Morning Ed: Media {2017.12.28.Th}

Will Truman

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

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123 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    M1: Someone who writes for the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the National Review has snide things to say about Hillary Clinton!! This is the shocker of the century. It has been a long time coming but the Republican Party is facing a serious demographic cliff. In 1994, Pete Wilson bet on nativism and won reelection. Most of his voters were older Californians. Wilson won 66 percent of the 65 and older vote in 1994. He lost the 18-29 year old vote by 53 to 42 percent.

    What is California like now? A Democratic super state with Democrats holding super-majorities in the legislature and an easy lock on almost every state-wide office and most local ones. A majority of Wilson’s voters are dead and those that voted against him in 1994 are not moving to the right even in middle age. Someone who was 29 in 1994 is in their 50s now.

    Millennials are much more liberal than previous generations and they are much more diverse. By all accounts, Teen Vogue took a political turn because its readers wanted it to take a left-wing political turn. What is the reaction of younger conservatives here? Or right-leaning polls and pundits in general? They don’t seem worried about generational collapse. They don’t seem to think “Maybe we are destroying our chances with future generations and we should become more moderate socially and fiscally?” It seems to just be whines of “Why are we on the outside? And hur hur hur Hillary Clinton.”

    This might not be a winning strategy in the long-run. BTW Doug Jones won 60 percent of the 18-29 year old vote in Alabama and they made up 21 percent of the electorate in the recent election. This helped him win.

    M2: There is a very old phrase that goes around some NYC circles as sage advice. That phrase is “Never
    write anything that you would not want published on the front page of the New York Times.” Now I’ve failed this sage advice. I remember when we were talking about how scandals would be a thing of the past because everyone and their third cousin has some embarrassing shit on the internet somewhere. This seems not to be true. At least not yet.

    M5: I find it interesting that the essay is quiet on the really big sources of alt-weekly income. The big advertisers weren’t indie book stores and record stores. The big advertisers were either very euphemistic “massage parlors” or less euphemistic ads for escorts/sex workers. Here is a probably NSFW image of a typical “massage parlor” advertisment. The revenue for alt weeklies collapsed when a lot of the sex work advertisements went on-line. Did the editors at Politico nix mentioning the sex work ads or was Shafer being demure?

    Anyway I doubt that the right can come up for a victory here because of the same thing in M1. They are facing a serious demographic cliff and the instinct of young right-wingers seems to be to mock and insult the liberal instincts of their cohort rather than wonder if a change of tone or policy can help. The Washington Free Beacon can do serious journalism. There is a Bay Area Free Beacon that I assume is related but they are largely invisible in the streets and internets of the Bay Area. The Federalist is just a said and pathetic site of right-wingers trying to be hip and failing. I don’t even know who the prospective audience for the Federalist is but it reads more like a safe space for young right-wingers rather than attempting to be open and attract people. Articles like this are not going to pick up those looking for the next Village Voice or other alt-weekly. But conservatives do what they do.

    M6: I concur but this one seems kind of different considering the troll video that caused the response in the first place. My guess is that media makes these “celeb tweets about something” stories is because they are cheap and easy and we live in a nostalgia/pop culture obsessed age. People love these stories and they share them endlessly. They love knowing celeb X is on their side.

    M8: Sadly O’Keefe and Breitbart will probably get away with this because they know their marks.Report

    • LTL FTC in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Yep, the back pages.

      Taking away sex work, personal ads, stuff for sale, rooms for rent and concert venue listings leaves an alt-weekly with maaaaybe some bar/restaurant and advertising, but little else. The arrival of Craigslist for things like sublets and used furniture is what made me gradually stop picking up City Paper when there wasn’t a compelling cover story.

      Sites like Gothamist were supposed to pick up some of the local coverage, but that didn’t work out too well either. Now I’m left with some music scene sites and a neighborhood FB group where I get the latest headlines about who is doing construction during unauthorized hours.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to LTL FTC says:

        The two alt-weeklies I see regularly stacked at eating establishments — Westword and The Boulder Weekly — both now have entire sections for marijuana establishments, medicinal and recreational. Weekly specials, coupons, featured varieties. Now that there are private cannabis social clubs opening, I expect they’ll be advertising as well. I can see the day coming when there are going to be marijuana snobs, just like scotch and bourbon snobs.Report

        • LTL FTC in reply to Michael Cain says:

          We’re already there. The Denver Post has a weed columnist.

          I’ve been to recreational dispensaries in states where it’s legal and those budtenders do talk a good game. I’m not well-versed enough to know the subtle differences between strains, but they sure have a lot of adjectives for it.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to LTL FTC says:

            “with notes of honeydew, pine, and burning tires….”Report

          • Jaybird in reply to LTL FTC says:

            You know that friend of yours who brews beer? You know when he starts talking about hops?

            When my friend who does that sort of thing starts talking about the different malts and hops and grains and thises and thats.

            Similarly, the friend who fancies herself a sommelier. This one has notes of currants and smoky chocolate. This one has notes of pear and cardamom.


            • LTL FTC in reply to Jaybird says:

              All I need to know from my budtender/reviewer is will this weed a) put me right to bed, b) make me stare at my fingernail for half an hour, c) send me into a spiraling existential crisis or d) put some pep in my step for a nice stroll outside.

              I generally go for a) or d) depending on the situation, whether or not it’s got earthy notes but YMMV.Report

  2. LeeEsq says:

    M3: I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that a media organization calling itself Vice that specialized in reporting on hedonims had a difficult time creating a sexual harassment free in environment. (Sarcasm). This doesn’t make Vice’s work place environment acceptable but there are certain organizations that should be suspect almost immediately for trouble for a variety of reasons. Vice is one of them.

    M5: Like Saul, I can’t see the right-leaning media conglomerates being savvy enough to take over the alt-weekly. A lot of online sites already offer a replacement of sorts and the right are going to have to alter too much about what they do to get the market.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I expect the rightward altweekly to be a philanthropic enterprise. Much like most conservative media. And liberal media, for that matter. Actually, I suspect that’s where almost all media will end up. Either financed by the wealthy or at least a loss-leader or money-loser in a larger conglomerate.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


        I agree that this is a good prediction for the finances but Lee and I are talking about the substance and getting readers. The way you phrased your link it sounded like you thought it could be good for getting converts from the left to the right. I posted some thoughts about why I think that would fail on substance with links. I’ve yet to see that rebutted.Report

        • You didn’t actually make any points up there that were independent of your priors, so there really wasn’t anything to respond to.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          “Getting readers”.

          Free alt-weeklys get readers primarily on the virtue of the fact that they’re free and you’re going to be sitting where you’re sitting for the next half hour or so.

          Now, there are a thousand ways for the right-wingers running the alt-weeklies to screw everything up. The fact that it’s “free” means that you, the reader, are the product being sold to the advertisers but if the billionaires running the thing don’t care about turning a profit, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is if they are publishing a paper that you don’t bother picking up and leafing through even though you’re waiting for your hamburger.

          The best way to do that is to run stories that aren’t interesting.

          The most obvious way that right-wingers have to run stories that aren’t interesting is to turn the alt-weekly into CBN weekly papers. I imagine that one or two will do that and quickly realize that only the homeschool market is reading it.

          The thing to worry about is right-wingers who get an alt-weekly and start printing and publishing stuff that you love to hate. Stuff that you run to get your copy of first thing Wednesday. Stuff that you yell about to the other guy sitting at the counter.

          And then can yell “and they’re even hypocrites!” as you see the ads in the back for marijuana and sex work.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

            The Washington Free Beacon is free. Give me proof that they changed people from left to right.

            I gave numbers.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              “Give me proof that they changed people from left to right. ”

              Who are you talking to?

              My argument isn’t that they’re going to change people from left to right. It’s that they have a hundred ways to screw up but one of the ways they could succeed is to run a paper that you love to hate.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              Something for you to worry about:

              It’s not about getting you to change from left to right. It’s about getting you to reframe arguments in your head. You can still be on the left, but now you just agree with (whomever) about their #1 issue.

              When I called myself a libertarian, I never deluded myself into thinking that I could make other people libertarians. I *DID*, however, think that I could get people into a place where they agreed with me on the legalization of marijuana.

              The thing to worry about with right alt-weeklys is that they have one or two goals that they care about but don’t give a crap about the others and they’ll get you to change your mind about one or two topics while not caring, at all, about whether they get you to switch from left to right. Hell, they might make you feel even more lefty about stuff that they don’t give a crap about. This gives you the added benefit of feeling like you’re even lefter because of them to help distract from the whole thing where you’ve shifted position about the thing that they really care about.

              But, of course, that’s assuming that they know what they’re doing.

              The possibility exists that they’ll come out with a Jesus-y version of the old alt-weekly which will appeal to approximately three people, two of whom moved away a decade ago and the other one died last year.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird says:

                When I was in grad school in Iowa City in the late 80s there was a right wing student newspaper put out by those outraged by the content in The Daily Iowan, the official student newspaper. Admittedly, and how could it not in Iowa City, the DI tilted pretty far leftward.

                I would pick up the conservative paper, mostly because it was just laying there, and give it the once over. It always struck me, and right wing talk radio strikes me the same way today, that the authors of the articles had their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. What college student doesn’t like poking the bear, and what easier way to do it in Iowa City than to pay homage to St. Ronny? Besides, who could honestly believe in the bullsh*t they were touting?

                Sadly, as it turns out, the American mind is a lot easier to change than most people believe, and here we are a generation later with President Donald Trump, the ultimate nihilist leader.Report

              • Did it feel like the right-wing newspaper feel like it was written by people who were having fun?Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sure it did. Imagine the average Red State piece but with a generation of bile removed. That’s who was writing that stuff, and now they’ve come to believe it.Report

              • Here’s a confession that I have from my tenure at Redstate (from around 2004 to 2008) (full disclosure, banned, etc):

                Redstate never struck me as people who were having fun. (Maybe Moe Lane, from time to time.)

                They struck me as running the gamut from exasperated to bitter. (Granted, during this period, Redstate was primarily Socons and Hawks and there wasn’t much more than respectful nods in the direction of fiscal conservativism. Libertarians were seen as libertines who cared primarily about sodomy and marijuana (though not necessarily in that order).)

                What strikes me as worrisome is that the alt-right seems to be having fun.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                How much of that fun is rooted in antagonizing others?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Somewhere between “some” and “most”, as far as I can tell.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                I question the sustainability of such an approach.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Sure. I kinda figure it’d have died out by now. Like punk rock fizzled out after Disco Demolition Night.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m sure that after a few more torchlit rallies, followed by maybe the breaking of windows, it will all fizzle out on its own.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                If the idea is that their having fun makes them different than other right wing movements, I reject the idea because I don’t think the fun is sustainable. The “fun” period is, what, about a year old now? Let’s talk in another year.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I was asking about the “fun” in comparison to the “fun” that the people were having with the newspaper that Slade was talking about.

                One of the wacky things about “fun” is that it’s sustainable.

                Now, Chip brings up a good point. The torchlit rallies? Those did a good job of raising awareness and making a lot of those alt-right-curious say “this has stopped being fun”.

                So maybe all it will take is a few more rallies.

                Maybe we’ll see what happens in a year.

                What could happen? 2018 can’t be crazier than 2017 was.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                2018 can’t be crazier than 2017 was.

                Why do you say that?
                Are the Republican base voters less angry? Less fearful? Less economically anxious?
                More forgiving, more tolerant, more loving, more willing to join in a community with others?

                How will their mood be when the jobs fail to return, prosperity fails to materialize, and the Mexicans are still filling the packing plant?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Why do you say that?

                It’s dark humor.

                2018 is going to make 2017 look like 2016.

                Now, I don’t know how that will impact the elections… but my guess is that the democrats will win about 150 seats (counting, of course, state-level seats). If they do more than that, great. Relax a little bit.

                But if they do less than that, we won’t be in “lighten up, we flipped the House and came close in the Senate and won 100 seats counting all of the ones in the state houses!” territory. We’ll be in “How did Trump win a second term! I don’t know anybody who voted for him!” territoryReport

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Kazzy says:

                That’s exactly my sense. It’s the politics of nihilism filtered through a frat boy mentality.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird It took you 4 years to get banned? Were you not trying?Report

              • I was actively not trying.

                Didn’t do any good. Obama won in 2008 and I did not tread lightly in the days following the election (I took a “you guys are going to get slaughtered and you don’t even know it” stance before the election and then took a “you guys got slaughtered, do you have any idea *WHY*?” stance after).

                If you want to see the essay I wrote in the year that followed, it’s here.

                Edit: Hrm. The downfall of the Republicans took 2(!) elections. From 2004 to 2008.

                Might only take that again… if the Democrats can find an Obama…Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh my gosh. Go back and read the comments to that thread. Holy cow.


            • What would proof here even look like? I don’t think there’s any proof that Sinclair has changed anybody’s politics, but leftwards are worried about it all the same (and I think they’re not wrong to be worried).

              Jaybird’s original comment was pretty on-point. Most people don’t pick up the alt-weeklies because they are interested in the latest and greatest leftward thought. They pick it up because it’s free, it’s there, and there’s something in it for you regardless of your politics. For the right, it would be an entry point for their perspective.

              The vulnerability is that it’s not clear what use the platform is anymore. I used to pick up alt-weeklies to pass the time when I didn’t have anything with me. Now I have the phone that has access to pretty much everything. If you ask me, that’s as much a reason why the genre is dying as anything else, and that (rather than “:conservatives suck”) is the main reason why any such plan might not work.

              But the alt-weeklies do have some good real estate. The Washington Free Beacon is just a website. It seems possible to me that if they could be picked up just as easily as City Paper is, they (and their perspective) would have further reach. The Federalist is pretty off-putting to the ideologically uncommitted (or those committed to the other side), but WFB and early IJR provide decent blueprints for what might have broader appeal (not appeal to Saul, of course, but appeal to people The Federalist doesn’t provided that they are available, convenient, and free).

              As of 2014, readership of alt weeklies was declining though not enough to justify the shutterings. But potentially enough to make it hard to raise funds for. My college paper was primarily financed by the university and went to weekly publication due to (I think) lack of interest due (I think) to smartphones. So it really could all be doomed.Report

  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    M2: I really can’t see how crude satire about rape, etc. is something that a person should just be able to leave behind without some kind of publicly disavow of the previous work.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      I concur but my guess is that a lot of people (including very intelligent people) don’t think about the consequences that far in advance. This is human nature. How many people really think “What would happen if someone saw this 20 years from now?”Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Regarding Taibbi’s antics in Moscow 25 years ago, I wonder if there shouldn’t be some sort of statute of limitations on the outrage a story like this can generate. Taibbi was 22 years old when this stuff was going on, living in a country that was essentially in anarchy. Are we holding someone like that to unrealistic standards of behavior?

      Of course, a disavowal should be forthcoming, but there is the ever present danger of that becoming the story, rather than the book he’s touting, which I would argue has far greater import.Report

      • If you want to read the apology he posted to facebook, you can read it here. He then posted this about three weeks later and I don’t know whether to categorize it as an apology or what, but it provides his take on the stuff that followed.

        As apologies go, his apology strikes me as being as good as could be reasonably expected. As for what follows… well. I guess you could say that we’re in a correction.Report

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird says:

          Now I have to issue a correction. Taibbi was in Russia in the late 90s, and he was pushing 30. That makes the behavior a bit more inexcusable, but I’ll stand by my call for a statute of limitations, especially if accompanied by a mea culpa and no evidence of recent similar behavior.Report

          • @slade I think that given his increasing importance and fame as a reporter, this stuff is going to be somewhat cyclical in nature. The people who are startled, offended, and even as readers feeling kinda betrayed that their beloved author has feet of clay (*raises sheepish hand*) are different than the people who heard about it last time, or the time before that, or the time before that. Because his audience has grown exponentially over the last 20 years.

            I think the articles Will points to are both within the scope of “reasonable things to still talk about” – as someone pointed out in the FB comments, and as Taibbi acknowledges himself, he still writes weirdly misogynistic things from time to time so it’s not an entirely sorted issue. The female reporter in question is talking about her own experiences of misogyny-motivated bullying, again, she has the moral right to talk about that whenever she wants on whatever platform she wants, IMO.

            And the folks who are taking a new look at things and saying, “Hey, you know what, actually there are lots of writers of color and women writing about these same topics really well and maybe we should invest in promoting them, and not Taibbi, whose career will at most be dented because his bona fides and his networks (and his writing skills) will still be there when the dust clears,” – and deciding to do that? There shouldn’t be a statute of moral/aesthetic limitations on that one either.

            OTOH the random facebook commenters, outrage generators, etc., who are spending lots of time and energy flipping out at him instead of say, volunteering at their local women’s shelter or going after people who *actually physically assaulted people and refuse to apologize for it* instead of Taibbi-level offenders…. those people irritate me. And should get a better hobby. And if that group is the one that’s bugging you, yes, I agree.Report

  4. Chip Daniels says:

    I wonder if there were Russian tabloids that complained about the rash of rapes being committed by immigrants, and what this means about Those People and their ability to conform to civilized norms.Report

  5. Jesse says:

    M1: To follow up on Saul’s point above about the youth vote, the idea that “the young have always been liberal”, may be screwing over the GOP in the long run. Because in reality, as recently as 2000, the youth vote was split and it didn’t become a gaping maw until 2008.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

      If the democrats can consistently recreate 2008, the GOP are doomed.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        In retrospect, it’s pretty shocking how quickly the Dem wave of ’06/’08 was reversed/crushed and what that signaled for both parties going forward.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

          The misreading of “throw the bums out!” as “it’s a *MANDATE*!” is responsible for a lot of that.

          I think that another bit of that is conflating the personality at the top with the party. Clinton’s victories in office (and he had a number of them!) didn’t really scale out to the party in general. Obama left the Democratic party in a goddamn *SHAMBLES*. But everybody just remembers Obama’s victories rather than how his victories (and he had a number of them!) didn’t scale out to the party in general.Report

          • Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

            Eh, Obama didn’t do great, but many of the losses in 2010 and 2012 were of Southern state legislators who could survive being compared to John Kerry, but couldn’t survive being compared to Barack Hussein Obama.

            It’s kind of glaring the only two term President who didn’t preside over massive losses in various state and local chambers was Reagan and even then, he only held even.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

              Dude, I saw serious people writing serious essays explaining that Doug Jones needed to run for president in 2020 if the Democrats wanted to win.

              This does not a deep bench indicate.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

                Nah. They don’t have a perfect candidate in waiting, but even Andrew Cuomo would enter the race in pretty good shape assuming Trump runs.

                (Dear Democrats, please don’t nominate Andrew Cuomo.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

                I’m kind of expecting Warren/Booker 2020.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                hmmmm. A two-Senator ticket with a woman at the top running a negative campaign against Trump? Second time’s the charm?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                “One Northeastern liberal couldn’t pull it off… maybe two will be able to do it!”Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                Help me understand the Warren fascination?

                Let’s grant that she scores 100% on all the important things that most of the party wants to emphasize. (Does she?)

                Is she seen as the most effective communicator and politician to capture votes? Outside of her enclave? Or is it all about getting more Democrats to vote than ever before… and is she even the best to do that?

                I know it sounds concern trolly… and I’m not saying that on paper she might be y’all’s perfect president, and maybe I’ll have to study her public engagements a bit more, but je ne sais pas…there’s a certain quoi missing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                She’s photogenic and a decent enough public speaker, all things considered.

                She got a *MAJOR* PR win with the whole “nevertheless, she persisted” brouhaha during the Sessions hearing and the whole attack via the “Pocahontas” vector triggers an automatic immune response by the leftmost.

                Additionally, she’s put out her 11th (!) book (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class) this last April.

                Plus she’s female.

                On paper, that’s a lot of checkmarks.Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Warren would likely be the most effective President of anyone on the bench – the best at pulling levers, massaging egos, putting the right peg in the right hole. After all, she’s probably the best Senator at that kind of thing. And she embodies the kind of solid-but-not-scary liberalism that feels like a next step in the leftward movement of the party.

                However, I have my doubts on whether she’d be a good enough candidate to win an election. She doesn’t have (at least to me) the stage-wrecking charisma that will be needed. She’s too old – the next candidate should be younger than me (Gillibrand is a month younger, which counts) for generational reasons. She has too much history, IMO we need contrasts with Clinton, not comparisons.

                Anyway, she’s not running. She feels she can do more good with the position and political capital she’s built up in the Senate than risk leaving both the Senate and Presidency less effective than they might be.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                Don’t kid — no Democrat from the NE urban corridor has won the Presidency for more than 50 years. I was one of the people sure that that had changed in 2016 because the Republicans had nominated such an obnoxious candidate — but I was wrong. If the Dem ticket in 2020 is Warren/Booker, or Booker/Warren, I’ll bet against them winning.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Well, where are the strongest candidates that the Dems have to offer hailing from?

                Maybe they can find somebody from Illinois or Arkansas or Georgia or Texas or something.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Clinton was from the NE urban corridor? That impression might have been her first mistake.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to PD Shaw says:

                The “New York Senator” thing probably contributed too.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Will Truman says:

                I seriously doubt it will be a cake walk.

                1) It’s a serious mistake to confuse Trump’s approval rating with his approval rating. He’s probably the first President for whom that’s true. No one “approves” of him… but that’s not the same as being unwilling to vote for him. Strip away everything he says and there’s a lot to like.

                2) His campaign will attract serious people & he’ll have institutional support, so it won’t be the disorganized mess the last one was.

                3) He’ll sink to new lows. I predict the reelection will make his election look clean and kind.

                4) We’ll have 4 years of experience with him. Before HRC was the safe choice (and Trump lost a significant amount of the GOP because of this). This time (amazingly) Trump will be the safe choice. Crazy talk will be viewed as talk, not action. This might fall under the umbrella of “it’s hard to unseat a sitting President”.

                5) Trump is doing a lot to maintain his coalition. Keeping God!, Guns!, Moats!, and Money! happy isn’t easy but he’s doing a good job in delivering with his promises.

                All this assumes he hasn’t been arrested, impeached, died, or lost interest.Report

              • It’s easy to forget that Americans like re-electing our presidents. People who talked about how in retrospect the 2016 election was always going to be close because of fundamentals seem to want to overlook that particular fundamental. Also, all of the fire-and-brimstone predictions about what Trump might do will have already been demonstrably not the case and Democrats will have spent four years arguing that he’s not actually worse than the median Republican. And he won last year with an electorate that gave him lower approval ratings than he has now.

                So those are things he has going for him.

                On the other side of the ledger, he won’t be running against Hillary Clinton. That bears repeating: No Hillary Clinton. The Democrats are energized and the Republicans (right now) aren’t. I disagree with the notion that he has kept his promises. (Obamacare stands and there is no wall.) He also faces what is likely (IMO) to be a more divided party when the tsunami hits next year. Depending on the tsunami’s size, no more judicial appointments. And all of the problems with the GOP that were there when he arrived are not only unfixed but aggravated.

                So all in all, I think even Cuomo wins.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Will Truman says:

                I think the Wall will be his price for helping the Dreamers. Then they’ll time it’s implementation so that’s after the election, just like Obamacare, so it will be still be a glorious promise during the re-election.

                Now what happens if the Dems take the House and Senate is seriously uncharted territory. I could see anything from Trump switching parties to throwing filth at the Dems non-stop for years.Report

              • Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

                “Serious” people writing dumb essays about the Democratic Party should do will always exist.

                Nah, we got plenty of people – Gillibrand, Kloubacher, Harris, Booker, Bernie, etc.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                There’s that Cali Gov, that NY Gov, some guy who claims to be mayor of NYC, lots of Senators playing a game to see who can out-Bernie Bernie …. What do ya mean it’s not a deep bench?Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

          Not really. Young people generally are inconsistent voters for a variety of reasons. They are transient, don’t feel they have the time, are caught at jobs where they can’t take off, etc. Are subject to attempts that make it hard for them to vote especially if they are college students, etc.

          The same is true for many core Democratic constituencies. Older voters tend to have more time and money and vote more reliably.

          But when Democratic voters do come out, they win elections for Democrats.

          The trick is getting Democratic voters to vote regularly.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            There’s a context in which that defeat should be placed, seems to me. One in which Trump is now president and Bernie (who’s not a Dem) is the leading figure of the Dem party.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

              Or just good old Doug Jones in Alabama. Bernie Sanders is not the base of the Democratic Party and even though he got a lot of youth excitement, he could not persuade older women of color (the other big base in the Democratic Party) to vote for him.

              But nothing can change the mind of the Bernie woulda won side. So why bother?Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Jesse says:

      On the other hand…

      My own take is that in the post-short-term (starting in 2018 and carrying over roughly 2024) the GOP is in for quite a bit of trouble. Medium term (2024 to 2030 or so?)… it’s hard to say, and will depend on the Democrats. Long term… I don’t know that long term as we’ve known it (like the GOP drought in the 20th century) exists anymore. and by 2030 people will be looking for reasons to vote Republican again and we should cross our fingers and hope that the party is in a better way by then.Report

      • aaron david in reply to Will Truman says:

        Indeed, the idea of Demographic Destiny rests on the world and its politics remaining static.

        And that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.Report

        • Jesse in reply to aaron david says:

          It’s not static, but studies show that if you vote for the same party three times or more consecutivally, you’re pretty “stuck” to that party.

          In a large part, the change in the voting habits of the old isn’t so much a shift in opinion as a shift of old people from a bunch of FDR & Truman voters to them being a bunch of Nixon & Reagan voters.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Jesse says:

            @jesse @will-truman @aaron-david

            Jesse is somewhat wrong here. The people who voted for FDR and Truman generally stayed with the Democratic Party. Nixon and Reagan won big with Silent Generation types (too young to remember the Depression and fight in WWII but too old to be hippies) and a good chunk of the Baby Boomers (mainly those too young to fight in Vietnam).

            The Silent Generation was way more conservative than the Greatest Generation. A lot of Wilson’s voters were Silent Generation like him, not Greatest Generation New Deal Democrats who were largely dead by 1994.Report

            • aaron david in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              So, in other words, demographics move and change… Churn, if you will.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to aaron david says:

                Here’s an example of that churn:

                In the decade before 1948, black Americans identified as Democrats about as often as they did Republicans. In 1948, as Real Clear Politics’ Jay Cost wrote a few years ago, Democrat Harry Truman made an explicit appeal for new civil rights measures from Congress, including voter protections, a federal ban on lynching and bolstering existing civil rights laws. That year, the number of blacks identifying as Democrats increased.

                The next big change in African American voting patterns occurred in 1964, when it stabilized at around 85-90% Dem.Report

        • I haven’t played the telling Democrats “This is how we got Trump” game, for the most part. The exception is the ironclad belief in demographics and a non-maleable electorate. That did play a part, and may play a part again. Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

            The irony is that the GOP’s belief in demographics led them to support pro-Hispanic policies which created the opening Trump seized to gain early momentum in the primary.Report

            • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

              One of the most widely believed myths of the last decade is that the Hispanic vote had anything pivotal to do with the outcome of the 2012 election. People (including many Republicans, almost all Democrats, and the media) wanted to believe it was true and everyone ignored the data. Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

                The New Republic had an interesting article about this from the perspective of people who had actively argued the theory.

                I think that we’re in a race between parties as to who can make the biggest, most awful mistakes.

                The party who manages to just barely hold it together will be at an advantage henceforth. (Note: holding power increases your ability to make mistakes tenfold.)Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to aaron david says:

          the idea of Demographic Destiny rests on the world and its politics remaining static.

          Also too, “liberal” and “conservative” aren’t fixed either.

          The “liberal” youth of 1970 did in fact remain liberal to this very day, on a certain set of issues;
          For instance, the big social issues then were drug use, and premarital sex.
          Even Tea Party/ Trump base is fairly liberal on those.

          On other issues like economic policy, the young people abandoned their liberalism pretty quickly, while other like racial attitudes moved far one to the liberal side, then slid back over time, but not to the starting point.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to aaron david says:

          Indeed, the idea of Demographic Destiny rests on the world and its politics remaining static.

          Demographics as *destiny* is different than demographics as an identifiable factor necessary or sufficient to win future elections. Strategists can only work with the data-sets they have. The good ones are as aware as anyone that politics is fluid and not entirely predictable. The bad ones maybe not so much.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

        My own take is that in the post-short-term (starting in 2018 and carrying over roughly 2024) the GOP is in for quite a bit of trouble.

        Do you think the GOP is in trouble at the state and local levels as well?Report

      • Jesse in reply to Will Truman says:

        I get your point, but is there where I point out there were far fewer college students as a percentage of the young in 1970 and that that in ’72, the under 30 vote overall narrowly went for Nixon –

      • El Muneco in reply to Will Truman says:

        One thing about the 70s and 80s that is unique is that going in to that period, people who were – um, explicitly racially or religiously motivated – were spread relatively evenly between the parties. Some bright light figured out that if they could be captured and held, the GOP wouldn’t need to moderate. And they did (capture) and they didn’t (moderate). Going out of that period, the current GOP base was set in stone, and it’s wide enough that even now just a little economic anxiety in the right states is enough to win elections.

        Demographic determinism is overblown. But things that are true about the newest generation of voters is that they are much more inclusive and so much less religious than the oldest generation of voters that some churches are literally dying along with the latter.

        What demographics does not mean is that the GOP, or any successor conservative party, is doomed to wander the wilderness absent the halls of power. What it does mean is that doubling down on the positions that have worked since the Southern Strategy was codified should no longer work, and moderation will be necessary.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to El Muneco says:

          What it does mean is that doubling down on the positions that have worked since the Southern Strategy was codified should no longer work, and moderation will be necessary.

          With the added caveat that the many of the voters it needs to attract, via moderate, are going to be highly skeptical because of the last few cycles of increasingly hardcore rhetoric and decisions.

          These are not blank slate voters. These are voters who have opinions already about the GOP. You can’t just say “Okay, we’ve gotten it out of our system. We’re totally not crazy anymore” and expect people to forget the past.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

            How willing they are to forget about the past is going to depend in part on how easy they are to move on from Democratic dominance.

            I’m not positive the GOP really is going to have to moderate in the inclusion/social ways we talk about but if they do I suspect that it won’t take long for them to have a receptive audience.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Morat20 says:

            At this point, the word “moderate” doesn’t really fit into the discussion.

            “Moderate” works when there are two achievable positions, and an achievable point somewhere between.

            The Republican base doesn’t have an achievable position to start with.
            It has a mood (Fear-based Rage) and an desire (Revanchism and ethnic triumphalism), but no coherent policy.

            Because there is no policy that would satisfy the howling rage of a Trump rally, or at least, none that I can write here without violating the commenting guidelines.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              The Republican base doesn’t have an achievable position to start with.

              Money! and Guns! have achievable positions, i.e. more money (growth) and more guns.

              It’s Moats! and God! who are the problems.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to El Muneco says:

          Up until the mid-1990s, many Southern Whites still voted Democratic in local and state elections at least because of ancestral hatred of the Republican Party. They slowly switched, starting with Presidential elections starting with Goldwater or Nixon and went down the electoral latter.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Jesse says:

      Most Baby Boomsrs votes for Nixon in 1968 and 1972.Report

  6. Marchmaine says:

    For any generic Republican district that is less than +5 I’d say yes… I haven’t done the anaylsis of how many <+5 Republican districts there are… Will probably has.

    That's assuming generic republican… if there's a wave of Bannonite Roy More type candidates, then… well, that was a +30 seat that fell.

    You can move your prognostication slider upwards of +10 if you believe the generic head-to-heads at this point… but absent Roy More or some unforeseen event like a war or impeachment, I'd think those will come down closer to +5 – or so says my crystal ball.

    [hmmn, should have threaded to the @stillwater question]Report

    • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I think the chart you’re looking for is half way down this article from Nate Silver’s outfit:

      • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

        By golly, that’s exactly the chart I was hoping existed… and it does. Thanks.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to North says:

        From the linky:

        Consider the 2010 election, when Republicans won the national House vote by 7 percentage points. Heading into that election, there were 101 Democrat-held seats with a partisan lean of +7 Democratic or less. Republicans won 65 of them (or 64 percent).

        Right now they figure Dem favorability at +12 with 58 R-held seats within reach of a 12 point swing.Report

        • North in reply to Stillwater says:

          Yeah when I started reading that one I was like “Nate, dude, that headline is over the top.” but by the time I reached the end I thought it was somewhat subdued.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to North says:

            Given the way the pendulum works and given how far it’s swung over the last 4 elections, I’m expecting quite an election in 2018.

            But that’s based entirely on regression to the mean.

            Given the, let’s say it again, 1000 seats lost to Republicans since Obama’s first election in 2008, and given that, oh, 20% of that is due to gerrymandering and, oh, another 20% of that is due to regression to the mean from the 2008 election itself, I’m seeing the pendulum swing as having a baseline of around 600 seats.

            So I’m laying my marker down here: 150 seats, nationally, is the baseline number that I’m expecting the Democrats to win. Less than that is disappointing, more than that is exceeding expectations.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

              This is woefully lacking in context.

              How many seats were gained or lost by the Dems in elections that took place in 2017?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                According to Ballotopedia, there were 7 special elections this year.

                Republicans won 5 of them.

                Kansas’ 4th, Montana’s At-Large, Georgia’s 6th, South Carolina’s 5th, and Utah’s 3rd were all won by Republicans.

                California’s 34th and US Senator from Alabama were both won by Democrats.

                Of those, only one was a partisan switch: the Alabama Senator election.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Dems are +16(?) in the VA house of delegatesReport

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                Oh, jeez! Wikipedia has a TON more than seven!

                Give me a minute to count up the numbers…

                Looks like two gubernatorial elections were won by Democrats (with one partisan switch), and the Jersey and Virginia elections don’t have numbers easily seen. Just “modest” and “large”.

                I’ll take your 16+ and count each as a partisan flip.

                So that’s 18 right there, plus… oh, let’s pull a number out of my butt for Jersey… 7! for Jersey which gives us 25 wins so far.

                125 to go.

                (See? 150 isn’t as daunting as it appeared at first glance! That’s an average of only 3 per state!)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                And according to this, the New Jersey Senate didn’t change. It’s still 24-16. The New Jersey House went from 48-32 to 52-28. A flip of 4.

                According to this, there were 15 seats that went from Republican to Democrat in Virginia.

                So instead of 25, I think that’s 21.

                But still. 129 to go.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                I divide the country into four parts — NE urban corridor states, the Midwest, the South, and the West. In 2016, the Dems did well in the West — 98 electoral votes, held all the state-wide offices they already had, and flipped four state legislative chambers. Not four seats, four chambers. Passed a number of progressive ballot initiatives, including in red states. In 2017, the Dems did well in the NE urban corridor states, and got a gift in the form of a Senate seat in the South (much as they got a gift of the governor’s office in Louisiana in 2015). My use of “gift” in Alabama and Louisiana isn’t intended to demean the quality of the Democratic candidates in those races, simply to point out that the Republican candidates were terrible.

                While there has been a lot of noise (in the signal-to-noise sense) in the Midwest and South in the form of wave years in both directions, the long term trends are pretty clear. The Dems have already lost the South, and have been losing ground in the Midwest steadily. Clinton lost the Presidency in the Midwest. 150 seats are only going to matter if a whole lot of them come in the Midwest and/or South.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I don’t wanna go dig through how those 1000 seats happened.

                I don’t wanna.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                So Dems, with a renewed focus and energy on down ballot elections did well in 2017, it seems.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:


                And now, it is with that context established, that I lay down my marker:

                150 seats, nationally, is the baseline number that I’m expecting the Democrats to win. Less than that is disappointing, more than that is exceeding expectations.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Do goals matter? I bet most Dems would count 125 seats but taking the House and the Senate as a big year.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Sure, they might. Put that down as your marker, if you like.

                Flipping the House and the Senate, you say? Less than that will not meet expectations?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

                At current trajectory, that’s where I stand. It’s pretty far out and as we approach election day if things have moved in the GOP’s direction I might define expectations down.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

                We have somewhere between 100 and 150 news cycles between now and November. At this point, I see the House flipping but not the Senate. I have no idea what I’m going to think 3 news cycles from now.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

                A few days ago I looked through the House projections for the big three (see Wikipedia: 2018 House elections) and assuming no Democrats lose a single seat and all Republican seats flip that have at least one projector identifying them as toss-up, Democrats gain 21 seats which is not enough for control.

                I have no idea what happens 3 news cycles from now either, particularly since we don’t know who is going to be on the ballot yet. But Democrats don’t necessarily want the base galvanized for the primaries, they want them for the general.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to PD Shaw says:

                Given how there’s no polling in those races, you’re far better off looking at generic ballot preferences. (Which are, per 538, surprisingly predictive at this point).

                Actual individual House races at this point? There’s no data, so “toss-up” means basically “It was pretty close last time” and nothing else.

                It reflects 2016 more than 2018.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                renewed focus and energy

                I think the VA candidates were energized and focused. Not so sure about The Party.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                Fair point. In this particular case, I was referring to the entirety of “the Dems”… including voters.Report

            • North in reply to Jaybird says:

              That is a very ambitious number, by nationally you mean the Senate and the House yes?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Well, the 1000 seats include the Senate and House, but also governorships, State Houses, and State Senates.

                If that seems like a lot, just look at the whole thing where the Republicans won 1000 seats in the 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 elections. That’s an average of 250 wins per election.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to North says:

                I don’t think Jaybird means 150 national level seats but instead 150 across the nation.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    Here is what happens when Milo Y encounters a serious book editor, the results are comedy gold:

    But the blame here is on Simon & Schuster who should have known what to expect when signing up a troll like Milo Y for a book deal.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      As others elsewhere have pointed out, the disconcerting thing is how strenuously a major respectable publishing house wanted to mold this into something mainstream.

      So far America has been saved by the utter ineptitude of the fascists, their inability to speak publicly for more than 140 characters without their head spinning around spewing green bile and scaring off the target audience.Report

  8. Kolohe says:

    M5 – the Washington Examiner was run bascially as a conservative alt weekly from 2005 to 2013. (though it published daily)Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    How do you feel about people calling employers and getting them fired for saying dumb stuff on social media?

    Well, this story probably won’t get you to change your mind.

    For what it’s worth, I’m okay with firing the professor who went to an Antifa rally and hit people with a bike lock. Allegedly.

    I’m not particularly okay with firing professors for saying stuff like this on social media and then just being inflammatory in general. Though, I suppose, if I were the college, I’d prefer to not have to defend this sort of thing. I mean, now that I see myself as a business.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

      Even though it is a member of my tribe being punished this way, I am ambivalent.

      If I advocate for a more communal sensibility,, where we gather together in a shared sense of purpose then that naturally means there need to be norms and boundaries which need to be policed and enforced. Some of the professor’s comments seem strong but entirely defensible, but others (“white genocide”? Really?) seem more like 4Chan stuff.

      It becomes a judgment call, where those boundaries are constantly negotiated and litigated.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Now that colleges are big business, I rather expect the more extreme forms of virtue signalling on social media to be tamped down to juuuuuust inside the overton window.

        These professors are supposed to be making us money, not costing us money.Report