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December 02, 2021

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12% of workers are unionized in the US, and that number is falling.

Support for unions is on the rise, though < https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/29/support-of-labor-unions-is-at-65percentheres-whats-behind-the-rise.html >, and it is strongest among the young. And unions crosscut all the demographic fault lines.

I've been in a union of one sort or another for 20 years (and not a labor activist type either, I'm a union pragmatist.) Things looked bleak after Janus, but the pandemic has really created awareness of how exploited essential workers are and that awareness is spreading, as is the sense of inequity and what is at stake.

Our union has grown since the last contract victory as our non-members that we represent see what collective action can do for them, and there is more resolve now than there was 20 years ago. This is an opportunity lying there for the Democrats that the GOP will never embrace. It's a clear value distinction that puts the Dems back on the side of the working class.

So it doesn't matter that it is a small demographic. It matters that it is a strategically important demographic. The Dems will probably piss this moment away like most others as they chase big donors, but I have a sliver of hope still that someone will notice the union support that energized Sanders' campaign and start to build on that at the grassroots level in all the places where Dems have been invisible for decades.

I'm lookin' at you, Bari Weiss and Andrew Sullivan

Both have argued against banning the teaching of CRT and books on the subject.

So it doesn't matter that it is a small demographic. It matters that it is a strategically important demographic.

I'm not quite following why this is a strategically important demographic. At least until it has grown substantially.

And, even more, why you think it will be significant in the extremely short run -- which is what is critical at this point.

So what demographic would you advise going after in the "extremely short run", wj?

--TP

I'm not quite following why this is a strategically important demographic. At least until it has grown substantially.

Because the demographic you are aiming to win over is not *union members,* it's the people who wish they had a union, or the people who have family members that are in a union. It's winning support from people who need to see a party helping ordinary working folks.

How many people have a family member who is a nurse, or a service worker, or a warehouse worker who has been overworked, at-risk, and underpaid? Would having a candidate show up to support them make you like that candidate more?

I mean, I've had great conversations with students on campus who came out to support us when we were about to strike who were there because they had parents in a service workers' union, or who were nurses, or who were teachers. Many of those students' parents who were teachers were teaching at charter schools that did not have unions, and the students were there to help us because our success would have a knock-on effect for their parents.

It costs next to nothing for a candidate to show up and publicly support workers, especially when the people on the other side are seen as cold-hearted profiteers. It gives the candidate a chance to be down-to-earth and to make the moment be about community and values and not just a stump speech.

And because, absent labor, the Dems really have no connection to small towns and the places that have been bleeding jobs for years.

So what demographic would you advise going after in the "extremely short run", wj?

To use an obnoxious, but handy, label: soccer moms.

Go after suburbanites. They vote.** They may have voted Republican in the past, but they are persuadable. Talk about childcare for their children (or grandchildren), so they (or their children) can get back to work if they want. Talk about health care, especially for their 20-something kids, whose jobs don't come with benefits like that. Talk about controlling guns, so their kids don't have to do "active shooter" drills at school. Talk about the "kitchen table" issues that they care about.

Also, start touting the individual (very popular) bits of the bills being passed. Forget global slogans like "Build Back Better." Get down to the nitty-gritty, where things are easy to understand in bite-sized chunks.

There's plenty there. Unions, for most of them, are at most a "nice to have"; nowhere near as salient as the above. If you have time to spend an hour with a handful of people, yeah you might convince them. But it just isn't the volume you need.

** In particular, they vote in districts which were gerrymandered on the assumption that they are a pretty safe constituency for Republicans. Which, IMHO, they ain't.

Everything you are talking about there, wj, is a talking point in a stump speech, and it's a stump speech that the other side is also making.

Showing up at a picket line or asking a rich capitalist why they are not offering better benefits to their workers who are striking? Not a stump speech. Not about the politician. It's about the workers. It's for the workers. It doesn't require any trust. All it requires is showing up.

Talk about childcare for their children (or grandchildren), so they (or their children) can get back to work if they want.

Just don't tell them how much it's going to cost them.

"Child care is already a major expense for parents, and President Biden pledges to reduce its cost with his multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better bill. Yet while some of those who receive government subsidies may see reduced costs, millions of other working parents could see their child-care costs double. The new program would act like a $20,000 to $30,000 annual tax on middle-income families."
Biden Would Make Daycare Even More Expensive: The Build Back Better bill would act like a $20,000 to $30,000 annual tax on middle-income families.

Just don't tell them how much it's going to cost them.

Get real, Charles. They know full well what it costs. Either they have been paying it, or they know they can't afford it because they've checked it out. (And if you think the cost would shoot up that much, try finding a reputable source to support you. The days when the Wall Street Journal qualified are, sadly, behind us.)

wj: Talk about childcare ... Talk about health care ... Talk about controlling guns ... Talk about the "kitchen table" issues that they care about.

To paraphrase Mark Twain(?), "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it."

I confess to often having been annoyed by good, well-intentioned Democrats on the stump using the phrase "I'm talking about [such and so]" as if that alone amounted to an incentive to vote for them. So, contra wj, my advice to Democrats would be to say:

"Republicans are out to make your life miserable by stopping US from helping YOU afford child care or health care or college or retirement. They'll tell you that as long as your neighbor's daughter can't get an abortion but your neighbor's son can have all the guns he wants, you'll be fine. You don't need more money, the Republicans will tell you, only billionaires do. Billionaires need yachts and mansions and trips to space more than YOU need a break, see? If you buy that crap, go ahead and vote Republican."

Nous suggests practical, visible action. Aside from its symbolic value, showing up to support a union seems like a perfect opportunity to "talk about kitchen table issues", no?

--TP

The days when the Wall Street Journal qualified are, sadly, behind us.

That can be said of about all media. Not just the ones you don't like.

Another take.

"And the poor design of some of these programs compounds the program. For example, in the subsidized child care program, each state would calculate a payment rate deemed to be equal to the “cost of child care” and providers may neither charge parents amounts in excess of their copay nor give them a discount or rebate. (In this respect, it’s quite different than the ACA for healthcare, where subsidies are based on the average “Silver” plan cost, and recipients can shop around for the price and coverage that suits them best.) Will the state calculate the cost “correctly,” or will they overshoot and give providers unintended profits, or will they be stingy in their calculation because of state cost-share requirements, putting providers out of business? In any event, the legislation requires that child care workers with credentials and education similar to elementary school teachers be paid equivalently, which will cause costs to explode — along with other determinations of “quality,” this could more than double costs not just for parents who don’t qualify for subsidies, but for the government, where every dollar spent on these subsidies is a dollar that can’t be spent on some other program of equal importance."
No, The ‘Build Back Better Bill’ Is Not Fully Paid For - But Do Americans Care?

Republicans are out to make your life miserable by stopping US from helping YOU afford child care or health care or college or retirement.

Tony, that's what I said. I think there's a benefit to also saying, "Whereas we have been taking concrete steps to get those things done." As you say, "Everybody talks about the weather...." So if you have actually done something about it, you definitely need to say so. Loud and clear and repeatedly.

Plus, that way you phrase it as "and they want to take those things away from you." Taking stuff away never plays well. A few good quotes about abolishing Medicare, Social Security even, could pay dividends. And Charles' heroes can doubtless be found explicitly saying exactly that.

providers may neither charge parents amounts in excess of their copay nor give them a discount or rebate.

Kind of runs counter to your previous "millions of other working parents could see their child-care costs double," doesn't it?

Douthat sums up the 'new right':

The younger American right isn’t like the conservatism of 20 years ago — it’s more reactionary and radical all at once, more pessimistic and possibly more dangerous. That’s the message of a pair of recent anthropologies of the youthful conservative intelligentsia: one by Sam Adler-Bell in The New Republic, based on interviews with various junior reactionaries, and one by my colleague David Brooks in The Atlantic, following his sojourn at the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Fla.

...


Suppose you made a list of what each tendency in American politics considers our biggest challenges right now. For the new right, the list might look something like this.

Abroad, the double failure of our post-9/11 nation-building efforts and our open door to China, which requires either a recalibration to contain the Chinese regime or else a general pullback from an overextended empire.

At home, the threat to liberty from Silicon Valley monopolies enforcing progressive orthodoxy and the threat to human happiness from the addictive nature of social media, online pornography and online life in general. The collapse of birthrates, the dissolution of institutional religion and the decline of bourgeois normalcy, manifest in the younger generation’s failure to mate, to marry, raise families. The post-1960s “great stagnation” in both living standards and technological innovation. The costs of cultural libertarianism, the increase in unhappiness and high rates of depression and addiction in a more individualistic society.

sounds pretty fucking proto-fasc, to me.

I may not agree with wj on specifics, but I'll stand behind him on my own long time claim: "Win the suburbs, win the state." Watching my own state over the last 30 years swing from solidly red to purple to now firmly blue -- the national pundits don't even grace us with the title 'battleground' in presidential elections any more -- it was all about changes in many of the large suburbs.

the legislation requires that child care workers with credentials and education similar to elementary school teachers be paid equivalently, which will cause costs to explode

Cost will explode because child care workers with credentials and education similar to elementary school teachers are paid much less than those teachers.

Maybe the WSJ is looking in the wrong place for the basic problem here.

Imo, the younger the child the higher the necessary qualifications to properly handle them. But pay is usually structured the other way around. (not just in the US)

Another take of how the democrats could/should approach demographics.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/12/can-germanys-new-leader-teach-democrats-stop-feuding/

Money quote:

Scholz’s success in building a heterogenous government is also a lesson to fractious Democrats. Progressive parties just about everywhere must win younger environmental and culturally liberal voters, but also parts of a more socially conservative working class and elements of a striving middle class as well.
Not as elegant as a simplistic, single demograpgic, answer. But perhaps one which could succeed here as well.

Imo, the younger the child the higher the necessary qualifications to properly handle them.

So, are you saying that parents should have training/degrees in child development before they're allowed to have children?

I may not agree with wj on specifics, but I'll stand behind him on my own long time claim: "Win the suburbs, win the state." Watching my own state over the last 30 years swing from solidly red to purple to now firmly blue -- the national pundits don't even grace us with the title 'battleground' in presidential elections any more -- it was all about changes in many of the large suburbs.

And...

Scholz’s success in building a heterogenous government is also a lesson to fractious Democrats. Progressive parties just about everywhere must win younger environmental and culturally liberal voters, but also parts of a more socially conservative working class and elements of a striving middle class as well.

You'd have to bee a fool to disagree with either of these statements.

The problem is with crafting a message that both cuts through and cuts across the disparate audiences.

"The suburbs" are neither monolithic, nor consistent, nor free from contradictions in their desires. The Democrats did not win (enough of) the suburbs of the Front Range by crafting a magic appeal to the suburban voter.

The Front Range got jobs that attracted a lot of socially moderate voters from California.

This has never been a problem of identifying who you need to appeal to. The problem is, and has always been, what sort of appeal will work.

The Democrats problem is not a problem of appeals to logos or to pathos. They have a deep problem with ethos. And ethos is very hard when dealing with diverse audiences. At some point you have to stop triangulating and pick a place to make a stand.

Which is why while I understand the need to get the suburban vote in order to win, I don't think that "get the suburban vote however one must" is a good strategy. There have to be messages that do not change around which the Dems can build an identity, and those messages have to crosscut rural and urban working class voters to build a sense of shared identity.

The Dems have to stop being management and start being labor.

So, are you saying that parents should have training/degrees in child development before they're allowed to have children?

And by this line of argument we also justify deregulating health care, because untrained parents have to care for sick children too, and have to decide what is best for the sick child, so vaccine mandates are also a totalitarian plot against parental sovereignty.

If that's the world in which you want to live, then bless your heart.

So, are you saying that parents should have training/degrees in child development before they're allowed to have children?

Let's say, it would avoid a lot of problems. That's one reason most reasonable parents seek advice from people with prior experience.
Of course and unfortunately the market for guidebooks on that topic gets flooded with semisolid digestive final product that can (and does) cause more damage and harm than even pure trial and error parents.

So, are you saying that parents should have training/degrees in child development before they're allowed to have children?

I recall being handed my newborn son and thinking "who, me, where's the manual?"

However, he has survived my parenting efforts.

"The suburbs" are neither monolithic, nor consistent, nor free from contradictions in their desires. The Democrats did not win (enough of) the suburbs of the Front Range by crafting a magic appeal to the suburban voter.

Absolutely. When the Gang of Four decided to flip Colorado starting after the 2004 election, they first decided the goal was elect Democrats and then negotiate issues with them. Then they became masters of targeting (their big data approach would be copied by the Obama organization). Eg, Democrats in districts where the Republican was weak on the environment got environment messaging. Where education was the appropriate message, they hammered it. Notoriously, they completely ignored the national party.

Absolutely agree about the California Diaspora. Western state Republicans continue to be blindsided by that. OTOH, these days I admit that I have no idea what the local Democrats' winning messages are in the Midwest and South.

I recall being handed my newborn son and thinking "who, me, where's the manual?"... However, he has survived my parenting efforts.

Didn't hit me until we got home with him crying, and not a nurse in sight...

Both the son and daughter seem to have turned out pretty well. Wife's sliding downhill into dementia, though, so I'm not giving me a passing grade yet.

Absolutely agree about the California Diaspora. Western state Republicans continue to be blindsided by that.

One has to wonder if Texas Republicans will come to rue their triumphant comments about high tech industry coming from California to Texas.

As far as I can see, Michael Cain, you have better than a passing grade already. There is no manual for what you are going through, unfortunately. All one can do is offer heartfelt fellow-feeling.

"If all else fails, read the manual"

You do better with Kid 2.0

What GFTNC said at 6:07. So sorry you and your wife have all of that going on.

At some point you have to stop triangulating and pick a place to make a stand.

This x 1 with lots of zeroes after it. Just f**king be something!

Bouie echoes the point

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/10/opinion/democrats-progressives-moderates-elections.html

behind a paywall, excerpts from Loomis at LGM
https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/12/progressives-are-not-why-democrats-are-struggling

it's a little bit funny... other than this place, i've been away from most of the really hardcore political blogs for a while now. and being at some distance from places like LGM, it seems like people who are really interested in the question of "are progressives to blame" are progressives. my leftier FB friends can't stop talking about it. i see references to it from the leftier columnists on WaPo and NYT. leftier commenters at general-interest sites can't stop bringing it up.

this alleged schism is apparently very important to all of them.

but mainstream Democrats? they don't even know what you're talking about.

Moderate Democrat is not the same thing as mainstream Democrat. I'm not sure there is such a thing as a mainstream Democrat. That's part of why I keep trying to push for something approximating an identity.

That aside, though, the people who are blaming the progressives are the people who are in charge of Democratic election strategy, which means that we can expect more of the same from the next set of elections because - as you point out, cleek - they are stuck in a narrative that doesn't match the view from the ground.

the people who are blaming the progressives are the people who are in charge of Democratic election strategy

And the people who are convinced that failure to do as progressives want is what is hurting the Democrats at the ballot box are, uniformly, progressives. One can understand that they think their ideas are great; that, after all, is why they support them. But somehow the amount of evidence they supply in support of that position is pretty limited. Certainly no more than the evidence that moderate Democrats can supply for why appealing to non-progressives is the way to win elections.

That doesn't prove that you are wrong, of course. But it does suggest that you might have more luck carrying the argument if you could present examples of progressives winning where moderates had failed to do so.

That's part of why I keep trying to push for something approximating an identity.

i'd rather let people define themselves.

as you point out, cleek - they are stuck in a narrative that doesn't match the view from the ground.

perhaps your view isn't quite grounded?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/04/opinion/democrats-election-results.html

You aren’t paying attention at all if you think only progressives are talking about how progressives are to blame.

IMO, there is some blame to go around. Moderates have spent decades portraying progressive ideas as crazy on both political and policy grounds— it has its effect. Progressives sometimes go in for slogans that only appeal to the already convinced. Both factions have their own version of purity politics— some centrists make a fetish of their centrism.

You aren’t paying attention at all if you think only progressives are talking about how progressives are to blame.

i should have qualified: still talking about how progressives are to blame.

after the election, fingers pointed everywhere.

now that we're a bit removed from the hyperbolic post-election blamecasting, most people have moved on.

Certainly no more than the evidence that moderate Democrats can supply for why appealing to non-progressives is the way to win elections.

No less, either, given the history discussed at lj's links. Which makes me wonder whether leaning more progressive during midterms and more moderate during presidential elections is the way to go. That probably goes against "stop triangulating," though. Or definitely does, because it might be the most triangulatingy thing ever.

normality is orthogonal to triangulation.

I have moved on.*

Good read with Rick Perlstein here.

The real enemy is conservatism. Always.


*LOLOLOLOLOLOL

Perlstein is smart.

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/12/14/2069187/-Georgia-GOP-hoping-to-return-to-the-good-ole-days-of-Jim-Crow-as-they-continue-killing-voter-rights

Remember the most horrific things I’ve written here as you read that.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a38506914/republicans-block-insulin-build-back-better/

My father and my sister died horribly from diabetes. A former sister-in-law is far along in her suffering from childhood diabetes as well.

Death cults in other countries are butchered and slaughtered by American military armaments I fucking pay for.

Why can’t we turn those weapons on the 80 million strong murderous domestic death cult within our borders?

I think this is a very interesting opening post for an open thread on Balloon Juice. In fact, I think it gets more and more interesting as it goes on, and I haven't even started on the comments yet:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2021/12/13/a-couple-of-things-to-keep-in-mind-as-mark-meadows-just-desserts-are-being-considered-and-perhaps-prepared-for-him/

i'd rather let people define themselves.

Misses or ignores the point I've been trying to make, which is about the collective ethos of the Democratic Party i.e. the DNC, and specifically the way that the DNC bunkers every time they underperform.

Michael Cain's description of how the campaigns are run in CO neatly summarizes the approach. It's assessment driven and relies on getting targeted messaging to particular audiences that is meant to show the audience that the Democrats have been doing things that the audience should approve of.

It's a top down, content delivery model. That content favors the more centrist power structure of the DNC, yes, but that isn't what I'm most concerned with. Bringing more progressives, and more progressive messaging, into that loop would not IMO help the situation because the problem is not the message, it's the approach.

Not enough grass roots. Not deep enough roots in enough places. Too modular an approach to messaging.

What they need is not better targeting or better messaging. What they need is to find ways to put more of the diverse groups under the Democratic umbrella in meaningful contact with each other and pay attention to the concerns and connections that grow out of that.

Permaculture, not cash crops. That 50 states thing that keeps getting talked about, but mostly ignored by the DNC and the media in their endless feedback loop.

The D problem is not left right, it's top bottom.

Which is why I say that they need to get out in support of labor. The DNC is too much of a management silo.

I wonder if it would be worthwhile to break out the drug-price-negotiation-for-Medicare part of the BBB bill into a separate bill. That avoids any arguments about whether it is appropriate for a reconciliation bill. And it would force Republicans (and, especially, Sinema) to vote explicitly on that. A bunch (maybe as many as a dozen in the Senate) would probably cave. And it would be an awesome plank to run on.

The D problem is not left right, it's top bottom.

no argument there.

but Dems in general don't do top-down messaging (sending or receiving) very well.

GftNC, Thanks for the Silverman article.

I think the biggest mystery around Jan 6 is: Why didn't Trump try invoking the Insurrection Act? The fact that it doesn't actually cover what was going on (well, except for what his own followers were doing) surely wouldn't have mattered to him.

My guess would be that some part of Trump's cabal spoke to the Joint Chiefs, perhaps to tell them to get the troops ready to go. And got told bluntly that they would uphold their oaths to defend the Constitution. The one thing Trump would hate/fear more than losing office would be to publicly give an order and have it rejected. That would make him look weak; even worse than looking like a loser.

But that's the thing about grass roots efforts to subvert the elections infrastructure. They are a lot less likely to set off the military in opposition. That is, there's no illegal order to reject.

and of course, we should all accept that it really doesn't matter what the Dems say or do, because the GOP is going to make up some ridiculous new lie about what Dems really want (which the press will accept as a serious and sober policy argument), leaving Dems trying to explain why they don't really support killing puppies for sport right up until the day after election at which point the press will say "hey wait, maybe that's not entirely true, have a Pinnochio".

Finally, something to alienate Trump's evangelical base.

Money quote:

“F--k him,” Trump was quoted as saying of Netanyahu. “The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with.”

In the interviews, Trump also said Netanyahu never seemed genuinely interested in seeking peace with the Palestinians. Conversely, the former president heaped praise on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Rampant immorality? Not a problem. But trash an Israeli leader, especially a reactionary one? Praise a Palestinian leader? Anathema!

Thank heavens for Trump's knack for shooting himself in the foot.

Of course the GOP stokes fears. They are aiming for an amygdala hijack. It's really hard to break that sort of cycle.

But there are things that can be done.

https://acmelab.yale.edu/sites/default/files/ejsp.2315.pdf

In the first inaugural address of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1938), given amidst the widespread disquiet of the Great Depression, the president famously warned Americans that their fear could serve as a psychological impediment to much needed social change. Decades later, research bears out Roosevelt’s supposition: Across several disciplines and
methodologies, research consistently demonstrates an association between threat, broadly defined, and political conservatism. Such work has shown that: (i) political conservatives are, on average, more likely to
perceive threat than their liberal counterparts; and (ii) the existence of threat, in myriad forms, is associated with increased endorsement of conservative attitudes that resist efforts toward social change (for reviews, see Hibbing, Smith, & Alford, 2014; Jost, Federico, & Napier, 2013; Jost, Gaucher, & Stern, 2015). Here, we test the novel hypothesis that the opposite of threat—that is, heightened feelings of safety—will
increase socially progressive beliefs, especially among conservatives. Specifically, we test the prediction that experimentally inducing feelings of safety will increase
social liberalism among Republicans (Study 1) and acceptance of social change among conservatives (Study 2).

I saw this a lot in the lead up to my union's strike authorization vote. Members get very scared at the thought of retaliation, but reminders of the job protections built into labor laws helps tip them over into acting against that fear based power.

Obama, I believe, really did win on Hope and Change as a foundational idea, but it takes a lot of ground organizing to turn that idea into action because the people who need to be won over are the ones who perceive themselves to be most at-risk. They need people like them showing them how to move past that fear to take action. The D ground game sucks on this. That's why they need to learn from local community groups to build stronger local support networks.

The D ground game sucks on this. That's why they need to learn from local community groups to build stronger local support networks.

We may disagree on how best to do this. But totally agree that it needs to be done. Beyond Stacey Abrams' work in Georgia.

Wow, Noam Chomsky is 93 years old and looks like Gandalf now:

https://www.democracynow.org/2021/12/7/noam_chomsky_93rd_birthday

We may disagree on how best to do this. But totally agree that it needs to be done. Beyond Stacey Abrams' work in Georgia.

They could start by finding grassroots groups and actually listening to them. They could get those groups together and see what develops out of the contact and do their best to aid, rather than try to direct?

Noam Chomsky is 93 years old and looks like Gandalf now:

holy crap. that's remarkable.

/he remarked

They could start by finding grassroots groups and actually listening to them.

At this point, the critical thing is to start. The time for dithering over the "best" approach is pretty much past, when it comes to the 2022 elections.

Rampant immorality? Not a problem. But trash an Israeli leader, especially a reactionary one? Praise a Palestinian leader? Anathema!

The question is, will those that are offended by that even hear about it? And, if so, will they believe it or just call it fake news?

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/553234-dnc-announces-funding-agreement-with-state-parties

The DNC said in a statement the four-year deal will provide $23 million to state parties as part of the national organization's 2022 midterm strategy.

The group will also create a “Red State Fund” to direct additional investments in historically red states as part of efforts to compete in every state and territory. That fund includes $2 million in direct investments and grants for states that have no Democratic senator or governor, where under 25 percent of the congressional delegation are Democrats and where a Republicans hold a supermajority in the state legislature.

...

The proposal was hailed by state Democratic parties that said the injection of funds would prove key to making gains in the midterms.

“This historic agreement will give Democrats across North Carolina and the entire country the resources we need to continue delivering for the American people,” said North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Bobbie Richardson. “With more investment than ever before in our grassroots infrastructure, we are ready to get to work electing Democrats up and down the ballot in 2022, and beyond.”

if you need a job

The question is, will those that are offended by that even hear about it? And, if so, will they believe it or just call it fake news?

Well, it was direct from Trump, so it is far more likely to make it into their information bubble. The Trump has spoken!

From a reply of Silverman's in the comments at GftNC's Balloon Juice link:

You assume the US military would actually respond. If, through extreme gerrymandering; passage of voter suppression laws; passage of laws giving state legislators the right to decide who the electors are, not the voters; passage of laws allowing state officials to take over local election boards and administration; and the actual takeover of local election boards and administration the GOP sets the conditions to steal the 2024 election it will all have been done in the open and through legal means according to state statutory and constitutional law and in line with the new conservative/GOP/Federalist Society reading of the US Constitution’s meaning regarding election administration being solely in the hands of state legislators. It will all have been done legally and constitutionally. So exactly what would allow or compel the military to respond? Trump would, according to the rules put in place beginning in 2021, the president. And if he ordered the military to not interfere that would be a lawful order.

As comical as some of the players involved with this seem to be, this plan was constructed and is being implemented by people that actually understand how things work.

I believe he meant 2025, not 2021, but otherwise, this is what I'm afraid of. As russell has noted many times, we don't live in an actual democracy in the United States. How undemocratic of a republic we live in may be subject to change under current law and the US Constitution. If it gets too undemocratic, it may no longer even be a republic.

any game that provides a way for players to change the rules will inevitably degrade into anarchy.

as anyone who has ever played a college drinking game can attest.

There is a wing and a prayer:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/09/technology/birds-arent-real-gen-z-misinformation.html

any game that provides a way for players to change the rules will inevitably degrade into anarchy.

Pity there is no sign of the Senate degrading into anarchy. Seems like it would be a step forward.

this might be interesting to some
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/11/21/do_progressives_pay_the_price_for_progressive_legislation_146761.html

Of course, this gets to the point where, as the article notes,

On Nov. 5, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus) opined that even if passing a Build Back Better bill leads to a Republican takeover of the House, the Democrats should still approve it.

I can see how the article can be spun both ways, progressives don't realise how much progressive ideas damage moderate chances, vs moderates not considering the larger picture and perhaps not considering being reelected as the ne plus ultra.

How things look on the other side of the aisle is here

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/peter-meijer-freshman-republican-impeach/620844/

To play the advocatus diaboli: was abolition worth the Civil War? Argue under these possible scenarios:
a) slavery in the US (South only) would otherwise still exist to-day.
b) slavery would have expanded to all states and territories and still be with us.
c) slavery would have been abolished anyway but it would have taken 50/100/150 years without the Civil War.

Closer to home: If abandoning the ACA (and all possible alternatives) had prevented Jabbabonk (or another GOPster as vile but more competent) from becoming POTUS, should the Dems have sacrificed their attempts at reform?

On Nov. 5, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus) opined that even if passing a Build Back Better bill leads to a Republican takeover of the House, the Democrats should still approve it.

Which is likely to happen anyway, given redistricting and gerrymandering, even if nothing gets passed.

And the Democrats are already labeled as socialists even when it was Obamaa, Clinton and Biden on top of things with agendas that match Europe's center right agendas.

If those things are givens, then it makes no sense to let fear of them happening shift your course of action. The blow is going to come. Stop trying to prevent it and start trying to figure out how to counter it.

I can see how the article can be spun both ways, progressives don't realise how much progressive ideas damage moderate chances, vs moderates not considering the larger picture and perhaps not considering being reelected as the ne plus ultra.

I'd say that whether it's worth passing stuff depends to an enormous degree on which bits of the progressive agenda are involved. In the case of BBB, big chunks of it are actually things Republicans would have done, were they (and Trump) not so massively incompetent. So most of it doesn't really count, objectively, as "progressive" agenda. And while Republicans might run against the whole package, if they are forced to run against specific pieces thet will have a real problem.

The other factor, for progressives, would be whether something being passed would then become impossible for conservatives to roll back. Obamacare cleared that threshold, if only barely. Some other things might also; others not so much.

Hartmut, bearing in mind it is counterfactuals, I'd ask folks to consider if slavery actually ended with the Civil War. Certainly de jure slavery did, but did de facto slavery end? Except for a short lived period of reconstruction, it looks like a lot of things went back to the way they were. And while some African Americans were able to make progress, you also had the Tulsa race massacre as well as a relatively constant stream of lynchings across the South. This, coupled with the Lost Cause mythology, has me wondering about what 'abolition' really means.

lj, it's telling (in an 'only in America' way) that this argument is used by (some) slavery apologists to-day.

[Slaves are property and property rights are sacred in the US. So, lynchings as a crime against property would be harshly dealt with. Ergo, slaves had far better protection than 'free' blacks. Ergo any reasonable* black person would have been against abolition.]

*It goes without saying that the same people making this argument would deny that blacks (or women for that matter) are capable of reason.

Oh I totally agree, which is why I flagged that point. To have the simple narrative that slavery disappeared with a flourish of a pen is part of the problem.

Certainly de jure slavery did, but did de facto slavery end?

No

Argue under these possible scenarios

An additional scenario:

The Confederacy and its slave economy and culture expands around the Caribbean basin and into Central and South America. Slavery persists, probably well into the 20th C.

FWIW, Mississippi didn’t ratify the 13th Amendment until 1995.

The question we need to ask the American right: 'What is it you want permission to do?'

Linker's answer won't surprise anyone here.

Edsall, NYT:

An Aug. 3-Sept.7, CNN survey of 2,119 people demonstrates the differing ways Democrats and Republicans are responding to the emerging threats to democracy.

Far higher percentages of Republicans, many of them preoccupied by racial and tribal anxiety, believe “American democracy is under attack” (75 percent agree, 22 percent disagree) than Democrats (46 percent agree, 48 percent disagree). Republicans are also somewhat more likely to believe (57-43) than Democrats (49-51) “that, in the next few years, some elected officials will successfully overturn the results of an election in the United States because their party did not win.”

that's interesting.

...and nobody pulled the plug on Radio Rwanda until it was far, far too late.

'What is it you want permission to do?'

I give them permission to fuck off and die, no matter what the "what" is.

If they persist in demanding anything other than that, they'd better kill me.

They are planning just that.

Russell, that's why I included 'territories' in scenario b). One of the great Southern dreams (pre-secession) was territorial expansion in that direction. And the North did not want that because it was not possible to counterbalance that by a Northern expansion. So the slave states would get a guaranteed and ever expanding majority, if allowed to go on Southern conquest.

I think I misunderstood the "without the Civil War" part, and assumed that, civil war or no, the southern states would leave the US.

I don't think slavery would have expanded to the free states, ever. And I don't think the nation would have continued as a mix of free and slave states, with or without a civil war.

IMO there would have been a parting of the ways, and subsequently the slave states would have expanded their reach into the Caribbean and beyond - basically as far as they could.

So on the whole, I'd say abolition was worth the Civil War, if only to prevent the expansion of the slave-based plantation economy of the American south.

Here's more of the "what" they can fuck off and die horribly over:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2021/12/15/look-at-these-grotesque-goobers/

Needless to say, DeSantis' proposed legislation will carefully avoid defining just what Critical Race Theory actually is. Lest anyone be limited in their ability to sue whenever they find something in the schools that they do not like. (Figure that, relatively soon, evolution will be taken by some to be part of CRT.)

A related post from LGM.

As a modest suggestion, I propose this rule:

If you can't explain what critical race theory is, you can't ban it.

Unfortunately, we are living in the puke funnel, so no such rule is operative.

If you can't explain what critical race theory is, you can't ban it.

Presumably you would require that the explanation be, at least vaguely, accurate. Because I'm sure they can manage some explanation which has minimal relationship to CRT. Without, quite, reaching flat out racism -- or maybe it will.

Apparently, CRT is anything that makes people feel “discomfort, guilt [or] anguish” due to their own race or sex.

The quote is from the TN law against teaching CRT in schools.

Who's a snowflake now?

Most snowflakes *are* white (if you get my drift).

If CRT is going to be taught, teach it in high school. Let kids be kids before loading them down with adult hangups. But it's dumb to pass laws against teaching CRT or pretty much anything else. Better to attach school funding to the students and let them and their parents spend it at the schools they prefer. Fund education, not schools.

Apparently, CRT is anything that makes people feel “discomfort, guilt [or] anguish” due to their own race or sex.

Clearly not. It is anything that makes white people (especially but not exclusively male white people) feel “discomfort, guilt [or] anguish” due to their own race or sex. Others' feelings of that nature? Not a problem. At least for those having hysterics over CRT.

Better to attach school funding to the students and let them and their parents spend it at the schools they prefer. Fund education, not schools.

And if the parents are opposed to, for example, educating girls at all? Or suppose they only want schools which warehouse their children thru age 18, with no requirement to teach any of them anything?

Sorry, but the nation has a strong interest in an educated citizenry. An educated workforce.

You can have government run schools. Or you can have an enormous government bureaucracy to assure that the plethora of private schools are actually teaching something useful -- likely to the point of having inspectors in most classrooms most of the time. The former seems far less intrusive, not to mention far cheaper.

About a half-dozen states have had some form of school choice for up to about two decades. There haven't been any education disasters in any of them from parents and students having a choice.

West Virginia recently went from the state with the least amount of school choice to the state with the most.

"While West Virginia and Kentucky are now leading the way in school choice, the states have lagged behind most others for generations when it comes to metrics such as test scores. The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) – known as the Nation's Report Card – demonstrates this fact. In 2019, West Virginia fourth-graders ranked 49th in mathematics and 48th in reading, while Kentucky's scores have been stagnant for a generation of students accompanied by a widening achievement gap. Education is about much more than standardized test scores, but those results were not likely to assuage parental concerns about the education their children were getting."
West Virginia and Kentucky Now Lead the Way in School Choice: Union strongholds and racked by the ‘Red for Ed’ movement in 2018 and 2019, West Virginia and Kentucky have since passed some of the broadest school choice legislation in the country’s history.

West Virginia School Choice Roadmap

Or suppose they only want schools which warehouse their children thru age 18, with no requirement to teach any of them anything?

Insofar as "warehouse their children" means babysitting, that's what we already have. And it's a separable concept from the part about teaching kids anything, which is different from ensuring that kids learn anything.

Most and probably all the states are like Maine, which has a requirement that children be in school from one age to another age, not a requirement that children show proficiency in a specified set of subjects before they're allowed out.

When I was homeschooling in Maine, kids were required by law to be in school from age 7 through ages 15+, with various permissions required for kids to drop out (e.g. judge and parents for 15, parents only for 16, no one at all for 17 -- and don't quote me on this, this is a blurry memory of how the system worked, only meant to illustrate the point).

Whatever the states and school districts decide to try to teach, children are not required to learn it.

As a side note, no one involved in education wants parents to realize that kids don't actually *have* to go to school at age 5.

So it occurs to me that public education is kind of like democracy: the worst possible system of education, except for all the others.

(Cynical commentary aside, I support public education and agree that it's an important core of a functioning demoncracy. Which in turn doesn't necessarily entail the same things as educating willing assembly line workers....)

Educated citizens make more productive workers, and consumers with an appetite for higher-value goods.

OTOH, they might be dissatisfied at being in the "Moron Tribe", so gotta stop that before it starts.

If CRT is going to be taught, teach it in high school. Let kids be kids before loading them down with adult hangups.

Actual CRT isn't something that actually gets taught before college. It's something that might get summarized and excerpted in a lower division intro class and actually read in an upper division class.

What actually gets objected to in K-12 education is any account history that is informed by CRT - which is to say anything that talks about intersectionality or that mentions the idea of structural racism or that engages in any standpoint theory. That last one basically describes any text that centers on the experiences of BIPOC individuals and narratives of how they have been marginalized by society.

Does presenting an account of the Tulsa Race Massacre from a BIPOC survivor count as CRT? At what age should such a thing feature in the education of an American student? How about the story of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing? Should 6th graders be taught about that and read any narratives from the time?

Are Frederick Douglass' books CRT books?

Are Frederick Douglass' books CRT books?

No, they're libertarian books... :)

Some thoughts about Douglass and CRT from someone who has written about Douglass and US Reconstruction.

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/frederick-douglass-and-the-trouble-with-critical-race-theory/

What actually gets objected to in K-12 education is any account history that is informed by CRT - which is to say anything that talks about intersectionality or that mentions the idea of structural racism or that engages in any standpoint theory.

Allow me to beg leave to doubt it. Those objecting loudly to CRT would generally not have the least idea what "intersectionality" means, assuming they have ever encountered the word, which they likely have not. Likewise they would have no clue what constitutes a "standpoint theory." They won't object to those for the simple reason that they have zero interaction with the words, never mind the concepts behind them.

They can probably puzzle out some approximation of what "structural racism" means. But misunderstand it to be somehow an attack on them personally. Whereas, viewed dispassionately, it might well be taken as a reason for any racism they might appear to display. One which excuses them of any personal guilt for something which is, by definition, built into the structure.

Nope, for those objecting, what they take CRT to mean is any suggestion that they take any responsibility, individually or collectively, for the flaws in our political, social, or economic system. Or even that there are such flaws . . . excepting the ones which impact them, and about which they complain.

West Virginia and Kentucky are now leading the way in school choice

I can’t create live links from my tablet for some reason, so I’ll just put the URL here. Cut n paste to see how WV and KY stack up as regards educational achievement.

https://stacker.com/stories/950/most-and-least-educated-states-america

Let kids be kids before loading them down with adult hangups.

It’s unlikely that grade school kids are being taught critical race theory, just like they aren’t being taught postmodernist literary criticism or quantum physics.

People don’t want their kids to hear anything that conflicts with their own biases and beliefs. Best of luck with that.

Eh, so the link worked. Computers baffle me.

I’m still trying to figure out how Frederick Douglass is a libertarian.

I’m still trying to figure out how Frederick Douglass is a libertarian.

Perhaps more of a classical liberal. Douglass is written about and referenced a lot in libertarian articles and books.

On the day he died, he had attended a women's rights meeting.

On the day he died, he had attended a women's rights meeting.

One asks what David Koch was doing the day he died...

West Virginia and Kentucky are now leading the way in school choice

As seen in russell's link, Kentucky falls below even Alabama. And West Virginia contrives to fall below even Mississippi to finish dead last. Truly an impressive demonstration of the merits of the libertarian approach.

But perhaps you mean that dispair over their performance has led those two to try an extreme radical approach. Rather than, oh say, emulating the approach used in more successful states. After all, they needn't be successful blue states; Utah and Montana are hardly hotbeds of flaming liberalism. And yet manage to do quite well in educating their kids.

John Calhoun was a States rights Libertarian:

https://theaporetic.com/history/why-libertarians-love-slavery/

He hated the sound of gunfire too, but refused on principle to allow gummint to allow noise ordinances.

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