It Takes a Party

Though I ultimately voted for Clinton in my primary, I was an early Sanders supporter and still subscribe to the theory that his candidacy moved the political conversation in the Democratic Party leftward. I think this is a good thing.

The pendulum of U.S. politics had swung way too far to the right, beginning with Reagan and continuing with Bush I. President Bill Clinton slowed it down, but Bush II accelerated it again. President Obama arrested the rightward motion and turned it back.

Now we need to build on that and achieve a period of liberal ascendency, and we need to expand it beyond the federal level to retake state governments. That’s too big a job for one person. That sort of sustained effort takes a party.

One concern I had about Sanders’ candidacy, and particularly the tone the senator took after being routed in New York, was that the young voters he was attracting were lightly affiliated with the Democrats. But there are heartening signs that this may not be the case.

Josh Marshall at TPM has more about the Harvard Institute of Politics poll (alluded to in Anne Laurie’s morning post here) that explored millennials’ political leanings in depth. Here are some of the findings:

— Among 18 to 29 year olds, Clinton beats Trump 61% to 25% to 14% undecided

— In spring of 2015, this age group wanted the Democratic Party to win the next presidential election by 15 points (55% to 40%); a year later, that spread has increased to 28 points (61% to 32%)

— For the first time in five years, the number of self-identified Democrats is higher than self-identified independents (Dem 40%-Indy 36%-GOP 22%)

Marshall points to other evidence in the polling data that suggests younger voters are becoming not only more liberal but more Democratic and concludes: “the primary process itself – as divisive as it has sometimes seemed – has deepened young voters’ identification with the Democratic Party.”

I don’t know about you, but for me, reading that is a tonic after a week of hearing comments that echoed the disastrous run-up to Nadergeddon 2000, e.g., “duopoly” and “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference,” etc.

The Democratic Party isn’t perfect, but it is the vehicle we have to effect change. Secretary Clinton, who will be our nominee, understands this better than most. That may make her the perfect woman for this particular time in history.

Here’s hoping Senator Sanders’ younger supporters won’t wait for Secretary Clinton to court them but rather will roll up their sleeves and take on the hard tasks of party building to create the political future they want to see. Because it takes a party.

ETA: J-TWO-O is keeping a running tally of Democratic Party primary and caucus vote totals. Secretary Clinton’s lead increased to more than three million last night.






297 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I’d like to think I contributed in a small way to those positive poll numbers.

  2. 2
    Gimlet says:

    The Democratic Party isn’t perfect, but it is the vehicle we have to effect change. Secretary Clinton, who will be our nominee, understands this better than most. That may make her the perfect woman for this particular time in history.

    The Democratic Party establishment is interested in recruiting and supporting former Republicans and “centrists” not progressives or socialists.

  3. 3
    different-church-lady says:

    I don’t know about you, but for me, reading that is a tonic after a week of hearing comments that echoed the disastrous run-up to Nadergeddon 2000, e.g., “duopoly” and “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference,” etc.

    The difference between data and opinion is frequently refreshing.

  4. 4
    Princess says:

    Hillary is going to have to find a response to Trump’s anti-trade “they stole our jobs” argument. It is the only good case he really has in his tool box (not that he ever says what he’d do or how it would work) but she needs to find a way to address people who will resonate to it. Identity politics alone is not going to work.

  5. 5
    amk says:

    well played title.

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gimlet: Then progressives and socialists need to get involved in the party in greater numbers and change that, not sit around and whine about it or mount quixotic third party candidacies that amount to a fart in a whirlwind. Don’t you think the success Senator Sanders had constitutes “a moment”? He’s not going to prevail, but he ran a spirited contest, got his core issues noticed, raised metric fucktons of money and hopefully brought more people off the sidelines to press for his agenda.

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gimlet: The Democratic Party is interested in winning elections and pushing forth their collective agenda, not nominating purity ponies who will get slaughtered in the general election.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Princess: “Donald? How many illegal immigrants do you have working for you?”

  9. 9
    C.S.Strowbridge says:

    — For the first time in five years, the number of self-identified Democrats is higher than self-identified independents (Dem 40%-Indy 36%-GOP 22%)

    So the Dems need to get 95% of the party vote and one third of the indie vote to reach 50% of the total vote. That’s a serious advantage going into November.

  10. 10
    Gimlet says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/boo.....id-puppies

    The Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies movements, which both separately campaign against a perceived bias towards liberal and leftwing science-fiction and fantasy authors, have managed to get the majority of their preferred nominations on to the final ballot, announced today.

    Since 2013, the Sad Puppies has posted recommendations of works to combat the Hugo tendency to reward works that writer Brad Torgersen deemed “niche, academic, overtly to the left in ideology and flavour, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun”.

    A breakaway, more political faction called the Rabid Puppies was formed in 2015, the year the prize was most rocked by the twin campaigns.

    Led by Beale – who writes under the name Vox Day and was once dubbed “the most despised man in science fiction” by the Wall Street Journal – the Rabid Puppies has been successful in getting its nominations on the shortlist again this year; out of 80 recommendations posted by Beale on his blog, 62 have received sufficient votes to make the ballot.

  11. 11
    amk says:

    @Gimlet:

    Parties world over go after where the votes are. Not after gotta earn my vote self-obsessed puritans.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    Repeating and elaborating a bit on a comment in the previous thread:

    I wonder (a bit) at people being surprised at Trump’s winning margins. After all, Cruz is obviously and deeply pathological and Kasich, by any rational standard, has zero chance of getting nominated.

    What’s interesting to me is the disastrous failure of ‘conservative’ politics. Once upon a time, these guys were Masters of the Universe– now, in the blink of an eye, it’s all gone. I blame Obama.

    I suggest we look specifically at Obama’s strengths and his constituency and build on that.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “And how much do you pay them?”

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Then progressives and socialists need to get involved in the party in greater numbers and change that,

    I’m not confident that’s possible. The myth of the outsider revolutionary may be too strong.

  15. 15
    LAO says:

    @C.S.Strowbridge: don’t forget to factor in the number of Republicans that will stay home if Trump is the nominee. My father’s dislike (I’m being kind) of Clinton is only trumped by his loathing for Trump. He will stay home.

  16. 16
    Gimlet says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I probably should review the individual topics before posting, but that would make it untimely when I got around to finally posting it.

    My impression is the Democratic establishment has and is taking sides to get a “centrist” elected when state or district is safely Democrat. Pennsylvania, Maryland and even Florida illustrate this I think.

  17. 17
    different-church-lady says:

    @amk:

    Not after gotta earn my vote self-obsessed puritans.

    The thing I’m puzzling over is that many, many of them spent months saying things like, “We’re bringing all these new people into politics” and “I was never politically involved before this” but they’re now saying it’s impossible to win without them, despite the fact that according to their own narrative Obama managed to do it twice.

  18. 18
    Linnaeus says:

    @MattF:

    I’d add the caveat that conservative politics are not all gone. Certainly not at the state level.

  19. 19
    Gimlet says:

    @Baud:

    Hillary’s seems to be setting up a campaign of “lesser of two evils” and the Republicans are cooperating.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    @Linnaeus: Good point. There’s still a long way to go.

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gimlet:

    My impression is the Democratic establishment has and is taking sides to get a “centrist” elected when state or district is safely Democrat.

    I would like to ask “How?” My impression of down ballot primaries is that it is even more important for the candidate to get out and meet voters face to face. Radio and TV ads mean nothing when one has sat down and had an actual face to face conversation with a candidate.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @Gimlet:

    “Lesser of two evils” is one of many clichés that no longer has meaning.

    If she’s a lesser evil, then so am I.

  23. 23
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud:

    I’m not confident that’s possible. The myth of the outsider revolutionary may be too strong.

    And there’s the fallacy. Meaningful changes within a political party have always been a process of evolution, not revolution. Until left-leaning enthusiasts understand that the party belongs to whoever does the shitwork between elections, and that progress is an ongoing process, they can expect 1000 years of HRCs.

  24. 24
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Gimlet:

    I probably should review the individual topics before posting, but that would make it untimely when I got around to finally posting it.

    Shorter: math is hard.

  25. 25
    dedc79 says:

    don’t know about you, but for me, reading that is a tonic after a week of hearing comments that echoed the disastrous run-up to Nadergeddon 2000, e.g., “duopoly” and “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference,” etc.

    Not to defend the Naderites in any way/shape/form, but I think the Obama Presidency has made their reformation way less likely. Obama never triangulated the way Bill Clinton did on issues like welfare (although Obama did scare me by offering to try for a “grand bargain” a few times). Obama also delivered with the ACA in a way that Bill never did.

    Also, other than Kasich (who is lousy at it, anyway), today’s republicans don’t even have the sense to feign “compassion” the way W did. Hillary may be as much of a moderate as Gore was in 2000, but she still presents an extremely stark contrast when lined up next to Trump/Cruz – so stark that even our failed MSM will have trouble pretending otherwise (not that they won’t try their best).

  26. 26
    JMG says:

    Assume as I do that the overwhelming majority of Sanders voters (there have been around 9 million of them so far, an impressive number) will support Clinton in November. Here’s a reality they and Clinton and her supporters must confront. IF Clinton is to beat Trump by the 10-point plus margin needed to make a real impact on down-ballot races, it will only be due to Republicans either staying home or voting for her because they can’t hack Trump. Those folks will then be part of the winning coalition and they will have a voice, too. Party-switching is a major major thing for any voter. The defectors should be given the same respect as the Sanders’ people. Respect does not equal getting your way, but voters know it when they see it.

  27. 27
    Gimlet says:

    @Baud:

    I’ve heard concern (fear) expressed over a Trump presidency and a strategy proposed to vote Hillary not “Nader” or Trump would win.

    I think that qualifies as the lesser evil.

  28. 28
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gimlet: That’s a rather fancy way of saying, “I don’t really know what I’m talking about.”

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @Gimlet:

    No matter who our nominee is, there should be concerns expressed over a Trump presidency.

  30. 30
    dedc79 says:

    @JMG:

    don’t know about you, but for me, reading that is a tonic after a week of hearing comments that echoed the disastrous run-up to Nadergeddon 2000, e.g., “duopoly” and “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference,” etc.

    1 vote taken away from the other side is a net +2.

  31. 31
    Gimlet says:

    @different-church-lady:

    So look at the states mentioned and the candidates, then spell out where I’ve misled you.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m guilty of that too. I think it is safe to say it is true of most people.

  33. 33
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gimlet: I can’t speak to Pennsylvania and Maryland, but Florida doesn’t illustrate that at all. It’s not a safely Democratic state — Rick Scott is the governor? Grayson is a loose cannon with an ongoing ethics investigation hanging over his head. I cannot see him winning statewide, though certainly I’ll vote for him if he’s the nominee.

    I’m not thrilled about Patrick Murphy either — a total Blue Dog — but he probably is much more electable given the political realities in this purple state. Bottom line: we need better choices but we aren’t getting them — not because the party establishment is centrist but rather because the state-level party is a hot mess. I’m doing my part to change that.

  34. 34
    MattF says:

    @dedc79: About Kasich… one of the oddities of the R campaign has been the makeover of Kasich’s temperament. He hasn’t been known in the past as a nice or patient guy– quite the contrary. And I think the strain between the old Kasich and the new Kasich comes through.

  35. 35
    NonyNony says:

    @dedc79: To give credit where due, the fact that Obama never “triangulated” is partly the result of the GOP Congress refusing to deal with him. Had Boehner and McConnell cut deals, Obama would likely have built up a similar reputation to Bill. (Not quite as bad, I suspect, because his image is cleaner and he would still have the ACA as a success story, but bad.)

    In becoming the party of NO to try to make him a one term president, the cut off the only real way they had to pull support off him from his own party. Kinda funny really.

  36. 36
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @MattF:

    Since the Republicans are dominating at every level of government except the presidency and the president can only hold office for two consecutive terms, we’re in a much more precarious position than we are. All the GOP has to do is obstruct and wait. They’ll eventually find a palatable figurehead for the executive branch. And Americans eventually take for granted the better lives they have under Democratic presidents. That’s our history.

  37. 37
    Linnaeus says:

    Interesting piece by Thomas Edsall in the NYT today:

    For years now, people have been talking about the insulated world of the top 1 percent of Americans, but the top 20 percent of the income distribution is also steadily separating itself — by geography and by education as well as by income.

    This self-segregation of a privileged fifth of the population is changing the American social order and the American political system, creating a self-perpetuating class at the top, which is ever more difficult to break into.

    Edsall argues that this may have some consequences for the Democratic coalition:

    Sanders’s extraordinary performance to date, however, points to the vulnerability of a liberal alliance in which the economic interests of those on the top — often empowered to make policy — diverge ever more sharply from those in the middle and on the bottom.

    As the influence of affluent Democratic voters and donors grows, the leverage of the poor declines. This was evident in the days leading up to the New York primary when, as Ginia Bellafante of the Times reported, both Clinton and Sanders, under strong pressure from local activists, agreed to tour local housing projects. Bellafante noted that their reluctance reflects how “liberal candidates on the national stage view public housing as a malady from which it is safest to maintain a distance.”

  38. 38
    Applejinx says:

    @Princess:

    Hillary is going to have to find a response to Trump’s anti-trade “they stole our jobs” argument. It is the only good case he really has in his tool box (not that he ever says what he’d do or how it would work) but she needs to find a way to address people who will resonate to it. Identity politics alone is not going to work.

    That’s not so difficult. Bernie was going to rebuild infrastructure, and that totally needs doing.

    It’s pretty much trivial macroeconomics. Run up a deficit employing people to do needed work, which gives them money. They spend that money and the economy booms, and when the economy is booming, that’s when you whittle away the deficit, and you end up with a surplus and people in jobs.

    This time around it can’t be done using ‘free trade agreements’, which was how Bill cranked the economy up, but all the same it can still work. Unless I miss my guess, the ace in the hole this time is going to be infrastructure. There is SO much room to do things like rebuild roads and bridges, make modern efficient housing, bring transportation up to date, bring our miserable Internet infrastructure up to date…

    This isn’t whining, it’s a whole series of opportunities to say “Hey, we ARE exceptional and great, and here’s why: BOOM, massive project putting people to work, and enjoy your new (rail system/fiber internet/solar-backed grid where the power company pays you/electric cars that drive themselves/etc)”

    It really is a win/win, and it’ll happen because it can be spun as an aspirational counter TO both Trump and Sanders. Hillary can rightly mock Trump for multiple bankruptcies and not being a civic-minded individual, but she can also tell Sanders, “Go back to Vermont negative Nancy! We are TOO exceptional, so there, and watch this!” and then take credit for massive temp-deficit backed infrastructure projects of lasting value to the country, spurring a boom that’s exactly the proper time to prune back deficits.

    People aren’t upset about trade when they have money to spend.

  39. 39
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maryland is pretty safely Democratic. Except when it isn’t. The current case in point is our Republican Governor, who is quite popular. In my own district, moderate Republicans have been successful in the past– Connie Morella, who used to be the Congressperson, was more liberal than most Democrats.

  40. 40
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gimlet: What, and risk having my response be untimely?

  41. 41
    Peale says:

    @Gimlet: boobs. They be boobs.

  42. 42
    Gimlet says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    My point wasn’t pro-Grayson, but that Murphy is a “centrist” promoted by the establishment Dems of Florida. As to whether he is more likely to win than a progressive I would hope not.

  43. 43
    Anya says:

    @Princess: Trump is a greedy businessman without any principles who thinks destroy people’s livelihoods and lives and taking their homes is a good business acumen. Once the Clinton campaign and Priorities USA Pac are done with him, everyone in America will know all of Donald’s dirty secrets that made him a millionaire. The signature line of men’s apparel manufactured in China and Mexico, and his “great deals” with corrupt governments. One thing I love about Hillary and her people is they fight back hard.

    @Gimlet: I am confused abou the label “centrist”. Van Hollen is not centerist by any stretch of the imagination. He is a progressive on all issues, except maybe Israel, I don’t really know his stand on that but it’s a fair assumption considering his place in the party leadership.

  44. 44
    Applejinx says:

    @dedc79:

    Hillary may be as much of a moderate as Gore was in 2000

    No, I don’t think so. I think if she was going for that, it would be more evident. She’s gone progressive, correctly reading the political winds. I’m pretty sure that’s gonna stick.

  45. 45
    MazeDancer says:

    The first woman to ever be nominated by a major party is not news on cable TV, apparently. But Donald Trump is. A signal of what’s to come.

    The biggest obstacle will not be Democratic in-fighting, it will be Trump supporters celebration of misogyny and racism and the media’s gleeful coverage of same. But they won’t call it by those accurate names. They will say he is “asymmetric”. And start championing Trump on Trump’s terms – candidate for the working class, candidate for the future. Calling Hillary “elite” and “of the past”.

    Come November, when women and minorities turn out in droves, all may be fine (knock wood). But until then, the media celebration of Trump, and misogyny in general, will be intolerable.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @MazeDancer: GMA showed clips from Hillary’s speech last night, but they had Trump on for the interview. Hillary’s strength will have to be local and alternative media. She can’t win with the national press.

  47. 47
    amk says:

    @MazeDancer:

    yup, gopolitico has been shouting since y’day how dreck won 9.9 million votes, bestest evah. hillary’s 12 million? meh.

  48. 48
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Applejinx:

    She’s gone progressive, correctly reading the political winds. I’m pretty sure that’s gonna stick.

    In what respect has she gone progressive? She’s championing the same classic liberal domestic policies and the same warhawk foreign policy she has since the 90s.

  49. 49
    gogol's wife says:

    @Baud:

    Even the liberal NYTimes always has the screaming Trump Victory headline at the top.

  50. 50
    amk says:

    @Baud: yup, make the emmessem irrelevant just like the kenyan did. twice.

  51. 51
    MattF says:

    @amk: Given the astonishing bullshit recently committed by the former Politico CEO, I think their political biasses will get a closer look. They are getting more obvious by the moment.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @MattF: That article was so bad, it was almost a DougJ parody.

  53. 53
    Anya says:

    I don’t know why anyone would think millennials would vote for Trump over Clinton. If anything, Trump being a rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully will mobilize my generation. After all we are more accepting than any other generation. We believe in a multi-cultural, pluralistic society and Trump’s views stand for everything we fight against.

  54. 54
    amk says:

    LOLGOP ‏@LOLGOP

    We’ve had 218 years of 42 white consecutive white male presidents and all we hear is how hard it is for a white male to become president.

  55. 55
    Joy in FL says:

    @Baud: I love your posts.
    If you had been on the Florida primary ballot, I would have had an even tougher choice over who to cast my vote for.

  56. 56
    negative 1 says:

    In our Rhode Island primary, turnout was higher at my polling station than I can even remember in any presidential election. That’s not entirely anecdotal; local news had record turnout for this election. I’m open to suggestions as to why.

  57. 57
    negative 1 says:

    @Applejinx: That’s for the primary though. All candidates from both sides tamp down the message when it hits the general. More power to her if she doesn’t, but it would certainly be an anomaly if she didn’t.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @Joy in FL: I’ve learned many lessons that I can apply to Baud! 2020!

  59. 59
    NickM says:

    I don’t know about you, but for me, reading that is a tonic after a week of hearing comments that echoed the disastrous run-up to Nadergeddon 2000, e.g., “duopoly” and “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference,” etc.

    I’ve solved that by shutting off the FB feeds of some of my friends and avoiding others for a while. I was losing a lot of respect for some of them. This cult of Bernie is a really weird thing — and I started out on that side but was never a true believer. I will get them to admit that he is a human being and has made mistakes, even in this campaign, acknowledge that Hillary is way better than Trump, and minutes later they’ll say or write something completely unhinged about Bernie’s incorruptible pureness and that they’d never vote for Hillary and that if we get Trump as a result its Dems fault. The least self-conscious I’ve seen is a friend who posited that his friends who supported Hillary were showing their privilege.

  60. 60
    Dupe1970 says:

    @Gimlet: “The Democratic Party establishment is interested in recruiting and supporting former Republicans and “centrists” not progressives or socialists.” Facts not in evidence.

  61. 61
    Dupe1970 says:

    @C.S.Strowbridge: No. That number is only among millennials.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    ……………

    Arianna Huffington joins Uber’s board
    by Dylan Byers @CNNMoney
    April 27, 2016: 8:06 AM ET

    Arianna Huffington has joined Uber’s board of directors.

    The Huffington Post co-founder has been tapped to bring “emotional intelligence” to the the San Francisco-based transportation network and help it do a better job of marketing the brand, CEO Travis Kalanick said on Wednesday.

    “That ability to tell stories is invaluable for an engineer like me, whose natural tendency is to rely on data. As I’ve discovered, that doesn’t always work perfectly. So it’s Arianna’s emotional intelligence that I am most excited to learn from,” Kalanick wrote in a statement posted on both Huffington Post and Uber.com.

    The move marks Huffington’s first formal assignment on the board of a new technology company, and may signal further ambitions for her in Silicon Valley.

  63. 63
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @MattF: agreed – I saw him on CNN the other day talking about the deal with Cruz. I hadn’t heard him speak before – the governor of Ohio doesn’t get a lot of play in Canada. He just came across as being pissed off that he had to put up with a bunch of fool questions. You’d think that someone running for President would at least pretend to be pleasant when being interviewed

  64. 64
    sigaba says:

    @Gimlet:

    Hillary’s seems to be setting up a campaign of “lesser of two evils” and the Republicans are cooperating

    That’s not fair; she’s clearly running as The Sane One and to Republicans the message is clear and a little familiar: “In your guts you know Trump’s nuts.”

    She’s promising competence, incremental change and continuity with Obama. Granted a lot of Bernie supporters see all of these as irrelevant…

  65. 65
    dedc79 says:

    @NickM:

    The least self-conscious I’ve seen is a friend who posited that his friends who supported Hillary were showing their privilege.

    If supporting Hillary is showing privilege, then certainly not showing up to vote in 2010 and 2014 is showing privilege. I’m absolutely positive a whole lot of Sanders (and Clinton ) supporters showed their privilege in those elections.

  66. 66
    Loviatar says:

    What should the punishment be when Senator Sanders’ screws the party over after he finally accepts that he won’t be the nominee.

    Do we go the Lieberman model, basically no punishment at all and still welcomed within the halls of power and in polite society.

    or

    Do we go the Nader (spits and does the sign of the cross) model, mocked and avoided at all costs.

    Obviously, this is just inquiring minds wanting to know. Not that I believe Senator Sanders would do something so selfish and harmful.

  67. 67
    dr. bloor says:

    @rikyrah:

    The Huffington Post co-founder has been tapped to bring “emotional intelligence” to the the San Francisco-based transportation network

    You have to admit, hiring Huffington to bring “emotional intelligence” to anything pretty much proves how utterly lacking they are in emotional intelligence right now.

  68. 68
    Punchy says:

    Any chance we can get a Rio 2016 Olympics thread? With boaters, swimmers, and triathletes literally swimming in shit, infrastructure already collapsing, ticket sales in the crapper, and the head of security screaming about wanton corruption, is there anything positive at all about these games? Just wondering…

  69. 69
    Peale says:

    @Punchy: well they are leading to civil unrest and years of social turmoil. So there’s that to look forward to.

  70. 70
    Anya says:

    Did anyone read Thomas Friedman’s latest column: Out of Africa III? Dear God make it stop. Proving he’s a parody of himself he replaced the cab driver with a rapper and a weatherman.

  71. 71
    dedc79 says:

    @Punchy: you left out zika

  72. 72
    Anya says:

    @Punchy: That committee will regret not awarding it to Chicago.

  73. 73
    aimai says:

    @Gimlet: I think its true that the party, like any party, prefers to run people who have either served some time in office already, or who have otherwise proved themselves to have both fundraising and competing chops. Raiding the enemy for possible converts is a perfectly respectable way of trying to game the system, which is heavily stacked against newcomers who lack name recognition. This isn’t some nefarious plot. If there were a serious socialist party running great candidates (like Bernie) routinely, winning local state congressional and senate races, the Democrats would be raiding for those people too. I guarantee it. Because its extremely difficult and costly to run a Congressional Election and you don’t want to have the candidate blow up in your face like a Christine O’Donnel or the many kinds of lunatics and grifters who self nominate in every cycle.

  74. 74
    dr. bloor says:

    @Loviatar:

    Little reason to believe that Sanders will screw anyone over. To the extent he’s hedging at the moment, it’s most likely because he’s still actively campaigning for the nomination.

    As to your second point, Lieberman was a sitting senator with a much-needed vote, and Nader was a narcissistic nobody with some name recognition. Which one strikes you as being more similar to Sanders’ situation?

  75. 75
    aimai says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: No, she really isn’t.

  76. 76
    yellowdog says:

    @Gimlet: Check out Jaime Raskin who just won the Dem primary for MD-8. Experienced and progressive. Oh, but he endorsed Clinton so he must be Republican-lite, right.

  77. 77
    guachi says:

    @amk:

    all we hear is how hard it is for a white male to become president.

    We never hear this. I, literally, have never heard anyone claim that it’s hard for a white male to become President.

  78. 78
    different-church-lady says:

    @sigaba:

    Granted a lot of Bernie supporters see all of these as irrelevant evil…

  79. 79
    different-church-lady says:

    @guachi: Well, I for one, am looking forward to it.

  80. 80
    aimai says:

    @different-church-lady: Bingo! It all reminds me of the title of a book, can’t remember the author “I hate you I hate you I hate you…will you drive me to the mall?”

  81. 81
    yellowdog says:

    @Gimlet: Once again, look at Raskin. He won in a very, very, safe blue district and is a true progressive.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “Donald? How many illegal immigrants do you have working for you?”

    KAPOW

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    ” Donald, why is everything you sell NOT made in this country?”

  84. 84
    japa21 says:

    @Dupe1970: I agree. It would be more appropriate to say the Democratic Party establishment is interested in recruiting and supporting candidates that can win in the general election.

    Bernie’s success has been important and it may well be a harbinger of even more leftward movement of the party and the country as a whole. But until the general population shifts far enough, in many areas a “progressive” of the type that Gimlet is talking about would have trouble in many communities where a less vocally progressive Dem would be able to win.

    There was a big push to get rid of Blue Dog Dems in 2010. In most cases, where they were ousted in primaries, the GOP ended up winning the seat.

    The major reason the country has shifted leftward is Obama, although I don’t think he gets anywhere near enough credit for it.

    And for those who state that it is near impossible to change the party by participating in it and working to take it over, that is a bunch of BS. Look at the GOP. It didn’t use to be this reactionary.

    Finally, the lesser of two evils argument. If Sanders was winning the nomination, don’t you think his supporters would be telling Clinton supporters to make sure they vote for Sanders as a Trump presidency is to horrific to contemplate. I guess that would make Sanders the lesser of two evils.

    ETA: When Applejinx can see Clinton becoming more progressive, you know it is true.

  85. 85
    aimai says:

    @sigaba: A bunch of Bernie supporters consider Obama to be so far to the right that saying you will continue Obama’s policies with a slight leftward tweak puts you exactly at Attila the Hun on the patented right/left scale they are using.

  86. 86
    MattF says:

    @Gimlet: I think both parties like to nominate people who have won elections in the past. If that’s ‘centrist’… well, there’s a reason for that.

  87. 87
    msdc says:

    @Gimlet:

    As to whether he is more likely to win than a progressive I would hope not.

    As this blog’s fearless founder is fond of saying, “hope in one hand, shit in the other, and see which fills up first.”

    Alan Grayson is a loudmouth blowhard who already knocked himself out of one swing district, and now he wants to run for the Senate in the swingiest of swing states. He’s going through a messy divorce and an ethics investigation. He is the perfect template of a candidate who will win The Young Turks and no one else.

    IOW, I’m pretty sure which hand a Grayson candidacy would fill first.

  88. 88
    Tom says:

    @Princess:

    Here’s how you reply to Trumps deceitful “Clinton sent our jobs overseas” lie:

    1) Number of jobs created during each presidents term:

    Clinton: 19.7 million

    Reagan: 13.6 million
    HW Bush: 1.1 million
    W: -0.3

    In other words, in eight years Bill Clinton 5.3 million MORE jobs than Reagan and the two Bushes did in 20.

    2) Get footage of the foreign nationals that Trump has imported to work on projects in the USA instead of putting Americans to work.

    REPEAT EVERY DAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 8 (sorry, the CAPs button got stuck or something).

  89. 89
    Betty Cracker says:

    @guachi: That’s because LOLGOP is a spoof troll account in the spirit of the Colbert Report.

    @aimai: Excellent point.

    @Tom: Bingo!

  90. 90
    aimai says:

    @msdc: Yes, I’m very sad about that. I enjoyed Grayson a lot during the ACA, but that is only before I got to know the kind of person he actually is. He has enormous ethics problems and is really a very dangerous person to have with a D after his name.

  91. 91
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dedc79: Zika will be home sweet home here in the US by the time the Olympics start. We already have over a dozen imported cases her in Misery.

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    @msdc: Yeah, pretty much. Still, I’m sorry the state party couldn’t find someone better than Murphy to oppose him. Someone like former Tampa mayor Pam Iorio, for example, though I think she’s done with politics, sadly.

  93. 93
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:

    GMA showed clips from Hillary’s speech last night, but they had Trump on for the interview. Hillary’s strength will have to be local and alternative media. She can’t win with the national press.

    Nor, should she try.

    Go around them, as President Obama has done.

    He’s shown her the way. All she has to do is follow. Sure, it might be a pain, doing all those interviews with specific markets, but those folks would be really happy to get Hillary interviews.

  94. 94
    cleek says:

    @dr. bloor:

    To the extent he’s hedging at the moment, it’s most likely because he’s still actively campaigning for the nomination.

    now he’s starting to talk about staying in to collect delegates in order to influence the party platform.

    i have no idea how the math provides for such leverage. but, i’ve never been able to make sense of Sandersmath.

  95. 95
    msdc says:

    @aimai: Yeah, I think he’s the equivalent of a lot of the grifters you see on the GOP side: somebody who adopts a firebrand persona because it opens up a bunch of easy marks.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    @Punchy:

    Any chance we can get a Rio 2016 Olympics thread? With boaters, swimmers, and triathletes literally swimming in shit, infrastructure already collapsing, ticket sales in the crapper, and the head of security screaming about wanton corruption, is there anything positive at all about these games? Just wondering…

    Someone wondered about the games yesterday, and as I thought about it….

    I don’t worry about the Athletes – they’re always taken care of…

    But, for the regular traveler going?

    I think I’d have to take a pass….than go into a country where the government’s collapsing……..Mama said follow your first mind, and my first mind says…make other plans..

  97. 97
    msdc says:

    @Betty Cracker: I feel your pain. Not envying you the choice between Murphy and Grayson, but if they were on my ballot, well, it wouldn’t be a tough choice.

  98. 98
    moderateindy says:

    I’ve seen many people on this site laud Hillary’s strategy of incrementalism as a way to get her policy proposals passed. The problem I have with that idea, is that considering her history I think the movement of her policies will be mostly a slow drift back towards the right on a myriad of important financial, economic and military issues.
    I’ll say that in all likelihood, whoever is elected will be a one term pres. Historically, we are due for another financial fiasco/ economic downturn. The president always bears the brunt of such things.

  99. 99
    D58826 says:

    @Gimlet: This is what worries me about Bernie. I hope he follow Hillary’s 2008 example but I’ll believe it when I see it. Hillary has been a democrat most of her life. Like the word establishment or not she has been part of the democratic establishment whereas Bernie hasn’t. She probably knew and in earlier campaigns worked with many of the Obama people. If Obama was politically active in the 1990’s not a hard stretch to see him working/voting for Bill. Hillary campaigned against Obama in 2008, whereas Bernie is campaigning against the corrupt democratic establishment of which Hillary is the public face. He would be saying the same things if O’malley or Michelle Obama were the front runner. Hillary really didn’t have to make the 180 degree turn in 2008 that Bernie does in 2016. She could give Obama a rousing endorsement and every one in the hall just nodded their heads and said that is the way the game is played. Bernie’s whole brand is that he is an outsider who wants to burn down the existing structure and build a fundamentally different one .Sure Obama talked about hope and change but they all do. Mostly it’s about changing the drapes and rearranging the furniture. Bernie wants to build an entirely different house and one that is way out to the left of where most democrats and voters in general live. To give the kind of speech that Hillary gave in 2008 pretty much blows up his entire political persona.

    Now I suspect the non-purity ponies who voted for Bernie will work their way over to support Hillary in 2016 while still pushing the party somewhat to the left. The purity pony types never and may well feel betrayed by Bernie as well. The long term danger for the democrats is that they push to far to the left. They may be good ideas but you have to get the voters to buy into them and most of the votes are in a bit right/center/left zone

  100. 100
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @moderateindy:

    I’ll say that in all likelihood, whoever is elected will be a one term pres. Historically, we are due for another financial fiasco/ economic downturn. The president always bears the brunt of such things.

    Yep, 12 years of a growing economy is highly unlikely.

  101. 101
    Germy says:

    Interesting new piece by Jane Mayer about Jon Karl’s interview with Koch:
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/.....mod-latest

    So, in essence, Charles Koch said that it was “possible” that he would support Hillary Clinton, as long as she wasn’t Hillary Clinton. Moreover, this pronouncement was made during a period in which the Kochs have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to refurbish their image. As I reported earlier this year, they are following advice from public-relations advisers who suggested that they need to appear more bipartisan, and more willing to form alliances with unlikely partners.

  102. 102
    slag says:

    @Gimlet: http://www.latimes.com/books/j.....story.html

    The Puppies will no doubt be happy to take credit for the appearance of these works and others on the finalist list. But, as with “Guardians of the Galaxy” last year, their endorsement probably doesn’t count for much in the grand scheme of things. “Seveneves,” one of the most talked-about science fiction books of 2015, was already a heavy favorite for an appearance on the finalist list for best novel. Likewise, Gaiman’s long-awaited return to the beloved Sandman universe means his finalist listing in best graphic novel was the closest thing to a shoo-in that the Hugos have. If “The Martian” hadn’t been a finalist in its category (best dramatic presentation, long form), people would have been stunned.

    Taking credit for Neil Gaiman’s Hugo nomination is like taking credit for President Obama’s reelection.

  103. 103
    Capri says:

    Cruz just lost Indiana. He is on record calling the hoop a “basketball ring.”

    Looks like Trump will have things sewn up before the convention.

  104. 104
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @negative 1:

    In our Rhode Island primary, turnout was higher at my polling station than I can even remember in any presidential election.

    That’s because they consolidated polling places, and there were less than half the number of stations you’d see in a Presidential election. Turnout may have been “record” for a Presidential preference primary, but was nowhere near regular election numbers. In round numbers we had 177k votes yesterday. 2014 general drew over 315k, 2012 general drew over 436k.

  105. 105
    satby says:

    When Applejinx can see Clinton becoming more progressive, you know it is true.

    Except she’s always been progressive.
    We don’t live in a country where the majority of voters are liberal. The Democratic party had a long string of losses to remind them of that.

  106. 106
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Baud: Baud! 2020 Vision!

    My God, the copy writes itself…

  107. 107
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @D58826:

    To give the kind of speech that Hillary gave in 2008 pretty much blows up his entire political persona.

    It shouldn’t be that hard for Sanders to say something like “There are many issues where Secretary Clinton and I continue to disagree. I fully expect to continue to raise my voice. But I’d rather take our fight to a president who cares and who’s on our side than to one who hates and opposes everything we believe in.”

  108. 108
    p.a. says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: some good analysis of this issue by New Deal Dem at
    bonddad.blogspot.com
    where most of the numbers show we are beyond the halfway point in this (long but historically weak) expansion. Recession possible Q4 2016, more likely 2017. Recessions early in a pres term not killers.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Yutsano says:

    @Loviatar: We support a Democrat against him in Vermont.

    @Betty Cracker: Trump has the glassiest of glass jaws. Keep punching him in one hand and mocking him with the other. The meltdown will make Chernobyl look tame.

  111. 111
    DCF says:

    @Gimlet:

    The Democratic Party isn’t perfect, but it is the vehicle we have to effect change. Secretary Clinton, who will be our nominee, understands this better than most. That may make her the perfect woman for this particular time in history.
    The Democratic Party establishment is interested in recruiting and supporting former Republicans and “centrists” not progressives or socialists.

    1) The Democratic Party is not perfect – and in order to ‘…effect change’, it needs to incorporate less timid and conventional approaches to the policy issues confronting the country;
    2) I am deeply suspect of a Democratic candidate whose mantra of incrementalism and a ‘No, We Can’t’ philosophy bodes ill for the significant policy (and practice) alterations we need to adopt at this point in history;
    3) The ‘…perfect woman for this particular time in history’ would be, IMO, Elizabeth Warren;
    4) The rose-tinted glasses/fingers-in-the-ears/hands-over-the-eyes view of HRC does no service to the Democratic Party constituencies (apart from the top 10%), and ignores the changes that need to be implemented within the Party. HRC is an old school, pay-to-play ‘mercenary’ (with a capital ‘M’). The alternative to this approach is not ‘purity’, and dismissing the (growing) progressive agenda(s) and constituencies as an absolutist aberration is futile folly for the future of the Party….
    5) Sanders has birthed a movement – not a ‘moment’. The first is dynamic, the second static….
    Conversations: Thomas Frank – Bernie or Hillary?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9reU6RdD_M
    How Can You Be A Democrat And Vote For Hillary Clinton?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scs2zbSuNXI

  112. 112
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I will be the first one to admit that seeing what appeared to be Senator Sanders and those voting for him taking the “both sides do it” attitude scared the living shit out of me. Nader 2000 all over again. I saw us losing yet another winnable election and handing the GOP a true “permanent majority”, at least in the House and where it really matters more than anything, on the Supreme Court.

    The hard reality is that the American political system is wired for two party rule, which leads to always having to vote for the lesser of two evils, as opposed to a party that offers exactly what you want. I don’t like it and I doubt most Americans do, but it’s not going to change. In that, I sympathize quite a bit with the Sanders voters. The Democratic party of today is a long shot from what I’d like as well. But it’s as close as I’m going to get in this election, and so there my vote, money and effort must fall. Because anything else is a vote for more GOP destruction of America, and I’m simply not willing to tolerate that.

  113. 113
    burnspbesq says:

    Interesting data on new voter registrations in California.

    http://capitolweekly.net/ca120.....l_daily202

  114. 114
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @p.a.:

    Recessions early in a pres term not killers.

    It is coming, and if it has to come that is my preference for that exact reason. I still don’t understand why the Fed felt they had to hike interest rates to battle nonexistent inflation.

  115. 115
    p.a. says:

    Ritholtz has a link; McD & Walcrap sales up, and they attribute it to higher wages & bennies (see Costco for how it’s done) ‘incentivizing’ (I wanna puke) the workforce.
    Of course the fucks are just responding to a changing political climate; treating employees as shit is kinda/sorta becoming a negative (outside the 27%).
    Not a social scientist, but maybe #occupy had some effect: Fight for 15, We Are Walmart, Act Blue, Credo etc. really stirring up shit. Maybe even helping Warren give Dem pols some backbone.

  116. 116
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq:

    This year we are seeing a doubling of registration growth among Latinos, and a more than 150% increase for some young voters, and a near-tripling for Democrats.

    Holy shitballs. With those kind of numbers you guys will go single payer by 2020.

  117. 117
    negative 1 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: http://www.bustle.com/articles.....e-expected

    My apologies if the site is a winger one, I’ve not heard of it but it does give the stats. Apparently the turnout was extremely high for a primary, it’s not just consolidated polling places. Incidentally rumors were abounding that Gorbea did that on purpose to influence the outcome.

  118. 118
    Mike R says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Exactly right, the next president will be either the Democratic nominee or the Republican nominee. It sucks, but it is the absolute reality of things. So we get to pick or let someone else decide. One thing appears reasonably clear the democratic nominee will be closer to my positions than any republican out there in the known universe.

  119. 119
    Applejinx says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That’s very good. That’d work.

    As far as, what punishment for Sanders? Vermont will keep him in the Senate. He’ll stay a Democrat. And the Clinton people will make sure he never serves as the poster child for the progressive realignment which wipes out the Republicans… by claiming that role for Hillary, and not letting it go.

    Hillary was always progressive, never ever nonprogressive, and pulled Bernie to the left with some success but he failed when his privileged racist habits kept him stuck in the past. That will be the narrative.

    Not fair! But I at least have the privilege, as a Vermonter, of keeping him in the Senate, and we never expected to succeed this much. We’ve documented the world as it stands. It’s for others to run with it.

    I don’t think Hillary is going to tack to the center for the general election. I could be wrong, but if she’s really smart she’ll do a whole ‘feed the people and put everybody to work’ thing. This is the time to go for broke and say that Republican policies and obstructionism have brought us to this. Why make it all worse with Trump and then go bankrupt like everything else he tries?

  120. 120
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DCF:

    How Can You Be A Democrat And Vote For Hillary Clinton?

    How can you be a Democrat and vote for somebody who most decidedly isn’t a Democrat?

  121. 121
    negative 1 says:

    @D58826: The belief that a loser in an election somehow influences the winner is unsupported at best; likely hopeful fiction at worst. Her platform has already been decided, it’s in the open for all to see, and it won. Neither she nor the party is changed by Sanders candidacy any more than it already has been. When HRC gets to the general she will be trying to sway independents and centrist republicans because that’s what she needs to do to win. Anyone trying to make themselves somehow feel better about Sanders loss needs to realize that losing candidates do nothing to influence elections.

  122. 122
    burnspbesq says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I still don’t understand why the Fed felt they had to hike interest rates to battle nonexistent inflation.

    Chill. Everyone on the Board except Kocherlota seems to have realized that that increase was premautre. There won’t be more increases in 2016.

  123. 123
    japa21 says:

    @satby: You know that, and I know that. Many Sanders supporters refuse to see that. See DCF’s comment above.

    Like anything else, progressivism has a spectrum. Sanders falls just on the left side of the progressive spectrum, Clinton more in the center. They are close enough together that what differences there are in policy goals is minimal. What is the difference is that Sanders is focused almost totally on the end goal to the detriment of what is possible. Clinton focuses on what can realistically be done now to keep us on the track to the end goal. That is why Sanders being in the Senate and, hopefully helping to get like minded progressives elected, is the best way to keep the end goals in sight.

  124. 124
    Betty Cracker says:

    @DCF: Is Elizabeth Warren going to have to pepper spray y’all in the face to get you to stop following her? I love her too, but she’s not running!

    As for whether Sanders started a movement or is merely having a moment, that remains to be seen, IMO. The signs are hopeful if we interpret the Harvard polling data to mean that younger, more liberal voters are strongly identifying as Democrats, which means they’ll be in a position to influence one of the two major parties for years to come.

  125. 125
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Yutsano:

    The meltdown will make Chernobyl look tame.

    I’m not picking on you here, Yutsano, as I know you to be a thoughtful commenter, but just pointing out that things which become popular phrases or memes can be fraught with unintended weight, and I’d like people to think about that. Watching Trump self-immolate might be amusing. The Chornobyl/Chernobyl disaster (certainly everyone knows it was 30 years ago yesterday) killed many people, including some very courageous employees who attempted to mitigate the disaster on-scene knowing very clearly what awaited them in the days and weeks to come. It caused hundreds of thousands to lose their homes permanently, and it poisoned an area larger than the state of Rhode Island effectively permanently. The scale of human suffering is incomprehensible to most, and I just wish it were not used as a facile analogy.

    Sorry for the rant.

  126. 126
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @burnspbesq:

    There won’t be more increases in 2016.

    Or so ‘they’ say (whoever the ‘they’ of the moment is) and I expect it to be true, but I never say never.

    ETA: And when it comes to economics, the less I have said, the better, so I will leave this subject alone now.

  127. 127
    Applejinx says:

    @Yutsano:

    @Loviatar: We support a Democrat against him in Vermont.

    Go ahead, try it. I dare you. I speak as a Berniac and a Vermonter when I say: bring it. Run as hard as you like. You’ll only die tired.

    Seriously. It’d be nice to distract the hardcore Bernie people with something to occupy them. I think, however, if you check with the Clinton brain trust, they’ll yell at you and tell you ‘what the fuck are you thinking?’ because they can’t be seen retaliating against Bernie, they’ve got to seem bestest of friends while they quietly keep him much less of a big deal.

    They’ve got to turn Bernie into a more cheerful and willing version of Chris Christie with Trump. You can’t be trying to primary him or you’ll screw that up completely. Trust me, Hillary Clinton does not want you running a primary challenger against Bernie. Hillary Clinton wants him running as a Democrat, siding politely with Democrats, and causing no more trouble. What you’re proposing is pure trouble, and both doomed and spiteful.

    I mean, if you WANT to screw up what Clinton is working to do, knock yourself out, but I think if you checked you’d be told not to even think about it.

  128. 128
    Emma says:

    @Applejinx: He already filed as an Independent for his next Vermont run. Caucusing with Democrats is not the same as being one.

  129. 129
    Trav says:

    People need to realize that money is always going to influence policy, by hook or by crook. You wanna demolish the party and rebuild? Once your new pure party grows past the membership of one, people with money will start to spend it to influence the party’s direction. Roll up your sleeves and fix what’s broke and remember that not everyone is as invulnerable to the allure of financial security as you, and brace yourself for the occasional turncoat. Parts of the Democratic party have been corrupted by money, parts think that doing what the oligarchy wants is good for them too.

  130. 130
    Germy says:

    Is there a market for this? Disturbingly realistic masks of Trump, Hillary and Sanders:
    http://dangerousminds.net/comm.....and_bernie

  131. 131
    Micheline says:

    @Linnaeus: Thank you very much for the article. The only problem that I have with Edsall’s piece is that he didn’t describe the source of wealth (tech sector, alternative energy , etc). I think this is important because in many respects the GOP represent the old source of wealth (oil, coal , banking and etc.,), while Dems may represent emerging sectors. I believe the tension that we currently see in the Democratic will be more entrenched as these sectors take a bigger role in the economy.

  132. 132
    burnspbesq says:

    @Trav:

    People need to realize that money is always going to TRY TO influence policy, by hook or by crook.

    FTFY. It doesn’t have to succeed.

  133. 133
    DCF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    He is, most certainly, a Democrat – a Democratic Socialist…like his predecessors who created (and maintained) programs like Social Security, Medicare, public works/infrastructure projects and the like….
    The Democratic Party has, over the last quarter century, shifted significantly to the rightward side of the spectrum. The Clintons, in their quest to negate Republican talking points (e.g., welfare ‘reform’, criminal justice programs, foreign military interventionism) have ‘out-Republicaned’ the Republicans.
    ‘Republican-lite’ is not Democratic.

  134. 134
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @DCF: Epic scorching hot take bro.

  135. 135
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Germy: Think ‘gun ranges’.

  136. 136
    Soylent Green says:

    don’t forget to factor in the number of Republicans that will stay home if Trump is the nominee

    They say this now, but most of them will fall in line. They always do.

  137. 137
    negative 1 says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap: Which is why I’m sure you’re going to have a substantive rebuttal any minute now rather than a sick burn…

  138. 138
    LAO says:

    Other than waking up well rested from having slept on a mattress made of money, anyone else wondering how Mitt Romney’s feeling this morning. This whole NeverTrump thing he started/backed seems to be working great.

  139. 139
    LAO says:

    @Soylent Green: Disagree. Some may, but most of the republicans I know (NY, CT and NJ) will absolutely stay home. As part of the “elites” they don’t want to see the party destroyed.

  140. 140
    DCF says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    More’s the pity…I’d be willing to wager that, given the Democratic primary process to date, she may well regret not having run….
    My reference to Senator Warren was solely with regard to her (potential) role as a candidate who would, IMV, be (infinitely) preferable to HRC. Period.
    We’ll have to agree to disagree about ‘moment’ versus ‘movement’. Given the issues of party identity laid bare through this primary process, I feel confident the goals of reform and renovation will continue apace….

  141. 141
    D58826 says:

    I just have a pet peeve with this whole centrist/progressive candidate thing. While I certainly lean progressive I also lean toward picking candidates than can win in the districts and states that they run in. Senator Warren may well be a good choice in Mass., New York, or Pennsylvania but she will go down in flames in Mississippi. The democrats have to tailor their candidates to the culture of the district. Now I’m not suggesting that to win in Mississippi the party should run the Grand Dragon of the KKK but a center-right candidate has a much better chance of winning than an out and out progressive. If that means electing blue-dogs, then so be it. I’d rather have some blue-dogs in Congress and Nancy/Harry leading the two chambers than a purity pony re-enacting the charge of the light brigade on election day.

  142. 142

    @Gimlet:

    That just means the Democrats are interested in recruiting everybody. I’ve seen them go for the young and liberal voters as much as going after the likes of me – independent moderate over 40 – and they seem to be doing well with the younger demographics. Whether they’re winning over the Gen-X level voter – who do lean conservative/libertarian – is more a question of keeping that voting bloc from going back over to the Republicans.

  143. 143
    tobie says:

    @Princess:

    Hillary is going to have to find a response to Trump’s anti-trade “they stole our jobs” argument.

    Princess is right. This will be the central issue of the 2016 Presidential campaign. I think it’s been the biggest dividing line between Clinton and Sanders in the Democratic primary contest. Ironically it’s what drew me to Clinton. While Sanders rails against trade deals, he ignores what I believe are the real causes of the manufacturing slump in the US: automation, advances in shipping and globalization. Clinton gets this. Finding a pithy answer to this issue will be the real challenge for her campaign.

  144. 144
    gvg says:

    @Gimlet:

    The Democratic Party establishment is interested in recruiting and supporting former Republicans and “centrists” not progressives or socialists.

    Even if that were true, republican voters who switch to democrats are changed by that choice. there is a kind of tribalism to voter identification and it makes people become more like their tribe to fit in without their usually realizing it. If a longtime GOP voter switches, most of them will gradually become more like us. If there were so many at once, they might numerically overrun us and be a concern, but I don’t think we’ll be lucky enough to have that problem. I also think that some of them have been trying not to see accurately, their party for some time. It’s very likely some will leak over this election. Gather them up and start teaching them. And get them away from FOX news. We should in fact be discussing plans to assimilate some, because if their was ever an election that could cause significant rehoming, this is it.

    I remember the Clinton years, and my recollection is that he and some democrats were just barely able to prevent worse laws by compromising on things like banking and trade, gay rights and women’s rights. He didn’t give away too much because he didn’t have the votes to do better. Wishing harder wouldn’t have given us better laws because the other side was more numerous then. It was a different electorate and the recent lessons of history then were much more aggressive unregulated capitalism. I thought people were misunderstanding the data, but they thought they were right. We still aren’t where I would think is correct, but the voter numbers are somewhat better now.

  145. 145

    @D58826:

    the problem with electing “blue dogs” is when the votes come down to close margins and all of a sudden you’ve got someone who’s supposed to be backing your bill instead rejecting it for being too progressive to his/her tastes.

    the best thing about “blue dogs” is that it gets you the party majority in the House and a Speaker/leadership panel that will lean progressive. But past that, you gotta be careful.

    At a state level, the Democrats ought to be recruiting more candidates to run/challenge in all districts to try and win back the state gov’ts (they are truly the key to long-term health of a party). At that level, recruiting “blue dogs” in the Southeast and Great Lakes/Midwest states is a necessity.

  146. 146
    negative 1 says:

    @tobie: I tend to think this is underrated. I work in organized labor, I’d be shocked if the building trades folks didn’t split down the middle for Trump. I know that the national organizations will endorse HRC but their rank and file likes the ‘tear up trade agreements’ argument A LOT. This isn’t really Hillary’s problem; no one has made a real compelling case how free trade has helped non-white collar workers and even a few of them have been hurt. The problem is that he’s going to annihilate her on this talking point because any answers given to the problem tend to follow the economics profession’s favorite ‘it’s complicated’ and that doesn’t play well in an election. Additionally, fairly or no he’s going to tie her to NAFTA and that’s really going to hurt her on that topic.

  147. 147
    D58826 says:

    @DCF: FDR/JFK/Truman/LBJ were a lot of things but ‘democratic socialists’ they were not. Bernie has been a democratic socialist long before the Clintons showed up. And as far as the Clinton’s and the current democratic party being ‘‘Republican-lite’ given the current political environment I’ll settle for it. The ‘‘Republican-lite’ is not Democratic’ party passed Obama care, Dodd-frank, repealed doma and don’t ask don’t tell all in the face of the opposition of the real republican party. Of souse the party could have continue in the tradition of such great presidents as McGovern, Mondale and Dukasis. Purity pony time again.

  148. 148

    @tobie:

    the answer to “they stole our jobs” is “let’s make more jobs.”

    the strength of an economy is the ability to grow and expand, which is tied to job creation. We need to bring back construction jobs big time because our infrastructure – roads and bridges, city transit, telecommunications and energy grids – is woefully out of date and in need of replacement/upgrade. We can pass a massive infrastructure bill that creates those jobs, brings us Fiber Optic communications to every home, improved energy resources with more solar and wind, and replaces 40-year-old bridges that are three months away from collapse.

  149. 149
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tobie: Tom’s got the bumper sticker / 30-second spot retort here. But it is past time for our leaders to have an honest conversation with us about trade and globalization. President Obama has avoided that. Clinton probably will too. But the lack of transparency is part of what makes the issue so easy to demagogue.

  150. 150
    shomi says:

    Most of this polling stuff is just background noise. However, there was one that I saw somewhere (maybe here?) some time ago that tells you all you need to know. Caucasians around 40 years old shifted from slightly Republican to slightly Democrat since the last Presidential election. That is all the marbles right there!

    All this BS about young voters (who always have and always will be apathetic about politics in equal percentages) is almost meaningless because they don’t vote in large numbers. That will not change because it’s a human nature thing. There are exceptions like when you put pot legalization on the ballot. Cannot rely on gimmicks like that all the time though.

  151. 151
    D58826 says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016:

    the problem with electing “blue dogs” is when the votes come down to close margins and all of a sudden you’ve got someone who’s supposed to be backing your bill instead rejecting it for being too progressive to his/her tastes.

    True but if you have to make a few compromises with the blue dogs to get Obamacare past its probably worth it. There is always next year to work to improve it. And once the original bill is in place and working well, that blue dog might come around after hearing that the voters back home like Obamacare’s provisions (if not the name). The old cliche politics is the art of the possible.

  152. 152
    Linnaeus says:

    @Micheline:

    You’re welcome. You make a good point about identifying the source of wealth in the Democratic Party, and you may find this Vox piece informative. Wealth that supports the Democrats is coming increasingly from the tech sector, which is bringing with it an ideology that in some ways is at odds with what the party has espoused for the last 80 years or so.

  153. 153
    WarMunchkin says:

    @Applejinx: Honestly, I don’t think there should be a political consideration for his seat; if it’s the right thing to do to run Katie McInty (it isn’t), it’s probably the right thing to do to run a challenger against Bernie. We’ve basically spent six months arguing that the man is unfit for elected office and unable to work for liberal priorities. What about Madeleine Kunin?

  154. 154
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @negative 1: Increased turnout was because of Baud

  155. 155
    p.a. says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016:

    At that level, recruiting “blue dogs” in the Southeast and Great Lakes/Midwest states is a necessity.

    Great Lakes/Midwest? Really? Not snark, just curious; my impression (based on… not much) is that R gains there are via D incompetence, corruption, and infighting, not too much progressivism.

  156. 156
    DCF says:

    @D58826:

    FDR/JFK/Truman/LBJ were a lot of things but ‘democratic socialists’ they were not.

    For all intents and purposes, the names you cite here were democratic socialists. The Democratic Party, during those historical periods, was profoundly more liberal/progressive than today’s Third Way politicians as-a-whole….

    I’ll say/write it again:

    The rose-tinted glasses/fingers-in-the-ears/hands-over-the-eyes view of HRC does no service to the Democratic Party constituencies (apart from the top 10%), and ignores the changes that need to be implemented within the Party. HRC is an old school, pay-to-play ‘mercenary’ (with a capital ‘M’). The alternative to this approach is not ‘purity’, and dismissing the (growing) progressive agenda(s) and constituencies as an absolutist aberration is futile folly for the future of the Party….

  157. 157
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Gimlet: Bigots don’t give up, do they? Oh well. Hopefully, what happened last year will be repeated and all of ther nominated works will be voted down.

  158. 158
  159. 159
    NR says:

    @D58826: If people want to vote for conservatives, they’ll vote for Republicans. The only way we can win is by offering them a compelling alternative.

  160. 160
    tobie says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thanks for pointing me to Tom’s comment!

    I still think trade’s hard to talk about, and until we find a way to do so, Negative 1 is right:

    The problem is that he’s going to annihilate her on this talking point because any answers given to the problem tend to follow the economics profession’s favorite ‘it’s complicated’ and that doesn’t play well in an election. Additionally, fairly or no he’s going to tie her to NAFTA and that’s really going to hurt her on that topic.

    I’ve seen this first hand. My neighbor in Cecil County (Maryland) manufactures widgets. He’s a die-hard Republican. What’s kept him in business over the years is gov’t spending (DOD contracts). Widgets are about as low-tech as they come. You could manufacture them in India, Vietnam, the Philippines for a fraction of the cost. Even if you negotiate trade deals that mandate that workers elsewhere earn wages comparable to US workers, there’s no way these agreements can be enforced. Or you enforce them with punitive tariffs that lead to trade wars that raise prices and lead to economic contraction etc etc etc. How do you fit all of this on a bumper sticker?

  161. 161
    MattF says:

    @DCF: This omits the fact that the Republican party has shifted ‘way to the right. Once upon a time, ‘moderate’ Republicans were not all that different from ‘moderate’ Democrats, but that’s no longer true– In fact, it’s emphatically false, and a lot of voters became ‘independent’ since the Reagan years. You can call them ‘Republican-lite’ voters, but name-calling doesn’t answer the political questions:

    1) Should the Democratic party try to attract them?
    2) Or shift to the left and ignore them?
    3) Or just wait for them to die off?
    4) Or what?

    My own view is that the Democratic party, first of all, has to unequivocally reject racism, and I think it’s pretty much done that. But there are other issues, both economic and social, and that’s where things start to get hazy. I’m unsure, myself.

  162. 162
    cleek says:

    @DCF:

    The Democratic Party has, over the last quarter century, shifted significantly to the rightward side of the spectrum.

    you should probably spend a few minutes reading old Democratic Party platforms.

    for example, 1980: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29607

    and this widespread notion that the Democratic party was ever a non-militaristic party is fundamentally wrong. Democratic Presidents brought us into WWII, Korea and Vietnam, after all.

  163. 163
    D58826 says:

    @tobie: Look at the history of these trade deals. Much of the industrial heartland had collapsed into the rust belt during the 1980’s long before Bill and Hillary hit Washington and way long before NAFTA. NAFTA is a convenient bumper sticker scapegoat for a much more complicated process. Apple would be building smart phone in China with or with out the free trade agreements.

    As to whither these agreements are good ideas or not, I don’t know. My econ 101 tells me that comparative advantage and free trade are on balance a good deal. The google give expert opinions that are 180 different so it seems that many of the arguments simply come down to whose ox is being gored. If free trade is on balance produces more winners than losers in the US economy, then the problem isn’t with free trade. The problem is we have allowed vulture capitalism to do nothing to help the ‘loser’s’ transition to the new economy. Again it is a bigger problem than free trade, since vulture capitalism is screwing the middle class in more ways then just trade policy. I’ve seen several articles that Germany has to deal with the same free trade/low wage competition that we do, but they have worked to cushion the impact by developing a highly skilled labor force that can produce the high tech 21st century products. In other words they have helped the ‘losers’ in the free trade wars.

  164. 164
    DCF says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    Sanders will never be unseated due to a primary challenge here in Vermont. If you had lived here over the past thirty-five years, you would acknowledge that political reality.

    We’ve basically spent six months arguing that the man is unfit for elected office and unable to work for liberal priorities.

    That’s 1) wrong and 2) wrong…did I say ‘wrong’?…it’s clear to me, given your comment(s) here, that you know next-to-nothing about the man….

  165. 165
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DCF: He is not, never has been a member of the Democratic Party. He has so far refused to help raise money for any other Dems. He is, and always has been an Independent, those predecessors you mention? They were all members of the Democratic Party in good standing.

    The Democratic Party has, over the last quarter century, shifted significantly to the rightward side of the spectrum.

    The Party exists to win elections. If it takes moving to the right a little bit to acheive that so be it. If you think it has been a significant amount, maybe. but compared to what? The GOP? The GOP calls Obama a socialist. On today’s political spectrum (not the imaginary one that existed in the 40s or 50s or 60s or…) Obama is left of center, but most decidedly centrist. The GOP is somewhere between Mussolini and Attila the Hun. Bernie is to the left of Obama and Hillary, but not nearly as much as Bernie’s most ardent fans like to think.

    But so what? That still doesn’t make Bernie a Democrat. Neither does caucusing with Dems. It makes him an ally of Dems, but it does not make him a Dem.

    The Clintons, in their quest to negate Republican talking points (e.g., welfare ‘reform’, criminal justice programs, foreign military interventionism) have ‘out-Republicaned’ the Republicans.

    Let me fix that for you: Bill Clinton, in his quest to win elections, negate Republican talking points (e.g., welfare ‘reform’, criminal justice programs, foreign military interventionism) moved to the right on certain issues that the Republicans had staked out as their own.

    ‘Republican-lite’ is not Democratic.

    You can rewrite history all you want, but during the ’90s what you call ‘Republican-lite’ most certainly was ‘Democratic’ and if you remembered it at all you would know that it was not ‘Republican’ in anything but the most superficial way. There were very real and important differences between the parties. Were there things done that we wish hadn’t been done? Absolutely. But it’s politics and politics are messy.

    For instance, everybody loves to bash Bill for DADT but if DADT hadn’t been instituted the witch hunts for gay service members would not have stopped, and DADT was the best that could be hoped for at that time.

    Lastly, please please PLEASE stop blaming Hillary for everything that happened during Bill’s Presidency. With out a doubt she had a voice with in that Admin but she most certainly did not have the last word. Bill did.

  166. 166
    catclub says:

    I used to marvel at how lucky Obama was in his opponents. Clinton has beaten him in that category. The main weakness that she would have
    (as I see it) is her age. Trump is the same age and looks not very healthy. [Rumors of him begging off via a health issue seem not completely implausible.]

    I wonder if some historian will re-write the Nixonland book – which ended with McGovern getting the Democratic nom cause that was what Nixon wanted, with a 2016 version of Clinton orchestrating the GOP clown cars/demolition derby.

  167. 167
    JCT says:

    Anecdotal, but my two young adults (25 & 21) are ardent Bernie supporters. Though my oldest does tease her brother about being a BernieBro. When I asked about the general they immediately said they plan to not only vote for Hillary but work for her as well. One lives in Austin where they went for Hillary in the primary (surprised me).

    I think the general will bring them in.

    Besides, Trump’s skin is wafer thin- this will be interesting to watch. And he just can’t shut up- this “only getting votes because she is a woman” line is like a reverse dog whistle. But this is who Trump is..

  168. 168
    MattF says:

    @catclub: Legend has it that Napoleon wanted generals who were lucky rather than good, and Obama is clearly the paradigm case for that. One can hope that Clinton turns out to be so lucky.

  169. 169
    🌷 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq: And so people are clear – the automatic voter registration hasn’t started yet. It was just signed, and the processes to make it work probably won’t be in place until after the election.

    My anecdotes suggest that the Dems are earning dividends with millennials with civil rights. Pushing LGBT rights, immigration rights, dealing with laws that discriminate and disenfranchise african americans, muslims, etc. Everything from voting to policing is all paying off. I think some of Clinton’s lack of support is that young people perceive Sanders to be stronger on this front than Clinton, mostly due to policies under Bill Clinton being projected onto Hillary.

  170. 170
    DCF says:

    @cleek:

    Thanks, but I have read them (often)…here’s an interesting brain teaser for you (although if you want to ‘cheat’ you can simply advance to the 5:05 mark):
    Thom Hartmann Callers Guess Which Party Wrote the Platform…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0myWgOC54T0
    Also…I demarcated the last quarter century as the ‘end points’ of this shift (the beginning of the Third Way movement). We’re in agreement about the Korean ‘police action’ (as it was characterized), and Vietnam….

  171. 171
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DCF: Just for the record, you can’t ‘primary’ a person who is running as an Independent. You face them in the general election.

  172. 172
    D58826 says:

    @DCF:

    The Democratic Party, during those historical periods, was profoundly more liberal/progressive than today’s Third Way politicians as-a-whole….

    I don’t dispute that but between the last of the great liberal lions – lbj and Humphrey there was a small speed bump called Ronald Reagan. Now I think St Ronulus the Unprepared will eventually go down in history as one of the two worse presidents that we have ever had (W being the other), but he won twice and has had a profound influence on American politics for a generation or more. Clinton and the third way came about because the old liberal/progressive solutions, however good and noble they may have been, were not winning elections. Dukasis lost to Bush 41 and Clinton beat him. To borrow a phrase from the old war criminal Rummy you run a campaign with the electorate that you have not the one you wish to have. The democrats shifted right because the electorate shifted right.

  173. 173
    tobie says:

    @D58826: Germany’s an interesting example of a developed country that has maintained it’s manufacturing base. Trades are treated as professions there, which seems to make a difference in terms of what the country invests in its labor force.

  174. 174
    dr. bloor says:

    @MattF: Obama was both. And to the extent that he and Clinton are “lucky” in their opponents, it’s less a function of some one-off freak event than it is the systematic disintegration of the opposing party.

  175. 175
    DCF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The Vermont Democratic Party supports Sanders as a senatorial candidate – as does the Vermont Progressive Party.

    Noted…’for the record’, as it were….

  176. 176
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @DCF:

    The Democratic Party, during those historical periods, was profoundly more liberal/progressive than today’s Third Way politicians as-a-whole….

    Democrats haven’t won the white vote since LBJ signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act. 90% of poor whites in the South vote for tax cuts for billionaires in exchange for “small government” that will deny free stuff to immigrants and lazy blacks. Sanders and his supporters are somehow under the impression that these poor folks are just waiting to hear the message from Bernie and his bros about how awesome the government can be for them, while in the meantime there are regions of this country that are reverting to third world status by tearing up pavement to revert to dirt roads, rather than raise local or state taxes to fund projects like road repair, schools and libraries because it helps keep”those people” down and in their place. There’s a blind spot in the analysis of “progressives” about what is preventing this country from embracing progressive policies, and the politics involved. We’ve still got a long hard road ahead and we can’t keep fooling ourselves about what the challenge is. I mean, Trump knows what he’s appealing to.

  177. 177
    MattF says:

    @dr. bloor: I agree. There’s something about being prepared when the Goddess drops good things in your lap.

  178. 178
    Technocrat says:

    I simply can’t imagine Trump’s argument against Hillary will be “I’m better on free trade”. It’s more likely his argument will be “I’m not really Hitler”.

    Pat Toomey, who is likely to be fighting for his political life, publicly voted for Ted Cruz. He did this on the very night Trump won his state, and became the probable nominee. That’s a rat running from a sinking ship, and no rational political calculation could lead one to believe Toomey is afraid of free trade debates. What he is, is terrified of owning Trump’s racist, nativist, sexist shit for the next six months.

    Trump is not winning 50% 5 state sweeps because his policies are better. He is winning because he’s a tough guy, a straight shooter, etc, etc. Even Donald Trump knows better than to get into a policy-based election with HRC. He’s not going to attack Clinton’s support of 1990’s-era policies. He’s going to call her a lying, scheming witch on Twitter. Over and over.

    Free trade. FFS.

  179. 179
    MomSense says:

    @D58826:

    The democrats shifted right because the electorate shifted right.

    Unfortunately this is true. Many of us were horrified by Reagan but man the majority of the country ate that act up. You have to first win before you can do anything to advance any progressive goals.

  180. 180
    D58826 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Attila the Hun

    Don’t insult my beloved ancestor by lumping him in with this group of stoneage cavemen (and no I don’t mean the intelligent Neanderthals either) posing as 21st century human beings

  181. 181
    Brachiator says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Wealth that supports the Democrats is coming increasingly from the tech sector, which is bringing with it an ideology that in some ways is at odds with what the party has espoused for the last 80 years or so.

    Then I guess the party will have to change, evolve or expand to accommodate new ways of thinking.

  182. 182
    🌷 Martin says:

    @D58826:

    Apple would be building smart phone in China with or with out the free trade agreements.

    Correct. Apple is building iPhones in China because China made the infrastructure investment that the US was unwilling to make. China is best able to do that as a combination of centralized planned nation and lack of democracy. They were able to take a region of their country and declare that it would be a major tech manufacturing sector, and then dump money and focus into that region, even if that came at the expense of other regions. It would be as if the US government decided that Oregon was going to be our manufacturing region, dumped tens or hundreds of billions of dollars, including money to build housing and relocate workers. There’s no way that would get through the Senate. As a result the US spends more time with states competing with each other for industries that it spends too little competing with other countries, except in states like California which is large enough to go straight at other countries without the need of a lot of Fed support.

    People need to consider that labor in Mexico is cheaper and NAFTA doesn’t apply to China, yet China won these markets. The trade agreement didn’t matter nearly as much as Democrats want to admit and wages don’t matter nearly as much as Democrats want to admit. The failure lies in other, more difficult to accept, more difficult to fix places that are much more directly tied to industrial scale, national priorities, and so on. Papering over the real problems doesn’t make them go away.

  183. 183
    MattF says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: All political movements have their blind spots… There’s an unpleasant possibility that Trump voters are being set up for consecutive betrayals, first by the Right and then by the Left. Note that something like this has already happened in many places around the world, so it’s not at all clear that there’s some formula for avoiding it.

  184. 184
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DCF: OK. He still can’t ‘primaried’. If some Dem wants to run against him, they can. And if they get people to vote for them in the primary, they will. And then they will run against him in the general and in all likelihood get slaughtered.

  185. 185
    different-church-lady says:

    @Technocrat:

    It’s more likely his argument will be “I’m not really Hitler” “I’m Donald Fuckin’ Trump, Bitches!”.

  186. 186
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    NPR reported this morning that Ted Cruz was going to have a “major announcement” this afternoon.

    A sane person would concede. I suspect Cruz will announce his running mate.

  187. 187
    Linnaeus says:

    @Brachiator:

    Well, the party already is changing. The question is what effect will those changes have on the principles and policy stances of the party. That’s a conversation that needs to be had.

  188. 188
  189. 189
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @D58826:

    Reagan mastered the art of dog whistling, with that aw shucks nudge nudge wink wink movie star thing while delivering his first campaign speech about states rights, down the road from where the civil rights workers were found murdered. That was no coincidence, and voters in 44 states ate it up with a spoon.

  190. 190
    DCF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You can rewrite history all you want, but during the ’90s what you call ‘Republican-lite’ most certainly was ‘Democratic’ and if you remembered it at all you would know that it was not ‘Republican’ in anything but the most superficial way. There were very real and important differences between the parties. Were there things done that we wish hadn’t been done? Absolutely. But it’s politics and politics are messy.

    I’m not indulging in revisionist history – and rather than engaging in an extended debate about that fact, I’ll refer you to these resources that, in all likelihood, will provide a more succinct and specific counter-argument:

    Full Show 3/18/16: Thomas Frank on the State of the Democratic Party
    The Big Picture RT

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwHXhr0MWoo
    Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?
    http://www.amazon.com/Listen-L.....omas+frank

  191. 191
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @D58826: This is true.

    It’s rather vexing to encounter people (like some in this thread) who apparently believe that democrat candidate = liberal/progressive candidate.

    Clinton is a moderate, pure an simple. Preferable to any republican to be sure.

  192. 192
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @D58826: My most humble apologies dear sir. I in no way meant to disparage your humble blood thirsty slaughtering of millions ancestors by comparing them to today’s Republicans. What was I thinking? The GOP is far worse.

  193. 193
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:
    I think it’s more likely Ted will announce the end of his failed arrangement with Kasich.

  194. 194
    D58826 says:

    @DCF: (sigh) The enemy of my enemy is my friend explains that. He is still registered as an Independent. And regardless of what you want to call his party affiliation his political views are still very much to the left of the mainstream American voter. And his campaign is still premised on taking down the existing democratic party establishment and replacing it with ah with ???????. Before this very weird election cycle Vermont might have been the only state where he could have been elected to an office higher than dog catcher. It might be a bum rap but for most of my life time in the political world the word socialist was used interchangeably with communist. In red state America a Known child molester has a better chance at winning an election than a socialist/communist. I added the word ‘known’ since we have the real life example of Dennis Hastertt.

  195. 195
  196. 196
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MattF: No. Jesus is his Co-Pilot.

  197. 197
    Technocrat says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think that’s already happening. Basic Income wasn’t something you heard about much even 5 years ago. And I think that’s significant, because BI is the type of solution which appeals to people who think the essential dynamics of employment itself are changing. A lot of those people are tech-savvy Millenials, who see the promise and pitfalls of increasing automation, and more importantly understand it’s scope.

  198. 198
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Amir Khalid: That was kind of an odd idea. Even a few days ago it was apparent that neither Cruz/Kasich could win and that all they could do was get a few delegates for the floor fight. Kasich has dedicated followers in Indiana – why would he want them to vote for Cruz? Doesn’t conceding the State make it more likely that the Kasich followers will just stay home, not vote for Cruz, thus increasing Trump’s relative margin of victory?

  199. 199
    Gelfling545 says:

    @Betty Cracker: This was my Facebook post to my younger relatives & friends this am:
    To my dear younger friends who wanted Sanders & seem unlikely to get him:
    What will you do now? Will you just decide ” it’s all rigged” & forget about the great possibilities Sanders offered or will you engage so the next “Bernie Sanders” candidate has a base to draw from? In a way, it is “rigged” in favor of people whose supporters participate most and make their voices heard not just on face book but within the party. Remember that one thing that held Sanders back is that this was the first time ideas like his got a hearing in the main stream and were unfamiliar to a lot of people. Keep pressing for Bernie’s agenda. Will you just drop out now or will you continue to push the Democratic Party to where It represents YOU? If you truly believe in this don’t just walk away. Keep pushing.

  200. 200
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The Democratic Party has, over the last quarter century, shifted significantly to the rightward side of the spectrum.

    must be why Phil Gramm, Billy Tauzin, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Richard Shelby (and a few others….?) left the party in that timeframe.

  201. 201
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @MattF: Unfortunately he didn’t pass vetting – there were some gaps in his employment history and his relationship with the financial sector (in the temple and elsewhere) is problematic to say the least.

  202. 202
    Brachiator says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I think some of Clinton’s lack of support is that young people perceive Sanders to be stronger on this front than Clinton, mostly due to policies under Bill Clinton being projected onto Hillary.

    The middle aged and older Berniebots project Bill Clinton’s policies onto Hillary.

    Young Berniebots barely know who Bill Clinton is and have no idea what his policies were, with the exception of the handful who might be political science graduate students.

  203. 203
    jeannedalbret says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The Democratic Party is sclerotic and intimidated. Sanders brought courage, ideas and youth into the mix. It is up to the Dems to change– to make room for courage, ideas and youth.

    As an aging boomer I say Welcome, and how can we bring these qualities into political office?

  204. 204
    MattF says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: One of the many oddities of the Republican klownshow has been the rather small policy differences among the candidates and their adamant refusal to cooperate to stop Der Trump. Suggests that policy just doesn’t matter that much– it’s all about who can piss farther.

    ETA: And I suppose I should add that’s a real challenge for a bunch of old guys.

  205. 205
    WarMunchkin says:

    @DCF:

    it’s clear to me, given your comment(s) here

    This is funny to me because I’m happy to be a leftist punching bag.

    At any rate, I may have been too subtle with my snark. My point was that if the chatter over the last six months about Sanders is true (does nothing, horrible to work for, incompetent Ted Cruz of the left, etc, etc), the rationale for challenging Sanders is similar to the rationale for dropping serious cash on McInty against a candidate with a solid Democratic voting record. I’m smarting from that loss mainly because voting against Arlen Specter shouldn’t be considered a crime. There’s a difference between primarying someone who disagrees with you on some issues and primarying someone who has historically allied with people who pledged to bury you.

  206. 206
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Technocrat: I’d be very interested/excited to say BI take off as a concept. $15/hour minimum wage is really starting to take off a concept. I’d love to see “pour money intio infrastructure” – ie, “bring jobs home” – take off as a concept. I’d *love* to see transparent debate/discussion on TPP – and trade agreements in general – take off as well, because I think they are getting unfairly demonized. People don’t really know *what the hell a trade agreement is all about*, and I count myself among those people.

    Most of all, I want to see Zombie Reagan dug up, and killed all over again with a stake in his heart proclaiming “Government is *not* and *never has been* ‘the problem’, you sick sociopathic fuck. And right now, government is what is going to save our collective bacon. So please, die, die, die, again, and be consigned to the list of Worst Presidents ever, right down there with Andrew Johnson and Buchanan.”

  207. 207
    D58826 says:

    @Gelfling545: Maybe suggest that they read up on the progressive era in the early 20th century and see how long it took to get the things we take for granted today, minimum wage, child labor laws, passed. One of the lions of the era was fighting Bob La Follette from of all places Wisconsin. Another one was a republican of all things Teddy Roosevelt. Reforming must run in the family.

  208. 208
    lethargytartare says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: @Shawn in ShowMe:

    In what respect has she gone progressive? She’s championing the same classic liberal domestic policies and the same warhawk foreign policy she has since the 90s.

    I disagree with your analysis, but be prepared to hear this a lot – the bernfeelers are still working through denial, so now they’re claiming everything good about Hillary is something she just decided to support because BERNIE! pulled her left with his awesome sparrow magic.

  209. 209
    MomSense says:

    @Brachiator:

    It seems like they know the Cliff’s Notes version of Bill without understanding the context.

  210. 210
    Central Planning says:

    @sigaba:

    “In your guts you know Trump’s nuts.”

    How do you get Trump’s nuts in your guts?

  211. 211
    Brachiator says:

    @Technocrat:

    Basic Income wasn’t something you heard about much even 5 years ago. And I think that’s significant, because BI is the type of solution which appeals to people who think the essential dynamics of employment itself are changing. A lot of those people are tech-savvy Millenials, who see the promise and pitfalls of increasing automation, and more importantly understand it’s scope.

    I’m pretty sure that the idea of Basic Income has been around for a long time. It was even tried experimentally in a city in Manitoba, Canada in the 1970s.

    However, the idea has taken on a new urgency in the context of projections that automation will increasingly eliminate jobs. And you are absolutely correct that many tech-savvy Millenials are among those taking a look at the idea, even as some of them are involved in new technologies that are among the most voracious job guzzlers.

  212. 212
    dr. bloor says:

    @Amir Khalid: He’s going to pull Kasich’s severed head out of a sack and lay claim to all of his delegates.

  213. 213
    Technocrat says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    People don’t really know *what the hell a trade agreement is all about*, and I count myself among those people

    It’s not just you, and that’s by design. There’s a great Planet Money podcast on trade deals here:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/mo.....nfidential

    What was eye-opening is how complex and secretive they are.

    Most of all, I want to see Zombie Reagan dug up, and killed all over again with a stake in his heart

    Jesus, me too. And we can toss the “drown it in a bathtub” crew back in with him? Ronnie didn’t just cripple government, he crippled our concept of governance.

  214. 214
    D58826 says:

    @jeannedalbret: As another aging boomer I have repeated told my 30 something nieces that the boomer generation, and all of those student radicals who were going to change the world for the better, have failed miserably and screwed the pooch of the millennials. I’m just not sure that we can get from her to there in the one big jump that Bernie has been pushing. Change takes time, hard work and in this case political involvement. And in spite of all that there is no guarantee of success. The arc of history may bend toward justice but it can be a very long arc.

  215. 215
    dr. bloor says:

    @Central Planning: That’s probably a question for Governor Christie.

  216. 216
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    Totally predictable. Bernie has done great damage, it is up to him to repair it. The revolutionaries will never believe anything Hillary says, it’s up to you Bernie !

  217. 217
    D58826 says:

    @Brachiator: Didn’t McGovern promise a 1k (worth something in 1972) annual payment for all? The tax code has the earned income credit. And the great state of real Murkins Alaska has an annual payout based on oil revenue. So people have been nibbling around the edges

  218. 218
    burnspbesq says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The other part of the problem with trade as a political issue is that the framing war was lost a long time ago.

    How often do you hear candidates for office mention that as a result of globalization of manufacturing, there is a greater variety of more affordable, higher quality goods on the shelves of American stores than at any time in our history? That’s indisputable, but you can’t say it. It’s certainly possible to argue in good faith that the benefits from free trade don’t outweigh the detriments, but if the on;y people you listen to are politicians, you would have no idea that there are ANY benefits.

  219. 219
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jeannedalbret:

    The Democratic Party is sclerotic and intimidated.

    I don’t even know where this comes from, much less how to respond to it.

    Sanders brought courage, ideas and youth into the mix.

    The youth, I see, and even the ideas tho they are hardly fully formed, but ‘courage’? When he has faced half the sh!t Hillary has faced over the last 30 years, we will speak of courage.

    It is up to the Dems to change– to make room for courage, ideas and youth.

    No, it is up the people pushing so hard for what Bernie is promising to do the hard work and make those things happen- to demand a seat at the table. Change doesn’t just ‘happen’.

    As an aging boomer I say Welcome, and how can we bring these qualities into political office?

    As a fellow boomer I say “Welcome, Glad to have you aboard. Now get to work.” As to the qualities, they already are there. Maybe you don’t like the ideas they are pushing, but they do have ideas. Or think them cowards because they aren’t fighting the battles you want them to, but they are the ones in the trenches. Those of us not in the trenches (and I for one would never run for anything beyond school board)(tho I do volunteer for campaigns) should be careful.

  220. 220
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Wealth that supports the Democrats is coming increasingly from the tech sector, which is bringing with it an ideology that in some ways is at odds with what the party has espoused for the last 80 years or so.

    The pivot that most of the country hasn’t made yet is that the reason Silicon Valley is winning pretty much every market they enter is that they have mastered two things:

    1) Eliminating capital as necessary to corporate growth. Basically, you can scale your business much faster than your ability to raise capital which means that the gatekeepers of capital (banks, government, bond markets) can be routed around which means you can move much faster and take risks that the gatekeepers simply don’t understand.
    2) Creating zero marginal cost businesses. This was the great revelation at Intel back in the 70s which then carried over to software and then pretty much everything that touches the internet. Basically it means that business with fixed capital costs (even very high fixed capital costs which can then be minimized using the strategies above) will always win over businesses with high recurring costs.

    High recurring costs is what we traditionally call labor, particularly unionized labor. If you think of a car, you have fixed costs in the factory and assembly line (usually on the order of $10B for a single factory with a single line that can turn out one car per minute) but you also have the engineers that design and build the car, marketing, and so on. These costs don’t change with the number of cars sold. On the marginal cost side you have the materials that make the car, but also the labor in assembly, sales, etc. This is a roughly fixed cost per unit.

    The cost of a product then becomes something like F/v + M. Where F is your fixed cost, v is your volume, and M is your marginal (recurring) cost per unit. That’s what one widget costs. You can drive down the cost of the item by reducing your fixed costs, by increasing your volume, or by reducing your recurring costs. Unions focus on maintaining recurring costs, because that is wages of line workers. Wages on the fixed cost side (engineers, designers, etc) are rarely unionized.

    Silicon Valleys mission is to absolutely destroy marginal costs, and scale products to levels never seen before so that M drives to 0, and v to infinity which makes the overall cost of the product drive to 0, allowing them to basically not worry about how big F is. Intel was a great example of this – factories that cost billions of dollars and products that cost 10s or hundreds of millions to design could turn out products that sold in the billions but were made of materials that cost next to nothing. Their marginal cost was pennies, but their volume was so large that it allows us to buy incredibly powerful computer chips for a dollar or a few dollars, and they can repeat that cycle as rapidly as they want. Software works similarly, especially now that the internet has allowed the distribution and sales cost to go to 0 (eliminating physical CDs, boxes, manuals, and shelf space in a store, and the labor of the retail sales person).

    So, in Silicon Valley, the goal is to take all of the labor on the marginal cost side (usually unionized) and move them over to the fixed cost side (engineering, design, etc.) – and then pay really well on the fixed cost side. Unions are therefore seen as counterproductive, delaying an economic transformation that the valley (and I) see as inevitable, which will only allow competitors in other countries to gain an upper hand where they don’t have any organized resistance to that shift. And if US companies with high recurring (labor) costs are competing against foreign companies that have made this transformation, that is what forces us into these destructive cycles with respect to wages.

    So far, we’re doing reasonably well on this front, however the problem is that low wage foreign manufacturing and high-fixed cost displacement look pretty much identical to unions and to union workers. I don’t begrudge them fighting the former, they should, but fighting the latter is going to end much more badly for them because they aren’t being replaced with foreign workers but with US workers making much more money – and that hurts, especially when they reject opportunities to make that transition in favor or the status quo. And a lot of Democrats are invested in the status quo believing that the 1950s can be relieved. It can’t.

  221. 221
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Technocrat: ooh, thanks for link! And yes…we can see the logical progression of that “concept of governance” failure in the way Republicans are “running” things…into the ground. I think that’s what is getting me most irritated about this whole “Democrats aren’t lefty enough!” argument. It’s like, Jesus…give us a fucking break, all right? Can we at least agree that one thing that ought to unite us all is the concept that Democrats acknowledge that the proper function of government is TO GOVERN. And in order to govern, we need a big tent approach. Bernie Sanders-style “independent democratic socialism” isn’t going to play in Peoria, as the old saying goes. But a Bluedog Democrat might. Until we get voting rights fully restored, until we get good people in at the state and local levels, we can keep hurling “progressives” into the vanguard, but the reality is that we are, and have been, fighting a desperate rear-guard action against Republican fuckery, and we need every single trooper.

    Sorry for the military metaphors – that’s where talking with Adam S. has put my head! : )

  222. 222
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Technocrat:

    Ronnie didn’t just cripple government, he crippled our concept of governance.

    Truest sentence in this thread, and we’ll be recovering from the disaster of Reaganism for the rest of our lives and probably our children’s children’s lives too. The world would have been a much better place if that piece of shit had never been born.

  223. 223
    Linnaeus says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It’s certainly possible to argue in good faith that the benefits from free trade outweigh the detriments, but if the on;y people you listen to are politicians, you would have no idea that there are ANY benefits.

    I disagree. The benefits are pretty much all you heard about trade deals when they were being drawn up; Obama’s been pushing the benefits of the TPP for months now.

    The framing war, such as it is, has gone decidedly in favor of the current trade regime. What we’re hearing now is pretty much a rearguard action.

  224. 224
    Kay says:

    @tobie:

    Germany retained their manufacturing base because they kept “non trade barriers” in place while they transitioned. They planned, rather than engaging in the kind of shock therapy the US did (which was mostly ideological- a belief system).

    The mistake you’re making is you’re assuming other countries adopted the same trade policy we did, at the same time. They didn’t. They retained trade advantages to protect domestic markets while the US didn’t, and that went on for 20 years. In no way was it a “level playing field”. It’s pretty simple- if free trade isn’t reciprocal, if trade barriers aren’t knocked down at the same time, the country who protects their industries during the transition has an advantage. If we eliminate tariff’s on Japanese cars and then 25 years later Japan eliminates tariffs on US cars, Japan has an advantage for that period. That’s why people believe these are “bad deals” and it’s why there’s more of a recognition that some of them WERE bad deals.

  225. 225
    burnspbesq says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Your analysis depends, absolutely, on the continued availability of low-cost labor in shithole contract manufacturing facilities where labor and environmental protections are nonexistent.

    Is that really what you want to be advocating?

  226. 226
    D58826 says:

    The Sanders campaign had, earlier Tuesday, sent a fundraising email that included a picture of Clinton along with Donald Trump, with a note that the businessman had praised her in the past. Asked if he thought that email went beyond where the forthcoming focus of the campaign would be, Devine responded: “I guess so.”

    With ‘democrats’ like this who needs republicans.

  227. 227
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kay: And the ironic thing is that that our foreign policy at the time – our Marshall Plan – supported local control of Germany’s economy, because, thanks to Red Scare!!, we saw it as being in our political interests to do so. Once we start seeing national control of national economies as again being in our political interests, things might change.

  228. 228
    Kay says:

    @tobie:

    The question is WHY the US didn’t plan- why they chose to go the shock therapy route when obviously they know that “leading” on trade and allowing another country a 5 or 10 or 25 year period to protect their own markets puts US workers at a disadvantage. A lot of people think it was deliberate- there was “slack” in US wages and we could come in below Japan and Germany and that would be an advantage- race to the bottom. I tend to think it was that PLUS a kind of elite consensus that we had to ‘lead on trade” and so any sacrifices US workers made were worth it.

  229. 229
    shomi says:

    @catclub: Lol. Trump is about the same age as Hillary. There is no real weakness. When you have die hard Republicans from blood red Utah saying they might vote for Clinton or just not vote at all…..it’s going to be a slaughter!

  230. 230
    Kay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    It’s amazing how generous US negotiators were with other peoples’ wages, isn’t it? Those guys were all about the giving :)

    Obama himself admits this- you have to read between the lines but that’s what he’s saying when he claims the TPP doesn’t have 25 year lead-ins for compliance. We won’t get that 25 year edge they gave away in prior trade deals back.

  231. 231
    Linnaeus says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    A couple of quick comments, because I have a meeting in about 15 minutes:

    First, I get that the cost structure of Silicon Valley business models is different that that of “traditional” manufacturing businesses (although I do appreciate your exposition as to how). But those high fixed-cost jobs are in much fewer numbers than the recurrent-cost jobs that they replaced, and so you have the problem of how many workers you can move from the latter into the former. What’s more, not everyone can be an engineer or a designer. What do you do with the folks who can’t?

    Second, regarding unions, I’m not sure what opportunities for transition they’re really being offered. From what I can see, it’s pretty “suck it up”. So I can’t really blame them for choosing the devil they know vs. the devil they don’t know. Do we really think that even if unions fully embraced the transition (again, assuming the resources would be provided for their members to do so) that the forces opposing them would stop doing so?

    Third, I’m not convinced that, on a fundamental level, that Silicon Valley-style capitalism is all that different from that which preceded it. Some workers may be getting paid more (which is good), but if I may borrow from Marx (horrors!) I don’t see how the social relations of production have changed all that much. That’s one reason why we still need unions (in whatever form they may end up taking) and if Silicon Valley doesn’t think so, I strongly disagree.

  232. 232
    D58826 says:

    @Kay: I think you can also throw in a large dose of the traditional American distrust of government. Reagan, as much as he should rot, didn’t invent it he just rode it to the extreme. There just wasn’t going to be a strong push for government planning/intervention or what ever you want to call it. Look at the reaction to the auto bail out in 2008-2009. The government provided funding to help GM thru bankruptcy because the private sector money men, including Romney’s Bain Capital, would not. The government never owned GM. It never left the private sector. Even after GM was back trading on Wall Street it was being called Government Motors.

  233. 233
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kay:

    Obama himself admits this- you have to read between the lines but that’s what he’s saying when he claims the TPP doesn’t have 25 year lead-ins for compliance. We won’t get that 25 year edge they gave away in prior trade deals back.

    Now, from this laywoman’s perspective, that does suck. But I have no idea how feasible it would have been.

  234. 234
    Technocrat says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Silicon Valleys mission is to absolutely destroy marginal costs, and scale products to levels never seen before so that M drives to 0, and v to infinity which makes the overall cost of the product drive to 0, allowing them to basically not worry about how big F is

    Hard disk storage costs are a perfect example of this. In 1980, storage cost $193,000.00 per gigabyte. As of 2009 it was down to 7 cents per gigabyte. If space technology had cheapened by the same factor, a Saturn V moon launch would cost less than a dollar. /nerd

    @Miss Bianca:

    Roger that! :=)

    Seriously though, I think a lot of people today either don’t know, or forget how thoroughly in the hole we were in the 80’s.

  235. 235
    Technocrat says:

    @Linnaeus:

    What’s more, not everyone can be an engineer or a designer. What do you do with the folks who can’t?

    You give them money to eat. Just give it to them. There’s no getting around the fact that if your survival costs outweigh your market “value”, then you need a subsidy to survive. You could certainly argue about the form the subsidy takes, but the fact of it seems inevitable.

  236. 236
    Paul in KY says:

    @dr. bloor: If we take the Senate back, we’ll need that vote.

  237. 237
    El Caganer says:

    @Technocrat: Given his base, I think it’s more likely that his pitch will be “I am really Hitler.”

  238. 238
    Paul in KY says:

    @Capri: I wonder if Knight tore into him after he made that gaff?

    Edit: In fact, this would make a good Downfall parody!

  239. 239
    D58826 says:

    After weeks of inspiration and joy, there was anger and sadness this past week in the Bernie Sanders movement. After historic rallies throughout the state, Hillary Clinton’s apparent victory in New York left millions in the movement wondering whether it was the corporate media or the Democratic National Committee that was screwing them over. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but it’s a third culprit who deserves their scorn.

    The obstacle that the movement has to confront right now is something else: the voting system itself.

    Some people will stop reading this post right here, skip down to the comments section, and fire off about “conspiracy theories” and “sore losers.” That’s fine, go ahead. Your mind is closed and there’s little I can do with you other than point out that you’re not a patriot if you love our democracy less than you long for your candidate to win. Rant if you must. It’s 2016, I’m not scared of name-calling.

    two reactions to this. Does he walk to his vacation in Europe, since he is so pure he obvious walks on water. And this seems to be part of the American version of the ‘stab in the back’ conspiracy.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....80128.html

  240. 240
    Kay says:

    @D58826:

    I disagree because trade deals are elaborate negotiations. That’s the whole point of making them. It isn’t laissez-faire. Decisions are made. Periods of years are hammered out.

    In my view, US leaders still give this short shrift. They insist on pretending these are solely “market forces” which simply isn’t true.

    This is Obama in Germany pretending that specific decisions US policymakers made over 30 years are like weather or something, an unavoidable tornado that people get “emotional” about, when actually these are elaborate, huge contracts that our negotiators entered into, knowing all the terms and downsides:

    I know that trade can evoke great emotions, in all our countries. Over the years, some workers and families have felt the costs — the localized costs of globalization and automation, and jobs shipped overseas, without necessarily seeing or feeling the benefits of trade, which are more diffuse and broadly shared. And these anxieties are real, and in a time of growing inequality in many of advanced economies, we have to address them.

    It drives me crazy.

  241. 241
    Linnaeus says:

    @Technocrat:

    I’d be open to that idea in some form. I’m less sanguine about the possibility that TPTB (not to mention a good chunk of the US electorate) would be.

  242. 242
    Paul in KY says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Those workers & firemen at Chernobyl were heros. Every last one of them.

  243. 243
    Paul in KY says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016: A ‘blue dog’ is preferable to a POS Republican.

  244. 244
    D58826 says:

    @Kay: The trade deals are elaborate government negotiations but my point was there is little political support for the kind of domestic industrial policy/retraining etc.; i.e. ameliorate the downsides, that would protect the ‘losers’ in these deals. It is a variation on the redistribution of economic benefits up that we see in things like tax policy. But as long as the politicians can harp on the evils of big government and the public votes for said politicians then they will get away with it.

  245. 245
    Paul in KY says:

    @MattF: Even more so, he wanted opponents that were lousy generals.

  246. 246
    Paul in KY says:

    @D58826: Excellent point, D58826.

  247. 247
    Kay says:

    @D58826:

    This is harsh, but I think one of the problems with US trade policy (and I didn’t invent this- it’s a theory) is that US policymakers focused on Americans as consumers, not workers. I think that attitude can be traced directly to Right wing economic ideas, that it didn’t matter if wages went down as long as we could buy (or borrow and then buy) a lot of stuff.

    It just doesn’t fly like it used to. People know they make less. The cheap consumer goods aren’t a “fair trade” for what they lost :)

  248. 248
    Paul in KY says:

    @Central Planning: If I had to do it (gun to head or a large cash prize), I would first puree them in a good blender & then mix with a chocolate milkshake.

  249. 249
    Kay says:

    @D58826:

    But what the trade deals could have given us was time. People get it. They catch on. They figure out what’s in demand and seek that out. The idea that they were “refusing” to retrain is just nonsense. Policymakers just cut the rug out from under them and told them it was “markets”. Bullshit. Those 5 and 10 and 25 year lead-ins to compliance for other countries were negotiated.

  250. 250
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Kay: But TPP is a move toward adding non-tariff barriers to imports why reducing them on exports and using tariffs as the trade-off. So I don’t understand the knee-jerk reaction to dumping this in the same lot as NAFTA when TPP is intended to shift how we approach trade deals. All we’re hearing from opponents is that all trade deals are bad with no suggestion for how to approach non-tariff deals and a call for increased tariffs.

    And Germany did a pile of other things the US didn’t – they invested in their trade schools and universities, they created national apprenticeship programs with industry, they invested in keeping their industries competitive and maintaining advantages they already head. The US did none of that. And in spite of those efforts Germany is losing manufacturing jobs at roughly the same rate as the US, so it hasn’t actually helped preserve manufacturing jobs at all. What it has done is helped move those workers displaced into new careers, something we hear a bit too often from the left isn’t possible in this country (a 50 year old pipefitter can’t just become a brain surgeon!) always casting it in the most extreme terms.

    And even with all that, Germany is now terrified that they are about to lose it all to the forces I mention up in 220:

    “Our task is to preserve our business model without surrendering it to an internet player. Otherwise we will end up as the Foxconn for a company like Apple, delivering only the metal bodies for them,” Froehlich said.

    All of the threats for the auto industry – the largest manufacturing sector on earth – are all coming from silicon valley: Apple, Uber, Google, Tesla. I’m sure there will be more. And the threat is all exactly what I described, that the industrial processes that automakers have focused on for the last century and which define their core competence will all be swept away by a shift away from assembly (recurring costs/labor) and toward design and integration with non-automative systems (engineering, design). That the value of cars will increasingly fall on the fixed cost side of the equation and the marginal cost side will become valueless. Nobody gives a shit where their iPhone was made or questions whether it was assembled well or not because they are all absolutely identical in assembly – there is no ‘better assembly’ possible and so there is no value there in Chinese line workers. All of the value is in California with the design and engineering. The value of automotive engineering was always in the engine, which Tesla has conveniently eliminated. Modern cars will have at least 2 orders of magnitude fewer moving parts, going from 20K-30K total parts to perhaps fewer than 1000. Performance will go away as a factor as automation increases – self-driving cars will always do the speed limit and any additional horsepower or handling will go unused, so why even put it there?

    The German automakers are starting to realize this and realize that the investments they made on the assembly side will likely all get lost and the investments they never made on the digital technology side will cost them dearly. They won the last war and failed to prepare for the next one. Nobody is better positioned for the next one than the US. We own this space right now. The concern is that the workforce is not adapting and not able to adapt (insufficient investment in education) to meet the worker demand and that the US will be forced to import workers from other countries that are making those investments faster than the US (notably China).

  251. 251
    les says:

    @DCF:

    Sanders has birthed a movement – not a ‘moment’. The first is dynamic, the second static….

    Talk to me in 2018; we’ll see if there’s a movement then.

  252. 252
    Applejinx says:

    @Technocrat:

    You give them money to eat. Just give it to them. There’s no getting around the fact that if your survival costs outweigh your market “value”, then you need a subsidy to survive. You could certainly argue about the form the subsidy takes, but the fact of it seems inevitable.

    That, or if you really MEAN your belief system about consumer choice driving a free market that delivers optimal results without oversight, you give people money with which to consume. It’s enough that they’re not stressed and can research, but not so much that they can be totally wasteful. Then you can have your free market, because there’s somebody to consume the most optimal goods.

    You just can’t have those goods made by companies which employ the consumers anymore. The companies are robots and computer programs and a few visionaries who either become insanely, impossibly wealthy, or pump money into the system while still remaining staggeringly rich compared to the average consumer.

  253. 253
    D58826 says:

    @Kay: ON that we agree. It all gets back to asocial Darwinism view of the economy. Every person for himself and the devil take the hindmost

  254. 254
    Applejinx says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    The value of automotive engineering was always in the engine, which Tesla has conveniently eliminated. Modern cars will have at least 2 orders of magnitude fewer moving parts, going from 20K-30K total parts to perhaps fewer than 1000. Performance will go away as a factor as automation increases – self-driving cars will always do the speed limit and any additional horsepower or handling will go unused, so why even put it there?

    Because a lot of the heavy lifting (for marketing Tesla) is done by things like their new Ludicrous Mode, which is a natural outgrowth of what an electric car is?

    You can say performance is going away, but there are no great marginal costs for Tesla to include this performance. It’s all about dumping battery power suddenly rather than slowly, you don’t need elaborate drivetrains to handle all the power as electric motors don’t require them, and extending range is the same thing as extending total available power.

    And so you get a situation where, right now, the newest Teslas will destroy ANY super or hypercar in a drag race, at least up to very high speeds where the Tesla’s not designed to run. I’ve watched drag race videos, both formal and street racing, and it’s more or less a given: doesn’t matter what pricey sports car you’ve got, an ordinary Tesla will just kill it off the line. If for any reason that’s not enough you’d only have to give it stickier aftermarket tires and off you go: no traditional car can even approach the things.

    All with very few moving parts, and optimized for being a daily driver (not even set up as a performance car). The underlying point of technology being transformative is impossible to argue.

    And when you consider that everything from energy efficiency to manufacturing cost is improved by making the cars still lighter and simpler… which directly improves performance… the end point is a ‘car’ that’s very intelligent and almost not there as a physical object at all. Absurdly cheap and ingenious, and performance to demolish an F1 car. Within ten years?

  255. 255
    D58826 says:

    @Applejinx: In 1900 kids left the farm and went to work for Henry Ford making cars. In 2020 auto worker will leave the assembly line and……………….? We have to figure that out. If the free market can do it then great. If it can’t then society, i.e. government, is going to have to pick up the slack. If, as we seem to be so good at lately, do nothing then instead of Bernie’s revolution in the voting booth we will have folks with torches and pitch forks. Heck Congress can’t even appropriate a couple of billion to combat the Zika virus or we have these absurd battles over disaster relief in my state but not yours.

  256. 256
    tobie says:

    @Kay: I disagree with you on what has preserved German manufacturing. One word: the Euro. Germany was reconciled to a 10-13% unemployment rate given the high price of labor there. Then the Euro was introduced, which amounted to a massive devaluation of the Deutsch Mark–Germany got a great exchange rate–and made German goods artificially cheap in the Eurozone, killing off quite a bit of competition. Couple that with the massive stimulus investment China made in 2008, which led to the purchase of things like massive industrial equipment that only Germany manufactures. Low-skilled manufacturing jobs have left Germany in recent years just as in the US. The German light bulb company Osrem has moved almost all of its plants to the fringes of the EU (e.g. Hungary) to reduce labor costs.

    There are many manufacturing jobs to be drawn from Germany–principally the decision to become the sole producer of equipment used to produce other goods or equipment (for instance, the machines used to make the lamination machines used to make laminate in turn). Those are the things we should be looking into, not how we can compete with Vietnam or China or India to make cheaper bicycle parts.

  257. 257
    Kay says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    But TPP is a move toward adding non-tariff barriers to imports why reducing them on exports and using tariffs as the trade-off. So I don’t understand the knee-jerk reaction to dumping this in the same lot as NAFTA when TPP is intended to shift how we approach trade deals. All we’re hearing from opponents is that all trade deals are bad with no suggestion for how to approach non-tariff deals and a call for increased tariffs.

    No one who knows anything is dumping this in w/NAFTA. In fact, the President has (lately) gone out of his way to say “NAFTA bad, TPP good”

    Free traders lost credibility because they didn’t tell the truth. It wasn’t a “level playing field”. Other countries kept trade advantages while the US merrily knocked down trade barriers and years passed and the same free traders did absolutely nothing to assist the workforce they had just finished knee-capping. They don’t get credibility forever. They have to earn it. It can be pissed away.

    They’re doing it again. They’re making claims on net job gains and enforcement that are fiction. They never learn, Martin. They are incapable of telling the truth about these deals.

    My middle son is a skilled trades apprentice. There were more than 300 qualified applicants for 25 slots. That’s AFTER they took the math tests. That’s not a “a skills gap” and it’s not a refusal to stop taking art history and learn a trade. It’s bad planning and bad policy. They’re ready to work. We’ve decided not to help them.

  258. 258
    Linnaeus says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    But TPP is a move toward adding non-tariff barriers to imports why reducing them on exports and using tariffs as the trade-off. So I don’t understand the knee-jerk reaction to dumping this in the same lot as NAFTA when TPP is intended to shift how we approach trade deals.

    Sure, but that tariff reduction is pretty much a fait accompli and the resulting trade regime is entrenched, so it’s not like tariff barriers were ever going to be seriously considered.

    Then there’s the issue of enforcement. National governments have to do it, and my concern is that they won’t.

    What it has done is helped move those workers displaced into new careers, something we hear a bit too often from the left isn’t possible in this country (a 50 year old pipefitter can’t just become a brain surgeon!)

    Sure, that’s hyperbole, but the point that it illustrates is still a valid one: the US offers little to no assistance to workers so that they may adjust and then we blame them for not adjusting.

  259. 259
    D58826 says:

    @Kay:

    My middle son is a skilled trades apprentice. There were more than 300 qualified applicants for 25 slots. That’s AFTER they took the math tests. That’s not a “a skills gap” and it’s not a refusal to stop taking art history and learn a trade. It’s bad planning and bad policy. They’re ready to work. We’ve decided not to help them.

    For the vulture capitalists and the 1% this is a feature not a bug. Only enough grain to the geese so they can continue to lay the golden eggs that will never be shared.

  260. 260
    Kay says:

    @Linnaeus:

    And they try. We have a community college here that churns out middle skill graduates and they’re not seeing wage increases either. I think health care middle skill wages are actually going down, talking to my clients. Those people were the manufacturing workers.

    I just tire of the scolding tone coming from policy people. They need to get a clue.

  261. 261
    Applejinx says:

    @D58826: But it’s even more effective to design ultrahypersupercars that outperform Bugatti Veyrons, using computer programs and very little in the way of materials, to be built by robots and dumped onto the market. You don’t need ANY geese, just a goose algorithm.

    This is only accelerating (just like those dern Teslas!). I don’t think we have to wait until 2020 to see the results. The whole concept of what an economy is, what a country is, what work is: it’s all turning upside down. Hillary needs to be paying attention to this as it will be her problem. By the time she gets ‘higher education for retraining’ it will already be obsolete…

  262. 262
    D58826 says:

    Hastert was sentence to 15 months because the judge didn’t want to make it a death sentence. Meanwhile in Baltimore a young African American has been charged with a series of felonys that could merit 12 years in jail. His crime he broke the windows of a couple of police cars during the post freddie grey riot. His lawyer has plea bargained it down to 6 months in jail and 18 months probation. Any further run in with the law and the deal is off and he faces the 12 years. He is out on bail at the moment and according to lawyer the cops are giving him a hard time, so its a lead pipe cinch that he will be busted for looking at a fire hydrant the wrong way and will have to serve the full 12 years.

    lets hear it for equal justice.

  263. 263
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Linnaeus:

    But those high fixed-cost jobs are in much fewer numbers than the recurrent-cost jobs that they replaced, and so you have the problem of how many workers you can move from the latter into the former. What’s more, not everyone can be an engineer or a designer. What do you do with the folks who can’t?

    Agreed – but there is still a tail of other economic opportunities that are created, mostly in the service sector. And there are a lot of well paying jobs there with a shortage of workers, but they are also jobs that are culturally dominated by women and so I think part of our barrier is the antiquated concept that men make things and women take care of things fuck you we don’t want to change that. When my nursing program isn’t 84% female and my engineering program 70% male, I’ll feel as though the US has turned a necessary corner on this. In the meantime, a lot of these job concerns and ‘folks who can’t’ are indistinguishable from 18th century gender roles that we are unwilling to tear down. I don’t mean to say that the concerns aren’t real, just that they aren’t real enough for people to put the biases aside and work toward a sustainable occupation regardless of our social sterotypes. Maybe some sexy male nurse halloween costumes are needed to break through this.

    Second, regarding unions, I’m not sure what opportunities for transition they’re really being offered. From what I can see, it’s pretty “suck it up”. So I can’t really blame them for choosing the devil they know vs. the devil they don’t know. Do we really think that even if unions fully embraced the transition (again, assuming the resources would be provided for their members to do so) that the forces opposing them would stop doing so?

    There aren’t a lot of opportunities, but there is also a lot of resistance to providing those opportunities because of the idea that retraining to something that is not inherent in your current career is an undue burden to place on workers. And this is an idea from the left, not from the right. Nobody on the right is saying, in an institutional manner, that pipefitters can’t become nurses. That’s entirely a liberal argument and it stems from the foundation of labor unions which is that once you start on a career you have a fundamental right to stay in it until you decide you want to retire. The world has never worked that way and never will. Go ask any of those fixed-cost workers how much time they spend retraining and it’ll be a lot. It’s continuous. And they take that initiative. That’s not an attitude that exists nearly well enough among marginal cost workers.

    Third, I’m not convinced that, on a fundamental level, that Silicon Valley-style capitalism is all that different from that which preceded it. Some workers may be getting paid more (which is good), but if I may borrow from Marx (horrors!) I don’t see how the social relations of production have changed all that much. That’s one reason why we still need unions (in whatever form they may end up taking) and if Silicon Valley doesn’t think so, I strongly disagree.

    It’s completely different. There was no such thing as zero marginal cost economics prior to the 1970s. It did not exist as a concept (or at least as one that was considered possible) and therefore we never developed economic theories around it, business model theories around it, labor policies around it, regulatory structures around it, and so on. Everything was focused how to manage the marginal cost side of the equation because that was always the dominant variable. The valley flipped that and made that side valueless in a whole range of industries, and unfortunately labor unions were the great defender of that side of the equation. I’m not anti-union, but I don’t see any way to forestall the inevitable shift. And this has been going on since the rise of industrial automation in the 50s and 60s. It’s simply accelerating at this stage and reaching levels that weren’t possible before. And if we think this is bad, autonomous transportation is going to be much worse. It affects far more people that were even less prepared for the change and it’ll hit a lot sooner than people realize – within 10 years. They are also unionized (Teamsters, etc) and they’ve been largely ignored in this discussion in favor of trade/manufacturing.

  264. 264
    Paul in KY says:

    @burnspbesq: Why would those not always be available in Eastasia somewhere?

  265. 265
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: Once again, Kay, I say you have to make it worth the while for the raise giver to give a raise. Absent unions & with the ludicrous tax rate on investment income, I’m not sure how it can be done? Appeal to their basic fairness?

  266. 266
    D58826 says:

    @Applejinx: and a goose algorithm that ships the golden eggs to the Koch brothers. Look I don’t think Hillary has an answer but I don’t think Bernie does either. I don’t think there is a answer or at least not one that doesn’t involve restructuring all of our social institutions in ways that I can’t even imagine. Technology is moving at the speed of light while the rest of society is still trudging along at the same pace it moved when Christ was a corporal. It isn’t going to end well

  267. 267
    D58826 says:

    @🌷 Martin: Hmmm. Very interesting set of posts. I think it may be time to give my venerable econ 101 Samuelson text book an honorable burial. Any recommendations for a reading list?

    I’ll have to pokje around in the book case but I seem to remember a book by Robert Reich on work in the 21st century and he was talking about the growth of the service economy and the intellectual economy (i.e lawyers, doctors, the tech designers in Silicon valley mentioned here). The question he never answered is what about all of those people who don’t want to be software designers or just aren’t smart enough. I wanted to be a rocket scientist but couldn’t do the math. Some folks are just better with their hands (I can’t drive a nail straight either) so the trades are where they look for jobs. It isn’t any ones ‘fault’ people are just different but the new economy doesn’t seem to have a place for that

  268. 268
    Elie says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    We have to “get after it” locally. Lots of angles to do this and we need to focus there more. Yes, its hard work but it IS doable.. We have to stop whining (not that you are) about it and put our backs (and good candidates) to it…

  269. 269
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Applejinx:

    Because a lot of the heavy lifting (for marketing Tesla) is done by things like their new Ludicrous Mode, which is a natural outgrowth of what an electric car is?

    Don’t confuse a transitional strategy to an end-game strategy. Tesla’s strategy is to peel off S-Class and M5 buyers who are already willing to drop $100K on a car to theirs by offering comparable performance. It’s a good strategy, but it won’t survive the automation transition. And there is considerable skepticism that Telsa can even make it through the scaling needed for the Model 3 to work because of this. This is not a criticism of Tesla, breaking into this industry is almost impossibly difficult and they found a viable way to do it, but this strategy is a fleeting one and it’s a bit unclear if they can make another rapid strategy change in as short a period of time.

    You can say performance is going away, but there are no great marginal costs for Tesla to include this performance. It’s all about dumping battery power suddenly rather than slowly, you don’t need elaborate drivetrains to handle all the power as electric motors don’t require them, and extending range is the same thing as extending total available power.

    There is, actually. Not only are you doubling the complexity of the drivetrain with a second motor, and everything needed to coordinate those two systems, but you are substantially over-engineering the batteries, suspension, and other features in order to deliver it and the price they are paying is on manufacturability. They are struggling to meet production quotas because of these features. You make a completely different set of trade-offs for range – lightness, rolling friction, etc. Some of which Tesla is incorporating and some of which they are actually opposing. For example, 0-60 times are actually constrained by tire friction – maximizing the contact patch and grip with the road. That’s the worst thing you can do for range. You want the minimum friction you can afford without affecting braking and cornering – which under autonomous conditions are even easier to meet because the braking/cornering envelope is so much narrower.

    And so you get a situation where, right now, the newest Teslas will destroy ANY super or hypercar in a drag race, at least up to very high speeds where the Tesla’s not designed to run. I’ve watched drag race videos, both formal and street racing, and it’s more or less a given: doesn’t matter what pricey sports car you’ve got, an ordinary Tesla will just kill it off the line. If for any reason that’s not enough you’d only have to give it stickier aftermarket tires and off you go: no traditional car can even approach the things.

    All with very few moving parts, and optimized for being a daily driver (not even set up as a performance car). The underlying point of technology being transformative is impossible to argue.

    And when you consider that everything from energy efficiency to manufacturing cost is improved by making the cars still lighter and simpler… which directly improves performance… the end point is a ‘car’ that’s very intelligent and almost not there as a physical object at all. Absurdly cheap and ingenious, and performance to demolish an F1 car. Within ten years?

    But Tesla hasn’t improved manufacturing cost. In fact, they’ve made it worse (at least temporarily). They are objectively terrible at manufacturing and cost, and they expect to get better with the Model 3 (which people are skeptical of due to some decisions they’ve made). Even at $100K per car, they are losing money and they have missed every production target and every price point they’ve aimed for. They have built an incredible brand and an incredible product, but it is not the future of electric vehicles and definitely not the future of autonomous ones. They have a very large and painful transition to make to get to that market.

    Notice that in every article about the big automakers being worried about being upended, they never mention Tesla. They aren’t worried about Tesla – they can see their manufacturing process and can see that scale will be difficult to achieve. They are more worried about companies with billions of cash and a much stronger tech base to build from, particularly Apple, who has demonstrated the ability to manufacture at comparable scale as automakers and who have the technical means to design a car, the manufacturing experience to build it, and the financial means to invent a completely new way of manufacturing it that would indeed be cheaper/better that the incumbents can’t follow. Tesla is not only using existing processes, they’re using poor versions of existing processes. The new players may not be able to improve upon the status quo, so it may never come to pass, but with $300B in cash between the top players, they can explore a lot of ideas that nobody else can.

  270. 270
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Kay:

    They’re ready to work. We’ve decided not to help them.

    I agree with this completely. We need massive national investments not only in retraining but in basic safety net, because there will be workers that can’t make the transition and retiring them early and compassionately is a reasonable and cost-effective solution.

  271. 271
    Paul in KY says:

    @D58826: There are a lot of fine people who just don’t want a mentally taxing job. That’s who took a lot of the manufacturing line jobs. Those older versions of that personality were able to get a piece of the American Dream ™. What is there for those modern versions?

  272. 272
    🌷 Martin says:

    @D58826: No books but one of the better voices on this is Ben Thompson. Try this as a starter. He is a very prolific blogger and has a very good podcast. His focus is a bit narrow and really centers around business model theory, but that is often tied back to these changes in economics.

    Similarly Horace Dediu is quite good and has a split interest in tech and automotives. He’s even more focused on business model theory and tends to dig deeper. Doesn’t write as much and also has several podcasts.

    Ultimately each is trying to unravel ‘why companies win or lose’ which is a very good question when we’ve had so many spectacular changes in fortune (Intel announcing they are exiting the PC business, for example) not only for companies but entire industries (newspapers). Underlying all of these trends is a significant economic change, and neither is an economist but they point in the right direction. I’m sure this can also be approached from the economics side, but I find that less interesting because it doesn’t inform how decisions should be made from that knowledge, which turns out to be quite a complicated thing.

  273. 273
    D58826 says:

    @🌷 Martin: thanks. Isn’t there a Jewish or maybe Irish curse about living in interesting time?

    I’m glad I’m pushing 70. would not want to deal with this. But I feel for my 30 something nieces and their kids.

  274. 274
    Linnaeus says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    In the meantime, a lot of these job concerns and ‘folks who can’t’ are indistinguishable from 18th century gender roles that we are unwilling to tear down. I don’t mean to say that the concerns aren’t real, just that they aren’t real enough for people to put the biases aside and work toward a sustainable occupation regardless of our social sterotypes.

    This might be oversimplifying things a bit. Workers are also aware of such things as cost of education/retraining (in both time and money), available and attainable opportunities, the constraints of social obligations (family, etc.) and I don’t think we give them enough credit for that.

    Nobody on the right is saying, in an institutional manner, that pipefitters can’t become nurses. That’s entirely a liberal argument

    I’d say the liberal argument is more like, “‘Just do X’ is not an adequate answer to the problem of worker displacement”.

    Go ask any of those fixed-cost workers how much time they spend retraining and it’ll be a lot. It’s continuous. And they take that initiative. That’s not an attitude that exists nearly well enough among marginal cost workers.

    I’m not sure you’re giving marginal cost workers enough credit here. Context matters a great deal; it’s a lot easier to have the initiative to retrain if you’re able to work for a living wage while doing it, if your employer offers it or subsidizes it, if you have the social capital to connect you with retraining opportunities and so forth.

    There was no such thing as zero marginal cost economics prior to the 1970s. It did not exist as a concept (or at least as one that was considered possible) and therefore we never developed economic theories around it, business model theories around it, labor policies around it, regulatory structures around it, and so on.

    Admittedly, I’m not an economist. That said, it seems to me, at least at first glance, that you still have the challenge of power inequities in the workplace and conflicts between the interests of employees and employers. So even if unions decide there’s nothing they can do, everything’s changed, and phase themselves out of existence (or they end up being phased out by their opponents), the fundamental issues that labor unions were formed to address are still there. Then how do we do address those issues? I wouldn’t rely on the wisdom of the market or the beneficence of employers to do so.

  275. 275
    rikyrah says:

    @negative 1:

    I’d be shocked if the building trades folks didn’t split down the middle for Trump.

    and, this is why we can’t have nice things.

    Because, I doubt Trump uses union labor unless forced to.

    But, continue to vote against your own best interests.

    uh huh

  276. 276
    🌷 Martin says:

    @D58826: It’s Chinese, but it’s impossible given their history for Jews and Irish to not have the same warning.

    I’m navigating my teenagers through this, with the warning that within their career AI will almost certainly have eclipsed any specific skill that they could acquire and that this will mean they both need to be very active learners and adapt to career changes, but also that they need to be engaged politically because society will look radically different at the end of their career than it does now, and that will largely be shaped by government, and that’s fucking scary when government is mostly old white men that got rich off of a set of economic rules that are now losing badly. I’m increasingly convinced that young people are objectively more qualified to lead us through this than anyone with extensive experience. This is very painful to say, but Mark Zuckerberg is probably more qualified to lead us through this than Clinton or Sanders or any other person that has considered running for President.

  277. 277
    rikyrah says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016:

    We need to bring back construction jobs big time because our infrastructure – roads and bridges, city transit, telecommunications and energy grids – is woefully out of date and in need of replacement/upgrade. We can pass a massive infrastructure bill that creates those jobs, brings us Fiber Optic communications to every home, improved energy resources with more solar and wind, and replaces 40-year-old bridges that are three months away from collapse.

    You mean the American Jobs Bill that the GOP refuses to bring up for a vote?

  278. 278
    DCF says:

    @D58826:

    (sigh) The enemy of my enemy is my friend explains that. He is still registered as an Independent. And regardless of what you want to call his party affiliation his political views are still very much to the left of the mainstream American voter. And his campaign is still premised on taking down the existing democratic party establishment and replacing it with ah with ???????. Before this very weird election cycle Vermont might have been the only state where he could have been elected to an office higher than dog catcher. It might be a bum rap but for most of my life time in the political world the word socialist was used interchangeably with communist. In red state America a Known child molester has a better chance at winning an election than a socialist/communist. I added the word ‘known’ since we have the real life example of Dennis Hastertt.

    No need for a ‘sigh’….
    1) What is a ‘mainstream American voter’? When I review the most recent Pew Research Center opinion polls on topics like the living wage, family leave, health care, et al the numbers align closely with Sanders’ position(s). Given the Democratic primary voting results to date, it’s clear that a substantial portion of the American electorate – including ‘independents’ – agree with him. Outside the mainstream? I disagree….
    2) Sanders’ campaign is not based on ‘…taking down the existing Democratic establishment’ wholesale. It is focused upon a realignment of existing Third Way/DLC priorities;
    3) Vermont is a very progressive state, where politicians at all levels have more direct contact(s) with their constituencies than virtually anywhere else in the nation. In a word, they have to be accountable. Sanders has held far more town meetings throughout the state over his tenure(s) than HRC has hosted fundraisers.
    4) The ‘dog catcher’ comment is a ‘bum rap’ – and, unfortunately, characterizes the dismissive and denigrating attitude many HRC supporters evince in response to so-called ‘leftist’ positions. I believe Sanders could do equally well in other American locales (e.g.., Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Minnesota, etc.).
    5) We -myself included – rap the Republicans for tribalism, but throughout this primary process it is evident that Democrats are not immune to the same affliction. This pattern of labeling begs the question: What is a ‘real Democrat’ – as opposed to a DINO?

  279. 279
    Applejinx says:

    @D58826: I can tell you one thing about the Silicon Valley nerds: my brother’s one, and I’m kind of like one. I am Slashdot user number #580, and he’s a wealthy possibly-republican corporate programmer, so this is a cultural thing I think holds true.

    These guys don’t think of job security. The ones that are any good, treat programming like a sort of calling: if there’s a Singularity where someone invents self-perpetuating artificial intelligence, it’s these people who will make it happen. They believe religiously in freedom of information and removing restrictions on things (techno-libertarian) and many of ’em are pushing Universal Basic Income ideas because they are actively trying to automate away all forms of work including their own: real Star Trek stuff.

    They’re not as good at imagining how other humans will leverage the power they bring to their masters (the Mike Judge ‘Silicon Valley’ show is flat-out pitch-perfect at outlining all the dynamics of these folks and how they relate to business and ‘normal humans’).

    The techno-utopians aren’t specifically out to ‘force everyone into demanding intellectual jobs’, they just intend to remove all the humans and then ??? profit! One thing you might not expect is this (this is from my corporate-programmer brother): even among those who want to do the intellectual jobs, most people aren’t good at it. You can get all the degrees in computer programming you want, and it’ll get you in the door and very likely hired as a programmer, and then your ability to stay employed is largely a social-engineering problem and the actual work is done by a few very smart and very nerdy ‘real programmers’ who have a deep knowledge of the problem space. And that space is VERY intellectually demanding.

    For this reason you can’t turn to the techno-utopians for mercy.

    As a rule, the skilled ones are plagued by incompetents crapping up their field, so they become very Darwinist and really don’t want ‘poseur’ programmers to succeed unless they’re willing to learn (however hard the lesson). I think this has much to do with the famed Amazon corporate culture. These guys (and I’m like that in my own field, audio DSP coding) really don’t care about ‘full employment’, it’s all too easy for them to see it as losers crapping up their world and lowering the tone of everything, making bad ideas and bad code.

    The idea is to make such good things that they drive the bad things out, but absent the UBI angle these folks are not thinking in terms of the workforce, or where people will make their paychecks. There’s a definite vibe of ‘people who are bad at what they do should not be rewarded in any way’, which is dangerous in areas where homelessness and failure is rampant. It’s like ‘homeless people should think hard, invent a startup and get funded: after all they have all the time in the world’.

  280. 280
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I’m not sure you’re giving marginal cost workers enough credit here. Context matters a great deal; it’s a lot easier to have the initiative to retrain if you’re able to work for a living wage while doing it, if your employer offers it or subsidizes it, if you have the social capital to connect you with retraining opportunities and so forth.

    This and previous points are all fair. I don’t mean to say that the workers don’t see this and aren’t willing to do it, and I do quickly acknowledge that the nature of their jobs and their compensation make this especially difficult to do. My focus is more on the institutions rather than the workers themselves. Unions that are trying to maintain a strong labor force in a given industry are not in alignment with the need to train workers for new industries, and they haven’t been great partners in that regard, and that has carried at least some labor sympathetic democrats with them. The broader lack of investment (by both parties) and the unwillingness of the educational institutions to meet the needs of these workers are also big contributing problems.

    Admittedly, I’m not an economist. That said, it seems to me, at least at first glance, that you still have the challenge of power inequities in the workplace and conflicts between the interests of employees and employers. So even if unions decide there’s nothing they can do, everything’s changed, and phase themselves out of existence (or they end up being phased out by their opponents), the fundamental issues that labor unions were formed to address are still there. Then how do we do address those issues? I wouldn’t rely on the wisdom of the market or the beneficence of employers to do so.

    You do still have power inequities, and in some cases worse ones. But the main problem that unionized workers had was that they individually had no leverage because they individually added so little value, it was only when they organized that they gained leverage because they could then stop the entire operation.

    Those dynamics don’t work on the fixed cost side. There workers are much more greatly differentiated and add more value and therefore they carry more individual leverage. Not enough in many cases, but more. And it’s a lot harder to organize because of the variability across workers – they are more aware of their own value-add and believe that they individually can leverage that ahead of the collective. That may not be true, but they believe it.

    The bigger inequity problem is that the potential for profits scales so much differently than a traditional business but there are poor mechanisms and incentives to distribute those profits. So within a company you might have it working pretty well, but those profits really need to distribute down to the other firms that supported that business. So one problem that is developing is that you have a range of companies at the top of the foodchain that can exploit huge leverage on profits while also being able to minimize costs to downstream suppliers. Apple is probably the poster child of this – they can use their scale and level of integration and internal expertise to ‘pull’ profits up from suppliers while simultaneously pulling profits down from consumers. If you aren’t at the top of that food chain, you’re going to hurt. And Apple makes the problem even more dire for them because Apple is willing to vertically integrate. The CPU supplier that Apple was willing to direct profits to got cut out when Apple started doing their own CPU design. They were trapped between meager profits or none at all. And Apple has extended this to area after area using each success to capture the next one. And you see his across the industry. Amazon is building out their own shipping service rather than paying FedEx and UPS, etc.

    Each vertical integration allows them to apply the formula to a sector that was resisting it to the extent that Intel, who invented the fucking strategy, is now being killed mostly by Apple either directly or indirectly (Apple moved the computing industry into lower-power, distributed load, and which fostered cheap, commodity hardware which was the opposite of Intel’s strength).

    Inevitably this will carry over to more and more manufacturing industries. Some will be more resistant to it. On the flip side, Apple (and perhaps now others) are showing one way out of this. 50% of Apple employees are retail, and they are reasonably well paid with benefits. It’s not all roses, but the strategy needs to be looked at. Apple broke from the retail model of having low-paid employees that couldn’t be trusted to give customers advise and support, relegating everyone to shelf stocking and cashier work, and instead pushes every retail employee into a customer service rep. That’s really what Apple Store employees are – they are there to listen to what job you are trying to solve, and guiding you to what product will best do that job and helping you to set it up, and all that. They have training courses, and one-on-one instruction and all that. The sale is not the focus, they simply expect that it will be the end result if they get the other steps right.

    That doesn’t look like other retail models, even those for high-ticket items like cars, but it’s valuable because it puts real value on that retail employee. The retail employee is why you go to the store. You go there to talk to them, to get their advice. They aren’t a rubicon you need to cross simply to get your product out the front door, and because of that the employees are valuable and so they get paid better, they get benefits, and retention is important because the training is expensive. That harkens back to the old days when you’d talk to the butcher at the grocery store for advice on what cut of meat to buy, or how many for a party of 8 or whatever. In the name of efficiency that interaction ended, and the value of that employee went with it and so did their salary. As consumers demand real value out of employees, employees will earn more and be treated better. And there are trends in that direction, but we sometimes either don’t notice them or we mock them (the hipster artisanal $5 donut, the yoga instructor, etc.), but that’s a perfectly valid economic approach and one that is ultimately much better for labor because it better reflects greater value for the consumer. Nobody gets a better value car by paying line workers better, so why not keep that money and use it to hire a fitness coach? That’s what’s happening.

  281. 281
    les says:

    @DCF:

    The alternative to this approach is not ‘purity’, and dismissing the (growing) progressive agenda(s) and constituencies as an absolutist aberration is futile folly for the future of the Party….

    those constituencies will be dismissed until they identify as Democrats, get in the party and do the work it takes to make the agendas Democratic party agendas, run candidates that support the agendas and win elections. Standing outside pissing into the tent will not change anything, it will just ensure that the Democratic party doesn’t include your concerns. Absent a total revision of voting laws, this country will be a two party system. The Dems aren’t going to turn into the tea party Repubs, and no chunk of the coalition is going to get everything it wants. You can deny all you want, but a big chunk of the Sanders Revolution public face is, indeed, a demand for purity. Only your issues matter, only your issues can save the country, only your issues must be addressed. Everyone else will be fine after that. That’s a recipe for a dead revolution.

  282. 282
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Applejinx:

    many of ’em are pushing Universal Basic Income ideas because they are actively trying to automate away all forms of work including their own

    I think an important starting point is to challenge the apparent inviolability of the 40 hour work week. If we can automate away 25% of our job, why not just move to a 30 hour work week? Take those profits in terms of quality of life rather than as cash or split the difference in any meaningful way.

    And that’s sort of what happens inside tech firms. Employees are given child care and gyms and free lunch and all that. Their perks aren’t just salary but things that make their life easier. It’s a sliver of what it probably ought to be, but it’s at least a move in the right direction and as such it’s not so hard therefore to extend the idea to a shorter workweek, or a shorter career (common in the valley – retiring in your 40s), or lots of vacation time, etc.

    So I think they have a positive vision of that. It may not align well with the reality on the ground for most Americans right now, but ultimately it probably will. Just as the move from subsistence farming to industrialization allowed for the concept of ‘free time’, the move from industrialization to full automation will take it a step further – to something I agree may be Star Trekish. It’s going to be really, really fucking painful transition though.

  283. 283
    les says:

    @D58826:

    The problem is we have allowed vulture capitalism to do nothing to help the ‘loser’s’ transition to the new economy. Again it is a bigger problem than free trade, since vulture capitalism is screwing the middle class in more ways then just trade policy. I’ve seen several articles that Germany has to deal with the same free trade/low wage competition that we do, but they have worked to cushion the impact by developing a highly skilled labor force that can produce the high tech 21st century products. In other words they have helped the ‘losers’ in the free trade wars.

    Too right. There will always be good and bad outcomes from trade deals; non-whack job economists say, with respect to NAFTA, actually more winners. For the losers, Dems have said they’ll help and Repubs have said “grab those bootstraps.” Neither party has done enough to cushion the changes for those who lose. It’s not a trade agreement problem, it’s a safety net, income redistribution problem. Cheers to Sanders for highlighting the problem, but “no trade agreements” isn’t an answer; globalization isn’t going away, with or without ’em. Corporations are chasing cheap labor, with or without them. Economic support, job/training support, labor mobility as close to par with capital mobility as possible; problem exists and won’t be eliminated, gotta find solutions.

  284. 284
    les says:

    @DCF: Does anybody but T. Frank agree with you? Sounds like the progressive version of David Barton; history is always just what you want it to be. Get a clue; “Dems are just Repub lite” is ahistorical and ignorant. At all times in your little history, Dems have been materially different than Repubs. The ACA is not the Heritage Plan. Dem positions on social safety nets have never been what the Repubs want. Your little mantras may make you comfy, but don’t confuse them with reality.

  285. 285
    les says:

    @jeannedalbret:

    The Democratic Party is sclerotic and intimidated. Sanders brought courage, ideas and youth into the mix. It is up to the Dems to change– to make room for courage, ideas and youth.

    As an aging boomer I say Welcome, and how can we bring these qualities into political office?

    How many of them have gone to the party office, offered to work and been told no? How many of them went to local meetings and were told to go away? The room is there. You have to actually work for change. You can’t get excited in one election, vote for Gandalf and walk out into your perfect world. Nobody is rejecting these paragons; well, except the folks sitting there when somebody walks in and says “get the fuck out, you corrupt lying hypocrites that ruined my world!”

  286. 286
    les says:

    @DCF:

    What is a ‘mainstream American voter’? When I review the most recent Pew Research Center opinion polls on topics like the living wage, family leave, health care, et al the numbers align closely with Sanders’ position(s). Given the Democratic primary voting results to date, it’s clear that a substantial portion of the American electorate – including ‘independents’ – agree with him. Outside the mainstream? I disagree….

    Good question, sorta. There’s been a discrepancy for years between what the polls say about these topics, and the positions of the people who actually get elected. Congress consistently takes positions against the majority of poll respondents. Turns out, unfortunately for us and a lot of people, those poll respondents don’t seem to vote, or don’t vote those issues. Turns out, the rest of the US isn’t Vermont, and you can’t elect a president with just town meetings. Historical facts: a smaller proportion of young people vote than other groups. Pissed off religious and social conservatives vote every chance they get, for the yahoo closest to their concerns. Tell you a secret: your problem is not Democrats who run for office or the Democrats who vote for them. The problem is, the Democrats don’t win. That is not the fault of the people who do vote; it’s the fault of the revolutionaries who believe in all these wonderful agendas who don’t vote.

  287. 287
    les says:

    @rikyrah:

    But, continue to vote against your own best interests.

    I used to say this a lot; LGM convinced me it’s wrong and unhelpful. I think now people do vote their interests; they’re just not the interests that seem to make sense to us. White men see their privilege erode and are scared; working and middle class families see their retirement and their kid’s futures erode and are scared; xtians see their social dominance erode and are scared; and a common reaction isn’t how can we change to fix it, it’s anger. There’s a rich, cynical, powerful group perfectly happy to promise to fix it and then act to preserve and enhance their own position. So yeah, they vote against (some of) their own interests, but that’s not what they think they’re doing. That’s why plans to bring the Reagan dems/white working class “back” to the Dems will never work. They never were Dems in the sense of the modern party.

  288. 288
    les says:

    @D58826:

    Hmmm. Very interesting set of posts. I think it may be time to give my venerable econ 101 Samuelson text book an honorable burial. Any recommendations for a reading list?

    Erik Loomis at Lawyers Guns and Money. Really seems good to me; provocative writer and blogger on labor history, trade agreements/globalization, where to put resources for displaced workers, the value of and need for work, etc. I don’t agree with everything he says–natch–but I’ve learned a shitload.

  289. 289
    J R in WV says:

    @Gimlet:

    My impression is that the “Democratic establishment” probably has between 1000 and 2000 votes in the primaries. The other 10 million voters seem to be selecting Hillary Clinton as the presidential nominee for 2016. In my book, that gives the 10 million voters roughly a million or 500,000 times as much power as the “Democratic establishment” you refer to.

    It is a democracy, and we are not governed by the leaders of the Democratic party. Now, when the Bushes were elected, or Reagan, then perhaps the Republican Establishment ruled the country. But it doesn’t work like that in the Democratic party, thank Dog.

    Your insight seems limited, and hemmed in by stereotypes.

  290. 290
    J. says:

    Great post. So true. But we really need young people to vote in state and local elections — and for Congress and the Senate. That’s where and what’s really going to effect change. Also, thanks for shout-out. :-)

  291. 291
    DCF says:

    @les:
    Let’s leave your condescending tone (and message) aside for the moment, and address your content directly:

    @DCF: Does anybody but T. Frank agree with you? Sounds like the progressive version of David Barton; history is always just what you want it to be. Get a clue; “Dems are just Repub lite” is ahistorical and ignorant. At all times in your little history, Dems have been materially different than Repubs. The ACA is not the Heritage Plan. Dem positions on social safety nets have never been what the Repubs want. Your little mantras may make you comfy, but don’t confuse them with reality.
    Reply

    Quite a few people – apart from Thomas Frank – are in agreement about the debilitated state of the establishment Democratic party. Watch/listen to Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Lee Camp,The Young Turks, Mike Malloy, Robert Reich, Thomas Piketty, Michelle Alexander, Jane Mayer, Michael Lerner, Common Dreams, US Uncut…you get the picture….
    Second, historical revisionism is the province of establishment Democrats. History as it is is there for all to discover, if one wishes to do so….
    Third, everyone is entitled to their own opinion(s) – but not their own facts….
    The ACA was a good first step…29 million Americans are still without health insurance, and millions more have exorbitantly high deductibles and co-pays…the program needs to be expanded and refined/improved….
    ‘Dem positions on social safety nets…’ are considerably closer to Republican desires since Bill Clinton’s presidency. He’s still trying to justify those actions on the campaign trail. BLM (and others) have a different perspective. Perhaps – if you were in a compromised socioeconomic position – you would feel the effects more directly/immediately….
    My ‘…little mantras…’ (Christ on a crutch, you are a condescending dick) reflect the political realities facing the country….
    Reality – what a concept….

  292. 292
    AnotherBruce says:

    @MattF:Way late on a dead thread. But Obama’a main strength is that he never let his temper (yes he has one) get the best of him. He became the strongest adult of the 21st century. So far. May many others learn from him.

  293. 293
    DCF says:

    @les:

    You might find this article of interest:
    Bernie: Create a Tea Party of the Left Within the Democratic Party Now
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....82006.html

  294. 294
    les says:

    @DCF: Look, jeepers, swell idea. Premise is flawed: the Tea Party did not change what the Repub party does. It just changed the individuals, every candidate still has the same platform: cut taxes for the rich, bomb brown people, pretend to care about social shit. A: guy’s a fool if he thinks the approach would work in the Dem party; too diverse and too resistant to falling in line. B: it did not work in his example anyway. The only change is the volume of handwriging and whining from the David Brooks sliver of the party.
    Sorry you don’t like my tone. You are obviously welcome to define Dems of the last few decades as Republicans, and define the Repubs whatever you want. It’s a semantic game that ignores reality.

  295. 295
    🌷 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Your analysis depends, absolutely, on the continued availability of low-cost labor in shithole contract manufacturing facilities where labor and environmental protections are nonexistent.

    Is that really what you want to be advocating?

    No it depends on the continuing automation of that low-cost labor. Manufacturing jobs in China are on the decline as in every country. It’s been happening globally for at least 20 years now.

  296. 296
    DCF says:

    @les:

    No one with any degree of self-regard would like your ‘tone’.
    The Tea Party has altered the Republican party – where have you been for the last eight years? Granted, it has had a negative effect on the governance of the country – but what do you expect from a party whose mantra of the last thirty-five years is ‘Government is the problem’?
    Democrats believe government can often be the solution to specific problems – and if we can remove and replace those Democrats whose ideology does not align with that belief, we’ll be well on our way to a better future for this country….
    I define the orientation of the Democratic establishment since 1991-92 as increasingly ‘Republican-lite’, and stand by that position. History affirms that trend….
    This has nothing to do with ‘semantics’;i t has
    everything to do with historical reality.

  297. 297
    J R in WV says:

    @cleek:

    I would say that the Japanese Imperial Navy brought us into WW II, not a Democratic President. Followed closely by the German Third Reich declaring war on the United States, in support of their Japanese allies.

    Korea, Viet-Nam sure. And I will agree that FDR was preparing to fight WW II and assisting Great Britain for years before the Japanese Navy attacked us. But still, they did attack us, didn’t they…

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