I’ve got to hand it to Joe, he sure knows the right buttons to push to bring out the youth vote.
Katie Hill, D-CA-25, just announced her resignation after having a threesome with a female campaign staffer and
someone else her soon-to-be-ex husband, being accused of having an affair with her legislative director, and after having nude photos leaked to RedState. Hill had previously blamed her soon-to-be-ex husband for leaking the photos and also making accusations about Hill as part of an apparently very acrimonious divorce.
Hill had flipped CA-25 in 2018, which is rated as PVI of Even. Hopefully, another Democrat who isn’t fucking his or her staff will be able to win the special election.
I’m sure this is true in many fields, but in software engineering, you’ll often see an engineer or team become very attached to an inferior implementation of some feature. As the problems with this implementation pile up, their attempts to solve them become increasingly bizarre in their desperation to keep their darling. You can only hope that somebody eventually notices during code review.
What made me think of this? Fearing Hackers, D.N.C. Plans to Block Iowa’s ‘Virtual’ Caucuses (NYT):
WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee is preparing to block Iowa Democrats’ plans to allow some caucusgoers to vote by phone next year, bowing to security concerns about the process being hacked, according to four people with knowledge of the decision.
[…] The Iowa Democrats’ plan would have allowed voters not attending a traditional caucus to register their preference during one of six “virtual caucuses” over the phone. But D.N.C. security officials told the rules committee at a closed-door session in San Francisco last week that they had “no confidence” such a system could remain safe from hostile hackers.
[…] In August 2018, D.N.C. members adopted new rules for the 2020 presidential primary that encouraged states that held caucuses to switch to primaries and required caucus states to allow for a form of participation that did not require attending a caucus event.
Even when they made my preferred candidate’s victory possible (Obama 2008), caucuses rubbed me the wrong way. They’re unrepresentative nonsense, a throwback to an extremely bygone era. There is a tried-and-true method of making it easy for people to vote that’s fairly difficult to hack–it’s called a primary–but these yahoos are so in love with their inferior implementation of democracy that they’re coming up with increasingly desperate “solutions” to keep it in place.
Sure, you could do it correctly, but it just feels better to do it your special way. This is how systems fail.
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.
As an Australian I find it odd that Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib are seen as the “far left” when they’re just fighting for things that, well, pretty much every other developed country has had for years.
Just my two cents.
— Elle De Sylva ??? (@elle_desylva) July 21, 2019
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.
25/ Then there is almost no way to know what would get you to make up your mind…I doubt it's a plan to deal with Wall Street though, or infrastructure, or tax policy…
— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) July 21, 2019
27/ And what I know for a FACT is that this message–that Trumpism is a threat to everything we care about and love about this country–is what will inspire the Dem base to vote…and THAT is what this election is about…
— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) July 21, 2019
32/ He is a white nationalist. He is an authoritarian. He and his cult are a threat to the future of the nation and world because of their hatreds. His movement betrays the country's promise. THAT is the message that will drive turnout. Not debates over marginal tax rates…
— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) July 21, 2019
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.
I’m traveling this week, with lots of 0300 starts and wasn’t planning to post, but I just got into the gym at the airport hotel I’m staying at ahead of tomorrow’s pre dawn flight, and MSNBC is on the TV. And the Democrats are actually voting to table (put it to the side and not take up impeachment) an impeachment resolution of the President. This is happening despite only 89 members of the House Democratic caucus publicly stating they support starting an impeachment inquiry!
I have no idea whose idea this is, but I cannot state loudly or strongly enough how galactically stupid this is. Strategic and political malpractice at the highest levels! When this passes, meaning the House will not move to take up impeachment at this time, and it will pass, the President will spend the next week crowing about how he’s been cleared. He’ll use it to chew up the information space that should be devoted to the spillover onto him from the Epstein case, from his publicly going full in on blood and soil herrenvolkism where racism and anti-Semitism in defense of Judaism and Jews equated with Israel and Israelis is no vice, and the upcoming Mueller hearings in the House.
The motion to table just passed: 136 Democrats for, 93 against, and 1 present (abstaining). 194 Republicans and the 1 Independent (Amash?) voted to table it as well. So for now, the House, with overwhelming bipartisan support, isn’t going to do anything more on impeachment and I expect the President will start screaming about being cleared any time now.
Completely irresponsible political theater!
PS: Before anyone asks, I think the House should have a special select committee on impeachment focusing all the investigations through one point leading to either impeachment or exoneration. That’s not what happened with today’s strategic stupidity.
There’s a big pointless pissing match going on between Pelosi and “The Squad” (AOC, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley). Here’s their side of the story and here’s Pelosi’s. You’ll have to read the whole thing to get the full flavor of what’s going on, but the short story is that Pelosi seems miffed that these four did not support the border deal, and they’re upset about how tough Pelosi is sounding towards them. Also, there doesn’t seem to be much of a personal relationship between these four and Pelosi, but I doubt that there’s much of a relationship between Pelosi and other first-year members.
Nobody wins a mudfight like this, and everyone gets dirty. Why this is happening while the House is dragging its feet on impeachment–or even any deep, ongoing investigation of Trump–is beyond me. The Judiciary Committee just issued subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions and a bunch of other unindicted co-conspirators, as part of an investigation of obstruction of justice, months after it’s obvious that justice was obstructed and Jared and the littlest KKK gnome knew about it. The Intelligence Committee, in its own sweet time, will probably issue a few more for some other aspect of the massive number of crimes and misdemeanors committed by the Trump Administration. Our investigative effort is slow and piecemeal, it appears weak, and it is being thwarted.
If I want to make an excuse for Pelosi in general, it is that she is smart enough to count votes, and the weaklings in her caucus don’t know how to do anything but run away from difficult votes and man the phones to raise money. Perhaps they are justified by being in tough districts, but perhaps they’re also used to dodging anything tough and getting away with it. But what I don’t understand is why there’s no House Select Committee on Criminal Activity in the Executive Branch, led by some hard hitter (sorry, not Jerry Nadler), staffed with some of the smartest attorneys in the US, and containing members who can ask tough, incisive questions (AOC would be on my list, if not on Pelosi’s). The Senate Watergate Committee was where the action was when Nixon was dragged under, not the House Judiciary Committee. We need another, similar committee today.
Good for her:
Elizabeth Warren is turning down a Fox News town hall and calling the network "a hate for profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists." https://t.co/XKUvQzwIBc
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 14, 2019
I get why Democratic presidential primary candidates appear on Fox: It burnishes their bipartisan bona fides and can generate a lot of positive press from a Beltway media that is determined to uphold Fox News’ legitimacy as a “sister organization,” as Jake Tapper once called it.
But while preening hacks like Tapper may coo over the alleged bravery of Dems who appear on the TrumpCo propaganda outlet, in my book, Warren’s is the more courageous approach. She’s standing up for something more important than a momentary bump in the polls or both-sidesy hack approval; she’s standing up for the truth, which is that Fox News is a white grievance/racism distribution network that has done incalculable damage to America. Warren, quoted in HuffPo:
“A Democratic town hall gives the Fox News sales team a way to tell potential sponsors it’s safe to buy ads on Fox ― no harm to their brand or reputation (spoiler: it’s not),” she said. “I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates ― especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers.”
So far, Sanders and Klobuchar have done a Fox News town hall, and Gillibrand and Buttigieg have scheduled one. Castro is said to be “in the process of scheduling one,” and Booker, O’Rourke and Harris are considering it.
Again, it might work out for those individual candidates as a campaign strategy, but appearing on Fox News undermines the larger and ongoing project of documenting the network’s relentless bias and discrediting it as a legitimate news source outside wingnut circles. People like Jane Mayer have done great work to that end, and when Democratic presidential candidates appear on Fox News, they undermine that work. That’s not brave. It’s selfish.
This Joe Lockhart op-ed was published in the Times (of course) a couple of weeks ago, but I only saw it yesterday as part of Dahlia Lithwick’s excellent piece about impeachment. Here’s Lockhart’s main argument against impeachment:
Allowing Mr. Trump to lead the Republican Party, filled with sycophants and weak-willed leaders, into the next election is the greater prize. Democrats have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realign American politics along progressive lines, very much like Ronald Reagan did for Republicans in the 1980s.
Trumpism equals Republicanism as long as Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket. And a real shift to progressivism in America will be delivered by a devastating rebuke of the president and his party, a rebuke that will return control of the Senate and state houses across the nation. Politics is always a gamble — and this is the best bet we’ve had in a long time.
I happened to come across this piece right after looking at the Ballotopedia Senate map. Anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the politics of the current millenium has to look at that map to see that winning back the Senate will be, at best, a nail-biter. We need to flip Arizona, Colorado and Maine – all do-able with the right candidate – if we are just going to have a 50/50 Senate. Then what? Texas? Beto ran away from Big John Cornyn. Georgia? Stacey Abrams, the best candidate in Georgia in a generation, is not going to challenge Perdue. We might flip Iowa, but that’s doubtful. The rest of the states are looking pretty safe to me.
Assuming that the residents of the red states on the Senate map will be disgusted by Trump and Trumpism, and therefore vote for a party that doesn’t even have the strength to pursue impeachment of the most impeachable President in history, is probably the most insular and stupid thing that I’ve heard come out of DC in a long time. While Joe Lockhart was busy collecting a salary in DC and spinning wank tales, Republicans were busy gerrymandering, vote suppressing and propagandizing in those red states. There will not be a Progressive wave until there’s a Democratic state legislature and governor in most of those states, so the vote suppression can be rolled back. Almost everyone who still calls themselves a Republican is at least OK with Trump being in office (at least he isn’t Clinton!) for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with their moral compass, and a lot to do with whatever lies Fox is dishing out today.
This has gotten too long but in case it isn’t obvious, my take isn’t that Democrats should avoid impeachment, but rather that they should investigate the shit out of this Presidency until it’s bloody obvious that Trump ought to be impeached. Then, throw it at the Senate and let Mitch McConnell decide how he wants to obstruct justice.
The lack of self-awareness among elected white men is reaching epidemic levels. https://t.co/enr7UAwdxW
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) May 3, 2019
On average in polls this year (excluding polls of New York state), de Blasio has a 22% favorable rating and a 21% unfavorable rating *among Democrats*.
That's quite bad. The average Democrat has about a 3:1 ratio of favorables to unfavorables among D voters. pic.twitter.com/NI2MuLfQ0a
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) May 3, 2019
The curve for mediocre white men is very real. Perhaps it is my natal chauvinism, but as far as I can tell, Bill de Blasio is the 21st century version of John V. Lindsay: A less-than-popular NYC mayor whose only qualification for higher office is “I am extremely tall and have presidential hair.”
I mean, say what you will about Marianne Williamson (I am not a supporter, or even a reader), but at least she has millions of actual fans. Getting dinged as ‘one of the no-hopers who didn’t even make the 20-person debate cut’ hardly seems worth taking media attention away from those candidates who do have a shot, and Goddess knows we don’t lack for qualified candidates already.
But then again, if you’ve got the kind of ego required for a political career, and you look at the farcical puppet now representing America and the Republican party…
3. Why are the De Blasio types running? Look to Mayor @PeteButtigieg. It drives De Blasio and others crazy that the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana has risen as much as he has in the race.
It’s a ‘why not me?’ situation
— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) May 3, 2019
Anybody can grow up to be President doesn't mean everybody should try.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 4, 2019
Democratic senator who’s not running told me what’s drawing so many into the race is familiarity-breeds-contempt
they’re not so impressed w/colleagues who are running and tell themselves, “if he/she is running, why shouldn’t I?” https://t.co/8Tw73TDZtO
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) May 2, 2019
Earlier today John Aravosis decided to rightly tear the bark off of Waleed Shahid:
Since I don’t tweet, I thought I’d link to and reprise some of my takedown of Shaheed’s attempt to misrepresent Senator Feinstein’s actions back in February, which was fresh on the heels of his attempt to do the same thing to Senator Harris. In both cases he barbered video footage until he got the out of context material he wanted and then weaponized it on Twitter. And I’d appreciate it if those of you who do tweet would tweet this at Aravosis.
Anyhow, as I wrote back in February:
Earlier today Waleed Shahid, fresh off of getting dragged for posting barbered and highly edited clips of Senator Harris from her town hall on his twitter feed several weeks ago, decided it was time to set his sights on the senior senator from California. As I suspected in the comments to an earlier post, Shahid had once again posted heavily edited videos on his twitter feed to go after someone that doesn’t measure up to his purity fanaticism. Fortunately, just like the last time, someone came along to set the record straight.
Shahid was once again full of shit, imagine that!!!!
Unfortunately, for all too many, Shahid’s lies will have already been taken as the gospel truth. It is bad enough that Democratic candidates and Democratic officeholders, as well as the organizations and individuals who support them, are going to be subjected to influence operations from the Russians, as well as a host of other state and non-state actors as we move into the 2020 elections, they shouldn’t have to also worry about being targeted by ideological fanatics like Shahid.
And as for the Justice Democrats, apparently they are running a protection scam where they require the candidates they endorse to send them funds rather than raise funds and send them to the candidates they’re endorsing!
These fanatics aren’t interested in making things better, they are interested in promoting themselves, fleecing their donors, and ultimately tearing down the people that have the only real chance of ending the current President’s reelection chances and then beginning the long, hard, slow, and frustrating work of fixing all of the messes that the President, his administration, and his Republican Party and conservative movement enablers have created. I’m all for opening up the debate and pulling the center back somewhere closer to where it should be from where the Republicans and the conservative movement have pulled it for over the past 40 years. Waleed Shahid, the Justice Democrats, his fellow travelers, and their attempt to create an ideological inflexible Tea Party and Breitbart of the left is not the solution to any of these problems.
As I’ve been writing here for almost three years, we were attacked and are still being attacked by a hostile foreign power! We are at war! But rather than everyone that isn’t supporting the domestic beneficiaries of the ongoing attacks – the President, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement that supports them – pulling together to fix our problems, Shahid and his fellow travelers would rather do the enemy’s work for them and pull us apart. With “friends” like these, Democrats, liberals, progressives, the center left to left of center Americans don’t actually need enemies.
It is disturbing that Rep. Omar continues to perpetuate hurtful anti-Semitic stereotypes that misrepresent our Jewish community. Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable. (1/2)
— Rep. Juan Vargas (@RepJuanVargas) March 4, 2019
Whether or not Ilhan Omar expressed herself as carefully as she could have, this guy (a 57-year-old former Jesuit Democrat, who represents a D+22 district on the Cali/Mexico border), just gave up the game. For a lot of her critics, anything critical that Omar says about Israel cannot be said, no matter how she phrases it. Also, I’m scratching my head as to why this safe seat Democrat who represents a mostly Hispanic border district wants to weigh in, and the only indication that I can find is that he’s on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which makes me think that Ilhan Omar belongs on that committee, since she might be one of the few with the guts to say anything negative about Israel.
Google pushes AOC news to my feed, otherwise I would have missed this gem from the shitty gossip rag The Hill, “Some Dems Float Idea of Primary Challenge for Ocasio-Cortez”. Now, to be clear, the story only quotes one Dem, anonymously:
“What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson,” the Democratic lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told The Hill. “You’ve got numerous council people and state legislators who’ve been waiting 20 years for that seat. I’m sure they can find numerous people who want that seat in that district.”
I’m sure those numerous council people and legislators are lining right up for the sure failure of a primary run against AOC, who raised $2 million last cycle, and has $400K cash on hand. I give this story four Pinocchios, three Goofys and a dozen Mickey Mouse turds, to use bullshit measurements that DC journalists can understand.
If AOC has a superpower, it is pissing off old school politicians who apparently are scared of popular ideas like restoring a 70% marginal tax rate. I’d love to see a person like the back bencher quoted in this article take a run at AOC – it would be almost as fun as watching a rich wanker like Howard Schultz smear poop all over himself by calling her ideas “un American”.
Andrew Cuomo might face a primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, the actress best know for her role as Miranda in Sex in the City. Nixon is also married to a woman and has done some advocacy for breast cancer research and LGBTQ rights.
A good politician would welcome her to the scene and say a few words about wanting a spirited debate in the primary, while all along knowing he’ll win easily. An Andrew Cuomo did this:
— Jesse McKinley (@jessemckinley) March 8, 2018
(I embedded that because Politico NY is subscription only.)
This fool still thinks he has a chance at being President.
Well that didn’t go well.
After being turned away from the 2016 caucus because they couldn’t handle the crowds, today I actually made it through the door. Thirty minutes later, I left in disgust. There were 4 people in my “precinct”, three who knew each other and me. We were suppose to talk and vote for an hour + ??? Like anything I may or may not have to say about a candidate was going to be of consequence.
There was no information about the candidates to study, except for brief statements at the beginning of the process (two-minutes per person – representatives for each candidate). With the exception of one of the candidates for governor, I had no idea who anyone was, their experience or their platform (even though, I’m on the state Dem email list and received numerous emails about tonight’s debacle – a list of who’s who would have been nice). And yet, I was suppose to make some kind of informed decision? These are our state representatives. WTF?
As many have pointed out – this process makes it difficult for working people, parents with little kids, shift workers…and anyone with any sense of self-preservation.
The only reason I believe the Colorado Democratic Party continues with these ridiculous abominations to democracy, is because they LIKE having very few people in control who makes it onto the ballot.
I’d say that was end of rant, but I’m still so angry, I’m in the kitchen chopping vegetables because it seems the only safe way to vent my stabby tendencies at the moment.
I’m out of can’t evens….
It looks like the shutdown will end as Dems get promise to have DACA vote by Feb 8….
— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) January 22, 2018
Soooo… The government will reopen, McConnell will never schedule a clean vote on DACA, and even if he does it will never pass the House, we get to do this again in a few weeks, and the Dreamers will rightfully hate Democrats.