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April 30, 2021

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One might add that the GOP is constantly (and successfully) working on nullifying those same voter approved initiatives everywhere with numerous shenanigans and outright violations of not just the spirit but the actual letter.
It seems to have little effect on voting patterns. Of course, quite a lot of those initiatives are about voting access, so there is extra incentive to get around them.

Michael -- to state it a little differently, your thesis would make more sense to me if the "coastal elites" baggage attached more inevitably or stickily to national candidates than to local ones. But it seems like you're saying the reverse.

Assimilation != appropriation

Assimilation != appropriation

So, AOC has been assimilated into blonde culture?...

I think people vote for ballot initiatives mostly on first principles, and not particularly well thought through first principles.

I think they vote for elected office mostly on identity - and specifically on how well the candidate gives voice to the voter's own sense of self.

And all of this messaging discussion for the Ds comes as a result of there being multiple groups that do not feel heard and feel abandoned by the Ds on a local level, in part because people like Clinton chose to chase after the donor class with his rhetoric. So there are people all around the edges feeling like their core issues are not being seen or prioritized.

And the GOP populists are chasing the rural whites in that group by telling them that the urban minorities are getting all the Ds attention. It's not true by any stretch, but it feels true after all these years of Reagan rhetoric.

does that make her guilty of cultural appropriation?

Ocasio-Cortez is a Latina from the Bronx. I'm not sure she's presenting herself as anything else but that. She's not 'appropriating' anyhing as far as I can tell.

I have no idea what you're talking about here. Is this one of those "you're the real racist" things?

:)

Annoyingly, I lost a longish comment (on my phone) in reply to russell's 12.47. So, an attempt at a short reconstruction:

I don't think it's necessary to accept the proposal that ground has to be given. The Clinton "super-predator" incident can serve (should serve) as a cautionary tale.

I don't see how it wouldn't be a good idea to be ambitious enough to:

1. Emphasise, very clearly, that the party stands against discrimination and for inclusivity.

2. Then, enumerate all the policies which are traditional Dem values: adequate pay for labour for working people, adequate labour protections ditto, access to healthcare, strengthening of the social safety-net, improving chances for upward social mobility, addressing the issue of climate change etc etc. Messaging: make it very clear that people of all ethnicities and genders are in the pool that is uplifted by these policies. [russell, this list of policies is off the top of my head, substitute any of your comments going back months and years for a better list].

3. Propose a taxation system which addresses, among other things, enormous and ongoing accumulations of capital wealth. (I imagine that the fact that people of all ethnicities and to some extent genders are less likely to be in the pool affected by this policy will not be a major concern to potential voters you are trying to appeal to).

I don't think this is completely, unrealistically, over-ambitious. Biden is doing a pretty good job of laying the groundwork, and if the Dems added house and senate seats in 2022 and 2024, we could really see some significant change. It's worth a try - and the Stacey Abrams type people on the ground, and the messaging mavens working together could pull off some impressive change. You'd need something like (I can't remember, was it an Obama thing or a Clinton thing or a Blair thing?) a dedicated channel (Twitter these days I guess) with a dedicated staff 24/7 which was only devoted to immediate clapback against R distortions and lies about Dem policies, statements etc. It could be done.

ps The lost comment was better!

Any statement made about the ongoing environmental catastrophe must also straddle issues of environmental justice (the correlation between pollution, race, and poverty) and of rural jobs (when land use and or affordable housing are impacted by the need to protect vulnerable ecosystems).

Our entrenched problems with race are baked into the urban/rural divide. A middle position that addresses neither of the ends has consistently come up short at both ends and rings hollow, especially after several decades of lip service to those ideals while the economic divide has grown. Appealing to diverse groups while alienating none becomes a difficult messaging bind.

What's needed is a message that puts both these groups in common cause while simultaneously listening to the concerns that these groups have and demonstrating a commitment to addressing each group's specific grievances.

That, as both a message and a set of policy proposals, is hard to do. It's certainly more difficult than the naked populism, paranoia, and self-flattery of the current GOP messaging.

The key to this last bit I wrote is again what russell was talking about when he said that the Dems need to connect from the ground up and find their message that way, rather than relying on the professional advisory class* to give them a magical message of unity.

*Which is not an argument against policy experts or pollsters, just an argument about whose voices the conversation should center upon.

the Dems need to connect from the ground up and find their message that way

I agree with this, and in a way it's what I have been arguing towards.

That, as both a message and a set of policy proposals, is hard to do. It's certainly more difficult than the naked populism, paranoia, and self-flattery of the current GOP messaging.

True. And you leave out that the current GOP messaging is also based (as it has been for some time actually) purely on cynical manipulation and lies.

TBH, I can't really find anything in this whole thread that I disagree with. The only quibble might be the need for a "(D) Fox News" - I'm not sure it would actually be to their benefit.

Hope the (D)'s do it all. Messaging, outreach, ground game. Get it all done and keep winning.

the Dems need to connect from the ground up and find their message that way

To me, "ground up" implies good public policy that empowers people: Public health care; child care; free or almost free education; REAL reform of our broken labor relations laws and yes, racial justice.

We don't need the bullshit "messaging" of J. Carter and those following who chased really bad public policy that basically made it almost impossible for average voters to distinguish between R's and D's (free enterprise! muscular defense! free trade!). Absent some real emphasis on policy differentials, it was a race to the bottom of the barrel wrt policy. Race and culture wars filled the vacuum, and we got the backlash crap of "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."

So if Carville wants to go after "bad messaging" that's where I would start.

JanieM -- I know I'm explaining this badly.

The national parties have positions. The ones that will be important for winning states, or locations within states, will be subsets. Public land policy is important in the West -- we gained control in Colorado because we could exploit the Republicans' national policy of "just let the extractive industries do what they want." That's not something that's big in Georgia. OTOH, I suspect -- and only suspect since to be honest I effectively know squat about local conditions in Georgia -- that the Republicans' national policy of attempting to further suppress the African-American vote can be exploited there. Here, where the AA population is barely 4%, it doesn't matter. And not to disappoint anyone, but AA is not interchangeable with Hispanic/Latino 2,000 miles away.

One that I have worried about for years is how the Democrats handle urban policy given the two regions where they are strongest -- since in one region the message is about the urban core trying to recover from population crash, lack of jobs, outdated infrastructure, etc and in the other region is about almost unmanageable growth.

Well, as I noted previously, in order make his fight on messaging, Carville uses the almost totally imaginary figures of faculty in shipping sherry in faculty lounges. I'm sure his heart is in the right place, but trying to make headway by using a fiction is just going to open you up to more attacks.

I think the thing is really that Carville doesn’t seem to have worked out as well as Biden has, how to be an old geezer.

On superficial reading, Carville seems to have two points.

1) Ds should not use academic jargon. Good advice. But it's not in their power to stop academics using academic jargon, and Rs quoting it.

2) Ds should be more persistent in calling out Rs for gross turpitude. And why not.

You'd think....

That, as both a message and a set of policy proposals, is hard to do.

Yes and yes. It gets worse when you try to appease everybody by pretty much wringing politics out of the politics.

Politics is why you are in the game, is it not?

Politics is why you are in the game, is it not?

For some, the game is, indeed, the whole reason for being there.

But there are, hard as you may find it to believe, some of us are in politics because we actually care about policies. On their own merits, not because they are bundled into an ideology we like -- if only because it upsets those we don't care for. (A phenomena that has been characteristic of both the far right and the far left.) We're here (in politics) as a means, not as an end in itself.

but this new law would apply equally to everyone! what's the problem?

but we don't want it to apply equally to everyone! can we exempt our people from it?

As Gruters’s Senate Bill 90 was debated in the legislature this year, some Republicans privately expressed worry that it could further undercut the party’s ability to encourage mail voting — particularly among military voters and the elderly, who overwhelmingly use that method to cast their ballots.

One former state party official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations said some Republicans briefly discussed whether lawmakers could exempt those two groups from the provision requiring voters to request mail ballots every election cycle. “Key lawmakers said, ‘You can’t do that,’ ” the former official said. “It would raise equal protection problems.”

Now, the damage is done, he added. “Now, you’ll have military personnel who might not think they have to request a ballot who won’t get it. And we’ve got senior voters who have health concerns or just don’t want to go out. They might not know the law has changed, and they might not get a ballot, because they’re not engaged.”

commence handwaving.

Hey, at least they realized that it would be blatant "unequal protection." And then didn't try to cram it thru anyway (on the assumption that the current Supreme Court would let it stand; the contrary sure is not a chance I'd count on).

For some, the game is, indeed, the whole reason for being there.

You seem to have totally misunderstood what I wrote. Politics is all about policy. Policies do not "stand or fall on their own merits". If it were that easy, there would be no "politics" to begin with.

You appear to be in the camp that opines, "If only we took the politics out of politics, things would be better". Sorry. Won't happen.

Shifting gears:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/many-police-officers-spurn-coronavirus-194524802.html

Police officers were more likely to die of covid-19, the illness that can be caused by the novel coronavirus, last year than of all other causes combined, according to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Wow

Darwin Shrugged.

You appear to be in the camp that opines, "If only we took the politics out of politics, things would be better". Sorry. Won't happen.

Of course it won't. That's why I said it was a means to an end.

That's why I said it was a means to an end.

OK. So what is your point? Perhaps you could provide examples?

My point was that you, as I understood you, were saying that politics was a game and nothing more. A view which I have encountered from time to time elsewhere as well.

And which I disagree with. It's merely the best mechanism we have come up with (for everybody, gotta have that caveat!) to get along together and get things done.

My point was that you, as I understood you, were saying that politics was a game and nothing more.

lol...well, no. How on earth did you get that impression? I'm saying the exact opposite.

Politics is how we decide to split up the stuff. It is serious...all too often it is deadly serious. Have you never attended a zoning meeting?

Have a good day.

I asked my wife to marry me when our children were very young (I realise that's not the traditional order of affairs). She accepted on the condition that we would wait until our daughter was three - old enough to be a bridesmaid.

We never quite got round to it - too busy with life - until the diagnosis of incurable cancer. "Let's get married", she said, so we did. It was a big party for all our friends and family, and if the napkin rings didn't match, the champagne made up for it.

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