Morning Ed: Politics {2018.03.21.W}

Will Truman

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

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116 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:


    The Z-list Youtube celebrity Zinnia Jones has described Gamergate as “one of the worst things ever to happen” because it “enabled Trump” — apparently, a piece of fandom drama ranks up there with the Spanish flu pandemic, the Mongol conquests, the Black Death, the invention of the nuclear bomb, the post-Columbian plagues that depopulated the Americas, and the unfortunate events of the 1940s.

    Perspective, what a wonderfully refreshing thing. Something that our politics really needs more of.

    Po6: makes sense, but it also means our primary system is in serious trouble.Report

    • This could be an exciting year in Colorado politics — it’s the first year we’re allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in the primaries. No one knows what will happen. No change? Unaffiliated voters putting more centrist candidates on the ballot? A nightmare when it mixes with our vote-by-mail system? For the latter, unaffiliated voters will receive both a Republican and Democratic primary ballot, but can only return one. But people are pretty bad at following instructions…Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

        In WA, your primary ballot has all the candidates from all registered parties. You mark the top of your ballot for the party you wish to primary for, then fill out only those candidates. If (TTBOMK) you mark D and vote for R candidates, the R votes don’t count.Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    Po1: I’m not surprised, for multiple reasons. My detailed experience is with only one state, but at least for Colorado… (1) Striking very large items is an invitation to disaster, in any of several possible ways. For instance, it may put the state out of compliance with federal laws or regulations, which can have nasty consequences. State budget analysts, both executive branch and legislative branch, spend enormous amounts of time on the details of staying in compliance. (2) In states with strong legislative control of the budget, overriding the LIVs may be done as a matter of demonstrating that power, rather than as a matter of policy. (3) Many of the amounts in the budget represent compromises between the parties, based on a certain amount of trust. The governor’s LIV raises the question of “Why should we trust you?” inside the legislature.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Po5: I am told, over and over again, that I should stop paying attention to these low-quality nutballs on the internet who are *NOT* representative of the left’s thinking and just because they keep bubbling up and saying stuff like “Italian Food is a microaggression!” they’re demonstrating how out of it they are and I need to realize that they’re fundamentally unserious and by my giving them my attention I am therefore complicit in the growing unseriousness of our political debate.

    I’d continue this comment, but there’s breaking news involving David Hogg and Emma Gonzales having important things for me to learn about the 2nd Amendment and, for some reason, I’m supposed to listen to them because they represent the future of our politics.Report

    • Aaron David in reply to Jaybird says:

      Its a Head I Win, Tails You Loose argument. Great job, if you can get it.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Jaybird says:

      @jaybird If you can’t tell the difference between nutpicking and youth leadership of mass movements, I can see how that would be a hard line to draw.Report

    • North in reply to Jaybird says:

      I get (but don’t agree with) the whole “That medium article about how Italian food is microagression demonstrates that the entire left wing spectrum and the entire Democratic Party is filled with nothing but rabid crazy liberal kooks.” bit.

      I don’t get how pointing out that “Right wing kooks are controlling the GOP party platform, heavily influencing their Congressional and Senate picks, have selected the most recently elected GOP President and have an entire self-contained media ecosystem dedicated to them.” gets to be dismissed as irrelevant or blamed on liberals for being smug for observing it (or for causing it). Though in fairness some libertarians or independents will graciously concede to look at those two data points and sigh “Oh yes, both sides are equally rabidly crazy and off the rails.” How generous of them.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to North says:


        I think it’s more a recognition that the right crazy has already run away with the GOP, and we see the left crazy getting some serious media attention (serious as in they take the crazy seriously, not that they are seriously examining how crazy it is), and there is a worry the left crazy will run off with the DNC.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to North says:

        For what it’s worth, my position is not that we should see the tumblrista crowd as demonstrating that the entire left wing spectrum (and entire Democratic Party!) is filled with nothing but rabid crazy liberal kooks.

        It’s that complaining about those Medium essays is part of the process of making sure that such attitudes never leave the happy walled gardens of Medium and leak out into the wider discourse.

        Sure, it’s just a link to an essay talking about how we need to talk to our significant others about Palestine and Lysistrata them if they aren’t willing to engage in some light BDS. It’s silly. I can totally understand the argument that such things ought be beneath our notice.

        But I am also down with the argument that a stitch in time saves nine.Report

        • Hot Cha in reply to Jaybird says:

          To further Jaybird’s point: Imagine, if you will, a world where Presidental Candidate Donald Trump was considered such a silly idea that nobody even bothered talking about it on the news.Report

          • North in reply to Hot Cha says:

            I think you undermine your point badly. A world where Donald Trump was barely talked about in the news is a world where Trump probably wouldn’t have gotten the nomination and definitely wouldn’t have won the general.Report

          • Maribou in reply to Hot Cha says:

            “: Imagine, if you will, a world where Presidental Candidate Donald Trump was considered such a silly idea that nobody even bothered talking about it on the news.”

            It seems to me that that world, unlike the one we actually live in, the one where it was hashed over nightly, in breathless tones about how ridiculous it was, for months before he became a viable candidate, would have a fairly low chance of having a President Trump.

            I could be wrong of course, perhaps it would have happened either way.

            But it’s certainly not the case that the media ignoring Trump made him happen, because they did the opposite of ignoring him. They mocked him, they complained about him, they brought his awfulness to wide public notice…. (leaving plenty of people feeling mocked alongside him along the way) – but they definitely didn’t *ignore* him.Report

        • North in reply to Jaybird says:

          Oh yes, and I believe in prevention too. It isn’t like the main stream Dems aren’t themselves duking it out with the left wing kooks (Chait devotes an article in six or so to the issue for instance). Frankly, absent a 90’s style left wing equivalent of the GOP’s decision to collaborate with the kooks and use them I remain skeptical that the left wing fringe is capable of taking over the Democratic Party.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


            That’s because people really don’t understand how left-politics and associations work either out of laziness and/or convenience.

            1. The farther left has always distrusted the Democratic Party, even the most left members of the Democratic Party are suspect.

            2. Every now and then you will see a farther left type join the Democratic Party because of local politics. I.e. radical darling Jane Kim was a Green but became a Democrat to get into San Francisco politics.

            3. The farther left (unlike the right) distrusts apostates and Johnny Come-Latelys.Report

            • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              Well that’s a chicken egg thing.
              The further left just doesn’t have a monied class that finds them useful idiots for one thing. It’s hard to beat the low state no taxes libertarian line when it comes to luring billionaires.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

                With the growing social awareness of corporate America, I can easily see the monied classes finding the Intersectional Left useful idiots. They can use them to demonstrate their wokeness while turning away from economic issues and higher taxation.Report

              • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I’m pretty sure the current corporate wokeness is related more to preemptively protecting corporate money than any genuine wokeness. As such they have little need for actual woke intersectionalists, certainly not a need they’d pay for the way the wealthy fund and support libertarian organizations.Report

              • Maribou in reply to North says:

                @north I dunno. I see them pay to hire woke intersectionalists fairly often. Not sure if it’s because those folks I’ve seen hired are just supremely qualified and thus worth “humoring” from the corporate point of view, if it’s because they work for relative peanuts and thus don’t hurt the bottom line and are cheap advertising, or if it’s because the particular population of woke intersectionalists I’m looking at is very young (just out of college) and the corporations consciously or subconsciously figure the best way to get them under control and prevent them from making hassles later on is to subvert them early….

                Or, y’know, something else I haven’t thought of.

                In any case you’re right that the outlay pales by comparison.Report

              • North in reply to Maribou says:

                Yeah I have seen all of that too, my thought lines run basically the same as yours.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              The Intersectional/Social Justice Left that @jaybird seems to prefer voting for the Democratic Party compared to going Third Party or sticking out of electoral politics though. Its the Anti-Idpol Left that distrusts the Democratic Party.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                I… think he’s saying the Sanders left (cold on ID-politics, hot on class politics) is the left wing group that distrusts the Democratic Party and not the intersectional/Social Justice left?

                Which doesn’t make much sense to me because while the Dems do a lot of class related stuff and talk a good line on class related stuff they do and talk about comparatively nothing for the Intersectional/Social Justice left.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


                But I think the evidence and polling generally shows that the Intersectional or Race-based left is trying to make their voice heard more in the Democratic official dome. They are willing to work with the party and get their candidates nominated. They generally don’t threaten to bail when the Democratic Party fails to follow their aesthetic and/or policy preferences. They can play a longer game.

                Maybe they have no choice but they stick with the Democratic Party.

                OTOH, the Sandernistas love their leftier-than-thou ness and do all the cheap Chapo Crack House stunts. Plus they do things like hold hissy fits when their candidates lose primaries by not getting enough votes.Report

              • Maribou, Moderator in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                @saul-degraw “Sandernistas” is pushing it, civility-wise, in part because we spent a long time some years ago trying to get people to quit making those kinds of scoffy jokes about other people’s political affiliations and candidate names and etc. In part because it obscures whether you are talking about a specific subgroup of Bernie supporters, all Bernie supporters, etc.

                Please refrain.Report

              • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Every politically interested group of people worth the effort of trying to organize tries to influence the major party closest to them to have their voices heard more. That is politics, maybe the closest thing to pure politics I can think of off the cuff.

                Yes, some Sanders people on the internet through a hissy fit when he didn’t win. It bears noting that Sanders himself and the vast majority of his voters both supported the duly nominated candidate of the Democratic Party. I don’t feel that there’s any gain to be had reacting to the tiny minority of defectors with anger. If they only considered the Dems for Sanders then they weren’t gettable anyhow.Report

              • Maribou, Moderator in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird I think the phrase he left out was something like “is talking about” , ie, The ISJL that Jaybird is talking about seems to prefer voting etc.

                Unless he was talking about your revealed preferences, I mean, look at who you married. But I sorta doubt that was the case. Seems more likely that he just left out a phrase.Report

              • *NOW* the sentence makes sense to me.

                Thank you!Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to North says:

        Bernie “The real American Dream is in Venezuela” Sanders got about the same share of the vote in the Democratic primary as Donald Trump got in the Republican primary.Report

        • North in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Too bad for ol’ Bern that he couldn’t engineer having a half dozen candidates in the primary doing the same thing like he did; then maybe he might have grabbed the nod.Report

      • Dave in reply to North says:


        Or in my specific case, I call batshit crazy for what it is without paying attention or caring about which side has the worse crazies. To be fair, if called on it or asked, I’ll make the point you suggested.

        If need be, I’ll give a leftie a hug for good measure. How generous of me 😀Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    Po6: Again we are weirdos. The people at LGM are weirdos. The people at Townhall are weirdos. Anyone who spends a good chunk of their time discussing and studying politics on the Internet (or anywhere) is not the norm. Most people don’t spend a good chunk of their life thinking about politics or how to be ideologically consistent. Most people make a hash of it. This includes voters. But for I still dispute the idea of neutrality as being the norm. Our media pundits would like to imagine that politics is a debate between two parties for policy to an electorate that becomes a blank state every two to four years. I don’t think this is true.

    Po7: Yep.

    Po8: These were good essays. I am not sure I have anything to add right now.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’d also add that while most people aren’t political junkies, the non-political junkies used to believe that they had some civic duty for at least low-level political involvement seeing voting as a civic responsibility. This helped keep politics calmer because there were more non-political junkies than ideological warriors along with the post-New Deal Consensus that dominated for decades. Non-Political junkies seemed to have abandoned politics wholesale.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I don’t think of it as ‘neutral’ so much as ‘difficult to label’. Most people (IMHO hold both liberal and conservative ideas, and those ideas have varying degrees of importance to them with regard to how they will vote.

      For instance, everyone knows I support gun rights, and the military, and I am very fiscally conservative; but I also strongly support gay rights, and immigrant rights, and have serious issues with law enforcement and criminal justice.

      I’m gonna poll all over the map, and where on the map I poll will depend heavily on the issues asked about, and how the questions are structured.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        And lazy pollsters will call you a moderate!!!

        But you still are weird because you spend time on a blog discussing politics and probably do have some sense of what is and what is not a contradiction in policy. Most people can happily go through life without realizing or even caring if deeply held belief A is contradictory to deeply held belief B.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:



          I was just part of a FB discussion because the local outdoor rifle range is about 500-1000 yards from 3 local schools, and people have gotten themselves worked up over the idea that distant rifle reports would be confusing to hear if there was a school shooter at one of the 3 nearby schools.

          People want the city to shut down the rifle range because of the noise, and don’t seem to care that:

          A) the range was there in 1912, the schools showed up in the 50’s and later
          B) the range is on the register of historic places
          C) the range is on private land that is not in the city (it’s in the county)

          And discussions about moving the range all ignore that doing so would incur a considerable cost to the city, which has a whole host of other budget priorities it needs to deal with. And when you point out these realities to them, you are told that you are not helping/are a naysayer/etc.

          It’s a wonder people withdraw from politics.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            The issues around “coming to a nuisance” strikes me as pretty obviously the problem of the people who set up next to the thing that annoys them.

            But Sturges v. Bridgman was decided back in 1879 and they ruled that a doctor who moved next to a confectioner had the right to tell the confectioner to pipe down with the noise… even though the doctor was the guy who moved next to the confectioner in the first place.

            And I totally would have written a different comment here if that court case went the way that I assumed it did before I actually sat down and looked at the ruling.Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

              My legalese sucks (so any lawyers want to chime in?), but my read of that is that the nuisance was still legally considered a nuisance 20+ years ago, but the confectioner simply had the good fortune to not have anyone complain about it.

              That is different from, say a farm, or a range, which was not legally considered a nuisance when it was sited, but now is because people moved to the nuisance. Ergo, the farm or range is grandfathered in.

              I hope I have that right, because the implications if I’m wrong basically grants a person a lot of power to affect another person or business just by moving close to them and then claiming a nuisance.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                IANAL, but this is not an American case.
                Still holds though.

                4. “Coming to the Nuisance”
                The problem: Has plaintiff assumed the risk, thereby being barred from recovery by the fact that he has “come to the nuisance,” by purchasing land and moving in next to the nuisance after it is already in existence or operation? The prevailing rule is that, in the absence of a prescriptive right, the defender may not condemn surrounding premises to endure the nuisance; i.e., the purchaser is entitled to reasonable use or enjoyment of his land to the same extent of any other owner as long as he buys in good faith and not for the sole purpose of a harassing lawsuit.

                BarBri Bar Review (emphasis in original)Report

  5. LeeEsq says:

    Po2: Ross Douthat still has the best explanation of why Corporate America stopped being the stalwart champions of social conservatism and became the advocates of social liberalism in his article on Woke Capitalism. While many CEOs have at least some sincere belief in what they are doing, it is mainly a way to keep more money for themselves and stay away regulations by going where society is going. Business people can see the social wind just as well as any politician.

    I also suspect that the Baby Boomers and Generation X have not a small role to play in the change. I can’t imagine many people who experienced the changes of the 1960s firsthand or grew up in their wake are going to be able to see social conservatism as good for business with a few exceptions like Art Pope.

    Po3: The national security state promoted by the Right requires just as much money and personal as the welfare state or maybe even more. You can’t deport millions of undocumented aliens for cheap as a recent Vox explainer on abolish ICE pointed out.

    Po8: Many liberals and leftists are going to point out that these are distinctions without a difference. Steve Sailer might argue that he is in favor of the United States government favoring all of its’ citizens regardless of race over non-citizens but he doesn’t seem to offer much to American citizens of color or Jews. He doesn’t seem to support even the most limited welfare state and thinks African-Americans need a heavy dose of authoritarian rule while others get off free. Richard Spencer has less warm words for non-White Americans than Sailor, seeing America as an explicitly White Country. The Alt-Right seems to have made a decision to embrace full Jew-hatred and even make Jews their central bogey-man like their ideological predecessors, something the Social Justice movement can’t recognize for some reason.

    Po9: Most people who talk about politics on the Internet will come across a certain type of free market advocate that can’t understand why the Communists gained so much appeal during the early and mid-20th century when it is oh so clear that free market capitalism minarchy that is the true way to freedom and prosperity. This article is a good illustration of why Communism became popular. The Communists took issues relating to imperialism or sexism much more seriously than other political movements. As Will points out in Po2, business leaders were stalwart champions of social conservatism at the time. They oppose women’s suffrage and they weren’t to keen on ditching colonialism either.Report

  6. Chip Daniels says:

    Well, actually…
    For the past few decades The Left has meant a broad suite of issues from gay rights to progressive taxation.
    But as they achieved victory in the social realm, these issues stopped being “Left” issues and just became the status quo. The fact that corporate America embraced them is evidence of this.

    The economic issues on the other hand…I don’t see any movement on that end.Report

    • Will H. in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I do agree with the notion of corporate America embracing “Left” issues is evidence of status quo, though a good part of it is aspirational, e.g., the 40-hr work week.
      I disagree with the assertion of non-movement on economic issues; the movement has been one of developing a strong corporatist faction within the Democratic Party.

      I would rather comment on progressive taxation.

      The more I think of it, the more this idea seems misplaced.
      A flat tax is a really good idea, but it has to have operative parameters so as to render it feasible.
      My own view is that the first $50k to $60k for a household should be exempted from any taxation whatever. At that level, and below, people need every dime they can get their hands on to get by.
      But this has to be accompanied by eradication of any and all other exemptions, and there are a few herds of sacred cows to be seen on the horizon there.
      The main issue in such an arrangement, as far as I can tell, is people gaming the system by declaring two households in a single residence, but this can be cured by attaching the exemption to a residence rather than a person.

      I believe the whole issue of progressive taxation needs to be reconsidered.

      And no, I don’t have any suggestions for the rate of such a flat tax, and I believe the initial rate is unimportant, as it will adjust as needed over a period of time.

      Then again, I have noted a shortcoming in myself of considering the general population to be fundamentally rational, despite all evidence to the contrary.
      Maybe approaching the issue from a initial position of “Someone will find some way to fish this up somehow” would be more accurate.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will H. says:

        It strikes me that there are two long poles in this particular tent:

        1. The Mortgage Interest Deduction
        2. The Charitable Contribution Deduction

        Every other single deduction can point to one of these two deductions as a “whatabout”.

        If we wanted to get rid of deductions in general, we’d have to get through these two.

        The good news: if we wanted to get rid of #1, now’s the time to do it. When mortgage rates were around 18%, there was NO WAY NO HOW that this one was touchable.

        Rates are still hovering under 5% (30 year fixed is 4.5%, according to Quicken) and so now is pretty much the window to get rid of #1 if you wanted to get rid of #1. You might need to bump the standard deduction up a couple thousand to pull it off entirely but the time is about as right as it’s ever going to get. (8 years ago might have been a better time to do it… but 8 years ago is 8 years ago.)

        As for #2… well, there is a vocal constituency of voters who would delight in getting rid of it. I don’t know how to tell whether the iron is hot for this one but, if you got rid of #1, you’d have somewhat firm footing for getting rid of #2. That one is the one that would have the most unintended consequences, I’m pretty sure… but if you wanted to get rid of all deductions entirely, those two are the two that you’d need to get rid of and the time is right for at least one of them.Report

        • North in reply to Jaybird says:

          I don’t disagree, but the only way I’d have seen the lid on that can coming off would have been with an HRC victory. With Trump the tax reform bit is done and if the Dems take over Congress/the Senate while they might be able to roll Trump on stuff there’s no way they would even consider going after those things.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

          Technically, if we’re putting a huge exemption of the first $50,000 or so, we don’t really need to ‘get rid of’ the mortgage interest deduction…what is much easier politically is to figure out how to morph it _into_ something that just happens to apply to almost everyone, up to a certain amount.

          I.e., we make it where everyone can also deduct up to $X of…basically any housing expense on their main residence. Rent, interest, property taxes, even the cost of housing, aka actual house payments. And then we remove that $X from the $50,000 we’re not taxing.

          I am not sure exactly how much people are paying in such interest, but a quick google seems to claim that people with incomes up to $100,000 are averaging under $6000, so $6000 seems a reasonable threshold…it’s high enough that most people using the deduction are currently under that (So will get a higher deduction as they can now deduct their house payments in total.), whereas people paying just $500 monthly rent can also take advantage of the full amount.

          So instead of ‘getting rid’ of the mortgage interest deduction, we just sorta swamp it in other ‘deductions’, and by ‘deductions’ we actually mean ‘We basically are not taxing this amount of income unless you somehow have free housing.’.

          ..and then later, when it’s stopped being such a hot-button political issue, just turn it into a standard ‘standard deduction’ that no one has to prove, like the rest of the $44,000, although we might want to keep labeling it separate as a ‘$500 a month standard housing deduction’.Report

          • Will H. in reply to DavidTC says:

            I believe I understand the political acuity of this correctly, but it strays off-target a bit.
            The reason the One Deduction would be so high in the first place is to subsidize a portion of the former mortgage interest deduction, perhaps all of it in certain cases. For those unable to claim that deduction in the first place, it would operate, effectively, as a credit to improve their current housing conditions.
            It also acts to subsidize tithes to a church for lower income persons, medical expenses, and everything else, though it also acts to set a hard limit at the upper end.
            But that is why there is malleability on the point of where the One Deduction should lie, at $50k, at $60k, or perhaps a bit higher.
            I happen to think that it could be set at a point that would maximize fairness for the overwhelming majority, but I tend to be optimistic, and perhaps overly so at times.

            At present, much of the discussion on a flat tax has to do with simplification of the tax code.
            It doesn’t get much simpler than: t = 0.12 ( I – $60k )

            Nonetheless, this sub-thread shows that the idea of a flat tax is a workable idea, if enacted within operable parameters.
            It also shows that more people might take it seriously if the discussion on a flat tax were turned toward the operational acceptability of parameters, rather than widely perceived as a tax-dodging scheme for the wealthy at the expense of the poor.Report

  7. LeeEsq says:

    Seconding Saul on Po7. I think one of the big problems that many political junkies on the the liberal and left side of politics have is that they hate the “you gotta do what you gotta do” side of politics, especially in its lighter aspects. Many want it to be all about activism or earnest wonky policy decisions with elected officials staying out of disaster zones so relief workers can do the real hard work. What they fail to recognize that many ordinary citizens love it when a President or Prime Minster shows up in a disaster area because it means that they aren’t being abandoned. Its a sign of concern. People also like the lighter side of politics rather than continual heavy stuff.

    Po5: Clinton lost because of the Electoral College. She won the popular vote by three million. In an actual democratic system, she would be President. Jacobite also doesn’t explain how Clinton ran a bad campaign or what decisions of her where un-popular. They just assume these things.Report

    • Will H. in reply to LeeEsq says:

      re: Clinton:
      Were Clinton unaware of the EC prior to the campaign, at the end of it, and all points in between, this might somehow be relevant.

      The sooner the Left can get past the Clinton loss, the sooner they can get to a place where they can devote some efforts toward electable candidates.Report

      • North in reply to Will H. says:

        I agree.
        There was a bunch of wonky crap that provided the deciding straws that broke HRC’s presidential campaign. Some of them were more serious, some were substantive, some of them goofy or impossible to quantify.
        Comey’s intervention- serious, substantive and a BFD.
        Russia – potentially serious, virtually impossible to measure for impact but only a BFD if Trumps campaign was in on it.
        BUT any discussion on those issues, any at all, should always be prefaced by the indisputable fact that ultimate responsibility rests with HRC for letting it get that close. She made the final decisions that slow pedaled the campaign, she made the tin eared missteps that the right wing spin machine made hay out of, she made the strategic and polling decisions that ignored the “Blue wall” states and stopped polling early. The buck stops with her. Had she not made those deeper decisions then it wouldn’t have been close enough for the FBI to tip the scale by violating all previous precedent and putting their thumbs on it. Russia couldn’t have swayed enough voters to matter and the media’s mendaciousness wouldn’t have mattered.

        Hillary lost to Donald Trump and, whatever caveats one wants to add, it’s on her for losing. It never should have been that close. She’s finished now and done and she’ll always be the person who lost to him. I say that in profound sorrow because I always liked her and I think she’d have made a fine President.Report

        • Will H. in reply to North says:

          I felt much that same after Gore lost, but I didn’t hang on to it two years after the fact.Report

          • North in reply to Will H. says:

            Can we define hanging onto it?Report

            • Will H. in reply to North says:

              I suppose we could, depending on what kind of definition you’re after.
              If it’s something that involves a mathematical model and calculates rate of decay, that’s a bit more iffy.

              I just meant “dwelling on the matter,” which is essentially what all the “B-b-but . . . The Electoral College!” is in the context of HRC.

              I was very disappointed when Gore lost, and crushed when Kerry did. But after a few days of looking around to see why, it was time to turn my gaze to the future.
              Planning ahead just feels a lot better, even when the plans don’t pan out the way I hoped they would.
              And there is a colorable argument in the direction of it being more productive, but then we’re back to the mathematical model with the rate of decay figured in, and I’m conserving my energy (with a dynamic rate of decay) on that front.Report

              • North in reply to Will H. says:

                I can see that. Anecdotally I mostly see the EC brought up whenever right wingers try and act like Trumps win was anything but a sliver of the skin of his teeth fluke but one’s mileage may vary depending on one’s anecdotal experience.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to North says:

                The way I keep seeing this work (Not here, but in general) is:

                A: Trump is doing [horrible thing]
                B: Trump won, the people wanted him not Crooked Hillary, get over it!
                A: Erm, well, not really. He won the EC, but ‘the people’ wanted Hillary.

                And then it turns into nonsense, and the Trump supporter has now ‘won’ because no one is talking about Trump and his actions anymore. And also the left is hanging on to the fact that Hillary won the popular vote or something. Both in perception and in actual truth to some level.

                I kinda wish people opposing Trump would stop falling for the trap, and I wonder how much of it is _deliberate_ on the part of Trump supporters. Stop falling for it, guys. Trump’s current behavior cannot be excused by Hillary losing, or Hillary being corrupt. Hillary Clinton and the last election is completely unimportant except in regard to ‘learn what not to do from elections you lose’.

                Us anti-Trump people need to stop letting people divert us that way. I suggest we have almost no idea who Hillary is:

                A: Trump is doing [horrible thing]
                B: Trump won, the people wanted him not Crooked Hillary, get over it!
                A: Hillary? Hillary Duff? No, that can’t be right…Hillary Clinton? Former Sec of State under Obama? Was she running against Trump? Yeah, that sounds right. But I don’t really see what that has to do with the misbehavior of President Trump I laid out.
                B: She would have been worse!
                A: …so you admit this behavior is bad, possibly criminal, but think it is excused because someone else would have acted worse? That’s…not really how this works.
                B:You’re just upset your side lost!
                A: Actually, if Hillary Clinton was all those things you keep insisting she was, it technically works out better for my side that she lost and disappeared. I don’t know why I’d be upset with that. Honestly, the person who seems most upset about the last election is you, because you keep bringing it up, whereas I am talking solely about the current president and his behavior while in office.

                …and just keep going in that vein. Trump supporters want the discussion to be about Clinton, both so they don’t have to acknowledge Trump’s behavior, and so they can paint anti-Trump people as trying to undo the election. Do not fall for it.

                Now, as for what we should ‘learn’ from Trump’s election…I honestly think that’s been overanalyzed so much as to become almost meaningless, and at this point we’re fourth- and fifth-guessing ourselves. The only real lesson is ‘Be more careful about close states’, as that is literally all _the Clinton Campaign_ could have fixed.

                There’s also _other_ things that contributed to Trump’s victory, some of which need to be fixed via the legal system, both in changing laws and arresting and prosecuting people who broke existing ones so people in the future will think twice…but that’s not really a ‘learnable lesson’ that Democratic candidates need to take to heart.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to DavidTC says:

                The only real lesson is ‘Be more careful about close states’, as that is literally all _the Clinton Campaign_ could have fixed.

                People act like Clinton’s failure to campaign in rustbelt states was an accident or oversight. I think it was deliberate, based on her experiences in Michigan during the primary, namely, that the more she campaigned the worse she polled.

                From the book Shattered: One of the lessons Mook and his allies took from [the] Michigan [primary] was that Hillary was better off not getting into an all-out war with her opponent in states where non-college-educated whites could be the decisive demographic.

                Basically, she chose to not campaign in those states because, perversely, staying away *improved* her chances of winning. Which suggests a different lesson for Dems to learn than the one you propose.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think it was deliberate, based on her experiences in Michigan during the primary, namely, that the more she campaigned the worse she polled.

                Then the lesson would be ‘Democrats should learn how to campaign correctly’.

                Which suggests a different lesson for Dems to learn than the one you propose.

                I find myself thinking the lesson may just be ‘Do not run Hillary Clinton for President’.Report

              • Will H. in reply to DavidTC says:

                My own take on it is that it shows that the voter base of both parties has separated from the donor base of both parties.
                HRC was popular with the donor base, and Sanders may well have been the more electable candidate in the general.

                But, if I’m right about this, it suggests that there will be more fiascos in the future, until the donor base catches up with the voter base, or brings them in line.
                I believe history suggests the stupidest possible action will be undertaken.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will H. says:


                The problem with the Democratic Party is that it has a lot more bases than the Republican Party seemingly.

                Let’s look at someone who is not Clinton or Sanders. Andrew Cuomo. A lot of New York Democrats dislike Cuomo. They consider him insufficiently liberal and they also think he is corrupt. They voted for Teachout during his last primary and might vote for Nixon this time around in the primary. But Cuomo still crushed Teachout in the primary because his primary base or lower and moderate income Democrats in and around NYC and other New York cities.

                Teachout did better than Cuomo in well to do inner ring suburbs and the tonier parts of NYC. These votes are important but they can’t carry a primary.

                Likewise, Sanders was never able to convince middle-aged women and/or African Americans to vote for him in significant and this cost him the primary.

                I’m pretty liberal but I am only a small part of the Democratic base. The real power is going to lie with women and people of color.Report

              • Sometimes for fun, I imagine advising Cuomo (or Gillibrand) on an appearance in Colorado or Nevada, two slowly but steadily blueing western states. “Lose the tie, put on jeans and running shoes. Get out there and push renewable electricity, intelligent water management, and sane federal marijuana policy. Speak positively about citizen initiatives. Don’t mention decaying urban cores with largely black populations.”Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I think most politicians have managed to learn how to campaign in jeans and a button down shirt. Never saw one wear sneakers. The last sentence seems a bit throwback and not reflecting on how cities actually are these days.

                Gillibrand’s latest is for federally backed employment. I think Cuomo is pushing for marijuana reform in New York.Report

              • Maybe St. Louis and Flint and Detroit and Cleveland and Rochester and Baltimore have solved their problems, don’t need any special federal attention, and are the wave of the future. Just saying that if Cuomo is campaigning in Colorado or Nevada, don’t mention those cities at all, because no matter what he says it will be taken the wrong way.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                The problem with the Democratic Party is that it has a lot more bases than the Republican Party seemingly.

                Whether a copse or grove, it’s the timber lying around that matters.

                Forest, tree. Tree, forest.Report

  8. Chip Daniels says:

    The piece starts off with a few good insights, that the rise of the right and Trump should be viewed within the global rise of authoritarians, rather than the dank cellars of the internet…

    Then goes on to claim that the dank cellars of the internet are what “remade the left”.
    His evidence are a couple anecdotes of ugly behavior by people I’ve never seen mentioned in the media, much less in any position of leadership or influence-making.

    His big “gets” are that a couple of the posters from those sites went on to become respectable posters or get writing gigs.

    Except that’s like noting that a right wing blogger belonged to a college frat and therefore that college frat remade all of American politics. It’s reverse engineering history. All bloggers, pundits, columnists and activist come from somewhere.

    I guess because the writer was a part of all that, witnessed and participated in it, in his viewpoint it looms much larger than it does for someone outside of it.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      The author is from the anti-Identity Politics section of the Left and has a definite idea on one, true way for the Left to win elections. He also has an ax to grind against the Identity Politics faction.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Was Giuran actually around for all of this? I don’t think he was. I was, and nobody ever saw those forums as anything but a place to put the real assholes so they wouldn’t keep shitting in actual conversations. It shocks me that someone would imagine Helldump to be, like, a roving message board hit-squad of Chaos Bikers who’d pick out an innocent forum member and trash their life; mostly it was the equivalent of Usenet’s alt.flame and similar things from the dial-up BBS era, where the whole point was to dunk on each other and compete to see who could say the most horrible thing, and it was policy (sometimes explicitly, sometimes just understood) that engaging in that sort of behavior elsewhere would be censured or censored (typically both). People would often have entirely separate accounts for Helldump posts (and were quite willing to drop accounts that had come to be held in contempt by the other users.) The dogpiling that Giuran talks about did happen, but I never saw it go outside the trash forums except for posters who were already big into those forums and dragged their fuckery with them.

      That said, it’s not like the rest of the people on Something Awful were a bunch of nice folks. SA never did manage to figure out what it wanted to be. The leftward drift that Giuran describes did happen, but the main forums tended to resist that because there were enough of the old guard who remembered how SA started out–as a repository for transcripts of Richard Kyanka’s IRC pranks and humor bits about gaming and the Internet in general by his internet buddies. The forums were a sideline that existed mostly because having a forum was just what you did on a website back then, sort of like a links page and a little animated GIF of a guy digging and the words “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”. Making fun of the rest of the Internet was most certainly acceptable behavior then, although “forum invasions” were frowned upon (albeit in a “oh you guys, you did it again, seriously you gotta cut that out lol” sense). It was common to affect a sort of parody liberal attitude as an ironic pose, mostly as a reaction to the general liberal/left bent of the internet at large (worth keeping in mind here is that SA’s slogan “The Internet Makes You Stupid” was not entirely or even mostly about conspiracy theorists and fringe whackos). While there was a movement away from this being considered completely acceptable (mostly through demographic shift as people aged out of finding it funny and new crops of naive-left college students signed up every fall) there were often fights between posters who wanted The Old SA back and posters who never knew there was an Old SA to begin with.

      Anyway. That’s a big long way of saying that lots of communities that exist now had their roots in Something Awful message boards, but that was more an accident of how those people all got together than it was SA in particular. It could well have been the Newgrounds message boards, or GameFAQs, or something like that.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck says:

        This jives with what I recall of SA. Granted, I stopped frequenting the site back in the early aughts (when I left the University and moved west), so whatever evolutions might have occurred after 2005 or so are unknown to me.

        PS Nice to see you again @densityduckReport

      • DensityDuck in reply to DensityDuck says:

        He’s also talking about “the Libertarians corralled in LF”. This was never the case, not even close! Around the time of GWB’s election they created a “Current Events” forum in an attempt to separate “people yelling at each other over politics” from the general discussion; this got renamed to “Debate and Discussion” after a while.

        If anything, the for-reals capital-L Libertarians were all purged from the site in the early 2000s when they decided to let a hardcore Marxist moderate that forum. See, the process to become a forum moderator was mostly “hang out with Lowtax in IRC or group chats and have him like you, or hang out with an existing forum admin and have them like you”, and that’s how this dude got to be in charge of the debate forum. Which was a problem because he also liked to argue with people in that forum, and he had a thing he did where if you made him mad he’d have you banned (and the bans would be rubber-stamped because hey, it’s the debate forum and nobody gives a shit about those assholes right?)

        After about thirty people got banned by this guy in the space of a week, the admins realized something was up and instituted “probation”, which was a short-term “you annoyed a moderator” thing where you couldn’t post for a set duration (usually a few days, sometimes a week or two). He was still the moderator for a while, though, and most of the people he’d banned didn’t come back (or didn’t participate if they did.)Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Po5 is really an utterly astonishing article, a near textbook example of how not to make your point in a discussion or, indeed, any point at all in any manner whatsoever.

      It’s like some sort of rambling history of something no one cares about at all, in attempt to prove…I don’t even know.

      As far as I can tell, meanwhile, the first premise of this article seems to be ‘Everyone claiming that 4chan caused Trump to win the election is wrong’, which is…not really what anyone actually seems to be saying, but, okay, it seems like a valid point, that 4chan is sometimes given too much credit. (Although I suspect this is only true on the _internet-culture oriented_ sites the writer is reading, and not actual political sites.)

      The problem is that this fact is apparently disproved by….talking about the history 4chan and Something Awful, which really doesn’t have anything to do with that premise.

      And then it tries to assert that somehow it’s the left that…what, I’m not sure.

      Here’s the actual main problem with all this: There have, indeed, been horrible forums where people constantly attacked each other, including doxxing and actual threats. There were probably such forum where the norm was on the far-left of the political spectrum, as well as the far-right. (And other such orientations…hey, what the hell ever happened to Kuro5hin, the user-run, and hence eventually batshit insane, version of slashdot? I kept reading there long after the place went crazy. And I stayed the hell away from SA forums, because, uh, no thanks.)

      And there are probably all sorts of famous internet people who got their starts on such places. And _until very recently_, all of them would have wanted to disassociate themselves with that.

      One of those, uh, went public, and people there went public, and the right, especially the conspiracy theory alt-right, starting working with them.

      People on the left, meanwhile, who had anything to do with such things _hide_ this because they are still capable of actual shame.Report

  9. veronica d says:

    [Po5] — It’s important to understand the scope of the chan-trolls in relation to Trumpism. It’s not that they are so numerous that they could turn the election. They are not. They did not. Instead, it is what they reveal about Trumpism. That they came to thrive in lockstep with the rise of Trumpism, and that they express, in an extreme, unvarnished way, the same resentments that Trumpism played into, to my view reveals the dark underbelly of Trump. It is a politics of fragility and pettiness, of frustrated entitlement and stilted, narrow views. In short, it is sad.

    Regarding Something Awful, yeah, the place was a cesspool, and chan culture has never been a bastion of down home country boys. Indeed, it has had as much influence on the left as the right. The difference is, the “right” that emerged from chan culture is a bunch angry racist men who hate the girls who won’t kiss them. The “left” that emerged is not. In any case, “call out culture” has remained broken and self destructive, but in practice it tends to be self-correcting in ways that basically-fascism-expressed-through-my-little-pony-and-anime is not.

    Regarding connections over content, indeed we live in a narcissistic age. Image is everything. A shockingly stupid reality star is our president.Report

    • Maribou in reply to veronica d says:

      ” The “left” that emerged is not’

      Maybe not in general – definitely not in general – but there is definitely an internet left faction composed of angry racist men who hate the girls who won’t kiss them, much of which emerged from chan culture. Much like there has always been a leftist faction composed of those folks.

      It’s just not the only or most prominent internet left faction. It’s never been the most prominent. It tends to get rejected by other leftist folks.

      But that’s where the difference lies, not in the existence or not of it among leftist channers.

      Because it definitely exists. And part of it definitely is a thing that came out of chan. Among many other things that came out of there.

      I’d love to “no true scotsman” those folks out of existence, but.Report

      • LTL FTC in reply to Maribou says:

        If we are talking about the Chapo Trap House failsons, that’s one thing, but you’re right that they are more or less defined by their differences from the main Internet left.

        The source of the larger identity left’s particular pathologies is probably “Derailing for Dummies,” a nearly two-decade-old guide that lays out all the shibboleths that fuel the cycle of trashings, oppression Olympics and struggle sessions that chews up and spits out so many.

        Up until about five years ago, people linked to it a fair bit, but it’s precepts are still the de facto rules of engagement for arguing with and by the intersectional online left.Report

        • Maribou in reply to LTL FTC says:

          @ltl-ftc I’m just saying there is a racist, misogynist faction of the online left that grew out of 4chan, to slightly (not generally) contradict what Veronica was saying. Because there is. Because the left’s racists and misogynists may not always be with us, but they sure have been so far.

          I can’t help but find it ironic that you responded to that (to my mind boringly factual, not super worth further discussion) statement by choosing to discuss how the intersectional online left (which I wasn’t talking about)’s pathologies are based on their beliefs about derailing and the particular Derailing for Dummies post that is a fairly well-known example of those beliefs.

          Perhaps that was intentional, or perhaps you don’t see the irony.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Maribou says:

        It’s just not the only or most prominent internet left faction. It’s never been the most prominent. It tends to get rejected by other leftist folks.

        But that’s where the difference lies, not in the existence or not of it among leftist channers.

        I kinda think of that as a side effect of the real difference.

        The real difference, in my view, is that the far-right internet-cesspool got _publicity_, in the guise of Gamergate. At that point, the far-right internet-cesspool became famous and opened up their diplomatic relations with the rest of the world, resulting in tourists and immigration and leadership exchange programs. This is really what everyone is talking about….the far-right internet-cesspool didn’t invent Trump, or cause him to get elected, but they are an outside group that just suddenly showed up in right-wing politics, and it’s mostly because a bunch of people started leaping back and forth between them and actual right-wing politics thanks to Gamergate.

        The far-left internet-cesspool have never had any event like that, as far as I can recall. And if they did, the mainstream left would reject them. Or…maybe that’s the same thing just stated differently, and things like Gamergate can only exist in the public eye if it has some level of the support of the mainstream. Heck, maybe there were far-left internet-cesspool events like Gamergate, except they got exactly nowhere.

        This is mostly because the mainstream left wants nothing to do with the far-left in general, much less the far-left places that are cesspools.

        And it is something to think about for people like me, who often think the mainstream left is way too centrist and wish they’d listen to the farther left a bit more. I might dislike it, but at least that means we don’t have to worry about crap like this, where a bunch of Stalin-praising morons run around in our actual left politics.Report

        • Maribou in reply to DavidTC says:

          @davidtc Mostly I think we are on the same page here.

          However, if you think there were no toxic members of the far-left internet-cesspool involved *in* Gamergate, you were not looking at some of the people I was looking at. (To be clear, there were not as many, and they were mostly, by a vast majority, on the so-called “gamer” side, but not only there. but they *were* involved.) You are right, however, that the far-right ones are the ones who got the publicity.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Maribou says:

            However, if you think there were no toxic members of the far-left internet-cesspool involved *in* Gamergate, you were not looking at some of the people I was looking at.

            I don’t doubt it for a second.

            You are right, however, that the far-right ones are the ones who got the publicity.

            I kinda think that happened because the only people jumping into the ‘Gamer’s'(1) side were far-right celebrities, for the most obvious example Milo Yiannopoulos. This caused far-right internet-cesspool celebrities to climb out and be lauded.

            I think the door to the internet cesspool basically only opens from the outside (Because being famous in a tiny part of the internet concerned mostly concerned with attacking people and spewing nonsense is not the same as being really famous.), and the right opened their side’s door, and let people stream both directions, whereas the left…didn’t.

            And then, two years later, we got Trump, which basically ran the same campaign as Gamergate, except he swapped in ‘foreigners’ for ‘women’ (Sometimes.), and instead of opening the door to the far-right internet cesspool, it was to the far-right white-nationalist cesspool.

            Seriously, it’s almost exactly the same thing. Both of them pretend they want to go back to imaginary better times, but in reality they just want to complain about how they used to be the Most Important People in Existence, and now there are some ‘other sort’ of people running around in their stuff and acting like they are equals.

            Gamergate: Make Video Games Great Again.

            I see why people think that group ’caused’ Trump, despite that not really making any sense logistically.

            In reality, they both were caused by a political party that had absolutely no scruples about jumping into bed with any grievance-sprouting group, regardless of how bigoted that group actually was, and some of the people who climbed out of the first group had no trouble fitting into the second group and helped recruit.

            1) Ugh. I hate calling it that. I’m a gamer, in the sense I am a person that plays computer games, like half of Americans, and even moreso, in that I play AAA current release games. I don’t play the online FPS that they seem to regard as the only true computer games, though. And I’m sure enjoying Tomb Raider disqualifies me completely.Report

            • Maribou in reply to DavidTC says:

              @davidtc re: your footnote 1, yeah, i get that, i hate calling them that too, hence the scare quotes. i mean, i’m a gamer. i’ve been a gamer since I had to use freaking *cartridges* on my PC… who are these kids coming in, attacking *other gamers* and laying claim to the identity? *old lady gamer grumps* But if we’re going to call it “Gamergate”…. that particular battle’s already been ceded.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    I was recently inspired to remember this essay from SSC again.

    It talks about the whole thing of noticing things that aren’t true in a system where everyone pretty much agrees (publicly) that they are.

    The example that SSC uses is this one:

    So imagine the most irrelevant orthodoxy you can think of. Let’s say tomorrow, the government chooses “lightning comes after thunder” as their hill to die on. They come up with some BS justification like how atmospheric moisture in a thunderstorm slows the speed of light. If you think you see lightning before thunder, you’re confused – there’s lots of lightning and thunder during storms, maybe you grouped them together wrong. Word comes down from the UN, the White House, the Kremlin, Zhongnanhai, the Vatican, etc – everyone must believe this. Senior professors and funding agencies are all on board. From a scientific-truth point of view it’s kind of a disaster. But who cares? Nothing at all depends on this. Even the meteorologists don’t really care. What’s the worst-case scenario?

    The funny part happens in comments where some people are trying to suss out what Alexander *REALLY* was thinking of when he came up with the obvious bullshit example of the thunder and lightning.Report

  11. Saul Degraw says:

    Matt Y looks at the latest partisan divides. Everyone loves nurses and hates Mitch McConnell:


    This chart, which plots where rank-and-file voters stand on a two-dimensional conception of ideological space, is also important. Among donors and opinion elites, cross-pressured people tend to be sympathetic to both cultural liberalism and small government — there’s a reasonably robust set of libertarian institutions built around those ideas. But in the public, it’s the opposite.

    You can see there are a lot of people in that upper left quadrant who, regardless of which party they vote for, in practice sympathize with Democratic positions on the size of government and GOP ones on cultural traditionalism. These voters are probably in some sense “up for grabs” in elections — Democrat Conor Lamb seems to have persuaded a fair number of this kind of Trump voters to back him in last week’s Pennsylvania special election — but most of them aren’t especially “moderate” in the sense of clustering around the middle of the chart.

    And this is largely true of politics in general seemingly. Social liberalism is always driven by the elite in both parties. This was true in 1960s Britain and it is true in the United States today.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Social liberalism is always driven by the elite in both parties.

      This explains the focus on race and gender and the dismissal of class.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

        Or ya’ know, the fact the Democratic Party is a coalition of people whose race and gender issues outweigh or is equal to their class issues. It heavily annoys the class only left (and I say that as somebody who supports mandatory union elections for all businesses with more than 10 non-family employees), that shockingly, many POC care more about immigration or police misconduct and will vote for the person talking about that instead of the populist talking about bankers. Same thing with women and abortion.

        The actual future of the Democratic Party is likely a Hispanic women currently in college or in her mid-20’s who has similar economic positions as Bernie, but also can talk about immigration, prison and police reform, gun control, and abortion rights with the same zeal she talks about increasing taxes on rich people and universal benefits.Report

  12. Saul Degraw says:

    Jeet Heer writes against the “elitist” criticisms against Cynthia Nixon.


    1. I largely agree with the elites that Governor is not a beginning job. I was pretty apoletic at all the Oprah talk

    2. “Unqualified lesbian” is a bad smear and Quinn should feel ashamed.

    3. Cuomo is an interesting politician. He is very unpopular with the upper-middle class professional wing of the Democratic Party but still largely wins the primaries with lower-income voters in NYC. If you look at the Zephyr Teachout primary from a few years ago, Teachout won big in the wealthier parts of NYC and inner-ring suburbs. I suspect Nixon will do the same.

    4. Cuomo isn’t my favorite Democrat but he is so transactional that the right incentives can push him to do good things enough of the time.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      “Unqualified lesbian” just made me scratch my head- is there a test or something?Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        She actually _is_ ‘unqualified’ as a lesbian, in the sense she is not a lesbian, but a bisexual, as she has repeatedly made clear.

        Well, she has repeatedly made it clear she is bisexual while, at the exact same time, saying she doesn’t like to call herself bisexual because people don’t seem to believe her or think it really exists. She, instead of being ‘bisexual’, insists she’s just attracted to both men and women. (I’m not really sure how confusing everyone with what to call her will clarify things or stop bisexual erasure, but whatever.)

        But, regardless, ‘lesbian’ is almost certainly not the correct term.

        However, I have a feeling this is not the distinction the ‘unqualified lesbian’ smear is trying to make.

        Although, if there really was, surreally, some sort of ‘sexual orientation’ test people needed to pass to be ‘qualified’, the logical thing (The logical thing for this extremely stupid thing, I mean.) would just be for there to be a ‘sexually attracted to women’ test and a ‘sexually attracted to men’ test, and bisexuals just pass both, and get both cards, or maybe a handy double-sided card they can flip over. So all bisexual women would, indeed, be qualified lesbians and qualified straight women.

        ‘Qualified’ to do what, I’m not sure. Maybe strip clubs get tired of people showing up and not becoming interested in the dancers, result in lower tips. ‘Notice: This venue provides nude female dancers. Please present proof of age and sexual attraction to women at the door.’Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Cynthia Nixon is going to have the same problems that Teachout had. She will be loved by the upper middle class professionals but everybody else will find her nothing special at most.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:

        You are probably right but she is also a noted public school advocate and her three kids attend public school so she practices what she preaches. Plus she can talk about practical issues more than Teachout I imagine. Teachout mainly ran on reform without much on bread and butter.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Teachout was an amazing throwback to the early 20th century progressives in that regard. It was all anti-corruption but not a lot of services. Turns out that like back than, corruption doesn’t cause lower income voters to awake at night in a cold sweat but lack of service does.Report

  13. Morat20 says:

    I’ve found that focusing on “class” instead of race and gender follows very closely with being “white, male, and affluent”.

    Middle class minoriteis, for instance, seem to not really find the message “Well sure, racism in police departments is bad, but I think if we just helped the middle class your problems would go away” as very compelling.

    That is sure, class is a factor. But it ain’t being poor that’s causing disproportionate policing problems. A friend of mine drives a BMW. He’s been pulled over, quite a few times, for what amounts to “Black man driving too nice a car”.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

      “Well sure, racism in police departments is bad, but I think if we just helped the middle class your problems would go away” as very compelling.

      So when I say “focusing on class”, you’re hearing me say “focusing on the middle class”?Report

  14. Saul Degraw says:

    Donald Trump and his Labor Department are surely non-traditional Republicans and champions of the working classes. Good thing everyone was saved from those neo-liberal Democrats and their regulations designed to increase wages:

  15. LeeEsq says:

    Our Commandera-in-Thief.Report

  16. Saul Degraw says:

    Arnie wants the GOP to become environmentally progressive, socially liberal, but fiscally conservative.

    He is probably right that this needs to happen. It probably will not happen. One of the most understudied events in American political history is the absolute collapse of the California GOP. The state used to produce rock-ribbed Republicans like Nixon, Reagan, Knowland, and Pete Wilson. In 2018, there is a reasonable chance that no Republican will appear on a state-wide ballot. This will only hurt the GOP for the house seats they are trying to hold onto.

    The problem though is that the remainder of the California GOP wants to be closer to Alabama than their fellow Californians. They still dream of the state of Jefferson and call themselves Okies even if most people who can remember actually being called an Okie are dead.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      You know, that’s not a team I would join… but I wish we had more factions/parties for people who wanted those sorts of policies to work together.

      I would be better than the “dibs” system we have now. Structural changes that unbound our current two-party nonsense are structural changes I could get behind.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Multiple parties in a presidential system are a bad idea because no party will achieve a majority in the legislature and the non-Presidential parties will have no incentive to work with the President. You need a parliamentary system to make multiple parties work.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I think you have cause and effect backwards; we have the legislature defaulting to the executive for agenda setting for no other reason than he has become the de facto head of the party.

          The Legislature needs nothing from the Executive other than a signature; and even that isn’t required if the measure is sufficiently well supported.

          We would certainly want to revamp the electoral process away from simple FPTP to open up the “prospect” of viable new parties… but that’s the structural bottleneck, not parliamentary vs. presidential.

          Not suggesting it would magically solve all our problems, just that I’m willing to trade and try out some new problems.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Sure. You unbind your stuff first. We’ll unbind ours as soon as we’re confident that you’re acting in good faith.

        We promise.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      environmentally progressive, socially liberal, but fiscally conservative.

      America just completed 8 years of a President who was exactly that.
      California is completing 8 years of a governor with exactly those policies.

      Arnold, those people are called Democrats.Report