12
   

Moderate Democrats (also liberals)

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 01:38 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
I think I like Far-left, Left of Center, Centrist, Right of Center, Far-Right the most, but I'm not going to get pissed if someone uses other descriptions, especially when describing themselves. We all have a right to identify with whatever group we choose.

Sure thing, but I have the right to not be particularly impressed by people who posture as ‘moderate’ or ‘progressive’. They can chose the banner or battle cry they want of course. I’m not obliged to find it appealing.

My take is that the Dems should play this primaries ‘nice’: they should try and build a common platform, a synthesis of their right and left wings, as a way to clarify what they propose and stand for. As a way to win. It’s hard to do that when your own labels such as ‘progressive’ and ‘moderate’ are weapons against fellow Dem rather than descriptors of clear ideological groups.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 01:47 am
@Sturgis,
Sometimes a Gordian knot needs a cutting, though. There are problems who can’t be solve incrementally.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 07:13 am
I don't think the Democrats main problem is policy.

Democrats are seen by middle Americans as elitist and self-righteous. And there is good reason for this. When progressives lecture people in coal country about white privilege people there look at their working class lives and don't feel privileged. The message feels like a slap in the face.

People can get behind policy goals, police accountability is politically feasible. These broad political narratives that slap broad labels on people are divisive... They turn on one group by slapping down another.

There are polls showing broad support for many progressive policy goals, the problem isn't the policy...
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 09:52 am
@maxdancona,
Speaking as one who lives in southwestern KY I can tell you most of those white males should look around if they are feeling sorry for themselves. African Americans have it worse and other minorities do too and so do white and minority women. (again minority women more so) Thank goodness there have been laws and improvements but there is long way to go and those improvements wouldn't have come without identity politics.
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 09:57 am
@Olivier5,
When the choice is incrementally or nothing at all, incrementally is better no matter the problem. In fact that is how most of our progress has come to pass. Good and lasting things usually take time and a lot of hard work.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 08:35 pm
@revelette1,
revelette1 wrote:

Speaking as one who lives in southwestern KY I can tell you most of those white males should look around if they are feeling sorry for themselves. African Americans have it worse and other minorities do too and so do white and minority women. (again minority women more so) Thank goodness there have been laws and improvements but there is long way to go and those improvements wouldn't have come without identity politics.


1. In a democracy, the side that wins is the side that can convince voters to support them. If you are insulting voters, you are losing votes. Insulting voters can be a successful strategy if you are winning the votes of a big block of voters by pitting them against a smaller block of voters. Democrats aren't in a position to play this divisive game.

2. The Civil Rights Act and the other successes did not come from attacking White voters. It came by appealing to the good in Americans. It was a call for inclusion, to unify the country to all be the best we can be. The message was that Americans were generous and kind and stood for justice and that is why we needed Civil rights.

The movement for Civil Rights was not cruel, divisive and insulting form of identity politics practiced by today's liberals.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 10:12 pm
The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, neither of which Kennedy had been able to pass, were completed, submitted to Congress, passed in both houses and signed by the president--Lyndon Johnson. Those two acts were passed not simply because members of Congress from states outside the old South outnumbered those congressional delegations, but because Lyndon Johnson--a classic southern conservative Democrat--knew where the bodies were buried, and he twisted the appropriate arms to assure that southern Democrats did not make any moves to block the legislation.

Fairy tales of the character and virtue of the electorate in liberal democracies make happy stories--but that's all they are, stories. Practical politics is ugly, seamy and distasteful, and people here deride politicians and the process every day. Practical politics is how bills such as the Civil Rights Act get passed.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 01:40 am
@revelette1,
I often wonder: if a tiger was after you, would you incrementalists keep moving by baby steps, or would you consider running at top speed like the rest of us? :-)
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 03:54 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

I often wonder: if a tiger was after you, would you incrementalists keep moving by baby steps, or would you consider running at top speed like the rest of us? :-)


Hm, interesting analogy.

I think it’s more like, as an incrementist I’d incrementally take one step at a time at top speed with a larger goal of getting away. I wouldn’t just stand there until I figured out how to magically teleport my entire body to my destination, complaining that no one else is helping invent the teleporter, while also letting the tiger eat away at my legs in the mean time.
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 05:00 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
I’d incrementally take one step at a time at top speed with a larger goal of getting away

Nice retort, but it doesn't really cut it. When you run, your steps are not "incremental". They are not carefully calculated to minimize risks, they are not experimented at a small scale before upscaling or anything like that. They are just pure actions, with very little thinking, and sometimes that's how one (or a nation) must act to survive.

Incrementalism is not a magic bullet. It should always be a means to an end, and one among others, not an end in itself. Otherwise it becomes self-defeating. Soon enough, some people try to further increment the incrementalism of the other incrementors, and then, they all go from one fine step, to another finer step, to a minute step, to a next-to-nothing step... and everything comes to a grinding stop.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 05:12 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Soon enough, some people try to further increment the incrementalism of the other incrementors, and then, they all go from one fine step, to another finer step, to a minute step, to a next-to-nothing step... and everything comes to a grinding stop.

Zeno's paradox, eh? I don't think convergent series and divergent series apply to legislation. Infinite modification of existing statutes is impractical.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 07:33 am
@Olivier5,
You’re changing the definition of incremental.

Incremental is simply a measurement/process of smaller changes in an often positive (sometimes used to describe negative) direction. It is inherently a step by step process. It doesn’t require that the change is excessively planned or that the changes do not happen quickly. It simply means they happen in a sequence.

You can’t run a mile without taking incremental steps.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 07:43 am
@maporsche,
Why are you all arguing about incrementalism. What exactly does "incrementalism" have to do with our current political climate? Give me an issue where anyone is suggesting incrementalism?

I don't think the term is relevant in 2019.
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:14 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Give me an issue where anyone is suggesting incrementalism?

Do we fix individual issues in the ACA to make it work as intended? Or do we make one big concerted push for a "Medicare for All" program?

Do we make a deal on DACA or do we insist on a comprehensive package which deals with immigration, border security, illegal immigrants, and social conditions in Central America?

"Incrementalism" is not being used as a political stance here — it's a description of a process where programs are improved over time through small changes.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:18 am
@hightor,
Ok good.

Who is suggesting we "fix individual issues in the ACA"? I don't hear anyone saying that.

Nor do I think that the argument over "DACA" is incrementalism. One side wants to deport them, the other side wants to give them a path to citizenship. There is no one arguing for the middle... the pro-DACA side might seem to be arguing for the middle path, but everyone knows that they really are demanding a pathway to citizenship (which is why the right is refusing it so emphatically).

maporsche
 
  3  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:25 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:
Quote:
Give me an issue where anyone is suggesting incrementalism?

Do we fix individual issues in the ACA to make it work as intended? Or do we make one big concerted push for a "Medicare for All" program?


And even a step further...do we get discouraged enough as a left of center voting block that we allow republicans to retain/keep control and have no improvements at all.

Some think that if there is any compromise on the promise of medicare for all -- even arguably great ideas like expanding medicare to ages 55 and older, or allowing a medicare public option buy in -- is selling out and to voice their disgust they will not vote for those politicians who "water down" the bill to smaller (yet still positive) changes. They won't vote for these people (and they may just call them republicans).

This is equivalent, in my response to Olivier's analogy, to standing there and letting the tiger eat your legs out from under you while you wait for the teleporter instead of incremental steps and getting away.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:33 am
@hightor,
Quote:
Zeno's paradox, eh?

Exactly, applied to politics. Immobilism is where too much incrementalism leads to.

Then people despair of the capacity of politicians to change anything, and you get thread titles like: "Guns: how much longer will it take?"

"Think small and painstakingly slow!" sounds to me like a very unappealing political slogan.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  5  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:35 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Who is suggesting we "fix individual issues in the ACA"?

Don't you remember Democrats promising to shore up the part of the law that covers "pre-existing conditions" when it was threatened?

The argument over DACA isn't "incrementalism". But DACA represents an increment in the effort to solve the problems caused by illegal immigration along the southern border. It's not a comprehensive plan to solve every problem at once.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:36 am
@maporsche,
You're the one muddling the concept. By your definition, you can't make a revolution without making a series of small incremental steps, so a revolutionary is an incrementalist...
0 Replies
 
revelette1
 
  4  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:40 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
I often wonder: if a tiger was after you, would you incrementalists keep moving by baby steps, or would you consider running at top speed like the rest of us? :-)


I wonder if say in that situation, someone was holding you hostage in that situation and said, either you give up something or you get eaten by the tiger.

Would today's progressive just let themselves be eaten by the tiger rather than give in and live to see and fight another day? Or would they insist on having it all their way and then wind up being eaten by the tiger.

Right now, that may change and I hope it does, we do not enjoy a complete majority in government to do as we please. (We had a supermajority for a small window of time and managed to pass (not just talk about)Obamacare such as it was.) We have a majority in the house, we have enough in the senate to be able to maybe pick some republicans off and we have a stubborn idiot president. That is the reality we have to deal with. Before that, we had a democratic President with a very stubborn congress with actual stated and organized intentions of saying no to every single proposal Obama came up with. In such a situation, you have deal with your surroundings along with your goals. Moreover, some of those not even all democrats agree with nor are honor bound to or else find another party. Right now there are still more regular democrats than there are today's new progressives as well as democrat voters.

For instance in the Medicare or Health Care for all, when the polls get more specific there is more support for fixing the existing Obamacare and working towards UHC than scrapping and starting from scratch to speak.
 

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