Morning Ed: Politics {2016.03.28.M}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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185 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    Chris didn’t do much explaining how other than generalities. Hope he didn’t get paid for this thoughts.

    Michael’s quote: “a vote for Trump was a vote against everyone else,… he thought that every time some over-educated pundit attacked Trump it only reinforced his sense that Trump was probably taking on the Washington establishment. Democrat or Republican,” nails it.

    Salon: Nice pic. Let’s conflate gun rights support and Trump. Really get the liberals up in arms!Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to Damon says:

      That snort of derision was me, reacting to Chris Ladd’s suggestion that one of the Republican Party’s problems was having too unified an ideological basis.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Damon says:

      RE: Michael Pettis. Exactly.

      If anything, the people saying that they’ll vote for Trump probably have a more pragmatic view of politics than anyone else. They were around for the promises that Barack Obama made in 2008, and they saw how that all ended up, and they recognize how little ability the American President has actually got to make things go a particular way. So why not vote for Trump? At least he isn’t talking about how his being elected President is a matter of divine inspiration or moral imperative.Report

      • trizzlor in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Honest question: do republicans really feel like Obama hasn’t been able to fulfill any of his promises, or do they think that he’s been extremely successful at the promise of undermining the US? What I hear from my friends and online is that the GOP rolled over and gave Obama everything he wanted. Which would suggest the lesson is more: Obama got his way by being an asshole, so let’s elect our own asshole.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck says:

        I’d like more people to keep the fact that the president is not a king in the forefront of their mind. The president is not a savior, or a magic person who can make your wishes come true. At best, s/he might be an excellent negotiator and diplomat who can help to bring about disparate views to a consensus.

        Bernie might have lots of nice sounding ideas, but even as president, he’ll have a hell of a slog getting them done. The reason HRC gives me pause is because she seems shrewd enough to have compiled a binder full of dirty secrets she can leverage.Report

  2. notme says:

    Dropping ‘Easter’ from eggs stirs culture war in U.K. Maybe they dropped so it wouldn’t peoples’ feelings or make them feel excluded?

  3. LeeEsq says:

    I’m dubious about the political benefits for the Democratic Party for giving way on abortion. Many pro-choice people would already argue that the Democratic Party gave too much way on the issue already and that is why we are having so many restrictions placed on abortion. Democratic primary and caucus voters are also leaning towards a more liberal party and will not look that favorably on going in a more anti-abortion direction. I think that retreating from a pro-choice plank will hurt Democratic electoral prospects more than help.

    Pettis’ essay isn’t the first one to compare Trump supporters to the Jacksonian tradition. Granted people who previously compared Trump to Jackson do not mean this favorably.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I agree that a retreat on abortion doesn’t make sense, but the notion that they have been retreating/moderate on the issue up to this point seems incredibly wrong. It’s one issue that they haven’t had any give on in a long time. The recent state restrictions on abortion are not the result of compromise, but on the fact that they’re losing state elections. They mostly occurred after their “Safe, Legal, and Rare” era and in the “On Demand” era.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

        What would a compromise, or moderated, liberal position look like?

        Specifically how would it be different than any bog standard Dem stump speech line?

        Safe Legal Rare already expresses a moral ambivalence and uncertainty which is noticeably lacking on the other side.

        Is there an untapped pool of voters out there who would say “I’m pro choice but the Dems are just too radical. If they would only do X I would switch”.

        What would X be?Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Not that I’m complaining, but opposing all legal restrictions on abortion is, for all practical purposes, about as extreme a position you can take in that direction. What else are they going to do? Legalize fourth-term abortions? Softening your tone isn’t the same as moderating your position.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          What would X be?

          You know how we know, deep in our hearts, that a symbolic ban on abortions that never, ever happen (gender selective partial-birth abortions!) are the nose of the camel for a full and complete ban of abortions for poor people?

          That’s how hillbilly rednecks feel about “reasonable regulation” of guns.Report

        • I mention SL&R mostly because it’s a posture that seems to have gone wayward, along with any recognition that abortion is a bad thing in any way other than as a failure to properly use birth control.

          Which I am pretty sure was their position 20 years ago, it’s just that SL&R was meant to obscure that.

          In terms of actual policy, I think “what they can do” is pretty limited. But whatever they could do, they haven’t, and if anything has moved in the other direction (more uniform opposition to Hyde, for example). So I think Lee’s position that they’re losing ground because of their moderation on the issue isn’t supported. Their posture seems to have become more rigid and outspoken, and their policy positions are either unchanged or have moved very slightly away from the center. That’s the context in which these state laws have been passed. I don’t think the rigidity is why these laws have passed, merely that the opposite isn’t true.

          There may be an untapped pool of voters out there, but I am pretty convinced that the number of said voters is significantly outnumbered by the number of their own voters that they would shake loose in the process. So from a purely electoral standpoint, I’m not seeing why they should change their views.Report

          • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

            Safe, legal, and rare and on demand are pretty much the same thing from the pro-choice perspective (late term abortions aren’t relevant here, because they are already extremely rare and exclusively used for medical reasons, and very few pro-choicers object to that). So there are two sets of goals to any pro-choice politics: combat constant attempts to place extreme limits and burdens on abortion, on the one hand, and attempt to make access and education about family planning choices universally available, inexpensive, and safe.

            Sadly, because they have to spend so much of their time, money, and energy on combating attempts to make family planning choices difficult to obtain, expensive, and require unnecessary medical procedures, that is, because they’re forced to focus so much on the legal part, the safe and rare part aren’t as visible.Report

            • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

              “Safe” is reasonably visible, too.

              “Rare” translates policy-wise into wider and better use of birth control. Which was always the case since resitrictions haven’t been considered by most of the party in a long time (except funding and logistics, and even there it was Art of the Possible).

              But rare was meant to convey something else, at the time, rhetorically. The Jed Bartlett position of “it must be the woman’s choice, but if pregnant I hope they choose life.”

              Right or wrong, that position has gone by the wayside in favor of a commitment towards birth control use and access, followed by non-judgment once a pregnancy occurs.Report

              • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

                I don’t know how “I hope they choose life” translates into policy. I suspect you’d find that the majority of rank-and-file pro-choicers hope, ultimately, that most people choose to have a child (though things like classism and elitism will get in the way, of course). The more extreme of us will think it’s none of our business what they choose, because they know what’s best for themselves, and that they can reasonably conclude that it is better for them not to have a child, for a variety of reasons. It would be strange for us to hope, in such situations, that they choose to have a child knowing that it is not a good situation for parent or child. Instead, we hope that people don’t get pregnant if they don’t want to.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

                It doesn’t translate into policy. Never did. I filed it under “posture.”

                In terms of policy, I don’t think the party has moved much to the left. In terms of posture, how they talk about and frame the issue, it seems that it has. Which matters for culture, and may matter for elections, but for the most part does not matter for policy.Report

              • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

                It’s probably harder for me to detect a leftward shift on in posture on this issue, since I’m already near the leftward extreme (I vacillate on certain things about post-viability, but that’s another discussion).Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

                I think the reason anyone is having difficulty identifying X is because it is virtually nonexistent.
                Look at the handful of proposals tossed out here- sex selection and very late term abortions.

                Which for me, displays why X is nonexistent. The current terrain pretty closely defines most American’s ambivalent posture and doesn’t need further restriction.

                The current terrain is basically that abortion is legal in the first trimester, and progressively restricted in the second and virtually unattainable in the third.

                Further restrictions are solutions in search of a problem.

                Women having frivolous 8th month abortions? Nonexistent.
                Sex selection abortions?
                Women having abortions without having thought about it seriously?
                Clinics lacking hospital admittance rights?
                Women seeking abortions, and lacking a transvaginal probe?
                Women seeking abortion and lacking the permission of their fathers or husbands?

                None of these things is currently presenting any sort of problem that needs to be addressed- they are either nonexistent or not a problem.

                Before anyone accuses liberals of rejecting reasonable proposals, they should first put forward one.Report

              • I think this misdiagnoses the problem with the piece. I don’t think he’s advocating that the party as a whole change its position, but rather accept and embrace more heterodoxy among its rank-and-file.

                The problem with that being “Why? We’re winning. This is a litmus test we can afford.”

                The only real response to that being “You’re only winning at the presidential level.”

                Which is fair, but incomplete, because (a) it’s not clear that abortion is a deciding factor there, that running anti-abortion folks in socially conservative districts would help all that much, and (b) it overlooks potential own-side losses.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                It’d probably help if he could demonstrate how the party is unaccepting of heterodoxy on the subject. As has been noted it’s not like pro-life or milquetoast pro-choicers were hounded from the Democratic Party.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                Who is the last Democratic office-holder at the state level to oppose the legality of abortion?

                Only three Democratic senators voted again a late term abortion ban.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                I don’t know personally. So you are asserting that the party forced their politicians to toe the pro-choice line and as a result they all lost their positions?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                I’d assert that politicians know their future in the Democratic Party is limited if they don’t have the correct position on that issue. So very few (but not zero!) take that position.

                There is nothing wrong with this being a thing (depending on your view of the issue) but it is a thing.Report

              • Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

                Limited to Senator, you mean?
                Casey Jr is still pro-life, and rather adamantly so.Report

              • Autolukos in reply to Kim says:

                John Bel Edwards (governor of Louisiana) is another.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Kim says:

                Yeah, I’d thought Casey had turned, but I was mistaken. Manchin is another one.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                Okay I did come up with one. Newly elected Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is pro-life.

                Google suggests there’s been an assortment of pro-life Senators as well so we’re talking Presidential Candidates? I mean what more than Safe, Legal and Rare are we talking about here?Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                Harry Reid, Senate majority leader. Oh, you said state leader. My bad. (Although why state? Why not federal?)

                Although it’s interesting you bring up the late-term abortion ban as some weird litmus test. You do know why late-term abortions happen, right?

                It’s not because someone suddenly decided “Pregnancy sucks!”. Late term abortions are all medically necessary in the US. It’s dead or dying fetus, or dying mother.

                So why you use it as a litmus test — the one type of abortion that, hands down, is never a “choice” so much as it is a bitter, painful necessity, is confusing.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                How did Reid vote on the late term abortion ban? He lead the filibuster.

                Your arguments against that ban are fine, but somewhat beside the point. The public’s views on the subject are clear. Democrats, believing that they are wrong or misinformed, vote contrary to it. That might be voting correctly, or voting their conscience, but it is what it is.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                Look, you’re talking about “moderation” and pro-choice Democrats here, right? And yet you bring up the late-term abortion ban, as it if that were the definition of moderate.

                Whose definition? You’re just flatly asserting it’s true, that being FOR a ban is somehow a signal of pro-choice moderation. You haven’t done your homework there.

                What makes voting FOR a late-term abortion ban “moderate”? Why is that a signal for moderation, the line in the sand you’re desperately looking for Democrats to have crossed?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                The center of American politics.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                The center of American politics took a vote? You have poll numbers? Or just a gut feeling? What?

                Seriously, support your view here. Why is “late term abortion ban” the bright line for whether you’re a moderate pro-choicer or not? You can do better than what is yet another bald assertation.

                Don’t hand wave. Explain to me, based on the actual reality of late-term abortions (not partisan attacks, not rhetoric, but the real facts on the ground — we’re all reality based here, right?) why the actual late-term abortion ban is the bright line.

                You brought it up, you’re using it as a proxy to (as best I can determine, please correct me if I’m wrong) as to whether someone is “moderate pro-choice”. That is, supporting the ban is “moderate” and opposing is “radical/extreme/not-moderate”.

                Show your work here, so I can grok your position.

                I don’t think that’s asking too much. Why do YOU, Will Truman, think that the late-term abortion ban is a useful proxy for “moderate/extreme” for pro-choicers? (Not even the abortion debate, just…pro-choicers).Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                Roughly two-thirds of Americans support a 20-week limitation (or a more significant ban), compared to 6% of Democratic senators who voted for ban last year. Now, it could be that they secretly objected only on the lack of this exception or that, but there was never any indication that was the case.

                I take this as a fair indication that Democrats oppose abortion restrictions not only when the public is similarly skeptical, but also when the public is supportive. (The obverse, of course, being true in the other direction.)

                If there is one group that can really expect not to be thrown under the bus, and expect the party to stand firm protecting them, it’s pro-choice groups. It’s central to their coalition. And, to repeat what I said in the OP, there’s no political reason why it shouldn’t be.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                I thought that the definition of “moderate” was somewhere around “wrong, but nice about it”.Report

              • Francis in reply to Will Truman says:

                Query: Are the public’s views clear?

                Does the public actually favor a ban on aborting a dead/dying fetus? Does the public actually favor a ban on abortions necessary to save the life of the mother? Does the public actually favor a ban on aborting a fetus that is developing so abnormally that it has no chance of survival after birth?

                At what point does a public that is been accurately informed about the issue favor a ban? Links, please.Report

              • Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                Yeah, I read a description of someone whose fetus kept living while it was in the womb, but was nonviable. Knowing that you’re going to give birth to a kid that’s going to expire… god, that’s… just kinda fucked up.

                If it’s between “spend 2 months NOT grieving (and having people ask when the baby’s due)” and “saw up the fetus”… well, I’m all for giving the mom the grisly choice, and letting her make the decision.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

                Who is the last Democratic office-holder at the state level to oppose the legality of abortion?

                Whoa, hold on a second.

                How did we get from positing the existence of some moderate non radical position to “oppose the legality of abortion”?

                Is this what you mean by X?

                And what the heck do you mean by “oppose the legality of abortion”?

                If the abortion wars have taught us anything, there is a vast canyon separating “legal in all cases” and “legal in no cases”.

                The current status quo as I mentioned, allows unrestricted on Week 1, and virtually banned by Week 30.

                So really, almost all Dems agree with “legal in some cases, illegal in others”.Report

              • I was responding to a specific comment, that said a specific thing.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                The calls for a more moderate or heterodox Democratic party sound a lot like the Third Way sort of stuff, where someone wishes for a party that is fiscally centrist and socially liberal.

                And of course it is routinely pointed out that such a party exists, and calls itself the Democrats.

                There is a party that accepts moderate and reasonable restrictions on abortion, and it calls itself the Democrats.

                If you look at places where Dems have absolute and safe majorities, like here in California, abortion is regulated and restricted pretty much like what the centrists claim to wish for.

                Yet again I have to ask-
                What heterodox-yet-reasonable positions are not tolerated in the Dem party?Report

              • If you ignore polling on the issue, Democratic views on abortion are completely centrist and moderate.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                So it doesn’t matter what the Democratic party’s policies or positions are vis a vis abortion, what matters is how they’ve been branded? Predominantly by their opponents?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                When your party uniformly opposes abortion restrictions supported by 70% of the population because you either believe they are wrong or don’t understand the issue, you may be correct but you are not in the center.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                Well sure but we both know why the pro-choice movement opposes compromising on those policies; they’re not being offered any incentive to do so. “Give us these policies and we’ll pocket them and start trying to knock you down until you give us these other even more important to you policies…” not much of a offer.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                Not sure if that’s true or not but “Republicans made is this way” is not the same as “We are not this way.”Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                I actually wouldn’t lay this at the feet of the GOP, this is specifically a pro-life issue. For whatever reason the religious right in the US thinks they can win all the marbles on this issue and so they keep on trying. As is demonstrated by areas where the pro-choicers have pretty much run of the place the pro-choicers don’t have the same absolutist position.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Will Truman says:

                Is this perhaps a rare issue where BSDI is somewhat accurate? Democrats and Republicans both have a pretty solid position as a party on the abortion issue, but the electorate (and particularly the middle of the electorate) is extremely squishy on the issue.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Don Zeko says:

                I believe this is very much the case. It’s become one of the biggest issues by which each coalition is sorted by, and in combination with the Big Sort, and that the stalwarts on each side are the most passionate ones, there is little incentive but to stand your ground.Report

              • North in reply to Don Zeko says:

                Worse than squishy, they’re contingently squishy. The less likely it is that pro-lifers will win the more pro-life people get. It’s comfortable sitting on the fence denouncing abortion while secure in the private knowledge that it’s available if you or yours need it.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                I agree with this, though we almost certainly disagree on the implications of this.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                Now I’m intrigued. I’d assume it means a grinding stalemate wherein the more successful each side is the less popular it becomes until they begin suffering reversals until the paradigm flips and it goes the other way. What do you think the implications are?Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to North says:

                “squishy” was the most charitable way I came up with to put it. I think part of the problem is that the moral logic of abortion can very easily push people to extreme positions. And while more moderate positions are certainly defensible, I don’t think that the place that the middle of the road has wound up (either in terms of policy or public sentiment) is particularly defensible.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Will Truman says:

                The sort of people employed as Democratic politicians and political staff differ systematically from the sort of people who get polled. There is no supply side there anymore. Anti-abortion Democrats (e.g Robert Casey Sr or John LaFalce or David Carlin or Wm. Lipinski) are people whose conscience was formed in a different cultural environment and who cut their teeth in politics in a different environment. Casey was born in 1932, La Falce in 1939, Carlin in 1938, and Lipinski in 1936. All from an older and better generation.Report

              • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

                So, um… Casey Junior? A time traveller???

                Seriously, sir, you’re sounding remarkably ignorant.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Kim says:

                I referred explicitly to the father, which you’d know if you did not have reading comprehension issues. The son’s a poseur.Report

              • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

                Drop me some evidence?Report

              • The only real response to that being “You’re only winning at the presidential level.”

                This also relates to the Chris Ladd piece, which seems to try to make a point about there being some huge resentment in the North and the West over the dominance of the South in setting Republican policy. Until someone can show it turning into wins for the Democrats in those regions, I’m inclined to say that it’s certainly not huge. Or in the US House leadership — rather than the Speaker from Wisconsin (replacing one from Ohio) and the majority leader from California.Report

              • Kim in reply to Michael Cain says:

                The irritation at the South does exist, but it’s FAR less about policy. Try the “don’t beat up on palin because she’s a lady” shtick the southerners were pulling — That, culturally, went over like a lead balloon in the North and West.Report

              • Francis in reply to Will Truman says:

                What would a successful Alabama Democratic Party look like? Pro-gun and pro-life. But in the context of being pro-life, the Alabama Democrats would talk about free access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception and Medicaid expansion.

                Alabama Democrats seated in the federal house and senate would continue to be pro-life and pro-gun. They would also likely recognize early on that these positions would be posturing only — the rest of the Democratic caucus will have no interest in passing federal restrictions on access to abortions.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Francis says:

                well, of course, when one discusses the party affiliation of the population in the states of the deep south, at the racial dimension.

                In Alabama in particular, African Americans made up 25% of the Presidential electorate in 2004, and for >90% for Kerry. Conversely, Whites were 80% for Bush.

                Making policies, as a party, that may appeal to ‘moderates/swing voters/whatever’ – and in this case, necessarily white people, may be at complete odds with the base of the party as currently constructed.

                (using the 2004 numbers, because the 2008/12 numbers are even more extreme.Report

              • Kim in reply to Kolohe says:

                See ford embracing the confederate flag.Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                – Strengthen the contraception mandate. Include students in public colleges.
                – Eliminate “abstinence-only” sex education, which has been demonstrated to be at least extremely strongly correlated to increased rate of pregnancies
                – Vastly increased funding for research into spontaneous failure to implant and spontaneous miscarriage, each of which cause more terminated pregnancies than elective abortion by orders of magnitude
                – Eliminate rhetoric about late-term procedures. These are not elective and are only performed when there is no alternative.

                If someone were to put forward these – hell, any of these – I’d believe they were serious about compromising. In particular, contraceptives. If abortion is a moral issue, giving ground on contraceptives is a no-brainer, in particular because it costs you nothing (USans are conflicted about abortion, not so much about contraception).Report

              • Will Truman in reply to El Muneco says:

                In exchange for what?Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Will Truman says:

                (1) As others mentioned the rest of the world has a consensus where the pro-choice wing accepts sensible restrictions in exchange for a good-faith de facto arrangement that the anti-choice wing won’t go for complete bans. Not only do we have no such arrangement in this country, situations like the fiasco in Texas demonstrate that there’s no good faith either. Demonstrations that good faith is possible would be a first step in a process that could lead to a consensus that better reflects the profile of the general population.

                (2) As David Brin says about climate change, a lot of these (in particular, the miscarriage research) are things we should be doing anyway.

                (3) By decoupling (heh, coupling) contraception from abortion, it demonstrates that your policy proposals are sincerely about minimizing avoidable loss of life. And not about eliminating the options for women that allow them independence from a patriarchal hierarchy.

                #3 is the unspoken reason why the Ds will never be centrists on abortion, because abortion will never be a unitary issue. It is to a great extent another proxy war in the greater culture war.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to El Muneco says:

                (1) “They made us this way” is different from “We are not this way.” I’m focusing on the latter.

                (2) I agree, which is why I would not call this a compromise. There is nothing in here about what might be supported to curb abortion among women who are already pregnant. There is no obligation to address that because there is no obligation to compromise (compromise is not always a good thing) but it is what it is.

                (3) It also leaves a significant part of the equation ignored unless in exchange for this you are willing to accept limitations on abortion. But I don’t know have an idea of what limitations they are, if any.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                Well the thing is that the original article was about the Democratic Party, not the Pro-choice movement. Just as the GOP does not define (but instead caters to) the Pro-life movement so to does the Democratic Party not define (but instead caters to) the Pro-choice movement. The article posits the opposite. We’ve seen that the Dems have pro-life elected officials and that on a state, congressional and senatorial level the Dems will indulge pro-lifers to a considerable degree. No, the Democratic party isn’t going to do much pro-life movement on the leadership or presidential level on account of it being a pro-choice aligned party and Charles’ article gives very little reason why the Democratic Party should try moving more to the pro-life side of that equation. It would be sure to piss off a ton of pro-choicers and the pro-lifers would not offer any commensurate support. They have a party backing full abolition of abortion in their pocket after all.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                The GOP has as many minorities in the Senate as the Democrats do senators who voted to ban the most unpopular form of abortion there is.

                The flaw in the piece is that being uncompromising isn’t hurting them (or maybe that it’s the right thing to do regardless of political consequence). The notion that this is a a heterodoxical issue for them is a lousy argument and I’m really surprised to see people apparently making.Report

              • North in reply to Will Truman says:

                I don’t think anyone’s saying the Dems aren’t mostly pro-choice but the party and its base hasn’t been actively persecuting or driving out Democrats who are pro-life. There’s not a lot of them for reasons primarily aside from the pro-life/pro-choice divide but they haven’t been primaried by the party’s base and they haven’t been disciplined by party leadership.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                The GOP has as many minorities in the Senate as the Democrats do senators who voted to ban the most unpopular form of abortion there is.

                That statement shows a stunning and blatant disregard for reality.

                Late-term abortions boil down to two things: Dead or dying fetus, dead or dying mother. Those fit right into the trinity of “acceptable” (even to pro-lifers) abortions (rape, incest, life of mother).

                That you’d sit here and use a blatant pro-choice PR move (“let’s pretend late-term abortions are a popular thing, and not a horrible tragedy because either the fetus is dying/dead or the mother is dying!”) as a frickin’ example of pro-choice extremism shows a huge contempt for your audience.

                Do you think we’re too stupid to know what late-term abortions are, who gets them and why?

                It takes serious chutzpah to take a fight ginned up by pro-choicers hypocritically ignoring their own stated abortion-exceptions in favor of lying rhetoric and claiming it’s a show of pro-choice extremism.Report

              • Chris in reply to Morat20 says:

                I’d add that if we were going to ban some or most abortions, then from a medical perspective, late-term abortions would be the last ones we’d want to ban, regardless of how unpopular they are (largely as a result of pro-life misinformation).Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                Sigh. Whatever. Carry on.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                Hey, you’re the one that used the late-term abortion ban as a bright line on what defines “moderate” pro-choice position.

                And when I asked you “Why that” you’ve done nothing but hand-wave, finally referring to it as “unpopular”.

                But the thing is, if that’s your bright line on moderation, surely you can explain WHY banning a late term abortion is a “moderate” pro-choice position based on something other than “popularity”. (Given your initial complaint is how massively partisan and unforgiving the abortion debate is, surely that’s actually preferable to you than using “popularity”)

                That’s what I’ve asked and keep asking: WHY do you consider the “late term abortion ban” to be a litmus test or bright line or solid indicator for a “moderate” pro-choice?

                Your whole “there are no moderate pro-choicers” argument is based on this particular example, and asking you to explain WHY late-term abortions (as actually practiced in the US, and as addressed by the proposed ban) is a good example.

                Do you think it’s out of line to ask you to give something other than “It’s unpopular” on this topic?

                I’m trying to understand your position here, because I rather thought you picked it based on something solid about theban in the context of abortion in America. In policy, procedure, or fact — not polls.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

                Late-term abortions boil down to two things: Dead or dying fetus, dead or dying mother. Those fit right into the trinity of “acceptable” (even to pro-lifers) abortions (rape, incest, life of mother).

                Yeah, whatever.


              • Chris in reply to Art Deco says:

                Just so you know, then, 13 is not greater than 20.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Chris says:

                I love how 20 to 22 weeks has become “late term abortions”. When the bill in question was…much later, IIRC. Talk about moving goalposts.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                You recall incorrectly, assuming we’re talking about the one from last year. It was 20 weeks.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                The Fetal Pain bill? (I thought we were talking the one from about 5 or 6 years ago, over third trimester abortions).

                That’s even worse. It’s not even based on valid science — 24 weeks is the absolute earliest possible if you’re just talking about having pain sensory nerves, 26 if you include having them hooked to the brain, and almost 30 if you mean “fetus can actually feel pain” because everything’s attached.

                Since we’re not talking about partial birth, let me rephrase my question:

                Why exactly would voting to ban something whose entire justification is at odds with reality “moderate”?

                The justification for that bill was “Fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks” which is, you know, not true. By even the most giant stretch it’s off by a month, by actual “does it really” it’s off between six weeks and two months.

                Is it really your contention that to show they’re not ‘extremists’ they have to vote to ban abortion after 20 weeks based on reasoning that is fundamentally contradicted by science?

                That’s a weird definition of moderate, and I invite you to expand on your reasoning as to how voting FOR it would demonstrate ‘moderation’? And how you can rule out that people didn’t vote against it because it’s stated rationale was at odds with reality?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                I have been, from the start, discussing moderation/centrism and such strictly in the American political context. When almost uniformly something is supported on a 2-to-1 basis, that means that opposing it is out of the mainstream.

                Even if it’s a bad idea. Even if the objections are reasonable. Even if opposing it is the only moral thing to do. Perhaps especially then.

                The thing is, at no point in this conversation have I lent my support to the bill, suggested opposition to it is unreasonable, or anything of that sort. I’ve gone out of my way to lend legitimacy to the opposition. I am merely using it as an example of where Democrats (rightly or wrongly) oppose abortion bans that are supported in poll after poll after poll.

                I’ve also said that taking the view that they do is not something they need to revise. Despite the fact that it leads to some individual positions that are unpopular, it likely helps them more than it hurts them.

                This does not, it seems to me, warrant the nature of the response it has. I don’t feel like being the stand-in for the pro-life movement today. If I wanted to, I would have actually talked about my views on abortion. So have the conversation you apparently really want to have with someone else.

                Agree with me, disagree with me. Talk about blatant disregards for reality. Don’t really care at this point.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                But then you run square into the “The ACA is unpopular!” problem.

                Which is that every bit of the ACA is popular, until it’s named “The ACA” in which case it’s suddenly…not.

                Is the ACA popular? Depends on how you word the question.

                Is the Fetal Pain bill popular? Depends on the question — I’m pretty sure that “Do you oppose abortions when the fetus can feel the pain of it” gets a MUCH higher response (and so would a bill sold as ‘Because Fetuses feel pain’) then if you ask “Do you support abortions after 20 weeks but before either 24, 26, or 30 depending…”

                The problem here is your original comment was about the Democrats proving they were moderate on the issue, or being willing to accept moderation — this is the party where being pro-choice isn’t a litmus test! (Senator Reid says hi), as opposed to the party where being pro-life is — and what you used as an example was a single vote on a bill designed entirely as vote-bait.

                That wasn’t a serious bill, it was designed to generate votes for ad campaigns in an election. It was a horrible thing to reach for to make a point about moderation, and again — you’re using it against the party that DOES have both pro-life and pro-choice politicians (including one as highly placed as Senate Majority leader) rather than discussing the one that makes it a pass/fail question.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                The problem goes down to the things though think demonstrate something I don’t (I could do a dissertation in Harry Reid) and the things I think demonstrate something you don’t.Report

              • Francis in reply to Will Truman says:

                Will, with respect I think that a number of commenters myself included having been making the argument that the polling is soft and inconsistent.

                Yes, a great number of Americans are put off by the stridency with which certain Democrats argue in favor of choice. And it’s certainly true that in Texas the legislature has felt free to make it much harder for poor women to obtain an abortion.

                But it’s also true that (per my understanding, which may be incorrect) the support for abortion bans gets much softer when the pollster asks questions about the impact of the ban on the woman carrying the fetus, eg, should the woman be forced to carry a dying fetus, or should a woman be forced to risk her own life to carry a fetus to term.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Francis says:

                The polling on this says what it says. People can Google. I think it’s really quite clear. I understand y’all view it differently and folks here generally believe that abortion really is one of your Big Tent Reasonable positions. So noted and I will keep that in mind in the future.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman says:

                @will-truman As a member of the other side of the extremist 20% I got your point, and think it is worth considering… but I’m not the target audience.

                Just to poke the beast a little… we don’t mind that the other extreme 30% doesn’t get it… we’re partnering with *Pro-choice* people to make incremental changes. Our faction plus the biggest faction of *limited* abortion is pulling the legal framework our way incrementally and regionally. This is actually causing some consternation among my 20%, probably in a way that the other 30% doesn’t see that regulating abortion in a “maximally limited” way would end our legal strategy of a “minimally limited” way for lack of support from the what some (wrongly) call the “squishy middle.”

                I’ve long wondered what a grand bargain would look like with the “conservative” faction writing gun control legislation in exchange for “liberal” faction writing abortion legislation… it would be the perfect hostage exchange movie. But then, my real suspicion is that hostages are just plain old more useful in politics than not.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Marchmaine says:

                The problem here is your pulling legal frameworks in directions against a significant part of the populations preferences.

                X% of folks have specific moral problems with abortion but the ‘social’ folks who believe abortion should be promoted/supported have dragged the state into it.

                If there is a need to intertwine state and social programs, maybe the tax forms should have a separate donation area to support these programs outside of ‘regular’ road and bridge stuff.

                That way people are not directly coerced into donating to stuff they don’t have moral alignments with. But we can’t start to have that conversation for all the high amplitude shouting of how everyone is bound by this non-existent ‘social contract’.

                If you really want to see if you have the superior idea, take coercion out of the equation.Report

              • Chris in reply to Morat20 says:

                20 weeks is usually considered late-term, and it Is after 20 that things get pretty different. After 16 weeks, they’re really expensive. After 12 they jump in price from a few hundred to a couple grand. Art’s link refers to a study of 13+ and 16+ weeks, but didn’t look at late-term.Report

              • North in reply to Morat20 says:

                While I’m closer (much) to your view on this than I am to Wills premise in this thread, Morat, I’d strongly suggest we’re getting beyond the bounds of productive conversation on it. I think we’ve mined all the interesting light out of the subject and all that’s left in the seam is heat so I move we excavate no further.Report

              • Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

                more funding for adoption, more funding for women who are having babies… More funding for “mommy track” schooling.

                These are the Democratic ways of getting “safe legal and rare”.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

                “Safe, legal, and none of your business get your government out of my privacy.”Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                Pretty much, with one part added: Here are options that we know will lead to fewer people having to make a choice between carrying a pregnancy to term and terminating it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

                For what it’s worth, I have much sympathy for the position of “Safe, legal, and none of your business get your government out of my privacy”.

                I just wish that more people felt that way about more things than merely abortion.Report

      • Autolukos in reply to Will Truman says:

        Weird passage from that article:

        pro-life Democrats, though crucial for passing important programs like Obamacare, are mostly gone now, victims of a litmus test. In 2009, 64 House Democrats voted against taxpayer funding for abortion; by 2015, only three did: In that time, Democrats lost 69 seats, leaving only 188 Dems to the 247 Republican majority.

        I’d have to go district-by-district to be sure, but I’m fairly certain that those Republican gains in the 2010 and 2014 elections have more to do with the decline in anti-abortion Democrats in Congress than any purity test by the party. This is because, at the Congressional level, at least, there is no litmus test: while Democratic voters tend to prefer pro-choice candidates, there was not (that I know of, at least) a wave of primary challenges or some similar intra-party conflict that drove those people out of office. Instead, they were mostly moderate candidates who won moderate districts during good years for the Ds and who lost them to Republicans during good years for the Rs. Whenever the Democrats next hold a majority in the House, I expect we will find a significant anti-abortion contingent in their caucus.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Autolukos says:

          I think you are right, but abortion is at least arguably a reason that they lost. Those that voted for PPACA were hammered on the perceived lack of religious protections. But even those with a more uniform record, they were associated with a party viewed as way too friendly to abortion.Report

          • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

            But doesn’t Trump show that the abortion litmus test isn’t all powerful?Report

            • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

              That’s something that’s going to be looked at! Still seems likely that it would have an effect on the margins, though, such as a Democrat in a socially conservative district. Trump, alas, isn’t on the margins (and does poorly with regular church-goers anyway).Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

                I still think Autolukos is correct – the people that lost, lost because they were Democrats, not because of their position on abortion.Report

              • Autolukos in reply to Kolohe says:

                More importantly, in my view, is that if they lost to Republicans, the mere fact that they lost is poor evidence for Camosy’s argument, which concerns the internal politics of the Democratic Party. I agree with Will that being tied to the national party’s pro-choice branding was probably unhelpful in the general for a lot of those candidates, but that’s not what Camosy is arguing.Report

      • Alan Scott in reply to Will Truman says:

        The problem with suggesting that the Democrats compromise on abortion is that it ignores why and how that aforementioned squishy middle is squishy.

        The people who feel strongly about the idea are on the extremes. And both of those extremes are tied into broader political identities, Conservative Christianity on one side, and Modern Feminism on the other. Either party would have to change a lot more than their abortion plank to get any of those voters to cross the line.

        And then there’s the middle. Most people in the middle just don’t feel as strongly about the issue one way or another, and they don’t actually know that much about the issue one way or another. They’re kinda okay with abortion, but recognize that it’s morally ambiguous, so there are probably some abortions that they’re not okay with. But even then, they have a pretty foggy idea of which abortions those actually are.

        Which means, when you ask the voting public whether they’re pro-choice or pro-life, they’ll say they are pro-choice, since they’re cool with at least some abortion. But if you ask then about any particular restriction on abortion, they’ll probably say they favor it, because they approve of some restrictions on abortions. But if you give them a sob story about why that particular restriction is bad for a vaguely sympathetic pregnant woman, they’ll change their mind and oppose it–they’re not against all abortions, just the bad ones. And you’ve convinced them this abortion that the law would prevent isn’t one of the bad ones.

        When faced with that incoherence, The Democratic party is smart to be as pro-choice as it can. Because in the abstract, the squishy middle agrees with the Democrats. When you’re specific and detailed and talking about how a woman is being forced to carry a brain-dead fetus to term, or forced to have a probe stuck up her vagina, the squishy middle still agrees with the democrats. The Republicans win is when they’re in that middle level of specifity, but while that’s a fine spot for getting people to like you, it’s a shaky spot for getting anyone to dislike the other guy.

        The only place where the Republicans can really come out ahead is when they can point to a specific case of “this is one of the bad abortions”, as in the Kermit Gosnell case, or the debate stops being about whether abortions are okay and starts being about who can pay for them. So overturning the Hyde amendment is probably a political loser (though, as a pro-choice liberal, I nevertheless think it’s the right thing to do).

        There’s a weird quirk in this that’s good for the pro-life movement: Ballot initiatives naturally operate at that intermediate level of specificity where the squishy middle comes down in favor of restriction. So in states where the squishy middle dominates, such initiatives are probably the most effective way for the pro-live movement to affect its agenda. But that doesn’t matter much when you’re discussing the partisan side of things, since ballot initiatives are non-partisan.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Alan Scott says:

          This is very astute. I disagree with some minor points, but I think it encapsulates things nicely. As long as it’s the case where the people more firmly on one side or the other feel strongly and those in the middle are squishy or conflicted, you’re probably not likely to meet the other side to their satisfaction.Report

    • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I have to join in the criticism of Charles Camosy’s argument on abortion as well though from the other direction. Charles notes that European pro choicers draw the line considerably further to the restrictionist side of the spectrum than American pro choicers do. He’s correct but the reason this is true is because an agreement was struck and holds in much of the developed world beyond America; you get some level of restriction on abortion but it is assured of being available and accessible when women need it. You just don’t have any serious political oomph behind a drive to all out bad abortion outside the US. That is a deal that pro-choicers have made elsewhere and are generally willing to make in America but it’s a deal that pro-lifers explicitly reject. Their frequently asserted position is that any restrictions on abortion would be pocketed and used as a spring board to make a run at abortion access in general.

      Jay notes the miserable camel’s nose issue and compares it to gun restrictions but I’m not aware that people who criticize gun restrictions are so nakedly blatant in their desire to roll restrictions all the way to the point where gun ownership is eliminated. With my Canadian background is find the whole “we gotta fight them over there or else we’ll have to fight them over here” line quite miserable but it seems pretty descriptive to me.

      As to the Democratic Party, they know where their bread is buttered. The current swing eliminated the blue dog Dems who would have been the constituency for a more moderate stance on abortion. Up until the rise of the Trumpkins we’ve seen no indication that a somewhat more nuanced position on the abortion question would have moved the needle for any of those eliminated politicians. The Dems weren’t elevating them to leadership positions, sure, but the party wasn’t exactly banishing pro-life or unenthusiastically pro-choice politicians to the wilderness when they had them.

      Under the vagueness and hand waving all Charles seems to be suggesting is that the Democratic Party give way on the front line of the fight on abortion access in order to “seem reasonable”; I don’t think that’s even remotely rational. Nothing in the past decade of politics has suggested that “seeming reasonable” helps much and it certainly isn’t going to peel off pro-lifers since their sights are set on first term abortions which is, after all, the overwhelming majority of abortions. You aren’t going to convince pro-choicers that your compromise was a good idea if all you got out of the deal for them was a basket full of “seeming reasonable” otherwise known as a basket full of nothing at all.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

        Israel is the only other Western and developed democracy where religion plays an outsized role in politics. The above deal exists i Israel. Women might need to fill out some paper work but the paper work is always granted.Report

        • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Leave it to the Jewish state to square the circle like that*.

          *Said in a tone of affectionate admiration.Report

          • Kim in reply to North says:

            But women can’t get divorced unless their husband says they can. (or unless they can prove that he won’t have relations with them when they want it, or a few other things).Report

  4. notme says:

    Smuggler caught by Border Patrol 24 times is sentenced to prison. Geez, it’s about time. I wonder what the fed gov has been waiting for?

  5. Hoosegow Flask says:

    I’ve listened to quite a bit of talk radio, especially from back when I had a hellacious commute, and Mark Levin remains, by far, the most unpleasant radio personality I have spent any time listening to.Report

  6. Richard Hershberger says:

    Michael Pettis has shown that not all Trump supporters are racists, but he hasn’t shown that they aren’t all nitwits. His anecdatum is a smart, non-racist, successful guy who has overcome tough beginnings, who supports Trump despite having only the vaguest notion of Trump’s policies. OK, the guy isn’t Archie Bunker. But within the realm of politics and making sensible choices between candidates, he demonstrates himself to be a nitwit.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

      “But within the realm of politics and making sensible choices between candidates, he demonstrates himself to be a nitwit.”

      Given his reasoning, who should he be supporting?Report

    • What the system needs to figure out how to handle is that a lot of its voters are nitwits.Report

      • Art Deco in reply to Will Truman says:

        1. That’s only a problem if the nitwits do not cancel each other out.

        2. Nearly all of us are almost comprehensively ignorant. It’s just a matter of degree.

        3. See Thos Sowell on this point. A certain sort is liable to confound expertise and intelligence and then confound intelligence with articulateness.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Art Deco says:

          Yeah, but they need to cancel one another out both in primaries and in general elections. It also demonstrates an issue with plurality elections (as with primaries, but also with Jesse Ventura).Report

          • Damon in reply to Will Truman says:

            We could always go back to “only propertied people can vote”.. Note how I modified the original ground rules to be more “progressive”.Report

          • Art Deco in reply to Will Truman says:

            What issue? You fancy that the problem in the composition of the electorate will be ameliorated by PR or the alternate vote? I can see that in a mild way in the latter case, but that’s all. Ventura had put in time as the mayor of a Minneapolis suburb. I cannot see that he’s an inappropriate candidate per se, just one with a resume thinner than you’d like.Report

      • Patrick in reply to Will Truman says:

        The system largely responds by assuming that the nitwits basically cancel each other out.

        Which would be workable, except that we have a structure that provides a different environment, each year, for voting, that attracts a higher percentage of nitwits on either side depending upon the year.

        If we instead structured things such that the stakes were largely the same, close to each time, we’d remove some of those structural nitwit biases.Report

      • Francis in reply to Will Truman says:

        “What the system needs to figure out how to handle is that a lot of its voters are nitwits.”

        “When your party uniformly opposes abortion restrictions supported by 70% of the population because you either believe they are wrong or don’t understand the issue, you may be correct but you are not in the center.”

        interesting juxtaposition.

        Now, do the 70% of the population who oppose late-term abortion actually believe that a woman carrying a dead / dying fetus needs to carry it until her body delivers it (possibly at great risk to the mother), or do they believe that late term abortions are being obtained by those [epithets] who have suddenly decided to get rid of that parasite?

        Where else in the practice of medicine does the federal government regulate the manner in which a particular procedure is done, even over the objection of doctors who believe that an alternative procedure which ends up in the exact same result may be medically preferable?Report

  7. Kolohe says:

    What sort of mantle would that be? Trump either wins the nomination and gets obliterated in the general, or Trump is denied the nomination either through Cruz actually winning or shenanigans or a combo of both.

    One would think the detritus of the failed Trump campaign can’t be ignored, but it can and it will. To the extent that Trump is powered by naked xenophobia, plenty of other people will pick up the mantle on immigration, but package it in a way that is acceptable to the main body of the GOP – and will have orthodoxy on the other issues that the GOP thinks should be core issues.

    Christie’s failing is that he was actually once the type of guy who could very capably pushed back against naked xenophobia.

    And has now thrown it all away. So he has credibility in neither direction.Report

    • North in reply to Kolohe says:

      I agree, I’d be astonished if he has a political career after this.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

      The mantle of the loudmouthed populist. He can’t emulate Trump’s celebrity, but he can do all else. If Trump really has taken a liking to him, and might be willing to support him in 2020, he would be a factor. A lot of it would depending on whom the 2016 loss is blamed.Report

  8. notme says:

    Women only train cars? It sounds as if the Germans are assimilating for their refugees quite well.

    • dragonfrog in reply to notme says:

      Other than one tabloid headline, is there any evidence the threat is perceived to be specifically from immigrant men?

      I’ve now read a number of German-language articles on the measure, and none of them mention immigrants in any way. The only mentions of immigrants I have found have been in British tabloids – the Mirror headline (which for me at least shows a one-sentence article – do you see a longer one?), and the Daily Fail claiming “several reports suggest” that it’s about immigrants, but the only such report they deign to link to is Breitbart.

      In turn, the Breitbart article only mentions one reference to immigrants – the railway line itself publicly stating this isn’t about immigrants. Then it says that “this denial has caused lively debate and controversy on German social media, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung.” – and then links to an SDZ article that reports nothing of the sort – not only making no mention of immigrants, not even in the description of what the railway line is denying (they’re denying it’s in response to the problem of sexual harassment – no mention of the country of origin of the harassers they’re anyway denying it’s about).

      So, from what I can tell, this is about a German railway company doing something (that is probably, despite any denials, a response to sexual harassment of passengers), and then Breitbart and the UK tabloid media projecting their own hangups about immigrants onto the story.Report

    • El Muneco in reply to notme says:

      This is a fun game…

      Unassimilated religious fanatic gets prison term for planned terror bombing.Report

  9. Saul Degraw says:

    1. Hip-Hop Rep ideas: I think it is a blessing and a curse that the Democratic Party does not have a unified base. It is also not exactly true. If the modern GOP is defined by social conservatives, big business, and hawks; the modern Democratic Party is defined by upper-middle class liberals, unions, women, and minority voters. Now each of these groups has their own needs and wants and policy preferences but I think Trump makes it clear that the social conservatives (especially white, working class ones) never really cared about the issues that fuel the big business wing of the GOP. Basically both parties are less unified than imagined.

    Re: Pundits/New Voters: This seems like he is trying too hard. Why does he think that urban voters are trapped under Democratic politicians that take them for granted? The GOP has clearly abandoned cities and is having their own issues with voters who feel like they have been taken for granted for decades. It always seems unfathomable to Republicans that people honestly and sincerely support the Democratic Party. This pisses me off and is condescending.

    I also don’t think that the backlash against Uber and Air B n’ B is there. The GOP and Libertarian types seem to be in a fever dream that Democratic Cities are doing all they can to destroy the sharing economy. A while ago Hanley posted an article from the American Spectator about how the GOP can be the party of choice. The problems with the article were:

    1. It sidestepped and completely ignored social choices and social freedoms like the choice for consenting adults to sleep with whom they want regardless of gender. The choice of gender identity/non-conformity, etc.

    2. There was an example of giving Americans access to cheaper medicine by letting them purchase drugs from Canada. Do you know why drugs are cheaper in Canada? Because the Canadian government is allowed to negotiate with the pharma companies on the prices of drugs and set prices for drugs. Basically regulation!!! But American conservatives and libertarians are absolutely loathe to admit that there can be a good to government so they have to give Americans a round-about way to cheaper medication.

    This sort of stuff is what really pisses me off about younger Republicans/libertarians. They realize that all the socially conservative stuff is a turn off for their generation but they are just so entrapped with their government can do no good philosophy and/or their own social conservatism that they don’t know how to embrace social liberty and equality or they imagine just taking about Uber and Air B n’ B are going to completely destroy the Democratic Party. It never occurs to them that someone can like Lyft or Uber while also supporting strong the welfare state and the safety net.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Why does he think that urban voters are trapped under Democratic politicians that take them for granted?

      Because it’s true! That’s how Rahm Emmanuel got elected mayor twice! (and how Stephanie Rawlings-Blake got elected once)Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Kolohe says:


        Rahm also got very lucky when his most likely primary challenger was diagnosed with brain cancer. Yet he still needed to face a run-off in a primary because of a last-minute entry by an unknown.

        Let’s presume that urban voters are trapped under centerist neo-liberal Democratic candidates that taken them for granted. There are still lots of complications:

        1. Why does this assume a voice from the right or libertarian side can woo them? The urban voters who seem most displeased with the candidates that take them for granted (or who feel taken for granted) generally do so because they are to the left of the politicians and candidates. People are mad at Ed Lee because he is seen as being in the pocket of Tech Companies like Uber and Air B n’ B. There was a huge backlash when Air B n’ B tried to play cute in getting a proposition voted down. If anything the room for growth is with politicians who are more like De Blasio than Emmanuel and Ed Lee. HRC might win 2016 but Sanders is more of the future for the Democratic Party than not. There was also a guy who tried to oust Mike Honda in San Jose by being a more tech friendly/deregulation friendly Democrat. He failed.

        2. Urban politics are very fractured in ways that the right-leaning types (and many liberals) fail to understand. Ed Lee has a base among San Francisco’s Asian-American community. Since white liberals who feel the pinch from gentrification and being outspent by tech don’t have a connection to this community, they don’t understand how Ed Lee wins. The fights in many cities are between centerists like Quinn, Emmanuel, and Lee and liberals like Campos and De Blasio. I don’t understand how someone can come in from the right or libertarian side and win.

        3. The whole “Republicans can be a party of choice” thing still strikes me as trying way too hard to avoid the elephants in the room. Mainly social liberty/civil rights issues and that Democratic voters are animated by different issues like income inequality. It seems like they are trying to address some Democratic concerns but in a way that makes them feel like they are not betraying their anti-government/anti-tax views. Plus it tries to appease social conservatives by just ignoring social issues.Report

    • Mo in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The Republican Party is still a three legged stool And their legs don’t conflict as much. Granted, there’s some conflict between the business wings and social conservative wing over things like gay marriage and the like and between the business wing and the law-and-order/national security wing over immigration, but aside from that the differences are less pronounced. Unions and upper middle class liberals have massive disagreements over trade, minorities tend to be a bit more socially conservative and there is still conflict between the minority and union/upper middle class wings over things like school choice and gentrification.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Mo says:


        I see where you are coming from but there are still huge laws in the logic layed out by hip-hop Republican and the Conor F.’s of the world. The room for growth in the Democratic Party is on the left, not in a more right-wing than Rahm Emmanuel type of way. The rising voices of the Democratic Party are people like Zephyer Teachout and Bernie Sanders.

        It seems to me that HHR and Connor F fool themselves into thinking that their politics can really fuel and win cities. Connor F gets to do this because he writes for a very serious magazine and seems to do so without any pushback. If I were his editor, I’d be pushing back against his ideas a lot more than I think he gets.Report

        • I think the ascendance of urban leftism is how the GOP may, eventually, regain a foothold in cities, depending on which direction realignment goes.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


            I just don’t see how the GOP squares the circle with their commitment to law and order and social justice conservativism. Right-leaning folks who are aware and against police overreach and brutality like Connor F seem to be the exception rather than the rule. The Reagan Democrat is dead:


            • Where Conor is likely to be disappointed is that the GOP urban coalition will be of the cop-supporting L&O variety.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


                Who do you think will be in this GOP urban coalition? Many if not most cops and firefighters no longer live in the cities that they work in. If they do, they are small enough to not be much of a voice. The GOP get three out of fifty one votes on the NYC council and two of those are from Staten Island. The other is from Queens. All three seem to represent the remainders of the white-working class Catholics of NYC.

                How does the GOP square the circle between decades of urban bashing and trying to attract urban voters?Report

              • Some combination of, or selection from, the Fenty parts of DC and the Emmanuel parts of Chicago. Oh, and the Giuliani/Bloomberg parts of NYC.

                The notion that urban liberals will be able to cater more and more to their leftward flank without shaking people on the right loose is just as flawed as the Emmanuel model.

                The GOP does have a lot of work to do before making inroads here, though, which is why I say “may” and “eventually.”Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              Right-leaning folks who are aware and against police overreach and brutality like Connor F seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

              Conor’s a cheap poseur. I should hope he’s an exception. Only so many slots for those in the philanthropic sector.Report

          • If the Republicans were to ask me for advice — yeah, right — I’d tell them to ignore the urban core for the foreseeable future and focus on nailing down the suburbs. To pick an example, in the 30 years I’ve lived in my Denver suburb, the vote has shifted about seven percentage points from R to D. Some of the policy shifts aren’t that painful for them — eg, the Republican mayor of Fort Collins (pop now >150,000) is an outspoken advocate of the city’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 80% by 2030.

            If the Republicans can peel off the inner-ring suburbs, they don’t need the urban core.Report

            • I tend to agree, but I also think invading the inner suburbs helps them in the municipalities themselves, depending on the urban/suburban composition thereof.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to Michael Cain says:

              Trying to regain the inner suburbs – doing what the GOP did to get the inner suburbs from 1980 to 2004 – is the exact kind of rear guard, revanchist strategy that’s likely to backfire.

              Not to say it can’t be done or shouldn’t be done. Just a play for the inner ring suburbs is a play for diversity; harnessing the power of white flight is over (yay!) (and in some places has reversed)Report

  10. dragonfrog says:

    Can someone please explain what is up with the Washington Democratic Caucuses?

    Google result summary says
    100% of districts reporting
    101 delegates
    Sanders: 25 delegates
    Clinton: 9 delegates

    And no word on the other 67 delegates. Other news outlets say Washington sends 118 delegates not 101. Also the total number of voters backing the 34 delegates currently reported, seems somewhat small – and extrememely small to be backing 101 or 118 (whichever it is).

    The other states that held their primaries on the 26th show delegate counts that add up.Report

  11. notme says:

    Obama team pushes back: We’re beating the terrorists!

    What makes this so silly is that the folks actually taking and controlling territory are the Russians and and Syrian gov’t. They just captured a city and Obama admin is crowing over killing one guy.

    • North in reply to notme says:

      So we’re beating the terrorists AND we’re doing this on someone else’s dime? The horror!

      Yeah I pine for the days of the GOP’s steady hand on the foreign policy tiller feeding a steady stream of American blood and treasure into the blender but at least we could strut around the global stage and feel manly about it.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to North says:

        When the Mafia ‘solves’ crime in a neighborhood, is that a good thing? Is it a good thing if the Mayor and the District Attorney take credit for the crime cleanup that’s the Mafia’s handiwork?Report

        • Mo in reply to Kolohe says:

          You know who else we took credit for the Russians pummeling into submission? 😉Report

        • Francis in reply to Kolohe says:

          not our neighborhood, and we’re neither the Mayor nor the DA. If anything, we’re the heavies rolling into town and shooting everyone in sight. That makes us .. the US Army invading Mexico and forcing the territory to be given to a minority group of white guys?Report

        • North in reply to Kolohe says:

          Syria isn’t even remotely our neighborhood. We’re neither the Mayor nor the District Attorney of Syria.Report

          • Kolohe in reply to North says:

            But we are of Iraq?Report

            • North in reply to Kolohe says:

              So you’re saying if we’re in one ill advised wasteful adventure we should eagerly spring into another? Who are you and how did you get Kolohe’s login??Report

              • Kolohe in reply to North says:

                No, I think we should have pulled chocks forever ago. But nonetheless, we’ve been gradually re-escalating the footprint in Iraq, with the least results of anyone there.

                The Administration’s posture is a soup sandwich by Clausewitz dictum – the ‘politics by other means’.

                There are three main forces attacking ISIS right now – the Syrian government army (with help from Iran and Russia), the Iraq Army (with help from the US), and the Kurdish pseudo government forces.

                The Syrian army looks like they are on track for retaking all the territory that should be ‘theirs’. Yet, the United States government wants the Syrian government to be deposed.

                The Iraq Army is doing meh to badly, still. That’s the government the US government is backing wholeheartedly.

                The Kurds are doing better than anyone else. That’s the government the US doesn’t even recognize as a government.

                The Obama administration, maybe, and the Clinton administration definitely, is going to have to come to terms with the fact that the real government we hate is going to win, the real government we like isn’t, and the not real government that is also going to win isn’t going to take orders anymore from the real government we like. Because winning.

                Unless they come to the conclusion that strong central governments aren’t the end goal of liberalism domestically and abroad, then in which case, welcome to the revolution. We have cold and beverages and you don’t even need to read Ayn Rand if you don’t want too.

                Edit- and the point really is this is the Obama doctrine in a nutshell- try to take credit when things go well, even if not by your design, and deflect criticism by blaming Bush, strawmanning, or shrugging, or most often, a combo of all three.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

                It’s even more than taking credit for things not by your design – every capable politician can jump out in front of parade as it’s marching past.

                it’s taking credit for short term stuff, then counting on an attention deficit media and an apathetic public to memory hole those ‘victories’ when things go sideways. Like, for example, Libya. Also exemplified in that Jeff Goldberg article.Report

              • North in reply to Kolohe says:

                Okay but so what? Syria with an assist from Russia and Iran might drive ISIS back and regain much of Syria. Is that bad news for the US? Nope. It’ll make Saudi Arabia sad but that’s their problem, not ours. The Kurds will keep ISIS out of Kurdish areas, that’s good news for them and not bad news for us. The Kurds are pretty friendly to the US. The Iraqi’s aren’t doing particularly hot, well that’s not great news but it’s far from a disaster. The admin is prosecuting a light touch war in Iraq. A bit of special forces popping in and out, bit of advisors on the back lines, a whole lot of droning and bombing. That’s not gonna cause a lot of American casualties and while it won’t defeat ISIS it’ll keep them from moving much beyond where they are. Maybe sometime the Iraqi Shia will decide they want the other end of the country back and they’ll cut a deal with the Iraqi Sunni’s, otherwise the status quos will endure. If your goal is to keep the US out of quagmires then that ain’t bad.

                And frankly, shrugging is a pretty good substantive position to take on most of the ISIS foofaraw. Since the public doesn’t like naked shrugging you dress it up with some spin, try and snag some positive optics when the opportunity presents and otherwise thank your lucky stars that the regular idiots who keep shrieking for a full intervention are getting undercut. I’m pretty content with how Syria was handled.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to North says:

                It’s all going to be fine until the US back Kurds get into a shooting war with the US NATO ally with an increasingly illiberal government, Turkey, over terrorist attacks that some Kurds are doing in Turkey.Report

              • North in reply to Kolohe says:

                Turkey and the Kurds have been chasing each other around the mulberry bush since 1923, possibly longer. The U.S. has been tap-dancing around that unpleasant reality since 1952, if not longer.Report

  12. Michael Cain says:

    To throw gasoline on the abortion flame fest: Utah governor signs a bill that requires anesthesia for abortions. The new law applies to fetuses 20 weeks or beyond. It appears the requirement is a general anesthesia administered to the woman, and it must be able to pass across the placenta.Report