The 2020 Presidential Election: Idealism Is Important, Necessary, But Not Sufficient. Realism Is Essential!

I want to focus on something very specific that was part of Ann Laurie’s earlier post about Senator Harris’s and some of the other 2020 Democratic contenders’ campaigns. This is the question about Democrats, the center left to the left of center, and liberals to progressives fighting with each other over raising money to finance campaigns only in small amounts or accepting money in both small and large donations. A lot has been written, from 2015 to today, and will continue to be written, about the need to do one or the other, whether doing the latter is somehow politically impure or a bad thing or a necessity. This discussion, like a lot of the discussions between and among the campaigns, are about idealism in what the Democratic Party is, who it represents, and what should be done if a Democrat wins the 2020 election. Idealism is important. It motivates people. It provides purpose. It is inspiring. It is necessary, but it is not sufficient to win.

As I’ve written about here before, the 2020 campaign is, essentially, occurring at the same time as a largely non-violent, non-lethal, and non-kinetic domestic rebellion and insurgency against the late 19th and almost all of the 20th centuries, as well as the ever more diverse emerging American demographic majority. Though the spikes in violence and lethality have increased recently and I expect they’ll continue to do so. As such, realism is both necessary and sufficient to temper the idealism.

In order to win in 2020, Democrats must fight to win on the terrain that actually exists. And that terrain includes large donations being legal. While we might all agree that in an ideal America, large donations, large corporate donors, dark money networks, and a whole host of other campaign financing that is currently legal would be replaced with something that doesn’t just equate the ability to spend money with protected speech under the 1st Amendment. But that is not the America we currently live in. Nor is it the America in which the 2020 elections will be taking place. If you want to change the system to more closely resemble your ideal campaign finance and election system, you must first mount a successful, winning campaign within the system we currently have. This is simply recognizing reality. And candidates failing to avail themselves of all legal means to win are not dealing with reality. They are also making it harder for themselves to actually win. Part of securing the peace after winning is remaking the system so it is closer to the ideal one you want. The battlefields of the 2020 campaign and election exist in reality as it is, not in the ideal future we would like to get to0. For the Democrats, winning in 2020 means that they must win the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote outcome, retake the majority in the Senate, hold the majority in the House, hold all the state houses and legislatures that Democrats currently have, and flip as many as possible of those they don’t before the next round of redistricting. Anything and everything else is a waste of resources. Nothing anyone wants done on any issue from campaign finance reform to healthcare reform, from the most moderate to the most progressive and idealistic approach to any domestic or foreign policy concern will occur if these battles aren’t won.

Open thread!






88 replies
  1. 1
    Ruckus says:

    Adam.
    Perfect.
    Gotta use the tools you have, not the ones on the drawing board that haven’t been built.

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    For the Democrats, winning in 2020 means that they must win the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote outcome, retake the majority in the Senate, hold the majority in the House, hold all the state houses and legislatures that Democrats currently have, and flip as many as possible of those they don’t before the next round of redistricting. Anything and everything else is a waste of resources.

    QFT. Play the game you’re in, not the one you wish you could play.

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    And in Republican land…

    The way things are going, one expects that the first half of 2020 will feature Vice President Pence racing feverishly to get the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment before Trump can dump Pence at the Republican convention.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 22, 2019

    Heh.

  4. 4
    Parmenides says:

    Warren has only said that she wouldn’t go after large donations in the primary.

  5. 5
    Lapassionara says:

    Yes. I expect to hear opposing views, but I think this is correct. Thank you, Adam.

  6. 6
    Jeffro says:

    I think we need this on a bumper sticker or campaign catchphrase.

    “Suck it up if you want to win”?

    “Let’s make sure we win first”?

    “Use (Our) Big Money to Get Rid of (Everyone’s) Big Money”?

    “Fuck Trumpov”?

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    Repeated from downstairs.

    Yup. The Willie Sutton gambit is the way the system is presently optimally designed, like it or not.

    Put another way, it’s not “Follow the money,” it’s “Collar the money.”

  8. 8
    HinTN says:

    And that terrain includes large donations being legal.

    This is exactly right. We CANNOT get up on our purity ponies and bang about to the detriment of the greater cause/good/purpose. That will kill us.

    Thank you, Adam!

  9. 9
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: He’s not far off. I think it’s about 51/49 that trumpov even limps into the convention at this point. “Declaring victory and going home” (ie, resigning and then being pardoned by Pence) or just flat out fleeing the country are nonzero possibilities at this point and ever-so-slightly ticking up by the week.

    But let’s act like we’re going to get to kick his ass next November anyway.

  10. 10
    Kraux Pas says:

    Elizabeth Warren has the right tack on this I think. Don’t seek the large donors while not explicitly refusing large donations.

    It allows her to not be majorly handicapped within the current system while making a good faithed move away from money equalling access.

    These campaigns are so awash in money, anyway, that we’re past the point where more money does any good anyway. Spend smarter not harder.

  11. 11
    HinTN says:

    @Jeffro: First We Win

    Autocorrect converted “Win” to “Drink” … that works too!

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Does anyone refuse large donations?

  13. 13
    Jeffro says:

    @HinTN: I’ll see your 3-word slogan and raise you a “Win First”.

    1-word entries welcome, peeps. ;)

  14. 14
    Michael Windbigler says:

    you are absolutely right. We need to fight on the ground that were fighting on now. And to leave and eating off the table is just being foolish.

  15. 15
    The Dangerman says:

    @Yarrow:

    …to get the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment before Trump…

    Majority of the Cabinet? Yeah …. good luck with that….

    ETA: I don’t see Trump resigning. I can see him pardoning himself, which, presumably, would be tied up in Courts so long that he will be long dead.

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Certainly. And also on occasion return them when revelations merit.

  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    So this is kind of a big deal:

    One of Washington’s most well-known and accomplished lawyers, the former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, goes to trial Monday in Washington in a case likely to be seen as a litmus test for the Justice Department’s efforts regarding foreign lobbying.

    Craig is accused of concealing material information in connection with work he performed for Ukraine after he left the Obama administration and joined the Skadden firm as a partner. According to his charges, he cut a deal in 2012 to earn $4 million from a Ukrainian client for the law firm by producing a supposedly independent report on the jailing of a political rival of the then-Ukraine president.

    Craig had been caught up in the expansive federal probe of Ukrainian influence in American politics tracked by special counsel Robert Mueller and now led by the Justice Department’s National Security Division and US Attorney’s Office in DC.

    The trial will discuss the influence efforts by Mueller defendants Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, both former Trump campaign leadership, who allegedly had tapped Craig to help with pushing a slanted report on Ukrainian politics among American media, according to court records.

    The Monday mentioned in the first sentence was a few weeks ago. The article is background for this tweet:

    Greg Craig's defense lawyer said out loud in court this afternoon what everyone who's following this trial was wondering:

    Rick Gates will testify against Craig tomorrow
    — Katelyn Polantz (@kpolantz) August 21, 2019

    which is kind of big news.

  18. 18
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Could someone or a group print this out and send copies to all d et m primary candidates and their campaign manager. Maybe laminate copies in each state headquarters.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    Haven’t seen it mentioned: Inslee out.

  20. 20
    Mai naem mobile says:

    I am not for going up unarmed with one hand tied behind my back against somebody who is fully armed with stupid FOX news watching voters, lots of rich donors, rich people PACs, rich industry PACs, foreign government,s,voter suppression laws and courts.

  21. 21

    @Baud: jl tells me that Baud!2020! only takes 6-packs as a maximum donation.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: Rick Gates will testify against Craig tomorrow

    Could be interesting. I imagine Greg Craig has very good, very smart lawyers. The cross-examination might be interesting, no?

    (Jay Inslee on the Maddow program announcing he’s gonna drop out of the primary, hinting he’s gonna run for gov of WA again)

  23. 23
    Mai naem mobile says:

    @NotMax: thafz a pity. Inslee would have been a good candidate and POTUS. Pity it’s not fashionable right now for plain white bread competent leadership.

  24. 24
    Yarrow says:

    @NotMax: Aww…I’m sorry he didn’t get more traction. I’m glad he highlighted climate change. Maybe in the upcoming Dem administration he can be Secretary for Stopping Climate Change (wording tbd), a newly created position.

  25. 25
    zhena gogolia says:

    @NotMax:

    raven broke the news in the lower thread

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I’ll also accept wine coolers. For the interns.

  27. 27
    Ken says:

    @Yarrow: And why shouldn’t Trump dump Pence? Ivanka is the obvious natural successor.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    In my defense, wasn’t there until after I refreshed several times.

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    @zhena gogolia: I’m used to being ignored.

  30. 30
    Ken says:

    @Baud:

    Does anyone refuse large donations?

    Sensible people funnel them through Russia bot networks to break them into many small donations not covered by FEC reporting requirements.

  31. 31
    The Dangerman says:

    @Baud:

    I’ll also accept wine coolers.

    I think I have some decade old Zima collecting dust someplace; will that work?

  32. 32
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @HinTN: greetings from Easy Bistro down the mountain in Chatt! Not as good as Cotton Row but much better than Mellow Mushroom.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    @Raven

    IIRC, down to a fortnight until R-Day?

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Call me when Gates is testifying against Manafort. Craig is small potatoes.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    @The Dangerman

    Zima

    That’s (sadly) Goku’s thing.

    Ah, callow youth. :)

  36. 36
    Mai naem mobile says:

    Saw this linked on twitter by one of the Obama Pod Save America guys https://www.dataforprogress.org/exploring-vote-switchers-in-2018
    It’s a long piece and for me has some surprising information. I really thought the ’18 wins were from new GOTV but they were quite a few switchers. I still wonder if there was decreased turnout on the other side because of the cray cray that Trumpov is. There’s also opposition of abolishing ICE and support of border control. The Dems need to be careful of the ICE thing. American voters are not the sharpest knives in the drawer and it’s hard to explain that you aren’t for abolishing immigration enforcement in sound bites. Same with the decriminalizing of illegal immigration. People are dumb. They don’t get criminal vs. civil unless they’ve been in the court system themselves.

  37. 37
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Baud: Well all the Tulsi support I’ve seen out there is predicated on not accepting corporate donations. I’m still trying to figure out precisely what that entails. But I see she has never had a donation above $1000. Her largest donors are listed as individuals.

    To contrast, Sanders’s largest donor is roughly $300,000 and Warren’s is about 130k. His top donors are private companies, hers are primarily universities and women’s organizations. I was actually suprised how fun it was to look at opensecrets.org.

    But there is clearly no organized effort to fund Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign. Great suprise, that, I know.

  38. 38
    sdhays says:

    @Ken: I know this is not serious (at least as “not serious” anything can be around Dump), and I know that things like “the Constitution” are quaint in today’s environment, but aren’t they both technically residents of New York, and thus banned from sharing a ticket? Even if that was the desire, I wouldn’t expect the Dump campaign to be aware of such “technicalities” until it was too late.

  39. 39
    Armadillo says:

    Thank you Adam. This is perfect.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    I thought only individuals can donate directly to candidates and the limit was $2800.

  41. 41
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Well all the Tulsi support I’ve seen out there is predicated on not accepting corporate donations. I’m still trying to figure out precisely what that entails.

    Just as an aside to this, how are corporate donations calculated? Can a corporation just donate a bunch of money? Is it just reported as the cumulative money donated by employees of an organization? Do corporations act as bundlers? Are corporations people? Am I a corporation?

    Onset existential crisis

  42. 42
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mai naem mobile: I still wonder if there was decreased turnout on the other side because of the cray cray that Trumpov is.

    I think trump will get a lot votes from people who voted for Gary Johnson or left the top vote open. One of the (main) reasons Rs were reluctant to support him after election was a fear he’d follow through on Bannon’s script to raise taxes on the rich, or that he wouldn’t follow orders on judges. I’m not even sure he needs Pence anymore– as far as the Haley rumors go. If that doesn’t happen, I suspect it’s because Haley doesn’t want it.
    and I suppose he’ll lose some people who told themselves, “he’s not really like that” or “Ivanka will be a voice of moderation”

  43. 43
    Droppy says:

    This is related to liberals being reluctant to take their own side in an argument. We are so goddamn pure sometimes – we fret about the fair distribution of the water in the bucket brigade while the fascists are burning down the house.

  44. 44
    Ken says:

    @sdhays: The 2000 election established that a candidate can claim residency anywhere they own a house.

  45. 45
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @HinTN: Al Davis (former Raiders owner) said it best: “Just Win, Baby”

  46. 46
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Baud: and that’s why you didn’t make the debate! If you aren’t cheating….

  47. 47
    Mai naem mobile says:

    @The Dangerman: he can’t pardon on state stuff and you damn well know NY will leave some stuff to be charged after he leaves office so he can’t pardon himself. He is fucked along with his grifter family.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Mai naem mobile:

    . I really thought the ’18 wins were from new GOTV but they were quite a few switchers. 

    Diminishing returns on propaganda?

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    If they don’t want to solicit major donors, the Democratic Party had better be working on a very sharp and confrontational marketing campaign.

  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    @Jeffro:
    Even if dense had the balls to even try the 25th, which I doubt he does at all, or trump gets impeached and the senate votes him out (how long of a long shot is that, 100 million to one?) we still would have to win next year, there is going to be an election.

  51. 51
    raven says:

    @NotMax: The last official day of work is the third but that will probably just entail taking some equipment into the office. Generally one does not count the last day so it’s either 12 or 10 if I just figure Friday. I’ve worked from home for so long that my nice aeron chair and veridesk are off the books so I get to keep them. I bought a used Thunderbolt Monitor so I can just plug in my personal macbook pro and go.

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    @Baud: They deserve better. Where would you be without them.

  53. 53
    Dan B says:

    @Yarrow: Sorry to hear about my Governor dropping out. Very good friends of ours had their wedding on Inslee’s long time chief of staff, Joby Shimomura’s houseboat. His staff has been with him for decades which speaks very well for his character.

    And, in the wedding ceremony we gathered on the walkway and the houseboat began to list ominously to one side, whee!

  54. 54
    Wmd says:

    There’s some Laffer’s curve analog for small versus large donations and the number of committed volunteers a campaign attracts during the primary. This potentially elects Barack Obama over Hillary… or Elizabeth Warren in 2020.

  55. 55
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Baud: I don’t know. I’m still trying to understand. I’m starting a crash course in campaign finance tonight. It’s piquing my interest right now. Right now I’m looking for a good overview.

    No one knew campaign finance was so complicated.

  56. 56
    Ohio Mom says:

    @NotMax: I know Inselee was a non-starter, I know the debate stage is too crowded and needs to be thinned out, but I was developing a lot of affection for Inselee.

    He seems like a very decent person. And of course he is right about climate change.

  57. 57
    Ruckus says:

    @The Dangerman:
    Is it possible that it’s gotten worse? Surly not better. Sort of doubting that.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    It’s not easy like health care or winning trade wars.

  59. 59
    Jeffro says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Good news (re: Inslee).

    We need some sort of national understanding that if you have some sort of issue on your mind, there are alternatives to running for president in order to get that issue out there. You don’t have to take up space on a debate stage once or twice and then go back to doing what you were already doing/gonna do anyway.

    Maybe we could even pay people a bonus? Give them 30 seconds of air time (like a PSA)?

    “Hi, I’m Governor/Senator/tech guy/New Age guru X, and my big hunka hunka burnin issue is Y. Here are my reasons 1, 2, and 3 why you should agree with me and my plan for Y. I could have wasted a lot of everyone’s time and money running for president just to go on and on about Y, but instead, I’m taking my democracy-furthering #SkipTheStage bonus and donating it to causes that fight for Y. Thanks for your time and now please be sure to back our eventual Dem nominee.”

    I mean, that is Inslee, Steyer, and all the Republican-lite candidates right there. Boom. Something like 5 minutes’ worth of PSAs tops and there we are with the top 5 Dem contenders.

  60. 60

    @sdhays: They aren’t banned from the ticket, they just wouldn’t be able get the Electoral College votes from New York.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I see Rudy’s been busy. And Pompeo appears to be up to his multiple chins in this:

  62. 62
    Jeffro says:

    @Ruckus: Right…I didn’t say there wouldn’t be an election, I said that given the obvious, daily, increasing death-spiral Orangemandias is in, it’s not that far-fetched to think he will not be in office/standing for election come next November.

    It’s like the saying about going bankrupt: it happens slowly and then all at once.

    And yeah, we completely need to run full-out and win no matter who the GOP puts up. Still likely to be trumpov, but we are over 14 months out from Election Day and a full year out from the Trumpublican convention, even.

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    We need as much money as possible. In an ideal world, no
    ..
    But, we are not in an ideal world 😒

  64. 64
    Feathers says:

    Hard agree on the anti-purity ponying. Some of the Democrats problem is that they appeal to the young, and there are new youngs every cycle.

    Plus: Apparently Taylor Swift reposted something from her dad’s Facebook page, which was shut down about a minute later, but not before people screenshotted a bunch of Republican garbage: Taylor’s Dad shows his ass

    Neither here nor there, we’ve all got Republican family. Just interesting to see the slip. Apparently it was set to public, but no one caught it before. It does mean another round of stories about her coming out in support for Democratic candidates.

  65. 65
    Marcopolo says:

    @Kraux Pas: @Kraux Pas: Sorry to break the news to you but corporations and labor unions cannot make direct donations to federal political campaigns. I am assuming you are looking at information which aggregates contributions from individuals (who work for the same company or in the same industry or have the same job position (like teacher) to make some statement like “fossil fuel companies have given X amount of money to candidate P’s campaign.”

    There are any number of reasons to have problems with this aggregate way of looking at campaign donation sources. Take, for example, Beto. He is from Texas where he just ran a huge Senate campaign and from where he has a lot of donors. One of the biggest industries in Texas is Oil & Gas. Because he has so many donors from Texas he has a lot of contributors who work in the Oil & Gas industry. If you look at aggregate donations to his campaign you could (and some have–looking at David Sirota here) said he is the candidate of the fossil fuel industry. But that is a pretty cynical misuse of the information.

    Or, for example, the more money a campaign raises the higher the likelihood that there will be a meaningful amount of money raised from specific groups such as teachers or lawyers. Once again looking at the aggregate numbers doesn’t actually say a lot about why people are contributing to a specific campaign.

    IMHO really the only meaningful statistic is how much campaign money is being raised through max ($2800) donations versus the median donation (not the average btw). That actually gives you some information in regards to how much bundling is going on, how much “popular support” there is for a candidate, etc… I don’t think there are any D presidential candidates who are not taking max donations but out of all of them I think it is Sanders & Warren who have said they are explicitly not holding max donation fundraisers. In fact, I don’t think Warren is holding any kind of private fundraisers. Theoretically, that “might” be where politicians would be “swayed” on issues. That and by individuals who bundle (arrange for groups of donors to give max amounts to candidates all at once) max donations to candidates so they are getting like 100 $2800 contributions in one go round–in that example the $2.8 million figure would theoretically command attention/provide a way to influence.

  66. 66
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ken Vogel is a fucking moron who is too goddamn stupid to know when he’s being played.

  67. 67

    @rikyrah:

    But, we are not in an ideal world 😒

    I think Tbogg said it best.

  68. 68
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Yes, he is right about what may be humanity’s most pressing issue. Might he make a very good head of the EPA?

  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    @Jeffro

    Have been saying in one form or another for at least six months that he’s a coward and if he sees the handwriting on the wall (in large print) for defeat, he’ll conjure up some excuse to bow out, of course ungracefully and at the most inopportune time for the R party.

  70. 70
    Jeffro says:

    @Ken: So true. I also seem to remember that wearing earth tones and sighing in debates were seen as major factors in whether or not someone was considered “presidential”. Isn’t that hysterical? Earth-tones and sighs…whereas multiple sexual assault allegations, multigenerational tax fraud, obvious allegiance to a hostile foreign power, “very fine people”, all of that is just what one side accepts now, I guess.

    And by not reporting (LOUDLY, and EVERY DAY) that one side’s voters and elected officials are perfectly fine with those things, the media slips right back into ‘both sides’ candidates have issues’.

  71. 71
    James E Powell says:

    @Ken:

    The 2000 election established that a candidate can claim residency anywhere they own a house.

    That’s only if you are a Republican.

  72. 72
    NotMax says:

    @Jeffro

    Words both ways. G.H.W. Bush’s glancing at his wristwatch was also a whole to-do.

  73. 73

    This is the question about Democrats, the center left to the left of center, and liberals to progressives fighting with each other over raising money to finance campaigns only in small amounts or accepting money in both small and large donations. A lot has been written, from 2015 to today, and will continue to be written, about the need to do one or the other, whether doing the latter is somehow politically impure or a bad thing or a necessity. This discussion, like a lot of the discussions between and among the campaigns, are about idealism in what the Democratic Party is, who it represents, and what should be done if a Democrat wins the 2020 election. Idealism is important. It motivates people. It provides purpose. It is inspiring. It is necessary, but it is not sufficient to win.

    Board their fucking battleships and turn their guns around, and sink their two-bit ratfuck soulless criminal grifting shit show. Once and for fucking all. And if it’s Gaia-damned dollars that fuels the fleet, we collect every dollar we can, and to hell with how it’s printed.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Works, not Words.

  75. 75
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Marcopolo: Thank you. That got me over a big piece of what I wasn’t understanding, the corporations’ role in this. Gee, it’s almost like Gabbard’s pledge is an empty promise that plays on misunderstanding of how campaign finance works.

    @Jeffro:

    Earth-tones and sighs…whereas multiple sexual assault allegations, multigenerational tax fraud, obvious allegiance to a hostile foreign power, “very fine people”, all of that is just what one side accepts now, I guess.

    But the tax cut…

  76. 76
    kindness says:

    The idealist in me likes what Jesse Unruh, an old Assembly Speaker of the California House said: “If you can’t take their money, drink their booze, eat their food, screw their women and vote against them, you don’t belong here.”

    That’s the truth.

  77. 77
    Mai naem mobile says:

    @Feathers: hardly surprising I thought the dad was in finance/banking and they were evangelicals. If not evangelical they stressed their ‘Christianity’

  78. 78

    @kindness: Ol’ Big Daddy. He was also State Treasurer.

  79. 79
    Mai naem mobile says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I thought they pretty much came home in ’16. I would like to see numbers on oldsters dying out and new voters(younger not necessarily young) taking their place. I also wonder how much ’16 had specifically to do with Hillary Clinton. Just the cumulative effect of 30 years of GOP crap, the Clinton name, Hillary as afemale, the Russians and Benghazi.

  80. 80
    Marcopolo says:

    @Kraux Pas: I don’t know what Gabbard aid so cannot specifically address that.

    The other side of the coin in campaign funding are candidate-centric PACs & party affiliated committees that can take money from corporations & unions & in larger $ amounts.

    Different candidates have different positions on candidate PACs as well but I honestly don’t know what they all are. The thing to know about these groups is the are not allowed to coordinate their spending w/ the candidate’s campaign.

  81. 81
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Marcopolo:

    The thing to know about these groups is the are not allowed to coordinate their spending w/ the candidate’s campaign.

    Nudge nudge wink wink say no more say no more

  82. 82
    Sally says:

    @Yarrow: Secretary for Survival

  83. 83

    The problem is, of course, that “You got to dance with them what brung you” and if that is large donors, you end up with large donors making policy, as indeed that Princeton study found. Now, “even in hell there are degrees of malice,” and some large donors are better than others. But I am having a great deal of trouble imagining large donors who would support major environmental reforms, or even just raising taxes on the rich.

  84. 84
    gwangung says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    But I am having a great deal of trouble imagining large donors who would support major environmental reforms, or even just raising taxes on the rich.

    Off the top of my head, Nick Hanauer and Sen. Warner’s daughter. And they’re not alone among well heeled donors.

  85. 85
    gwangung says:

    What Adam is reminding liberals is that the coinage of political power is WINNING ELECTIONS.

    Republican voters know this. There is no changing policy without WINNING ELECTIONS.

  86. 86
    JR says:

    @Mai naem mobile: Supposedly white evangelical turnout edged up to ~90% in some states. They of course voted overwhelmingly for Trump. I don’t think turnout was the issue in 2018.

  87. 87
    J R in WV says:

    What about all the Citizens United money? Didn’t the Supremes rule that unlimited contributions may be made to “unafiliated” PAC committees for unrestricted use by those PACs?

    What are the actual rules after that ruling? Not that many Jackals can make large donations. I spread my donations out to progressive congressional candidates in places where I think it may make a difference, like Mark Kelly in AZ for senate.

    Over the years my contributions have amounted to a large number, but all in smaller donations, and for very many election cycles now. I intend to donate to a few VA House of Delegates races the next month or so, for another example. Those will $50 or so.

    But as we age and our income remains fixed and our savings are used for expensive things, the amount we are comfortable with donating perforce dwindles.

  88. 88
    Chris Johnson says:

    The interesting thing about that TBogg takedown (“You don’t live there. Grow the fuck up”) as things develop, is this.

    It’s not the last word. It’s strongly dependent on WHICH purity ponies you’re pointing at and mocking. And I’m not sure there are that many without a retort.

    If he is pointing at climate purity ponies and saying ‘grow the fuck up and accept you get nothing’, their retort is,

    “You’re going to die of climate-driven catastrophe and civilization collapse powered by that catastrophe.”

    Sometimes ‘grow the fuck up’ is not an acceptable answer. Just sayin’.

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