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November 09, 2020


This is big enough that I'm going to have to take small bites.
First up:
Every single candidate that co-sponsored Medicare for All in a swing district kept their seat. We also know that co-sponsoring the Green New Deal was not a sinker.

All this proves is that, in some places, explicitly supporting those was not a loser. And candidates generally were aware enough that, in places where they would be losers, candidates didn't run on them. It definitely doesn't prove candidates in other districts would have won, if only they had run on these.

That said, it appears to me that AOC and Cooke are making the same, quite correct, point. The Democratic Party has lots of room to improve their campaign ground game and infrastructure.

Only consider how well they have been doing recently. With what sounds, frankly, like mass chaos. Then think how well they could be doing, if only....

wj, thanks for the second comment (first comment too, but second comment especially) As I was walking home, I realized that this is the typical bullshit that the left of center has to put up with. sapient, as solid a Democratic voter as could be imagined, gets drawn into denouncing AOC on the basis of the reporting. This isn't to bust anyone about not reading the interview, at some point, you would hope that it would be reported properly, but rather than a AOC identifies possible reasons why the blue wave didn't happen, we get this progressive vs. liberal death match.

7, I think, republican states have opted for Medicare expansion. Yet when AOC suggests that this is something that Dems should run on, it's 'omg, look at them fighting each other'. Meanwhile, no one puts the question each and every day to evangelicals 'why are you still supporting an adulterer'.

Apologies for the rant, but the more I think about it, the less it looks like internecine war and more like something drummed up.

I'm hoping to see some reporting on this, but I don't think AOC is a fabulist. If she says there is finger-pointing,

i stopped visiting a few of my old standby websites over the past year or so, and i've noticed that the argument between left and left™ simply does not exist if you don't go looking for it.

literally nobody talked about Sanders or got mad about which impossible thing the weak corporate Dems were going to fail to do next.

in other words... maybe AOC is doing what a lot of people do: mistaking Twitter for real life.

"Meanwhile, no one puts the question each and every day to evangelicals 'why are you still supporting an adulterer'."

Because human beings are weak, we all sin and judgement is God's job. All evangelical Christian tenets.

Simply to point out why asking the question every day wouldn't be effective.

... reading more...

yes, i'm sure she made some enemies in the Congressional Dems, by leading off her term with an attack on Pelosi. sheesh. what was she expecting?

but yes, it would be great if the Dems could run local campaigns at least as effectively as the GOP does.

Because human beings are weak, we all sin and judgement is God's job. All evangelical Christian tenets.


after Cal Cunningham was outed as being an adulterer, NC ws treated to weeks of ads where Republicans would stand in front of a camera and pretend to be shocked and saddened and sickened by his bad judgement. they'd tell us in their fake outrage how this proves that he just can't be trusted, how he's not the man he says he is, how he's just not right for NC. the same sanctimonious twaddle the GOP has always peddled.

i swear they're just trolling, because there's no way any Democrat could have watched that without shouting "And you're going to vote for Trump?!" at the TV.

in other words... maybe AOC is doing what a lot of people do: mistaking Twitter for real life

Frankly, I think that's just untrue.
And those who confuse Twitter with real life don't get themselves elected to Congress from nowhere.
She's probably the one person in the party who understands best how to use new media. I'll bet half of the DNC haven't even heard of Twitch.

I don't share her politics - I'd likely be much closer to the centre of the party, if I lived in the US - but I think her analysis of the party national organisation seems spot on.

I'll bet Elissa Slotkin would say much the same thing, though perhaps less argumentatively, and she is on a very different side of the party.

Maybe my Christianity is a bit rusty, but I thought there was something about asking forgiveness. Feel free to toss a link if I missed it.

I don't dislike AOC, and I did read the interview, as well as the story it linked to about the post-mortem phone call.

Certainly I hope that what was described as the disorganization in Florida isn't typical. On the other hand, isn't it possible that Democratic candidates weren't having a lot of live rallies this year? That's certainly true where I live.

I agree with a lot of what AOC says, and even the way she says it. Now is just not the time to have to read articles about infighting, or even a post-mortem, not until we're sure we can actually inaugurate Biden, and work on the race in Georgia. If democrats (progressive and less progressive) want to help with that, and think they know how, they should be doing that.

I hope that AOC is on Facebook right now supporting the GA senatorial candidates. Abigail Stanberger should be organizing as well. We need all hands on deck.

The (D)'s as a party haven't invested as much in building out organization and infrastructure outside of their traditional strongholds in major cities.

When he was DNC chair, Howard Dean tried to address this with his 50 state strategy. Perez apparently continues to support this, but the implementation is weak.

(D)'s have plenty to offer rural voters, they need to get their story out there.

I agree with a lot of what AOC has to say in the interview. To some degree, I think here comments are a response to the criticism leveled at progressive (D)'s after the poor showing of down-ticket (D)'s running for Senate and House seats. But the basic idea that the (D)'s ground game needs improvement seems uncontroversial, to me.

Don't shoot the messenger.

As well as poor tactics, the Ds have poor strategy. There was much talk before the election of blowing up the Senate filibuster: that's a horrible idea. The Senate is stacked against the Ds by the outdated voting system, and will usually be held by the Rs. It's in the Ds interest to protect the rights of the Senate minority.

The R's electoral strategy is clear: gain control of state legislatures in wave elections, and use that control to cheat in subsequent elections. The Ds need to fight this, and the 14th and 15th amendments empower the federal legislature to do it. They should be ready to bring forward a new Voting Rights Act, which lays down a minimum density of polling stations and requires states to conduct redistricting in a way which largely eliminates partisan gerrymandering. Could they get that through the Senate? Well, let's at least make the decent Republicans decide whether to vote against it.

I ask, you receive


I remeber reading this before. This is why it won't work, they'll rationalize anything including their incipient racism, sexism and fascism...

And those who confuse Twitter with real life don't get themselves elected to Congress from nowhere.


the GOP's success with Q-Anon candidates makes me think otherwise. Trump himself often seems more attached to the digital fantasy world than the real one.

We need all hands on deck.


Don't shoot the messenger.

Yup to that, too.

Speaking of QAnon ...

offered without comment...


Bookmark the site. It has the bobbyp stamp of approval.

"The Cyrus narrative allows evangelicals to thread a difficult rhetorical needle. It allows them to see Trump as “their” candidate — a candidate who will effect God’s will that America become a truly Christian nation — without requiring Trump himself to manifest any Christian virtues. He is, like Cyrus, anointed by God and thus has divine legitimacy (Trump’s spiritual advisers, including evangelical figures Robert Jeffress and Paula White, have repeatedly hammered this point), but he has no obligation to live out Christian principles in his personal life."

Great gig if you can get it.

To be God's chosen instrument and retain access to the Poon Tang.

Accounts vary, but:

"According to the Chronicle of Michael the Syrian (1166–1199 AD) Cyrus was killed by his wife Tomyris, queen of the Massagetae (Maksata), in the 60th year of Jewish captivity.[87]"

I hate these people. They will lead me neither in or out of the promised land.

Not a new angle by any means.

Their promises are shit.

Their promises are mobile pandemic morgues in El Paso, Texas with more promised and desired by Christian Republican murderers from above.

Some here have asked, "Just where did all of this (AOC derangement syndrome) bruhaha start, anyway?"

Charlie Pierce is on the case....

If Trump is Cyrus not the Vance, what theophany is this murderous piece of right wing garbage beloved by Rod Dreher and his acolytes?


Which Savior mantle does vermin William Barr assign himself?

None of what is happening right now will stand without catastrophe for them.

They crave martyrdom.

Trump will gaze imperiously over his taco bowl as they fling themselves upon the pyre in his name, and then find a Roy Cohn loophole thru which to escape with the realm's jewels.

A friend of mine from Arizona who is very active in Democratic electoral politics (and a journalist, author, and college professor) wrote on facebook recently how badly local GOTV efforts were in (very red) rural Arizona. They didn't knock on a single door, leaving thousands of potential votes for Democrats, particularly for Senate and the presidency, where their votes had a chance of changing the statewide outcomes, uncast. (Blueberries in the tomato soup, as he put it.)

He took it upon himself on election day to knock on the doors of registered Democrats in Kingman (pop. ~30k) and estimates that he got to half of them in a matter of hours, after the party did nothing in that regard over the 3 months prior.

He goes into much more detail, and I might ask him if I can copy and paste his entire post here.

Also, too, he's far more aligned with the moderates than with the progressives in the party (for example, he takes a lot of heat from people to his left for his criticisms of wokeness and cancel culture and such - mostly from a strategic standpoint, but still). My point here is that these sorts of criticisms of the Democratic party's electoral efforts aren't exclusively coming from self-described democratic socialists.

Re: Conor Lamb's support of fracking:

gas is better than oil
oil is better than coal

At least it's a move in the right direction (yes, methane itself is a GHG, but it doesn't stay in the atmosphere nearly as long as CO2)

What *does* need to happen is to require
fracking wildcatters to post a bond prior to drilling, to pay for cleanup expenses. Right now, they can just declare bankruptcy and walk away from their messes.

If they don't want to post a bond? Then they're fair game for summary execution. Their choice.

Because human beings are weak, we all sin and judgement is God's job. All evangelical Christian tenets.

Much like lj said at 9:30, in most forms of Christianity that I'm familiar with (not sure about evangelicals specifically), repentance is a critical feature. If you can't bring yourself to say, or just don't believe, "I made a mistake. I sinned." then forgiveness is not on offer. No sign of that from Trump.

@ bobbyp at 10:27
Mad Mike makes a good point that the Republicans should be reaching out to heal the nation.

On the other hand, advising the Democrats to reach out, even though they won, isn't really unfair. It's more a matter of smart tactics going forward. Because what the Democrats really, really need, even if they somehow capture both Georgia Senate seats, is a blue wave election in 2022.

This is just way too much fun not to share.

We sometimes forget just what small sample sizes we are looking at....

The only sin certain christians recognize is soshulism.

I don't know whether Marty is that kind of christian. I don't even know for sure that he agrees with those "evangelical Christian tenets" himself. Maybe he was just trying to educate us librul heathens who presumably know nothing about evangelical Christianity. Being full of faith, hope, and charity myself, I am willing to give Marty the benefit of the doubt. It bothers me a bit that I don't remember Marty citing those tenets in defense of Al Franken, but mainly because it may be an early Alzheimer's symptom on my part.

Anyway, Georgia. Senate run-offs. That's what's on MY mind these days.


Evangelical tolerance for the wayward and disinclination to judge seems to vary with the party affiliation of the transgressor.

We're all prone to seeing things through a lens of self-interest, nothing special there.

Also nothing wrong with pointing it out.

advising the Democrats to reach out

I guess I'm unclear on what this means. What does "reaching out" consist of?

I have friends and family who support Trump. I treat them the same as I did before Trump ran for election, and the same as I did during the four years of his presidency. I don't really talk about politics with them, I have other things in common with them and we talk about those.

Their guy lost. I'm sure some of them are upset about it. What is it that I am supposed to do about that?

Whatever it is people like me are supposed to be doing to help "heal the nation", it ain't gonna come for free. Because things don't work that way.

One thing I've considered as something to say to Trump supporters I know is that I take no joy in the possibility that they feel the way that I would have had the election gone the other way. Maybe that's passive-aggressive, because the implication is that I think, had the election gone the other way, they would have been pleased as punch that I was really upset about it. But it's true that their displeasure brings me no joy (as concerns most of them, anyway, if I'm being honest).

I particularly don't like how upset they are because I think they're upset about things that aren't remotely likely to happen, or to have already happened, given what they have to say about it. Some policy stuff, yes, but mostly boogie men.

I take no joy in the possibility that they feel the way that I would have

ok, that works. I'm not really interested in sticking it to anyone.

is that what's being asked for? don't be a jerk?

Anyway, Georgia. Senate run-offs. That's what's on MY mind these days.

Quite right, Tony P. First things first (assuming DJT's current attempt to steal the presidency doesn't work).

is that what's being asked for? don't be a jerk?

I'd draw one of those "beats me" emoji deals with ascii characters if I knew how.

assuming DJT's current attempt to steal the presidency doesn't work

frankly, i fear for Biden's and Harris' lives right now. and once it's finally called, i don't see that fear easing up.

a lot of very unstable people are very dedicated to Trump. and Trump (and his deplorable allies in Congress and greater Conservativeland) are doing their damnedest to rile them up.

You're not wrong, cleek, but I console myself they kept Obama alive....

those "beats me" emoji

it's the "shrug" emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

frankly, i fear for Biden's and Harris' lives right now. and once it's finally called, i don't see that fear easing up.

Considering who we're talking about, I'd say that Harris being black means Biden is unlikely to get attacked. At least not first. Really tragic for our country to say that, but it's true.

cleek, in the All Good Things thread: why police the borders of liberaldom?

I just have to say, in the context of this thread, that "liberaldom" has at least two borders: the Lincoln Project one, and the AOC one.


and, just for the ickkyness: all the paths for replacing a VP go through Congress. can you imagine the horrorshow McConnell could make of that ?

cleek, was just realizing that earlier. I don't think McConnell would bring a VP appointment to a vote, if it were to be before 2022 elections. And not after if Dems retain control of House

I meant, not after if GOP takes House.

I don't think McConnell would bring a VP appointment to a vote, if it were to be before 2022 elections.

Depends entirely on his relative opinions of the VP nominee vs the Speaker of the House. Considering how big a boogieman Pelosi is, there might be quite a few possibilities that he would go for.

are we discussing eventualities if Harris is assassinated?

if so, McConnell's opinions about her possible replacement are not even close to the top of the list of things to worry about.

the wheels will be coming off the bus at that point.

maybe I'm misunderstanding what's under discussion here.

I was thinking about what would happen to Harris's appointee for VP should she become president due to Biden's "natural" demise.

Perhaps I'm being naive, but I think in the event of assassination of either Biden or Harris that McConnell couldn't hold everyone together to stonewall a replacement.

I didn’t read much of the thread, but tentatively, kinda sorta agree with sapient. Get Biden safely in the WH and see if the Democrats can take the Senate in Georgia. Then back to our regularly scheduled internecine warfare. I have a few things to rant about ( whether I do them here will depend on my mood on a given day), But it can wait a month or so.

I do think the squabble here ( not at ObiWi but on the larger political scene) was started by the centrists. After months of being told that every leftist has an absolute duty to vote for the ham sandwich, some are now saying this was an unambiguous endorsement of ham sandwichism. Um, no, it really wasn’t.

But yeah, let’s be sure Biden gets in ( I don’t think Trump’s temper tantrums will succeed) and also see if the Democrats will win in Georgia. I am giving them money ( or will soon, that is). But I am not crazy about some of what they have said on certain issues.

If the Democrats don’t win the GA run-offs, at least it won’t be fraudulent.

I don't know why there is a dispute here.

Surely it's possible that both political positions, real or imagined, and incompetence played a role in the disappointing results.

As to the incompetence, AOC's comments certainly sound convincing. I'd like to hear more from various Democratic leaders. It's worth remembering, as she reminds us, that she won her first primary in an upset, so it may be that she knows a thing or two about organizing and running a campaign.

Meanwhile, I find it hard to figure out the ideological angle. I think the (overblown) violence at the protests did some damage. Sadly the "Bunch of socialists - look at Venezuela," rhetoric from the GOP probably had an effect also, but you can't stop that. You just have to respond as effectively as you can.

Maybe, just maybe, we don't actually want high turnout?

On defund the police, this is brilliant.

We are explaining the actual policies behind defund the police. One woman interrupts "that is not what defund the police means, I'm sorry. It means they want to defund the police."

We ask if they support reducing police funding and reallocating it to social services and other agencies to reduce police presence in community conflict. 70% say they support that proposal.

Good luck getting that across to more than one person at a time now...

bobbyp - the problem with saying that the turnout brought out people who split their vote is that the pattern we are looking at there is one in which people voted to install Biden in place of Trump but did not want to give Biden too much power. Had those people not shown up, it would likely have been 2016 for results, not a repeat of 2018.

I'm not sure, given what we are seeing in the aftermath here, that we'd be better off with control of the Senate, but Trump still president. I think that would be more dangerous in some ways than the imperfect results that we got.

Doug Jones was good as proof-of-concept and shows a way forward, but I don't think his seat could ever survive congress breaking the gridlock and enacting policies that the voters in those districts perceived as being too far to the left (which is, to them, pretty much anything that a centrist R would have proposed in the 90s).

The problem is not messaging per se. The problem is that the Ds need to change the base assumptions on which Americans base their economic and social views and that goes deeper than messaging and takes longer to achieve. Until they put a stake in the Free Trade prosperity axioms, and blast Wall Street as a false measure of economic wellbeing, and show that our real welfare bums are all at the top, not the bottom...

But if those base assumptions change, then everyone has to recalibrate their campaigning and new bridges open up for reaching people in their information silos.

Maybe Harris can do that in a way that Obama could not, now that we have a bunch of voters coming in for whom Obama is their ur scene of politics. One can hope.

I posted that link mostly because it cut against a lot of common wisdoms, not because I agreed with it...one of those 'lookee what I found here' things.

I very much agree with your reply. The Dems do need to get away from Clintonian "free trade axioms", etc. We lost the "Reagan Democrats" (insert white working class meme here) over race and Viet Nam, and whatever economic prosperity we have been able to maintain since has kept them away. People tend to forget that the rust belt started rusting back in the 1970's and accelerated once China was admitted to the WTO.

Magic messaging will not bring them back. Results will (one hopes). Card check is one small example.

One woman interrupts "that is not what defund the police means, I'm sorry. It means they want to defund the police."

as the saying goes: if you're explaining, you're losing.

there was a House candidate for one of the districts around me (Fayetteville, I think). she's a black woman, a lawyer, a judge and she seemed like a decent person. she had the misfortune of being asked about "defund the police" while someone was filming, and her reply included the phrase "well, that depends on what you mean by 'defund'". because she's a serious person and wanted to dig into the issue, etc. etc..

and her opponent ran ads of her saying that. he didn't say she said she wanted to defund anything. the ad was her setting up an explaination of her thoughts on the issue. but just having her explaining was enough for him.

that's how poisonous "defund" is.

AOC is probably right about the local Dem party's incompetence (i feel the same about the NC Dem party). but she then tries to attach her preferred policies and positions to the argument. and that's where it breaks down.

you can run Dem candidates everywhere. but they can't all run 'defund', NGD, govt-run-healthcare campaigns. local situations are different.

Good luck getting that across to more than one person at a time now...

Yes, the oppressed, the hurt, those grieving may not have the best messaging. That's a real pity. I prefer to let others know I am with them. That's what should be our message.


My sympathies go out to that good and decent candidate. She was put in a tough spot.

The GOP gets caught in these spots from time to time also. Their response is to generally go on the offense.

Maybe there is something to learn from that.

"that's how poisonous "defund" is."

For the first time in conservative history.

Then they can stop yelling "defund" my priorities from A to Z, because if they keep it up (and they have about a week), they'll never find enough law enforcement to keep me from killing their entire conservative authoritarian governments.

Conservatives are murderers.

Then they can stop yelling "defund" my priorities from A to Z

Exactly this.

I remember the days when Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) uttered those terrible words, "black power". "You can't say that," good moderates chided, "It sends the wrong message."

Some things never change.

that's how poisonous "defund" is.

That was my point.
AOC's critiques have some merit, but equally the left of the party has walked into a couple of right hooks which might have been avoided.

And both sides of the Democratic party have to realise that without a coalition between the them, they can't govern.

both sides of the Democratic party have to realise that without a coalition between the them, they can't govern.

More precisely, they have to realize that there really are only rwo options:
1) they work together, with all the irritating compromises that necessitates, or
2) they let the GOP reactionaries and/or Trumpistas run things.
It might be nice, for either faction, if they could have it all. But that ain't the real world.

That was my point.

sorry. didn't mean to come across like i was arguing with you - just using that line as a point to tell a little story.

Then they can stop yelling "defund" my priorities from A to Z

they won't.

I'm now wondering where the 'defund the police' movement started. Did the left of the party start it or was it something that protestors picked up on? Wikipedia is remarkably vague on who gets credit.

For once I agree with a centrist critique of the left. “ Defund the police” was a terrible slogan, guaranteed to scare people. But now people’s egos are engaged, can’t back down, man the barricades, don’t let the other side win, etc...

Pick a better slogan.

"I'm now wondering where the 'defund the police' movement started."

A lot longer ago than this:


All public pensions, federal, state, and local, will be eliminated by the subhuman conservative movement, except now for ICE and Homeland Security thugs because they have earned their pensions by kidnapping and killing immigrants and their children and maintaining the authoritarian "order" that permits the conservative movement to fuck my country.

Here's a selection of what "defunding the police" might look like:


I can't find the specific link, but the Minneapolis City Council is merely talking about middling measures in which some funds would be directed away from enforcement to mitigation before enforcement becomes necessary and retaining an armed police force for when force is possibly required and an unarmed force to serve as a less "military" style point of sale with the public in needs of their services.

Seems reasonable, but lying filthy conservatives will have none of it except maybe taking away police pensions, health coverage, and union membership once the fuckers get full power.

Yeah, defunding the police was a dumb slogan.

So is defund the EPA.

Defund Social Security.

Defund NPR.

Defund Medicaid.

Defund Obamacare.

Defund Medicare.

Defund the National Endowment for the Arts.

.... and so the fuck on.

You know the difference between those last half-dozen or so defunding slogans and defund the police.

The police are heavily armed and that's the only thing the thug conservative and libertarian movements cower from.

Being shot for defunding people and their jobs.

Terri Gross on NPR is not armed.

She should be, for when her enemies come calling.

Sargeant Krupke is armed, and knows where the prominent conservative and libertarian filth live in his town.

It's like Citizens United, except bullets are the free speech.

Pick a better slogan.

Well, sure. So we have a spectrum from A-B

A: Reform the police! Not exactly inspiring, and usually cover for cosmetic measures that are pure pablum.

B: Defund the police! A call for a radical transformation of our entire approach to law enforcement and the carceral state that strikes a lot of people as really scary.

But hey....I'm a reasonable person. Suggest something else. I'm all ears if it works better.

A sample of the view from the standpoint of pure communism can be found here. A more nuanced view here.

if you want to change the police, reform/transform are what you should say. if you want to say "defund" because it sounds more radical, then you're going to scare off allies while you spend your time explaining that your slogan doesn't mean what it says.

When you say "defund the police" that doesn't say "move some funding from the police to other approaches to crime". It says (intentionally or not) "remove ALL funding for the police." Which is the problem.

It may well not be what it intended. But it is all too easily taken that way. And that's a problem.

I am not good at slogans. They are usually stupid anyway, precisely because they can be misunderstood. There are rare exceptions wher a slogan is both accurate and easily understood— “ defund the police” is not one of them.

By the way, “ Black Lives Matter” is a good slogan with a clear meaning and the people who respond with all lives matter or blue lives matter are revealing their unwillingness to admit the problem of racism in our society, in particular with the police. But “defund the police” — it’s hard to say what it means when you hear it. Eliminate them? Or cut back on militarized police forces so we can spend more money on social workers and others? I am for that. A few weeks ago I saw a policeman in one of the small suburban towns carrying an assault rifle. It was bizarre. Imagine Barney Fife with an M-16.

But “defund the police” — it’s hard to say what it means when you hear it. Eliminate them? Or cut back on militarized police forces so we can spend more money on social workers and others? I am for that. A few weeks ago I saw a policeman in one of the small suburban towns carrying an assault rifle. It was bizarre.


Let us be clear here, however, that the problem with "defund" is not misunderstanding. The problem is disinformation. No amount of reframing or clarification will change how the RW media approaches this.

The only way out is an information counter-offensive. Not explanation or clarification, but a policy slug fest. Stick Warren and Franken and the late night guys in a room together and have them craft the messaging. It will get farther than any limp attempt to find alternatives to "defund" and "socialist" that poll better with more clarity.

Since the vigilantes won't be paid to murder people in the streets, whether looting or not, we can't defund them.


Better just to gun the Florida vigilantes down when they take the law into their own hands.

Let us be clear here, however, that the problem with "defund" is not misunderstanding.



Learn to pronounce


verb: defund; 3rd person present: defunds; past tense: defunded; past participle: defunded; gerund or present participle: defunding; verb: de-fund; 3rd person present: de-funds; past tense: de-funded; past participle: de-funded; gerund or present participle: de-funding

prevent from continuing to receive funds.

if you're arguing your words don't mean what they mean, the problem is that you have created a misunderstanding.

People argue that words don't mean what they mean all the time.

Bad. Ill. Dope. Trickle Down. Repeal and Replace. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas.

There is no misunderstanding. The outrage over the word is all just pretext for reminding the home team just how awful the other side is.

Stop saying the word and all the RW will do is claim that the Ds are afraid to say the word but that Real Americans know what they really mean to do is full on Maoist Cultural Revolution, Sharia Law, and bland ecumenical Starbucks cups every winter.

And if no D ever had said "defund," the RW would still make the claims and would deep fake the evidence. Hillary's illness. Biden's cognitive issues. Jade Helm.

This is how disinformation works.

Quit trying to avoid a fight. Fight harder and smarter.

Jade Helm didn't leave the swamps. "defund" was front and center.

i have no idea why you're arguing for adding confusion to the discourse. but you seemed determined. have it your way.

Not what I am saying. What I am saying is that it is spilt milk. Look forward, not back. If it is a fight worth having, then fight and don't worry over the past mistake.

what nous said. The horse is out of the barn (heard that somewhere).

The horse may be out of the barn. Doesn't mean you have to light it up with spotlights.

How close to the speed of light does the horse have to travel to fit inside the tiny barn momentarily?


I would have never brought it up to begin with...but nigel did above. So there you are. Go talk with him.

The earth continues to move.

Hard to believe at times, I know.

Shoot the horse as it escapes from the barn.

Burn the entire barn and all of the outbuildings down, using the last 40 years of conservative horseshit muck as fuel.

Then blow up the big house where Lindsay Graham is soiling the linen.

Now that the horse is out of the barn, let's beat it to death. Alex Pareene is just about always a good read.

So read this.

TBH, I myself am confused by what is intended by "defund the police".

Do we just want to cut police department budgets? Why?

Are we just trying to stick it to cops because they suck?

Do we want to take funds allocated to police forces and use it somewhere else? Where else?

As part of this, are we planning to reallocate some part of current police department responsibilities to other organizations? What parts? What other organizations?

What is the actual plan, here?

I can understand public anger at cops, because it seems like every other day, there's a cop somewhere behaving badly. Yes, I understand about "not all cops..", but still.

But I'm not sure how simply cutting police budgets, in the absence of any other actions, will make anything better.

What is the goal of this? How and why does reducing police budgets further that goal?

I'm generally in agreement with cleek and wj and Donald on this issue, "defund the police" seems like an intemperate comment that has escaped into common public use, with nobody understanding what exactly it means, what it will accomplish, or how it will accomplish it.

I'm all for fighting, and I'm not particularly worried about how policy goals make people "feel".

I just don't think the phrase "defund the police" actually describes what is intended, and in fact is harmfully confusing.

If I (from the outside) understand correctly, at least part of the intention is to reallocate some of police departments' current budgets to some other (not clear what, or if it even exists) department*s(. One that would take a non-criminal approach to addressing some problems which are currently dumped on the police.

One concern I have is that I have seen something reminiscent of this before. In the 1970s in California, there was a lot of push to stop putting the mentally ill into state-run facilities (mental hospitals). And to instead treat them with a "community care" approach. Unfortunately, what we got was an elimination of the facilities which were treating them. But nothing resembling even equivalent, let alone adequate, funding for said community care.

Which is to say, I'd really, really hope that those arguing to redirect current police funds first get those alternative departments up and running. And only then reduce the police budgets.

Of course, if I have misunderstood what the slogan is being used for....

You are not going to get a univocal explanation of what people mean by "defund the police" because the activist coalition that is working to end the excessive killing of black people by sanctioned agents of state violence is diverse in their approaches and goals.

Start asking questions and you will soon find yourself in the thicket. Only full-time activists, academics and policy junkies want any part of the thicket. The thicket eats hours and souls. I'd figure on at least a week of dedicated research to get a good sense of the shape of the "abolish the police" arguments and their various factions.

Such is the nature of things.

I am mostly in favor of radicals openly defending radical positions if they are well thought out, but defund the police is just confusing.

I am reading some of the positions of Warnock and the other guy ( forgot how to spell his name and I am too lazy to look it up) and they are making me angry on a couple of my “ pet” issues. It doesn’t really matter if I go off at some blog, but rather than do that now ( it will happen sooner or later) it is making me think about the proper time to pressure politicians or alternatively, attack the people who pressure them to move in the wrong way. I don’t really know the answer to this.

Right now I really want the Democrats to get 50 in the Senate, so I think it might be right for people to go easy on them for another month or two. People should have zero compunction about blasting Democrats when all the elections are over and Trump is safely out of the WH. With a lot of people everything is seen through the lens of whether a given discussion helps or hurts the Democrats. Sapient and I traditionally go after each other on this. My proposed compromise is that what I take to be sapient’s approach of party discipline might be right for a few months every two to four years ( during general elections, but not primaries) but otherwise people should just say exactly what they think. Focus on how you think the world should be and don’t put your primary emphasis on what is supposedly politically pragmatic. The point should be to shift people’s views.

The defund the police example is partly about this. It isn’t exactly clear what it means, but if you care about implementing it then try a different slogan, unless of course you really want to dissolve the police entirely and try a new model. Then make that case, but you should expect most politicians to run away from you until you have convinced most people that you are right.

Thanks, Donald. I do think discipline is important (for a longer time frame than you do), but a lot of it is messaging.

The issue of police violence is complicated. Yes, there are too many police who have white supremacist leanings. But there are also non-white police. Yes, police have too many weapons of war. But civilians too have way too many deadly weapons that they can legally wield without consequence.

Better hiring, training and accountability doesn't necessarily involve less money. And what we do about the surfeit of guns in this country is beyond me.

Start asking questions and you will soon find yourself in the thicket.

defund the police is just confusing.

I think we have a consensus that there is no consensus about what "defund the police" means.

Seems like that would undermine it as a compelling argument. Also seems like it's more or less an invitation for anyone to say it means whatever they think it means, good bad or indifferent.

Such is the nature of things.

Not necessarily. But, it certainly seems to be so in this case.

seems like it's not an argument. it's a phrase we're supposed to use because it signifies alliance with something. it's a shibboleth.

Not necessarily. But, it certainly seems to be so in this case.

Such is the nature of things that arise out of grassroots activism, especially within academic activism circles. It's all ad-hocracy and loose coalitions. Sometimes maddeningly so.

Well, I'm half-way through "Trial 4" on Netflix and if the Boston police is anything to go by, the people really would have been better of without them.

"Defund the Shibboleth!" does have a more musical feel to it.

And apparently, so does "It's too soon to talk about it!" regarding shootings of black people, not to mention large groups of innocent children in schools.

Perhaps we should run around yelling "Double the Funding of the Police!" and see where that gets us with the conservative budget cutting subhumans.

We might have won Texas and maybe one of the fucked up Carolinas.

After all, look at the daily diarrhea flowing from trump's mouth that 50-some percent of them lap up like their own sick.

Conservative and Libertarian gummint-haters intone "Obey the Police!" and no one bats an eye.

This is the one and only full of shit America, after all, where if you claim "Paul is Dead", you've made a career for yourself, but when Macca actually does die many, many years from now, you can start an even more profitable business claiming "Paul's Death is a Hoax!".

How do you know he's not dead, we may well arsk?

Well, because I just saw him with Elvis down at the local 7-Eleven buying three Slurpies.

Three Slurpies?

Yeah, one was for John Lennon waiting in the car.

MAGA! Now THERE was a winning slogan!

My take is that the reason 'defund the police' arose (as I said, I'm not sure where it is from and it is short enough to have a lot of parents) was a number of incidents culminating with a police officer murdering a man in broad daylight and taking almost 9 minutes to do it. So I'm not really sure the time has come to start complaining about how defund the police doesn't seem to explore all the nuances of policing in the moderrn world. (one could say in the context of this election, perhaps people should have been quiet about it, but I think that is a locale by locale call)

It's a lot like something that I've (far too slowly) come to realize about listening to the complaints of women--steps 1-10 are to listen rather than get in a debate about what they mean. After that, you support their goals by being proactive and identifying the situtation at the beginning rather than offer them a forensic analysis after the fact.

You also have 'defund the police' arising because in some (many?) jurisdictions, they are funding themselves thru seizures that target minorities and they are increasingly becoming militarized, though both equipment and the flow of former military moving to their ranks.

I realize that doesn't sit so well in a place like this, which is all about forensic analysis. But there is a world of difference between 'defund the police is wrong, here is what you really mean' and 'defund the police, ok, let's do X'

You also have 'defund the police' arising because in some (many?) jurisdictions, they are funding themselves thru seizures...

Except the defunding the police is precisely the wrong approach for stopping that. It pushes them to self-funding via seizures.

Liberal Japonicus' of 6:19 pm says what I feel I need to.

I also feel like if more temperate campaigns were going to work, well, they've had a lot of time to do that. The very fact that we are here now looking at this rate and nature of police murder and mayhem means they didn't.

Such is the nature of things that arise out of grassroots activism

I would put forward that the words arose spontaneously in a street demonstration, and the cry was taken up from there. It is always, always so disheartening to me to see otherwise good people go into "tut, tut, tut" mode in the face of emotional anger by the oppressed.

One would think they have all the justification in the world to be a bit emotional when their neighbors are being gunned down.

Is the real problem here that an movement for freedom from oppression uses the wrong words, or is it the fact, the very fact of their oppression?

There is a huge disconnect here, and it saddens me.

It pushes them to self-funding via seizures.

The policies and actions of the Ferguson police prior to the Michael Brown incident pretty much demonstrate the self-refuting nature of your assertion.

the self-refuting nature of your assertion.

I don't see how.

I didn't say defunding efforts were the only way to get police hooked on seizures. Clearly it is not. I didn't say that the way in which police were funded would have any correlation with the incidence of police misconduct. Although I suspect that funding via seizures would correlate with some kinds of misconduct -- though perhaps not with fatal kinds, which don't generate seizeures.

I just said that, if you have a police department, and you cut its funding, it will become more likely to take up seizures as a way of maintaining itself -- something all institutions, not just police, tend to try to do.

Real, necessary transformation of our broken public safety system was never going to come without a backlash and without fear. It's not ideal in terms of moving steadily forward, but it is necessary to break through the collective apathy and self-justification.

The key now is to find the people who have not decided that black lives are an acceptable cost for maintaining order and pull them into the conversation about change.

The people who have noped out of talking about change were never going to be allies no matter the innocuousness of the language used. And questioning the timing is asking communities of color to continue bearing the brunt of state brutality.

It is always, always so disheartening to me to see otherwise good people go into "tut, tut, tut" mode in the face of emotional anger by the oppressed.

Good thing no one is doing that.

When expressions of outrage become political slogans, their effectiveness in communicating the desire for a certain political result (that most here share) becomes relevant. When Republicans pick up state legislatures, it's unlikely that resources will be reallocated from police funding to better human services.

Interesting data.

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