Bernie Gets it Right

In the video that Anne Laurie posted below, Bernie Sanders got it right (around 2:30): “The vast majority of people are giving up on the political system.” If you believe that, and if you couple it with Bernie’s other observation near the end of the video, which is that Democrats are afraid of taking positions that will anger the big money donors financing their campaigns, then how are we going to get the people who have given up to engage?

If you don’t believe that the vast majority have given up, talk to a few twenty-somethings about key political issues. They, rightly, see a system that’s rigged to support the needs of the olds at their expense. Medicare is treated like a fucking sacrament, but it’s a sin for the young to take Medicaid. As employees without much experience, they are entering jobs in a world where the baseline minimum wage is a poverty wage, and nobody will hire them full time without a college degree and the debt necessary to attain that credential. Obamacare improved their lot a bit, but that (for them) extremely minor improvement came after an ugly fight that was completely out of proportion to the real benefit of that legislation. After Obamacare, the government basically shut down for 4 years, and it was pretty clear that 2014 wasn’t going to change that, so remind me why they should have voted?

I don’t buy Bill Maher’s view that it is simply incompetence of Democratic politicians that caused this defeat. They ran away from Obama and sounded like Republican lite because they gave up on the group of voters who have given up, and decided it wasn’t worth alienating their big money donors in what would have been a quixotic attempt to appeal to a group whose honest appraisal of the situation was correct: there’s nothing in it for them from either party.






278 replies
  1. 1

    Running away from a fight, is not a winning strategy. What are these special snowflakes waiting for? If they are not willing to fight for themselves why do they expect that someone else will?
    I think it was a big mistake that Democrats did not take up the income inequality issue and how the job market and the economy in general is tilted to the interests of the investors (old people and rich people, and there is a significant overlap between the two groups)

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    whose honest appraisal of the situation was correct: there’s nothing in it for them from either party.

    Cool. So it’s all good then.

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I think it was a big mistake that Democrats did not take up the income inequality issue and how the job market and the economy in general is tilted to the interests of the investors (old people and rich people, and there is a significant overlap between the two groups)

    Nothing will change until that is acknowledged… and addressed.

  4. 4
    the Conster says:

    Heckuva job hoovering everything up and pulling up the drawbridge, boomers. IGMFY is the epitaph on America.

  5. 5
    smintheus says:

    You’d think that the pols would be embarrassed by a turnout of just 34%, treat it as the crisis it is, and devote themselves full time to hand-wringing in the aftermath of that election. But no, you’d be wrong. Instead we get Republican triumphalism – as if convincing 2/3 of the public of the pointlessness of voting is a victory for them, and Democratic recriminations – as if pointing fingers can excuse not looking in the mirror.

    Should add to this that for a lot of us now who don’t even get to choose the people who represent us. I had only a single “competitive” race this time that I could vote in, and that was for governor where an incumbent (Corbett) stood zero chance of winning. My Congressional district is so badly gerrymandered by the Republicans that nobody bothers to run against the incumbent, and all the other races are one-party affairs as well.

    They’ve taken our democracy away. It now feels like you’re taking part in a charade by voting in a rigged system, and I’ve voted in every election and primary for decades.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I think it was a big mistake that Democrats did not take up the income inequality issue

    Isn’t that kind of the tell?

  7. 7
    ruemara says:

    Nothing in it? Talk that infuriates me. Your right to have a fair hearing, your right to plan your family, your right to your own religious expression and not your boss’. You want transparency in government, or student loan relief? Guess what, you just lost your chance. You wanted good immigration reform? Too bad, so sad; you’ll get bull and maybe some regulatory changes. Fuck those idiots. They’re a bad block to have in the party because they are so fucking unreliable. When you sit out elections, you prove that there’s no benefit to pols for even limited redress for your issues.

  8. 8
    Irony Abounds says:

    Read Albert Brooks book 2030 if you want to get a feel for the coming divide between young and old. Brooks may be a comedian and comic actor, but he understands just how much the elderly are sucking out of the system (and I say this as someone who is eligible to join AARP). Young people are being left with a future chock full of student debt, lousy jobs and the burden of an ever expanding elderly population. Not sure what to do about it, but just hoping it will go away isn’t the answer.

  9. 9

    @Corner Stone: Yeah ok, the Dems suck, but the Republicans suck a lot more and how does not getting involved change any thing?

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @smintheus:

    They’ve taken our democracy away. It now feels like you’re taking part in a charade by voting in a rigged system, and I’ve voted in every election and primary for decades.

    I spent a goodly amount of time in the runup to the election debating, and usually arguing, with people about voting and voter rights/suppression.
    The level of apathy in some quarters was truly depressing.
    But the ones who were not apathetic were convinced that millions of illegals have been committing voter fraud and deciding elections.
    So I guess what I’m saying is that all sides think the system is rigged, and they have no faith in it, but one side is determined to work for their belief.

  11. 11

    BTW the sainted Bernie Sanders is quite an immigration hawk along with his buddy Chuckie Grassley, the less crazy Iowa senator.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I think it’s more aligned with some of what mistermix was suggesting.
    Talking about income inequality is fine and all, but then doing nothing about it isn’t going to resonate with anyone. Because if they did something about it they would anger Big Money.

  13. 13
    wmd says:

    I hope that PCCC and Move On take the advice I gave to them when they surveyed GoTV callers:

    1) Develop lists that aren’t skewed heavily to the 60 plus year old voters that are already likely to vote. Do some targeting of 18-28 year old and minority voters.

    2) Do serious market research among 18-28 year old voters in 2014 about what led them to vote. Then do the same among those that did not vote. Take that research and re-engage with the latter (non-voting group) about what would change their behavior. Repeat this exercise in 2017, and again immediately after 2018 primaries.

    I’d suggest limiting brand marketing in those exercises until the final set of focus groups (post primary 2018).

    Strategically the 2020 election at the state level is more important than the 2018 Congressional election – it controls re-apportionment. Getting that message out – that state legislative elections are important needs to begin – 6 years lead actually gives it time to be part of received wisdom by the time it matters. We should be tracking these votes and working for a trend of increased voter engagement on the down ticket races.

  14. 14
    constitutional mistermix says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Running away from a fight, is not a winning strategy. What are these special snowflakes waiting for? If they are not willing to fight for themselves why do they expect that someone else will?

    Yeah ok, the Dems suck, but the Republicans suck a lot more and how does not getting involved change any thing?

    Imagine this: there is a fight going on and you’re passing by. Two people are fighting: both suck, but one sucks less. What is your motivation to jump into that fight on the side of the one who sucks less?

  15. 15
    smintheus says:

    @Corner Stone: It’s one thing to convince yourself of a conspiracy, based on no evidence. It’s another to look at your ballot and say “I’m not getting a say in who represents me.” It’s beyond dispute that more and more people just are stuck with people who can hold onto their offices for life if they want.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Isn’t that kind of the tell?

    Aye, I do believe it is.

    Even Democrats in Oregon don’t touch income inequality as a key issue. They offer hints that it’s important (railing at the Koch brothers, for example) but they won’t come out and say it.

    The system right now is rigged more than a gaming parlor in Vegas would dare to try to get away with. The tax rates are fucked up, consumer debt interest is at usurious rates, saddling college graduates into debt peonage is the rage. The parasites are fully in control and are clamped on to the 99% stronger than any leech. The media is fully under their control and they are ruthless and relentless.

    At some point their greed is going to do them in, when the bread and circuses become unaffordable. Every country is three missed meals away from a revolution…and we’re inching there slowly as the consequences of climate change come home to roost.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    the less crazy Iowa senator.

    An incredibly lowered bar now considering the comparison is Huh Huh Ernst.

  18. 18
    Felonius Monk says:

    They, rightly, see a system that’s rigged to support the needs of the olds at their expense. Medicare is treated like a fucking sacrament, but it’s a sin for the young to take Medicaid.

    So, if the youngs kill off the olds, then the youngs will vote? Sounds like bullshit to me. We don’t really want a generational war, do we?

    Seems like the youngs need to be shown that they have some skin in the game and voting is their best option.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Felonius Monk: The system isn’t rigged to support the needs of the olds. It’s rigged to support the greed of the Ferengi.

  20. 20
    VidaLoca says:

    The parasites are fully in control and are clamped on to the 99% stronger than any leech. The media is fully under their control and they are ruthless and relentless.

    This nails it. The only thing I’d add, to be absolutely clear, is that the parasites are fully in control in the Democratic party too and if you want to change that (and I think you have to change it while if not before you can talk persuasively about involving people who don’t think they have a stake in the game), you have to go to war inside the Democratic Party.

  21. 21
    peej says:

    You know why the “olds” get their issues addressed? They vote in every election. They organize to get their needs addressed. Stop whining about everything and organize…and vote. Get yourself into the Democratic party at the ground level so you can have a say in the candidates that are put forward.

    FYI, I am a boomer who is an unrepentant liberal. I have been screwed over by corporate America the same way that a lot of others have. One of the things you have to realize that at my age (59), I am just trying to hang on until I can retire. This colors the attitude of a lot of people in my generation. We can’t afford to lose any more than we already have. We can’t start over again as readily as someone under 30 can.

  22. 22
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @smintheus:

    My Congressional district is so badly gerrymandered by the Republicans that nobody bothers to run against the incumbent, and all the other races are one-party affairs as well.

    They’ve taken our democracy away.

    This. This. This.

  23. 23
    Ben says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    ‘voting is their best option.” Just like your options at the supermarket..’paper or plastic?’

    We all get the concession prize, that honorable mention ‘I voted’ sticker we can proudly display making for feel good vibes.

    It’s a Grand Delusion.

  24. 24

    @constitutional mistermix: I would jump to help the one who sucks less because I know that GOP led Ferengi-Cardassian alliance is out to get me.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @smintheus:

    It’s one thing to convince yourself of a conspiracy, based on no evidence.

    When I made the factual statement that in person voter fraud was virtually non-existent I was told more times than I can count that it’s happening but right now there’s just no way to measure it.
    Honestly. That’s what they really believe.
    I went on to state that just here in TX a Fed judge determined that some 5% of eligible voters would be disenfranchised, some 600K+ *eligible voters* would not have their ballots counted. All to fight something that in 10+ years they hadn’t found a way to prove its existence. Some 600K+ real deal people.
    They waved that off and repeated that millions of illegals are voting and that’s their greatest fear. They went on to say if I could find any of these people without the right voter ID, they’d be happy to give them a ride to the DMV.

  26. 26
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: It makes you look good — fare una bella figura. After all, it’s just a giant scam, and seeing through the shuck for what it is is a signifier of your perspicacity, and powers of ironic detachment.

    Too bad that irony can kill a republic just as dead as tyranny.

  27. 27
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The system isn’t rigged to support the needs of the olds. It’s rigged to support the greed of the Ferengi.

    I agree. The greed of the 1% is IMO the crux of the problem. But they are very happy to see this cast as an old vs. young problem because it takes them off the hook.

  28. 28
    bago says:

    It’s a bit more than that. It’s the part where you explain to your mother that the school shootings this week killed more americans this week than ebola.

  29. 29

    In Missouri Representative Vicky Hartzler (r – the Chinese are spying on us through our toasters) faced a very young and underfunded Democrat in the 4th Congressional District. Vicky Hartzler wrote a book a while back, Winning God’s Way and she was prominently involved in the successful 2004 initiative campaign to place a same sex marriage restriction in the Missouri Constitution. She ain’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier – in fact she appears to be quiet concerned that incandescent light bulbs are going the way of the buggy whip. The farm operation she owns has benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies over the years, yet she voted against food assistance.

    Turnout was pathetically low (the lowest I can remember in almost 25 years for a general election) and she received 66% of the vote.

    People are lazy, for a variety of reasons.

    …If you say you don’t like what either of the major parties stand for and say that’s why you don’t vote, you’re just lazy. Because if you weren’t lazy what you could do is go to your polling place on Election Day, pull a ballot, not mark it (that’s technically called an “undervote”), and turn it in…

    Think about 100% turnout with 62% of the ballots undervoted in any particular race. Any candidate or party that tried to claim a victory or a mandate with 19% of the vote from cast ballots would be laughed off the planet.

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    What was the percentage of younger people that voted back in the mythical perfect 1950’s? Any stats on that? I know the voting age was 21 then, but still should apply to a certain extent. I know poll taxes and voter suppression of voters with non-approved skin color meant a different electorate. Also, people got married younger so maybe had a different view of their role in society and thus voting. Still could be interesting to compare.

  31. 31
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    And, I know I will get pounced on for this, there is the issue of low skill immigration. Blue collar workers can look around them and see that non-union and non-legal workers are out competing them for roofing jobs, poultry factory jobs, etc. They don’t see immigration reform as bringing anything but hardship to them.

  32. 32
    peej says:

    This generational in-fighting is what the 1% want. Their ideal world has us all fighting over the scraps they deign to give us.

  33. 33
    KXB says:

    An election is not just platforms and slogans. It is not even just one candidate vs another candidate. It is a test of one party’s administrative ability to get its groups to the polls. In presidential years, the Democrats have a more effective national GOTV apparatus. For mid-terms, and especially in state and local elections, the GOP has an advantage. Yes, there are attempts by the GOP to tinker with voting eligibility and locations of voting areas, but Dems do not adjust for changing local obstacles. Understandably, they try court challenges to these changes, as they should. But they never have a back-up plan.

    Money is a big bleeping factor, but if you think money will always overwhelm the interest of a district’s voters, Congressman Eric Cantor would like to speak with you.

  34. 34

    @Violet: Those boomers who think that 50s were perfect, do so because they were children then. Life is easier when you are a child, for most people anyway.

  35. 35
    gogol's wife says:

    @ruemara:

    Amen. But let’s dump on the boomers instead, that’s more fun and so much easier.

  36. 36

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I agree with you, but it is not the immigrants that the hate should be focused on, but the employers who employ those who they can pay even less than the minimum wage. How many employers are in jail for hiring workers without proper work visas?

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @peej: Divide and rule. Oldest trick in the book, and has been utilized by the 1% everywhere forever. It’s the root of racism in America…pitting the African indentured servants against the European indentured servants in colonial America.

  38. 38

    @Davis X. Machina: I get it, it is cool to not vote, to say that both sides are awful.

  39. 39
    karen says:

    We need Dem millionaires and billionaires other than George Soros. Until we do, politicians will be dependent on Wall Street and big business to finance them and then the fox is in the henhouse. Period.

  40. 40
    FlipYrWhig says:

    peej points to the critical chicken-and-egg problem. Politics skews towards the concerns of the old because the old vote. Obviously this creates a feedback loop. But it’s not surprising that politicians work to appeal to the people who are casting ballots, not to the ones who aren’t. Maybe we’ve reached the point of reckoning where there’s so little to lose by making a play for the non-voting that it should now be a central strategy. But that has all kinds of risks too. If they don’t show up, you’ve boned yourself twice over.

    (And, credit where due, a lot of Democratic strategists circa 2007 anticipated that the Obama strategy would have exactly this problem, having been predicated on support from demographic groups whose interest is mercurial.)

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Boomers who think the 50’s were perfect were spending too much time in front of the idiot box.

  42. 42
    gogol's wife says:

    This post is disgusting. “Remind me why they should have voted?” You have to be kidding me.

  43. 43
    Gian says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    we already have a generational war, but it’s the kind where only one side showed up

  44. 44

    My point is (and I have one):

    State and Federal courts in Missouri ruled in the past few days that Missouri’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Representative Vicky Hartzler had a social media sad and upset because in 2004 just under 71% of the voters in the very low turnout 2004 August primary voted to put that ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution. Because nothing should change in their world view, right?

  45. 45
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Michael Bersin: I have been “undervoting” for years and have never understood why more people don’t do this.

    I typically do this when presented with only one candidate for an office (local and state level) which happens quite frequently where I reside.

    But when people complain that they have no choice and then don’t go to the polls, they are missing the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction by undervoting.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Violet: Hard to compare because of the vastly different ideological positioning of the generation that lived through the Depression, New Deal, and WW2, compared to today’s older voters.

  47. 47

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I always like to ask the 50’s nostalgia folks what the top marginal tax rate was back in those good old days. They don’t have a clue.

  48. 48
    Barry says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: “Yeah ok, the Dems suck, but the Republicans suck a lot more and how does not getting involved change any thing?”

    Do you understand morale? After a while, people find their victories trashed, and the elites telling them to vote for them or it gets worse, and they stop trying.

  49. 49
    beth says:

    There’s a huge front page story in our paper about Tim Scott, focusing mainly on his mother and how hard she worked as a nursing assistant to raise her two kids after her divorce. It’s a great story and I give her tons of credit
    It appears she did a great, and very hard, job raising her two boys and instilling virtues in them. Kudos to her. But how many single parents working minimum wage jobs today can afford to rent a house in a neighborhood with good schools, like she did? To compare his life story to current times and use it to subtly imply that people today just aren’t working hard enough or possess good values is just disingenuous and hurtful.

  50. 50
    Howard Beale IV says:

    The Democrats could have said one thing during the campaign: They they would have passed a bill that would have made student loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy.

    Ya think they would have a turnout from the most vulnerable and the most suffering right now?

  51. 51
    wmd says:

    @karen:
    Tom Steyer might fit the bill – at least he’s financing work on Climate change and speaking to the DNC.

    Any number of folks on criminal justice and civil liberties issues – George Zimmerman, Peter Lewis (now deceased, but I think his Trust is still funding), John Sperling, John Glimore…

  52. 52
    Botsplainer says:

    @the Conster:

    Heckuva job hoovering everything up and pulling up the drawbridge, boomers. IGMFY is the epitaph on America.

    The Boomers mostly sucked. Maybe 25%-35% were left of center and they were concentrated in larger cities.

  53. 53

    @Felonius Monk:

    For the first time in ages in Missouri there was no Democratic Party candidate for the State Auditor race (with a republican incumbent). There was no way I was going to vote for the libertarian, but I did vote for the Constitution Party candidate because I’m cruel that way. There’s nothing else in politics for brightening your day like giving a little false hope to the lunatic fringe.

  54. 54
    CaseyL says:

    Massive systemic changes take a long time to fully manifest.

    Most of what’s wrong today is the product of the Reagan Administration’s economic policies, which defunded (among other things) the Federal Aid to Cities that used to keep things like infrastructure funded. Instead, we got tax cuts that benefited the upper 5% (back then), and changes in corporate law that led to the enormous consolidation of economic power in fewer and fewer hands that has fully blossomed today (the upper 5% is now the upper 0.01%).

    People no longer remember a fully functioning public sector; it died with the Reagan Administration. Today’s “youngs” never knew one existed.

    I saw Interstellar last night. I know it’s gotten spotty reviews, but I thought it was brilliant. One of the early scenes hit me in the gut: when Cooper’s daughter gets in trouble at school because she insists that the Apollo Program really happened and humans really landed on the moon. The official view is that the whole thing was a clever propaganda ploy to get the USSR to spend itself out of existence.

    People believe what they’re told, and they believe what they see. If what they see is a government that does nothing for them, and what they hear is that government can’t do anything for them, what they hear conforms to what they see, what they experience.

    It’s hard to tell young people that a fully functioning government is the best way to achieve economic or social justice, because they’ve never seen it do that.

  55. 55
    Barry says:

    @Michael Bersin: “Think about 100% turnout with 62% of the ballots undervoted in any particular race. Any candidate or party that tried to claim a victory or a mandate with 19% of the vote from cast ballots would be laughed off the planet.”

    2000. Bush won through a voter purge and a 5-4 SCOTUS decision which was so f-ing odious that the 5 wh*res who voted for it declared it to be non-precedential.

  56. 56
    d58826 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Plus a large percentage of the young, who would benefit from education and nutritional programs, can’t vote – they are under 18. Now why their 20something/30something parents don’t vote for their kids future is beyond me..,The American economy, if it was working right, is large enought that it isn’t a zero sum game between schools and medicare.

    The problem is the 1% are making it a zero sum game between themselves and the other 99%. And they are winning.

  57. 57
    Denali says:

    True in my electoral district – no Democratic candidate for State Assembly; no Democratic candidate for Surrogate Judge. Thus, no choice. The Republican candidate for Assembly appeals totally to the Tea Party. I under voted too.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Ya think they would have a turnout from the most vulnerable and the most suffering right now?

    No.

  59. 59
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Note how the expected electoral outcome of that belief, if widely held, is asymmetric… voter suppression is hard work, it’s much more effective to get voters to suppress themselves.

    @CaseyL:

    It’s hard to tell young people that a fully functioning government is the best way to achieve economic or social justice, because they’ve never seen it do that.

    You can’t sell social provision in a polity where half, or more, of the political nation doesn’t believe the noun ‘society’ has an actually-existing referent.

  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    My boss and I were talking the other day and he made the statement that maybe young people with nothing shouldn’t have a vote. We were discussing a rather right wing late 20s person. He was shocked that my response was, “He’s exactly the type of person who should have a say. I’m just shy of retirement and you aren’t far behind. He has decades left to live and if we leave him shit that won’t really bother us but it will him. A lot.”
    Of course what I didn’t say was that the things he wants to vote for will make not only his life but ours as well a whole lot worse. Still, he absolutely should be heard. But he and a whole lot of under 40s people are barely acknowledged to exist. Unless it’s to get every last penny that can be extracted from their lives.

  61. 61
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Silicon Valley company busted for paying Indian workers $1.21 an hour in America

    Electronics For Imaging earned a total net income of $109.11 million last year, up from $83.27 million in 2012.

  62. 62
    KG says:

    @constitutional mistermix: you forgot the part where when you jump in to help the one that sucks less they kidney punch you. Or walk away and let the one that sucks more beat you to hell.

  63. 63
    KG says:

    It’s not really young vs old or liberal vs conservative or rich vs poor. There is the establishment and there is everyone else. The establishment, like the house, always wins

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: This is the part I don’t get.

    My lower-to-middle middle class parents inculcated in me and my siblings a very strong ethos that voting is not just a right, it is a duty. That you can bitch about the political landscape all you want (my sister is an Alex Jones fan) but you need to vote and make your voice heard (I personally dropped off my sister’s ballot this year). I have NEVER missed an major election since I first started voting in ’76, despite being stationed overseas and moving about the country constantly.

    It’s not just a right, it’s a responsibility…a duty, of any citizen in a democratic republic to participate at that basic level. This is why I’m so upset at the PATHETIC voter turn out in Oregon…somewhere around 64ish percent statewide, last time I checked. That’s an INCREDIBLE turnout by the standards of most states, but IMHO it’s a disgrace in this one. There’s just no fucking excuse for not voting when it takes all of five fucking minutes to fill out the ballot and you can drop it in the mail with a 49 cent stamp up to four days prior to election day itself, and their are drop boxes EVERYWHERE if you miss the mailing deadline.

    BTW, does anyone have a link to a page that has the participation percentages for the country broken down by state? I’ve tried Googling it but half the links are to other search engines talking about finding pages, not to the pages themselves. Perhaps I’m not working the search properly or something…very frustrating.

  65. 65
    constitutional mistermix says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    This post is disgusting. “Remind me why they should have voted?” You have to be kidding me.

    Have you ever worked a campaign? This is how retail politics works. It starts with registering the unregistered. Then you find out if they can vote on election day. If not, you get them an absentee ballot. If so, you get them to the polls by giving them a rid. For all those things to happen, you first need to give them a reason to bother with it.

    If the reason is as obvious to you as it is to them, they would have already done this. If you’re disgusted at the thought of convincing people to vote, you’re not bringing much to the table to help with the main challenge facing Democrats.

  66. 66
    El Caganer says:

    I’m 63 and would love to be mooching off the youngs, but I have dick worth of nest egg and taking early Railroad Retirement would basically leave me living in poverty. So instead I continue to work in a job that could be going to somebody forty years younger than me. I get a little envious from time to time looking at places like Denmark and Finland.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Well, of course. That wasn’t the point of my question. I’m curious how much voting in the younger age group has changed over time.

  68. 68
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Botsplainer: The people who gave Barry Sadler the top spot in the 1966 year-end Billboard Hot 100 are retired or retiring — and they vote.

  69. 69
    wmd says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Right. Hence my comment on what needs to be done:

    2) Do serious market research among 18-28 year old voters in 2014 about what led them to vote. Then do the same among those that did not vote. Take that research and re-engage with the latter (non-voting group) about what would change their behavior. Repeat this exercise in 2017, and again immediately after 2018 primaries.

    Motivating this demographic isn’t impossible, it’s a prized advertising demographic. Get some marketing professionals working on the problem. Fund them for 6 months now, again in post 2016 primary, and from November 2017 until the 2018 election. Invest under $20 million and see turnout increase in that demo from 13% to 25% in 2018. (WAG).

    the strategic need to get re-apportionment into people’s minds should come from campaigns in my opinion. Every candidate for state legislature should speak about it repeatedly. And 2020 presidential campaign should speak about it too.

  70. 70
    AMinNC says:

    @constitutional mistermix: Well if the side that sucks less is the only thing standing between religious fundamentalists controlling my reproductive health choices and me controlling my reproductive health choices, I’m gonna jump in on the “sucks less” side.

    If the “sucks less” side is passing equal pay for equal work legislation and the other side is doing whatever it can to kill that legislation, I’m jumping in for Team “Sucks Less”.

    If one of the fighting sides refuses to vote for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, while the “Sucks Less” side sees that the act passes, I’ve got the back of “Sucks Less”.

    For women, there is a clear bright line between the two parties. For racial minorities, there is a clear bright line between the the two parties. Am I disappointed in the Democrats on economic issues – you bet I am, and I am working to elect more economic liberals and put pressure on elected representatives through outside organizing. But when it comes to protecting the right to vote, fighting for a higher minimum wage, acknowledging structural inequalities based on gender and race, supporting public education – the ONLY party on my side is the Democrats.

    Especially on the local and state levels, it is crucial to elect more and better Democrats because the Democratic Party is the only viable option to stop the reactionaries of the GOP. Over the past 40 years, conservatives have played a very long game, and we liberals need to do the same. Don’t get discouraged, get fired up and take the party and the country back from the reactionaries and the big money boyz.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @d58826:

    The problem is the 1% are making it a zero sum game between themselves and the other 99%. And they are winning.

    A very good point. As you said economic life really isn’t a zero sum game, except the rich play it that way. And politicians who suck up to them also play it that way. So effectively it is a zero sum game. With little to no power to change that. Didn’t the French have a little issue with this at one time? If I recall it wasn’t settled in the favor of the rich. Or amicably.

  72. 72
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    And I agree with you. I don’t blame immigrants for seeking a better life. I would too. But what we are proposing won’t help them. God knows the Republican’s would never go after the employers. Neither party is representing their interests, but the GOP is better at making it feel like they are. Plus, sometimes the workers themselves identify with the employer, who is also trying to stay in business and make some money.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    My lower-to-middle middle class parents inculcated in me and my siblings a very strong ethos that voting is not just a right, it is a duty.

    The sense of civic duty has all but vanished. I think Democrats might be able to capitalize on that by talking about coming together, rights AND responsibilities, etc. People want to do that sort of thing–pitch in and help out–they just don’t know how and don’t know how what they do can help.

    Obama did that to some extent–got people talking about “Yes we can” and pulling together, together we accomplish great things, etc. People want to do that, they want to make their country better.

  74. 74
    ruemara says:

    Part of the problem is internet content like this. “Yeah, why should you vote? Young people are being screwed. They’re not getting what they want, when they want it which makes not turning out perfectly sensible!”

    That’s not how it works. You want something, you better be ready to work for it. You want something that a more powerful person already has? Then you better be ready to fight for it. Money is a huge obstacle to a strong democracy, but the apathy is the real rotted core.

  75. 75
    Felonius Monk says:

    @karen:

    We need Dem millionaires and billionaires other than George Soros

    I really don’t think the solution is to see which side can get the most millionaires/billionaires into its camp. The real solution is to find a way so that a billionaire has no more influence in the political process than the guy in the smelly clothes pushing a beat-up shopping cart holding all his possessions has.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus:

    As you said economic life really isn’t a zero sum game, except the rich play it that way.

    Adam Smith railed against zero sum thinking 238 years ago.

    Now the zero-sum crowd wears Adam Smith ties.

  77. 77
    pluege says:

    Giving up on the system is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Democracy without voters is not democracy.The fewer people vote, the more of the worst people grab hold of power representing narrow interest, the worse the system gets, so fewer voters vote.

    Not voting, i.e., destroying democracy is doing EXACTLY what the people non-voters complain about want. The non-voter is a manipulated stooge!

  78. 78
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Felonius Monk: I think what happened with the Market Basket story is instructional-it just needs scale.

  79. 79
    Schlemazel says:

    @the Conster:
    Atta boy – buy into the bullshit & fight the wrong enemy.

  80. 80
    Felonius Monk says:

    @constitutional mistermix:

    you first need to give them a reason to bother with it.

    Remind me again in Cuomo vs Astorino — what was the reason to bother? :)

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    At the very least they could have explained that part of the reason students are taking on so much debt is states cut funding to higher ed.

    That’s why students pay more of the cost. Instead Democrats decided to have this incredibly boring and complex discussion on interest rates.

    Democrats are choosing to do this. They’re choosing to talk about the earned income tax credit rather than wages. They refuse to discuss this head-on.

    They can have these wonky discussions. I don’t want to belong to the stupid side. But they have to have some other voices heard at the same time.

    Tell them what happened. Democrats are gliding over the explanations that might anger part of their donor base and that makes their message incoherent. You can’t get to what you plan to do about something and skip over what happened. You know what it sounds like? “Mistakes were made”. It’s abstract to the point of incoherence.

  82. 82
    Holden Pattern says:

    It’s entertaining to see a commentariat that usually takes an apologist line of “you can’t expect too much of the Dems, because you have to meet the people where they are” deciding that “you have to meet the people where they are” doesn’t apply to the disaffected, and especially doesn’t apply to the young, and that it’s better to blame those lazy whiny punks than it is to figure out why they’re disaffected.

    Apparently the millenia-old permanent cultural narrative of “Kids these days suck” trumps the less deeply engrained apologist narrative.

    [Holden Pattern, member of Gen-X, the “lazy slacker” generation]

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @wmd: Anecdotally, what I’ve heard a lot is that student-aged people don’t vote because they don’t “know the issues.” In a way that’s kind of sweet, in that they get worried that being well-informed is necessary. It really isn’t. Sad but true. From a cynical standpoint, young people might as well just show up and vote as unthinkingly as everyone else who’s voting. So it’s a combination of laziness AND, unexpectedly, responsibility.

  84. 84
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Now the zero-sum crowd wears Adam Smith ties.

    No book more subject to abuse than An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations exists, except perhaps the Bible.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    @AMinNC:

    For women, there is a clear bright line between the two parties.

    I think, to be a little pedantic, that white women would largely argue with you about that clear distinction. Ask TX Gov-Elect Wendy Davis.

  86. 86
    Jinchi says:

    @Michael Bersin:

    Think about 100% turnout with 62% of the ballots undervoted in any particular race. Any candidate or party that tried to claim a victory or a mandate with 19% of the vote from cast ballots would be laughed off the planet.

    Remember Bush Jr? Candidates claim mandates on all sorts of thin premises. You can laugh all you like, they are the ones in the position of power and they act accordingly

  87. 87
    Bobby B. says:

    Ferocious Kang vs. Kodos arguments ( and yes I voted).

  88. 88
    PIGL says:

    @Baud: not at all. Two words: Legitimation Crisis. If generations grow up convinced that national institutions are corrupt and unchangeable, the institutions will not survive. The appropriate engagement for young people today is not the ballot box, but the barricades. Unfortunately the official death squads and The Friekorps are waiting.

  89. 89
    smintheus says:

    @Corner Stone: I agree that they’re idiots, and there are lots of them. I’m not sure that any kind of argument or evidence can get through to them. Our state DMV found that at least 750,000 registered voters didn’t have the needed driver’s license, but idiots will just wave that off as a made up figure. Propaganda works by making people angry and fearful, and then they embrace their anger and fear like a blanket.

    I’ve found that the only thing that has any effect on such people is to tell them stories, such as stories about actual voter suppression tactics the Republicans have used. Fortunately, I have personal experience from when the G. W. Bush re-election campaign tried to suppress our vote in 2004. Telling that tale tends to open some eyes.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    This.
    I know fellow boomers who think that the 50s and even the 60s were the best of times. Hell I bought my first new car at 19, in 1968. I could afford it, the cost of living was actually below my wages. That isn’t true now and the political things that have changed over the last 30-50 yrs are what have made it worse. And yet I’d much rather be living now than I was then. The only thing that is really worse is income inequality and stagnant wages, everything else is better. It may not be good but it is better. OK TV isn’t better, but then it isn’t worse either. Other than reality shows.

  91. 91
    Schlemazel says:

    The DLC, those sweet, DC-based, koch sucker wannabes were so proud of themselves because their selling out Democratic positions in order to hook into the money machine & getting Bill Clinton elected (the best Republican President of my lifetime). The end result is that populists have nowhere to go, the labor movement pried lose by the southern strategy might have returned had the Dems not shown themselves to be every bit as willing to bend toward money as the old GOP was. This has allowed the GOP to become unmoored from reality (the death of the Soviet empire didn’t hurt either).

    Now that we have money as speech I do not know how we can get the professional Dems to unlatch from the teat and have a party of the working class that once existed.

  92. 92
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Or Senator Udall in Colorado.

  93. 93
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Politics skews towards the concerns of the old because the old vote.

    And while I’m in the Argument Dept, I’ll correct this slightly to say that “old people with something to protect” vote. A lot of the poor and/or minority elderly are just as disenfranchised as the yoots.

  94. 94
    Gian says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    The state budget in California looks decent, and the head of the University of California system wants more tuition hikes, 5% per year for the next 5 years.
    You may have heard of her, Janet Napolitano. She’s kind of a famous Democrat.

    Her predecessor had a deal with the governator to raise tuition as well. If you’re an 18-24 year old trying to get your undergrad degree, all that you’re likely to see is the blood from the shiv that both parties are putting in your educational hopes.

    fees circa the 60s and 70s had started going up at a rapid clip, but since 1990 UC tuition has gone from about 1,800 a year to about 14,000, through democratic and republican governors.
    Who would these kids vote for to improve their situation?

    Political science people talk about “bullets or ballots” and when you keep the youngins down and without a viable ballot option, I’m afraid some bad things are going to happen. Hell even in 2005 tuition was about 7K a year. Janet’s plan would have it be close to 18,000 in 5 years. and it takes 5 years to get through because of class availability issues.
    those young single women aren’t energized for the ACA birth control mandate because they will owe over 100,000 in debt for an education. The monthly cost of their pills is a drop in the bucket.
    Boomers apparently want impoverished and poorly educated doctors because they’ve under funded education

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    Apparently the millenia-old permanent cultural narrative of “Kids these days suck” trumps the less deeply engrained apologist narrative.

    Well, it’s certainly easier than actually looking at things slightly less superficially and forming an informed opinion.

    Speaking of certainly easier, will one of the female participants in the board fetch me a beer and make me a sammich?

  96. 96
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s not just a right, it’s a responsibility…a duty, of any citizen in a democratic republic to participate at that basic level.

    Yep. I am leaning more and more in favor of the Australian approach of compulsory voting. You don’t have to vote for anyone; you are free to spoil your vote. But you do have to participate.

    Like jury duty, it should be something that you can’t avoid just because you don’t feel like doing it. And any citizen who doesn’t like that obligation can pay a fine instead. A 99.9% voter turnout is something we’d just have to tolerate.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    Democrats are choosing to do this. They’re choosing to talk about the earned income tax credit rather than wages.

    During the president’s post-election presser he mentioned once again how he would work with Congress to increase opportunity for folks.

  98. 98
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Baud: Since they didn’t try we’ll never know. But if I hear one peep about the Grand Bargain it’s recall time.

  99. 99
    smintheus says:

    @Kay: And when everyone is to blame, nobody is to blame. Dems have grown extremely wary of blaming those who are to blame. Obama in particular set this supposedly high-minded tone in 2008 and has mostly clung to it since then. He missed a huge opportunity when he first ran to explain what happened and why the Republican philosophy is to blame for much of the mess we face.

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bobby B.: Don’t blame me! I voted for Kodos!

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Holden Pattern: IMHO those are pretty easy to square. Democrats do what they do because they’re trying to appeal to a skewed electorate. Personally, I don’t expect them to do much more than that. I might _hope_ for them to do more than that, but it’s distinctly logical that they don’t. The difference is that if they try to appeal in that way and get trounced in the process, that opens up a possibility of trying to appeal in different ways. I’m not sure if I’m exemplifying either brand of your apologistics, but that’s how I’m pretty sure this stuff works lately.

  102. 102
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Mandalay:

    Yep. I am leaning more and more in favor of the Australian approach of compulsory voting. You don’t have to vote for anyone; you are free to spoil your vote. But you do have to participate.

    Only works if you pair it with all of the other stuff that allows you to legitimately enforce it — eliminate registration as a pre-vote requirement, eliminate the ID requirements or provide free ID to every single citizen, allow generous vote-by-mail procedures, make election day a national holiday, make it illegal for employers to force people to work longer than 4 hours on the election day holiday, etc.

    Americans love to punish individual failure, but we suck at creating systems under which it is just to do so.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Kodos is worse than Klang. He sold us out!

  104. 104
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Schlemazel:

    getting Bill Clinton elected (the best Republican President of my lifetime)

    This. In spades.

  105. 105
    WereBear says:

    @CaseyL: It’s hard to tell young people that a fully functioning government is the best way to achieve economic or social justice, because they’ve never seen it do that.

    Precisely.

  106. 106
    Baud says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Who you gonna recall?

  107. 107
    Holden Pattern says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’ll agree at a very limited level.

    But, I have no sympathy for Dems who whine when they lose while fighting on their opponents’ battleground under their opponents’ rules, but do nothing whatsoever to change the battleground or the rules.

    How do they think they found themselves where they are? It’s not the immutable laws of physics, that’s for damn sure.

  108. 108
    beltane says:

    “Resistance is futile” could well be the motto of the under-30s. They’v never experienced anything but a decayed civil society. Telling them they have to be in it to win it won’t work if they feel that all is already lost. I’m pretty sure there is a key that can unlock this generation, but simply tut-tutting them about their responsibility to come out and vote for politicians whose messages all seem addressed to the Sunday morning news shows watchers is not going to work.

    The disproportionate amount of police brutality unleashed on the hapless OWS protesters tells me that any truly left-of-center populist movement will be crushed like a bug instead of welcomed by the Democratic party.

  109. 109
    AMinNC says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, I’d actually amend that to older white women (for whom reproductive health issues are largely off the table and for whom equal pay is no longer an issue because they’re retired).

    No, not every woman is going to vote for the Democrats (or maybe against the GOP), but here in NC, when women vote in large numbers, Democrats and liberal candidates (not always the same thing) win. So it seems to me it would benefit the party to highlight their efforts on behalf of women – we know this is especially true for young, single women, the exact voters we need to get to the polls.

    It shouldn’t be the only message the Democrats use to get our voters to the polls, but it’s an important constituency.

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    @smintheus:

    I’ve found that the only thing that has any effect on such people is to tell them stories, such as stories about actual voter suppression tactics the Republicans have used.

    The ones I deal with refuse to believe the very concept that a person could exist who does not have such voter ID. It is Joe Biden literally impossible for them to envision a person in today’s society who does not engage with the modern bureaucratic organizational entities at some level, even if it is just to “cash their welfare checks” as I was told by several people.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The “skills gap”. Jesus. You know where that came from, the first time I heard it? Scott Walker and the Caterpillar CEO. It was like WOOMP! The entire DC and pundit class started saying it. The Skills Gap is DISPUTED. It’s not “fact”.

    They can’t run around saying working and middle class people themselves are responsible for wage stagnation. I can’t be the only person on this country who sees that explanation as incredibly convenient for business interests and political actors. I mean, this is obviously self-serving for them. “Who knew? It was the worker’s fault all along

    Also? Stop offering advice, Democrats. No one wants advice. They want advocates. People who take a side.

  112. 112
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Schlemazel:

    the labor movement pried lose by the southern strategy might have returned had the Dems not shown themselves to be every bit as willing to bend toward money as the old GOP was.

    In WI you’ve got a third of labor households voting for Scott Walker. I don’t think the working class is an easy win for Democrats anytime soon, and it’s not because of Democratic capture by moneyed interests, but because of the racism and xenophobia that flourish during bad economic times. An economic turnaround would change the mood: if it didn’t feel like a Hobbesian war of all against all, people would be differently engaged politically (for instance, we’d probably be doing something about the environment and climate, which feel like haute bourgeois concerns when too many people are struggling just to get by).

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: They’ve grown up in the age of the shitty grade Z movie star. They have no experience beyond this, and history is, let’s face it, BORING, to most of them. Even though personally I find it as engaging as any fantasy fiction out there…because fantasy fiction is based on memes that originate in history.

    But then again, I’m smarter than the average orc.

  114. 114
    smintheus says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes, which is another way of saying that for whatever reason they’ve decided they want to believe the GOP’s conspiracy theory. Because the fact that some people don’t have IDs is not that hard to wrap your mind around.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gian:

    Hell even in 2005 tuition was about 7K a year. Janet’s plan would have it be close to 18,000 in 5 years. and it takes 5 years to get through because of class availability issues.

    I’ve said it before but if the same 20-something yr old version of me showed up now to start taking classes at a university, even after maxing out at a Juco, I’m not sure I could convince him to enroll.

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: The Caterpillar CEO is another parasite. He’ll say anything to maintain his parasite status.

    Eradicate the parasites. It’s the only way.

  117. 117
    Kay says:

    @smintheus:

    Right, but let’s be clear. It may be the “Republican philosophy” but a lot of Democrats have adopted it, which may well be part of the reason Democrats won’t go there in any direct way. This is by no means just Obama. This has been going on well prior to Obama. In some ways the focus on the President (Clinton, Obama) protects The Democratic Party.

  118. 118
    Gian says:

    @Kay:

    under Clinton it was “job retraining” it’s not new

    Clinton Unveils $13-Billion Job Training, Counseling Bill : Economy: Proposal is aimed at getting the unemployed back to work faster. He calls plan key to raising living standards of lower-income Americans.

    March 10, 1994|DAVID LAUTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

    http://articles.latimes.com/19.....b-training

  119. 119
    Corner Stone says:

    @smintheus:

    He missed a huge opportunity when he first ran to explain what happened and why the Republican philosophy is to blame for much of the mess we face.

    We spent the first four years rehabilitating the Republican party.

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer: They got a great deal accomplished, though.

    Give me a lever, and I can move the world.

  121. 121
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane:

    The disproportionate amount of police brutality unleashed on the hapless OWS protesters tells me that any truly left-of-center populist movement will be crushed like a bug instead of welcomed by the Democratic party.

    Look at the vitriol and unrepentant scorn that OWS had hurled at it from this very liberal blog.

  122. 122
    beltane says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The history they are taught, such as it is, is total bullshit anyway. They have never experienced the abject horrors of pre-New Deal America, but they have also never experienced an America where it was possible to work hard, go to college, and get a good job without accruing a lifetime of debt. Personal debt is like a slow and steady loss of blood that drains away all hope for a better life. And if that’s not enough, the police state is right there to keep any troublemakers in line.

  123. 123
    PIGL says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: their political activity must cease. They can surrender their money, or their money and their lives. But they would encompass the deaths of millions before giving an inch.

  124. 124
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This is an economist who worked in the Obama Administration weighing in on how it’s NOT “the skills gap”

    It doesn’t matter. They all continue to repeat it. It has the unique quality of both (probably) being wrong and also being horrible politics. I guess that’s why Democrats will just keep repeating it, forever.

  125. 125
    beltane says:

    @Corner Stone: Yep, most of the left in this country has been so manipulated by corporate media propaganda that they pee themselves every time they even look in the mirror.

  126. 126
    smintheus says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes, it was insane. The thing to do was to shred them and push them aside. Instead, he convinced himself against all reason that he could force them to become reasonable.

  127. 127
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    @Baud: Colorado: the Dems having been losing non-college whites for years, and the rural areas have been losing jobs similarly. Add the oil and gas boom generating good-paying jobs, voila.

  128. 128
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: eh, I don’t think that’s true. The Republican Party is still hugely unpopular. It’s not like people are switching from D to R because of all the amazing things they do and the stands they take and the charisma of their stars. It’s just that their voters reward them regardless of what they do, and indeed seem to like them better the more destructively they behave. And when there isn’t a President on the ballot, D voters get bored or feel uncomfortable and uninformed, so the result is 2010 and 2014. (I think 2006 was different because older people weren’t so overwhelmingly Republican yet.)

  129. 129
    Kay says:

    @Gian:

    I know. I remember it, vividly. They were all supposed to re-train for health care jobs.

    There’s nothing wrong with retraining. But they can’t shove the entire burden of wage stagnation off on workers. It’s 1. not true and 2. not fair and 3. terrible politics.

    They know it’s not true, working people. They’re not unemployed. They’re working and they retrain all the time, as part of their jobs. Their WAGES haven’t gone up. They know this.

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @PhilbertDesanex:

    There’s always some reason.

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    If all it takes is a financial turn around then we are totally screwed. What would give you any inkling that the 1% are gong to let that happen. As has been pointed out the 1% are winning, and wining big. They even have a pretty good percentage of the 99% voting against their own interests not to change anything and even to repeal any policies that in any way keep them from winning. They own most of the politicians(OK that really hasn’t changed much over the decades) and now the USSC, they own or control most of the means of production and sales to consumers, tax policy now favors them greatly, they own most of the means of mass communication……
    The only thing the 1% don’t have is all the money. Most of it sure, but no all.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: Isn’t it amazing how Ebola has dropped off the media landscape in the wake of the election?

    Texas, or so the networks tell me, is now “Ebola free”. Too bad Texas is soaking in stupid.

  133. 133
    satby says:

    @CaseyL: @Davis X. Machina:

    It’s hard to tell young people that a fully functioning government is the best way to achieve economic or social justice, because they’ve never seen it do that.

    You can’t sell social provision in a polity where half, or more, of the political nation doesn’t believe the noun ‘society’ has an actually-existing referent.

    CaseyL is right, but so is Davis X, and the question is how do we undo that? It was deliberately unravelled during the Reagan years though the groundwork was laid after Goldwater’s loss. That’s 50 years of undoing and it’s going to take real hard work to reverse.

    And the Boomer bashing gets old too, maybe because I mostly know liberal Boomers who vote mostly progressive. All that nostalgia for the simpler times of the 50s? Dig below the surface, it’s not just about cheap gas and black folks knowing their place. it’s also nostalgia for the idea that stuff made sense, that politics was somewhat responsive, that people were safe going to school or the mall, that there were rules that everyone had to follow (Fairness Doctrine, anyone?). People today, especially young ones like my kids, are working 6 days a week, every week, just to stay afloat. They look at me and some of my friends, all in our late 50s-early 60s, many of us struggling still after a lifetime of work AND civic engagement AND voting, and conclude that they can spend their time better elsewhere with less grief and aggravation. Can’t say that I totally blame them, my life hasn’t been an outcome many of them yearn to emulate. They just want to survive.

  134. 134
    Pongo says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The problem is there is no fight. Democrats offer no real alternative to fight for–at least in how they present themselves during election seasons. Alison Lundgren-Grimes’s campaign was the cynical pinnacle of this (IMO)–‘See, I’m not that bad. I can be just as rightwing loonie about guns as a Republican.’ What is this ‘Republican lite’ crap all about? It feels like Dems focus on swinging moderate Republican votes their way instead of focusing on their core constituents. Progressive and Democratic voters are completely left out of the equation. I don’t want to vote for a Dem proud of her support for gun advocacy and I found this pandering to be embarrassing. If I was interested in supporting the NRA, I’d vote Republican. This approach by the Dems leaves progressives feeling that there is really no one representing them, so why bother.

    It seems like conservatives have effectively set the terms of campaign agenda and Dem’s continue to adapt their campaign strategies to this agenda instead of bucking the trend and offering an actual alternative. In essence, they accidentally reinforce the notion that the hard right perspective is the majority opinion by kowtowing to it and attempting to prove their conservative bona fides during elections and it seems to be getting worse, not better. If you are ashamed of your platform and principles–too ashamed to run on them openly–why should anyone vote for you?

    In the 30 second sound-bite world we live in, Dems have to do a better job of distinguishing themselves, even it means they might lose. They are losing anyway, so they might as well lose because of what they believe, not because they tried to appeal to people who aren’t supportive of them anyway. I agree that this is not a reason to disengage, but there does come a point where it feels pretty pointless, so I do have some sympathy for the apathy of the younger generation.

  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think you misunderstand the use of the term “rehabilitating” there.
    We failed to make it quite clear that the policies the R’s had advocated in the past were the problem, and that moving forward there were consequences for giving them any weight or consideration.
    We did not shove their policy failures, or consequences, right down their throat. Instead, we spent two years playing austerity politics and talking about the deficit like it was an actual thing. And not the fucking joke non-issue it has always truly been. We played their game, used their terms in discussions, and let them set the baseline for what was a reasonable approach.
    In other words, we sprinkled a little anthrax on our tire rims, nodded and smiled at them and told them how great a cook they were.

  136. 136
    Marcion says:

    @beltane: I’m one of these under 30’s. I’d like to get involved more. But right now I’m busy trying to get into med school so I can have the opportunity to spend hundreds on thousands of dollars to get into the only safe career that is left in this country in the hopes that maybe me and my future kids will have an island of safety in the mess this country’s becoming. I have very limited time to give to things that aren’t work and school. After Tuesday I’m going to try to see if there is more opportunity to get involved on the local level, but I live in Chicago. ‘Resistance is futile’ might as well be the city motto. Who can stand against Da Mare and Da Machine? I’m not even sure where to start. And many of the people I know are in the same boat. The ones who aren’t in school are working long shifts or odd hours trying to get by. They don’t have a lot of time to get involved and I think because of that, they lose the inclination to even pay attention.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @smintheus: my theory is that the 2008 financial crisis completely deformed the Obama presidency, which was supposed to be all about daring to advance the progress of a brave new era of good feelings but immediately became Oh Shit What Now Gotta Move for two years.

  138. 138
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    Their WAGES haven’t gone up. They know this.

    SOMEBODY needs to pay for the hookers, blow, and booze of the CEOs. It sure isn’t going to be the CEOs!

  139. 139
    beltane says:

    @Kay: I smelled bullshit back in the 90’s. My family said I was being overly cynical and not looking at the big picture. I rub it in their face at every opportunity.

  140. 140
    Marcion says:

    I have to admit that sometimes I’m tempted to want to gut Medicare, gut Social Security, let the old people stew in the mess they created. I’m forced to remind themselves that ultimately that would just mean my parents coming to crash on my couch. Then I get an intense urge to drink.

  141. 141
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Pongo:

    It feels like Dems focus on swinging moderate Republican votes their way instead of focusing on their core constituents

    I think you’ll find that in Kentucky, Democrats’ “core constituents” are not very different from moderate Republicans, which is why D candidates run that way in a lot of states. Things would be different of other kinds of people were voting, but that’s the feedback loop I and others were talking about before: if you don’t vote, no one wants to try to get your vote, so they try to get someone else’s vote instead, probably someone older and more conservative than you; and then you feel even less like voting because every commercial is about old people’s medicine.

  142. 142
    beltane says:

    @Marcion: When I was growing up, the old people all seemed to be enjoying decades of carefree retirement in the sun all paid for my Social Security and lavish corporate pensions. It seems like something from a movie now.

  143. 143
    Felonius Monk says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    (I think 2006 was different because older people weren’t so overwhelmingly Republican yet.)

    Or maybe the President wasn’t quite so Black then.

  144. 144
    Marcion says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Oh god I know this so much. I don’t get how people can be bored by history. But then, I had a really, really good US history teacher in HS. Made it come alive, made me see these were real people dealing with real things that really happened. I know most people don’t have that experience. But it still pisses me off when I hear people my age think this kind of thing is boring.

  145. 145
    Kay says:

    @Gian:

    There’s just something horribly clueless about telling people who are in the economy, actual participants, “you haven’t kept up and so we’ll now advise you on skill sets”.

    Everyone trains all the time at work. What do they think we do at work? Stubbornly refuse to learn new things? Work somewhere a decade and learn nothing? How do they think we’re employed at all? Do you do your job like it was 1993 no matter how the job changes? Neither does anyone else. They can’t. That’s impossible. They wouldn’t still have a job.

  146. 146
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    No kidding working wages haven’t gone up. Yes it’s one story. Back in the 80s I paid my foreman a good wage. He was happy with it(it was what he asked for) and it paid all his bills, etc. I make the same hourly wage now, 30yrs later, doing the same level of work in the same type of business. And it is a good wage for the work in modern America. Not a good wage for this highly skilled blue collar job in 2014, just a wage that is comparable to what others make.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: I would say that that was due to the fact that the 2008 Democratic caucus included a lot of center-right members who largely share the concerns we think of as “Republican,” like deficit reduction and efficiency. Meaning that a lot of what Team D could do was dictated by its rightmost fringe. Mark Warner always runs on working across the aisle and other annoying shit like that. Mark Warner isn’t going to want a scorched earth campaign that derides and disparages Republicans. Same goes for your Blanche Lincolns and Mary Landrieus and Evan Bayhs and Bob Caseys and many, many others. IOW, Democrats aren’t ballsy and partisan as a group because a large number of them aren’t ballsy and partisan as individuals. (You know this is what I think happens–not that I don’t wish for it to be otherwise. But I’ve seen a lot of Virginia political campaigns in the past 10 years or so, and I think this phenomenon is pretty typical.)

  148. 148
    beltane says:

    @Kay: It’s just another way of telling people that they’re lazy and if it weren’t for the kindness of the “job creators”, they’d be starving on the street like they deserve. This contempt for wage earners seems to be feature unique to English speaking countries. The right-wing in other places are vile, but they are not vile in this particular way.

  149. 149
    Kay says:

    @beltane:

    I’m wary. They start with “companies stopped training, apprenticeships, etc. and then there’s this huge jump to “so we’re funding workforce training”

    I want to back up a bit. Explore the area between when employers stopped paying to train their workers and that part where the public now has to do it for them. What happened there? We missed a step. Oddly, it’s the step where we explore the employer’s role in all this.

  150. 150
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Felonius Monk: Indeed.

  151. 151
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Kay: This skills level retraining BS was just a scam. The workers were scapegoated so that a lot of businesses could get a lot of free money from the government. This paid for the in-service training the businesses would have done anyway, but they were able to do it on the taxpayers dime and not their own.

  152. 152
    beltane says:

    @Kay: And of course there will always be those people who seek to retrain themselves by racking up student loan debt in the hopes it will help their career. Sometimes it does but often the return on investment just isn’t there.

  153. 153
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: you’d think there could be a trade brokered. Companies get off the hook of having to coordinate their employees’ health insurance, in exchange for having to take more responsibility for their apprenticeship and ongoing training.

  154. 154
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @beltane: And that’s where education policy needs a ton of adjustment too. There’s A LOT of money sloshing around in those certification and retraining outfits.

  155. 155
    Kay says:

    @beltane:

    That stat that you read about how people don’t take vacation time makes me sad. Maybe they’re taking it in compensation and they’re over-extended and need the money, but the terror inherent in the other possibility makes me sad. They’re afraid if they take the vacation time they’re entitled to they’ll get fired?

    That’s a LOT of fear. A lot of economic insecurity. That has to be addressed. It can’t be wished away or ignored.

  156. 156
    Loviatar says:

    Obamacare improved their lot a bit, but that (for them) extremely minor improvement came after an ugly fight that was completely out of proportion to the real benefit of that legislation.

    This is why I give you fuckwads zero credit for PPACA.

    ———-

    After Obamacare, the government basically shut down for 4 years, and it was pretty clear that 2014 wasn’t going to change that, so remind me why they should have voted?

    If it was universal healthcare that was the cause of the Republicans shutting the government down I would have been there to the end. For an improved insurance scheme not so much.

  157. 157
    John Weiss says:

    @pluege: Hm. The non-voter is a ‘quitter’, gulled and a stooge.

  158. 158
    satby says:

    @Kay: It my former industry (IT), you never took all your vacation time so you’d have extra weeks of compensation when you got laid off, an always looming possibility from 2001 on.

  159. 159
    burnspbesq says:

    there’s nothing in it for them from either party.

    You’ve written far more than your fair share of massively stupid shit on this blog, but that takes the futhermucking cake.

    So defending the status quo against an alternative that is guaranteed to be much worse is a losing strategy?

    FUCK YOU.

  160. 160
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Like I said, SOMEBODY has to pay for the hookers, blow, and booze of the CEOs, and it certainly isn’t going to be the CEOs.

    In addition to the change that the party that calls itself “Republican” is actually monarchist in nature, the notion that the actual moochers and takers are now called “job creators” is as Orwellian a language shift as anything that the INGSOC people ever came up with.

  161. 161
    Ruckus says:

    @beltane:
    It is different now. The cost of living has changed and wages/SS have not in any way kept up. Rent/mortgage costs are much higher, transportation costs are much higher, food is much higher. Which would make no difference if wages/SS had kept up, but of course they didn’t. So yes it is different now. When our parents paid/helped with college costs, it probably didn’t break the bank, it does today. And getting ahead today, that is not only college but advanced degrees. Youngsters might be able to get along on blue collar wages, but it won’t be that pretty.
    IOW we are in our second guilded age in this country. It took hard work and blood to end the first one and I’ll bet it is harder and takes blood to end this one as well.

  162. 162
    d58826 says:

    Over the past 20-30 years most of the surveys of public attitudes towards issues have shown that Americans tends to lean in favor of democratic/progressive ideas. It should not take a rocket scientist to tell democratic candidates to run on these issues. People want good schools and highways. They want clean air and water. They want to be paid a decent wage. Democrats should run on those issues. It doesn’t mean you ignore things like gay rights and civil rights but for most voters it’s how a campaign promise affects them that count.
    Democrats should not be afraid of running on these issues. As long as they continue to run as republican lite they will continue to lose. They also have to relate the issue to the average voter. Prof. Krugman may understand the ins and outs of income inequality but for most voters their eyes will begin to glaze over. Now running on a specific promise to increase the minimum wage will get people’s attention and fits nicely in a 30 second TV ad. Heck last week several red states voted to increase the state minimum wage.
    The democrat still may lose for any number of reasons but at least they engaged to voters with concrete proposals, treated the voters like adults and showed that they were not captive to political spin doctors. They have to show the voter that they really believe in something. Instead we have the spectacle of Allison Grimes refusing to say whether she voted for Obama. She was an Obama delegate in the 2012 convention. To believe she did not vote for Obama fails the smacked ass test and just shows that she is a spineless wimp. As the old cliché goes it is better to be hung for a wolf than a sheep. The current crop of democrats are happily getting into their sheepskins.
    Even Obama falls into it. He is going to wait until Jan. 2015 to send up the AG nomination. WHY??????? The senate is in session, presidents have traditionally been given wide latitude in pick cabinet members and the nominee seems well qualified. There is no reason the nomination can’t be acted on before the Senate goes out of session. Surely it isn’t because he is afraid of what Ted Cruz thinks? If he thinks the nomination will get a better hearing in a GOP controlled senate, then he better switch to a better brand of weed.

  163. 163
    Kay says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    They have some good programs, the Labor Department. They have a new program here where they’re offering skilled trades training; electricians, etc. It’s thru a community college.

    I differentiate between the rip offs and the good investments by whether the person can take the training with them and work for any number of employers, or whether it’s geared toward ONE employer or sector.

  164. 164
    Marcion says:

    I do have one hope for the future, pessimistic as it may be. The R’s may well control the House till 2020 and beyond (don’t know if we can knock off enough state houses between now and then). Anybody here think we won’t have another financial crash in the next decade or so? Anybody?

    Even with the corporate backing they rely on, I don’t think the Tea Party would get behind another Wall Street bailout. These people really do have a form of populism, a form that only old white people can really love but a form nonetheless. They’re not going to get behind another trillion-dollar bailout just because some fancy pants economists say it might be a good idea. They hate the idea only slightly less than they hate paying for welfare to the lazy bla- , er, bums. That’s socialism, it’s rewarding irresponsibility, paying for failure, etc etc, and after all, the Free Market will take care of itself don’cha-know. And the Dems have big faction that will want to fuck the banks as well. So… I don’t think there will be anything like the bailouts happening next time unless the political stars are perfectly aligned. Which means Depression 2.0. I don’t think nostrums about tax cuts will work when we get to 25% unemployment. And I don’t think demonizing the lazy bums will work when most people see being a “lazy bum” in their potential future. Only question is, will the Dems be ready to take advantage of the opportunity or will they still be stuck in neoliberal technocrat mode?

  165. 165
    Ruckus says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    You aren’t forgetting the first black president are you? You know the one we elected in the 90s.

    Just in case…. /snark

  166. 166
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @d58826:

    If he thinks the nomination will get a better hearing in a GOP controlled senate, then he better switch to a better brand of weed.

    Panama Red? Maui Wowie? Colorado Kool-Aid?

    Oh, wait. The last one is a very shitty beer.

  167. 167
    Ruckus says:

    @burnspbesq:
    Do you understand context? Have any reading comprehension? Ever see anyone’s point of view other than your own? Even acknowledge that it might exist?

  168. 168
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Marcion: If they’re told to love the banks, they’ll love the banks.

    Economic self-interest won’t kick in until U6 reaches the same 40%-ish level we saw in 1929-1933.

    Till then, tribe. Race. Religion. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Even then it’s more likely you’ll see pogroms of various sorts rather than peasants storming castles.

  169. 169
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: Four simple questions.

    Eagerly anticipating complex lawyerly answers.

  170. 170
    pluege says:

    @constitutional mistermix:

    you first need to give them a reason to bother with it ][voting].

    How about: ‘if they don’t vote then they get whatever those who do vote feel like giving them, which as we see is mostly the shaft.’

    Democracy is for, and ONLY for the people that vote. Voters can get what they want sometimes or a bit. Non-voters get squat all the time.

  171. 171
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Even then it’s more likely you’ll see pogroms of various sorts rather than peasants storming castles.

    Don’t have time. Need to watch some reality show on the Hitler Channel.

  172. 172
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @d58826:

    The democrat still may lose for any number of reasons but at least they engaged to voters with concrete proposals, treated the voters like adults and showed that they were not captive to political spin doctors

    People vote party. Then race. Then region. Then religion — or the lack of it. Then, maybe, narrative. Or the way their parents always voted.

    Policy comes in around sixth or seventh. Races where you know the candidates, like state rep and state senate in a small state (I know my rep and see my senator a couple times a year) might be different. But races for governor, senator, president? They’re the opposite of policy referenda.

  173. 173
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    You like bullshit?

    Or are you just wondering what the quantity will be?

  174. 174
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @d58826: Democrats do run on those issues. Then Republicans run against them as tax-hikers. And usually the Republicans win, because the implicit argument that has convinced most Americans who vote is this: “there’s so much the government COULD do, but they already spent all the money on stupid shit, and I don’t want them taking it from me now, because I need it.” They support the idea of the government doing things, but they also support the idea that the government should be doing those things already on the money they already have. That’s why the most hopeful thing that happened in the Obama era was that tax rates went up slightly on the highest incomes, because it was _fairer_. It was the first crack in the anti-tax monolith of American politics.

  175. 175
    smintheus says:

    @Kay: Around here there are already way too many skilled electricians, plumbers, carpenters. They’re desperate to find enough work to keep going.

  176. 176
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I would say that that was due to the fact that the 2008 Democratic caucus included a lot of center-right members who largely share the concerns we think of as “Republican,” like deficit reduction and efficiency.

    In Europe, you fight the election, then build the coalition.
    In America, you build the coalition, then fight the election.

    And coalition poltics are ugly politics.

  177. 177
    BR says:

    @Marcion:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. No economy stays in growth forever, and our current growth phase is getting long in the tooth — the time between recessions has rarely been as long as the current span (7 years — 2007 to 2014). That means in the next year or two we’ll see a sharp economic drop into recession, which might be accompanied by some sort of bubble imploding (2007 was housing, 2001 was tech, 1990 was S&L, etc.) — probably the fracking bubble this time around.

    What then? If you’re right and there are no bailouts, we could well have a really bad outcome, especially with the kind of dysfunctional government we have now.

    I’m waiting to see a Democrat who comes at things from a populist and libertarian (lowercase L, not right-wing libertarian) perspective. Bernie Sanders does — he’s exactly that mold — we just need someone who’s 35 or 40, not 70.

  178. 178
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I think what we’ve learned in the past few election cycles is that Republicans will vote for Republicans come hell or high water. No matter how crazy they are. It doesn’t matter. That’s the team.

    But Democrats just don’t do that.

    Or, if you like, the people who _would be_ Democrats split between the ones who always vote for Democrats and the ones who only vote fitfully for anyone.

  179. 179
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @BR: Plenty of pundits in that sweet spot, but few politicians.

  180. 180
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No, I think you’re still not getting what it is I am suggesting.

  181. 181
    Cervantes says:

    @smintheus:

    Dems have grown extremely wary of blaming those who are to blame. Obama in particular set this supposedly high-minded tone in 2008 and has mostly clung to it since then. He missed a huge opportunity when he first ran to explain what happened and why the Republican philosophy is to blame for much of the mess we face.

    Which American president said the following in a speech, and when?

    And sometimes I’m supposed to be politic about how I say things — (laughter) — but I’m finding lately that I just want to say what’s on my mind. (Applause.) So let me just be clear — I want you to think about this — so far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every single serious idea to strengthen the middle class. You may think I’m exaggerating, but let me go through the list. They’ve said no to raising the minimum wage. They’ve said no to fair pay. Some of them have denied that there’s even a problem, despite the fact that women are getting paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is getting paid.

    They’ve said no to extending unemployment insurance for more than three million Americans who are out there looking every single day for a new job, despite the fact that we know it would be good not just for those families who are working hard to try to get back on their feet, but for the economy as a whole. Rather than invest in working families getting ahead, they actually voted to give another massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.

    AUDIENCE: Booo —

    THE PRESIDENT: Don’t boo, by the way. I want you to vote. (Laughter and applause.) I mean, over and over again, they show that they’ll do anything to keep in place systems that really help folks at the top but don’t help you. And they don’t seem to mind. And their obstruction is keeping a system that is rigged against families like Ben’s and Rebekah’s.

    Now, I’m not saying these are all bad people; they’re not. When I’m sitting there just talking to them about family, we get along just fine. Many of them will acknowledge when I talk to them — yes, I know, I wish we could do something more, but I can’t — but they can’t be too friendly towards me because they’d be run out of town by the Tea Party. (Laughter.)

    But sometimes I get a sense they just don’t know what most folks are going through. They keep on offering a theory of the economy that time and again failed for the middle class. They think we should give more tax breaks to those at the top. They think we should invest less in things like education. They think we should let big banks, and credit card companies, and polluters, and insurers do only whatever is best for their bottom line without any responsibility to anybody else. They want to drastically reduce or get rid of the safety net for people trying to work their way into the middle class.

    And if we did all these things, they think the economy will thrive and jobs will prosper, and everything will trickle down.

    And just because they believe it, it doesn’t mean the rest of us should be believing it — because we’ve tried what they’re peddling, and it doesn’t work.

    We know from our history that our economy does not grow from the top down, it grows from the middle out. We do better when the middle class does better. We do better when workers are getting a decent salary. We do better when they’ve got decent benefits. (Applause.) We do better when a young family knows that they can get ahead. And we do better when people who are working hard know that they can count on decent childcare at an affordable cost, and that if they get sick they’re not going to lose their homes.

    We do better when if somebody is stuck in a job that is not paying well enough, they know they can go get retrained without taking on huge mountains of debt. That’s when things hum. And with just a few changes in priorities, we could get a lot of that done right now if Congress would actually just think about you and not about getting reelected, not about the next election, not about some media sound bite, but just focus on you. (Applause.)

  182. 182
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I wish they’d stop bashing liberal arts, too, The most popular college major in this country isn’t art history or english, it’s business management and marketing. Ahem.

    You can have electricians and english majors, both at the same time. That’s possible and also desirable. It’s like liberals can’t get their shit together with this. They have to go to one extreme or the other. They won’t track anyone and then they want to track everyone, beginning in 7th grade. One doesn’t mean the other has to be devalued. Some people even move between them, in one career.

  183. 183
    Another_Bob says:

    There’s no excuse for regular voters to let wealthy special interests have their way, including refusing to vote because they’re too cynical or apathetic or uninformed. It’s a lame cop out to claim that young voters don’t vote because there’s supposedly nothing in it for them. If this country’s collective voters paid attention and informed themselves with honest information, the ability of wealthy interests to buy elections through dishonest campaign ads would be nullified. The voters of this country could have a political system that was completely focused on their needs if only they took a little trouble to actively participate. Fox News wouldn’t exist if more people like me made the not-rocket-science judgment that it’s bullshit and refused to watch it. People don’t have to allow themselves to be manipulated through their racism or cynicism, but they do. I’d have to say that this country’s political system sucks because too many American voters are not doing their job. Until that miraculously changes, things will remain as they are and quite likely even get worse. That’s still no excuse for not voting.

  184. 184
    BR says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It makes sense why that’s the case — left-libertarian positions (Sanders or the Green Party) are sort of anti-establishment, which is an odd place for a politician to be when seeking to be the establishment. But I think it’s an important corrective, one we really need right now.

    Also, I think we’ll be in really big trouble if we go with someone like HRC as the next standard-bearer, given that she’s even further away from the libertarian ethos that could attract young voters than Obama. (And against someone like Rand Paul I can imagine young men who’d normally for Democratic voting Republican.)

  185. 185
    d58826 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: @FlipYrWhig: I don’t disagree with both of these comments but at some point the democrats have to convince the voters that voting for the democratic party/tribe/etc will mean a better life for them and their kids. FDR did it (25% unemployemment helped). Of course the GOP will twist what ever the democrats say. That’s how the game is played but if the democrats adopt the position that whatever they say will be distorted then they will never open their mouths. If Obama invited Jesus over for Passover/Easter, the GOP would find something to complain about.

  186. 186
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    Thanks for finding and posting that.

  187. 187

    talk to a few twenty-somethings about key political issues. They, rightly, see a system that’s rigged to support the needs of the olds at their expense.

    I agree with that but how does staying at home and not participating in the process help their cause? That’s really pissing me off. Show you matter by fucking SHOWING UP. And if you don’t like the candidates, then vote for a 3rd party or find a candidate from among your ranks or whatever. Jesus fucking Christ, the Republicans just elected some 18-year-old pro-life twit college student to the West Virginia state legislature. She’s not even old enough to buy a damn beer.

    If you’re a liberal 20-something and you’re staying at home because you have sadz that your issues aren’t being addressed or the game is rigged, then I have no use for you.

  188. 188
  189. 189
    d58826 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Probaly easier to do in a multi=party parlimentary system than the one designed by Madison.

  190. 190
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Marcion: Anybody here think we won’t have another financial crash in the next decade or so? Anybody?

    Since Holder institutionalized Too Big to Jail and we’re presently in a secular bull market which folks are predicting has about another 8 year run, even something like a LTCM meltdown when the ruble collapsed was papered over by the NY Fed. From a market standpoint, we’re back in the 1990s; but from an overall economic standpoint, most of the middle class never really recovered.

    Now when China crashes-that’s when things wlll get interesting. Italy, Greece are basket cases; France is not well; Germany is getting close to recession; and -surprise- Iceland, which was held up as supposively back on its feet, really isn’t.

    Even with the corporate backing they rely on, I don’t think the Tea Party would get behind another Wall Street bailout.

    As long as the Teaheadists keep voting the way they keep voting, if and when it does happen, it will be too late for them to do anything about it. It will be signed, sealed and delivered. One 700-point drop in the Dow that one day back in 2007 will keep them in session for 24 hours to pass emergency legislation a la the PATRIOT act to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again. And the Security State and/or Xe will ensure their protection.

  191. 191
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Kay:

    They have some good programs, the Labor Department.

    Yes, they do. But in many cases those programs replace at taxpayer expense the kind of in-house training that businesses used to do themselves at their own expense.

    This, IMO, is the crux of the current education reform movement. Why are so many CEOs and other business people taking such an interest in “reforming” our education system. They don’t give a shit about education. They want “trained” workers not necessarily educated ones. There is a big difference.

  192. 192
    Marcion says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    But can they be told to love the banks so much they should give their Hard-Earned Tax Dollars (TM) to them?

    Go ask your right-wing uncle or whoever whether they think the Wall Street bailouts were a good idea. They’ll say no, no, no. They might follow it up with some kind of story about how the Community Reinvestment Act or fiat money were the REAL cause of the crash, not Wall Street greed (thinking businessmen are greedy is socialist talk). But none of them will tell you that shoveling money at said businessmen, no strings attached, was a good idea. Now, some of the more venal or establishment R’s might go along with it. But we’re talking about a caucus that seriously considered defaulting on the national debt might be a good idea that would help the economy. A lot of them are going to be thinking that having some banks fail might be just the thing to cleanse the rot out of the financial system, creative destruction, liquidate the losers, etc etc. It won’t get so bad anyway… the Free Market will spring back quickly as long as there’s no socialist interference. And so on and so forth. They aren’t just going to be able to ram through whatever the bankers want, there will be a big fight. And in a crisis, the longer the fight goes on the worse things will get.

  193. 193
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: Oh, man, I really hate the STEM emphasis that’s everywhere in education policy discussion. I teach English literature. It spooks the hell out of my students when they’re told over and over that the future is in tech and so forth. OK, maybe artistic appreciation is a luxury in a competitive world. But learning to sniff out propaganda and hidden agendas… That’s what a lot of the study of literature really is. And that has civic import. And sometimes I wonder if that’s why it gets trashed. I’m all about practicality, but there are other ways to be intelligent, practical, compassionate, and skeptical, and that’s the whole point of the liberal arts. C.f. Michael Bérubé’s _What’s Liberal about the Liberal Arts_.

  194. 194
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud:

    Same speech (Minneapolis, June 2014), another excerpt:

    And my message to Republicans is: Join us. Get on board. If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, then why don’t you join me and we’ll do it together? (Applause.) We’ll do it together. I’m happy to share the credit. You’re mad at me for doing some things to raise the minimum wage, let’s pass a law — Republicans and Democrats giving America a raise.

    If you’re mad at me for taking executive action to make it easier for women to find out if they’re not getting treated fairly in the workplace, let’s do it together. You can share the credit. (Applause.) You’re worried about me trying to fix a broken immigration system, let’s hold hands and go ahead and make sure that this country continues to be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. I want to work with you, but you’ve got to give me something. You’ve got to try to deliver something — anything. (Applause.)

    They don’t do anything — (laughter) — except block me. And call me names. It can’t be that much fun. (Laughter.) It’d be so much more fun if they said, you know what, let’s do something together. If they were more interested in growing the economy for you, and the issues that you’re talking about, instead of trying to mess with me — (laughter) — then we’d be doing a lot better. That’s what makes this country great, is when we’re all working together. That’s the American way.

    One can’t help feeling embarrassed for the country.

    The full speech is archived here.

  195. 195
    BR says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Decade? I’m thinking in the next year or two — before the next election — we’re going to see a major recession (and the popping of the fracking bubble, if nothing else). If Democratic politicians aren’t planning for it they’re going to be blindsided.

    Yeah you’re right that they might just pass emergency legislation anyway, no matter what the people want. (It’s not like TARP was popular even when it passed, and there was no tea party at the time.)

  196. 196
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: It’s a great speech from June of this year. Is the point of posting it to give others a chance to read it? Or something else?

  197. 197
    Renie says:

    I’m 57 and live in NY and have voted Democratic my whole voting life (except this year I didn’t vote for Cuomo.) What I don’t understand is why boomers vote Republican if boomers are invested in us having Social Security and Medicare. Republicans always want to trash it. So what’s the real logic to it?

  198. 198
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: I know what you’re suggesting. We’re having another one of our disputes where you talk about what they could or should have done and I talk about why they didn’t do it, irrespective of the merits.

  199. 199
    d58826 says:

    @Southern Beale: Maybe I’m looking at the 50’s thru rose colored glasses but it seemed like the ‘old’ (i.e. empty nesters) were willing to pay for good schools and infrastructure because it meant a well-educated workforce in a growing economy which helped pay for their social security benefits. In the meantime the young paid into social security because it helped their parents and at some point they would one of the ‘old’. There was more of a ‘we’re all in it together spirit’ rather than today’s ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s’ yours is only yours until I figure out how to steal it’. As I say maybe the past always looks better

  200. 200

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You ever read “Dehumanized: When Math & Science Rule The School,” from the September issue of Harper’s? It’s exactly what you’re talking about.

    We’re training kids to be worker bees but not to think critically and, as you say, “sniff out propaganda and hidden agendas.” The humanities are the biggest threat to the oligarchy that there is. That’s why totalitarian governments have always oppressed the artist class.

  201. 201
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Renie: The logic is that Democrats want to give unearned benefits, a/k/a welfare, to black and brown people, irresponsible sluts, and shiftless hipsters.

  202. 202

    @FlipYrWhig: Research budgets are being cut left right and center. The funding affected by sequester hasn’t been restored yet. So the political class’s STEM emphasis is lip-service more than anything else

  203. 203
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No, I am talking about what they *did* do and you are rationalizing it away by using familiar excuses.
    But you’re right, it is one of our usual routines.

  204. 204
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Southern Beale: I definitely read that, because I’m a subscriber, although I don’t have a strong memory of it…

  205. 205
    BR says:

    @d58826:

    I think you’re on to something — I think it really was more that way in the 1950s, but that was because the country was coming out of a terrible 15 years of depression and war, and there was a sense of national unity that was forged from it. In historical terms, I think we’re at the point right now *before* the depression, rather than after it — a time when the elites enrich themselves and the political system is broken but voters are apathetic. After our equivalent of the depression / WWII perhaps we’ll be back to the 1950s-style unity again.

  206. 206
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’ve heard Obama make similar speeches many times. I’ve also heard him take on conservative economics many times. And I’ve seen it all be ignored by people who complain that Dems need to be tougher in their rhetoric.

    Whatever.

  207. 207
    Ivan X says:

    I don’t think it’s just about big money and feckless Democrats.

    I’m far more apathetic than I was four years ago. I used to get all into it and go out and canvass and send out emails to people and be all IT MATTERS. And I know that it does matter, because I saw what happened in 2000.

    But here’s the thing: The 60-vote Senate (and the media’s norming of it), and the redistricted House in 2010 just pretty much ruined it for me. (And then there was Citizens United, just for some icing on the cake.) I went out and stumped for Obama in 2012, but it was with the full and clear knowledge that all I’d be doing was preventing a wrecking ball from swinging. I had nothing to specifically look forward to in his re-election, and of course I was right about that. Why do you think Cole stopped posting for so long? It sucks the life out of you knowing that nothing you believe in can or will be accomplished, and all you’re trying to do is keep what you have. I knew full well that nothing could or would get accomplished that I’d be excited about with this House and this Senate.

    So this cycle, I voted and all, but I’m in true blue NY, and I feel fatigue from the uselessness of it. After Bush I went from being a proud “independent thinking” liberal to a proud partisan Democrat. Now I’m a resigned, disillusioned partisan Democrat, not because I think the Democrats suck per se, but because I don’t actually really think anything worthwhile can happen until 2020 at the earliest, and then you’d still need 60+ Democratic Senators. I don’t see that happening. The only purpose of political involvement for me at this point, at the national level, feels like trying to keep the hoodlums out of your house, but it’s not like the neighborhood is improving any time soon. It’s just damage prevention, which is depressing and unmotivating and hardly in the tradition of American optimism and possibility.

    So can I blame a twentysomething for not giving a shit? Fuck no. They haven’t experienced a palpable enough sense of how much damage can be caused Republicans, so they aren’t negatively motivated, and there’s nothing they sense that government can actually do for them, which I think is systemically true, so they aren’t positively motivated.

    You might make an argument that it’s one’s patriotic duty to vote, but I don’t think you can point a finger of blame at someone who can accurately assess a futile system, and who makes a decision accordingly not to participate in it, and doesn’t see how their participation might actually fix it. (Because, I mean, really, how does it?) We’ve got an fucking enormous systemic problem, and you need a movement leader to change something like that. But there’s no obvious rallying cry — gerrymandering, filibustering, and the electoral college are pretty abstruse issues to get a lot of people behind.

    So I’ve sort of given up hoping. I’ll vote, but I can’t, in my heart, get angry at those who don’t if they haven’t experienced a good reason to, like I did after 2000.

  208. 208
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: right, what they did do was play on a playing field where center-right D’s and a diminishing number of center-right R’s like to hang out. They didn’t do something else because those D’s unfortunately believe in that shit and don’t change their minds readily.

  209. 209
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What, exacly, is a trust fund inherited from a robber baron ancestor? It’s the ultimate in an unearned benefit.

  210. 210
    Tree With Water says:

    Sanders observation serves to expose the implications inherent in the “lesser of two evils” rationale. It is a rationale of diminishing returns- the past 34 years proves that- and it has met its match in todays GOP. It has been exposed, hit the wall, run out its string. The democratic leadership has been checkmated. The rank and file has been led into a political box canyon, and something has got to give. What that change will entail, who knows? and that’s why people are so spooked.

  211. 211
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @BR:

    (and the popping of the fracking bubble, if nothing else)

    Right now it’s the Saudi’s that are driving down the oil prices-operational fracking wells aren’t in any real danger; spinning up new operations, OTOH, and pushing through Keystone will put a even bigger crimp on pricing.

  212. 212
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Is the point of posting it to give others a chance to read it?

    Not saying one speech fully answers any big question but see here (again) and then here.

  213. 213
    smintheus says:

    @Cervantes: Six years into his presidency and the most he can muster is pretty thin tea…gentle criticism of the Republicans that still keeps holding out the possibility that he can work with them: They’re not bad people, just held hostage to the Tea Party. They ought to try working more with me.

    Not: They believe that government is always the problem, never the solution, and their policies are designed to make that the case. We’re trying to make govt. work; they try to make it dysfunctional. You vote for Republicans and they’ll make everything worse.

  214. 214
    Felonius Monk says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Oh, man, I really hate the STEM emphasis that’s everywhere in education policy discussion.

    I agree with you 100%. Moreover, the premise the STEM emphasis is based on is pure and utter bullshit and in one form or another it has gone on for the past 60 years. It started in the late 1950s with Sputnik and it is nothing more than propaganda usually promulgated for the purpose of keeping engineering/science salaries low.

    I am an engineer and I firmly believe that the best education for an engineer is a liberal arts education.

  215. 215
    d58826 says:

    The republicans aren’t stupid (even if their voters are). It has been a 2 pronged approach. For the young – social security won’t be there for you so vote for our privatization plan (otherwise known as the ‘make a banker even richer’ plan). And for the old the plan won’t kick in until after they have died. Somewhere in there is an age cohort that will get screwed out of social security before the alleged benefits of privatization have kicked in. They also conveniently forget to mention the trillions of dollars of transition costs that someone has to pay for. Oh yes the Chinese will pay for that and shift the cost to our grandchildren but our grandchildren can’t vote yet. It even has a name – the Ryan Budget

  216. 216
    BR says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    I’m not talking about pricing of oil — I’m talking about the financing mechanisms used by fracking operators. It’s not widely reported, but right now there are shale plays being packaged and bundled in exactly the same way mortgages were with mortgage backed securities in the mid 2000s. When the next recession hits and oil prices start to decline, fracking operators won’t be able to operate in a low price environment (because of their high operating costs) and the financial pyramid built on shale plays will crumble. It won’t be nearly as big of an issue to the wider economy since the housing market is way bigger than shale plays, but it will affect our oil supply towards the end of this decade.

  217. 217
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: True, but your common over-60 story is that your parents had to scrabble for every cent and that gave you a Work Ethic, and now the benefits you’ve earned are a sign of your virtue having been rewarded. But Today’s America, wow, they don’t know the value of a dollar or the virtues of hard work, they just play with their video games and get tattoos and take naked pictures of themselves, and they don’t know the first thing about reality, and that’s who Democrats want to help, so you’re voting Republican to hold back the tide and take a stand for the America you remember.

  218. 218
    Kay says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    We probably agree on the “reform movement”. One of my big concerns about the move towards vocational ed in Ohio (which I support, generally) is it will be rife with rip-offs and grifters and scammers and that will discredit vocational ed.

    I can already see it happening. Ohio is moving toward a two-track HS diploma. It’s bewildering, but ti boils down to students can choose from a menu of “credentials” if they aren’t on a college track. The testing and credentialing part there seems absolutely vulnerable to all manner of ed reform scammers. A Clinton/Bush ed reformer from Texas is pushing it in Ohio. HE was so crooked Texas passed A LAW that he could no longer lobby in the statehouse.

    There is demand, though. We have a multi-county vocational ed program that is wildly popular. It’s public, so I support that. It’s solid. They’ll get jobs when they get out of there and they choose it. If they want an academic track even with low grades or test scores they can choose that instead. They’re not “tracked” where one option precludes the other. Anyone can try either.

  219. 219
    Marcion says:

    @BR:

    I’m not sure. Usually bubbles come on the back of a burst of strong or strong-ish economic growth… and what we have now isn’t strong at all. I’d put the next crash sometime before this decade is out, or the early 2020s at the very latest. I just don’t see what sector’s going to pop, is fracking anywhere near as big as housing was in 2007? Admittedly most people got blindsided by the housing bubble, but… I don’t see it, yet.

    I do think our current situation of “huge corporate profits” plus “anemic consumer demand” makes another bubble inevitable. Where will they put the money if they can’t invest it in making things people actually will buy? Huge pointless bubbles, that’s where.

  220. 220
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And when our people don’t vote, it just confirms their viewpoint.

  221. 221
    d58826 says:

    @BR: It’s probably an over simplification but the shared experience of WWII probably had a lot to do with it. Sure by dint of education and maybe connections the B-17 pilot was part of the upper crust while the gunners were just hillbillies’ from Arkansas but every one had to work together if they wanted to get home alive. All of a sudden your life was in the hands of the ‘other’. It made it a bit more difficult to demonize the other.

  222. 222
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: I’m going to enjoy the sheer audacity of the response, from an esthetic perspective.

    Bullshit properly done can be very entertaining…as long as your bullshit detector is properly calibrated and you know that it’s bullshit, and not to be taken without several Great Salt Lakes of salt.

    So far, I’m in the letdown mode…no marvelous lawyerly response yet. “With all due respect, your Honor….”

  223. 223
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They didn’t do something else because those D’s unfortunately believe in that shit and don’t change their minds readily.

    Nobody made President Obama discuss austerity as if it was a legitimate response re: policy. Nobody made him talk about belt tightening. Nobody made him freeze wages for govt employees. Or any of a handful of reactions that simply weren’t forced to happen.
    Sure, you can say he had a coalition that had to be placated to some extents, and that is true. But they did not force him to make some of those decisions and/or statements. He may not have had the leeway to go scorched earth as some want(ed). But he for fuck sake did not have to lend legitimacy and or viability to the fucking BS that has been killing us.
    Lieberman, or McAskill or Warner or who have you all existed. They may have rounded out the limits to where some might have wanted to go. But they did not make the things actually happen that did happen.
    IMO, they provide an easy, and wrong, excuse for those looking for one.

  224. 224
    BR says:

    @Marcion:

    I agree that fracking isn’t anywhere near as big as housing — I think it’s probably comparable to the first tech bubble, in that it will add some downside to a recession but won’t be a catastrophic-bottom-falls-out-of-the-economy sort of moment. However, I’d bet that we don’t need to wait until the end of the decade to see the next recession (and who knows if there’s another bubble out there that we don’t realize is on the verge of popping), and that it’s going to shape the 2016 election. (Hell, it’s possible that Ebola keeps spreading in slums of the world and causes a crash in global trade even if it never directly affects the U.S. as an epidemic.)

    I really have despaired about our political future, and worry that except for Obama and Biden (and a few others like Warren and Merkley and Sanders) there are really very few Democrats that get it — most still think we’re in the Clintons’ world of the 1990s. We’re not, and we need a very different corrective perspective to get us through what are probably going to be some very hard years to come.

  225. 225
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @d58826: As Tom Wolfe pointed out in The Right Stuff, there’s a reason why airline pilots sound like they grew up in some holler in West Virginia.

    That reason is Chuck Yeager.

    WWII was very egalitarian in many ways. Actual ability was valued…family connections not nearly as important. Sure, George H.W. Bush got his foot in the door at officer level and as an aviator because of family connections, but family connections would not protect you from incompetence. Unlike with his worthless deserting coward son.

  226. 226

    Just got in a big Twitter argument with someone about this very thing. 80% of young people didn’t vote, but somehow sucking on your thumb and complaining that the system is stacked against you is magically going to change things? Sorry, I don’t have the energy to feel sorry for you.

  227. 227
    d58826 says:

    @Kay: Hopefully there will be jobs when they graduate. My understanding of the system in Europe, esp. Germany, is that the local business community is tied into the program. The kids spend part of the day in school and part of the day on the job. When they graduate the job is right there waiting for them.

  228. 228
    Cervantes says:

    @smintheus:

    Six years into his presidency and the most he can muster is pretty thin tea…gentle criticism of the Republicans that still keeps holding out the possibility that he can work with them: They’re not bad people, just held hostage to the Tea Party. They ought to try working more with me.

    Not: They believe that government is always the problem, never the solution, and their policies are designed to make that the case. We’re trying to make govt. work; they try to make it dysfunctional. You vote for Republicans and they’ll make everything worse.

    Instead of rehearsing the obvious responses to the above, let me just say I’m reminded of what William Randolph Hearst said about a critic, that “If he stops lying about me, I’ll stop telling the truth about him.”

    (Caveat: Hearst paraphrased from memory).

  229. 229

    @d58826:

    That generation had just come out of WWII where everyone was expected to ration food, gas, sugar, nylon stockings, etc. “for the duration,” i.e. for the public good because we were at war. And buy war bonds. This was that generation’s view of patriotism. Today, patriotism is empty flag-waving and war-mongering.

    A vast swath of today’s America is spoiled. And I’m not just talking about people under 30, I’m talking about a large group of us oldz, too.

  230. 230
    gogol's wife says:

    @Another_Bob:

    This is right on. THERE ARE MORE OF US THAN THERE ARE OF THEM. If we vote, we get the society we want.

  231. 231
    PJ says:

    @Kay: The fear may not be as drastic as getting fired, but certainly it will be counted against you in terms of promotions or bonuses, particularly when the person you are competing with is not taking vacation time either.

  232. 232
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, fiction is attractive because as Samuel L. Clemens pointed out, it has to make sense…even if it is perverse sense with no foundation in reality.

    Reality is much more complicated, of course, and is stranger than fiction.

  233. 233

    @Southern Beale: They don’t think voting will change anything. I may not feel bad for them, but I feel bad for me because I’m sandwiched between asshole old voters and young apathetics.

  234. 234
    d58826 says:

    @Southern Beale: I’ve told my 20 something nieces that us boomers have left a pretty shitty legacy for them to cleanup

  235. 235
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    As expected. Both your reply and the non reply.

  236. 236
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Eh, on balance I think it explains most of the most frustrating things that happened. I’ll concede that rhetoric is different from policy and the funky coalition can’t explain all of the rhetoric. But I think it explains virtually all of the policy. And of course we disagree on it. I don’t quite see why you would easily get why Allison Grimes ran the way she did but not how this worked, because to me it’s two sides of the same coin, but, ya know, YMMV. One of the nice(?!) things about the losses of people like Pryor and the near-loss of Warner is that maybe it’ll lead Democratic strategists to try new things — they won’t be able to cite Sun Belt victories as a rationale for center-right rhetoric and squishy promises of bipartisanship, because all those efforts failed spectacularly. Something new may fail spectacularly too, but at least confirmation bias is diminishing…

  237. 237
    Marcion says:

    @BR:

    Well, the Blue Dogs got slaughtered. The remainder of the Democratic part is made up now, more than ever (in my life anyway) of people who do “get it”. If Clinton is the standard bearer and tries to run on the weak tea centrist stuff she might win just cause the GOP throws up a looney like Cruz, but I don’t see that actually moving the country forward in any significant way, since GOP will control at least one house of Congress. It’d be just a repeat of the post 2010 Obama presidency. And I think voters are really, really sick of that environment and will continue to blame the President and his/her party for not being a dictator who can break heads and end the gridlock. It’s certainly NOT what we need to get the statehouses that we desperately need in 2020. I fear that after 3 Dem terms, then we’d be up against severe party fatigue and we’d get wiped out in a Census year… again. Which sets us up for another decade of frustration. We need to tap into some kind of populism to prevent that from happening.

    I do think Clinton can pull it off if she takes the effort to listen to the base, though. The Clintons are political operators, they can read the political winds. Yeah she’s got Goldman buddies but… remember FDR was part of a wealthy family himself. And he was a bit of a chameleon himself, he ran against Hoover’s deficit spending originally. Hillary’s no FDR, but she might be able to stem the damage till one comes along. Can she do it? We’ll see, if we see the same hacks popping up in her campaign as last time that will be a bad sign, but if Bernie or a Progressive Protest Candidate To Be Named Later can push her into bringing in some new blood, then maybe she can.

  238. 238
    vheidi says:

    @smintheus: agree 100%

  239. 239
    Cervantes says:

    @smintheus:

    we get Republican triumphalism – as if convincing 2/3 of the public of the pointlessness of voting is a victory for them

    Objectively, it is.

  240. 240
    d58826 says:

    @Marcion: Heck FDR never told his left thumb what his left index finger was doing. He succeeded in playing all sides against all sides and coming out on top. Of course it helped having a big democratic majority in Congress. And yes that majority included the racist southern wing. But as long as FDR was willing to live with Jim Crow then the southerners were willing to go along with the new deal and later the GI Bill. After all it did help their constituents (i.e. white people). Obviously much of that Jim Crow baggage has been eliminated from the programs but it took awhile.

  241. 241
    Kay says:

    @d58826:

    The local business community is tied pretty well into the both the vocational HS and the community college (they’re both on the same campus). That isn’t new here. That’s been a piece all along.

    We had a series of community meetings here because we’re building a new K-12 public school. It was really interesting. One of the big things that came out of it was parents who are not college educated felt their jobs were devalued at the schools, that the entire focus was “go to college”. They may WANT their kid to go to college, but they have to feel that the vocational track is also respected, because that’s what THEY did. I was persuaded. I didn’t realize to what extent they had been sidelined or made to feel less-than. One example was we do this giant community-wide thing on scholarships. The kids who are going to college and getting scholarships get a town assembly, front page in the paper, etc. They don’t do anything like that for the kids who are going on to two-year job training.

    I know that wouldn’t be true in a lot of places, but it is true here, and it’s true here because only 25% have a college education. They don’t get brought into anything. It’s all decided by “community leaders” all of whom have a college degree or degrees.

  242. 242
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But I think it explains virtually all of the policy.

    Come on, man. You do this every time.
    I’ve been talking about lending legitimacy to the R’s this whole thread. We spent two fucking years talking about the god damned deficit. And not jobs. Not infrastructure, not teachers, not pushing back against all the cuts that were going to doom any kind of recovery for the middle class.
    Don’t tell me Mary in LA or Claire or Blanche or Pryor or Tester made Obama frame that shit the way he did. For four+ damn years.

  243. 243
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    @Baud: Agreed, but a big paycheck is lots more reason than most rural kids see. Rather than Deficit Monsters etc, they may well have a real income be working and see the EPA as a threat to that. Poison it is, but ah youth.

    I’m with BR in that it will be a depression and war (I’m talking conscription here) to make us re-learn old lessons.

  244. 244
    d58826 says:

    @Kay: In the mid-60’s, when I was in high school, there were three tracks – 1. college prep, 2. business (for the girls more interested in a MRS. than a BS) and 3. the vocation track (other wise known as the thugs and the just waiting to drop out crowd). Funny how all of us really bright college prepers as we set our sights on medical school never thought about who would fix the lights and the plumbing in that shiny operating room.

  245. 245
    Ruckus says:

    Good politics is taking the current situation and convincing people that your direction will make their lives better because it will.
    Bad politics is taking the current situation and convincing people that making someone’s else’s life better will benefit them, somehow, eventually, maybe.
    Right now bad politics is winning. You want to know why we lost? The other side played bad politics better than we did. You want youngs to vote? You want olds to vote based on what is actually good for them? Change the way politics is done. Change the story. Be better. Most of the democrats were afraid to play better politics. So most anyone who did the math instead of being tribal, stayed home. It’s the wrong answer to the question but it is the one that most people come up with. We have to change the way politics are played, at least on our side. That will win. And yes we need to do that in the red areas, even if we don’t do it to the same degree. It may get lots worse before it gets better but it will never get better if we play the other sides game.

  246. 246
    rikyrah says:

    the obit on the horror that was the Grimes candidacy. She was a bad candidate.

    ……………

    November 7, 2014 11:02 am
    The Red State Wedding: Why McConnell blew out Grimes

    by Joe Sonka

    As we mentioned Wednesday, no one was shocked that Alison Lundergan Grimes fell short in her bid to defeat Sen. Mitch McConnell, but her shellacking by over 15 percent was a jaw-dropper. Most reporters and pundits already had their post-mortem obituary ready on why McConnell won but had to frantically amend it to account for the fact that the race was a blowout just 30 minutes after the polls closed.

    These Grimes campaign obituaries vary widely: Some blame incompetent management, some credit a first-rate McConnell campaign, some say Grimes went overboard on distancing herself from the president, and some say Grimes never had a chance. There’s at least a grain of validity to each claim, but there’s little doubt the Grimes’ campaign was flawed given the blowout. And when a campaign that most signs show was competitive weeks earlier suddenly falls to such a wide margin of defeat on Election Day, it seems clear they built their foundation on shaky ground.

    …………………………….

    There isn’t a Kentucky political reporter whose opinion I respect more than CNHI’s Ronnie Ellis, who says one of the biggest errors of Grimes’ campaign was not putting ads on the air during McConnell’s primary fight with Matt Bevin so she could fully introduce herself to voters. The only problem with that theory is it assumes she ever fully introduced herself to voters at any point in the campaign. To a large extent, she never did.

    ………………..

    But in the final week of the campaign, something unexpected happened. Polls began to show that not only were Grimes’ favorable ratings going down fast, but McConnell’s were improving. This was shown to be the case in exit polls conducted on Election Day. These voters gave McConnell a favorable rating of 48 percent – unheard of in any poll done in the last few years – which matched his unfavorable rating. Meanwhile, Grimes’ favorable rating plunged to 40 percent, while her unfavorables rocketed to 57 percent. When asked which candidate was the target of the most unfair ads, they did not say Grimes, but McConnell. After all, the McConnell camp had pointed out that fact-checkers had debunked Grimes’ ads, while McConnell’s ads had him Krogering and playing with adorable hound dogs.

    The ads targeting Grimes were so effective not only because she had not defined herself, but also because Grimes played right into them with her tortured explanations for why she would not answer if she voted for Obama in The Courier-Journal editorial board interview and KET Senate debate. Grimes’ explanation – that she wouldn’t tell us because she was somehow protecting our right to a secret ballot – was not believed by anyone, even her most loyal supporters. The fear of avoiding a two second sound byte in a TV ad wound up backfiring, as McConnell’s ads full of media talking heads bashing her answer likely did more harm to her credibility than any ad saying she voted for Obama would have.

    Many have speculated this non-answer on Obama – and perhaps her attacks on the EPA and immigrants, as well as her reluctance to embrace Kynect and the Affordable Care Act – is what wound up depressing her urban base of Democratic supporters.

    http://insiderlouisville.com/m.....-grimes/3/

  247. 247
    d58826 says:

    And the good times just keep coming. Arizona voters have approved prop. 122 which allows the state to withhold money and staffing from any federal program that the state deems to be unconstitutional. and the supremacy clause be damned!!!! Full speed ahead on nullification. And Obama is supposed to co-operate with the federal level GOPPers?

  248. 248
    Bonnie says:

    In 1963, I got my first job. My salary was $1.12 and 3/4 cents. I think that was a poverty wage; but, I was so ecstatic to be working that I found a way to live on it. I remember that I had lunch and a lunch counter close to my job, and, was able to keep my lunch expenses under a dollar. Later, I joined the union and my salary when up to a whopping $1.61 and 1/2 cents. I was rolling in dough.

  249. 249
    muddy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Unlike with his worthless deserting coward son.

    Did you see this, I laughed really hard, but kind of wanted to cry.

    The obliviousness is absolutely perfect. Also love the way he produces “flotsam” with childish pride in knowing a big word but mispronounces it. Tries to be self-deprecating about his age, but can’t handle it and so tells old Bob that he is old too. (omg so funny, so sad)

    Check Laura turning into Bar, wearing a “good blue” with a single strand of big pearls. Is it the matriarchal costume of their tribe? And smiling like the fucking Joker, scary!

  250. 250
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Marcion: What’s really happening is all the useless stock buyback bullshit that does nothing but raise stock value that makes the CEO’s bonus look good, but does nothing for corporate fundamentals. That’s what kept IBM going for quite a while until it finally bit ’em big time last quarter-they could no longer keep the shell game going. Hell, they had to PAY GlobalFoundares a billion dollars to take their wafer fab plants off their hands.

  251. 251
    Corner Stone says:

    @rikyrah: She was never going to win. For fuck’s sake, just let it go.

  252. 252
    d58826 says:

    @Bonnie: My first summer job, at 14, paid a buck an hour – $30 a week take home after taxes. I bought an 8 transistor portable radio with my frst check and a fishing rod/reel with my second. Life was good.

  253. 253
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kay: I’m a Latin-Greek-sometimes-German teacher. Phi Beta Kappa, too. I can sweat copper pipe, and conjugate Greek μι verbs. On a good day I can conjugate the verbs while I’m sweating the pipe.

    I support ‘vocational’ education for all.

    Laborare est orare – “To work is to pray.” St. Benedict of Nursia

  254. 254
    d58826 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: (sigh) I can’t tell a noun from a verb and for the life of me I’m not sure which end of the nail to hit. I am very good at hammering my thumb however. Me thinks some vo-tech would have helped. Seriously I think vo-tech is important. We all can’t go to college and keeping the infrastructure running is important

  255. 255
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @Bonnie: I just checked an inflation calculator. Until 1963, the minimum wage was 25 cents per hour, so your boss may have been patting himself on the back for his generosity. In today’s terms, $1.12 is $8.59.

    In 1963, it was raised to $1.25. Corrected for inflation, that would be $9.58 today.

    The current minimum wage is $7.25.

  256. 256
    Sharon says:

    @Irony Abounds: one day, if you’re lucky, you will be “old.”

    That is all.

  257. 257
    Karen in SoCal says:

    @the Conster: Don’t blame all of us boomers. I lost my job 6 years ago and now I’ve run through everything I had. I’m facing poverty in my old age and now I expect the Republican congress to take away entitlements.

  258. 258
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: The $10.10 movement picked the number because it’s both memorable, and a good close approximation to the constant-dollar value of the 1970 minimum wage.

  259. 259
    mai naem says:

    Well, this thread is depressing. I’ve seen statistics all over the place. Asians moved the the GOP by ten percent. Latinos were almost a 50/50 split in Texas. Alabama has no white Dem state legislators anymore. There are no white Dems congress reps from the Deep South and if Mary Landrieu loses no white Dem congressional critters period. We are all joking about the olds dying off which may be good for the Dems long term but I have to wonder in the very short term(2016), you slice up the olds and I’m guessing you’re losing more 90+ yr old New Deal Dems than 70+ yr old Reagan Dems.

  260. 260
    Kay says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Public schools have an impossible job. They have to meet the expectations of a “good education” when no one agrees on what that means.

    I couldn’t do it. I would be enraged all the time. It strikes me as brutally unfair, almost ludicrously so, and I don’t even work in one.

    The new thing is “financial literacy”. I saw it coming here and all I could think was “sure, pile one more thing on them. Now they’re responsible for the work that lenders are supposed to be doing”. They’re drowning. Throw them another anvil!

  261. 261
    Cervantes says:

    @Bonnie:

    Great to hear your recollections. I bet you have more.

  262. 262
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kay: The irony is, these kids, most of them, will have no money to demonstrate mastery of the topic with.

    It’s like sex ed for eunuchs.

  263. 263
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    Teaching “financial literacy” may be a little difficult when students can’t tell the difference between, say, 0.01 and 0.01% — but I do think it’s important. Trusting the marketplace to worry about such things on behalf of customers is reckless beyond calculation.

  264. 264
    Cervantes says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The irony is, these kids, most of them, will have no money to demonstrate mastery of the topic with.

    True enough, but they can still be lured into nightmares of debt.

  265. 265
    d58826 says:

    @Karen in SoCal:No us boomers aren’t all at fault. Many are suffering just like everyone else. It’s just that the generation that was gong to reject materialism and create a better world went whole hog Madison ave and helped start the Reagan ‘revolution’. Now that vote is coming back to haunt everyone

  266. 266
    Keith G says:

    @Kay: As a once upon a time economics teacher, I think financial literacy is among the most important skill sets a student can leave high school with. Of course much depends on the objectives taught.

    Despite the fussing of my department chair**, I always made room in my unit plans to throw in some Fin Lit. We learned about the impact of various interest rates on debt, about bank fees, about the budget requirements of financing, legally operating, and maintaining an automobile.

    For some, the eye opener was when I had them characterize what they wanted their life as a young independent adult to be like, had then guess what type of hourly wage would support that life, and then confronted them with the real world numbers. To put it mildly, there was usually a gap.

    edit

    ** At that time financial lit was only scantly covered in most econ courses in high school. I took time away from more esoteric info.

  267. 267
  268. 268
    Chris says:

    @Ivan X:

    I feel you. That’s exactly where I am right now. The midterm election has a lot to do with it. I can’t remember ever being this despairing about politics; I just don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

    @d58826:

    That shit makes me drool with envy. Over here, we’re told to be prepared to take lots and lots of internships. Almost all of them unpaid, most of them a transparent revolving door for unpaid labor that they have no intention of ever letting into the company.

  269. 269
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    We learned about the impact of various interest rates on debt, about bank fees, about the budget requirements of financing, legally operating, and maintaining an automobile.

    Sounds good — really useful.

    Did you by any chance spend time on the basics of starting and operating a (very) small business?

    (I’m aware that kids in some neighborhoods — the West Side of Baltimore, for example — don’t need too many lessons from outsiders as they teach themselves — are sometimes forced to learn — a lot — sometimes too much — about certain kinds of entrepreneurial endeavors.)

  270. 270
    cckids says:

    @constitutional mistermix:

    there is a fight going on and you’re passing by. Two people are fighting: both suck, but one sucks less. What is your motivation to jump into that fight on the side of the one who sucks less?

    Well, if the fight involves grenade throwing & shooting missiles, I’ll jump in on the side of the one who sucks less to try and not get killed by random fire. The fight needs to stop.

  271. 271
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes: I created a nifty ‘lil hands on activity demo-ing the production function – looking at marginal product and staffing. The goal was to help them see there was a line of reasoning behind deciding appropriate output and staffing in a small enterprise.

    You are right in that there was an episode in the first season of The Wire where D Barksdale explains this to his crew.

  272. 272
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    demo-ing the production function

    Production function, what’s your junction?

  273. 273
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: As if.

    Wait…that actually was a conjunction. I am stumped.

  274. 274
    Linda says:

    @WereBear: It will be acknowledged when old ,rich people are consistently challenged by the young and disenfranchised. The young’ns voted once. Big deal. Changing the system takes persistent effort. And it’s a pain in the ass. But unless you persist, nothing gets better.

  275. 275
    billb says:

    Since some have bitched about ‘not voting in Oregon’ I will give some background. The big city/valley are massively D, and the down state is R. The D wins all elections, even corrupt 4 time Gov Kitz wins. We Independents are now over 30% of the Reg. Voters, and we have NO ONE to vote for. You tell me to vote, HMM vote for a corrupt D or a crazy R, no thanks, we sit on our hands. THIS SYSTEM is rigged for the parties and not the citizens.
    AND if the 1% feel empowered, they should look to the arab spring, you fck the people long enough, they come for you.
    Look at those students in Mexico, burning the palace doors, History says, you are next congress……

  276. 276
    mclaren says:

    Two words:

    Tumbrels.

    Guillotines.

  277. 277
    LAC says:

    If you didn’t vote when you could, you can go fuck yourselves and those idiots writing in support of this action can go find a sparkle pony to go fuck as well. Remind us of all this righteous purity bullshit when ms. Inevitable begins her run. We had better get in line then,right corner stoned?

  278. 278
    Chris says:

    @mclaren:

    One word: Yes.

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