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December 27, 2020

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Check the "Betty Rivard" link...

Not sure if this is the one, but it was nice to discover her writing

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinion/op_ed_commentaries/betty-rivard-reintroducing-west-virginia-to-west-virginians/article_73fc266b-16bd-514d-8730-28d27cbd99b3.html

Biafore states that we now take for granted a 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, health insurance, paid leave and pensions. While this may be true for the dwindling number of union workers and those of us in the professional class

I don't know about the rest of you. But my experience in "the professional class" (in, admittedly, data processing) suggests that we do NOT take a 40 hour week for granted.

Rivard:

who suffer from irregular hours, do not earn a living wage, and lack health insurance, paid leave and pensions. These voters have no reason to thank us as Democrats or unions for what they do not have.

Drum:

Unfortunately, this inevitably brings us around to the tedious—but important—question of whether liberals need to move toward the center on social issues.

Needless to say, the progressive wing of the party is massively resistant to this idea. During the election, my Twitter feed was jam packed with quixotic ideas for expanding the Democratic map: ... This is all pie-in-the-sky stuff, a desperate attempt to propose anything other than the obvious: embracing social policies that appeal to more people, especially those without college degrees.

So is it economic policies to benefit members of the working class that are needed, or social polices that appeal to them? Because these don't sound like the same thing.

What is Obamacare, or M4A, but an attempt to provide better health care options? Nearly one third of WV's population is on Medicaid, and most of those came on after the Medicaid expansion.

What is a $15/hr minimum wage but an attempt to raise the pay of low-wage workers. W. VA's minimum is $8.75.

Is it Democrats who keep talking about cuts in SS and Medicare?

So what do Democrats need to do? Make false promises about the comeback of coal mining?

What is a $15/hr minimum wage but an attempt to raise the pay of low-wage workers. W. VA's minimum is $8.75.

Regardless of what laws the politicians pass, the minimum wage is always $0.00. All the politicians do is set the size of the gap in which it's illegal to have a job.

My redneck brother-in-law-once-removed in Kansas is retired but still teaches apprentice classes for his local of the electricians' union. Because it's in rural Kansas, electricians often have to fabricate various widgets. He tells me the union is getting ready to start teaching how to use 3D printing for that.

Here in Colorado being a plumber or pipe-fitter is a much better-paying job than most of the other trades since the union has retained control, mostly because if you hire a union plumber you know they've been through a thorough training program.

Democrats could talk about tilting the balance back towards labor and supporting union-based education is one way to do it.

CharlesWT.

You have band aids.

We will rip them off.

Be polite when we do.

Sounds like Charles prefers a guaranteed minimum income to a minimum wage. Maybe he’s on to something.

I should first give the caveat that I'm not sure I got the right Rivard article, so caveat [Internet] peregrinator. Though I thought it was interesting that paper that Rivard writes in had a column about how a hyperloop might be the answer for WV.
https://www.wvgazettemail.com/dailymailwv/daily_mail_commentary/hyperloop-has-potential-to-reshape-wv-economic-landscape/article_bfb6e554-4636-549f-b54e-e957800a3b7b.html

It would have been more ironic if Rivard were the one to pen that. But I think you need those kind of transformative projects for these areas, though any kind of project like that has winners and losers.

I've thrown up my hands at 'peeling off' people who voted for Trump, so if I were to be completely consistent, I'd just dismiss this. But, fortunately for me I guess, I'm anything but consistent.

Japan is a different context, but I support unions here, especially for foreigners, as it is often the only way to protect their jobs, but I'm pretty sympathetic to the problems of sexism and racism, so here, these two often crash straight into each other. Defending jobs for people who were hired in earlier times sometimes doesn't sit very well with people who were shut out of that job market, especially when those people voice opinions that can be out of date or fail to understand the kind of tax that a woman has to deal with. It is also the case that people hired in that earlier time argue that they were uniquely qualified whereas the rabble they hire now isn't. This gets into resume measuring contests. Not fun.

In chess, there is something called a fork, where one piece can make two attacks and this situation is basically a conservative fork. Taking on policies that don't really boost the economy allows them to maintain moral high ground on individual freedom and rights while giving them the space to be horrified at attempts to deal with sexism and racism. Admittedly, it has never been as much of an oscillation until this current piece of orange crap, but I don't see a difference in kind, just a difference in degree.

This also suggests why Republicans are quite happy to tank the economy when Dems are in ascendance, because it naturally leads into this sort of situation.

https://www.thebalance.com/democrats-vs-republicans-which-is-better-for-the-economy-4771839

For folks horrified at this suggestion, I'm happy to admit to being hyperbolic if you admit that this isn't such a good look for Republicans
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/24/house-votes-on-2000-stimulus-checks-after-trump-supports-them.html

I have a post percolating about hospitalization and COVID that might touch on these things.

I think this is the article russell intended to link to.

Betty Rivard: Dems must offer more if they want to recover in WV

Trump signed the thing, like a cheap House of Rep conservative hooker as McConnell's limo gunned it and pulled away from the curb.

Thanks Charles, I'll toss that at the bottom of the post for Russell.

Regardless of what laws the politicians pass, the minimum wage is always $0.00. All the politicians do is set the size of the gap in which it's illegal to have a job.

The world doesn't exactly work as described in Econ 101, but even if it does you may want to investigate monopsony.

You may also want to investigate the actual empirical research on the minimum wage, which describes a more complex picture than that drawn in stick-figure economics.

Rivard, the hard way:

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinion/op_ed_commentaries/betty-rivard-dems-must-offer-more-if-they-want-to-recover-in-wv/article_3576ef7c-b419-5698-bb85-9c6c24cecaca.html

So what do Democrats need to do?

In my opinion, and really only my opinion:

They need to invest in party infrastructure *everywhere*.

My perception is that their focus has been on cities, because the bang for the buck there is greater, for them.

the minimum wage is always $0.00

And there is always some tax rate above which net revenue declines. They tell me it’s somewhere between 0 and 100%.

They need to invest in party infrastructure *everywhere*.

My perception is that their focus has been on cities, because the bang for the buck there is greater, for them.

I suspect (and it's only my uninformed suspicion) that part of their problem is methodological. The Democrats know how to organize and build party infrastructure in cities. But outside cities, a different approach is required. And they're still figuring that out.

But outside cities, a different approach is required..

Let's take a look. Comparethis table to this table.

Similar occupational breakdowns? Nothing jumped out at me, but I am open to a slap up the side of the head. And, when you get down to it, most people live in cities.

Just who are these rurals? Here's some data.

One big reason Democrats have to "pander" to rural voters is due to the need to surmount the political chokepoints in our constitutional order.

Other than that, I got nothin'.

Drum points out that voting Dem is associated with education level. Solution? Free college for all who want it. (insert laughing emoji here).

More from the Riven link:

The national Democratic Party has, unfortunately, worked in the past couple of decades against the interests of these same voters by taking them for granted, embracing tax cuts for the rich, supporting deregulation, abandoning unions and establishing free trade agreements with inadequate protections for our American workforce. The national party has also allowed the financial sector to develop an oversized role in the national economy that does not support or reward the reinvestment of profits into most employees and their well-being.

Next thing you know, she will be quoting Mao, or worse, Bernie Sanders.

One big reason Democrats have to "pander" to rural voters is due to the need to surmount the political chokepoints in our constitutional order.

Other than that, I got nothin'.

Perhaps you got nothin' because you look at speaking to their common-with-city-folks concerns in their language, that is in terms they understand, as "pandering." Which I suppose it is, if you resent having to exert yourself to show them something that you assume (incorrectly) must be obvious.

Just for one organizing difference, in a city you can organize around work places with dozens of potential voters. Whereas in rural areas a workplace may be just a handful of eligible voters. I'm by no means a political organizing expert, but even I can see the probable need for a different approach.

Totally off the subject, but I was wondering why 'pander' summons up such strong feelings. Merriam Webster to the rescue
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pander

In this regard [procure] is similar to the word pander, which entered the English language with the innocent meaning “a go-between in love intrigues” (the word comes from the name Pandare, a character in Chaucer’s poem Troilus and Criseyde who facilitates the affair between the titular characters), and soon after took on the meaning “pimp.”

Kevin is completely full of shit on means testing.

#1. It doesn't save money. Just the opposite. Means-testing costs a lot of money, and generates a significant number of false positives even when it's fully funded and staffed and directed by people who aren't trying to deny people benefits capriciously. (This never happens in Republican administrations, and not reliably in Democratic ones.)

#2. In practice, the process is almost always grueling, humiliating, and degrading, the more so the more important the service is. "People awaiting SSI verdicts" is a well-known (to professionals) very high-risk category for suicide. With things like disability help, it routinely takes years to get a resolution, during which time everything has been getting worse, and even if you get it, it's hedged about with brutal requirements that just about guarantee you'll never get out, like being unable to maintain any savings at all.

I dare anyone who thinks like Kevin to spend a year depending on means-tested services for their health care, housing, food, and transportation, and then get back to us.

It hasn't been fun watching him get increasingly detached from reality, but on too many fronts - this, what work is like for people under 40, what life is like for queer people, a lot of others - he's disappeared up his own ass.

Kevin lives Behind The Orange Curtain (as Angelinos have called it).

Just call it "Mean Testing" for accuramacy.

Regarding minimum wage and Econ 101: does *anyone* think that employees were willing to work for $0.01/hr that an employer would hire hundreds of them for the local convenience store? Clearly there are many more factors involved; *as the studies of actual employment vs minimum wage made clear*.

But hey, if you want to go with the pure mathematical model: $0 wage = infinite employment: a contradiction which invalidates your entire theorem.

$0 wage = slavery

also

taxation = slavery

it's an issue that cuts across race.

It's still an issue that is mostly male. I read the articles, and other than 2020 voting demographics, there's very little data to support anything that's being said in either article.

For example, Democrats have consistently supported more benefits for working class people, more than ever during the past election. Trade agreements have been a mixed bag for the working class, rather than the unmitigated harm that is often described by protectionists, but to the extent that this has been an issue recently, Democrats have been on the anti-trade agreement side.

Trump voters don't care about policy. They care about toxic masculine rhetoric. They care about tribal solidarity (which is something that Democrats most definitely don't have). There is absolutely no Republican policy that helps them. The history of the ACA in Kentucky (Obamacare/Kynect story) is an example of the phenomenon.

I think that working harder to organize Democrats in rural areas is always a great idea, but I live in a small city where we vote for progressive Democrats (in our primaries) to run in our mostly rural Republican Congressional district, and they always lose, no matter what populist appeal to the working class they promote. They like strongmen.

$0 wage is also what you have when you don't have a job and can't get a job because you've been priced out of the labor market.

Minimum wage: Also known as the black youth disemployment wage.

the $0 wage is also purely an abstraction - something that is never found in the real world. nobody has a $0 wage.

if i'm working for you but you're not paying me anything, that's slavery, not employment. the idea of a 'wage' is moot.

Trump voters don't care about policy. They care about toxic masculine rhetoric. They care about tribal solidarity

[unsurprisingly] this!

might as well try to convert Yankees fans to Mets fans based on the quality of the plays and parking prices.

bobbyp,

The national Democratic Party has, unfortunately, worked in the past couple of decades against the interests of these same voters by taking them for granted, embracing tax cuts for the rich, supporting deregulation, abandoning unions and establishing free trade agreements with inadequate protections for our American workforce. The national party has also allowed the financial sector to develop an oversized role in the national economy that does not support or reward the reinvestment of profits into most employees and their well-being.

Which of these things have not been done, much more vigorously, by the Republicans?

Yes, there are the China tariffs, but what have they done for the working class?

I want to return to this:


our electorate includes large numbers of young people and people without college degrees who suffer from irregular hours, do not earn a living wage, and lack health insurance, paid leave and pensions

All of that amounts to people living with a constant level of instability and financial hazard. And a 1,000 harms flow from that, for people’s physical and mental health, for their ability to form stable families and communities, for their general sense of having a place and a voice in the world and in their own lives.

The (R) mantra on all of that is that markets must rule, labor is a market, and any social or personal ills that fall out of that are your personal problem and responsibility.

The (D) mantra on all of that has traditionally been that the public sector - government - can and should intervene through law and regulation to insure that everyone involved in the productive life of the community is afforded the makings of a reasonable and decent life.

That should be an attractive message to people who live by what they earn through their own labor, and who don’t have the advantages that come with some form or other of professional status. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to be getting through.

Part of that is because over the last 40 years or so, the (D)’s have de-emphasized their focus on working people in favor of other interests. And part of that is because the (D)’s as a national party have not followed up on the initiatives they began in the early oughts to run everywhere, for everything, in favor of focusing their attention on swing states and on areas where they were already strong.

I completely agree that a lot of Trump voters find the most offensive aspects of his character - his bullying, his authoritarianism - attractive. And I find that despicable, and hold them responsible for that.

But a lot of them voted for Obama before voting for Trump. And, a lot of folks don’t vote at all.

I don’t really see how recognizing practical and logistical gaps in electoral strategy amounts to “pandering”. And I don’t really see how a renewed focus on the interests of working people amounts to “pandering”. And I don’t think renewing that focus requires giving up any ground on all of the social justice issues that (D)’s have championed. If anything, the two should reinforce each other, because a lot of people fall into both demographics of interest.

Black people and people of color generally are working people. Gay people and people who don’t otherwise fit neatly into traditional cis-gender identities are working people. Immigrants, documented or otherwise, are most definitely working people.

Mostly, I think all of this amounts to organizations like the DNC getting off their @sses, getting the hell out of DC, and listening to their constituents and their local activists. Spend money, people, and time, in places they’ve more or less ignored for a generation.

And they should do all of that not just to win elections, but because working people are having a freaking hard time of it, and somebody needs to get their back. That somebody ought to be the (D)’s, because the (R)’s don’t appear to really give a crap if they suffer or not.

It’s not pandering, it’s acknowledging and responding to the interests of people who live here. People they claim to represent.

Which of these things have not been done, much more vigorously, by the Republicans?

None of them.

In case anyone prefers the empirical to the abstract/theoretical, here’s something pre-COVID and a couple years into minimum-wage increases my family members in AZ were sure were going to kill jobs in large numbers, supply-side dogma being as pervasive as it is. Not a thought given to the fact that one business’ employees are another business’ customers (on the demand side).

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/jobs/2019/07/18/minimum-wage-increase-arizona-has-had-positive-effects-grand-canyon-institute-study-finds/1745202001/

It’s not pandering, it’s acknowledging and responding to the interests of people who live here. People they claim to represent.

Um, folks, I may be reading your responses wrong, but there is a reason I put quote marks around that word....for what it's worth.

There are many threads that have brought the Democratic Party to its current state and its apparent disassociation from the "working class". Taking up the mantle of civil rights; the deindustrialization of the midwest (took off in the 70's, accelerated after China joined the WTO...so a long term trend); getting their ass kicked by Reagan and going into an ideological crouch ever since; the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine; a conservative Supreme Count (Nixon's gift to the nation that keeps on giving) that has put its thumb on the scales in favor of corporate and monied interests; the decline of unions and the abject failure of the Dem establishment to see what this would mean for the party in terms of political efficacy (see Humphry-Hawkins, failure thereof)....and to some extent, their very political success in the 30's and 40's. That confluence of political will and opportunity is damned rare in US history.

The Democratic Party lost its New Deal vision in the 80's. We are now deep into a 2nd Gilded Age. Perhaps we need to revisit the lessons of the era where that amount of grinding exploitation was blunted.

That should be an attractive message to people who live by what they earn through their own labor, and who don’t have the advantages that come with some form or other of professional status. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to be getting through.

Seems to be the nub of it....so what is that "reason"? I believe that is the question that needs to be addressed.

And I am as stumped as others appear to be.

Which of these things have not been done, much more vigorously, by the Republicans?

A leading question, that! WRS.

The GOP has a very effective line of bull that hangs together well and has a logical appeal to folks finding themselves increasingly at the mercy of an all consuming unrestrained version of crony capitalism: You've worked hard, played by the rules, and stood patiently in line to get your just rewards...but the line is no longer moving and the "elites" are allowing "others" to cut in ahead of you to take what is rightfully yours.

We need to communicate a vision that replaces that one.

We are now deep into a 2nd Gilded Age. Perhaps we need to revisit the lessons of the era where that amount of grinding exploitation was blunted.

it was blunted in part because several long, hard recessions - with 50% unemployment in some places - turned enough people against the corruption and inequality.

but today's circumstances aren't that dire. most people in the US today are doing anywhere from great to good enough. there simply aren't enough people doing terribly to have a massive, sustained push to burn down the current system.

in the real world. nobody has a $0 wage.

if i'm working for you but you're not paying me anything, that's slavery

Actually, no. In the real world, if you are working for a $0 wage, that's a hobby. Lots of people have them, from rebuilding steam engines and laying track to singing light opera. Of course, they have to have money from somewhere else....

In slavery, the owner has to at least feed his slaves in order to get any work out of them, beyond the first couple of days. Granted, it's not a payment in cash. But payment in kind is still a non-zero payment. What characterizes slavery isn't zero wages but the fact that you can't quit.

And, just a note for any extreme libertarians who might wander by, you can quit paying taxes. You just have to be selective where you emigrate to. So taxes != slavery.

but today's circumstances aren't that dire.

... in large part because of the New Deal reforms that created a safety net.

The Democratic Party lost its New Deal vision in the 80's. We are now deep into a 2nd Gilded Age.

Whether one agrees with the first sentence or not, the second is definitely true. (Well, except for we lack the rapidly rising wages.) It's one of the things that gives me hope for the future. The era which followed saw a lot of the abuses addressed.

The Democratic Party lost its New Deal vision in the 80's.

The country didn't want the New Deal in the Yuppy '80's. The children of "The Greatest Generation" wanted lots of money, and despite having advantage handed to them, thought they invented success.

People who ran for office, those who had a conscience, had to do what Bill Clinton did in order to get elected. (Jimmy Carter wanted people to wear a sweater - an affront to people's freedumb!) Newt Gingrich and the success of his despicable movement (and its current legacy) wasn't the fault of DNC. What's really hard is to figure out how to change the country's cultural values.

But a lot of them voted for Obama before voting for Trump. And, a lot of folks don’t vote at all.

Not a mystery why they didn't vote for the email lady in 2016. Toxic masculinity. A historic number of people voted in this election. Some of them I would rather had stayed home.

Actually, no. In the real world, if you are working for a $0 wage, that's a hobby.

'hobby' implies something done primarily for enjoyment of some kind. 'work', in the sense of something you do to get money to live by, doesn't have that implication. if you're truly lucky you can enjoy your work and would do it even if you weren't getting paid. but that's not expected.

related reading here and here.

but today's circumstances aren't that dire. most people in the US today are doing anywhere from great to good enough. there simply aren't enough people doing terribly to have a massive, sustained push to burn down the current system.

Pretty much. But people "doing terribly" is not generally enough to spark a concerted push to burn things down. I read that by a good historian many years ago (Crane Brinton's The Anatomy of Revolution).

The Jacobins in the conservative movement have tapped that vein much more effectively than their Democratic Party counterparts.

that's a hobby

or, an internship!! :)

that second link starts out good. i like this:

Where does this amazingly, jaw-droopingly stupid idea of free-dumb come from? Covid’s hardly some kind of anomaly. It’s part of a larger pattern. Americans — in the vast, vast majority — think of freedom in a way that by now the rest of the rich world and much of the poor one regards as dangerously backwards. Freedom is the right not to ever have to cooperate, to invest, to act for the common wealth or common good.

entirely true.

but there's one crucial factor that piece left out: the culture war. Trump and the rest of the conservative machine decided early on to use C19 as a partisan issue. they made it a way for 'conservatives' to express their politics. they politicized it in such a way that to be maskless and to go to bars and biker rallies, etc. was a way to prove your Trumpian bona fides.

it's not just that certain Americans overvalue a certain kind of freedom, it's that the GOP tied C19 to that 'freedom'. now being a COVID denier is a way to be publicly right-wing: like waving a Confederate flag, or bringing a gun to the supermarket.

but that piece just says "Americans are dumb" (a common theme of that author). it doesn't give any credit to the tens of millions of us who aren't pretending COVID doesn't exist or that it's not a big deal or that we shouldn't just wear a mask.

Unpaid promotion: if you think as I do that Mitch McConnell is even more dangerous than He, Trump, donate to the Warnock campaign if you can.

Now, about the "working class".

Who's in it?

I mean, from what they have told us about themselves here, McKinney and Marty as well as russell and cleek work for a living. So do I. Are we in the working class, or not?

How about people who have retired from plumbing or meatpacking or nursing or teaching? Are they in the working class?

What about people like the inimitable JDT? Is he the only actual capitalist in our ranks?

I'm being pedantic, not trolling. As a pedant, I like to know how people define their terms.

--TP

now being a COVID denier is a way to be publicly right-wing: like waving a Confederate flag, or bringing a gun to the supermarket.

But at least, unlike those other two, it runs a chance of eliminating the denier. Dangerous for those around him as well, of course. But still, some small prospect of self-correction.

if you think as I do that Mitch McConnell is even more dangerous than He, Trump, donate to the Warnock campaign if you can.

Just a note. At the moment, Warnock has a small lead (inside the margin of error, but at least a lead). While Ossoff is essentially dead even. And slapping down McConnell requires both winning their election. So don't donate just to Warnock.

But at least, unlike those other two, it runs a chance of eliminating the denier.

prediction:
since it's not a large chance that any one person will get it and die, most deniers will live. and they'll go on to ruin the response to the next virus, too.

not only has Trump destroyed political norms, he's now made it acceptable to flaunt public health.

thanks GOP!

prediction: having denied covid, there will be a significant number who will decline to get the vaccine. And that will, subsequently, spread to them becoming across the board anti-vaxxers.

It's the second order effects like that which will do them the most harm. And, unfortunately, their children.

Freedom!

There's evidence that young people can tolerate the virus better than they can tolerate the vaccine. The second dose of the vaccine is making some of them pretty sick with 104-degree fevers and some hospitalizations. Older people seem to tolerate the vaccine well while the virus can kill them.

it kills young people, too. 20,000 dead under 55 in the US so far (CDC).

It does kill people under 55 but it's greatly more deadly to people over 55. Especially so when the number of people in each age group is considered. The largest number of deaths is in the over 85 age group. But there are only about 6.5 million people in that group.

COVID-19 Deaths by Age

An interesting take on the Georgia runoffs.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/georgia-senate-run-offs-early-voting/2020/12/27/80d55626-4604-11eb-a277-49a6d1f9dff1_story.html

Money quote:

“You can only get 100 percent turnout in a rural county,” said Lawrence “Lane” Flynn, the chair of the DeKalb County Republican Party. “All that red ink on the map is great, but at some point you run out of people. Meanwhile, there are 10,000 people a day moving to Atlanta. All our ads are people in jeans and orange vests with shotguns and pickup trucks. That’s not going to appeal to the guy from Auburn or Georgetown who just got a job in Atlanta and a condo in Brookhaven.”

There's evidence that young people can tolerate the virus better than they can tolerate the vaccine. The second dose of the vaccine is making some of them pretty sick with 104-degree fevers and some hospitalizations.

How young is young here? IIRC, the Pfizer vaccine is not licensed, even on an emergency basis, for people under 18. Moderna 16, I think.

Just about everybody is young to me...

45-50 or younger I think.

There have been a few thousand adverse reactions to the first shot too.

Scroll down to:

V-safe Active Surveillance for COVID-19 Vaccines

Jen Rubin reminds us that the Dems don't really have a votes problem, they have a Constitution problem.

More generally, we can see that it is the electoral college that transforms President-elect Joe Biden’s margin of 7 million votes into a multistate nail-biter. But forget the electoral college for a moment: Democrats have won the popular vote in the past four consecutive elections with margins ranging from 2.9 million (Clinton in 2016) to 10 million (Obama in 2008). And Al Gore, by the way, won by more than half a million votes nationally. One “solution” to the deep division problem, then, would be to junk the electoral college.

A similar lack of majority rule gives Republicans control of the Senate, despite having support from a minority of the population. The disproportionate power of lightly populated states turns significant majority rule by Democrats into persistent minority rule by Republicans. Gerrymandering offers many Republicans a similar artificial advantage in their House seats.

In other words, we have an enduring and significant majority in favor of Democrats nationally, but our constitutional system consistently hands that advantage over to a Republican Party that is increasingly radical, irrational and racist. (As The Post’s Dan Balz writes, “For Trump supporters, cultural preservation of an America long dominated by a White, Christian majority remains a cornerstone of their beliefs.” That is the definition of white supremacy.)

...

The bottom line: Democrats have a small but stubborn national popular vote majority. The electorate as a whole agrees with their positions on gun safety, climate change and health care. The trick is expanding democracy, maximizing the benefits of federalism and working hard to create an electorate that resembles the increasingly diverse — and progressive — population.

Jennifer Rubin wrote that. LOL. Trump wrecked the GOP.

There have been a few thousand adverse reactions to the first shot too.

how do they compare in count and severity to other common vaccines? for example, the typical flu vaccine makes most people feel worn out for a day or so. the shingles vaccine is even worse. vaccines that stimulate your immune system always make you feel like you have a slight cold (because what you feel with a cold is pretty much your immune reaction at work).

my brother in law got the vaccine. he says it made him feel like he got a flu vaccine. totally expected.

my brother in law got the vaccine. he says it made him feel like he got a flu vaccine. totally expected.

You just don't have the proper mindset for getting (in)appropriately hysterical about government tyrrany when it comes to vaccines.

That’s not going to appeal to the guy from Auburn or Georgetown who just got a job in Atlanta and a condo in Brookhaven.

Borrowing a thought from a friend in Georgia, "Every time a business moves from NJ to Atlanta, they bring 10 executives who are conservative and want to vote Republican, and 100 middle-managers who want to vote Democratic. This is not a good long-term strategy for those of us who are conservative."

Same thing as Colorado. Sen. Cory Gardner's big starting problem this year was that since he got elected in 2014, 300,000 new voters, about 75% of them leaning Democratic, moved to Colorado. His second biggest problem is that the Colorado Republican Party seems to have decided to make some policy choices disliked by a bunch of the 2014 voters.

My guess is Texas is eight years away. Utah 12.

My guess is Texas is eight years away.

And right up until the end we will be stuck listening to folks trumpeting the fact that all these people are moving from California to Texas. (Perhaps because reality is so inconvenient to their worldview.)

And then, the world will be ending, because Texas no longer fits their fantasies.

His second biggest problem is that the Colorado Republican Party seems to have decided to make some policy choices disliked by a bunch of the 2014 voters.

The California Republican Party did the same thing, back in the early 1990s. It's almost like they have a death wish. And an inability to learn from the mistakes of others.

There's evidence that young people can tolerate the virus better than they can tolerate the vaccine.

Well, how many "youngs" have received the vaccine so far? How many deaths?

And right up until the end we will be stuck listening to folks trumpeting the fact that all these people are moving from California to Texas.

:^)

Or from other places. Some years back, I pointed out to some Texas friends that they were 12M people behind California. At that time, the equivalent of another Houston metro area and another Dallas metro area. My claim then, and I have seen no reason to change it, was that if they ever caught up to California's population, Texas would have either (a) adopted water and pollution and other regulatory policies that looked a lot like California or (b) become unlivable.

Texas would have either (a) adopted water and pollution and other regulatory policies that looked a lot like California or (b) become unlivable.

And California at least has snow-capped mountains to serve as a source of water. It's not where it's wanted, but at least it's available.

Texas? Not so's you would notice. Last I looked, the Rio Grande wasn't so grand. Indeed, its bed was dry for a lot of its length for a significant part of the year. Texas complains that it isn't getting the share of the water it was promised. But somehow I suspect that Colorado and New Mexico aren't falling all over themselves to cut use so Texas can have more.

"IIRC, the Pfizer vaccine is not licensed, even on an emergency basis, for people under 18. Moderna 16, I think."

Other way around, Moderna approval starts at 18 and Pfizer at 16.

Apparently Pfizer is working on trials for ages down to 12.

That older people may have fewer side-effects than younger people seems plausible, even though still unproven.

I'd like to see the evidence that "young people tolerate the virus better than the vaccine."

There have been no reports I'm aware of that there have been any deaths or lasting damage from the vaccine in 16/17-year-olds. You can't say the same about the virus.

The claim that the virus causes less damage to young people than the vaccine seems implausible at this point.

Studies and time will tell.

Texas would have either (a) adopted water and pollution and other regulatory policies that looked a lot like California or (b) become unlivable.

As the saying goes:

First God made Hell.
That was for practice.
Then He made TEXAS.

They seem proud of it too.

I've never understood why we have vanity license plates in Texas. After all, the plates already have TEXAS stamped on them...

In this article, the reactions experienced by people taking the vaccines haven't been too awful bad.

"Two and a half hours after being injected with a Covid-19 vaccine, Dr. Taneisha Wilson was hit with the worst headache of her life.

In her home office in Cranston, R.I., Dr. Wilson, 36, an emergency physician with a constitution she calls “horse-like,” laid her head down on the desk. Fighting a wave of nausea, she let out an involuntary groan loud enough to be heard by her husband in a room down the hall.

“Are you OK, babe?” he called.

“It felt like I got smacked,” Dr. Wilson recalled in an interview."
What the Vaccine Side Effects Feel Like, According to Those Who’ve Gotten It: Here is what some of the first Americans to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are saying about how they felt afterward, with some side effects but no second thoughts.

A friend of mine was in the trials for the Moderna vaccine. He got a pretty solid headache and felt kind of crappy for a day or so.

And now, he's vaccinated.

A downside is that the new variant in the U.K. appears to be more contagious.

Regarding the vaccine: I'm getting vaccinated as soon as I'm eligible, then having a dinner party (or attending one), then going to the beach with my extended family. Looking forward to it!

As for politics, we really should have foregone the peaceful transition of power before the Republicans tried it. Although we wanted to seize the "democracy" high ground, we knew very well that the 2016 election was iffy. We won the popular vote despite the Russian interference which Milquetoast Mueller admitted swung the election (electoral college only) for Trump. We knew this at the outset, and should have figured out a way to enjoin his inauguration, and challenge the results.

I know: the smartest lawyers in the country didn't want to face judges - they were afraid of not passing the laugh test. But the laughter would have been much quieter than the court challenges that have been raised on Trump's behalf - our argument actually involved mobsters laundering money for Putin, etc. Republicans are liars, and ridiculous. I actually think we had a colorable claim.

I know - it's not the conventional take.

On the other hand (arguing with myself here), what my Democratic leaders did was very sweet and noble. I just love us. But maybe we need to go low.

Further to the point, Republicans are sabotaging the country in an incredibly treasonous way right now.

Worry? Me? It's fine. I'm sure it will be fine.

Further to the point, Republicans are sabotaging the country in an incredibly treasonous way right now.

Fortunately, the obstruction is by the massively incompetent politican appointees. While the non-politican staff are coopetating. So the damage is far less than it might be. Still not good, just less bad.

There may not have been a "deep state" before the Trump administration. (Except in the fevered imaginations of the RWNJs.) But Trump and his boys appear to have generated at least the beginnings of one.

it's like my momma always said, 'Be the corruption you see in the world.'

Jackson Lears has an entertaining and insightful rant on this topic - regaining trust of the working class - in the current NY Review of Books (registration required).

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/01/14/orthodoxy-of-the-elites/

Added bonus: he also manages to take down Anne Applebaum's new book and her whole worldview with it.

Jackson Lears has an entertaining and insightful rant on this topic

apparently based on a post from dKos and how it meshes with a decades old grudge against Clinton-era Dems.

i can't read it all (paywalled). but does he ever touch on the fact that Trump had a 95% approval rating among Republicans, the week before the election? if not he's ignoring one simple fact: a Republican will never vote for a Democrat, no matter how shitty the Republican choice might be, because being a Republican is their identity. they'll vote for a third-party yahoo, or stay home, or skip the race, but voting for a Democrat is anathema. (and no, party ID percentages haven't changed since 2016)

and until the hold that political identity has on people, a huge number of people (95% of the GOP, maybe) are unreachable to Dems. blaming it on policy is pure Pundit's Fallacy.

a Republican will never vote for a Democrat, no matter how shitty the Republican choice might be, because being a Republican is their identity.

Say rather that "some Republicans will never...." Because pretty clearly there area fair number who have and will (Obama-Trump voters, just for openers). We can argue about how few or many they are. But clearly they are enough to swing an election.

We can argue about how few or many they are.

let's!

wiki says 9% of Republicans voted for Obama in 2008.


Party Obama McCain Other Total
Democrats 89 10 1 39
Republicans 9 90 1 32
Independents 52 44 4 29

2020:


Party Biden Trump Total
Democrats 94 5 37
Republicans 6 94 36
Independents 54 41 26

But clearly they are enough to swing an election.

i'm not sure about that.

looks like more Democrats voted for the Democrat this time. plus, 22M more people voted this year than in 2016 and i bet Biden got a lot of them (can't find the polling).

just ask our local 'conservatives' who they voted for.

From the Jackson Lears piece:

Donald Trump’s grotesque incapacity to govern has made him an easy target, but the difficulties with democracy are subtler, wider, and deeper. One clue to their complexity is a blog post that appeared on the liberal website Daily Kos a month after Trump’s election in 2016. “Be Happy for Coal Miners Losing Their Health Insurance,” the headline blared. “They’re Getting Exactly What They Voted For.”

The dismissal is curt and callous: clearly, Trump’s victory provoked some of his opponents to double down on their hostility toward his supporters. But the blog post also shows—more broadly—that being a liberal Democrat no longer means what it once meant. Sympathy for the working class has, for many, curdled into contempt.

My bold. Based on one piece (as cleek notes) in Daily Kos. To say facts not in evidence is hardly adequate.

As an aside, cleek, what tags are used to invoke a monospace font?

You can read the whole article after free registration. I can also recap some points when I have time but am not sure the audience would be very appreciative.

I wonder if Dan Patrick will ever pay John Fetterman his reward money. Hope Fetterman sues!

As an aside, cleek, what tags are used to invoke a monospace font?

good ol' <pre> does monospace

Thanks!

from novakant's piece
So it should come as no surprise that Trump maintained his support among rural and less educated voters and even improved it among African-Americans and Latinos.

Really?

To Tony P’s question upthread: for purposes of this discussion I would define working class as employed or at least employed before COVID hit, probably not college grad, not poor but not wealthy.

It’s also worth noting here that people who are actually poor - let’s say the bottom third of household income - generally don’t vote for (R)’s and did not go for Trump in either 2016 or 2020. Wealthy folks, in contrast, went for Trump in both elections. The category that moved from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020 were the $50K-$100K folks. Working class.

Biden was able to connect with them, I think, because he comes from that background and knows (and remembers) how to speak that language. PA Lt Governor Fetterman, who Donald has referred to here a few times recently, likewise. Most (D)’s, and most professional politicians for that matter, don’t. They’re mostly lawyers or have some similar professional resume.

The (R)’s are generally not blue-collar folks either, but they work around that by validating working people’s sense of resentment, and by appealing to culture war crap. “They’re looking down on you!”. It rings true, not least because professional-class people, and in particular liberal (D)’s, quite often refer to working class people with what seem, not without justification, to be condescending and patronizing ways. Regrettably.

What I think we are talking about here is a class issue - people with college degrees and professional credentials, vs people who don’t have those things. And I don’t think it is actually all that hard to find examples of professional class liberals condescending to working people who don’t have college degrees. The (D)’s support policies that are better for those people, IMO, but the people who speak for the (D)’s as a party are prone to condescending to them. In my opinion, and actually in my experience.

That’s my take on it.

Really?

Based on exit polls, Trump gained 2-4% more of the black vote in 2020 as compared to 2016, virtually all of the coming from black men.

To Tony P’s question upthread: for purposes of this discussion I would define working class as employed or at least employed before COVID hit, probably not college grad, not poor but not wealthy.

It’s also worth noting here that people who are actually poor - let’s say the bottom third of household income - generally don’t vote for (R)’s and did not go for Trump in either 2016 or 2020. Wealthy folks, in contrast, went for Trump in both elections. The category that moved from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020 were the $50K-$100K folks. Working class.

That's not how "working class" is defined by most other people, so your argument is kind of confusing.

Working class people (as you acknowledged, russell) aren't just white. But they also aren't just male. If we're talking about someone who makes just under $100,000, that includes a lot of people with professional degrees. Are you including teachers, for example, because they require significant education, and still make within that range, and are mostly (just guessing based on stereotype) not Trump supporters?

As to voting statistics, is the actual data even in yet? If so, is there a link that I've missed? I know that there was some exit polling done, but are we to trust those numbers?

I'm very skeptical of the whole "working class are feeling oppressed because Democrats don't do it right" theory. In addition, if a college education is (in general) what it takes to give someone the critical thinking skills to be something other than a Trump supporter, that's a huge selling point for college (and I could spin off into a rant about the vapid, disingenuous, jealousy-laden "meritocracy" article that was posted by novakant, but since there was nothing really new in it, why bother).

In other words, I do gladly condescend to Trump supporters, no matter what their educational attainment or income level. They are dumb-asses, and in many cases worse than that.

As to college, college is too expensive now for many people who would like to go, and I would like to change that. What I don't want to change (except to make it more accessible) is the ideal of education. There's a valorization of ignorance in our culture that is becoming extremely pernicious. If you want to be a tradesperson, fine - but you need to acquire adequate information, historical knowledge and critical thinking skills to participate in our democracy.

Based on exit polls, Trump gained 2-4% more of the black vote in 2020 as compared to 2016, virtually all of the coming from black men.

So you are citing exit polls, which is fine - that's all we have now. As to the whole "men" increase? Toxic masculinity and tribalism. They love somebody cruel telling them that they can be cruel too.

So, basically, what we're really talking about is men who feel inadequate. That's sad, and it always seems to have been true that men who feel inadequate are bullies. That's what we're talking about here. Maybe we should hire a whole lot of psychotherapists. Or get McKinney, or someone else, to give us an analysis of whether they all had a single mother who failed them.

Based on exit polls, Trump gained 2-4% more of the black vote in 2020 as compared to 2016, virtually all of the coming from black men.

Admiration for toxic masculinity is not limited to white lower class men.

Admiration for toxic masculinity is not limited to white lower class men.

Lord of the Flies. We all read it.

Not to leave cruel women off the hook.

Thanks Russell. And yeah, it seems to me more like toxic masculinity at work rather than Trump articulating some sort of vision the Dems need to embrace.

It plugs in, I think, to the discussion of 'charm' in a different thread. It's a fascinating word if you think about it, charm is often (but not always) a quality that men are supposed to exhibit that often takes on the quality of seduction (ex, he charmed the pants off, pants being chosen over socks because of this
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=charm+the+pants+off%2C+charm+the+socks+off&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ccharm%20the%20pants%20off%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccharm%20the%20socks%20off%3B%2Cc0 )

Women, of course, can be charming, (the google ngram is interesting in that regard) and child is thrown in there which suggests it is somehow associated with adult things)
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=charming+man%2Ccharming+woman%2C+charming+child&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ccharming%20man%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccharming%20woman%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccharming%20child%3B%2Cc0

But my take is that charm for Americans mirrors nous comment about Trump being what a poor (man) thinks a rich (man) is like and for women, and I'd extend that to say charm means, for some women, someone they would like to marry.

Another note, sapient mentions Lord of the Flies, and I had the same view until I read this Guardian article

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months

That's a beautiful real life story, lj. Any optimism I have is based on the young people I know, so Lord of the Flies doesn't apply to everyone. Sadly, there's still something that accounts for the unbridled cruelty that is apparently so seductive to 40% of us. And I don't think it's that Democrats are mean to the working class.

If we're talking about someone who makes just under $100,000, that includes a lot of people with professional degrees. Are you including teachers, for example, because they require significant education, and still make within that range

Yes, folks in the (let's say) $50K to $100K band include folks with professional degrees. And for purposes of this discussion - a discussion of people for whom the (D)'s should have a good story, but apparently are not connecting to the degree that they have historically - I don't include in 'working class'.

The key word here being 'class'. It's not just about money, it's also about social standing.

And I'd probably exclude teachers, due to their professional accreditation, even though they probably get paid worse than many or most tradesmen (for example).

So you are citing exit polls, which is fine - that's all we have now.

Yes, my comment about shifts in support of black men (and probably other men of color) for Trump is based on exit polls. Which is what is available now. Please do take with whatever grains of salt seem appropriate.

Some cites for some of my comments upthread:

2016 voters by income.
2020 voters by income.

Note the shift in the middle band - $50k to $100k - between 2016 and 2020.

Shift in support for Trump among minorities. Still overwhelmingly for Biden, but shifting by small numbers.

All of the above is from exit poll data, take with whatever grains of salt you think are relevant.

FWIW, I basically live in professional white liberal coastal urban land. I can tell you from my own experience that there are several grains of truth to the idea that People In My World don't have a deep understanding of working class people (as I've defined it above), and often talk about them in patronizing ways.

It's a correctable thing, and correcting it begins (always IMO) with self-awareness.

I don't really know anyone whose work type gives that person a lesser social standing. I have extended family members who haven't gone to college, who have jobs that put them into the category that you describe. Although I wouldn't doubt that some people are condescending toward these family members, I am not. However, the ones who are Trumpers, I most definitely am. In other words, their social standing isn't determined by their social status; it's a matter of their ridiculous, impossible-to-accept political views. So there's some chicken and egg going on here.

There are a lot of factors that enable or destroy people's ability to succeed in school, or on whatever career trajectory is available. My own life has been quirky and full of false starts. There are plenty of people who think I'm inadequate in various ways. But that doesn't make me want to turn my government into a weapon to screw my fellow citizens. Please explain that impulse to me, because I don't get it.

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