We’re Not Going Back

What do you think of the headline as a key 2020 slogan? I heard it from John Lewis tonight, among others.  It’s flexible — in addition to the obvious connotation, we’re not going back to the days when 20 million fewer were uninsured, we’re not going back to the days when women could be sexually harassed with impunity, etc.  It works well as a crowd chant, and it encapsulates the fundamental sense of Democrats as the progressive party.

On another topic, compare and contrast the tone, tenor and content of the Post (top) and Times (bottom) headlines and summary paragraphs.  One of these papers understands the moment we’re in, what’s at stake, that the GOP should be ashamed, and part of journalism’s job is to keep score.  The other is acting like business as usual.  Fuck your “bitter partisan brawl”, as if all that anyone cared about today was party affiliation.

(There’s an open thread below if you’re burned out on this topic.)

88 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Don’t like the slogan. It’s ambiguous because people want to go back to someone like Obama, and won’t understand you’re talking about something different.

  2. 2
    Doug R says:

    @Baud: Plenty of pictures of the Edmund Pettus bridge, firehoses on protesters, white kids screaming at black kids going to school, that should help.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @Doug R:

    Sure, but an effective national slogan shouldn’t need that much context.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Doug R:

    I mean, it’s a nice theme in the context of a speech where it can be heard in context. I didn’t think that’s what MM was talking about.

  5. 5
    Mainmata says:

    Wow, the NYT has been steadily drifting into a clearly corporatist, almost stenographic mode when it comes to national politics, really since at least 2016 whereas maybe the presence of Marty Baron as editor has better sharpened WaPo’s political antennae (certainly Fred Hiatt hasn’t on the Op/Ed) page.

  6. 6
    jl says:

    @Baud: I agree. Needs to be more specific.

    This is the kind of election that has room for more than one slogan.

  7. 7
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “the majority of them white men”
    and the rest of them white women, IIANM

    Will Hurd, who voted yes, is the only African-American in the House GOP caucus, no?

  8. 8
    ThresherK says:

    I zeroed in on “Bitter partisan brawl” before reading mistermix’s actual post.

    The NYT practically screams “Democrats are ruining our precious national comity!”

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    NBC News
    ‏Verified account
    2h2 hours ago
    The 4 Republicans who joined Democrats in condemning President Trump’s racist tweets:
    • Rep. Hurd (TX)
    • Rep. Upton (MI)
    • Rep. Fitzpatrick (PA)
    • Rep. Brooks (IN)

    And Amash, but he’s no longer a Republican because he has been SHUNNED by the cult and EXPELLED. They’re not permitted to speak his name, and, about that name…is it American enough? KellyAnne Conway wants to know.

  10. 10
    Kay says:


    They don’t actually cover any Democrats, unless the Democrats are speaking to Donald Trump. They are the Donald Trump newspaper. All Trump, all the time. Trump completely and utterly conquered them.

  11. 11
    MazeDancer says:

    Another example of how impressive, really smart people make terrible copywriters. (Which, as a paid, professional copywriter, I’m allowed. At least a little.)

    No looking back. No defensiveness. No looking like we’re fresh out of forward-thinking ideas so vote to hang on for dear life.

    Not a good slogan.

  12. 12
    OGLiberal says:

    It has a song:


    Bonus points…The Housemartins were evil socialists!

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:


    Sure, but an effective national slogan shouldn’t need that much context.

    Die Nazis Die.

  14. 14
    oatler. says:

    Stevens just died.

  15. 15

    @Kay: So much for Don Bacon, who was calling Trump’s remarks “unacceptable” yesterday.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @Kay: There will be queries about the ethnicities of those four Republicans. I think for Amash is that he was excommunicated and he fled being politically burned at the stake.

    I guess Trump feels he just has to respond to this, probably in a judicious measured way (snark) that will help bind our nation’s wounds (more snark)

  17. 17
    Baud says:


    How is “The Nazis The” a compelling message?


    He was 99.

  18. 18
    Glenn Bateman says:

    I have no problem with “We are not going back” as a slogan, but doesn’t that conflict with Biden’s slogan of “Support the status quo, vote for Uncle Joe”

  19. 19
    The Dangerman says:


    Me, neither. Don’t tell me what you are NOT going to do, tell me what you ARE going to do. Big difference.

    ETA: See “Yes, we can”

  20. 20

    I agree. I think “We’re Not Going Back” could be a really good refrain in a speech. You’d have a whole series of positive changes (Social Security, Medicare, EPA, Obamacare, Roe v. Wade, etc.) the Republicans are trying to overturn, followed by the refrain “we’re not going back”. But I don’t think it would make a good slogan for the campaign as a whole, because it is so ambiguous.

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    Burgess Everett
    ‏Verified account
    60m60 minutes ago
    So instead of really breaking with him, Republicans are building their own profiles. Sen. Cornyn courts a diverse constituency in Texas: “I don’t have any trouble speaking to any of my constituents. They don’t confuse me with what’s happening up here in D.C.”

    The “all politics is local” thing they all say when they know it’s bad. He barely knows these DC people! President…who?

  22. 22

    @Baud: I prefer your slogan, “Why Not?”

  23. 23
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @OGLiberal: The broad appeal of 80’s English pop to voters in cafes in the Midwest should not be underestimated. This could probably singlehandedly swing Wisconsin for Democrats.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:


    I prefer your slogan, “Why Not?”

    I thought it was “What’s the worst that could happen?”

  25. 25
    Baud says:


    In honor of MAD magazine’s demise, I was thinking of going with “What, me worry?”

  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    Cake or Death
    if anyone asks me my ethnicity I will tell them Fuck you and West Virginia


    Words of wisdom from the Bloglord.

  27. 27
    OGLiberal says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I hear the Cheeseheads are huge Beautiful South fans!

  28. 28
    Peale says:

    @TenguPhule: I believe we went with “Throw that bum in”

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    The N.R.A.’s Biggest Donor Has Been Dead 12 Years. He’s Still Giving.

    Apparently all those accusations about Chicago were confessions.

  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:


    I believe we went with “Throw that bum in”

    You miss one committee meeting and then….

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    @John Revolta:

    What a shit job they have. Every fucking day they have to go to work and defend the worst people. Guess what they have to do tomorrow at work? Pretend the President’s son in law has an immigration plan. They have to tell him how wonderful it is and act like he invented something. Last week they had to tell the Presidents daughter they weren’t carrying her “family leave” plan through Congress. Every day. They serve the Trump Family.

    I would quit. The job sucks and the humiliation isn’t worth it.

  32. 32
    Chetan Murthy says:

    “Forward, Not Back” (Dammit)


    Ni Shagu Nazad!

  33. 33
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Haven’t seen any data on it, but my sense is the “all politics is local” axiom becomes less true every year.

  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: The “all politics is local” thing they all say when they know it’s bad. He barely knows these DC people!

    I hope you’re right, but I think people’s failure/unwillingness/whatever to connect their own critter to the national party and national issues has saved many an ass, from Lieberman in 06 to Susan Collins for a few elections.

  35. 35
    Raven says:

    John Paul Steven died

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    The US House of Representatives has called for an investigation into whether the spread of Lyme disease had its roots in a Pentagon experiment in weaponising ticks.

    The House approved an amendment proposed by a Republican congressman from New Jersey, Chris Smith, instructing the defence department’s inspector general to conduct a review of whether the US “experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975”.

    The review would have to assess the scope of the experiment and “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiment were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design”.

    House orders Pentagon to review if it exposed Americans to weaponised ticks

    Sadly this is not the weirdest or worst thing the Pentagon has done in secret.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Democrats say it too in bad times. “I run my own race! People know me as an individual
    It’s like “the only poll that counts is on election day”

  38. 38
    Doug R says:

    @Glenn Bateman: It nicely contrasts with Uncle Joe’s slogan, which I think is a good thing.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Oh, I’m sure he’s right. It’s Texas. But they never say it when the Party and President is popular. They only become very local when the national scene becomes toxic.

  40. 40
    raven says:


  41. 41
    Martin says:

    @Kay: You would quit because you have both a moral compass and a soul. Being a authoritarian shitheel makes it a lot easier to live with yourself.

  42. 42
    Jay says:

    CNN’s Jake Tapper had Nazi Richard Spencer on to explain why Dolt45 isn’t a racist.

    Yes, that murdering scumbag.

    In other news of the Reichwing infestation:

    Hudson Bucht? Nordlicher Polarkreiss? Just a thought, but perhaps 'Canada Proud' should switch their maps to one of Canada's official languages before they use them in their fearmongering videos about national unity. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/lzB0TbERvL— Braeden Caley 🇨🇦 (@braedencaley) July 16, 2019

    Yup, “Canada Proud”, an anti-Trudeau Corporate Astroturf and Robodiallers ratfuck,

    To get that old time Canadian Heritage Moment feel for their vid, did a slow motion sepia pan of the Canadian parts of a globe, from the 1930’s.

    Nazi Germany 1930’s.

  43. 43
    eemom says:

    trump appointing Stevens’ successor in 5…4…3…..

  44. 44


    You would quit because you have both a moral compass and a soul.

    Hmmm, sounds like a job for Baud.

  45. 45
    sdhays says:

    @eemom: He probably will try. I wonder who will draw the short straw to be the one to tell him Obama already appointed, and the Senate confirmed, Sonia Sotomayor.

  46. 46
    Mike in NC says:

    As a slogan I’d go with the chant the soccer fans in Lyon, France came up with: “Fuck Trump!” Fits easily on a bumper sticker, but it might lack decorum. Can’t allow that.

  47. 47
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @eemom: He was already retired. Succeeded by …. Sonia Sotomayor! FTW!

  48. 48
    Kay says:


    I know George Conway is a Never Trump Hero, but at what point does he quit? Good Lord. His wife is running around demanding people identify their “ethnicity”. This is more than those couples who cancel out the others vote – she’s loudly and publicly a horrible person. Every day.

  49. 49
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @eemom: That would be hilarious, given that Steven’s already retires.

  50. 50
    Peale says:

    @eemom: to the position of most recently deceased Supreme Court Justice?

  51. 51
    eemom says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    He was already retired.

    Oh. Thanks.

  52. 52
    eemom says:

    I give up. You folks are way above my snark grade.

  53. 53
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: some other never trumped tweeted something about lots of married couples have different political opinions, we mustn’t sensationalize blah blah blah

    ’cause racism is just an opinion, like what the capital gains tax rate should be

    another never trumper, who knows her from the inside of their side

    uart stevens @ stuartpstevens
    Don’t think it’s a strategy, it’s just who she is. In political world, everybody knew she would always try to make anything about herself, which is one reason she spent her career in minor leagues. Plus no one trusted her not to leak to reporters, which she does all the time.

  54. 54
    Kay says:


    I’m curious about Amash. I spend quite a bit of time in his district and, you know, notice things, and he had devoted supporters when he first appeared. Huge signs in front of businesses, that sort of thing. People don’t usually get that excited for House races. Maybe his bold move to not be a horrible, mean-spirited asshole will work. It’s a mavericky place!

  55. 55
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @eemom: Oh, ha! I hadn’t thought you were snarking ….. sorry!

  56. 56
    sdhays says:

    @Kay: WTF does Kellyanne do? She’s a “White House advisor”, but there’s really no indication that anyone asks for or follows her “advice”. She’s really nothing more than the ASSet’s groupie. What do we learn about anything besides the depths of this nobody’s depravity when someone interviews her?

    Just read the stupid tweets and shut the rest of these people out.

  57. 57
    Kay says:


    I knew you knew, ee. I just wanted you to know that :)

  58. 58
    RAVEN says:

    @eemom: People ain’t used to levity from you, know what I’m sayin?

  59. 59
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @eemom:Sorry eemom. In a battle of wits, I’m usually unarmed. Ah, well.

  60. 60
    Kay says:


    She once told Morning Joe she “needed to take a shower” after defending Trump. That happened. Now look at her. Two years later.

    This is what happens to these people. They get worse the longer they’re around him. Now she’s imperiously demanding people’s papers without a care in the world. Reveling in it. She shrunk into the job.

  61. 61
    Luciamia says:

    I like AOC ‘s sentiment yesterday. This country belongs to everyone!

  62. 62
    Ohio Mom says:

    I always feel sorry for elderly people who die during bad times. If Stevens had died a few years earlier, he could have gone out thinking everything he was leaving behind was in good hands.

    But now you have to wonder if he thought all his years of effort and good work was about to come to naught.

  63. 63
    Jay says:


    Before she opened her “Polling Company” and hooked her “star” to Dolt45, she worked for the Nazi “FAIR” group to try to Nazi immigration.

    She’s a Nazi from way back, just one of the quiet ones.

  64. 64
    Procopius says:

    “We’re not going back” sounds too much like “We must look forward, not back.” What’s the statute of limitations on torture and war crimes?

  65. 65
    TS says:


    They don’t confuse me with what’s happening up here in D.C.

    He is in DC – He supports what is happening in DC – he is part of the process. So Republicans are only involved in what suits them – not in government and governance.

  66. 66
    Keith P. says:

    @Kay: Judging by the hair, she never took that shower.

  67. 67
    lgerard says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    He was already retired. Succeeded by …. Sonia Sotomayor! FTW!

    No. Because Stevens died, trump gets to replace Sotomayer with some federalist society drone.

    Read the Constitution….it’s in the part nobody ever talks about.

  68. 68
    Another Scott says:

    @TS: He was with Pence when they visited the horrible concentration camp. Cornyn is as bad as any of them.



  69. 69
    Elizabelle says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Details, details.

    You know Trump’s black little heart leapt for a few moments, until someone informed him the late justice is a retired justice.

  70. 70

    She may have felt the need to take a shower afterwards but she still served Trump. Ignore what they say. Watch what they do.

  71. 71
    Chetan Murthy says:


    She once told Morning Joe she “needed to take a shower” after defending Trump. That happened. Now look at her. Two years later.

    It is a process of progressive moral degeneration. The master forces his apprentice(s) to do progressively worse things, so that eventually behaviour that was unconscionable to the apprentice originally, becomes “no big deal”. It’s happening to the entire GrOPer party and voters in real-time as we watch.

    And this has happened before. In the early months of Hitler’s reign, he attempted a nationwide boycott of Jewish-owned businesses: it failed. Germans weren’t ready for it. I learned recently that there were opinion polls taken of Germans at the time of Kristallnacht, and they were just not ready to herd all the Jews into camps. Fast-forward to 1944, and the Germans were basically “finishing the job” and horrific punishments on captives in camps (there were many, many camps, all thru Germany, furnishing labor to all of German industry, since so much of the male population was in the military)[1] were OK with the German population.

    [1] Adam Tooze once described it as a sort of multi-cultural melange. He was quite wry about this description, b/c of course, the Germans were all about purifying the nation of foreign contaminants, and yet they’d been forced to important massive numbers of foreign laborers in order to sustain the war effort. Those laborers mostly lived and died in intolerable conditions, of course.

  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    We’re Not Going Back

    What do you think of the headline as a key 2020 slogan?

    Please God, no!!

    It only invites more questions. Or worse

    Where the hell are we going, then?

    But I need to go to the bathroom

    I think I forgot to lock the door

    I need to get my MAGA hat… We’re not going back for it!

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:


    You know Trump’s black little heart leapt for a few moments

    I’m sorry, no modern engineering miracle is going to get that lump of coal airborne.

  74. 74
    opiejeanne says:

    @eemom: Hey, I laughed at your post. I knew you knew.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Jay: I agree she was always a moral degenerate. Just …. there’s a long, long way down that slope. And she’s been slidin’ down all the time she’s worked for him. I doubt that, back in 2016, she’d have challenged a visibly white (“Feinberg”?) reporter on his ethnicity. I mean, that’s right out of a fucking WWII Nazi movie role, no?

    E.g. The Foyle’s War Season 1 episode “The White Feather”.

  77. 77
    opiejeanne says:

    @Chetan Murthy: She did that? She asked Feinberg about his ethnicity?

  78. 78
    sdhays says:

    @Jay: Yeah, but why does anyone bother talking to her? She’s just a walking Trump tweet, and we can get those from Twitter – walking doesn’t add value.

    This is a rhetorical question; I know why: they have to fill air time and the ASSet himself isn’t always available.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Jay says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    She’s always been one of the Nazis long infested in the ReThug Party who knew enough to not say the quiet parts out loud, other than with her fellow travellers.

    The normalization of Nazism in Trumpistan and the lack of push back has like Ilsa, She Wolf of the Nazis, Gorka, Spencer, Carlson, allowed her to let her freak flag fly.

    She’s not a street brawler like the other GOP Nazi street gangs and armed militia’s, she’s part of the Brain Trust.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OGLiberal: Quentin Cook aka Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim on bass. Quentin sounded to posh for The Housemartins, so he became Norman.

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    The broad appeal of 80’s English pop to voters in cafes in the Midwest should not be underestimated. This could probably singlehandedly swing Wisconsin for Democrats.

    See above.

  82. 82
    Jay says:


    Because your MSM is badly broken and likes their Ayran Nazis.

    Eg. Jake Tapper.

  83. 83
    Jay says:

    Migrant kids in overcrowded Arizona border station allege sex assault, retaliation from U.S. agents

    Migrant children held in Yuma, Arizona, report sex assault and retaliation for protests in addition to unsanitary conditions and overcrowding.


  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Too posh, ffs.

  85. 85
    Matt Smith says:

    I love “We’re not going back” as a rally cry. As the campaign slogan, not so much. I want our slogan and primary focus not to be about Trump, but to be something positive. Whatever we aspire to, not what we hate. For everyone mostly focused on Trump, the campaign and slogan don’t matter. For everyone who cares more about the economy, or justice, or whatever, that’s who we can reach with the campaign.

  86. 86
    opiejeanne says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Fuck a duck!

    Ok, don’t fuck a duck, but you know what I mean. Dammit.

  87. 87
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @opiejeanne: Dammit, indeed. Every time we think he’s bottomed-out, that his feculent horde has bottomed-out, they drill another hole and keep going.

  88. 88
    Ed says:

    I think its a very good rally/chanting slogan. Its ambiguous enough for everyone to reference as they like. I immediately thought of Stonewall. Also dropping out of high school and not having to take PE anymore. Of quitting a job I hated and leaving a bad partner. Yes, I think it has some legs to it in a rally. It could be really fun to yell, it could actually be part of it, that it has multiple meanings which are serious and unserious, because we actually are a people who are loving and have a sense of humor, and exploring that and laughing helps us thrive, and of course it could also mean more serious and powerful things than those in my personal history. You could think of pop stars leading rallies with this, Beyonce, doing a not going back that referenced boyfriends and slavery. Sorry, I had a 3.5 hour eye exam today.

    Not as the first line campaign slogan though. There needs to be something positive. Like “We’re not going back and we have the car keys and have a friend who is a scientist and has a six pack.”

    But yeah: We’re not going back!!!!

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