’s slice.
    It is the common ground.

  149. 149
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Chris: Did you cover pan-Slavism or is that digging too far back?

    Holomodor or however it’s spelled kind of soured Ukrainians on the notion that their brother Slavs had their best interests at heart, I think. And the notion of democracy versus autocracy, recalling Hungary, Prague, must more recent historical moment.

    Kind of obnoxious how some people were spreading Russian propaganda memes about Evromaidan a few weeks ago. Sounded like the crap Breitbart was saying about Occupy. At least now they’ve mostly shut up. They had an online memorial up about the protesters who were killed this week and I was crying like a baby.

    Btw, titushkis sound like wet dream of gun fondlers/sovereign citizens/border patrol/race-war-preppers. Maybe some of them are sending their resumes now. They love Putin anyway.

  150. 150
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    SEIU sucks. I love their rank and file and love that they try to organize the unorganized. But they have a long history of hiring extremely questionable people as field organizers, people who turn around and bite them–bite all unions–in the ass.

    Organizing the unorganized is a very big deal.

    Re “long history of hiring extremely questionable,” etc., where do you get this?

    I do know the SEIU is unusual among unions in hiring so many organizers from outside its own ranks: student activists, community organizers, PIRG folk, environmentalists, pro-choice activists, Democratic campaign operatives — in fact, one of their best organizers I ever knew was a janitor and a real outsider: a new immigrant from Colombia, where he’d been a senior judge who had to leave in a hurry because the cartels were (literally) gunning for him and his family. Nor have I known any of these people to ever “turn around and bite them — bite all unions” (anywhere).

    So … your experience suggests otherwise?

    They also raid as furiously as the Teamsters. Look, if the LU got rid of you guys, it was for a reason, so grow a sense of shame and FUCK OFF.

    Well, everyone has their reasons, you’re right.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: way back when I was an undergrad, I remember finding it interesting that Soviet foreign policy (as it was taught by my Czech emigre professor/mentor) was remarkably consistent with Imperial Russian foreign policy. Seeking buffer zones against Western Europe. Seeking warm water ports. Seeking to engage with but not become a part of the West. I wouldn’t be surprised if things are not that different now.

  152. 152
    JoyfulA says:

    @Kay: Rahm Emanuel. When I saw him picked as Obama’s chief of staff, I gave up my shred of hope, as a then and now Dean Democrat.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    @Anoniminous:
    Unless you directly call me or imply that I’m a fucking asshole I just consider that we are having a discussion. Which is exactly what I did, no offense taken. I just like to remind people that almost no group is unified. Olds – dems may be a minority but we exist in numbers. Blacks/latinos – not all are on one side either but the swing goes the other way. And so on. We have to find that thing that all of us have in common, at least to some degree if we want to make progress.

  154. 154
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    That’s actually the big strength of liberals, in my opinion. They manage populism without veering into social conservatism or backwards, regressive fantasies about how wonderful everything was in 1956. 1956 sucked for a lot of people.

    I call it the longing for the delusional world of Mad Men.

  155. 155
    Chris says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    A little. Also in this week’s readings. They covered some of the recurring themes in Russian foreign policy and one of them is their evangelical side, a tendency of supporting “cultural allies” outside of Russia proper that comes up from time to time. Before 1917, that meant fellow Slavic peoples (like Serbia, that’s how World War One first spread beyond the Austrian/Serbian dispute that it started as), so that’s your pan-Slavism. After 1917, it meant fellow communist parties, although they were often flexible as hell on that point. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, apparently, it mostly just means ethnic Russians in other countries – which, if I understand right, is a big part of what guides their involvement in Ukraine.

  156. 156
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cervantes: Just what I’ve seen last few years, former SEIU organizers running to work for conservative anti-labor groups, shitty, counterproductive work by their paid organizers here in my state, vs what SDS kids have accomplished, just little stuff like that. Maybe they were better in the 1990s.

  157. 157
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    What I have been posting here today is in my opinion a basis for that. Everyone is involved with money, most of us because we have very little and need more to have anything like a life. That is our common thread. All other grouping is subtractive and is about the pie is only so big so that someone has to lose. The pie grows if we allow it, it has been growing even as the 99% is losing it’s slice. That’s why OWS hit such a nerve. We have to change the narrative from get your slice to we can make the pie bigger and increase everyone’s slice. It is the common ground.

    Exactly — but someone does have to (if not “lose” then) give more, yes?

    And if so, then redistribution, in one way or another, is implied — yes?

    I mean, just working to make the pie bigger over the last forty years has led to one thing and one thing only: an extremely wealthy 1% and a 99% that’s less well off than ever. (OK, that may be two things.)

  158. 158
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @JoyfulA: Well, look at the shitshow he’s causing in Chicago now. How do you neutralize somebody like him in your party short of assassination?

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    @Chris:
    This.
    Now can we sell a few million more on this idea.

  160. 160
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Chris: The bitter Russians in Crimea they interviewed in the news seem to think so. They sound like bitter old country fascist coots in big American cities and one hopes as toothless. Many of the local pols in that area dismiss them and talk about it being a pluralistic area where people pretty much get along. You know, like New York. I hope they’re right.

    It was funny, Russian press mistakenly interviewed the wrong Crimean MP who pretty much dismissed their narrative of Maidan goons versus Yanuk loyalists in the streets as complete garbage before their cut his mic, B5-style. Blamed faulty satellite connection, wow!

  161. 161
    Another Holocene Human says:

    SEIU’s rank and file is great–I’ve marched with them–but something is wrong in their leadership.

    My own union’s leadership has been pretty bad (though not sellouts) for years but things have improved since we put a Real, Actual Communist in charge.*

    *the realness of the communisticity may in fact be as real as deBlasio’s real, actual Communist bonafides, but don’t tell anyone yet//

  162. 162
    Kay says:

    @JoyfulA:

    I feel a little differently about him. I saw him as the person who counted heads and counted votes. I know he sees himself as a Great Leader, but I never thought that was his role or his value. I guess we’ll find out who’s right when he launches his presidential bid, because you know that’s in the planning stages.

    My eldest son lives in Chicago and he was all right with Rahm until he revamped the public transportation payment system. He said he foisted this crappy system on them and just had thousands of people work out the bugs for the private entity operating the thing. He really resented it. He’s exactly who Rahm is courting, too. He’s young and has lots of disposable income and he’s committed to living in that city. He felt screwed, ripped off, and he’s busy and distracted. He’s not focused on politics, but that got his attention. Not good for Rambo. He is now sympathetic to the “Mayor 1%” thing.

  163. 163
    Cervantes says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    In politics, being right to soon is much, much worse than being wrong the same way everyone else was being wrong at the time. (Cf. the recently released Fed Free Markets Operations Committee transcripts from 2008.)

    Indeed, still among us are certain individuals who were excoriated in the ’40s and ’50s for being “premature anti-fascists.”

    It doesn’t get better than that.

  164. 164
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    That’s sort of the point.
    The rich fuckers still get richer and in fact over the real long haul seem to do even better. But right now I think they feel that the pie isn’t getting bigger so they have to be like everyone else and grab everything they can. They are just in a position to grab more(or everything for that matter) and therefore are winning. They aren’t looking at the long haul which is what all dysfunctional groups do. What do they think is going to happen when they own and control all the money? Everyone else is going to suck up to them? How disappointed are they going to be when they turn out to be hanging from lampposts?

  165. 165
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    Every time I hear “premature anti-fascist,” it occurs to me that’s exactly what Rick and all his friends in Casablanca would’ve been labeled as.

    “In 1935 you ran guns to Ethiopia. In 1936 you fought in Spain on the Loyalist side.” If he ever did go back to America, I expect he heard the same words again at the HUAC hearings, and this time as accusation not praise…

  166. 166
    Cervantes says:

    @Redshift:

    I take the vague concept of “the future” as a reference to the fact that liberalism is fundamentally optimistic about progress, that we can make life better for everyone over time if we have the will to do it. Conservatism is built on the fundamentally pessimistic idea that the country/world is going downhill, and therefore we must work to return to the glorious past, and failing that, at least try to show the decline and protect “traditional” privileges from those who would take them away.

    Yes, not fearing the future — because we can help shape it — is an important part of being progressive.

    As trite as that may be, I did not get even that much from Brown’s words quoted in the article. I assume (and know) he’s better when not filtered by (incompetent) journalists.

  167. 167
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: A few years ago, I read a short memoir of an Oxbridge grad who fought in Spain and got wounded. Later, he was turned down for a commission in the British due to his politics. He moved to the US and became a citizen. When the US entered WWII, he joined the US army. During his commissioning interviews, his “premature anti-fascism” was mentioned. Eventually, he ended up as advisor to Italian communist partisans. His Spanish Civil War background gave him instant credibility with the partisans. Interesting read. I wish I could dig up where I found it.

  168. 168
  169. 169
  170. 170
    JoyfulA says:

    @Kay: Rahm Emanuel is going to run for president? Who would vote for him? I mean, seriously, who would his base be? (If there’s any Dem who might tempt me to take a serious look at the GOP candidate—)

  171. 171
    raven says:

    @JoyfulA: The same kind of people that voted for Terry McAuliffe?

  172. 172
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The 50 state strategy based on the idea of more and better Democrats is completely unobjectionable. I think that some people fail to understand [that] more and better are separate categories.

    It boils down to which problem one wants to have: a small, coherent minority or a larger, unwieldy majority.

    I am not suggesting that you do/did not understand this.

    No, but actually, it’s one of the few things I do understand. (The others are: buy low, sell high; and semper ubi sub ubi.)

  173. 173
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus: Yes, it seems I have been reading your newsletter.

  174. 174
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Re: semper uni sub uni

    Clean?

  175. 175
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It sine dicens.

  176. 176
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Are you thinking of Irving Goff?

  177. 177
    Kay says:

    @JoyfulA:

    I don’t know that, but don’t you think so? I have no basis for this, but I believe it!

  178. 178
    Redshift says:

    @raven: Hey! I resemble that remark! Whatever his past sins, McAuliffe ran a pretty liberal campaign in a state where that is not the anointed way for Democrats to win, and so far seems to be following through. He could still screw it up, but he hasn’t yet.

    And TMac didn’t have a record as an office-holder. Anyone who votes for Rahm will know what they’re getting.

  179. 179
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Euge!

  180. 180
    Cervantes says:

    @Anoniminous: No, more likely he’s thinking of Bernie Knox (who died a few years ago, more’s the pity).

  181. 181
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anoniminous: No, my guy began as a upper middle class Brit. Probably worked with Goff in Italy though.

  182. 182
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: It was Knox. Thank you.

  183. 183
    Anoniminous says:

    @Cervantes:

    Ah. I didn’t know about Knox. Sounds like a good guy.

    BTW, Ken Loach’s film Land and Freedom, loosely based on Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia,” is really good. If you and Omnes Ominbus haven’t seen it check it out. From the FAI/CNT perspective the documentary Living Utopia – The Anarchists and the Spanish Revolution is also worth the time.

  184. 184
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anoniminous: Thanks. I will check them out. Knox’s piece about his wartime service was quite well written – witty, self-deprecating, and informative. Like you said, he seemed like a good guy.

  185. 185
    JoyfulA says:

    @Kay: Emanuel running for president never crossed my mind. He wouldn’t have lefties for a base or unions (given his dealings with Chicago teachers). Maybe Third Way folks? (BTW, Allyson Schwartz seems to have blown her lead for PA gov by being outed as a Third Way honorary board member when TW published that noxious editorial; she said she didn’t agree but took a week to decide to resign.)

  186. 186
    Kay says:

    @JoyfulA:

    Well, but he’d have plenty of donors. He’ll worry about voters later.

    I think the battle between Karen Lewis and Rahm is fascinating. It has BOTH labor politics and ed politics. My two favorite things, and two really strong personalities.

  187. 187
    Cervantes says:

    @Anoniminous: Yes, thanks, I know the film-maker, Juan Gamero. He’s takes after Patricio Guzmán, a true master whose work I’ve mentioned here before. One of Gamero’s best projects is “Children of ’36,” about how kids experienced the Spanish Civil War. Some of his work can be seen here.

  188. 188
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The pleasure is mine.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @Redshift:

    Whatever his past sins, McAuliffe ran a pretty liberal campaign in a state where that is not the anointed way for Democrats to win, and so far seems to be following through. He could still screw it up, but he hasn’t yet.

    Worth acknowledging.

    Thanks.

  190. 190
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A few years ago, I read a short memoir of an Oxbridge grad who fought in Spain and got wounded. Later, he was turned down for a commission in the British due to his politics. He moved to the US and became a citizen. When the US entered WWII, he joined the US army. During his commissioning interviews, his “premature anti-fascism” was mentioned. Eventually, he ended up as advisor to Italian communist partisans. His Spanish Civil War background gave him instant credibility with the partisans. Interesting read. I wish I could dig up where I found it.

    Bernard Knox was a Yorkshireman, an old Cambridge commie who later made good at Harvard and in Washington. In difficult times, he did not falter. It was once said of him that he sheltered the light through the darkness. Imagine that and you will know him.

  191. 191
    Anoniminous says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’ll check it out.

  192. 192
    karen says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Heck, plenty of them are hurting right now because Medicaid wasn’t expanded, or because PPACA forces families to get family plans through employers that are NOT subsidized, and this is very expensive!

    Those same people would give their souls to the Tea Party if it meant they wouldn’t have to be in the same waiting room as the “wrong” people.

  193. 193
    dww44 says:

    @Kay: I know I’m late to this thread, but Howard Dean actually showed up in my town in 2006. I shook his hand. He spoke at a smaller state gathering here in the center of the state. He’s the only National figure of the National Democratic Party who ever showed up and tried to connect with the lowly Democratic party supporters. I will always remember that.

  194. 194
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    I think it goes back to how narrow our categories are, perhaps best illustrated with Chris Matthews. He seems to struggle so much with his categories. I just cringe when I hear him with “lunch bucket voters” because he so clearly means this subset which is exclusively white, male and in Pennsylvania. Those are the standard voters against which all other voters are measured. It’s just so obviously about what HE is. He’s the standard.

    Let me tell you something about Chris Matthews. He’s so close to the ground, so reliable on the subject of the electorate, that the only time he ever ran for office, he was beaten 3:1 in the primary; thus never made it to the general. If I were a voter with a lunch bucket, I’d be tempted to empty it on his head.

  195. 195
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    This was a state that had been turned inside out politically by the elections of 1994.

    True — which makes it all the more amazing that Kucinich was, in ’94, able to come back from the wilderness (literally) and win that seat in the state Senate.

  196. 196
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    Basically that they pursued integration in a common community (the CIS) starting in the 1990s based partly on Russian interests (wanting to coordinate policy on ethnic issues; stomping out Islamic fundamentalism; simply wanting to be the big dog in that part of the world, basically their own Monroe doctrine) but also based on the republics’ own requests – most of their leaders were presiding over weak states and very much wanted Russian assistance in securing their borders and stabilizing their regimes

    Thanks.

    Here’s something you might find interesting: “Yeltsin as Monroe,” by Les Gelb (NYT, March 7, 1993):

    Last week, in a speech pregnant with bad memories, President Boris Yeltsin called upon the U.N. for an extraordinary grant of authority: make Russia the “guarantor of peace and stability in regions of the former U.S.S.R.”

    The speech sent shivers of a new Russian imperium down to the toes of neighbors like Ukraine and Georgia. But it was welcomed by some Central Asian republics momentarily less fearful of Moscow than of internal strife and, in private, by high Clinton Administration officials presently more worried about future “Yugoslavias” than a resurgent Russia.

    The words and reasoning in the speech suggested a Russian Monroe Doctrine. Not the original U.S. version propounded by President James Monroe in 1823 that simply warned Europeans away from intervening in the Americas. More like the corollary advanced by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 that flatly asserted the U.S. right to intervene on its own even without foreign threats.

  197. 197
    Fred Fnord says:

    @Baud: On certain subjects. On others — say, abortion, and women’s rights in general — the Democrats have more or less given up fighting to make actual progress, and are now mostly fighting a rear guard action to prevent the Republicans from taking back even more ground. That is, where they are fighting at all.

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