Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 05:41 am
Why not Kamala and Beto?
Here’s why.

Progressive Ideas Matter to Voters. So Why Do Democrats Fixate on the Identity of the Messenger?
Briahna Gray
January 7 2019, 11:21 a.m.
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks to the crowd at his Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images) Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks to the crowd at his “Turn Out for Texas” rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 29, 2018. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP
JUST BEFORE THE new year, Steve Phillips, senior fellow at liberal think tank Center for American Progress, filed paperwork to launch a Super PAC to support New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s anticipated 2020 run. The announcement raises a number of red flags, including about the choice to rely on Super PACs at a time when voters are increasingly skeptical of large campaign donations. But perhaps the most concerning issue is that Phillips’s involvement with Booker’s campaign may represent the further deprioritization of ideology among Democratic politicians.

Let me explain.

The dominant lens through which Philips understands politics is demographic. He is the author of “Brown is the New White,” a New York Times best-seller about how America’s growing nonwhite population is the key to the Democratic Party’s success. Phillips believes that Democrats should prioritize mobilizing nonvoting Americans of color (which it should). But he also argues that Democrats should not “waste money” appealing to white swing voters, derisively rejecting “conventional wisdom” that advocates for “empathy for the anxiety of moderate white voters.” According to Philips, because there is a “ceiling” of white support, courting white voters offers diminishing returns.

Of course, the “demographics as destiny” strategy didn’t pan out in the 2016 presidential election. To the extent that there is a ceiling for white voters set by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton didn’t reach it — nabbing only 75 percent of the white voters who backed Obama. If she had matched Obama’s numbers among white voters, she would have won, making it difficult to argue that fortifying the Obama coalition would be a “waste.”

The thing is, although much is made of the browning of America, the country is still 70 percent white, and electoral strategies that are wholly dismissive of that population set themselves at an unnecessary disadvantage. America’s “browning” is largely attributed to the fact that Hispanics constitute the largest growing ethnic group in the country. But a majority of Hispanics identify as white, and one third continue to support Donald Trump despite his nativist, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Americans need a reason to go to the polls — something that makes them feel like their vote matters. Something more than being anti-Trump. Something ideological.
And even if they didn’t so identify, melanin doesn’t guarantee Democratic support. Of the 4.3 million Obama voters who stayed home or voted for third parties in 2016, a third were black. So as important as it is to register voters, ensuring access to franchise is not enough. Americans need a reason to go to the polls — something that makes them feel like their vote matters. Something more than being anti-Trump. Something ideological.

And yet since 2016, the effort to understand the ideological inertia that motivated Trump’s victory has met resistance from establishment Democrats, many of whom, perhaps defensively, limit their analysis of 2016 to Trump’s open bigotry and Russian interference. Recently, this trend has reached absurd levels.

In the course of last month’s Twitter dispute over whether three articles criticizing Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s voting record constituted an unfair “attack” from the far left fans of Bernie Sanders, feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte argued that the famously no-nonsense and reclusive senator’s appeal is actually about his charisma, not his politics. “The evidence suggests that [Bernie] Sanders did well in the primaries, not because of his progressive views,” she tweeted, “but because his voters were attracted to a charismatic white guy they viewed as an outsider.” She argued that if charisma and whiteness were all it took to attract a Bernie-sized following, then Beto offers a younger, better option. “Beto is far more that future in 2020 than Bernie,” she wrote.

Journalist Jamil Smith offered a similarly reductive non-ideological take on Sanders’s popularity, suggesting recently that “a significant portion of Bernie’s support came from white guys unwilling to vote for a woman.” In O’Rourke, he argued, those voters might have found “a new white, male candidate.”

In fact, Sanders voters are the least likely to hold bigoted views about black people, according to a widely circulated study depicting the comparative racism of 2016 voters — most coverage of which excluded Sanders voters. Sanders also has the highest approval rating among nonwhites compared to other 2020 candidates. Ignoring Sanders’s long record of anti-racism stretching from civil rights-era protests to his recent bail reform bill, Smith cited the fact that 1 in 10 Sanders voters backed Trump as evidence that Sanders’s appeal is rooted in racism. But the fact that in 2008, Clinton voters were 2.5 times more likely to vote for John “I Hate Gooks” McCain over the first black president is rarely considered to be reflective of the racial equality bonafides of her backers.

Both of these arguments, so plainly errant as to feel like gaslighting, are part of a larger rhetorical trend toward divorcing voter preferences from ideology. Wittingly or not, the effect is to undermine the obvious power of progressive ideas. If Sanders’s appeal can be reduced to charisma, then he can easily be replaced by a younger, more charismatic candidate who is friendlier to big-money interests. If his support is the result of racism or sexism, then his political message can be dismissed as the fruit of that poisonous tree, and other, more diverse candidates can become powerful symbols for anti racism — even if their records betray their commitment to people of color.

As Peter Beinart recently observed in The Atlantic, “The best hope for Democrats who don’t want to purge corporations from the party might be a presidential candidate with a less confrontational economic message who enjoys widespread African American or Latino support. Booker could be such a candidate. So could Kamala Harris or O’Rourke. Which is why skirmishes like the one that pitted the Center for American Progress’s Neera Tanden against supporters of Bernie Sanders will likely only escalate in the year and a half to come.”

Americans firmly agree that the system is rigged, its political institutions are failing the people, and that the American dream — already inaccessible to many due to structural prejudice — is increasingly out of reach.
But here’s the thing: Most Americans do want to limit the reach of corporate influence.

IN AN INCREASINGLY polarized nation, Americans firmly agree that the system is rigged, its political institutions are failing the people, and that the American dream — already inaccessible to many due to structural prejudice — is increasingly out of reach even for the white men who, historically, have disproportionately benefited from it.

I’d argue that the most important American divide to keep in mind going into 2020 isn’t red versus blue, North versus South, coastal versus “flyover,” but insider versus outsider — what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., renders as the bottom versus the top. The popularity of both Trump and Sanders (and arguably Obama in 2008) suggests that the real silent American majority is this constituency of the aggrieved. If Democrats ignore it, Trump will continue to satisfy many of these voters with nativism and bigotry. The alternative is for Democrats to speak more vividly to their specific concerns: The answer to “they’re taking our jobs” is a Green New Deal, not “America is already great.”

But power brokers in both parties have an interest in minimizing the currency of that broadly shared ideology.

Organizations like Third Way, a centrist think tank founded in 2005 to marry center-right economic policy with center-left social policy, have been leading the charge against ideology as a political organizing tool. In 2017, it commissioned a 23-city bus tour to collect empirical evidence about why Trump won — a “safari in flyover country.” But according to Molly Ball at The Atlantic, who covered the tour, Third Way’s conclusion that voters wanted moderation and pragmatism contrasted with what voters expressed on the ground: “All these centrist ideals,” said one Wisconsin cafe owner, “are just perpetuating a broken system.”

And recently, Third Way tweeted that Sanders’s “ideas were crushed in the midterms” and argued that “Democrats must say no to litmus tests” — in other words, ideological standards by which voters should judge candidates beyond “is a Democrat” or “isn’t one.”

Last Thursday, the anti-ideological trend continued with a Washington Post op-ed by Terry McAuliffe, former governor of Virginia, Democratic National Committee chair, and close affiliate of the Clintons, who argued that “ideological populism” is “playing on Trump’s turf,” and that voters are looking for “realistic solutions.” A federal jobs guarantee, he argued, is “too good to be true,” as is universal free college. “Medicare for All” didn’t even get a mention in his piece. Instead, McAuliffe focused on expanding the Affordable Care Act and curbing high pharmaceutical prices — this despite the fact that 70 percent of all Americans, including a slim majority of Republicans, support “Medicare for All.” Sixty percent of Americans also support free college. And as of this spring, nearly half of Americans support a federal jobs guarantee.

The pragmatic approach is the progressive one.
These numbers indicate that the pragmatic approach is the progressive one — which explains, more than Sanders’s “charisma,” why many top 2020 contenders like Booker, Harris, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have shifted left over the last couple years. Voters also appreciate that even explicit commitments to politics can be undermined by monied interests, which is perhaps why these candidates have also taken the no corporate PAC pledge.

But the center-left too often rejects this framing. Rather than credit the critique of O’Rourke, which centered on his breach of a “no fossil fuel” pledge and frequent votes with conservatives — including votes that helped fossil fuel interests — as sincere, it has endeavored to characterize the criticism as a pre-textual attempt to defend Sanders’s status as a uniquely progressive vanguard. Rather than ask what standards the party should have — what litmus test should exist — it blithely blurs the lines, seeing political opportunity in ideological ambiguity.

But a bold, clear ideology is precisely what excites Americans. Look at Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist whose social media feeds have become envy of the entire political establishment. Over the holidays, O’Rourke, Gillibrand, Harris, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., all tried to match the enthusiasm Ocasio-Cortez has piqued around her late-night livestreams during which she cooks dinner and chops it up about policy. But these attempts have fallen short. What these politicians don’t get is that Ocasio-Cortez’s magic isn’t in the medium. It’s in the message.

Ocasio-Cortez understands (more than most pundits) that her victory and subsequent popularity can’t be reduced to charisma or mere demographics. As she (sub)tweeted: “A few social media ideas for public servants looking to build an audience: Endorse Single-Payer Medicare for All. Hold Wall Street Accountable. Make Min Wage = Living Wage. . . Support a Federal Jobs Guarantee, Bail Out Student Debt, Legalize Marijuana & Explore Reparations, Baby Bonds.”

Ocasio-Cortez is a one-woman litmus test generator.
In direct contrast with Third Way’s warning against litmus tests, Ocasio-Cortez is a one-woman litmus test generator. When she takes to Instagram Live or Twitter, she’s setting new standards for transparency that feel fresh and unfamiliar to voters inured to the self-preserving conservatism of politicians. She’s not just cooking. She’s cooking with fire.

Unfortunately, that lesson is far from learned.

TO MANY DEMOCRATS, the distinction between Sanders and other 2020 hopefuls, including O’Rourke, has become one without much difference. In a recent interview with NBC, Jon Favreau, Obama’s former speech writer, described O’Rourke, Sanders, Harris, and “others” who are likely to run all as “progressives.” Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden repeatedly bristles at any suggestion that the Sanders wing of the party represents a significant ideological departure from her own. “What are you talking about,” she tweeted in response to a journalist’s claim that CAP pulls the Democratic Party to the right. “You don’t get to define what is and is not progressive.”

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But while no one writer is an authority on what makes a progressive, the word becomes meaningless if, like Tanden and Favreau, it’s applied evenly to an ideologically broad range of people.

Tanden, for example, would count Hillary Clinton and Justin Trudeau among progressives, despite the former’s reluctance to adopt what have become widely popular programs like single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage, and the latter’s broadly centrist politics. CAP describes itself as “progressive,” but neither CAP nor its current chair, former Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle, have come out in support of “Medicare for All” — despite Daschle once considering single payer to be “inevitable.” Daschel is now a health care lobbyist who was recently named as a potential surrogate for a pharma-backed bipartisan campaign against “Medicare for All.” Is that the face of progressivism?

Adam Serwer at The Atlantic argued recently on Twitter that “Beto people are not irrational or superficial for looking for a candidate who appeals for non-ideological reasons.”

But choosing to support a candidate for reasons other than their ideology — their expressed policy prescriptions — is definitionally superficial. It’s also illogical when you consider that authenticity brings its own rewards. This is a lesson that needs to be learned sooner rather than later. It’s 2019 after all.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:23 am
My feeling is that we have to push as hard as we can, just to get back to the New Deal gains we once had so that they can be built upon to make the system work for everybody - but modified to fit the needs of right now, such as a form of universal health care. How stupid do you have to be if you don't know the immediate adoption of Paygo is a way to thwart Democrats, a way to keep it all static - advanced on themselves by themselves? To wahat suicidal end? To fill the coffers of both parties and all greedy individuals endlessly.
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:58 am
As for Trump's emergency, most people know it is a political power move, not related to anything substantial at all, other than to let Trump show his base how tough he is. Private landowners in Texas are not ready to give up their property without a lengthy court fight. If the Supreme Court has the slightest respect for legalities they would step in to tell the man he has no case to call an emergency.
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 07:16 am
edgarblythe wrote:

My feeling is that we have to push as hard as we can, just to get back to the New Deal gains we once had so that they can be built upon to make the system work for everybody - but modified to fit the needs of right now, such as a form of universal health care. How stupid do you have to be if you don't know the immediate adoption of Paygo is a way to thwart Democrats, a way to keep it all static - advanced on themselves by themselves? To wahat suicidal end? To fill the coffers of both parties and all greedy individuals endlessly.

You can't effectuate universal health care or any 'green' new deal until you have reigned in all the forms of industrial-consumerism that cost so much, both in money and environmental consequences. Put everyone on a bike or bus instead of having private motor-vehicles and that could be a start to getting doctors and other health care supply personnel to work at rates as low as they do in places where welfare-state benefits don't cause economic meltdown.
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 07:49 am
“How stupid do you have to be?”

I guess as stupid as me...and the other 90% of American citizens who aren’t as far left as you are.

We are all that stupid.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 11:47 am

When I watch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez operate with such aplomb and skill and obvious erudition, she reminds me of when people like you and me stood around at a cocktail party or a dinner party and inevitably the conversation turned to, Why are the Democrats where they are? Why don’t they take the fights to the enemy? Why don’t they pivot off troll-y comments from the Republicans, instead of playing the game on their terms? Why aren’t they offering clear, bold, long-term, super-jumbo policy solutions that people can remember instead of triangulating everything the Republicans suggest?

And, suddenly, someone emerges who seems to be listening to all this, who is probably part of those conversations. And, suddenly, she has the power to actually act in a way that the Party hasn’t—a party that, almost forty years later, is still traumatized by the success of Ronald Reagan. It’s a profoundly generational phenomenon, and, clearly, it’s scary.

I think if someone were just listening to what you were saying about the institutional Democratic Party, they would not think that party just won a gigantic midterm sweep in a really, really good economy.

Right, they did it.

So is, or was, the status quo of the Democratic Party actually that unhealthy?

I think psychologically there’s a lot of, shall we say, neurosis. Again, going back to this trauma of the Reagan victory, the Gingrich victory, the Bush victories—it’s people who built their political identities around a neurotic response to trauma. It’s, We gotta build a protective shell around ourselves because, if we show our egos, our egos will be destroyed, to put it in psychoanalytic terms.

What the Government Shutdown Means for Americans

To have this young person who hasn’t experienced this trauma . . . and one of the things that’s fascinating about this—I’ll call it an often-used word—authenticity that she has is that you see her, in very interesting ways, going back to modes of rhetoric and modes of political communication that you associate with lots of pre-Reagan figures. Although I’ll also say figures like Reagan. It’s like Harry Truman.

What are examples of that?

I don’t know if she sits around and reads political history or looks at old political videos. But I see, on the “60 Minutes” interview, Anderson Cooper throws a question to her that for just about any traditional, old-generation Democrat is a stumper—Oh, the other side says you’re radical. And she had this ready-made answer in the hopper, which was to deploy these very powerful symbols from the American civic religion, and I’m going to quote: “Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like social security. . . . If that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”

Now, immediately, when I heard her say that, I heard a very famous quote from J.F.K., who was asked if he was a liberal in the same kind of accusatory tone, and he said, “If by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people—their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties—someone who believes that we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a liberal, then I’m proud to say that I’m a liberal.”

I see her Reagan-like brilliance when she comes up with a phrase, like I heard her do in an interview on the shutdown, which she immediately took to a much higher level. She said the people at the border trying to get in “are acting more American than any person who seeks to keep them out will ever be.” I mean, she mentions that the kids who died in custody—she mentioned that it was Christmastime, which was just so Reagan, to use this resonant emotional symbol. She mentions people coming to the country just with the shirt on their back. She says that the people trying to keep them out are “anti-American.” This is the American civil religion. This is playing the game in a way that a pre-traumatized generation of Democrats was able to play the game.

I think people see her as in touch with this new generation but, in a way, it seems like you’re saying that she recalls a New Deal or New Frontier Democrat.

Well, there’s a real back-to-the-future thing going on here, right? In a lot of ways, the Democratic Party is a complicated, complex coalition, and always has been, with lots of elements, both reactionary and progressive, in it. But, in a lot of ways, she’s returning the Democratic Party to the roots—this idea that the Democratic Party is always going to be fighting for you.

O.K., but you didn’t really answer my question earlier about whether the Democratic Party is unhealthy. This party just won a huge national victory, I think it’s won six of the past seven popular votes for the Presidency, et cetera.

Right, so what do you do with that political capital? That’s the trauma—they don’t even see political capital. They still see the Democrats in a situation of political deficit.

So liberalism and the Democratic Party have always been O.K., but, because they’re so traumatized, and because of the rise of the right, they haven’t been willing to rhetorically, and in terms of actual policies, push forward enough and get enough done?

Well, look at the Democrats at a time like 2004. George Bush has started this disastrous war, he’s beginning to approach going underwater in his popularity, and yet he wins reëlection. His campaign strategy was to try to get voters saying, “Well, I don’t really agree with what he is saying, but he really seems to believe in what he is saying.” And he ran against a candidate, John Kerry, God bless him, who literally formed his political identity as this brave, truth-telling veteran who talked about the immorality of the Vietnam War. And Kerry ran an entire Presidential campaign in which he did not say one word about the thing that had defined him. And then ran a party convention in which no one was allowed to criticize George Bush by name. So of course they voted for the authentic candidate.

You said that A.O.C. was very erudite. She’s obviously very smart. I saw her give an answer on why she thinks Trump is a racist that was just beautifully phrased and not at all euphemistic. [It was] extremely impressive. And then other times she talks about things she doesn’t really seem knowledgeable about, like the Pentagon budget, and her inexperience is clear. What’s your sense of her?

I just don’t think that’s very interesting. Yes, she occasionally makes empirical errors. She is twenty-nine years old. She’s going to be delving into budget minutiae, and she’ll pick up a lot of stuff, as one makes mistakes. But great politicians know how to pivot off of mistakes. So when she went on “60 Minutes” and was challenged about that mistake, she owned it. And she said, Oh, and, by the way, the important underlying issue is the morality. There was no politician who was more robust in empirical errors than Ronald Reagan. I’m not going to defend that. She’s much better than that. She’s much better at learning from her empirical mistakes. But she’s also skilled at using the attention the mistakes give her to change the subject to things that she wants to talk about, which is, like, amazing.

She said, “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” I think we should agree, especially at a time like now, that being factually correct, when you are a politician, is important. I know she later went on Twitter and said that she appreciates the work of fact checkers, and so on, which is good. I’m glad she did that. But that was not the totally ideal way of saying this.

I guess, in a sense, the question is what she says next time. Does she learn from her mistakes? And I haven’t seen the evidence that she hasn’t.

I was going to ask you about the rise of the right post-Goldwater and the rise of the left now, and whether you see similarities, but you excitedly e-mailed me before this conversation that I had to ask you about a comparison between A.O.C. and Newt Gingrich in 1979.

Ultimately, Newt Gingrich was about wrecking and destroying and not building, so obviously there’s profound foundational differences. In 1978, when Gingrich won his congressional seat after his third time trying, Congressman Thomas Mann had this off-the-record briefing session in which they explained to new members how the House worked. Mann tells this story that this young congressman was basically talking back to them and lecturing them about how Congress should work. And he explained to them this plan he had, all the way back in January of 1979, of how the Republicans could become the majority party and take back the House. And no one was saying that in 1979. People were talking about this statistic that only twenty-one per cent of people identified themselves as Republicans. And, all the way through 1979, you see Newt Gingrich showing up in stories as a spokesman for the Republican Party, as the voice that people in the media are seeking out.

And, to go back to another Republican example, in 1966, when Richard Nixon was starting his comeback that obviously culminated in him winning the Presidency, in 1968, his entire strategy, Pat Buchanan explains, was built around getting mentioned in the same sentence as Lyndon Johnson. Getting Lyndon Johnson to notice him, to mention him, to criticize him. So, in the same sense, Newt Gingrich is suddenly finding himself being quoted more in the newspaper than Bob Michel, the House Republican leader, because he has sort of the audacity to talk about his party as agenda-setting.

The giant difference—and this goes back to what we were talking about before—is that A.O.C. is coming in with a Democratic wave.

Right, and that gets back to the trauma, right? The Democratic Party doesn’t even know how to take yes for an answer. They can’t even accept the idea that they are a majority party. There’s this great line, “He who seems most kingly is the king.” Unless you act like a leader, people aren’t going to treat you like a leader.

Take Tlaib using a swear word. Truman got in trouble for saying “If you vote for Nixon, you ought to go to hell.” And that was a brassy sort of rhetoric people had come to expect from Democrats. Not this pearl-clutching response that, every time someone uses strong language, they have to apologize for it.

I think you’ve heard a version of the argument, made by centrist Democrats like Claire McCaskill, that Democrats may be a majority party, they may get fifty-one per cent of the vote, but, if they want to do things like ever win back the Senate, our political system is what it is, and red states and rural areas have outsized advantages. So, if they want to hold power, there are certain compromises that the Democrats have to make, because of our system, that Republicans do not.

You sound like one of these super-analytic Democrats—you’re immediately negotiating with yourself, you’re immediately apologizing. I think having a position A.O.C. has, that the top marginal tax rate should be increased for people making millions of dollars—it’s not something that needs to be apologized for.

The left has been correctly pointing out for many, many years how messed up the system is. And so, if that’s the case, there may be consequences to that.

Well, the system was messed up in 1932 and 1936, and F.D.R. managed to find a way.

Segregationists were voting for F.D.R. It’s a different world we’re living in now.


Well, I just don’t think that’s a fair analogy.

Uh-huh. Well, I think that there are always structural constraints, right? There’re always ways that any system is unfair. And our system is unfair. But, as an opening bid for breaking through these logjams, I think that a bid of strategic boldness is a tonic for a party.

Anyway, my concern if you’re a Democrat and you need to win in red states, which, by definition, you do, would be much more around cultural issues than it would be around things like the top marginal tax rate.

Well, yeah, and that’s where A.O.C.’s ability to teach other Democrats who aren’t going to be Puerto Ricans from the Bronx—they might be ranchers from Montana—to speak in terms of the American civil religion is so brilliant. To talk about people who oppose immigration as betraying Reaganism, right? Or the American way? The way she uses a phrase like “No one should feel unsafe in the United States of America”—but she’s not talking about locking people up for third strikes. She’s talking about violence against minorities in the United States.

Isaac Chotiner is a staff writer at The New Yorker.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 11:56 am
Personally I am like who cares either way about this weird obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? She seems to be good intentioned and should be given the benefit of the doubt. Beyond that, there are more important things to worry about. Like our crazy Commander-in-Chief for starters.
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 01:53 pm
Fed Warns Of REAL National Crisis
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cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 02:24 pm
The man-child who happens to be the president is not suited to be the manager of anything. He has no skills in management. He’s an idiot.
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 02:31 pm
@cicerone imposter,
He’s an idiot.

Time, once more, to bow to the expert.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 03:10 pm
I haven't seen anything to corroborate this, but it is the sort of thing that makes liberals feel she is not one of us.

Nurse Ratched


I’ve heard Warren has hired Hillary’s communication team. Which is really dumb of her.
Aren’t they the ones same ones who came up with the famous “describe college debt in three emojis” fail?

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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 03:22 pm


*people start getting excited about Democrats*
Democrats: There’s got to be some way to stop this.
cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 03:29 pm
Thanks for my laugh for today.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 03:36 pm

As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party’s Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties, but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington’s reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country’s most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump’s decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump’s Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

That’s not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that “the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm’s way” far more than they agree with the pro-war view that “the U.S. needs to keep troops in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and maintain our foreign policy interests in the region.”

But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent.

A similar gap is seen among those who voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections (28 percent support withdrawal while 54 percent oppose it), as opposed to the widespread support for withdrawal among 2018 GOP voters: 74 percent to 18 percent.

Identical trends can be seen on the question of Trump’s announced intention to withdraw half of the U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where Democrats are far more supportive of keeping troops there than Republicans and independents.

This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan:

With Trump rather than Obama now advocating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all of this has changed. The new polling data shows far more support for troop withdrawal among Republicans and independents, while Democrats are now split or even opposed. Among 2016 Trump voters, there is massive support for withdrawal: 81 percent to 11 percent; Clinton voters, however, oppose the removal of troops from Afghanistan by a margin of 37 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

This latest poll is far from aberrational. As the Huffington Post’s Ariel Edwards-Levy documented early this week, separate polling shows a similar reversal by Democrats on questions of war and militarism in the Trump era.

While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining. “Those who voted for Democrat Clinton now said by a 42-point margin that the U.S. had a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria involving ISIS,” Edwards-Levy wrote, “while Trump voters said by a 16-point margin that the nation had no such responsibility.” (Similar trends can be seen among GOP voters, whose support for intervention in Syria has steadily declined as Trump has moved away from his posture of the last two years — escalating bombings in both Syria and Iraq and killing far more civilians, as he repeatedly vowed to do during the campaign — to his return to his other campaign pledge to remove troops from the region.)
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:13 pm
War is good. It is how we protect ourselves from those who would kill or enslave us.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:14 pm
Lash wrote:
"How many people need to die, how many people need to get unnecessarily sicker before Congress is prepared to take on the greed of the prescription drug industry?" Sanders asked on Twitter.
How many people will die when no one is spending money to research new medicines anymore?
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:15 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
My feeling is that we have to push as hard as we can, just to get back to the New Deal gains we once had so that they can be built upon to make the system work for everybody - but modified to fit the needs of right now, such as a form of universal health care. How stupid do you have to be if you don't know the immediate adoption of Paygo is a way to thwart Democrats, a way to keep it all static - advanced on themselves by themselves? To wahat suicidal end? To fill the coffers of both parties and all greedy individuals endlessly.
Supermassive government debt would drive interest rates through the roof. No one would be able to get a mortgage for a house or car anymore, or be able to buy things with credit cards.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:19 pm
livinglava wrote:
You can't effectuate universal health care or any 'green' new deal until you have reigned in all the forms of industrial-consumerism that cost so much, both in money and environmental consequences. Put everyone on a bike or bus instead of having private motor-vehicles and that could be a start to getting doctors and other health care supply personnel to work at rates as low as they do in places where welfare-state benefits don't cause economic meltdown.
We are not going to stop using private motor vehicles. Better to develop private transportation that is environmentally friendly.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:20 pm
revelette1 wrote:
Personally I am like who cares either way about this weird obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
There is no obsession with her. The supposed obsession with her is her own publicity stunt.
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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2019 06:37 pm
GoFundMe Is Refunding All $20 Million In Donations To Build Trump's Wall After The Plans Changed
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