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June 16, 2017

Comments

lots of mumble mumble at the point of 'under god', but I digress

If they don't mind being a bit conservative, they could just go back to the early 1950s' version, and leave out that new-fangled "under god" addition.

If they don't mind being a bit conservative, they could just go back to the early 1950s' version, and leave out that new-fangled "under god" addition.

Typical conservative...always trying to go back into the past. :)

GFNC - the first thing we do at our local Democratic Party LD meeting each month is recite the pledge of allegiance (lots of mumble mumble at the point of 'under god', but I digress). The meetings are infused with an overwhelming passion for public participation and civic virtue. I'd wager dollars to donuts that GOP LD meetings are similar in this respect.

Lille is just dead wrong, and basically puts all the burden on "liberals". It is a standard concern troll dodge.

bobbyp, I don't doubt you're right in this first paragraph. But his point is that kids need to be taught about this, and taught it well, which I assume they are not being, given the stats quoted upthread about how few respondents know anything about e.g. the stages of the legislative process. Clearly, this is not only the responsibility of liberals, and clearly cleek is right somewhere upthread where he demonstrates that Dems are being cheated of electoral victory under the current EC and gerrymandered system. But nothing can be changed without electoral success, and one way to start to build a greater chance of electoral success, even with the cards stacked against you, is to start talking about the things that need changing, and to engage a majority (an even greater majority) of the public in the conversation. It certainly doesn't look at the moment as if the Rs want a better informed, engaged public (for example of people who are going to lose their health coverage, or die because of environmental pollution), but the Dems do, and I don't think it's wrong that they (and liberals in general) should look at how they might change their offering, without compromising their principles too much, in order to achieve it.

Hey, it's your guys who are having a problem with the phrase.... ;-)

Schools try to teach algebra. They could also try to teach civics.

For many (most?) students, algebra is something to forget as soon as the final exam is over, because they neither have to practice it nor discuss it in real life around the water cooler or at family gatherings or in the local pub. Same would go for civics, I fear.

In a culture where talking about politics is considered impolite, or disruptive, or confrontational, or something, civics stands no better chance than algebra does of sticking to the ribs of the populace. It's for nerds, not for kool kidz.

We should try to teach the next generation how governance works, of course. I'm just saying that for the teaching to do any good, we need to get over our reticence about "talking politics" in polite company.

--TP

My brain managed to remain unwashed of algebra.

one way to start to build a greater chance of electoral success, even with the cards stacked against you, is to start talking about the things that need changing, and to engage a majority (an even greater majority) of the public in the conversation.

That doesn't seem to be working so well, even here in the ObWi microcosm. By the way, the cards that are stacked against the liberal majority of the population are becoming more abundant, and more antidemocratic (in other words, a majority of the population voted for Hillary Clinton, but she still lost, for reasons that have nothing to do with persuasion). That doesn't bode well, although I'm still throwing money down the drain of Democratic electoral candidates' fundraising campaigns, and I plan to begin canvassing in VA for the Dems in the 2017 gubernatorial race very soon.

It's really not about "changing their offering".

In a culture where talking about politics is considered impolite, or disruptive, or confrontational, or something

That's because it very often is. It's still important to do.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Screenshot_4.png

https://thinkprogress.org/extremists-got-to-decide-medicaid-policy-adb158393d21

The AHCA does not cover pre-existing gunshot wounds.

Get yours in now.

in other words, a majority of the population voted for Hillary Clinton, but she still lost, for reasons that have nothing to do with persuasion

I believe this is covered by cleek's analysis upthread, to which I refer. But when you say:

It's really not about "changing their offering"

you worry me. If it wasn't your offering, it was your candidate. Which do you think it was? Or was it both, or neither?

And if neither, what will change the result next time?

say... why haven't ObWi's resident Republicans been cheer-leading the ACHA ?

AHCA / ACHA, same ball of boogers.

They have no standing, that's why:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-i-dont-want-a-poor-person-in-charge-economy

the pigfucking republican vermin had better take poor peoples' guns too if that's how they want to arrange things.

http://juanitajean.com/russians-in-dallas-county/

The strategy is to not talk about it.

If it wasn't your offering, it was your candidate.

I'm not sure there was only one thing, but discounting the effect of Russian propaganda, irresponsible journalism, the FBI director's unfortunate public comments, and targeted and effective voter suppression, and blaming it all on Clinton's having said the wrong word once, or ineffective discussion of policy, is just missing the picture.

Our "offering" and our "candidate" were discussed endlessly right here. One of the reasons I focus on people who comment here is that we don't have to assume that people here are ill-informed, or that they haven't had the opportunity to be persuaded. You saw what people thought, and they told you why they thought it. It was a combination of cleek's law for Republicans, and purist leftists for whom Clinton wasn't good enough. Putin's trolls mostly appealed to the latter. Certainly, one could also throw in a bit of misogyny and Clinton derangement syndrome. So, yeah, Clinton won't run next time, but the same folks didn't like Gore or Kerry, and we'll face many of the same obsticles. Obama was particularly charismatic, and ran at a time that the economy had just tanked.

No, I'm not optimistic. Even if a majority of the people support Democratic party policies, we still have to face voter suppression, Russian hacking, and the fact that incumbent Republicans are authoritarian monsters who will stop at nothing to retain power.

But his point is that kids need to be taught about this, and taught it well,

Well, OK. That's fine as far as it goes.

which I assume they are not being

Big assumption.

...given the stats quoted upthread about how few respondents know anything about e.g. the stages of the legislative process.

If so, this is not surprising. I doubt if the extent of this civic knowledge has varied significantly over time.

Clearly, this is not only the responsibility of liberals

Yes. Clearly. But not according to prof. Lille it would seem.

But nothing can be changed without electoral success

Indeed. That is stating the obvious.

and one way to start to build a greater chance of electoral success...is to start talking about the things that need changing...

This is called policy and policy support. This is politics. This is what political parties do. This is basically a tautology.

and to engage a majority (an even greater majority) of the public in the conversation.

The implication here is that somehow the Democrats are not "engaging" the "majority". As cleek and Sapient both point out, Democrats typically succeed at persuading "the majority" (i.e., the greatest number of votes actually cast). This is true not only for presidential contests, but for Congressional contests as well.

Lille is essentially arguing that to get "more" votes, the Democrats need to change their message and essentially tell important parts of their political coalition to just shut up.

As things stand currently, this will not happen.

It certainly doesn't look at the moment as if the Rs want a better informed, engaged public (for example of people who are going to lose their health coverage, or die because of environmental pollution)

Yep.

but the Dems do, and I don't think it's wrong that they (and liberals in general) should look at how they might change their offering, without compromising their principles too much, in order to achieve it.

On this point we continue to disagree. Asking people to compromise their principles "just a little bit" is not an effective political message.

All the best.

why haven't ObWi's resident Republicans been cheer-leading the ACHA ?

Perhaps because we can recognize a pile of garbage when we see it. Perhaps because we actually believe in things like open debate when considering major changes in public policy, not having just a handful of guys writing something in total secrecy. Or perhaps all of the above.

No question Obamacare needs some tweaks. But what is proposed (at least what we've been permitted to see) is simply passing "something" for the sake of passing something.

For GFNC...perhaps prof lille should be directing his fire elsewhere.

For wj...no, it is not just to "pass something". They don't just want to pass a kidney stone. They are sacrificing our tattered public healthcare safety net, such as it is, on the altar of tax cuts for the rich.

Perhaps because we can recognize a pile of garbage when we see it.

have any of you made any noise to your Reps about this?

This is called policy and policy support. This is politics. This is what political parties do.

Say, rather, that this is what political parties are supposed to do. At the moment, there's rather more personal demonization and obscuration than policy** on display. Maybe because that's what sells, but it still crowds policy out of the public debate.

** This excludes, necessarily, "policies" which are all platitudes and mutually conflicting proposals. Again, a magic wand may be what sells, but that doesn't make it a policy.

Open Tread?
109 today in Sacramento
California ISO reports that 50% of the state's nuclear capacity is unavailable, 11% of the state's natural gas plants are out of service and 0.3% of the state's solar fleet are not producing power.

They don't just want to pass a kidney stone. They are sacrificing our tattered public healthcare safety net, such as it is, on the altar of tax cuts for the rich.

I disagree. They feel compelled, after years of posturing to pass something, anything, which can be spun as "repealing Obamacare". If they can tack on a big tax cut, that's certainly a plus. But most of them would sacrifice the tax cut in a heartbeat, if that was the price of passing something.

Actually, it would probably be easier to pass their big tax cut without all the negatives of health care muddying the waters. Too many Republican Senators have too many constituents who will get burned by the AHCA to make the current path the optimum one.

Today's politics: the equivalent of 1950's era television in Japan.

  • Noh plays
  • Sumo wrestling
  • I Love Lucy with subtitles

have any of you made any noise to your Reps about this?

Yup. Although since they're all Democrats, it was probably unnecessary.

Indeed. That is stating the obvious

Yes, one would think so.

and one way to start to build a greater chance of electoral success...is to start talking about the things that need changing...

This is called policy and policy support. This is politics. This is what political parties do. This is basically a tautology.

Again, one would think so. And yet, an even greater majority of voters, particularly of certain groups, did not think this was being done for their concerns.

and to engage a majority (an even greater majority) of the public in the conversation.

The implication here is that somehow the Democrats are not "engaging" the "majority". As cleek and Sapient both point out, Democrats typically succeed at persuading "the majority" (i.e., the greatest number of votes actually cast)

This is why I took care to specify "an even greater majority".

I believe that the Rs in Georgia 06, for example, are what is called "reluctant Trumpers", and as a demographic are on the more highly-educated side. The Dems did not find a way to convert them, despite the outrages committed daily by Trump, his merry men, what comes out about the Russians etc etc etc. without end. Something has got to give. If you can't convert some people who voted R last time, what will change, your majority notwithstanding? I do not think it should be beyond the wit of man (or woman) to come up with an offering that convinces more weak-Rs, while still remaining true to your core principles. And furthermore, on your principles objection, nothing is to stop Dems doing the right thing by all the groups they traditionally represent, after they win an election in which they have directed their rhetoric differently, but not dishonestly.

We need a post-identity liberalism

I think what Lilla is looking for is a post-identity society. That's unlikely to emerge, and I don't think it's the job of the (D)'s to single-handedly lead the charge.

The (D)'s have been losing the white middle class since Nixon. Silent Majority, Reagan Republicans, Bush Democrats. IMO all of that always seems to come back to "the (D)'s are giving our stuff to those people". Or at least, "the (D)'s are giving stuff to those people and not to us".

In the real world outside the orbit of Fox News, liberal policies do a shitload for the white working class. Look at the positions of Sanders, or Warren. Look at the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget proposals. Look at who makes up the bulk of folks receiving food stamps, or Medicaid, or housing assistance, or job training. Look at the actual performance of the manufacturing sector under Obama.

If cutting off their support for minorities and/or other marginalized demographics is the price for winning back the white middle class vote, I'm not sure it's worth the candle.

Trump won, Hillary lost. Better luck next time. Liberals should focus on building a 50-state local political base, reversing the gerrymandering of the House districts, and taking back the House.

I'm fine if liberals want to polish up their pitch to white working people. I completely agree that Clinton neglected her ground game in the midwest industrial states. Those are tactical points, not strategic or substantive ones.

I don't see winning back the white working class by kicking everybody else back to the curb as a good play. FDR could make it work, but we're a different country now. Thankfully.

109 today in Sacramento.

Nearly that down in the East Bay. Glad I'm in Istanbul on business; it's at least 20 degrees cooler than at home.

Yup. Although since they're all Democrats, it was probably unnecessary.

i know the feeling.

except mine are all Republicans.

109 today in Sacramento.

Here, in the Dallas area, I've only used my A/C for a few minutes one day so far this year. But that's me. I don't temperatures up to about 92 degrees as long as I have a fan.

"reluctant Trumpers", and as a demographic are on the more highly-educated side.

Like McKinney and Marty? Again, I know people don't like to actually hold people here to their views, but what could Ossoff have done to win their vote? Be anti-choice, anti-ACA, and what else?

And furthermore, on your principles objection, nothing is to stop Dems doing the right thing by all the groups they traditionally represent, after they win an election in which they have directed their rhetoric differently, but not dishonestly.

But Hillary, in the '90's, used the word "predator". Do you really think that sending dog whistles to the demographic you're talking about isn't going to fatally piss off Democrats?

In the real world outside the orbit of Fox News, liberal policies do a shitload for the white working class. Look at the positions of Sanders, or Warren. Look at the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget proposals. Look at who makes up the bulk of folks receiving food stamps, or Medicaid, or housing assistance, or job training. Look at the actual performance of the manufacturing sector under Obama.

What it comes down to is, the Democrats do a lousy job of getting that point across. It's fine to blame Fox News. But what do you do, if that's really the problem?

Any of you folks on the left considered starting your own network? One that rings the culture wars bells (since that seems to be what brings in the viewers), but also makes the case for government programs which benefit those you are trying to reach? It seems, from the outside, like it ought to be possible to do. Most Democrats might be conflicted by the idea, but that doesn't mean it would be a bad idea from an electoral point of view. Might even make some money, and pull some from Murdoch -- which has to be a plus in and of itself.

Any of you folks on the left considered starting your own network?

there have been several attempts. liberals just don't want the bubble the way conservatives do.

Lilla should like this guy.

Any of you folks on the left considered starting your own network?

Some folks would say that NPR is already that. I'd disagree actually, NPR is kind of the David Brooks network - Nice Polite Republicans.

My opinion.

A more likely candidate would be the topical comedy shows - Saturday Night Live, the Daily Show, Colbert.

In any case, as a self-described lefty, I'm not really interested in watching people who claim to agree with me yell all day long. If I'm at all typical, the market is just not there, and that's probably why it doesn't exist.

It sorta-kinda actually does exist - Amy Goodman, Thom Hartmann, etc. - but mostly nobody watches it.

QED

And for the record, I'm not blaming Fox News for anything. Nobody makes people watch it, folks watch it because they want to. And that's your problem, right there.

Maybe you can tell me what the (D)'s should say that they aren't already saying, if they want to win over all the folks who just couldn't bring themselves to vote for Hilary. There's a good consulting income in it for you, if you have a good answer. Personally, I'm at a loss.

I think the winning hearts and minds thing is not gonna happen until folks drain the last dregs from their Trump cocktail and decide it's not for them. If they decide it's not for them. I'm pretty damned sure there's nothing anyone like me is going to say or do that is going to change their minds.

Mostly what I do these days is just shut and let folks figure stuff out for themselves. If I try to discuss it with them, it only makes them dig in deeper. So, they'll figure stuff out when they figure it out.

I wish them luck. Not dismissively, but really. They may need it.

The Senate version of the AHCA is likely to pass, because McConnell will find a way to jam it through. People are going to lose their insurance, and they're going to get sick and suffer, and some of them will die.

If that doesn't make the point, there is bugger all I'm gonna say that is going to do it.

You can lead a horse to water, as they say. Making them drink is just not one of my superpowers.

as a self-described lefty, I'm not really interested in watching people who claim to agree with me yell all day long.

You've totally missed the point. You aren't the target market. Nor are the folks watching NPR. The idea is to pull people away from Fox, by giving them what they go there for (culture wars stuff, mostly) combined with some reality on what government programs do for them.

You'd probably hate it, not least for the culture wars stuff. But, as I say, you aren't the target market. It's the folks you are trying to reach with the economic part of your message; and you ignore the cultural part of your message for the sake of reaching them.

Honestly, sapient, I'm endlessly on record as opposing McKinney's and Marty's decision to abstain, and praising, for example, David Frum's decision to do the opposite. You know perfectly well I think Trump is a disaster, and Hillary would have been infinitely better for everyone, except possibly billionaires (athough maybe for them too - they live in the environment as well). Clearly, I think McKinney and Marty were badly wrong, and the chickens are still endlessly coming home to roost. What more do you want? Signs hung round their necks like in the Cultural Revolution?

The piece in the Atlantic on Ossoff's loss ends:

Just as Handel aspired to be as generic a Republican as possible, Ossoff hoped to be, as much as possible, a blank slate, a nice young man in whom disgruntled voters of all stripes could see the alternative they wanted. His campaign slogan proclaimed him “Humble. Kind. Ready to Fight”—a positionless vessel of 2017’s cross-cutting political angst. It was a decision many would second-guess after the results were in. For this district, at least, Ossoff believed it was the only way he could possibly win.

And maybe he was even right. All I am saying is that, just possibly, the Dems can find better strategies than the ones they have been using lately.

What more do you want? Signs hung round their necks like in the Cultural Revolution?

This is a bit unfair.

I am asking you, if Marty and McKinney represent "reluctant Trumpists" (in fact, they deny being for Trump at all), but wouldn't have voted for Hillary, how you would persuade them. Because it's exactly people like them who we are talking about here.

No sapient, they do not represent reluctant Trumpists. They did not vote for Trump, and said they could not vote for HRC because of various things they held against her, which grounds as you know I thought monumentally misguided. I can't remember what they said about another putative Dem candidate, but my impression, perhaps wrong, was that another Dem candidate (e.g.Kerry?) might have been more acceptable. But they both identify as Republicans, or conservatives, whereas the people the Dems should be trying to reach presumably do not always so identify.

The idea is to pull people away from Fox, by giving them what they go there for

Who knows, maybe it would work.

just possibly, the Dems can find better strategies than the ones they have been using lately.

Were I a (D) strategist, my advice would be for all candidates to be up in everyone's grill, loudly, every single freaking day, about economic stuff.

You are getting screwed. Here is how. Lather rinse and repeat, loudly, a hundred times a day. TV radio social media print media, everywhere.

You don't have to go "beyond identity politics" to do that. You do have to make it clear to folks that their future, and the future of the folks that other people are trying to get them to hate, are bound together. And, that they will only benefit by understanding and embracing that.

That would be my strategy.

The nice guy thing has no legs as a tactic. Don't make it personal, but make it extremely loud. You Are Being Screwed. 24/7, via every available channel.

If Trump, a billionaire crook who craps in a gold-plated toilet, can make that pitch, anybody on the freaking planet can. Everyone knows they're getting screwed, they're just unclear on the causes.

This is Warren's thing, BTW, and Bernie's too. It's not like nobody has figured this out. There's just a lot of money pushing back in the other direction.

I am asking you, if Marty and McKinney represent "reluctant Trumpists" (in fact, they deny being for Trump at all), but wouldn't have voted for Hillary, how you would persuade them. Because it's exactly people like them who we are talking about here.

Perhaps it needs to be more negative. With some people, the best you can expect to convince them to do is stay home and not vote for the other candidate (or anyone at all, really).

Lower the opposition's numbers if you can't manage to raise yours.

some don't think the Dems should bother with reluctant Trumpists.

The lesson of the special elections around the country is clear: Democratic House candidates can dramatically outperform Clinton in deep red rural areas by running ideological, populist campaigns rooted in progressive areas. Poorer working class voters who pulled the lever for Trump can be swayed back to the left in surprisingly large numbers—perhaps not enough to win in places like Kansas, Montana and South Carolina, but certainly in other more welcoming climes. Nor is there a need to subvert Democratic principles of social justice in order to accomplish this: none of the Democrats who overperformed Clinton’s numbers in these districts curried favor with bigots in order to accomplish it.

But candidates like Clinton and Ossoff who try to run inoffensive and anti-ideological campaigns in an attempt to win over supposedly sensible, wealthier, bourgeois suburban David-Brooks-reading Republican Romney voters will find that they lose by surprisingly wide margins. There is no Democrat so seemingly non-partisan that Romney Republicans will be tempted to cross the aisle in enough numbers to make a difference.

But they both identify as Republicans, or conservatives, whereas the people the Dems should be trying to reach presumably do not always so identify.

Handel won by less than 5 percentage points. Tom Price had, just prior, won by 23. Ossoff did really well at persuading people who could be persuaded.

Consider too the role that voter suppression may have played. Just a thought.

Your characterization of McKinney and Marty is confusing, to say the least. They didn't vote for Trump, yet they are less persuadable than people who you think Democrats can reach? The Tom Price district is deeply red. That means that Republicans live there.

What is it that these white, working-class men want that the Democrats aren't offering them? That's easy, they want well-paid jobs. Well, in 2016, the median weekly wage for an adult male high-school graduate, with no college education, was $751, which comes to $39k a year. To earn more than that, your income has to be in the top 0.3% globally.

There's only one way a politician can promise to do better than that, and that's by lying. Trump claims to be able to do it by tearing up trade treaties, imposing tariff barriers, and beating up the EPA. He's lying. Foxconn jobs paying less than $100 a week are not going to be replaced by jobs in the USA paying $800 a week plus healthcare benefits, not until US consumers are willing to pay ten times as much for an iPhone. Coal mining jobs are not coming back unless fracking is banned and automation of mining is banned. None of these things is going to happen. And nor should they - the US would not prosper as an autarky with a ruined environment.

Democrats should not try to win votes by competing with Republicans to tell lies.

Ossoff did well to come as close as he did, and there may indeed have been significant voter suppression. I'm still hoping for significant gains in the midterms, but I am anxious that the Dem leadership may not have its act together, despite the wonderful work being done by Indivisible et al. I like russell's suggestion at 3.05, and if the Dems committed to do that it might be enough, or there may be additional wrinkles that would help. I just hope to God that they come up with a proper strategy, and if their current leadership can't do it, I hope they find leaders who can.

As for Marty and McKinney, sapient, my Cultural Revolution suggestion was in response to your

Like McKinney and Marty? Again, I know people don't like to actually hold people here to their views....

I don't know why you find my characterisation of them confusing. They didn't vote for Trump, and in fact despised him. They hated and distrusted HRC. Whether either or both of them would have voted for another Dem is unknown. They both identify as conservative and rightwing, if not Republican, and because of this perhaps they would have been hard to persuade. There are plenty of people who voted for Trump partly out of hatred for HRC, but might be persuaded to vote for a Dem who does not carry her baggage and, moreover, gives them the impression that they are of equal importance as any other demographic group. The Dems will have to find a convincing way to convey this message. Maybe russell's suggestion can do it (say a Warren run) or maybe it would take something else. I'm hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.

Whether either or both of them would have voted for another Dem is unknown.

Hmmm.

Could you be more specific?

Democrats should not try to win votes by competing with Republicans to tell lies.

I fully agree with this. There is a temptation to do this when trying to appeal to single payer advocates, trade detractors and various other constituents.

I am anxious that the Dem leadership may not have its act together, despite the wonderful work being done by Indivisible et al.

Sorry, I meant to quote you here, GftNC, when I asked if you could be more specific.

How do you mean? I don't know if either or both of them would have voted Democrat if the nominee against Trump had been anyone other than HRC. Do you?

I don't know if either or both of them would have voted Democrat if the nominee against Trump had been anyone other than HRC. Do you?

It would be silly for me to say yes, wouldn't it? Even sillier to claim that I couldn't make a very good guess. McKinney would have been unlikely to vote for anyone pro-choice who supported the ACA, and wasn't a "tax cut" proponent. Marty opposes the ACA and "really wants that tax cut". Democrats aren't the party of anti-choice, anti-healthcare, plus tax cuts.

That's easy, they want well-paid jobs.

Yes, I think that is correct. And I think your general analysis is correct.

The economy of the 50's -> 70's is not coming back. If that's the America that is going to be Great Again, it ain't happening.

And whatever the 21 C equivalent is going to be, it is not going to be something that anyone is going to deliver from on high. Folks are going to have to work for it.

"Well you can always get a job at the factory" may never be an available option again. I'm sure there will be options for people, and in fact there are now, they just might not be that much of a given.

They didn't vote for Trump, and in fact despised him.

McK yes, Marty no.

Ah sapient, we crossed. That makes more sense. I've been hearing complaints from Dems about Pelosi for years, and here we go again:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/21/politics/republicans-nancy-pelosi-georgia/index.html

McK yes, Marty no.

russell, I think Marty said almost exactly this. He has been tending to defend Trump since the inauguration (although not consistently), probably in a manifestation of cleek's law, but during the campaign I would put money on that quote being exactly his view.

I've been hearing complaints from Dems about Pelosi for years

First, how do you spell m-i-s-o-g-y-n-y?

Second.

Nancy Pelosi is an extremely effective House leader, but she's a [n old] woman, from California. That don't sit well with the Bernie bros.

during the campaign I would put money on that quote being exactly his view.

He's had quite a lot to say since then.

Nancy Pelosi is an extremely effective House leader, but she's a [n old] woman, from California. That don't sit well with the Bernie bros.

The people criticising her (and Harry Reid) to me years ago were definitely not Bernie bros. But certainly, whatever one thinks of her, as your link suggests, the absence of convincing successors is disturbing, and worthy of concern for the future.

He's had quite a lot to say since then.

He has indeed, and it's been a bit startling, given what I remember of his statements before the election.

You're right that it's not just Bernie people who have criticized Nancy Pelosi, GftNC, but I've never heard a substantive criticism that made much sense to me. I don't think that the criticism is legitimate, and if you have an example of something specific your friends have thought, I'd love to know what it was.

One criticism that I believe that was bandied about was that the ACA shouldn't have been such a high priority. I hugely disagree with that, for example. The "never even tried" folks also may have had some things to say.

there is nothing startling about Marty's comments about Trump, the point of view he expresses is extremely common.

it's a weird, weird time. it's probably been weirder, but not in my adult life.

Well sapient, we certainly agree about the prioritisation of the ACA. And in truth, I can't remember what my friends' criticisms of Pelosi consisted of, because then (and to some extent now) I feel very uncertain myself of the exact mechanisms that these various leaders operate, and how they do it well, or badly. So it's hearsay, and on my part, ill-informed hearsay. But my unease about it has been increased by recent reports that there are attempts to oust her. And it makes me anxious for the future - it was unbelievable enough that Trump won, but that so many people still support him really puts the wind up. It would be great to assume that the midterms will see a great reverse, and the 2020 election will cap it, but just as I was super-anxious before the election in November, I am 10 times more anxious now. And now I'm off for the night, so goodnight to all.

there is nothing startling about Marty's comments about Trump, the point of view he expresses is extremely common.

I meant startling in the context of his anti-Trump rhetoric before the election.

I meant startling in the context of his anti-Trump rhetoric before the election.

Same/same.

Lots of folks spent the campaign season talking about what a disaster Trump was / would be, and now basically shrug and roll their eyes.

We don't have the whole vote of confidence thing, if they can't find anything explicitly illegal or unconstitutional in his actions, he's there until 2020. Even if they do, the House has to decide to impeach him - they aren't required to do so, as far as I know.

A lot of folks figure if you gotta live with it, might as well just get on with it. I more or less think that myself, I just don't give him a pass.

Ah, got it.

Good night.

I am 10 times more anxious now

I'm beyond anxious, and into despair territory. As to blaming Democratic leaders, the best thing Democrats can do is quit blaming Democrats, and start blaming Republicans.

But that's what I always say, isn't it? We just need to keep trying to make sure that people vote, and that their votes count. I'm increasingly pessimistic about that as well.

Making America Great Again

There isn't a damned thing somebody like me is going to say to folks who voted for Trump that is going to persuade them that Trump is anything other than god's gift to the working man.

It's gonna take a lot of people getting laid off, losing their insurance, losing their homes, losing their health, losing the lives in some case.

Losing, losing, losing, losing, losing.

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

Or, the awful grace of something. Maybe the FSM.

I really don't have much of anything constructive to say about it all. A lot of people felt they'd been screwed over, and that DC had left them behind.

There was some basis for that feeling.

They thought a fraudulent serial bankrupt billionaire crook would lead them out of the wilderness. Their guy won, and there is damned little we can do about it, short of shredding 240 years of constitutional and legal precedent.

Unfortunately, our system of government has no ready remedy for acts of profound national folly.

I don't know where it ends up. I don't think anybody does. I'm pretty sure the republic will endure, more or less, I just don't know what happens to all of the people who thought Trump was gonna save them. Nor do I know what happens to the rest of us.

Basically, it's f****d up, for the foreseeable future. What happens next depends on what's left when we get to the other side of it all.

Here we go!

You know your life is really messed up if you're expecting a politician/policial leader to save you. Your best hope is that they can't.

And yet US corporations spend £3bn or so a year persuading them to try.

Maybe you can tell me what the (D)'s should say that they aren't already saying, if they want to win over all the folks who just couldn't bring themselves to vote for Hilary.

THIS. THIS. THIS. Lille never says. Those who promote this concern trolling never say. What shoud the ads say? What should the message be?

All they tell us is, "You shouldn't have done X".

Well OK. So just what the fuck should we say?

Don't just carp. Contribute. Please. It is important.

GFNC "And maybe he was even right. All I am saying is that, just possibly, the Dems can find better strategies than the ones they have been using lately."

Don't hold back. Tell us what that message should be. That is the rub. Ossoff, pushed an almost austerity fiscal program. To me, that is a stupid dead loser, but whatever. BUT IT LOST. Should he have condemned Planned Parenthood? Just how many additional votes would this have garnered him?

I would argue virtually none.

There you go.

GFNC "Whether either or both of them (McKinney, Marty, ed.) would have voted for another Dem is unknown."

It is absolutely known. There is no 'effing way either of them would have pulled the lever for ANY DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Having seen their remarks for years, this is a dead certain conclusion. Both of them are ideologically opposed to the basic political message of the New Deal.

QED.

Having seen their remarks for years, this is a dead certain conclusion. Both of them are ideologically opposed to the basic political message of the New Deal.

Thanks. This needs to be acknowledged.

I say lay it out like Trump did.

You're getting screwed. Each and every day, you're getting screwed.

Then lay the blame where it belongs. Not on the Mexicans, not on the Muslims, not on the blacks, not on the gays. Those folks aren't hurting anybody.

Lay it on the greedy SOBs who have millions and billions, and it's not enough for them. They want their share and more than their share, presed down shaken together and spilling over. And then they want yours, too.

They want it all.

If people want populist demagoguery, if that is what they are going to respond to, let 'em have it. It's fine with me, it's actually a pretty accurate story.

Because they actually are getting screwed.

Lay it on the greedy SOBs who have millions and billions, and it's not enough for them. They want their share and more than their share, presed down shaken together and spilling over. And then they want yours, too.

I blame people who support these policies. I'm not on board with fomenting hatred toward the wealthy. (For the record, I am not wealthy.) Many wealthy people advocate taxing the rich (see, e.g., famously, Warren Buffett, and numerous wealthy Democratic politicians).

A lot of German anti-Semitism grew out of vilifying wealthy bankers, etc.; same with Soviet anti-wealth rhetoric. Pointing fingers at people based on their circumstance is dangerous.

Let's blame people who actively support the policies that we disagree with. There are plenty of wealthy people who support the cruel crap that's happening, and plenty of less wealthy people who do so as well. The opposite is also true. Narrowing income inequality is a worthy goal, and we should work on that, but class warfare ends badly.

Lay it on Peter Thiel. Lay it on that guy rolling coal. Make people own their political preferences.

Narrowing income inequality is a worthy goal, and we should work on that, but class warfare ends badly.

Unfourtanally for your efforts, the Pareto principle will fight you every step of the way.

You do know, CharlesWT, that the Pareto principle has some loopholes. For example, wealth itself is subjective. Do we measure it with cash, or land, or comfort, or health? Beauty?

That's why class warfare isn't wise.

I'm not on board with fomenting hatred toward the wealthy.

that's a really good point.

suffice it to say that, without peronalizing it or demonizing anyone, our laws and public institutions have evolved to where they prefer the interests of capital. harmfully so.

and that is enormously relevant to the complaints of the folks we keep hearing about - the put-upon working class, and especially the white working class.

if your place of business is closing down and leaving you with few options, it's not very likely due to gays, or blacks, or muslims, or even the dreaded illegals. it probably doesn't have much to do with uppity coastal elitists, or even some intrusive burdensome regulatory regime.

as far as the folks rolling coal, it just doesn't keep me up at night. that's just some boyos flipping you and me the bird. there are bigger fish to fry.

It's gonna take a lot of people getting laid off, losing their insurance, losing their homes, losing their health, losing the lives in some case.

Sometimes, for learning to take place, it is first necessary to get the student's attention. Which, in some cases, requires the (metaphorical, or even literal) equivalent of a smack with a 2x4 up side the head. Harsh, but with some people, that's just the reality. And this looks to be one of those cases.

sapient: Let's blame people who actively support the policies that we disagree with. There are plenty of wealthy people who support the cruel crap that's happening, and plenty of less wealthy people who do so as well. The opposite is also true. Narrowing income inequality is a worthy goal, and we should work on that, but class warfare ends badly.

It's been ages since I agreed with something you said quite so much.

I think that there are people who got rich because they did something valuable, loved doing it, and just kept at it. Buffett being one example. They aren't invested in being wealthy. Their interest is in something else, which resulted in them getting wealthy.

There are others who are driven by a need to be successful (or, in far more cases than just Trump, approved and accepted), and to have others see them as successful. For them, wealth is the only measure of success they can imagine, and no amount of success is ever enough. (Note that it doesn't even have to be absolute wealth. Being wealthier than those around them, even if poorer than those elsewhere, is a big part of what their self-image requires. Big fish; small pond -- but it matters to them.)

Those are the guys who keep trying to grab more and more of the pie. Because the concept of "enough" is outside their conception.

as far as the folks rolling coal, it just doesn't keep me up at night. that's just some boyos flipping you and me the bird. there are bigger fish to fry.

As everyone knows, I'm very easily trolled. I despise that stuff, just as I have a visceral reaction to Marty's statement that he voted with his middle finger. I know, my bad. I should be "nice." But I am offended.

Which, in some cases, requires the (metaphorical, or even literal) equivalent of a smack with a 2x4 up side the head.

Sadly, there's going to be collective punishment. We, the people, are gonna get it.

For example, wealth itself is subjective.

True.
But, I prefer living in the country with the most billionaires. The US has about 540, more than twice as many as second-place China's 250.

I prefer living in the country with the most billionaires.

i prefer living in the US too, but traveling in China is fun, and when I went to Vietnam, I kind of wanted to sit on little chairs, sip pho and eat banh mi's for the rest of my life. So there's that. You never know what you'll fall in love with, or where that will land you vis a vis the 20%.

Unfourtanally for your efforts, the Pareto principle will fight you every step of the way.

The upper tail of income and wealth distributions is described by something like a Pareto distribution. But the coefficients are different in different countries and at different times. There's nothing in the data to suggest we can't change them if we want to. Piketty in particular has done a lot of work on the mechanisms.

What's more, pretty well every way there is to get seriously rich depends on government intervention.

What's more, pretty well every way there is to get seriously rich depends on government intervention.

That is only completely true to the extent that any economic activity is done within the context of laws and other government regulation. But "intervention" in the sense of "taking explicit action to support a particular company or industry to the detriment of others"? I think that is a serious overstatement.

Not that government intervention has not happened is some cases. Maybe even as much as a majority of great fortunes. But that is far short of what you are saying.

In the sense of "taking action which supports a particular industry".

Abolish all patent and copyright laws. Then restore them only to the extent that they're clearly beneficial in encouraging creativity.

Abolish all government subsidies. Then restore them only to the extent that they're clearly the best way to help people who need help.

Remember what the financial system is for - to allocate capital - and restructure it completely so that's that what it does.

Change bankruptcy laws so that trade creditors get paid before bondholders. Reduce limited-liability protections so that the likes of Trump can't "use the laws of this country to pare debt."

Tax inheritance as income of the inheritor, regardless of trust structures.

That was bruising, but worth it. Now take another look at the distribution of income and wealth.

There's nothing in the data to suggest we can't change them if we want to.

People respond to incentives. Different policies can shift the values of the coefficients. But some people advocate for a wholesale restructuring of the distribution. Doing so can result in capital flight and failing economies. In time, the distribution will reassert itself. Venezuela might be an example of such a restructuring in progress.

What's more, pretty well every way there is to get seriously rich depends on government intervention.

In most countries in most times. But most of the technology giants seem to have gotten to where they are with little or no direct government involvement. At least many of them were already seriously rich before drawing much attention to themselves. Microsoft didn't pay much attention to the federal government and paid for it by being blindsided with an antitrust lawsuit. Now it has one of the most lavish lobbying offices in Washington.

Don't hold back. Tell us what that message should be. That is the rub

I don't have the answer. I thought the loss to such an excrescence as Trump by a manifestly intelligent, capable, reasonable human being putting forth decent, humane policies was incomprehensible. But it happened. So (given Trump's unpopularity stats) either it was the candidate, or the offering. The candidate was known to have a huge amount of baggage which disqualified her in the eyes of (a misguided) many. Lille is talking about problems in the offering. In my state of disbelief, and without a better prescription to offer, I am at least potentially open to some of what he says, but also hoping for more and better from others. I do not call this virtue signalling, or concern trolling, although you of course are free to do so. And, for the record, I am totally with sapient on his dislike and distrust of the fomenting of hatred of the rich. russell's formulation:

suffice it to say that, without peronalizing it or demonizing anyone, our laws and public institutions have evolved to where they prefer the interests of capital. harmfully so.

seems about right to me.

Gosh, people exaggerating the negative impact, your ACHA normalization comment. I think the AHCA is only marginally different than the ACA, giving both sides a shitty bite at the Apple. But the downsides are greatly exaggerated

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/06/preexisting-condition-spin/

I think the AHCA is only marginally different than the ACA,

you think wrong.

But the downsides are greatly exaggerated

"are" is not a synonym for "have been by some"

In what respects does the AHCA improve on the ACA? Will it make your life better Marty?

But most of the technology giants seem to have gotten to where they are with little or no direct government involvement.

Without patent law, Bill Gates would just be another schlub who likes to write software.

If you do not believe patent and royalties law is a form of market intervention, I don't know what to say to you.

I don't have the answer. I thought the loss to such an excrescence as Trump by a manifestly intelligent, capable, reasonable human being putting forth decent, humane policies was incomprehensible.

I don't have the answer either. And I share your sense of shock. But that's politics. Lille's basic message to Democrats was, "Stop being political." As a way forward (about which there is certainly a great deal of debate) I found it to be simply a non-starter.

My apologies.

That was bruising, but worth it. Now take another look at the distribution of income and wealth.

Posted by: Pro Bono | June 23, 2017 at 05:41 AM

Good post. +many....

Without patent law, Bill Gates would just be another schlub who likes to write software.

Patent law is available to everyone. It's not a direct to and just for Gates benefit.

Good rundown of the impact of the Senate bill can be found here.

yeah, but tax cuts !

think of what a paradise we will have once we are freed from the slavery of taxation!

think of what a paradise we will have once we are freed from the slavery of taxation!

True! It is why no one tries to make money. Without the shackles of government, we can unleash the power of ... hmmm, let's see ... oh! I know - mortgage-backed securities and the derivatives thereof! - without fear of our profits being reduced.

What can Democrats do? Probably nothing to fight Vladimir Putin all by themselves. We're completely f'd, folks, because Repubicans are traitors. I know, it's mean to say that, but:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/?utm_term=.9ec4b3773cc7

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/can-he-do-that-trump-podcast/

Nothing to see here though.

If you do not believe patent and royalties law is a form of market intervention, I don't know what to say to you.

By the same token, the laws against theft are a form of market intervention.

We're completely f'd, folks, because Repubicans are traitors.

it's deplorable just how willing, happy, eager to tolerate and defend everything that traitorous fncking scumbag in the White House does - just because he's on their team.

at least they've convinced me i never have to take their arguments about pretty much anything seriously again. (not that the soulless hypocrite McConnell wouldn't have been enough to get me there)

they can all shove their flags and pocket Constitutions right up their asses, as far as i'm concerned.

it's deplorable just how willing, happy, eager to tolerate and defend everything that traitorous fncking scumbag in the White House does - just because he's on their team.

The fact that this is all so well documented already, and so well-known, makes me even less patient with the argument that "Democrats need a new offering". This is my offering: Reality speaks for itself.

The fact that this is all so well documented already, and so well-known, makes me even less patient with the argument that "Democrats need a new offering". This is my offering: Reality speaks for itself.

I sympathise, of course, but if this is your offering you had better get ready for the possibility, or even the likelihood, of losing again.

Reality speaks for itself.

Eventually, one would hope. So far, it doesn't seem to be happening, at least not enough.

But, I prefer living in the country with the most billionaires.

First, in a country of ~330M people, 540 of anything is noise.

Second, if I say that the interests of capital are given undue preference, I'm not primarily talking about the personal private wealth of stratospherically wealthy individuals. I'm talking about capital, which sort of has a life of its own.

In any case, I wish there were a million billionaires, rather than 540. And I wish there were 50 million millionaires, rather than the 3 or 4% of the population that they currently represent.

But what I'm mostly concerned about are the many many millions of people who are not even thousand-aires. There are millions of people in this country - working people, people with jobs - whose net worth is negative, and is going to be negative until the day they die.

About 20% of the population participates in some means-tested federal program or other. Medicaid, SNAP, housing assistance. One in five people. That's excluding Medicare and Social Security.

I really don't care how many billionaires there are. I care how many people are unable to achieve a basic level of financial security.

This isn't the third world, this country is really, really rich. Filthy stinking rich. There is no excuse for the degree of poverty and financial distress that is normal here.

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