Calm the Fuck Down

Man this David Atkins guy can stir up some drama:

The latest conflagration was ignited in part by Washington Monthly alum Ryan Cooper’s piece establishing the reasons for economic populist distrust of establishment favorite 2020 hopefuls Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Deval Patrick. Cooper made some valid points about the histories of all three candidates that make many Occupy-aligned Democrats shudder: Booker’s defense of Wall Street and charter schools, Harris’ failure to charge now-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for his crimes with One West Bank, and Deval Patrick’s employment as managing director with Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, for starters. These are not minor complaints.

[…]

It is no exaggeration to say that if the Democratic Party fractures in 2020 along the same lines it did in 2016, it may not recover. Votes for Clinton over Sanders notwithstanding, women and minority voters are not ideologically more moderate than whites and men within the party. If the fault lines once again pit more moderate minority candidates against more economically progressive white candidates, the resulting warfare will create the worst of all worlds: watered down economic policy that fails to win back disaffected white working class voters, combined with a bruising primary trading insults that could demotivate both class-conscious millennials and identity-conscious older women and minorities, depending on the eventual victor.

The Democratic party “fractured” in 2016? What kind of wilting flower thinks that? Hillary Clinton had a primary fight. She fought it and won. I think it made her a better candidate.  She lost because of foreign and domestic interference in the campaign, plus a few self-inflicted mistakes that every campaign makes (no campaigns are perfect).

Only people who spend their time all day in Twitter fights re-litigating the last election could think the conflagration that matters concerns these three Democrats. Kamala Harris, Deval Patrick and Corey Booker can take care of themselves, and if they can’t, they have no business running for President.  If they end up in a primary, we’ll see if they can fight, and if they can articulate a message that will get voters to the polls.

But, on August 6, 2017, with the most important set of Congressional elections in living history a little over a year away, why are we obsessing about the Presidency?  The real danger to the Democratic party is our shitty position in statehouses, the House and the Senate.  We need to win those back. I want to hear how Booker, Harris, Patrick and every other politician who wants a leadership position in the party thinks we can do that.

This obsession with the Presidency will be the death of us.






244 replies
  1. 1
    japa21 says:

    How much is Russia paying Atkins?

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    I’m so tired of hearing about “the ruins” of the Democratic party. When do we stop letting conservatives define us?

  3. 3
    geg6 says:

    Atkins is an idiot. Full stop. His weekend pieces make WaPo unreadable on the weekends.

  4. 4

    Mistermix, what can we do locally to deal with this garbage? I know, get involved with the local Democratic Party and such. But it seems like there should be more we can do. Right now, my local Democratic Party seems to partake of all the ills of the national party. I am so tired of this infighting and the way the media exaggerate it. And I won’t mention a commonality I see among these three that they don’t share with Wilmer.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    The Bernie -bots see the optics of attacking three prominent possible candidates of color and now want to sing kumbaya.
    Naw, muthaphucka…as a member of the ACTUAL base of the party…we see you, and are collecting receipts.
    We will deal with you later, because we are focused on 2018 and Russia.😠

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    BTW. .Phuck outta here about minorities not being economically progressive…Phuck that.
    We just don’t live in a world of ponies and unicorns.😠

  7. 7
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I like a lot of the Washington Monthly writers but they are prone to hyperventilating over what could go wrong for Democrats a little too often. If a large chunk of the Democratic base can’t vote for a less than perfect candidate in the face of Trump’s dipshitery then I don’t know what to do with it. One other reason Trump won is Republicans always show up at the polls even when they hate the candidate. They show up for off year elections. If you’re too special to show up then you can’t win.

  8. 8
    Starfish says:

    @rikyrah: White man has questions about brown candidates. I am not sure that “Forward Together” campaign is going to work out for him.

  9. 9
    Miss Bianca says:

    OMG. The fucker went there? “Economically progressive whites” vs…what? “Neoliberal Negroes”? Fuck. I don’t even know who this asshole is, and I despise him already. Fuck Whitenuss. Fuck “economically progressive whites” who won’t cop to their own privilege. Fuck this dumping on politicians of color. Fuck all the white-as-snow snowflakes. Fuck ’em all.

  10. 10
    Immanentize says:

    Kamala Harris, Deval Patrick and Corey Booker

    Hmmm. What is it about these three candidates that concerns Atkins right past the line of trollery? Something I cant put my finger on…. Maybe that thing not mentioned is the conflagration that worries him so?

  11. 11

    The Rs control congress and they’re so split they can’t even pass their own legislation. And yet, the media wrings its hands over the Ds.

  12. 12
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: @rikyrah:
    Yes and Hell Yes.
    @Starfish:
    Yes and
    @Miss Bianca:
    Hell Yes!

  13. 13
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @rikyrah: You know riyyrah, that to those people, “economically progressive” means we dismantle the banks, eliminate insurance companies, and in short end big business. Black people stubbornly (in their view) cling to getting a better deal out of capitalism rather than taking to the barricades to overthrow the system altogether. That’s one of the reasons some of the bros are mad at us.

  14. 14
    frosty says:

    @geg6: Agreed. I don’t look at a single WaMo article between Friday and Monday. I don’t hear any of this shit IRL.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CarolDuhart2: The bros, from their socially privileged perspective, mostly economically quite well off, thank you, just don’t get what it’s like to take your life in your hands while driving through Missouri…or a whole lot of other places between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

  16. 16
    Nora says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: It’s because of the narrative. There isn’t any narrative of “Republicans in disarray,” even when they are (now, for instance), but they practically have the “democrats in disarray” set up on their word processors, ready to go with only slight changes of names and dates.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    If the fault lines once again pit more moderate minority candidates against more economically progressive white candidates

    Taking this at face value, he apparently thinks that ‘woman’ is an example of ‘minority’.

  18. 18
    Lyrebird says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    And I won’t mention a commonality I see among these three that they don’t share with Wilmer.

    Yeah, BooMan did a nice job mentioning that in a super-classy way. (h/t lamh who linked to that a night or so ago)

    I couldna been so calm, myself, and would have ended up railing and swearing a la Editrix de Wonkette.

  19. 19
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Right now, my local Democratic Party seems to partake of all the ills of the national party. I am so tired of this infighting and the way the media exaggerate it.

    Interestingly, the local purity ponies are dialing it back a tad, at least in the leadership’s “official” statements. The latest blogpost is titled, “How Can We Dissent Without Being Divisive?” Maybe they got schooled a little by cooler heads. The followership, aka True Believers, still froth on about “neoliberals” and “corporatist Dems” in the comments, though. In the meantime the rest of us unpure Dems work on organizing in our wards to recapture the governorship in 2018 and reelect our Democratic rep and senator.

    As for the commonality of the potential candidates under attack, file that under “identity politics,” aka not white male. Le sigh.

  20. 20
    mistermix says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: We have the same problem here in Rochester. The party is having a major factional fight. I don’t have a good answer to your question.

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Yeah, WaMo doesn’t seem to be rising to the occasion in the same way that, for example, Josh Marshall and TPM are.

  21. 21
    Miss Bianca says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Methinks you’re onto something, there.

  22. 22
    Lyrebird says:

    @rikyrah: One of the things I greatly respect about Erik Loomis’ writing, even though I often disagree with him, is that he unflinchingly publicizes the history of racial exclusion and violence within organized labor, White on Black, White on Yellow, etc.

    And gee (sarcasm), funny how politically active African Americans with connections to some of the excluded/attacked don’t have pink pony unicorn glasses on when they see “the left” advertised…

  23. 23

    Here’s something our national Democrats might do better. I think the reporter is still asking for too much self-blaming of the Democrats, but more attacks on the Republicans might help.

    Another thing has been the bot traffic in favor of the hard right. Last week, the #fireMcMaster started with the bots and was then picked up by Fox and then the nonstate media. They are starting to get a little smarter about that, though. I think the bot tracker is helping already.

  24. 24

    Here’s something our national Democrats might do better. I think the reporter is still asking for too much self-blaming of the Democrats, but more attacks on the Republicans might help.

    Another thing has been the bot traffic in favor of the hard right. Last week, the #fireMcMasters started with the bots and was then picked up by Fox and then the nonstate media. They are starting to get a little smarter about that, though. I think the bot tracker is helping already.

  25. 25
    Miss Bianca says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: hey, lady! Completely o/t, but I am heading down to New Mexico this eve – hanging out in Santa Fe and Pecos Monday/Tuesday. You anywhere around there? Maybe we could do lunch!

  26. 26
    Lyrebird says:

    @Miss Bianca: See the Wonkette link in my earlier comment (@Lyrebird) if you need any more to add to that! (she’s mostly talking about the Harris-sniping)

  27. 27
    Suzanne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Phuck outta here about minorities not being economically progressive…

    YES THANK YOU. I don’t read Shakesville regularly, but I thought Melissa McEwan did a fabulous job nailing this shit to the wall this week.

    “We all want meaningful change, but we have fundamental disagreements about how best to achieve it. Incrementalism is not a rejection of revolution, and it is certainly not indicative of indifference. It would be a mistake to misinterpret as indifference what is in reality a calculated caution.

    And it is a mistake — and an incredible fucking insult — to assert that people who approach politics with calculated caution cannot be “leftists.” “

  28. 28
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Miss Bianca: Hey yeah! I’m free tomorrow for breakfast or lunch or drinkies or whatever suits your schedule. Email me at barmen1934 @ gmail etc.

  29. 29
    DougJ says:

    I like Ryan Cooper but making that piece focus on the three African-American candidates was a big troll. I mean, fan favorite Joe Biden’s service to MBNA et al. makes the three of them look like Karl Marx.

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    @Nora:

    There’s a saying with Marvel Comics that it’s always 1985 in New York City. I think the same is true in political journalism, for the entire country.

  31. 31
    hueyplong says:

    My reaction to this trend toward categorizing “leftists” as nearly exclusively white is to realize that I’m probably just a straight up Democrat and not a “leftist” at all. I’ve got no interest in defining away some of our side’s most loyal demographics, and am indifferent how such a thing plays with the WilmerBros. When it comes to winning elections, such a shift probably takes an arrow out of the Fox quiver anyway.

    And this WaPo guy can say what he wants. No one thinks “both sides do it” applies with equal force to the concept of which party is melting down in fratricidal conflict at present. I know which one held solid at 100% in the healthcare covfefe.

  32. 32
    Suzanne says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Black people stubbornly (in their view) cling to getting a better deal out of capitalism rather than taking to the barricades to overthrow the system altogether.

    I have long said that the Dems are being stupid in their messaging by allowing hatred/suspicion of business and business owners to become so mainstream within the party. It is shortsighted and ultimately dangerous. There is nothing inherently corrupt or exploitative about owning or wanting to own a successful business, and yet some on the left act like it’s a moral failing. Liberals are capitalists, though we generally believe that capitalism is best served by a strong social safety net, and we would be strengthened if we articulated this more decisively and clearly.

    I may be slightly biased, as my ex-husband, who is a white Berniebro and says things like “Hillary is a corporate whore”, actually is one of those rare people who wouldn’t take a job unless he made as much as he thought he deserved, and therefore spent over a year unemployed and not paying child support. And now he has a job and it gives him a saaaaaad.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    Thanks for this, MM.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    but more attacks on the Republicans might help.

    Then we get those think pieces about how we don’t stand for anything positive. There’s always something to bitch about.

  35. 35

    @Cheryl Rofer: As recently as 2015, I would have joined the progressive caucus in my county-level Democratic Party organization. I favor most of the economic justice policies they’re trying to advance and have practically all of my adult life. But when I heard the leader of that caucus call President Obama “the best Republican president since Eisenhower,” I threw in my lot with the neo-liberal shills.

    I’ve mentioned here before that I think our county-level party leader handles the schism pretty well. Her approach can be summed up as follows: Just win, baby! The party provides the tools on-the-ground organizers need to support local candidates and reach voters, and the party’s attitude is, may the best candidates win.

    Now, we’ll see how this is tested in the crucible of a contested local election. But among meeting-going Democrats, at least, I’m confident we’ll row in the same direction once a candidate emerges. It’s the lightly affiliated I worry about.

  36. 36
    Mandarama says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Fuck. I don’t even know who this asshole is, and I despise him already. Fuck Whitenuss. Fuck “economically progressive whites” who won’t cop to their own privilege. Fuck this dumping on politicians of color. Fuck all the white-as-snow snowflakes. Fuck ’em all.

    Cosigned, with a mega Sharpie of many colors. Fuck ’em all.

  37. 37

    Balloon Juice shows its face or is it ass, by talking about everything else under the sun but the time bomb dropped by Miller etc in our laps last week. They want to undo the civil rights legislation of the 1960s.
    VRA was first, affirmative action has always been in their cross-hairs and now its immigration but no FPer has deemed the question worthy of a FP post.
    -Legal immigration slashed in half
    -Entire categories eliminated
    -To get the max points, you have to be an unmarried Nobel Prize winner with a PhD in STEM between the ages of 25-31.
    -GC backlogs in millions (people standing in the line, which conservatives love to wax eloquent about, eliminated

  38. 38
    khead says:

    It is no exaggeration to say that if the Democratic Party fractures in 2020 along the same lines it did in 2016, it may not recover.

    Yes, it fractured so badly it won the popular vote. So let’s burn the house down because a bunch of white folks in three rooms (states) of the house lost their shit and voted for the other candidate.

  39. 39

    @Baud: I know. To some degree, we have to ignore the media’s bitching. But it does damage us. They all, to some degree, take their marching orders from Fox.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    AAAAAAHHHHHHGGGGGG!!!!!! THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING…..

    Ad nauseum.

  41. 41
    cumbucotrader says:

    Hillary lost because she ran a terrible campaign and didn’t effectively address people’s concerns. Her failures should be recognized, as opposed to downplayed, if Democrats want to succeed in the future.

    My preferred ticket for 2020 at this point is Harris/Franken.

  42. 42
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: And why getting to a point where you can skip all of that and just fly means so much. My dad used to take us to watch planes take off. We could never have afforded even a short trip in those pre-JetBlue days. Hotel rooms instead of sleeping on the church bus and the side of the road. Access to restaurants that weren’t holes in the wall. Despite a lot of resistance, there has been a lot of improvement-which makes things even less revolutionary-minded among minorities.

  43. 43
    Mike E says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: From the comments:

    cents or sense
    5:46 AM EDT
    Republicans prefer villains who are powerful women. Democrats should counter by making Pelosi a hero rather than curling up in fear.
    I mean if people can make Trump into a hero, Pelosi should be a breeze.

    It’s always a matter of turning a Dem strength into an embarrassing weakness…see: Rove, Karl

    ETA…and, right on cue, cucumbertroll. Heh

  44. 44

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah, see they hate people like Harris just as much as any Brietbart reading Bannonite. If the 1965 immigration act had not been passed Kamala’s parents could not have immigrated.

  45. 45
    Suzanne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    As recently as 2015, I would have joined the progressive caucus in my county-level Democratic Party organization. I favor most of the economic justice policies they’re trying to advance and have practically all of my adult life. But when I heard the leader of that caucus call President Obama “the best Republican president since Eisenhower,” I threw in my lot with the neo-liberal shills.

    Feel much the same. I am generally philosophically in alignment with the progressives, and then they go and act like fucking dipshits. News to progressives: surveys may show that leftist positions are popular, but leftists are not popular. A coalition is the only way to win enough power to do a damn thing. The consequence of this is that incremental change is an inevitability, and you would be wise to learn how to do it well.

  46. 46
    ruemara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: call them on it and raise the question of why they’re focused on the 2020 race now when we’re trying to stop a fascist takeover of the country. Call out the personality cult foolishness of Bernie worship. Put credible actions on the table as priority focuses: fielding local candidates for county clerk, ag, judgeships, school board, city councils and state leges. It’s been time to stop wrestling with these fools and make them put up or shut up. They wanted Trump to foment a revolution, so why aren’t they working on a revolution? Stop being fucking nice to idiots.

  47. 47
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @cumbucotrader: Terrible campaign? How so? She was no orator like Obama, but the nice Sunday School matron would do well among good crowds. How was she to do against a shameless racist bigot? Or Russian bots? Or hackers? It’s possible she didn’t even lose at all, like Al Gore didn’t lose in 2000. But there are no do-overs, even when it’s clear that they cheated and did everything they could.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    That Atkins piece was one of the worst Atkins pieces in a back-catalog of very, very bad ones because you can see the glimmer of consciousness dawning that being an anti-corporate purity-chasing party of white grad students pretending to be street fighters is going to be a bit… limiting. So he churns out this essay that boils down to “let’s not bicker about who called who a neoliberal whore.” He’s insufferable. He’s climbing up there with Greenwald and Sirota as sneery self-dramatizers who can’t admit fault and aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are.

  49. 49

    @ruemara: Simple, they like what the fascists are doing, putting uppity non-white bros in their place, so its all good. I know there will protests of butthurt but I judge them by their actions not their empty words.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I really get tired of blaming the media. They are what they are and complaining about it doesn’t fix the problem. What we need to do is learn to play the game as well as the Republicans do. Bitching about how they “rigged the game” in their favor just begs the question of why we don’t engage in a little rigging of our own.

    And for the record, I have no idea how to do it. I just know doing nothing but complain about it doesn’t work.

  52. 52
    Otis Freeman says:

    Off topic I know, but HIS EMAILS! “After 6 months, Pence has now turned over all state-related AOL emails, his attorney says”
    http://www.indystar.com/story/.....533773001/

  53. 53

    @Mike E: Agreed, his style seems familiar, old troll new nym.

  54. 54
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    I mentioned this over on LGM – in the greater NYC area, Wall Street is seen (at least partly) as a jobs issue, certainly more than the rest of the country. When the crash happened, tens of thousands of support staff lost their jobs. So the electeds in NY/ NJ have to at least listen to Wall Street like they would any other large employer in their district, but of course how they *respond* is still fair game.

  55. 55
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cumbucotrader: Hillary lost because the head of the FBI made her look corrupt _even by comparison to an obvious con artist_ and gave her no time to rebound from it.

  56. 56

    @OzarkHillbilly: I agree on all counts. But we need to understand how they operate to deal with them.

  57. 57
    ruemara says:

    @CarolDuhart2: pardon me, but we are revolutionary in just celebrating our existence. Just because we looked progressives and saw how regressive they are on anything and anyone that isn’t a comfortable armchair communist fighting for economic justice from the safety of an IKEA couch on their Samsung Galaxy, does not mean we we’re not revolutionary. Please refrain from framing the über left’s largely progressive on pay, health and college message from the far more dire work of equal rights and not being killed policemen being demanded by minorities.

    @schrodingers_cat: they’re horrible bigots and just like the worst of trump’s people, they can’t admit it. And anyone of you lot here know I stand by it.

  58. 58

    Would just like to note that I haven’t really heard much anti-Gillibrand noise in a while, at least for the past month.

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    Hillary lost because she ran a terrible campaign and didn’t effectively address people’s concerns.

    Except for the parts where she actually won the popular vote and has been endlessly criticized for spending to much time addressing people’s actual concerns with detailed policies you are absolutely correct. In other words, you’re ability to actually analyze facts and present them with coherence is such that I can safely ignore everything you say from now on.

  60. 60

    @ruemara: Even that message is based on la la land policies. All the revenue for free college and single payer is going to come from transaction taxes on securities, their math is as specious as Paul Ryan’s.

  61. 61

    @cumbucotrader: Hillary Clinton won the most votes. If that’s the result of a terrible campaign, our candidates ought to be doing it at all levels.

  62. 62
  63. 63
  64. 64
    Suzanne says:

    @ruemara: Your comment was 110% spot-on, but I have extra-special love for this:

    anyone that isn’t a comfortable armchair communist fighting for economic justice from the safety of an IKEA couch on their Samsung Galaxy

    Funny AF.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dr. Ronnie James, D.O.: Plus, while the popular image of Wall Street is that it’s all flashy bros in suits finding way to rip you off and laugh about it, I know of a critical mass of liberal-leaning nerds who get into Wall Street as a way to do handsomely compensated math problems. I’m getting tired of hearing about how Wall Street is the devil and that we have to listen to laid-off manufacturing workers instead — nearly all of whom worked for exploitative profit-hungry firms that were dirty literally and metaphorically. I mean, if the ethics of the employer’s entire sector determine how we’re supposed to feel about the workers, no one is going to be considered untainted outside of a Mondragon collective.

  67. 67
    Baud says:

    @ruemara: I think they are iPhone people. But otherwise correct.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yes we do need to know, that’s the starting point. Communications is not my strong suit, IRL i have a tendency to keep my mouth shut, think things over and come up with the perfect response 3 days after the conversation has been long forgotten by all of the other participants.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    Hillary lost because she ran a terrible campaign and didn’t effectively address people’s concerns

    I agree with this. White Midwesterners were really concerned about BLM and immigrants, and Hillary was clear with whom she stood.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I have to agree. It’s a win-win for those who have nothing to lose.

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Suzanne: My FB friend who’s gone the most around the bend about the need for class politics that affect everyday people’s everyday experiences also spends a lot of time cackling about how the new Twin Peaks is such a fuck-you to “normies.”

  72. 72
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yes, we are revolutionary in celebrating our existence and making demands. But our revolutionary and their revolutionary are worlds apart. Their revolutionary is the “Les Miserables” kind, going to the barricades and tearing everything apart and creating something new out of a vaccuum. And they will lead us into something we will have little control over.

    Of course, it’s ahistorical. The Founding Fathers spent years of discussions about what kind of government they would want. Years of leafletting, years of organizing-all before the first shots. The other two successful revolutions (they prefer) ended in massive bloodletting. The French found their way after several governments. The Russians in Stalin.

  73. 73
    msdc says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    So he churns out this essay that boils down to “let’s not bicker about who called who a neoliberal whore.”

    This has been the preferred line of the more marginally self-aware dead-enders for several months now, since around the time of the DNC chair election.

  74. 74
    Achrachno says:

    @japa21: How is an article saying that Democrats need to unify to win favorable to Russians? Did you read Atkins article, or just the bits quoted here?

  75. 75

    @OzarkHillbilly: One of the things I think from time to time is that Democrats should just get a good message and charge ahead with that and occasional Republican-bashing, while ignoring the media. Sometimes we may be too analytical.

  76. 76

    @schrodingers_cat: @Mike E: I saw the comment (and have a guess) but am not entirely sure who it is/would be.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I agree completely.

  78. 78
    Suzanne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m getting tired of hearing about how Wall Street is the devil and that we have to listen to laid-off manufacturing workers instead — nearly all of whom worked for exploitative profit-hungry firms that were dirty literally and metaphorically.

    Yes.
    It’s just more fetishization of rural America as Real America, and the things the educated urbanites do as inherently suspect. STAAAAAAAAHHHHP.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: I don’t think it’s been said nearly enough that Trump’s closing argument was “scary brown people are coming to get you and they’re closing in.” Pundits at the time thought it was desperate and grotesque. It was. It worked.

  80. 80
    Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire) says:

    @rikyrah: THIS!!

    I have sooooooo many issues with Bernie and his Bros/Bettys.

  81. 81
    Suzanne says:

    @FlipYrWhig: My ex-husband says douchey pseudo-witty things like that. He’s really trying to compensate for being an uneducated loser.

  82. 82
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yep. And as SC keeps pointing out, that’s his administration’s only “accomplishment.”

  83. 83
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: not local but infest reddit political threads. There’s a lot of poison in redsit which spreads esp. with younger people. I am guessing some of it is spread by russians or GOP rat fuckers.

  84. 84
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I would welcome a front page post on the proposed immigration policy changes. My immediate family is affected by immigration issues and I am keeping a close eye on what happens. My sense is that this recent proposal isn’t going to go far, but that doesn’t mean that incremental changes, which themselves would be terrible, might not get done.

    I would also welcome a front page post on voting rights. I know Obama and Holder were going to work on it but I haven’t kept up with it. A nice summary post about the issue with some good links to follow would be helpful. We need to focus on 2018 elections and voter suppression tactics, along with Russian interference, will be out in full force. A post on the groups working to fight voter suppression, how to get people signed up to vote, what can WE do to help combat what Republicans are doing would be great. We need to work on the voter stuff now because if we wait until next summer it could very well be too late.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Suzanne: And somehow it’s being done by educated urbanites. Someone I read the other day equated the tendency to Marie Antoinette at Hameau de la Reine: “she enjoyed dressing as a young shepherdess and acting like a peasant, while surrounded by the comforts of a royal lifestyle.”

  86. 86
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: We need to have our own media-and support the pioneers like Stephanie Miller who are already out there. Instead of having the DNC craft a message that goes nowhere because there’s no outlet for it, why not create some outlets for it to go somewhere.

    The attitude of the national press is the way it is about Democrats is because Dems don’t have anywhere else to go. Should a strong liberal alternative where Dems could get the messages out arise, I think the national press would start treating them as an alternative.

    Also it’s time to win the Facebook wars. I poo-pood the idea during the Hillary campaign, but Facebook really is the way to reach millions these days: cheaper and more targeted than television ads, which reach only some people these days anyway.

  87. 87
    Bupalos says:

    I feel like I keep jumping back and forth between bernie-bot and neoliberal corporate shill.

    It’s really confusing to me why we can’t take the best parts of both messages. If anyone thinks dlc strategies of accomodation to corporate borg-blasts like fracking don’t help grease the skids towards planetary catastrophy, I think theyre dangerously wrong.

    If anyone thinks the divide and mindset created by the great crime this country was founded and raised on should be back-burner ed and “allowed to heal itself” I think they’re dangerously deluded.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @CarolDuhart2: It’s been called the hack deficit, and I think it hurts is more than we realize.

  89. 89

    @Yarrow: Most of it is not going to fly right now in the Congress, but they have laid out what they want to do. We ignore them at our own peril.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Suzanne: My friend is an overeducated loser. Other than that I suppose it’s a type. The type who resents “elites” and fuels that resentment by lumping a lot of other things he doesn’t like as affiliated with elites. :/

  91. 91
    scav says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Their revolutionary is the “Les Miserables” kind

    for the most of their ilk, the phase works only if you stop it right there with the understanding it’s all about the musical. They don’t want to get into anything really profoundly disorganizing or dangerous or messy. Just cut to the spotlight and the inspiring song. They are the folk song army.

  92. 92

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): This person has changed nyms umpteenth times, every time they get banned they create another sock puppet.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    @Suzanne:

    Agree with you both. I’d count myself as in the “economic left” wing of the party any time before 2016 – since the Sanders takeover, not so much. At the end of the day, I simply have no interest in people who are more interested in fucking over “their” own party – i.e. the only institution left in the country that I can rely on to at least try to do the right thing by me – than in fighting the Republicans who’ve declared war on us. Whether it’s Joe Lieberman or Bernie Sanders doing it is really immaterial.

  94. 94
    rikyrah says:

    Two of my favorite shows will be ending next week. Series finales:
    TURN: Washington’s Spies
    &
    Orphan Black.

    I’m going to miss them :(

  95. 95
    Yarrow says:

    @Suzanne:

    It’s just more fetishization of rural America as Real America, and the things the educated urbanites do as inherently suspect.

    More Americans live in cities than in rural areas now. It’s time urban Americans step up and own their status as Real Americans.

  96. 96
    Baud says:

    @Chris: Fourthed.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @scav:

    Fun fact: Les Miserables was popular reading in Robert E. Lee’s army, to the point that they jokingly called themselves “Lee’s Miserables.” Talk about a misaimed fandom.

  98. 98
    cumbucotrader says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: She lost to Donald Trump, for God’s sake. That’s a huge fail.

    I realize Bernie’s not popular here, be he’s still one of the most popular politicians overall in the country. And why? Because he says what he thinks, without constant equivocation and poll testing.

    You’re right, Hillary had detailed and effective policies, but that’s not the issue. The policies mean shit if you don’t win. And you don’t win if run a terrible campaign, with dumb-ass slogans like “I’m with her!”

    Donald Trump, tragically, is our president, and Hillary deserves a lot of blame for that.

  99. 99
    scav says:

    Blathering on about revolutionary change in this nation while restricting it to economics and resolutly ignoring racism and sexism etc is just asking for a redeal of the hand while maintaining the stacked deck of marked cards.

  100. 100
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bupalos: I find it a bit hard to square the intense opposition to fracking and pipelines with the similarly intense rhetorical commitment to prioritizing the material needs of working people. The working people they claim to want to stand for want cheap fuels and blue-collar jobs. This divide kinda needs to be resolved before very much longer.

  101. 101

    @Yarrow: Also, rural Americans count only if they vote R, my county is blue and fairly rural and we get zero coverage in national news because we are among the bluest parts of the Commonwealth. Same about WWC, many in the north east are a part of strong unions and are Dems, guess how much the national media covers them, never would be the right answer.

    In conclusion, only R voters count. Ds count if they are willing to criticize other Dems.

  102. 102
    Baud says:

    @cumbucotrader: Bernie lost to Hillary, and his popularity has produced zero for anyone else but him.

  103. 103
    ruemara says:

    @cumbucotrader: go fuck yourself. Away from here.

  104. 104

    Is there any truth to the tweet I saw claiming the WH is busy putting the transgender military ban into policy terms? I haven’t seen anything about that elsewhere, and I’m hoping that means it’s not true.

  105. 105
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Besides, Hillary proposed to radically reduce fracking, but it wasn’t enough to win over those votes.

  106. 106
    Baud says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I read something to that effect.

  107. 107
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Hillary won the working class vote nationwide, I believe.

  108. 108
    A Ghost to Most says:

    I’ve been over shit stirring at WaPo in a post about Flake and his new book, and all the Good Germans are nodding approvingly at his “real conservatism”. Just posted this:

    A_Ghost_to_Most
    8:56 AM MDT
    “Conservativism” is nothing more than the eternal search for an acceptable excuse for being selfish and self-righteous.

    Apologies to Keynes; today you also need to add treason.

    Fuck those people.

  109. 109
    rikyrah says:

    Ain’t this some bullshyt!!

    Meet the Press‏Verified account @MeetThePress

    Sen. @jeffflake (R-Ariz.) tells @chucktodd in an exclusive interview, “I wish we as a party had stood up” to the birther movement. #MTP

    https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/894192898480234497

  110. 110
    Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire) says:

    @cumbucotrader: So if Hillary is terrible because she lost to Dolt 45, what does that make Bernie?

  111. 111
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I realize Bernie’s not popular here, be he’s still one of the most popular politicians overall in the country. And why? Because he says what he thinks, without constant equivocation and poll testing.

    also because, for different reasons, neither Democrats nor Republicans have ever treated him as a serious candidate or his proposals as serious policies.

    ETA: @rikyrah: I was in the car this morning so my mind was on the road, like a responsible motorist, but I’m pretty sure somebody said that Flake has dropped 16% in AZ– I don’t know if that’s overall, or AZ Republicans— so he may be thinking, he may need to think, about running as a quasi-independent, like Collins and Murkowski.

  112. 112
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cumbucotrader: They should have had super awesome slogans like “No TPP” and “Lock Her Up”! I really don’t think elections are won or lost on the quality of slogans. The only thing I think you’re right to emphasize is that Sanders’s appeal was largely based on a (performance or perception of) honesty. Because it for damn sure wasn’t the mass popularity of left-of-left-of-mainstream policy positions.

  113. 113
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: The birther movement is now president, Jeff. Whacha gonna do?

  114. 114
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yes, I agree. It needs to be highlighted and fought against. Unfortunately, as immigration doesn’t affect everyone, like health care does, I fear the fight could be seen as less urgent. It feels personal to me too because it is personal.

    They have told us who they are and what they want to do. We should believe them.

  115. 115
    PsiFighter37 says:

    It takes a lot of effort for me not to start flame wars on FB with him. I do like his younger brother more, though (who I met personally more than a decade ago when we were both active on Daily Kos). Something clearly went off-kilter with a lot of ‘progressives’ the past couple of years, especially white male progressives. I think a decent amount of it is what happened to Jerome Armstrong and the MyDD crowd after the 2008 primaries…they’re just pissed they picked the wrong side and didn’t get a sweet gig out of it.

    YMMV.

  116. 116

    @Iowa Old Lady: I saw the headlines a few days back on minor news sites, nothing since. A conversation with someone in the know a few weeks back suggests to me that nothing is going to change in the near future. Also saw polls that majorities IN EVERY STATE favor transgender people in the military. I’ll guess that some bigots and Trump suckups in the WH are putting words on their computer screens, but not clear if anything will come of it.

  117. 117
    Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire) says:

    @Baud: Bernie cannot fail, he can only be failed. /sarcasm

  118. 118
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nor have Democrats or Republicans ever had an incentive to go negative on him.

    I’m saddened we weren’t strong enough to defeat Hillary’s enemies, but she had all the right ones.

  119. 119
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I read somewhere not too long ago that DEMs run on policy while Republicans run on *values*. In my estimation there is more than a little truth to that statement.

    **the word “values” is doing a lot of work there, they ADVERTISE values while enacting legislation contradicting the very values they espouse. And people vote for them anyway because they attack the right people.

  120. 120

    @A Ghost to Most: That actually comes from John Kenneth Galbraith, I believe. Otherwise correct.

  121. 121

    @Baud: Indeed. I was trying to point out that even much fetihized WWC/ white rural class only counts if it votes R otherwise our national media just ignores them. HRC won Franklin county handily which is majority white and predominantly rural, but I have seen zero coverage of that in the media because it does not support the Beltway narrative.

  122. 122
    Barbara says:

    @geg6: Yep. Atkins spouts apocalyptic sentiments without regard to their intersection with reality the way the rest of us exchange conventional pleasantries. They are as impossible to debate as “have a nice day.” He might be right but I’ll be damned if he ever cites supporting evidence. Also, like many people, he never touches on what I see as the main fracturing in 2016, and that wasn’t class or economicsb but sexism. So much easier to park yourself in your own pet ideology as the key to everything.

  123. 123
    debbie says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    i’ve seen you say this or something similar more than a few times over the past few days, and I have to call bullshit. Miller’s Abomination has been discussed in a number of threads when, as usual, they go off topic. What is the difference between that and a thread specially named for the topic? The subject’s not being ignored or not discussed.

    I take particular offense at this: Balloon Juice shows its face or is it ass, by talking about everything else under the sun but the time bomb dropped by Miller etc in our laps last week. It is rude and uncalled for. Don’t forget, you get back what you put out. Even you.

    And now, back to apartment cleaning.

    ETA: One more thing. We are all angry. Slamming each other achieves less than nothing.

  124. 124

    @Cheryl Rofer: That makes me feel a little better. Thanks.

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    I’d like to see some numbers on that. I believe that’s true too, but I haven’t seen the numbers at all.

    (I’m curious to see her numbers among white voters by income, as well, because I doubt if that lines up as neatly with the “poor whites voted against the elitist liberals!” narrative as is being explained).

  126. 126
    Tom DeVries says:

    “This obsession with the Presidency will be the death of us.” Oh, a-men!

  127. 127
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I read somewhere not too long ago that DEMs run on policy while Republicans run on *values*.

    I’d state it somewhat differently. DEMs run on policy while Republicans run on culture. And I think this election proved that culture is more fundamental. Thus, we see all these white progressives who supposedly share our policy goals adopt white right wing framing when it comes to Dems.

  128. 128

    @debbie: If there has been an FP post on it, I must have missed it. Can you point to me. Thanks! I am not talking about the discussion in the comments. I think the issue is important enough to deem at least one FP post.

  129. 129
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: Ohhhh….that is rich. Where were you then, Jeff Flake? Where were your big denouncements of birtherism?

  130. 130
    Suzanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Also, rural Americans count only if they vote R, my county is blue and fairly rural

    My in-laws are genuine white working-class people (own a family cattle farm that they inherited, never finished college, live in a red state rural area that is slowly-but-surely densifying), and they hate Trump and the GOP as much as any of us. They and people like them have gotten zero coverage that I’ve seen.

    I am so fucking done hearing about coal miners and how their way of life is dying while they encourage their children to follow in their dirty, dusty footsteps. My in-laws encouraged my husband and his brothers to go to college and/or pursue other careers, even if they couldn’t help fund it. They are not stupid. They know that the secure, prosperous future is not in family farming in Arkansas, even though they love it.

  131. 131

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah. And some of the “values” they run on are white supremacy and violence against those who disagree with you. They draw some support that the Dems never should tap into that way.

  132. 132
    Chris says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If you replace “values” with “identity,” which is what they really mean by that, then yes. There’s somebody at LGM who’s been making the same point – that liberals by and large vote based on policies, and conservatives by and large vote based on ensuring that the Right People are in charge.

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: John Fuglesang, of whom I am a fan in spite of his preening left-of-left-of-mainstream “I’m not a Democrat” Bernie-ism, made a long and labored joke a few weeks about Biden being Obama’s smartest political decision because (this was what served as a punchline) Biden was his impeachment insurance because Republicans didn’t want to put a “real liberal” in the Oval Office. Joe Biden who supported NAFTA, co-wrote the ’94 crime bill, voted for Glass-Stegal, stifled Anita Hill’s corroborating witnesses, fetishized bipartisanship, Senate tradition and comity, and John McCain as much as any Village Broderist, is the real liberal. I’ve always been pretty confident in my judgment that the vast majority of BernieBros are more about affect than substance, but I was surprised to hear it stated so clearly from somebody who is, however emo and self-regarding about politics, pretty smart and well read. I like Biden fine, but the idea that he was covering Obama’s left flank doesn’t pass close examination.

  134. 134
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Are you in charge of Harris’ outreach program to teh whites?

  135. 135

    @Lyrebird: which in turn linked to McEwans EPIC rant at Shakesville. http://www.shakesville.com/201.....t.html?m=1

  136. 136
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):
    Thanks for the correction; CRS is a terrible thing. That quote forms a hard core of my problem with “conservatives”. They’re really revanchists.

  137. 137
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: In 2012 I looked at results of the presidential election to see which majority white counties went most strongly for Obama, and they were in Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, followed by Multnomah, Oregon and Denver County, CO. Marin County, CA and Arlington, VA were barely in the top 10. But Democrats themselves hould be more cognizant of this. So much of what happens in campaigns is distoryed by the need to raise money.

  138. 138
    Baud says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    You mean by continually advocating for greater economic equality, and pushing for that in the Dem platform? By continually highlighting the role of money in politics? By talking about problems with free trade policies and the importance of raising minimum wage?

    Notice a trend. He’s been in national politics for about 30 years. No major accomplishments. He told his political revolution that Trump cannot be elected president. Trump was elected president. He’s produced nothing except dividing the left.

  139. 139
    Elmo says:

    It’s a hell of a lot easier to insist on blowing up the system when you know you’ll be safe either way – in the rubble or in the backlash. The rest of us have to rely on incremental change because it’s the only way to maintain any kind of safety.

  140. 140
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cumbucotrader: Hillary was reluctantly dragged behind him to embrace these same policies.

    Oh horseshit. The minimum wage and campaign finance have been staples of Democratic platforms for the twenty-odd years I’ve been following politics. If you and the Berniebots couldn’t hear it because you only respond to performance tics that tickle your emo-bits, that’s on you.

  141. 141
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Chris:
    I find replacing “values” with “wallet” is often useful when listening to “conservatives”.

  142. 142
    cumbucotrader says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Campaigns are not won or lost on slogans, but a slogan can tell you something about the effectiveness of campaign messaging.

    Which is a better slogan: “Make America Great Again”, or “I’m With Her!”? Trump knew how to push the buttons, Hillary didn’t. That’s how campaigns are won.

    Now Schumer and Pelosi have come up with “A Better Deal” as the new Dem slogan, proving they’ve learned nothing. More milquetoasty horseshit that will compel nobody.

  143. 143
    Barbara says:

    @Baud: Jeff says: I am going to vote for every nasty proposal that comes my way but cover my tracks by talking big.

    ETA: Sasse is exactly the same.

  144. 144
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Once again, lefties indulging in white right wing culture. It’s a large part of why we lost.

  145. 145
    Baud says:

    @cumbucotrader: Her slogan for the general was Stronger Together. I agree it was not a good slogan because too many Americans didn’t want that.

  146. 146
    Baud says:

    @Barbara: They’ll get away with it too.

  147. 147
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    Shhhhh…. most of the Balloon Juice commentariat vigorously avoid facing this reality.

    Three years ago, I was arguing that it was time for Ginsburg to step down so Obama could appoint a replacement. “LEAVE RUTH ALONE” was the BJ chorus. No doubt, when Ginsburg drops dead during Trump’s term, they’ll find somebody else to blame for that, too.

  148. 148

    @Barbara: Yes, most Dems see themselves through the distorting lens of the MSM, just like Indians (from India not Native Americans) still see themselves through the distorting lens of the Victorian perspective.

  149. 149
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    Wilmer set out to cleave Obama’s winning coalition by dog whistling all the way – Trump Lite. The Dems biggest mistake was 1. letting him use the party infrastructure to mount a vanity campaign as resentful filled towards Obama as Trump did; and 2. putting him in charge of putting it back together, instead of telling the bitter old loser and his cult of low info idiots to take a seat. The privilege of these white leftists who’ve never demonstrated any ability to do anything other than shit-talk Dems instead of the fascists and nazis in the White House- certainly not coalition build and certainly not win anything anywhere – is so tone deaf, clueless, entitled and pathetically blinkered it makes me stabby.

  150. 150
    Kathleen says:

    @Immanentize: All three candidates’ names contain a “k”. Perhaps David finds that troubling.

  151. 151
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I like Biden fine, but the idea that he was covering Obama’s left flank doesn’t pass close examination.

    Biden was covering Obama’s white flank. It turned out to be a great partnership, but in 2008 Biden’s big asset was that he looked like a fatherly, safe, middle-of-the-road Whitey McWhiterson.

  152. 152
    Kathleen says:

    @Nora: Which is why the Dems in Disarray has proved to be such a lucrative grift, er, “brand” for Bernie.

  153. 153

    @Steeplejack (tablet): Yep, if anything Biden is more of a hawk than HRC ever was. Also, he was to the right of HRC and O, on econ as well.

  154. 154
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    along the lines of looking beyond the White House, which I agree is something that Dems from the Beltway offices of Plouffe, Axelrod and Shrum to snarling jackals on the internets need to do, can anyone tell me how strong this FL bench for governor is?

    Matthew Yglesias‏Verified account @ mattyglesias 2h2 hours ago
    Do Democrats have candidates for Florida governor?
    WJ Bentley‏ @ youdictategood 2h2 hours ago
    Rep. Graham, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, and lawyer/marijuana advocate/guy on billboards everywhere John Morgan.

    I believe Northram is in fairly good shape in VA? How ’bout New Jersey? anybody know anything what their terribly, terribly important campaign slogans are?

  155. 155
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    While you’re on Shakesville, don’t forget to make a donation to Melissa.

    Oh, you’re unemployed and receiving WIC? Well, every dollar counts and she’s appreciate whatever you can send!

  156. 156
    cumbucotrader says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Why don’t you go ahead and Google “Hillary on minimum wage” and see what comes up. Wait, I’ll do it for you:

    “Hillary Clinton Clarifies Her Stance On $15 Minimum Wage: Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton sowed some confusion in Thursday’s debate when she said she would sign a bill setting a $15 federal minimum wage, despite saying in the past that $15 could be too aggressive for many parts of the country.”
    next article:
    “Does Hillary Clinton want a $15 or $12 minimum wage?”
    next article:
    “Hillary Clinton explains her position on a $15 minimum wage.”

    So, does this communicate to you that she has strength of conviction, or it’s just another case of equivocating and risk-hedging. Bernie campaigned clearly: $15 minimum wage. Hillary was typically all over the map.

    And if you’re holding Hillary up as some paragon of campaign finance reform, that is totally and completely laughable.

  157. 157
    George says:

    I am heartened to learn that other sane people think Atkins is a hack and that he, and even some of D.R Tucker’s pieces, make WaPo unreadable during Saturdays and Sundays. Atkins and his minions are just as damaging to the notion of a pluralistic democracy as any rightwing loon. The problem is that Atkins abuses the basic liberal notion of inclusivity and attacks from the inside.

  158. 158
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    BWD
    🤢‏ @IrisRimon
    BWD
    🤢 Retweeted Seth Mandel

    Most of his “ideas” are classic Dem idea, presented with a loud voice, waving finger and not-so-subtle wink to white people.

  159. 159
    ruemara says:

    @Elmo: Bingo

  160. 160

    @BruceFromOhio: Only issue with the article is that it flubs the origin of the “corncob” meme: It comes from a(n intentionally absurdist) @dril tweet that became a symbol of the hard-left when Giordano et al. mistook it as a sodomy reference. Hence its very recent use as a fairly idiotic swipe at “teh centrist olds” – fitting in its own way that they’d adopt a symbol/insult that inherently invokes Fear Of Getting Owned.

  161. 161
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): @schrodingers_cat: Yep, if anything Biden is more of a hawk than HRC ever was.

    I don’t know how I forgot to include Iraq and bragging about co-writing the AUMF in my bill of particulars. In fairness, when he said that, he was talking about how he and Hagel had narrowed the scope from what Bush wanted.

  162. 162
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    She lost to Donald Trump, for God’s sake. That’s a huge fail.

    GEe… Do tell. I had NO IDEA!!!

    I realize Bernie’s not popular here

    Doyou also realize that he lost? To Hillary????

    be he’s still one of the most popular politicians overall in the country.

    Asserts facts not in evidence, but if I had to put money on it my guess is he would be about as popular as trump.

    And why? Because he says what he thinks, without constant equivocation and poll testing.

    You know who else just says what he thinks? trump.

    You’re right, Hillary had detailed and effective policies, but that’s not the issue. The policies mean shit if you don’t win. And you don’t win if run a terrible campaign, with dumb-ass slogans like “I’m with her!”

    Apparently you don’t win with dumb ass slogans like “Feel the Bern” either.

    Donald Trump, tragically, is our president, and Hillary deserves a lot of blame for that.

    She certainly deserves some of the blame for it, but I can’t help but notice that she’s the only one you seem to care to blame. Bernie played a role as well, so did the rest of the Democratic party, but I blame mostly the people who couldn’t be bothered to vote, the purity ponies who couldn’t vote for somebody they didn’t like, all the people who uncritically accepted all the BS being spread about Hillary, all the unreconstructed racists and misogynists in this country, and most especially all of those “principled” Republicans who showed the only principle they really follow is abject cowardice.

    And now I will take my own advice.

  163. 163
    Barbara says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: In New Jersey, it’s “how soon can we forget Christie?”. In VA, Northam needs money because he spent so much in the reprise of Sanders v. Clinton primary. He needs better name recognition.

  164. 164
    Baud says:

    @George: He’s also a liar. I first caught onto him when he blamed the ACA for killing single payer, which was just about to be enacted in several states.

  165. 165
    Chris says:

    @A Ghost to Most:

    Only for the rich ones. Any Republican earning less than a million a year is a fucking moron when it comes to his wallet, the kind who’d rather be mugged by a white man than paid by a black one. We’d all be immeasurably better off if these people really did replace “values” with “wallet.”

  166. 166
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cumbucotrader: You’re moving the goalposts, dumbass, and proving how superficial your understanding of politics is by making 12 vs 15 a litmus test. “Fight for twelve”? What kind of chant is that!

    And just to be clear: I’m not saying you’re dishonest, I’m saying you’re a fucking moron.

  167. 167
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Yeah, “culture” might well be the more accurate word because I’m not sure the GOP voters have any values outside of screwing liberals

  168. 168
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Chris:
    Much truth to that, but based on estranged family members, their image of their “wallet” is as distorted as their image of their “identity”.

  169. 169
    Baud says:

    @A Ghost to Most: How many were up in arms against the “death tax”?

  170. 170
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    So upward distribution of kids tuition to your wife’s golden parachute while defrauding their college into oblivion, then chartering a jet at more than $600k for your whole family to stalk the Pope at the same time that college announces they have to close their doors throwing the entire staff out of work is just all kinds of good for the common man stuff?

  171. 171
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Bill McClellan of the STL Post Disgrace wrote a column some decades back titled “Why I’m a Liberal” it spoke of liberal values in a way I wish our politicians would do more of. I have looked for it on line but never found it. Pretty sure it was pre-internet days. I’d buy one of his compilations if I knew it was in it.

  172. 172
    cumbucotrader says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    she’s the only one you seem to care to blame.

    Not true.

    I blame plenty of other people, but in my original comment I was responding to this quote in the post: “She lost because of foreign and domestic interference in the campaign, plus a few self-inflicted mistakes that every campaign makes (no campaigns are perfect).”

    Yes, there were factors outside of her control that contributed to her loss. You know what else contributed? Her being a poor candidate with poor campaign messaging, and an inability to come across as authentic.

    You know who else just says what he thinks? trump.

    Yes. And he won.

    Apparently you don’t win with dumb ass slogans like “Feel the Bern” either.

    “Feel the Bern”, from a marketing standpoint, is a waaayy better slogan than either “I’m With Her” or “Better Together”. Hillary’s slogans would go great on a Hallmark card, but otherwise they were just typically uninspiring.

  173. 173
    Amir Khalid says:

    David Atkins appears to be arguing “be nice to Bernistas”. I seem to remember that the hardcore Bernistas were hardly nice to Hillary or her Democratic voter base last year, and for this year have shed none of the shallow, self-righteous presumption that Bernie exploited so well. Women and non-white Democratic voters may well indeed not be ideologically more moderate than men and white voters, But to this outsider, it seems that ideology was not the fault line, that their support for her had a pragmatic basis: Hillary was the one who acted more like a president. She came out to listen to their concerns, and then went back to draw up a comprehensive policy agenda that addressed those concerns. So I think Atkins has misidentified the conflict he sees within the party. It’s not moderates vs. progressives, it’s pragmatists versus feet-planted-in-the-air idealists

    As for the purity-pony argument against Harris, Patrick, and Booker — well, let’s see if they can come up with a stronger candidate than one of these three. You go to the primary with the candidates you have, and all that.

  174. 174
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @A Ghost to Most: I think the line about temporarily embarrassed millionaires applies especially if not exclusively to a certain kind of white guy who thinks he’s far more affluent and far more independent, financially and otherwise, than his actual balance sheet would suggest to a CPA or financial planner.

    Another thing they probably have in common with a certain self-proclaimed billionaire.

  175. 175
    cumbucotrader says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: No, and where did I defend Bernie’s wife, or suggest he’s some kind of saint. Your whataboutism is irrelevant to what I’m saying, and is exactly the kind of thing I see when I post to conservative message boards.

  176. 176
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Baud:
    All of them, Katie. No matter that it wouldn’t ever affect them; it was a “wallet” issue.

    White Christian Nationalists will believe anything.

  177. 177
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Amir Khalid: David Atkins appears to be arguing “be nice to Bernistas”. I seem to remember that the hardcore Bernistas were hardly nice to Hillary or her Democratic voter base last year, and for this year have shed none of the shallow, self-righteous presumption that Bernie exploited so well.

    I haven’t listened to the Chapo Trap House podcast, but from reading about it on twitter and other superficial platforms, they’re BernieBros who have declared themselves the “dirtbag left”, which sounds like a kind of loud, bro-ish, superficial populism. Apparently one of their ideas is that the Clinton-ish center has to “bed the knee” to their righteous blowhardery.

  178. 178
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    It’s not whataboutism to point out that white leftists refuse to demand the same kind of scrutiny of Sanders and his financial lack of transparency that these leftists demand of the candidates that are the subject of that shitty Atkins piece. And brings the whole why *those* Dems, and not Franken, or Hickenlooper, or Murphy or the other high profile Dems into question.

  179. 179
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Not very strong, IMO, nor are others you didn’t mention who are also in the running. Trump’s awfulness and the pent-up hatred of outgoing governor Rick Scott may save us, but it sucks to have to rely on that.

  180. 180
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: damn, I was hoping that some dynastic pull ( which I don’t like about American politics but I’ll cling to any flotsam I can these days) might give Graham a boost (I think the old man is one of the unsung heroes of the Bush years), or that the Tallahassee mayor had the kind of local understanding that blogs and internet types (myself included!) often give short shrift to

  181. 181
    Chris says:

    @A Ghost to Most:

    I can see that. They act in accordance with what they wish their wallet was, not what it actually is.

  182. 182
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Re: rural voters only count if they vote R.

    Excellent point! My area and entire state, for that matter, went for Hillary and the Dems. We’re super rural. But we remain invisible to the pundits and analysts selling “real” (aka “aggrieved white male”) America.

  183. 183
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: Whether Ginsburg should have stepped down during PBO’s term is a valid argument, but IIRC, your contribution went something like “Ginsburg is a selfish asshole!” That’s why people told you to get stuffed.

  184. 184
    Westyny says:

    @CarolDuhart2: All of these plus extremely effective voter suppression.

  185. 185
    cumbucotrader says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: You don’t read too good, and you’re missing the point.

    It’s not whether Hillary’s policy is $12 or $15, it’s whether she was good at communicating her policies in a way that voters could understand, identify with, and get behind.

    That’s why I suggested you do the Google test. Because what you see is not “here is the policy in clearly stated terms that a voter can understand”, rather it is “Hillary clarifies her confusing position on minimum wage, reinforcing the perception that she has no convictions”.

    Let me explain this to you one more time, because I’m not confident in your reading comprehension. I’m talking about her abilities as a campaigner, in terms of winning elections, not whether she had good policies in her platform.

  186. 186
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cumbucotrader: It’s not whether Hillary’s policy is $12 or $15, it’s whether she was good at communicating her policies in a way that voters could understand, identify with, and get behind.

    Precious, you’re gonna throw your back out zipping about, hither and yon, moving those goal posts here, there and everywhere!

    @Betty Cracker: also, too, isn’t this gun nut Steve, who keeps a shootin’ iron by the back door to hunt squirrels in the back yard of suburban split level so as to the young’uns can have vittels?

  187. 187
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s early yet — maybe one of them will emerge as a much stronger candidate than I assess them to be now. I sincerely hope so! And needless to say, I hope, I’ll work my ass off for whichever one gets the nomination.

  188. 188
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    It’s like the Dunning-Kruger Effect of the wingnut wallet.

  189. 189
    Peale says:

    @schrodingers_cat: yep. It’s kind of discouraging, actually. The impact of that proposal will be felt by a large class of potential voters rather directly an immediately. Voters who the Democrats have thought forever will be at the center of their future majority. Unlike, say, undocumented residents, people sponsoring relatives for green cards are primarily citizens who could vote immediately. But let’s ignore this.

  190. 190
    Nora says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: Seeing what the Republicans in the Senate (may McConnell rot in hell forever) did when Scalia died makes me wonder if they would have been rational enough to accept ANY Obama nominee to replace Guinsberg if she’d retired.

  191. 191

    @Amir Khalid: Gillibrand comes to mind (and going by ProgressivePunch, is more left than Wilmer wrt lifetime votes), but given how she’s been a purist bugbear until a few months ago I suspect their answer would be “only the Sanders-approved” – realistically Warren or Brown,* Sanders for the truly dense.

    And while Longman is right that Patrick being pushed by Axelrod affiliates probably means something down the road, I’d heard jack shit about Deval 2020 until last week – Cooper’s inclusion of him is at best malign trolling.

    *Would both be pretty good choices, but Warren hasn’t indicated interest in running, and I’ve heard surprisingly little about Brown.

  192. 192
    cumbucotrader says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: “Leftists”?? LOL. Where am I, Redstate? Powerline?

    So you’re saying that if I mention Bernie in any conversation, I’m obliged to make a disclaimer about his wife and the current investigation? Even if such disclaimer is entirely irrelevant to the point I’m making?

    The FBI is investigating Sanders wife. I’m fine with that, and I don’t see progressives calling it a witch hunt, fake news, etc. Your grievances seem pretty contrived in that respect. But it’s beside the point I was making about the quality of Clinton’s campaign effort.

    But, by all means, keep up your fight against “leftists”, I’m sure that’s going to help win elections.

  193. 193
    Juice Box says:

    @Barbara: Yes, but when Menendez resigns or gets kicked out of the Senate, we’re going to get another senator selected for us by Christie and that’s not going to be a good thing.

  194. 194
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Yarrow: I think immigration does affect everyone — it’s about what kind of country we want to be. It’s personal for many of us.

  195. 195
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Looks like you could get all three of McClelland’s collections for about $15 total on Amazon. No shipping if you’ve got Prime. It’s bound to be in one of them, I would think.

    Starter page here.

  196. 196
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): Thanx, thinking about it now.

    It’s bound to be in one of them, I would think.

    Not too sure about that, he has written a LOT of columns over the decades, some of them were real gut punchers (so good they left me feeling sick to my stomach) to just banal (not even Molly Ivins hit a home run every time) and personal tastes on what is good v what isn’t….

    Probably worth it for me to just go ahead and buy them.

  197. 197
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    Bullshit. Progressives are dealing with the Sanders investigation EXACTLY like Trumpers do – they call it fake news, and most definitely call it a witch hunt because it was unearthed by Toensing. You and the ones Atkins is talking about are in complete denial about the level of hypocrisy it takes to be a white leftist supporting Sanders at this point in time, while demanding purity from “corporatist Dems” – but only *certain* Dems – the ones that appeal to the true base of the party.

  198. 198
    DCrefugee says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    Yes, there were factors outside of her control that contributed to her loss. You know what else contributed? Her being a poor candidate with poor campaign messaging, and an inability to come across as authentic.

    What we need is some kind of process that tests candidates, their abilities and their positions before the party settles on a nominee for the general election. We could call it a…primary…

  199. 199
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    A $15 bet won’t break the bank. And I’m sure you’ll find other gems in the pages.

  200. 200
    Peale says:

    @Juice Box: I know there’s this threat. But if he resigns as part of a plea deal so that Christie can appoint his replacement, I’ll put him in jail myself. Also, 24 democrats are free to expel him. The 25th one is dead to me.

  201. 201
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Money matters. I’ve been giving to this when I can: CrowdPac – Unite to Flip Virginia and the Nation.

    Waiting until 2018 is ceding too much of the political landscape. We need to be fighting to take back statehouses, etc., now.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  202. 202
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): That’s my thinking.

  203. 203

    Kamala Harris, Deval Patrick and Corey Booker. Hmmm…. they’ve all got something in common. Can’t quite put my finger on it….

  204. 204
    Chyron HR says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    They’re all identity politicians serving the (((investment banker))) agenda.

  205. 205
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cumbucotrader: “Feel the Bern” is clever in terms of wordplay but has absolutely zero content, doesn’t reach out beyond the already committed, AND wasn’t an official slogan anyway, and for those reasons is functionally equivalent to “I’m with her” and “Ready for Hillary.” I have yet to hear any critique of slogans amounting to anything other than “I like $SLOGAN, ergo it is good, ergo it is a big reason for the success of $CANDIDATE.”

  206. 206
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    What other possible reason can you present to explain her not retiring? Can you think of any rational reason why she would think that she will live TWICE AS LONG as the statistical average, given the type of cancer she had.

    Understand, she’s a brilliant Justice, a legend both for her decisions and her civil rights work before being appointed. That said, she is a selfish asshole. And, hey if you think I’m an asshole, too, that’s fine. The difference is that my assholery isn’t going to hurt America for 30 or 40 years after Trump appoints some 40 or 50 year old asshole to replace her.

  207. 207
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thanks for the Russian bot-tracker linky.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  208. 208
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @FlipYrWhig: One of my all time favorite slogans (not endorsed by candidate) is still “Redneck for Obama”. I still have the t-shirt and one bumper sticker.

  209. 209
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: That was the original Ryan Cooper claim that created a backlash and that Atkins is trying to dampen in his (still dumb) post: in essence that corporate-friendly centrists who are people of color are trying to hoodwink and defang the resurgent “left.” They’re not radical enough, you see, not for his tastes. Which is kind of like when Freddie De Boer said, like Homer Simpson, that he liked his homosexuals flaming.

  210. 210

    @FlipYrWhig: I wish Cuomo! would just run already so we could unite against a common enemy.

  211. 211
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: We don’t have the same definition of “asshole,” apparently. I’m just gonna leave it at that.

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Ha! True!

  212. 212
    Brachiator says:

    .The real danger to the Democratic party is our shitty position in statehouses, the House and the Senate. We need to win those back.

    Yep. And this is tougher with the gerrymandering and huge amount of oligarch cash that gives Republicans an advantage with respect to Congress.

    Also, so called progressives are as toxic to Democrats as the Tea Party is to the GOP. These people want to pretend that they are the real soul of the Democratic Party, but they are often little more than annoying purity ponies without a clue or any real support.

  213. 213
    different-church-lady says:

    …that make many Occupy-aligned Democrats shudder:

    I’m so old I can remember when Occupy was a huge success because it got people talking about the right things.

    Such a huge success that a few years later 63 million people voted for a billionaire asshole.

  214. 214

    @Betty Cracker: Yes, whether we are a country that keeps its word or deports veterans who have been promised an expedited path to GC and citizenship. Once your word is dirt, its very hard to gain that lost reputation.
    Yes that has happened under noble and brave Gen Kelly’s DHS, now receiving daily tongue baths from the media.

  215. 215
    Brachiator says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    .And, hey if you think I’m an asshole, too, that’s fine.

    Are you arguing about Notorious RBG?

    Okay. If it’s any help, then, I think you are an asshole, too.

    There is no point in arguing about what RBG or another justice should have done, especially if you don’t have a time machine.

  216. 216
    CaseyL says:

    Speaking of cargo-cultists (aka Progressives Who Are Better Than You), I’ve read a couple of interesting things that helped clarify some thoughts that have been swirling around in my mind for a while.

    One was an essay on GMO crops, unapologetic celebration of. It’s a terrific essay; I strongly recommend it. You may come away, as I did, really angry at the ignorance and cruelty of the anti-GMO movement. Here’s a link:

    On GMOs

    The other was a FB post There Never Were Antibiotics in Your Damn Milk.

    Those, together with the anti-vax nonsense, and the “holistic cancer treatment” nonsense, sum up the worst aspects of the New Progressives in terms of their relationship with scientific fact. We already know more than we ever wanted to about their political ignorance, and how they hide their racism and misogyny by declaring POCs and women candidates “not progressive enough.”

    Purity Progressives are a soi-disant Left Wing version of the Tea Party. They’re LWNJs, and have turned out to be as destructive to decent governance as RWNJs. Their hearts AREN’T “in the right place,” they DON’T “mean well,” and they should be exposed and ridiculed at every opportunity.

    If they say Harris, Booker, and Patrick aren’t or shouldn’t be Democratic Party standard bearers, that to me is a sign that Harris, Booker and Patrick deserve our support.

  217. 217
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    .Once your word is dirt, its very hard to gain that lost reputation.

    Trump don’t care. He is totally signed on with the idea of ridding America of non-white people by any means necessary.

  218. 218
    Barbara says:

    @Juice Box: Let’s all look on the darkest side available to our imaginations.

  219. 219
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CaseyL: Some of those people were the ones saying they couldn’t support Hillary because of her service on the board of Monsanto, even though Hillary was not on the board of Monsanto.

  220. 220

    Here’s a clarification of that business about Trump’s transgender policy. It’s a thread – check it out. Pretty much as I suspected.

  221. 221

    @Brachiator: He may be the President but he is not the country. Let’s not confuse the two.

  222. 222
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    .Unfortunately, as immigration doesn’t affect everyone, like health care does, I fear the fight could be seen as less urgent.

    Immigration gets to the heart of what America is all about. Trump and his cronies believe that America should primarily be a country of white people.

    And at the heart of the recent announcement is a noxious, ignorant anti-scientific Social Darwinism. These policies should be rejected not just because you may be close to someone who may be affected. They should be rejected because it makes us all a lesser people.

    ..

  223. 223
    Peale says:

    @FlipYrWhig: yep. I wish they’d come right out and say “we don’t want another sellout like Obama”. But they can’t because the left’s disdain for Obama is a killer for them and they know it. Until they actually find another, Obama on his worst day would still be more popular than any other Democrat forever. Obama could be caught exposing himself to school children in elevators at elementary schools, and he’d still be the most popular democrat

  224. 224
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    ..He may be the President but he is not the country. Let’s not confuse the two.

    I’m not sure what your point is. A chunk of the public and the GOP support his Immigration policy. You are well aware of how despicable ICE has been. KKK Jeff Sessions is already making an aspect of this the formal mission of the DOJ.

    The question is how successful Trump will be in implementing this policy.

  225. 225
    Gvg says:

    @schrodingers_cat: maybe it seemed like duh, old news we already knew. It’s been pretty obvious since Trump took office and especially since the attempted “Muslim” ban that they really did mean all the horrifying stuff that used to be unfit to say in polite company. We are well past the first shocks of this era and getting used to swimming in a sewer. To survive we are watching for every proof that may lead to his impeachment and ignoring almost every thing else. Focusing too much on the horrible stuff he actually get done leads to despair so we are all skipping over some things. Healthcare was directly life threatening enough to swerve the focus a bit. Anticlimactic anti immigration stuff that of course the bigot wants, well it’s not a new bombshell. That’s my first reaction anyway.
    I have been kind of depressed to realize there is an advantage to Sessions because he is recused and we probably can’t afford to get rid of him until Trump is gone. He is dangerous too, but he blocks Trump firing Mueller. Until a couple of weeks ago I thought we might get rid of Sessions sooner.

  226. 226
    Marguerite Hill says:

    @dmsilev: In the minds of a certain substratum of voters, Hillary Clinton was labeled “minority” not because she was a woman, but because she was a “ni¶¶er-luvver.” Horrors!

  227. 227
    J R in WV says:

    @cumbucotrader: You dumb assed troll, Hillary beat Trump like beating eggs for a lemon pie!! Which is the only topic you will ever speak of here henceforth!!

    Shoo Fly Pie on you!!!

  228. 228
    Tazj says:

    @rikyrah: I love TURN as well, and was wondering if anyone else here was a fan, especially last night, as the episode was about Yorktown. The writer of last night’s episode LaToya Morgan(who’s fantastic) managed to sneak in a line from Hamilton(‘Til we meet again).

    I’ve heard great things about Orphan Black and always meant to watch it, but always ended up missing it.

  229. 229
    J R in WV says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Are you in charge of Harris’ outreach program to teh whites?

    Is this not racist enough a remark to have this despicable piece of troll pie banned by IP address forever?

    Thanks!!

  230. 230

    @Gvg: We do need to have a counter narrative for it, because you can be sure they are going to trot out the anti-immigrant hysteria for 2018.

  231. 231

    @Brachiator: T may be the President now but we must stop him from remaking the country in his own image.

  232. 232
    Elizabelle says:

    Atkins is a hair on fire clickbait artist. Have seen enough of his “content” to consider him unreliable. Yes, he occasionally makes some good points. But too much egregious schlock to even commend him then. I never link to him.

  233. 233
    J R in WV says:

    @cumbucotrader:

    As if you ever posted to a conservative blog…Google finds a total of 578 mentions of your “handle”, mostly around penny stocks and cheap pie replacement guilders.\
    \
    I love the pie filter and it’s flexibility! Hmmmm butterscotch!

  234. 234
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Suzanne:

    I have long said that the Dems are being stupid in their messaging by allowing hatred/suspicion of business and business owners to become so mainstream within the party…. There is nothing inherently corrupt or exploitative about owning or wanting to own a successful business, and yet some on the left act like it’s a moral failing.

    I agree about 90%. We’re the party that stands (or ought to be standing) up for “the little guy” – & small businesses are “little guys.”

    But here’s the other 10%: Capitalism works pretty well when there’s a balance between businesses and those who buy from (& work for, & are affected by) those businesses. If customers can go down the block to buy pretty much the same stuff, or good employees take jobs elsewhere when they’re not treated decently, or standards of good-neighborness aren’t being met, then it behooves the owner(s) to adjust. This includes a balance between the business and the socio-political entity it functions within, since the community benefits from the taxes returned to it & the jobs it creates; you don’t want to kill the goose laying the monetary eggs.

    The problems come with imbalance. A too-powerful public authority can stifle a new or small business with regulations. But usually it’s the large corporation that drives small businesses into bankruptcy & holds the community hostage. And too often this pits neighbor against neighbor – job seekers & tax-dependent services versus the local businessman. There are ways for communities to promote trade that is fair to all, & Democrats ought to be at the forefront proposing them.

    But there are other aspects of capitalism that gets overlooked. No one really wants to compete constantly for their livelihood. “Free competition” is only promoted by those trying to get into a business (or a territory). Once established, the last thing they want is some upstart crowding in & undercutting their profit margins. All businesses aim for a monopoly of whatever goods or services they provide, or at least an oligopoly (read: cartel) – & if they get it they can (within reason) name their prices.

    The other thing is that local & locally responsible ownership is unstable. The person who starts & grows such may weary of the hassle & want to retire; or s/he will pass away. The inheritors of such a business may not have the founder’s dedication to the community & sense of fair play (in fact they might actively resent the business that took up so much of Mom or Dad’s time & energy that they were neglected). They may not have the skills or the presence to keep the business going. (This happened to my favorite Irish bar in Baltimore a few years back.)

    Eventually the business inevitably ends up in other hands, often those of a corporation that can pay top dollar for it in order to continue consolidating its hold on a larger region. As ownership becomes more corporate, more far-flung & financially powerful, the same imbalances come into being that lead to regulatory capture and insurmoutable entry costs and effective cartelization.

    These are things for which we need to develop a significant critique & proposals for rebalancing. I want Democrats to be in the forefront of this.

  235. 235
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    T may be the President now but we must stop him from remaking the country in his own image.

    Trump is a bigot. He has been remarkably consistent here in trying to deliver on his racist promises. He has invited white nationalists into the White House as advisors, and has staffed key cabinet positions with unreconstructed Confederates. He has emboldened the bigots among us.

    Trump will do evil as long as he is in the White House. This does not make me despair. But I do see how much will need to be repaired after he is gone.

  236. 236
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Tom DeVries:

    It actually makes sense once you realize that the Bernie Bros are just left wing Tea Partiers. Like the tea party they are essentially an authoritarian cult. They simply disagree with their opposite numbers on what they want the supreme leader to do once he takes control.

  237. 237
    Lyrebird says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Probably too late to reach you, but thanks for reminding me to read that.

    Just one snippet, qft:

    In blue states and spaces where the Democratic Party is not as progressive as many of its constituents, the Party can seem almost quaint to its most privileged voters. It’s easier to be contemptuous of the Democrats when one lives in a state, or municipality, where they have a comfortable governing majority.

  238. 238
    Chitown Kev says:

    The coloured worker cannot be blamed for feeling no solidarity with his white comrades. The gap between their standard of living and his own is so vast that is makes any differences which may exist in the West see negligible. In Asiatic eyes the European class struggle is a sham. The Socialist movement has never gained a real foothold in Asia or Africa or even among the American Negroes: it is everywhere side-tracked by nationalism and race-hatred, Hence the spectacle of thoughtful Negroes getting ready to vote for Dewey, and Indian Congressman preferring their own capitalism to the British Labour Party. There is no solution until the living standards of the thousand million people in this world who are not “white” can be forced up to the same level as our own. But as this might mean temporarily lowering our own standards the subject is systematically avoided by Left and Right alike. 

    As I Please, Tribune December 10, 1943

    Orwell’s quote is a bit anachronistic and he really didn’t understand the American brand of racism but what he did understand is that people of color will not accept any sort of change even to a more equitable economic system if the underlying racism and white privilege in a society is not addressed.

    Some people, mostly Wilmer followers, seem to not get this very basic point even though there is a long and well attested history of the race/ class nexus in black/White left relations that states this time and time again.

  239. 239
    Marguerite Hill says:

    @Amir Khalid: Nail, meet Hammer! Bam!

    Their condescension wouldn’t grate so abrasively if 1)they didn’t reject/dismiss/disdain POC/women’s concerns as mere “identity politics”; 2)they had the slightest inkling of the impact that insignificant “identity politics” has on our lives day in day out, minute by minute; 3)they possessed even the embryo of an idea that compromise works and can broaden the coalition; 4)they rejected those quaint right-wing caricatures of Hillary Clinton and became acquainted with the notion that HRC is a distinguished public servant; and 5)they just stop taking out that purist slide ruler, that thing is obsolete!

  240. 240
    rikyrah says:

    @Tazj:
    It will be ending. Orphan Black is a good binge watch. I loved Seasons 1&2. Season 3 was weaker only because the male lead they chose was no Tatiana Meslany. You can only get lightening in a bottle once. Season 4 course corrected, and Season 5 has been excellent, wrapping it up.

  241. 241
    Marguerite Hill says:

    @cumbucotrader: Do you know what made Hillary seem inauthentic? She rejected her own white privilege! When Bernie Bros gleefully reanimated that long deceased Seabiscuit, “She was a Goldwater Girl!” supporters like me shouted,”Thank you, Jesus!” She saw the light! Who among has not grown in understanding, in reasoning, in making a change for the better?

    When Bernie Bros pointed out “Hillary lately jumped on (fill in so-called progressive policy)! Bernie made her move to the left!” I would howl with laughter because HRC has a history of not just making speeches, but working on behalf of PoC, women, children, the disabled, and other marginalized folks.

    When Bernie Bros screamed that Hillary has been attacked and the right-wing wouldn’t attack Saint Bernardus of White Lilius Vermontus I could only shake my head for such white privilege, such political naïveté, and such willful stupidity.

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    nightranger says:

    Always good for a laugh when Sandernistas like MarkyMux decide they want to lecture us on what the Democratic party should do.

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    Suzanne says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Agree with everything you wrote. My concern is more in regards to our messaging, and reflexive anti-business (or at least anti-corporate) positioning. Most people who work do so for a business. Some of the rhetoric coming out of the left would have you believe that every business is horrible and evil, except for the locally-owned gluten-free bakery and coffee shop, of course. I am merely asserting that I think we have allowed ourselves to be pushed into the anti-business, anti-prosperity role in our politics, and it’s because some of the Bros really believe that shit. We should reject it fully.

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    No One You Know says:

    Cumbucktraitor? Have some pie.

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