Hey Democrats – How About Some Polling?

I would like to see more opinion polling on the issues the country faces. There are, of course, the inevitable polls on the horse race, but they tell us (and the politicians) little about the issues that are important to people and how they want their government to deal with them.

Our President continues to damage the country in a multitude of ways. The Republican Party stands by with its program of appointing conservative judges and passing tax cuts for the rich.

Impeachment – the bringing of charges against the President – must originate in the House. Hearings to support a vote of impeachment will take time, and it appears that there is not yet majority support in the House for impeachment. Nancy Pelosi has publicly favored waiting for the 2020 election rather than impeachment. There is some sense to that stand, but Donald Trump is damaging the country right now.

What can be done to stop or slow down the damage? And what needs to be done to build votes to remove Trump from office?

Nancy Pelosi seems to be trying to triangulate between “the Squad” –  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley – and the conservative wing of the House Democratic caucus, some of whom were elected in 2018 in districts that went for Trump in 2016.  Criticizing the Squad to an unfriendly interviewer, however, leaned too far in the direction of protecting the conservative wing from what they might consider radical thought.

Understanding why those districts flipped, however, and how broad support for the ideas of the Squad may be, would seem to be a good idea. My impression – largely from social media, which may not be indicative of the country at large – is that people want to see the corruption and incompetence of the Trump administration called out and policies advanced to turn back from the extreme inequalities Republican policies have inflicted on the country.

I’m not seeing much in the way of polling on those questions.

Should Democrats explicitly call out racists and demand healthcare for everyone? Are people okay with tax increases, particularly on the rich? How many see women of color as the future of the party? How many support the strategy of the House passing bills to make a point, even if the Senate won’t pass them? How many think we should impeach the President? Is there any point in trying to win those Trump voters so frequently interviewed in Midwest diners? Who are the voters who voted for Obama and then Trump, and why? Why did those districts turn around to elect conservative Democrats? Should Democrats call out the crimes Trump has been accused of?

There are a great many more questions. How they are phrased is important. Joe Biden, and perhaps Nancy Pelosi, seem to believe that bipartisan action is what people want. If you ask people whether they think bipartisan action is desirable, they’re likely to say yes. You might get a different answer if you ask whether they think that the current Republican Party is willing to work with Democrats to pass particular legislation.

How many think that the Republican Party needs to be rebuilt from the ground up? Fair is fair, after all the Republicans who are telling Democrats how to run their campaign.

It seems to me that there is a movement away from Trump. On Twitter, the responses to Trump’s tweets are becoming more and more negative. Polls immediately after his racist remarks about the Squad showed large majorities opposed to that racism. Here’s some polling that seems to say that more Americans support the Squad than support Trump.

And here’s a Twitter thread that draws on actual experience in defeating David Duke. The advice is to run explicitly against the racist. Policies are secondary. The whole thread is worth reading. It starts off with a description of the campaign against Duke and the conventional advice from the conventional consultants, which is very like what Pelosi seems to be guided by.

Don’t try to flip those folks in MAGA hats in the diners so beloved of interviewers. Drive up turnout among folks who stayed home in 2016.

Looks to me like this is the way forward. The presidential candidates, particularly Elizabeth Warren, are coming up with a great stock of policies. They’re essential, but not what the party should lead withdemoc

Pelosi could help by, say, one needling statement (NOT tweet) every day pointing out Trump’s racism, dishonesty, incompetence, pettiness – there’s a lot of material there that polling could supply and reinforce. That would have the added advantage of upsetting Trump. Not to fight with him, just to let people know she’s on the job and to keep Trump off balance.

I know I’d feel a lot better if we heard more of this from her.

 








Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Nobody Could Have Predicted


 
More immediately important:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke late Monday as they tried to broker a debt ceiling and budget deal with just days left before Congress plans to leave for the rest of the summer.

The talks took on new urgency after Pelosi shot down a White House fallback plan that would have Congress raise the debt ceiling — potentially for just a short period of time — by late next week if they failed to reach a budget agreement.

Pelosi, the California Democrat, said the idea of raising the debt ceiling on its own and not in conjunction with a budget agreement was not “acceptable to our caucus” and therefore did not stand a chance of passage in the House of Representatives…

Pelosi has also said she is hopeful that she can reach a deal with the White House, but on Monday she made clear that the White House would not dictate the fallback plan if the talks falter. Pelosi wants the White House to agree to a specific budget deal that would dictate spending levels for the next two years.

Asked what would happen if the White House and Congress did not reach a budget and debt ceiling deal by the end of next week, Pelosi said late Monday “I’m not going into the theoretical. I’m into the actual.”…

Lawmakers must craft a new budget deal by the end of September, because that’s when funding for many agencies is set to expire. If lawmakers don’t fund the agencies after Sept. 30, there will be another government shutdown. Mnuchin said on Monday that the White House does not want to see another shutdown, but he said they didn’t have enough time to wait until late September to deal with the debt ceiling and budget talks, as the debt ceiling deadline could be much sooner…








Monday Morning Open Thread: I’m With Her

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
.

Because a girl can dream…

Busy weekend in Iowa:

Another lady whose career I’m very following with interest [mildy NSFW]:








I Must Part Ways With Nancy Pelosi

If the report is true that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is insisting on ousting Trump in the 2020 election and then prosecuting him, and it looks like it is, I must give up my defense of Pelosi’s strategy.

I’ve thought that she was waiting for support to build to some unspecified level that she, an adept counter of votes, had in mind. There were indications of what we’ve learned tonight, but politicians say many things in many ways.

Pelosi seems to be ignoring the damage that Trump is doing as President. The difficulties in investigating him and his administration that would be lessened in impeachment proceedings. The public education that would take place during impeachment hearings and the support that would build. The strong desire among many Democrats to see a rebuke of the administration’s lawlessness.

I am horrendously disappointed that she is taking a path that is consistent with many criticisms of “establishment” Democrats – that they are unwilling to wield the power they possess to do their lawful jobs.

I’m willing to look at evidence that I’m wrong. But I’m not seeing it.

 








Russiagate Open Thread: One Step At A Time…

Note carefully, he’s not disagreeing with Pelosi — this is the next step in the essential choreography to block off every Repub bolthole:

Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who as recently as last month cautioned Democrats about the perils of pursuing President Trump’s impeachment, now says the House should open an impeachment inquiry that might or might not lead to a formal effort to remove him from office.

“It’s not the right thing to do nothing,” Reid said in an interview Monday with USA TODAY. “It’s not the right thing to jump into impeachment without doing an inquiry.”

The most important goal, he said, would be to “give the American people a view of what’s going on.”

The House could establish an impeachment panel to investigate the allegations that some say amount to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary under the Constitution to remove a president from office. But such a panel wouldn’t necessarily vote to impeach Trump — that is, to approve Articles of Impeachment that would send the process to the Senate for a trial….

Reid’s comments are also notable because he had what he called “a front-row seat” at the nation’s last impeachment trial, when Reid was Senate minority leader. Then, the Republican-controlled House voted to impeach Clinton, but the Senate didn’t convict him in the trial that followed.

That impeachment effort rebounded politically against GOP candidates in the 1998 midterm elections.

Reid acknowledged the potential political blowback and the likelihood that the current GOP-controlled Senate would never vote to remove Trump from office…

In the end, he said, “I just think that Republicans are going arm-in-arm with Trump, right over the cliff.” But he said public opinion might be affected by a systematic effort to explore allegations that Trump tried to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation and engaged in other wrongdoing….