Wednesday Morning Open Thread: “Frolicking”

Looks to me like Chewbacca is pondering the evanescence of beauty… and the perky cluenessness of the human animal. (Also, as the Spousal Unit pointed out, those are magnolia petals… )
Speaking of the deliberately obtuse:

If I Could Talk to the Animals

Atrios has a good post about the effort to talk (down) to Trump voters:

My whole time “in” politics centrist goobers have been talking about cracking the code to speak in the mysterious languages spoken by people not in their social circles. The Real American has taken various forms in this popular conception, though I will say in the past this mythic creature seemed to bear some relationship to actual people, while the media’s creation of The Trump Voter or the (white) Working Class in this latest chapter of their novel seems to be almost wholly fiction. Not that Trump voters don’t exist – they obviously do – they just aren’t recognizable in any of the portraits painted of them by the Art School graduates at the New York Times.

The only thing worse than this centrist goober effort to talk to heartland voters to connect with their genuine values is the manufacturing of positions that are supposed to appeal to some imaginary centrist heartland voter. The same people who imagine themselves as the Dr. Dolittle of the heartland voter are the ones who have appointed themselves of arbiters of what supposed centrists will accept. These Dolittles tell us that the imaginary heartland voter is a very flighty bird, who can accept almost nothing that deviates from whatever status quo our Dolittle thinks “appropriate”. Of course, Dolittle, being far more sophisticated than the heartland voter, knows that Medicare for All or the Green New Deal or whatever other liberal position is the “right” thing to do, but they are afraid the poor heartland dolts just can’t accept it, as much as Dolittle would like them to. So, sadly, we can’t have nice things, because some imaginary centrist voter just won’t accept it.

The fact is that heartland voters will accept a wide variety of “radical” positions. I especially think that Dolittle has been behind the curve of what kind of healthcare policy people will accept. And most people hold a variety of strong positions on different issues (against gun control but for Medicare for All, for example) instead of wishy-washy mid-ground positions, so there’s no point in a milquetoast politics in the first place, since nobody holds those views.

Barr-Retort Open Thread: Professor Krugman Is (Once Again) Tired of You People

(D.B. Echo at Another Monkey)

Good supplementary thread (click on a tweet to read the whole thread):

Today I Learned

Guys, Ron Fournier is a Democrat! A Democrat who loves George W Bush, said that Obamacare was Obama’s Katrina and Iraq, and works for a PR firm that has no Democratic clients (one is non-partisan). That same PR firm was in charge of crisis communications for MSU during their sex abuse scandal (and did a terrible job, I must say).

But, he’s a Democrat. A self-hating Democrat, but a Democrat nonetheless. As well as a useless posing douchebag.

Open Thread: Could the Narrative Be Shifting?

Probably too much to hope from our Media Village Idiots, but still… “Why Democrats refuse to pay Trump’s ransom in the shutdown fight”:

I think there are several factors playing out simultaneously. For example, congressional Dems care about the efficacy of public policy, and they realize that a giant border wall is a bad idea. It’s from this starting point that Dems’ spines were stiffened by multiple independent polls, each of which showed the American mainstream rejecting the president’s idea and blaming Republicans for the shutdown.

Relatedly, Democratic leaders know that Democratic voters would never forgive them if they simply caved to the White House’s absurd demands.

At the same time, Trump has made it easier for Dems to stick to their guns by refusing to offer them anything: the president hasn’t tried to broker a deal; he’s simply told Schumer and Pelosi to meet his demands in exchange for nothing…

But it’s against this backdrop that there also the question of incentives. Trump is trying to bypass the traditional American policymaking process – introduce an idea, send it to committee, allow for congressional debate and amendments, hold a series of legislative votes, etc. – by simply jumping to the end. He wants a wall, and he’ll hold government agencies and government workers hostage until he gets one.

If Dems agree, it will tell this president – and future presidents – that the easiest way to succeed is to embrace the politics of extortion. For the remainder of Trump’s term, no matter how long that is, he would know that he can get what he wants simply by demanding a series of non-negotiable ransoms…
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