Never Say Never NeverTrump: Dems Far-Left Fringe Will Re-Elect Trump

Tracy Downey

Tracy Downey

I'm just a simple story maker longing to make the world a better place, while butterflies dance inside my head.

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268 Responses

  1. Avatar bookdragon says:

    You know, if you actually wanted to know what was behind the blue wave and moderate suburbanites like myself and several of my formerly Republican neighbors joining it, you could look no further than your own polemic here.

    This so much sound and fury, heat with no light, and flat out BS (I see for example that despite evidence presented to you in a previous thread’s comments that you continue to spread RW talking point false representation of what Omar said), that it frankly encapsulates nearly everything that is driving NeverTrumpers from the party as well as motivating otherwise politically complacent independents to turn out against the GOP.

    I’ve given up on asking for either honesty or compassion from hardcore anti-abortion activists, but I’ll thank you to stop trying to speak for Jews – unless by ‘principled Zionists’ you meant evangelical Christians whose support for Israel has little to do with love for the Jewish people, and who already equate GOP with God to such an extent that they will never vote for a Democrat anyway.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to bookdragon says:

      Cosigned.

      Also I gotta all the anger over Sasse’s bill to make something that’s already illegal even more illegal is wearing a bit thin from people who have been complaining about “virtue signaling” from the Left for years now.Report

    • There is no false representation. I read her comments on twitter. She was trolling. I critique and condemn members in my own party for doing so. I’ve yet to see democrats critique or police their own.

      This may be seen as a disconnect between the two bodies. Perhaps, or maybe its just instinctive tribalism? Omar wasn’t critiquing Israel. She was attacking AIPAC. I have friends and former colleagues that are members, along with the RJC. This wasn’t an easy topic to admit. Democrats do forget the members of AIPAC in their own party-Elliot Engel, Steve Israel, Schiff, Schumer, etc.

      So, no this wasn’t about RW talking points-this was personal. And if I felt the sting, I think its fair to admit that democrat’s outspoken freshmen class are losing popularity-quickly.

      Populist rage is how my party got Trump. Populist rage on the left is why democrats have barn burners in their party. If they’re only useful for attacking conservatives, then I think my point is made. AOC’s cringeworthy attacks on Reagan were inexcusable at SXSW2019.

      Why is that difficult to admit?Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        “So you think about this image, ‘welfare queens,‘” Ocasio-Cortez continued, “and what [Reagan] was really trying to talk about… He’s painting this really resentful vision of essentially black women who were doing nothing, [who] were sucks on our country, right? … That’s not explicit racism, but it’s still rooted in racist caricature. It gives people a logical — a ‘logical’ — reason to say, ‘Oh, yeah, no. Toss out the whole safety net.’”

        I was there. I heard those speeches, and I applauded them.

        And yep, she captured the truth of things. Even for those of us who imagined we weren’t racist, we did imagine, openly and loudly, that there was a vast group of welfare queens who were mostly minorities, leeching off the working people.

        It took a couple decades, and yes, it was difficult to admit.Report

        • That was the 80’s. If democrats new class is to attack center right -after 30 years of politics just to scratch an itch, its quite clear they don’t want nor need center right or the independent vote in 2020.

          The speech was divisive, ugly, and before she was born. The times were different. If we keep rehashing the pastto prove a nitpicking point in the future, old wounds cannot heal and cultural divide remains broken.

          So what was her angle other than to ensure bipartisanship is not what she’s promoting?Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            Reagan’s welfare queen comment is still, to this very moment, the foundational belief of the Republican Party. That’s one reason he is still the revered founder of modern conservatism.

            No Republican anywhere will disavow that speech.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            I, uh, don’t think the Republican Party has done a very good job demonstrating that it’s moved on from the ugly racism Reagan espoused in 1980. If anything, it appears to have done the opposite.

            So I’m not sure what the objection here is.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          The interesting thing about the Welfare Queen was that she was a real person. There is even a book about her coming out soon:

          https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Forgotten-Life-Behind-American/dp/031651330X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+Queen+welfare&qid=1553106030&s=books&sr=1-1

          Its just that Reagan and the Right took this very real criminal and used her as a damning attack against the entire system rather than see her as a unique psychopath and thief. Eventually, she became lost and everybody assumed the Welfare Queen was a myth until Josh Levin found her.Report

          • Avatar Mr. Joe in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Composition fallacies may be fallacies, but they sure are effective politics. Remember lobster boy and the food stamp debate? I still regularly hear about all the food stamp recipients buying steak and fillet mignon.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Did Reagan ever talk about “welfare queens,” plural? I’ve only ever seen one actual quote from him, in which he referred to one specific “welfare queen” who had been in the news recently—namely Linda Taylor, although I don’t know that Reagan referred to her as such. This Washington Post article from 1982 doesn’t have an exact quote, but it refers to Reagan speaking of one specific welfare queen in Chicago, not describing welfare recipients in general as such.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Democrats do forget the members of AIPAC in their own party-Elliot Engel, Steve Israel, Schiff, Schumer, etc.

        Yes. Funny you bring that up, since it makes the ‘Dems are anti-semitic!’ thing you keep pushing look even more absurd. Though even more absurd is your Meghan McCain-esque claim of feeling personally stung by criticism of AIPAC.

        Criticizing, or even attacking AIPAC in terms of they way they flex their political muscle is not anti-semitic (both Jewish Americans and Israelis have done so too). The organization does sometimes overstep or push things that wind up hurting Israel’s image and reputation. The rhetoric goes too far more often than it should, though I give them credit for pushing back on Netanyahu and distancing themselves from a major donor for an Laura Ingraham-style Islamophobic rant. (https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/pro-israel-donor-pulls-out-of-aipac-conference-after-attacking-omar-tlaib-1.7041194)Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to bookdragon says:

      I see for example that despite evidence presented to you in a previous thread’s comments that you continue to spread RW talking point false representation of what Omar said

      You can’t make spurious accusations of bigotry! That’s our tactic! We invented it! It’s all we have!Report

  2. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    When someone brings a new sort of political strategy to the table and wins with it, it will be imitated. Trump brought a sort of over-the-top hyperbolic populist rhetoric with no accountability to the table and won with it. Now it’s being imitated.

    No, I don’t especially like it. But the voters are quite clear that they do like it.Report

    • Agree with comments. In which lies the problem. The recent polling on AOC, socialism isn’t a winner. 13% of Americans support full term abortion.

      These issues should not be all or nothing by the left when the culture on abortion is changing.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        The culture on abortion is changing though. Decades of Republican and conservative effort on the courts is imperiling the existing Roe situation. To look at liberal states responding to that by updating their state laws to reflect liberal principles and then freaking out is more than a little rich. No one would be revisiting this legislation if conservatives weren’t within a hair’s breadth of striking down Roe.Report

        • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to North says:

          I think it’s pretty obvious that Roe will be eventually sent back to the states-which I’m fine with that. However, it is disingenuous for liberal lawmakers of their states pushing full term abortion knowing only 13% of the country supports it.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            If pro-lifers want to ban late term abortions then they can pony up what they’re willing to trade on it, specifically agreeing that there should be few to no restrictions on early term abortions. That’s the deal the rest of the west has reached and it likely will happen here eventually.

            As for the changing culture; downs syndrome diagnosis abortion rates in the US are, what, last I checked 90%? Until I see that change I’m going to remain deeply skeptical about claims of deep cultural shifts on abortion politics.Report

            • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to North says:

              I think Down syndrome babies are beautiful, intelligent, and deserve to live. Gerber making Lucas, the first downs syndrome baby for their brand was another shift in cultural change.

              This is why I’m hopeful with the anti abortion clinics opening up and receiving title X funding. I don’t believe any young woman wants to choice abortion.

              I feel it’s the manipulation based on plannedParenthood’s model. Their bogeyman is the right and pro life activists. Yet they fail to stop where it’s common sense. Full term abortion will be met with a resounding NO.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Tracy Downey says:

                So be it, but 90% of your country folk, when the rubber meets the road, don’t agree. It’s a very comfortable thing to tell a pollster one is pro-life comfortable in the knowledge that pro-choicers will keep one’s options open should one ever need them. I think it inflates pro-life numbers. Every time pro-lifers actually get close to the goal of imposing their personal preferences on other individuals bodies the support falls out from under them.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Tracy Downey says:

                I don’t think 90% is the correct number.

                In the US polling suggests 38% approve (62% disapprove) when asked specifically about aborting Down Syndrome fetus. It seems this number is also trending downwards with somewhat recent focus on the issue esp. after 2017.

                In the US, actual termination rates seem closer to 70% (vs. 98% and 90% in some European countries)

                Twenty‐four studies were accepted. The weighted mean termination rate was 67% (range: 61%–93%) among seven population‐based studies, 85% (range: 60%–90%) among nine hospital‐based studies, and 50% (range: 0%–100%) among eight anomaly‐based studies. Evidence suggests that termination rates have decreased in recent years. Termination rates also varied with maternal age, gestational age, and maternal race/ethnicity.

                So the “Socrates Paradox” is closer to 62% disapprove, but the median termination rate is 67%.

                Note: Polling data is from 2019, Termination Study data is from 2012.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Tracy Downey says:

                Yeah, thanks Marchmaine, I knew the survival rate of Downs syndrome diagnosis was poor but was off on the severity of the number. Still my core point remains: the number of people who are pro-life when it actually matters? Astronomically lower than the ones who are pro-life when it’s a pollster on the phone.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            Why is it disingenuous to support unpopular legislation or policies?Report

          • Avatar Dave in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            “However, it is disingenuous for liberal lawmakers of their states pushing full term abortion knowing only 13% of the country supports it.”

            The mindset in NJ and federalism go quite well together. We do what we choose to do and don’t give a flying fish what the rest of the country thinks.Report

          • Avatar Cartoon Pig Dog in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            You need to stop confusing late term abortion with full term abortion, it makes you look rather silly. You’re using the old extreme right wing strategy of taking a view and extending it beyond its actually meaning. That lowers your credibility considerably. And you credibility is pretty low already.Report

      • Avatar chester jester in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        That’s the kind of bullshit talk that inflames the cultural divide. “Full term abortion” isn’t a thing. Insisting that you cannot remove a dead fetus from its mother is absurd. And requiring a mother to die in order to save her baby without considering any context at all is also absurd. Thanks for proving once again that Republicans are the party of unreasoning morons.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    What amusing is how the “radical” proposals from the “Far Left” are supported by pluralities, sometimes outright majorities, of Republicans.

    Things like breaking up the tech companies, taxes on the rich, child care are much more popular among the Republican voters than the Republican elected officials.

    America is like Lake Wobegon, where everyone is left of center.

    As demonstrated by the exchange the other day, no conservative can ever quite explain what harm will occur due to “far left” proposals. Its always some sort of frothy concoction of buzzwords and slogans, always some mirage which is right there, just beyond our vision but sure as shootin’ is real.

    And the track record is worse. Reagan promised that if Medicare was enacted, we would have socialism; The Tea Party promised that if Obamacare was enacted, we would have death panels and FEMA camps.
    Sadly, neither prediction came true.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      @chip

      The Green New Deal has been pretty thoroughly picked apart by both policy analysts and Democrat politicians themselves. I don’t think there is anything vague about that.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        The only part of the Green New Deal we actually have to pick apart is an aspirational policy resolution. Its not going to be a single bill or a single debate – its an approach and a mind set. That said many of its components are overdue responses to utter market failures – and failures which, among other things, appear to have driven the flooding of Nebraska this past week.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        The Green New Deal has been pretty thoroughly picked apart by both policy analysts and Democrat politicians themselves.

        Yup.

        Then again, given said picking apart it seems a bit off-base to describe it as the de facto position of the Democratic Party. It’s all in the game for the GOP to try to paint AOC, Omar, or anybody else as the leaders of the Democratic Party, but that doesn’t really mean they are.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to pillsy says:

          Exactly this, the way Tracy’s magnificent screed rants you’d think that the Green New Deal has been embraced by the Democratic Party and the only thing stopping it from becoming law is republicans in the Senate and in the White House. In reality, of course, the GND got shredded by the Dems own policy folks and neither party leadership nor even a large plurality of the rank and file have embraced it or tried to write it up into actual policy.Report

          • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to North says:

            But democrat leadership doesn’t speak out on this. They bury their own lede in order to keep the peace with their raucous wing. Why is it that you are forced to defend what the leadership refuses to?

            This is why never trump conservatives have spent three years critiquing our own. No hypocrisy there. Once dem leadership got the gavel…kid gloves by pundits on the left. Major hypocrisy.

            Conservatives see the flash n burn because freshmen class want to be noticed, they even plan to go after the moderates in their own party.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Tracy Downey says:

              Uh what? Here is one of the more notable things Pelosi said about the Green New Deal:

              “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

              Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Tracy Downey says:

              Never Trump conservatives have spent three years criticizing Trump after being demonstrated as being electorally powerless and being heaved out of their own party. But only after they helped get the man elected and oversaw decades of pandering to, lying to and subsequently and empowering their right wing nuts. It’s not the Democratic Party that has seen every element of its institution conquered by extremist loons.

              I think you’re more than politically savvy enough to recognize that what Pelosi did –was- burying the Green New Deal. When your passionate wing throws out an impractical policy like that you sure as hell don’t come out attacking it. Policies like that die quietly in committee with anonymous knives in their backs; not on the public stage where it’ll anger and divide voters on your side of the struggle. Republicans used to understand that before they embraced their nuts and ended up being devoured by them. Frankly by rather disdainfully misnaming it the Green New Dream Pelosi signaled loud and clear that it wasn’t happening.Report

              • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to North says:

                “die quietly” -there is nothing quiet about AOC.

                And Pelosi knows it.

                As for never trump being rendered powerless- not really. Without center right democrats could not overturn 40 red district seats. To not support nor protect the moderate freshmen class of Pelosi’s party is foolish.

                Center right primarily sticks to Burkean viewpoints. When democrats blur their own morality line, and there isn’t a logical reason to support their ideology, center right will return to theirs.

                Abortion is why evangelicals support Trump. Abortion is the swing vote for center right. As long as democrats continue to favor full term abortion, Catholic rust belt will be up for grabs once again.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to North says:

                Well then prove it, where’s the Green New Deal in congress now? Drafted? Being marked up by Committee? Being scheduled for a vote? Last I checked there wasn’t a heartbeat on this puppy and AoC is not out in the streets screaming about Democratic betrayal. And I see Pelosi’s fingerprints all over that. Pretty moderate outcome. Pretty quiet.

                AoC is a fiesty capable woman who’s pretty far on the left and making waves. I think she’ll mature into a pretty deadly politician and I hope she’ll moderate a bit as she does so. All that said she doesn’t control the Democratic Party or even a plurality of the party no matter how much Republicans and right wingers pretend she does.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to North says:

                @Tracy
                These are some good comments, and I just wanted to say that it is damn good to see you in the fray.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to North says:

                @North
                AOC was loud enough that her voice could be heard coming out of Betos voice box claiming the world ends in 12 years.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to North says:

                Well I’m rootin’ for Amy, Joe. And Beto ain’t the party either- at least not yet.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tracy Downey says:

              This is why never trump conservatives have spent three years critiquing our own.

              I have yet to hear any neverTrumper admit that the lies and distortions they peddled for years and which became accepted GOP orthodoxy, culminating with those folks cheerleading the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, directly led to Trump winning the primary.Report

    • Avatar Dave in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      “As demonstrated by the exchange the other day, no conservative can ever quite explain what harm will occur due to “far left” proposals. Its always some sort of frothy concoction of buzzwords and slogans, always some mirage which is right there, just beyond our vision but sure as shootin’ is real.”

      Do you care to debate the benefits of Medicare for All against someone that eats, breathes and sleeps the healthcare business?

      The smart money says you don’t.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Dave says:

        Do you care to debate the benefits of Medicare for All against someone that eats, breathes and sleeps the healthcare business?

        And do you care to debate the benefits of Medicare for All (fsvo MfA) against some that actually has to utilize the healthcare business services?

        I’m currently fighting my way through a stack of bills from… lets see, 3 hospital/medical centers, 1 mental health clinic, another stand-alone clinic, anesthesiologist, 3 laboratories, optometrist, and a CPAP outfit. At least half of that is from a single medical situation that my wife faced.

        It would be like if you went to an auto shop for warranty service and afterwards you got separate bills from the shop, the service manager, each mechanic that so much as walked past your car, the NAPA store where they got the parts. etc. Your warranty didn’t cover the first $1500 and you were on the hook for 30% of the rest that was covered, but some of it is inexplicably covered and none of it from one of the mechanics because… reasons. You would be like wtf??

        I’ll repeat what I’ve said before, we can debate single payer, but really a huge improvement would be something closer to single payee. The expense is bad enough, but the complexity is staggering for anyone who isn’t young, hale, and hearty. If healthcare in this country becomes (more) socialized you have no one but the capitalists currently running the show to blame.Report

  4. Avatar Philip H says:

    The beautiful thing about self declared polemics is they don’t require facts to back them up. The sad thing about self-declared polemics is they don’t contain facts to back them up. And the annoying thing about polemics is they are so devoid of fact that the actual nuance of issues becomes defacto proof of the heinousness of what ever side you oppose.

    So, in that sense, well done.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The main thing that Generic Democrat has going for him or her is that he or she is running against Trump.

    The main thing that Trump has going for him is that he won’t be running against Generic Democrat.

    On that note, let me point out that Mike Gravel announced today. (I caucused for him in 2008!)Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    It no longer matters how contemptible Trump gets because the Democrats no longer have the moral high ground.

    How many people do you think will be genuinely on the fence, and think to themselves “ya know, the Dems really used to have the moral high ground but they just don’t anymore, so I’m voting Trump”?Report

    • I think as long as democrats continue to ignore basic, conservative policies quite a few, to be honest.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        We’ll leave aside the need for the allegedly left of center party to adhere to principles of the allegedly right of center party you statement implies . . . .

        Democrats got basic conservative policies passed into law in the ACA over the strenuous (and factitious) objections of Republicans, who have been trying their darnedest since then to defeat their own ideas. I don’t think its Democrats that Republicans really have to worrry about.

        And frankly, unless and until the Never Trump block on the Senate actually starts voting against the man consistently I have little use for them. Even retiring Never Trumpers in the last Congress who railed against his policies voted for them on the way out the door.Report

        • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Philip H says:

          Once again, from my post, I had no trouble critiquing my party’s lack of principles and hypocrisy.

          I’m seeing this to be not the case with democrats and their own party. There’s an undeniable instinct to defend home turf if you will, by pointing out the same discrepancies and faults within my own party to prove what point for democrats’ failure to critique their own, exactly?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Conservative policies /= the moral high ground, tho. Those are two different things. (Though I can see why you might think they’re the same. 🙂Report

  7. Avatar CJColucci says:

    People who would never vote for a Democrat won’t vote for one in 2020. The particular reasons this time don’t matter, so there is no point in explaining why they’re wrong.Report

    • That’s correct. They would just stay home and take away their vote from their own party.

      I don’t see that occurring in 2020 based on the Democrat leadership’s inability to reign in far left policies. I think they will vote red to point out their loyalty isn’t to a party but having to choose between the lesser of two evils.Report

  8. Avatar North says:

    It’s wonderful to have a rock ribbed Republican here posting so thank you for doing so.

    The way you write you’d think AoC was speaker and 40 Dems like her got elected instead of only her being elected along with 37 or so moderates with Pelosi running the show.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to North says:

      I’m not a rock ribbed republican.

      I’m a center right independent that bucked my own party due to lack of principles.

      AOCacts like she’s the speaker much like Tom Delay did while Hasert was Speaker.

      Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows a t like they were the speaker while Ryan was.

      Pelosi has zero control over her caucus. And if she doesn’t get control, she’ll fade into the background like the above mentioned. AOC wants attention. She has the Right’s.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Not true. If she had zero control over her caucus the recent border deal that Trump declared an emergency to go around would never have passed the House, since it essentially gives winking approval to Trump’s allegations that more agents and better tech at places where problems actually are is NOT the solution.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        There’re a lot of rock ribbed republierrr.. independents. Has been since Bush II went down in blazing ruin and incompetence.

        Pelosi, contra your assertions, is quite firmly in control over her caucus. The Green New Deal has flashed and remains as far from being enacted now as it was before it was enunciated. Omar was firmly frog marched to a microphone and made to apologize for the parts of her comments on lobbying that went over the line into anti semitism. Pelosi walked up to the podium and said “based on current info there’s no prospect of us impeaching Trump at this time” and her job remains secure and solid. No sign of a revolt in the benches.

        Frankly I’m pleased as punch with Pelosi’s performance. You can bet that ol’ weepy Boehner and Ryan are looking on and wishing they had her problems.Report

  9. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Well, as someone who left the left, so to speak, I won’t vote for the Dems until they denounce the horrors of the Obama administration, what with its attempted destruction of civil liberties.

    Indeed, whenever they mention that jack-a-napes, they need to preface the statement with something like “Obama, the destroyer of liberty, was…”Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

      I still have yet to read a coherent critique of any destruction of civil liberties under Mr. Obama. The closets I can come – which I have happily called out while he was in office – was his making the Patriot Act and its attendant warrantless wiretapping provisions permanent. Beyond that . . . .Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H says:

        Well, you can start with drone assassinations of US citizens, which does deprive them of due process. Next with due process is the bizarre Title IX reading which deprived men of due process on campus. Follow that with an IRS using its powers to deny voter rights to members of an opposing political group. And, though operation chokepoint, creating a climate to deny banking to industries that are disfavored by the president’s political party.

        To refresh you on the last point:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Choke_Point
        “Forceful prosecution of those who defraud American consumers is both responsible and admirable. However, Department of Justice initiatives to combat mass-market consumer fraud must be legitimate exercises of the Department’s legal authorities, and must be executed in a manner that does not unfairly harm legitimate merchants and individuals.
        Operation Choke Point fails both these requirements. The Department’s radical reinterpretation of what constitutes an actionable violation under § 951 of FIRREA fundamentally distorts Congress’ intent in enacting the law, and inappropriately demands that bankers act as the moral arbiters and policemen of the commercial world. In light of the Department’s obligation to act within the bounds of the law, and its avowed commitment not to “discourage or inhibit” the lawful conduct of honest merchants, it is necessary to disavow and dismantle Operation Choke Point.”
        -U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

        So, yeah. Obama was the worst president of the post-war era, civil rights wise.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Aaron David says:

          Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

          There were two known cases of drone assassinations of US citizens in foreign combat zones. and they were roundly criticized here and elsewhere at the time for lacking due process. While two citizens were deprived of their rights, others were and have not been. And I’d remind you that Mr. Obama was simply following in Mr. Bush’s footsteps, as he was with the aforementioned Patriot Act Renewals.

          The IRS doesn’t deny or enable voting rights, and its abilities to limit speech are centered in the tax code. Many of the investigations they undertook about the use of tax money under Mr. Obama by 501 and 503 organizations were also taken up under Mr. Bush, but with less fanfare.

          And While Operation choke Point may have been carried out in less then appropriate means, considering the very real economic threat that banking and financial services still creates for our economy due to failures of regulation (and outright regulatory roll-back) I have no problem with DoJ putting a tad bit of the fear of God into banks from time to time.

          But other then US citizens getting killed over seas in combat zones without due process (since we don’t allow the FBI to actually arrest terrorists it appears), none of this impacts individual civil rights.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Aaron David says:

          As far as I can tell, anyone who keeps repeating the IRS thing as some sort of political abuse by the Obama administration isn’t particularly interested in the truth. The IRS ‘scandal’ was clearly a government agency that didn’t quite know how to handle a sudden overload of somewhat dubious groups asking for preclearence, and came with a dumb process for dealing with them.

          It is perfectly fair to criticize them for that, and even investigate them for that. What is _not_ fair, however, is what happened, where Congress pretended it was political by _only_ investigating its effects on right-wing groups, and getting everyone to report on that for months before people said ‘Wait a second, the IRS also did the exact same thing to a bunch of left-wing groups. Congress just kept only demanding information about right-wing groups’.

          And it’s utterly absurd to _keep_ repeating that, years later, despite all the facts being known. It is very very clear, at this point in time, that the IRS was not operating as some political organ. It was operating in a somewhat stupid manner, but it was a politically-neutral stupid manner.

          Although pretending that ‘the IRS used its powers to deny voter rights to members of an opposing political group’ is a new level of absurdity. The IRS has no power to deny voting rights to anyone. The IRS didn’t even have the power to make these groups not operate until they were precleared…preclearance is entirely voluntary, and the groups could have just withdrawal at any time.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

            Here’s what we knew at the time, for what it’s worth.

            It seems we knew different things back then than we know now.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

              But it looks like people don’t care what actually happened. They, well aggrieved conservatives, want their narrative of being targeted personally by Obama. They wanted it then and damned if they are going to let nasty ol facts change that narrative even as it has slipped away.

              Even way back then it was clear that the IRS didn’t stop groups from doing their thing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                In our ignorance back then, we thought it was targeted harassment meant to chill speech rather than censorsiousness that would result in speech being stifled.

                The IRS really screwed up by admitting fault.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                Looking back, it’s pretty easy to see that US citizens’ current distrust of institutions stems from the Iraq War, and Obama accelerated that lack of trust by not investigating the actors responsible. What was his line, something about not looking backward?) Fast forward and the most openly corrupt of possible candidates wins the Presidency.

                What I’m referring to isn’t dissimilar to the corrosive effects of those VA politicians not resigning, and can’t be seen by the actors in the moment. But we’ve lost the ability, as a county I guess, to care anymore, or do anything about it if we did.Report

    • That won’t happen, Aaron. But I find it interesting that while Trump claims he’s reversing Obama policy…he’s not he’s just rebranding it in his name.Report

  10. Avatar InMD says:

    I think there’s still a decent chance that Trump is re-elected. There are a number of reasons it could happen but I don’t think the Green New Deal which already seems DOA will be one of them. The more likely miscalculation would be repeating the mistakes of the Clinton campaign in the upper midwest. Those are the votes that turned the election and Trump’s margin of victory in the states in question was quite thin.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to InMD says:

      So much this. Trump’s trade and tax policies are NOT making manufacturing great again in the midwest, nor are they returning coal to its former glory. That message run home again and again in that part of the country, along with full throated support for real retraining and expansion of other types of manufacturing would actually attract voters scared and feeling forgotten.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Philip H says:

        It all hinges on who gets the Democratic nod. I would never be crazy enough to say Trump has no shot but he’s far from secure in his job.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to North says:

          This is where I land at the moment. Primaries are funny things. If it’s Harris or Warren, I expect they will go full-bore progressive and see how it shakes out. Many of the rest will be more moderate. I kind of felt like Booker was milquetoast, but never underestimate the power of having a hot celebrity girlfriend who has activist cred and can rally the nerd vote. He’s the one I think the press is most interested in, for sure.

          And if anyone is keeping track, Woodrow Wilson was the last president to get married while in office. I’d watch just to see if we can one-up Princes Harry and William.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to InMD says:

      The GND only pointed out her incompetence, hyocrisies, and inexperience in showcasing a dead bill before it hit the floor.

      Culture issues attacked by the left flank, and a decent economy will re-elect Trump.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD says:

      Clinton lost in part because she branded herself as “pro-black voter” during the primary in an effort to deliver a quick knockout to Bernie. That tactic boomeranged on her by creating the weird dynamic (which we’ve talked about here before) where physically campaigning in states like Michigan actually *lowered* her approvals. IF there’s a moral to that story, it’s that the Dems *may* have trouble holding their constituencies together at the national level.Report

      • From the right’s perspective, Clinton lost because she was unlikable, embraced planned parenthood, and her last name signaled a return to far left policies.

        Republicans still don’t want Trump, but when it comes to moral issues in legislation, he highlights bread and butter policies in rust belt and the country that democrats wont even focus on.

        Courtpacking-now that extremism right there is enough to trigger any center right principled republican.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tracy Downey says:

          From the right’s perspective, Clinton lost because she was unlikable, embraced planned parenthood, and her last name signaled a return to far left policies.

          Good thing she didn’t run as a Republican!!Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater says:

            It’s funny, the Dems ran plenty of pro-choice politicians and did fine in the heartland. It’s when the GOP nominated Trump, who threw the GOP orthodoxy out the window on their warmongering and on cutting* social security, medicare and promised to give them something even better and cheaper than the ACA that they managed to eke out a win.

            *Though he’s proposing cuts now so looks like he conned his voters on that too. Bet that’ll play great in 2020.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater says:

        I don’t think the left or the right correctly identifies why she lost. Because it was something that is near and dear to the nerds of both parties and is lamented by the elders of those groups.

        She was a horrible politician. The fact that she was good with white papers should strike fear into anyone who actually finds politics important. No one gives a crap about policy stances in re to blah, blah, blah… A politician needs to get out there and kiss babies, feel your pain, make your heart soar.

        In other words, lead you.

        Technocratism is not politics. And that is what the two parties are missing right now.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

          I think it’s reasonable to argue that the Democratic Party is too technocratic.

          I have a hard time to seeing how that description would apply to the Republican Party at all.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

            Up until Trump, that was their main selling point.

            They were the old guy in the Aaron Sorkin show who had ideals when they were young but now know how the world works.

            Mitt Romney, say. Paul Ryan. Jeb Bush.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

              Ah OK. I, uh, think they just may have replaced the problem of being too technocratic with an even worse problem.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

              I get entirely what you’re saying, but I think that stopped much earlier. Granted, this was always just a selling point, not the actual truth, but it stopped being a selling point quite a while back, well before Trump.

              I’m pretty sure the stopping point was somewhere around Newt Gingrich and the rise of Fox News, where demonizing Democrats really took off. One of the ways they were demonized was as ‘the elite’.

              1996 Republicans: Here is the serious adult in the room, Bob Dole, running against sax-playing horndog Bill Clinton.
              2000 Republicans: Who would you rather have a beer with, super-nerd Al Gore or cool guy George Bush II?

              Of course, pretending that Al Gore was somehow more part of ‘the elite’ than George Bush, _child of a president_ and part of a very wealthy New England family, was a bit absurd, but they managed it.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to DavidTC says:

                I’m pretty sure the stopping point was somewhere around Newt Gingrich and the rise of Fox News, where demonizing Democrats really took off.

                Bingo. W was sort of a liminal figure, because his folksiness didn’t stop a lot of people from having positive associations with his name, and his cabinet hires tended to be perceived as technocrats (which didn’t stop them from being godawful of course).

                McCain picked Palin, which was another turning point.

                Romney was a classic technocrat type, but he was also a rich jerk from Massachusetts, which is political party for, “We got nuthin”.”Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

                Indeed. Thinking about it, Romney is probably best understood as the technocrat’s last gasp. The other Republicans in 2012, in case other people like me have forgotten, were: Ron Paul, official economic kook, Rick Santorum, official religious kook, and Newt Gingrich, official anti-Democratic asshole. Republicans picked the technocrat.

                In 2008, same thing, except there were multiples of everyone, but they still chose one of the technocrats, McCain. (A rather odd ‘maverick’ technocrat, but he positioned it as doing what best for the country _despite_ his party.)

                So I guess it’s less ‘The Republican stopped being technocrats in the 90s’, and more ‘Since the mid-90s, when the Republicans run technocrats, they lose’.

                …which explains McCain’s choice of Palin in 2008 to try to get around that problem.

                Granted, the Democrats also tried a technocrat with Al Gore, and failed. Not really sure Kerry counts as a technocrat.

                Granted, correlation doesn’t equal causality, and the sample size is _way_ too small to draw conclusions from. Just to be clear, I assert that the Republicans stopped presenting themselves as technocrats back in the 90s because of how they changed what they were saying, attacks on the ‘liberal elite’ and things like that.

                And I think those technocrats failed to excite the Republican base (Which had been pumped with gibberish by the right-wing noise machine) at all and thus those candidates failed in the general, but that’s just sorta a guess. And I’m not entirely sure how those technocratic candidates made it through the _primary_.

                …well, until they didn’t.Report

        • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Aaron David says:

          that kiss babies thing….probably ought to hold off on that one for a couple electionsReport

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David says:

          Aaron,

          I agree that she was a horrible politician. But I’m saying something else in that comment: that the tensions within the Dem coalition *may* make it hard for even a very good politician to get past the primary and win the general.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

          I agree she wasn’t good as a campaigner, and the Democratic Party is still too wonkish. I’ve said and written for a long time that Democrats do not do well at telling stories with emotional components, which has been a bread and butter technique of Republicans for most of my life. And thats why very sensible policy victories like the ACA are so easy for Republicans to cast as failures.

          Luckily Democrats have a few good story tellers in this bunch.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Philip H says:

            I think this is overstated. Both Bill Clinton and Obama, in their respective ways, were very good at that.

            Dems tend to lose when they don’t nominate good politicians.

            So do Republicans.Report

  11. Avatar Joe M. says:

    Thanks for sharing! It is always informative to read what other folks are thinking.

    This just reinforces my belief that Twitter is becoming the sole significant lens for reality. AOC is huge on twitter, but I see scant evidence of actual policy making. Politicians have a long history of shiny proposals with crazy assumptions. Remember when one of Paul Ryan’s plans assumed unemployment would drop to 0.8% unemployment, and he was speaker of the house at the time.

    I will say that the article you link to on Rep. Omar is pretty weak. The statement was in reference to the state of Isreal, not Jews or Judaism. No similar claims of bias against religion get made for criticizing other nations. It was a statement that politicians positions are influenced by money and a specific lobby group gave politicians money. This is a rather pedestrian observation in any other circumstance.

    For the pro-life crowd, there is no amount of policy movement team blue could ever make to get those votes. Why abandon their base? They need a fired up rump of folks to GOTV. This is the same reason all the righty talking heads are screaming that the country is forever lost if Trump fails to win in 2020.

    Democrats are doing a pretty decent job setting the table for 2020. They have managed to sour significant portions of the electorate to TCJA. They have done a decent job convincing folks that the Trade Wars are going poorly. They are doing a passable job at standing against the wall, while arguing for better alternatives. In their defence, Trump is making it easy with ridiculous claims like “Humanitarian Crisis means we need the wall”.

    My assessment of reelection hangs mostly on the economy. This is the only place Trump has not been consistently net negative on job approval. Any significant recession between now and Sept. 2020 and Trump is toast. There is a lot of hay for team blue to make of the continued loss of industrial jobs, the saving of which seemed to be a significant factor in the key states that flipped in 2016.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Joe M. says:

      I agree with you that 3% of Twitter is driving the news cycle, whereas the majority of Americans are off social media except for ad mudslinging on facebook.

      The point is, media uses Twitter to drive the outrage. If democrats ignore that reality, the right will remind them in 2020 how successful it worked for 2016.

      If this is not the image democrats want, then their leadership needs to step up. But with nearly every candidate on the left embracing all or nothing policies, there’s truly little room for center right independents to swing left like in 2018.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        You seem to continue to assume that the traditional political distinctions are still operative. From out here in the left weeds, the Democratic Party as an institution is now firmly and classically centerist, particularly on its economics what with its full throated embrace of corporation centered neoliberal approaches.. the Republican party has gone so far right its a wonder Anarchists aren’t suing it for infringing on their political space. Most classically defined center right independents should feel right at home in the Democratic party. Most of us still truly on the left do not.Report

  12. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I notice that this mysterious “center-right” seems to be fixated on just a few issues:
    Opposition to abortion;
    Hostility to immigration;
    Some vague stuff about “cultural issues”.

    In other words, issues that are deeply personal and touch on the essential value and status of people. Issues on which there really is no compromise.

    And further, these are issues where there really is no daylight between Donald Trump and the elusive “center-right” voter.
    Other than aesthetic style, what separates the viewpoints expressed here, and Trump?Report

    • Avatar Mr. Joe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      don’t forget the guns. can’t be on the right at all unless you have NRA approved gun stance.Report

      • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Mr. Joe says:

        Re: guns.

        I own.

        I have a CCW.

        I advocated for the banning of bump stocks.

        I loathe the NRA-don’t need them to protect my rights when a conservative court will do just that. NRA is 99% faux, hypocritical outrage.

        I also lost a friend in the largest mass shooting in the United States.

        It’s voters like me that are pro 2ndamendment not an absolutist that if you’ve noticed… Bump stocks are now officially illegal. No screaming, have you noticed?

        But if you try to remove our savage’s, well…

        Dems then make it easy for us to go to the polls.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Tracy Downey says:

          I own. I have my oldest son in 4H shooting sports. And I’m 100% lefty. We’re easy to get to the polls too.Report

        • Avatar Mr.Joe in reply to Tracy Downey says:

          There is no screaming over the bump stocks because a red team president did it. Had it been a blue team president it would have been wall to wall “GUN GRABBER!!!” Remember the disapproval of SSA implimenting a rule that individuals getting government assistance for mental handicap should be added to to NICS? That was a well thought out regulation, mandated by congress, crafted over years with insane amounts of input from interested parties. 100% of red team Senators and >99% of red team Reps signed on to kill it to cheers of “Stop Obama’s Gun Grabbing”.

          Similarly, the slashing of welfare had to be done under a blue team president. I expect drastic cuts to SS/DI and Medicare can only happen under a blue team president. It almost got done because Obama was so hungry for a deal. Luckily, Cruz and company dealt it a fatal blow by being too greedy.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Yes, mysterious, because I don’t see any evidence for the existence of a center-right which is distinguishable from a Trump voter.

        As I see it, there are two sorts of people who will pull the lever for Trump in 2020:
        1. Enthusiastic Trump fans;
        2. People whose hatred of the Democrats is stranger than their distaste for Trump.

        The hatred for the Democrats seems irreconcilable. It isn’t economic or something amenable to “split the difference” compromise. It goes right to the heart of who the Democrats are, what we value and stand for.

        These voters aren’t “gettable” in any fashion.

        If you want, you can see it play out right here at OT.

        Whenever we have articles about the latest Trump/ conservative outrage like cops shooting a black man, or some #Metoo episode, there are NeverTrumpers who argue that it isn’t that bad, isn’t happening, or is overblown and exaggerated or is dwarfed by the suffering of white men.

        We can’t get these people because what we value elicits only a shrug of the shoulders from them. They aren’t rabid Trump fans, but merely find him less threatening than us.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          As I see it, there are two sorts of people who will pull the lever for Trump in 2020:
          1. Enthusiastic Trump fans;
          2. People whose hatred of the Democrats is stranger than their distaste for Trump.

          Yes, and one more:
          3) People who are trying to fill the Supreme Court with conservatives. (A lot of these are also #2, but some aren’t.)

          None of those people will ever vote against Trump in 2020.

          As Jaybird keeps saying, the actual elections are decided by _who votes_, not who they vote for.

          Even in ‘normal’ times, who people vote for is basically set >And under Trump…if someone honestly isn’t sure if they’ll vote for or against _Trump_, they’re…well, I’m sure such people exist, but they’re people who behave basically randomly, and trying to ‘attract’ them is very silly.

          The way to win elections is to get more of your people to vote and less of theirs.

          The way to _not_ do this is to move to the center and give up the political positions that excite your voters in an absurd attempt to somehow steal the voters of the other side. For one thing, if they’re _that_ wishy-washy, it’s pretty easy for the other side to steal them back, or for them to decide not to vote. The entire thing is stupid.

          There is a reason we have a concept of political parties having a ‘base’. The base are the people who generally vote. The easiest way to get more votes is to make sure that the base gets what it wants, so they are more likely to vote. The second easiest way is to find groups that are base-adjacent and try to make them part of the base.

          Trying to get J. Random Undecided-Centrist to vote a certain way, a guy who will never be part of the base and has no real incentive to even really vote, is just…a really bad use of resources, and doing anything to attract them is literally counterproductive to actually getting _the base_ to vote.

          No political party should do something that makes ‘moderates’ 2% more likely to vote for them if it makes their base 2% less likely to vote. In fact, no political party should do something that makes ‘moderates’ _20%_ more likely to vote for them if it makes their base 2% less likely to vote.

          It’s really weird how anyone who actually looks at politics understands this, but there’s an entire universe of pundits running around demanding the parties ‘moderate’ themselves.Report

          • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to DavidTC says:

            Why does it have to be hatred?

            It’s about disappointment that democrats are far too left that go against center-right’s principles. So why vote for them if they fail to move toward the middle and compromise?

            I’ll be voting my conscience. Full term abortion, court packing, EC, inability to call out their own House Freedom Caucus, is a roadblock for democrats in 2020.

            Just my humble opinion.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Tracy Downey says:

              I have yet to see anyone, anywhere, articulate what an example of “center-right” position is.

              “I would vote for a Democrat if…” is a sentence no one can answer with anything other than vague flurry of buzzwords.
              The Electoral College and court packing didn’t exist as issues in 2016;
              Did you vote Democrat then?

              If a ban on late term abortion is the overriding litmus test, then just say so, and acknowledge that the rest of the issues don’t really matter much.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                This is a thing I see somewhat commonly.

                “I haven’t seen this thing!”
                “I can’t comprehend this phenomenon!”
                “This other thing is completely outside of my experience!”

                As if that puts the onus on others.

                Have you ever traveled? Maybe that’s the problem. If you stay in one corner of the world your whole life, you generally won’t experience things that people who travel will get to experience.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Can you do it?
                Articulate a “center-right” position?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                A quick question first: do you want a particular position (like, say, if I gave you a position on guns that was a “center-right” position then you’d say “okay, I understand that that position on guns is a center-right position”) or would you prefer a heuristic that will let you stand back and then say “okay, as far as I can tell, I can look at this position and determine that it is a center-right one”?

                If I know the answer to that, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to throw something together.Report

              • I just gave it to you. Burkean liberal conservatism.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, this is terrific!
                Because the 2019 Democrats ARE the “Burkean liberal conservatives”.

                They are the party that has done more to rein in the budget deficit than anyone.

                They staunchly defend the traditional, time tested programs like Social Security and Medicare.

                They view with Burkean skepticism the claims of radical individualism embodied in the 2nd Amendment purists.

                They hold to the Judeo-Christian communitarian ethos of inclusiveness and unity and the welcoming of the immigrant.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “Liberal conservatism incorporates the classical liberal view of minimal government intervention in the economy, according to which individuals should be free to participate in the market and generate wealth without government interference.[2] However, individuals cannot be thoroughly depended on to act responsibly in other spheres of life, therefore liberal conservatives believe that a strong state is necessary to ensure law and order and social institutions are needed to nurture a sense of duty and responsibility to the nation.[2] They also support civil liberties, along with some social conservative positions.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_conservatism

                What a word salad. and what udder balderbash. Liberals don’t hold for limited government intervention in the economy. People don’t act rationally much less responsibly in ever sphere of life EXCEPT economic activity – they act more irrationally and irresponsibly in economic activity then other spheres because economic activity leads to resource acquisition. Even IF that split actually existed, the things conservatives choose to regulate in human activity – abortion, marriage, education funding – are not actually places where anyone needs to be regulated. Frankly most of the economic regulations (and even the environmental ones) that conservatives so chafe against exist precisely because humans aren’t responsible or rational in their economic actions.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                @Philip H:
                Here, I’ll show you the trick.
                Everyone…EVERYONE without exception, desires the very smallest government with the most minimal interference necessary…to accomplish the goals they prefer.

                E.G.: I demand the smallest, most modestly Burkean government which will:
                A) Implement a Scandinavian style cradle to grave social welfare program or;

                B) Implement a nationwide ban on abortion services including the death penalty for doctors and pregnant women or;

                C) Construct an impermeable ban on undocumented immigrants even if this means checkpoints at every intersection;
                D) Force utilities to buy coal regardless of the cost;Force football players to stand for the national anthem; force merchants to say “Merry Christmas”; Force someone, somewhere to actually pay Milo to speak fer Gawd’s sake.

                See, its easy!

                “Unnecessary government power” is really just “Stuff I don’t care about” and “Stuff I care about” always falls under the proper and appropriate level of Burkean limited government.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                @ Chip Daniels:

                I thought only those of us working in DC knew this little secret:

                ““Unnecessary government power” is really just “Stuff I don’t care about” and “Stuff I care about” always falls under the proper and appropriate level of Burkean limited government.”

                It has a corollary – “Waste, Fraud and Abuse” is just stuff I don’t want government spending money on.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tracy Downey says:

              Yes, Democrats are not a center-right party. They are not going to become one just because you are uncomfortable with whom the right-wing party in America has elected.

              Asking them to become so is strange, because you’re asking them to leave behind all their voters in order to cater to you personally.

              Your rationale that to do otherwise would inevitably lead to the certain re-election of Donald Trump is basically nonsensical. It only works mathematically if you assume that it would gain more voters than it would lose, which is….what’s a stronger word than “laughable”?

              Donald Trump did not win in a landslide. Donald Trump has not spent his time in office getting more popular. Heck, he won by less than 100k votes spread over three states — states which have all seen his popularity sink. The then saw a historical loss in the mid-terms.

              You’re basically asking Democrats to stop representing half the country, in order to represent the 10% or so (max) of conservatives who love the GOP but hate Trump personally, and you couch this as an electoral winner.

              Again I must ask: Did you give the GOP the same advice in 2008 and 2012? To toss aside their entire voting base to become Democrats?Report

              • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Morat20 says:

                These posts are beginning to feel…

                Hostile.🤔

                No I am not asking the democrats to stop representing half the country-I am saying if democrats want to win, they should remain in the center.

                Center right Nevertrump have been harder on our party than democrats have been on their own. That was the point of the article, to look at it from our perspective.

                I tried.

                Oh well.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Morat20 says:

                I’m not hostile. Why would I be? But you have an odd certainty here that I’m deeply curious about.

                You don’t say “more likely to” or “increases the odds”, but “will”. If the Democrats do not change to their policy preferences the way you say they should, Trump will automatically win. It’s a very…confidant..statement.

                And it’s especially odd that you’re stating Democrats need to move even further to the right, when they just one a rather massive victory in 2018 without doing so. I mean that’s a pretty hefty, recent data point and it’s completely missing from your certain analysis.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tracy Downey says:

              It’s about disappointment that democrats are far too left that go against center-right’s principles.

              Yet, you said earlier that conservatives disliked Hillary Clinton because she represented a return of far left policies. Now, maybe her policies *are* regarded by conservative’s as too far left, but her criticism from within the party – almost universal amongst her critics – was that her policies, especially on the economy and foreign policy, were too conservative and status-quo oriented.

              So my worry with yoru post and subsequent comments is that you’ re holding a non-falsifiable (even vacuous) view here: that center-right conservatives dislike Dems because they’re too far left, where “too far left” simply means “policies that aren’t center-right”.

              I mean, you’re basically just arguing that moderate conservatives won’t vote Dem because Dems arebn’t moderate conservatives. I’m not sure I see any utility in that other to drive moderate conservatives away from voting Dem and towards voting for Trump, which is (presumably) the opposite of your stated goal.Report

              • Yes. Not one republican wanted to vote for Hillary. Nor did we want to vote for Trump.

                With democrats going back to far left extremism, they isolate the midwestern, kitchen table values voter.

                You’re giving us no choice but to re-elect Trump.

                Unless there’s a GOP primary, I’m pretty sure how I’ll be voting.Report

              • Avatar Morat20m in reply to Stillwater says:

                “You’re giving us no choice but to re-elect Trump”

                Ah, no. That’s on you, and everyone who votes for Trump. You made that call. You decided that certain things were worth it, even if it means Trump is President.

                That’s fine. That’s your job as a voter.

                But you don’t get to pretend you’re forced. You know Trump, you know the issues, you know his opponent. You clearly prioritize certain things above your dislike of Trump. Again, that’s your job as a voter, to make those calls.

                But it’s not the Democrats fault because they didn’t run a unicorn conservative candidate you could vote for qualm free. Own your choices.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                You’re giving us no choice but to re-elect Trump.

                No, you prefer Trump to the Dems. Expressing that preference by casting a vote isn’t the Dems fault, it’s made of your own free will.

                I mean, this logic is absolutely insane. Take ownership of your own preferences and voting behavior.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Stillwater says:

                We’ve spent far too much time figuring out why people voted for Trump and what to do about it. There really isn’t much mystery. The vast majority of people who voted for Trump were — drum roll, please — Republicans. They would vote for almost anyone with an (R) after his name — which they proved by voting for Trump. A rather small number stayed home in 2016 rather than hold their nose and vote. There is reason to believe that that number will increase in 2020. The people who want that sort of thing knew what they were getting and came out in 2016 precisely because he was what he clearly is. There just aren’t that many more potential Trump voters out there. They may be angrier when they come out in 2020, especially when they get a steady diet of baby-killing open borders socialism, but they’re the same people and their votes count the same whether they are worked up or noy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                Tracy,

                Yes. Not one republican wanted to vote for Hillary.

                Dems aren’t *trying* to get republican voters. They’re going to get Dem voters, and they’re hoping to get independent voters. The idea that Dems should be trying to get votes from traditional conservatives kicked to the curb by Trump makes exactly zero electoral political sense. It’s literally incomprehensible to me that you think this is on the table (that those forsaken conservatives would find a home in the Dem party) or that it’s good advice. I mean, the more you comment on this the more baffled I am by your reasoning .Report

              • Hello Stillwater:

                I am a center-right independent. My mother, a life long democrat, baby boomer, just registered as independent because she’s a staunch Catholic and the abortion issue is a roadblock for her.

                My son is a republican. He will be voting for Trump again. My father, a republican will be voting for Trump again, my friends, trump.

                My brother-midwest Michigan-voting for Trump again

                My daughter was a Bernie Sanders supporter-she’s not anymore. Now she just wants to beat Trump.

                I gave sincere advice. Not one democrat agrees with it. That’s fine.

                Just wanted to give the reasons why center right will re-elect Trump-

                Democrats want to keep going further left.

                Their base is out of step with majority of the country.

                Agree to disagree.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                Tracy, I gave sincere advice. Not one democrat agrees with it. That’s fine.

                Here’s why: it’s because you find yourself in the exact same position as every other voter in the country – having to choose between the existing policies and politics represented by candidate and party even tho you don’t agree with all of it -, but unlike everyone else who admits that their choice is based on balancing their own preferences, you want to blame Democrats for yours. It’s baffling, so baffling I can’t help but think you might have an ulterior motive…Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Stillwater says:

                So people who voted for Trump before will do it again. I think we knew that. It would be foolish to underestimate the Democrats’ chances of blowing 2020, but if they do, it won’t be because they didn’t appeal to people who wouldn’t vote for them anyway.Report

              • The biggest concern I have is that people who voted for Johnson or McMullin (or left things blank or maybe even voted Clinton/Toomey) will vote for Trump in numbers that aren’t compensated for with a Democratic turnout bump.

                That’s my fear, though, and not my prediction. There is also reason to believe they’ll pick up Trump/McGinty and Trump/Feingold voters, and some of the Gary Johnson ones. And, of course, turnout.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

                Truman:
                “will vote for Trump in numbers that aren’t compensated for with a Democratic turnout bump.”

                Never underestimate the effect of focus. Trump had, interestingly enough, the same tailwind as Bush did. “He’d be a change! How bad could it be?”.

                Well, we found out. And he’s two years into his term, 11+ points underwater, with majority disapproval, and just had a mid-term defeat as bad as the one Bush suffered in 2006.

                Those high disapproval numbers are key — when the majority disapproves of you, personally, and you’re a known quantity with a track record — you are in a very, very bad place politically. Your only option (and this is why 2020 is gonna be ugly) is to make your opponent just as hated, because if you can’t — they’ll win simply on the strength of not being you.

                A majority of the public saying “I hate the job he’s doing” is a bad starting point for reelection. You can still win, of course, but it’s a very, very difficult course to run. If you were 40/44 underwater, you could still claw your way to a plurality, maybe even a bare majority. But 41/52? You could get every undecided, every last one, and still lose by 4 points.

                And when you won your last election by less than 100k votes spread over three states?Report

              • I don’t disagree with much of what you say. If I’m the GOP I’m pretty concerned. If I’m the Democrats, though, I’m still not confident.

                The high disapproval numbers don’t actually give me much comfort. If there is anyone likely to win over Disapprovers it’s Trump. Some volume of voters are what Tracy is being accused of* in this thread: People who Democrats shouldn’t bother to appeal to because they are going to vote for Trump even as they claim they don’t like him.

                His approval ratings now are better than his favorables were the day he won. I think we should be cautious about what those numbers tell us.

                And the flipside of “Trump will be change” (that he wasn’t) is that while he wasn’t what a lot of voters wanted he also wasn’t what other voters feared.

                So which way will it go? I can quite easily draw up scenarios where this race goes either way. It’s a long way between here and there.

                * – I phrase it this way because I don’t think Ms Downey voted for Trump in 2016 (She’s Buckley Club) and I’m not at all sure she will in 2020. But while they may not be accurately describing her, they are describing something that exists.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                My short take on this is that the GOP plays to win, the Dems play to not lose. I think in the long run both parties know this so the GOP feels like it can realistically overachieve relative to a polling baseline while they believe (and Dems worry) that Dems will underachieve.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

                He matched Clinton’s numbers, and Clinton was in the closest thing to an “incumbent” position, as she was both a known quantity and was, effectively, running for “Obama’s third term”.

                In short, the incumbent with the high disapproval rating lost in 2016.

                To someone whose disapproval rating was just as high.

                Hence “2020 is going to be ugly”.Report

              • He didn’t match Clinton’s numbers. His were non-trivially worse. I remember that because it was one of the biggest sources of my false confidence.Report

  13. Avatar Freeman says:

    Wow! I’m struck by the lack of response to all these mis-characterized claims about “full-term abortion”, as if abortion is something evil people do for fun – the later the better. The author might want read this article: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/06/health/late-term-abortion-explainer/index.html

    Quoting from the article:
    Particular to abortion care later in pregnancy, I would urge everyone to exercise more compassion. It’s important to acknowledge that we simply cannot possibly know the circumstances of every pregnancy or the challenge of making decisions when things go terribly awry.
    Abortion later in pregnancy is not used as an alternative to delivering healthy women’s full-term, viable pregnancies. Additionally, it’s callous to suggest that healthy women with viable pregnancies at term abruptly change their minds and seek abortion care as the solution.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Freeman says:

      Your last sentence: “its callous to suggest that healthy women with viable pregnancies at term abruptly change their minds and seek abortion care as the solution,”

      I’d like for you to point out where in my post above I state that?

      Your reactive comments I appreciate and respect, but no where did I state such a thing.

      My ideological position is this: if there’s a heartbeat, its an unborn child.

      We pray for a child to be healthy. We pray for a child to have all their fingers and toes. When it doesn’t happen, we pray for strength and guidance to help us care for our special needs child. Abortion is no linger about rape, incest, or the health of the mother.

      A full term abortion is a pregnancy after 24 weeks. There needs to be an alternative. Abortion is down. Laws like this will keep it down not because its about women health, it clearly is not, but because its so barbaric.

      Women want alternatives to keep their child, and planned parenthood is out of business if that happens.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Women also want easy access to contraceptives covered by insurance the same way mens procedures and medicines are covered. Most Pro life politicians oppose such access and coverage. Women want actual sex education that promotes healthy sexual images for women and girls and gives them the tools to control their reproduction and sexual choices and most prolife politicians oppose such sex ed options. Statistically there are few abortions anywhere after 24 weeks. And when they are, its always for medical conditions of the child that make it impossible for them to survive outside the womb.

        NO ONE – not you, not me – gets to insert ourselves into a woman’s life when shes confronted with that almost unspeakable choice. No one. To presume your faith or your politics our your citizenship or your gender gives you both the right and the responsibility is, frankly, despicable. And yes, we on the left will proudly fight to keep you out of anyones womb under those circumstances.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        “if there’s a heartbeat, its an unborn child”

        This was the position that lead to Savita Halappanavar’s (followed shortly by her unborn but heart-still-beating baby’s) death in 2012. While that case made headlines, it was not rare. Mothers die because of ‘heartbeat’ laws. The shrug that gets from “pro-lifers” is jarring in its hypocrisy.

        Btw, that hypocrisy is what drove a public referendum in Ireland that overturned its anti-abortion laws. You might want to consider the backlash that results from such hypocrisy and lack of compassion.Report

        • There’s no hypocrisy. It’s my religious belief and its shared with many. Once a heartbeat is detected, its a life. Late term abortions are babies inside a neo-natal unit. I cannot fathom terminating their life.

          Placenta previa-the choice of the child or the mother…should not be the doctor’s. It should be about what the mother wants and nine times out of ten a mother wants their baby saved first.

          The lack of compassion charge is quite loaded. Pro-life voters are some of the most compassionate, loving people. It is why we are so passionate about finding another way than just terminating a life without exploring every single option first.

          With 13% for late term abortion vs. The majority of us, congress would be acting in best interest of the minority, not the overall will of the American people.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            Pro-life voters may well be compassionate, but they elect pro-life politicians who then enact policies that make those lives significantly harder after birth, especially for poor women and black women. Those Pro-life politicians are also huge supporters of the death penalty. And as to the 13% – first I’d like to see that number sourced and second I don’t see why they get to drive the train of restrictive regulation against the majority. if 13% think late term abortions even to save the mother’s lie is wrong, those 13 percent need to do a way better job of both persuasion and compassionate support with their votes.Report

            • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Philip H says:

              We are compassionate. This is why I’m excited about the Obria clinics. It is an alternative for young mothers. One life saved is a miracle. There’s no malice in that. Planned parenthood’s push is extreme, and if they really want abortion to be a last resort, they’d welcome the alternatives. They refuse to compromise like NRA-thus wedge issues.Report

            • Avatar Freeman in reply to Philip H says:

              My guess is that 13% figure comes from asking loaded questions using plenty of mischaracterization designed to elicit an emotional response. Something like “Do you support full-term abortion” without any qualifiers.

              The full-term human gestation cycle is NOT 24 weeks, or anything close to it. It is, on average, about 40 weeks. Late-term means the baby is overdue. Using terms like this in the context of abortion is disingenuous in the extreme, designed to conjure up images of healthy babies being aborted by healthy mothers right up until the due date, like Trump fell for in his SOTU address. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Tracy’s being deliberately disingenuous, I think she fell for it too because it fits her worldview so well. We’re all vulnerable to that.

              People who call themselves “pro-life” tend to think of abortion as a choice of convenience — and mostly for good reason because most abortions are. Abortions after 24 weeks are exceedingly rare and are mostly driven by medical concerns and accompanied by a great deal of anguish. Compassion is much more appropriate in these cases than the more common abortions performed earlier in the cycle, imho. Muddying the waters with imprecise and misleading rhetoric is intellectually dishonest and not compassionate at all.Report

          • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Tracy Downey says:

            First, I have never heard of a baby in a neo-natal unit being killed by the medical staff after delivery. Perhaps there is some extremely rare circumstance in which this happens, but it strikes me that any actual documentation of such would show an extremely dire situation where the power of the state has no business stepping in.

            Second, I have very rarely met a someone calling themselves “pro-life” (just the use of the term is huge hypocrisy flag) who was at all compassionate when it came to the hardest choice a woman and her family might ever make. You say you think the mother should be able to decide if her life is danger, but you actively support and cheer on politicians who try to pass the sort of heartbeat laws here that directly lead to Savita’s death in Ireland. Kasich claimed he’d veto any abortion ban that didn’t have an exception for the life of the mother, but when the state lege sent a bill without that exception, he signed it. Fortunately, it was overturned in court, but I certainly didn’t see any “pro-lifers” standing up and protesting a requirement that the mother be the one to die.

            My husband and I both carry a gene for a condition that results in a baby dying a miserable painful death within the first year of life, but the policies your “compassionate” stance is that we should be forced to carry such a pregnancy to term. Oh, and since you vote solid GOP, if a woman can’t afford all the costs from the intensive care for that short life, that’s just too bad. GOP party line is that govt should only be in the business of interfering in reproductive choice, not anything else to do with healthcare. And don’t look at anyone in the “compassionate” anti-abortion side for help either. Once a person leaves the womb, they no longer care.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        “When it doesn’t happen, we pray for strength and guidance to help us care for our special needs child.”

        You don’t know what you’re talking about, because there are many ways that a fetus can develop in a manner that won’t support life outside the mother, and they don’t all show up within 24 weeks.Report

      • Avatar Mr.Joe in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Please do not abuse medical terms, it leads to confusion. Full term is a specific medical term. It is between 39 weeks and 40 weeks and 6 days. No where near 24 weeks.

        Planned parenthood does plenty more than abortion. They are just known for that. I am sure they would be over the moon happy to never do another abortion because none was wanted.Report

  14. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    NeverTrup conservative really hates that she might need to vote Democratic in 2020. Wishes that the liberal party will move to the right. Ignores the fact that Democrats won 40 seats in the House in 20118 including flipping some deep red seats, possibly for the long term.

    I don’rNothing is certain but this reads with a lot of anxiety that the Democratic Party is becoming younger and less white and winning elections. We cannot ignore the racisluzation of American politics and the fact that a lot of people are seemingly deeply anxious that a party can win a majority without support of white people. Specifically whites with a Protestantish identity, often without college educations but not always.Report

  15. Avatar Freeman says:

    Oops! Didn’t mean to imply that you were being callous. So sorry about that. Those weren’t my words, I was quoting from the article I linked to because I think it’s important to acknowledge the gravity of situations that force such a horrible choice.

    I appreciate and respect your ideological position, but it’s a bit too rigid and one-size-fits-all for me. I’m no fan of abortion myself, but I do consider it senselessly barbaric to force a person to carry an unviable fetus to term and give birth to a baby that cannot survive outside of the uterus, or die trying to carry a fetus to term when a condition gravely threatens the life of the mother and the unborn child, or any number of other reasons someone might make the unimaginably difficult and utterly heartbreaking choice to terminate a pregnancy late in the term. A little compassion is all I’m advocating here.

    Now the good news (again from the article):
    It’s important to note, if a woman’s health or life is at risk and the fetus is viable, delivery is pursued, not abortion.

    (Me again):
    More to the point: Laws like the one NY recently passed don’t change any of that. Informed voters know this and understand the compassion behind such legislation. Single-issue voters won’t be persuaded by reason anyway, and fence-sitters decide their votes based on other factors, if they vote at all. I just don’t see this issue causing political problems for Democrats.

    I’m happy to agree whole-heartedly with you on one statement:
    I think Down syndrome babies are beautiful, intelligent, and deserve to live.
    Amen.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Freeman says:

      Thanks so much! I appreciate and respect yours as well. It’s about listening to each other, not about attacking. I am speaking to each and everyone of you as if we were face to face. I’m just giving my two or three cents for what it’s worth, why center-right will re-elect Trump.Report

  16. Avatar Morat20 says:

    So hree questions:

    1. In 2008, after a devastating and brutal loss for the GOP, did you advocate conservatives and Republicans abandon it’s policies in favor of becoming liberals? That they should jettison their anti-gay animus, and embrace universal healthcare and the social safety net? Did you double down in 2012, after a second sizable loss? After all, both were incredibly more lopsided than Trump’s narrow win.

    2. The only way your particular thesis works out in reality is if ditching core liberal issues gains enough “NeverTrump” voters to more than offset the loss in liberal voters. What evidence do you have that those numbers come close to working out?

    3. You claimed “HB-1 allowing Green card recipients to vote”. You are aware that is completely and egregiously false, right? The text of the bill is available online. It does not allow non-citizens, green card holders or not, to vote. No one has put forth such a bill. There are, as best I can tell, nobody advocating for such a bill. I cannot tell, from your paywalled source, why you came to that conclusion in the first place, but as I said — the text of the bill is readily available online and you can check for yourself.Report

    • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Morat20 says:

      People who can say or believe such things will not be convinced by mere facts.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Morat20 says:

      The HB1 bill gives green card recipients the right to vote before becoming a US citizen.

      Why???? That’s what I’m asking.? Why is this a provision? If you’re not a citizen, you should not be able to vote.

      The paywalled source was with NYT or WSJ. I cannot recall. Guessing WSJ.

      But don’t quote me ill look it up after I’m home.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        It’s not a provision. That is literally not in the bill. There is no bill containing that provision. It is completely, absolutely, fictitious.

        You should be asking “Who lied to me about this” followed by “And why am I still listening to them?”

        Now my guess is you saw Crenshaw’s “Sense of Congress” resolution (“Congress should condemn voting by illegal immigrants”) which was voted down based on sheer stupidity (Sense of Congress resolutions have no legal validity, whereas the fact that non-citizens voting is ILLEGAL is all the ‘condemnation’ one needs about the subject of illegal immigrants voting. It’s a felony., after all) or you saw Scalise railing about “Democrats want non-citizens to vote” — when the actual thing he’s talking about is San Francisco, alone, lets green card holders vote for school board elections only — and decided that meant HB1 allowed green card holders to vote.

        Which is exactly why they spewed such BS, and you repeated it here uncritically. Which is something you should be thinking about. An easily checked fact, one that is incredibly difficult to believe (and thus the sort of thing that should make the average person go ‘Wait, that can’t be right, I must have misread something’), and you didn’t stop to ask yourself “Is this really true?”.

        You were, bluntly, deceived on this topic. And not by Democrats. You should ask yourself why you were deceived, for what purposes, and whether or not you should continue to accept what they say as truth without verification.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        And I note you did not answer the other two questions — in which your actual thought process and reasoning would be very interesting to hear. The third was more informative — you stated something as fact that is both easily checked and completely, verifiable and wrong.

        I am very interested in your response to the first two questions. The third is only interesting in terms of “How did you come to believe something so obviously BS?”Report

  17. Avatar DavidTC says:

    I don’t know, maybe these arguments are being made in good faith. It’s possible that the right-wing media has so screwed with the brains of people that they _honestly_ think the thing to do to win against Trump is to shift center.

    They’re…really bad arguments, though. Astonishingly bad. There is absolutely no reason for Democrats to follow this advice. Not only would the advice be bad even in normal times (Hint: Arguing that a party shouldn’t behave like the people it just elected is surreal.), but it’s especially silly when Democrats have managed to shift voters towards them by a _huge_ amount since Trump was elected, mostly by this sort of thing.

    By any reasonable polling, Democrats are doing exactly what their voters want and pulling in large amounts of votes. And there’s basically no evidence that Republican voters would vote for Democrats at all. It simply doesn’t happen. The amount of people who vote ‘moderate’ is actually amazingly small, and NeverTrumpers don’t count as ‘moderate’ anyway.

    As evidenced by _this entire article_. In fact, these articles are the most hilarious self-disproving things I’ve ever seen: ‘If every single Democrat stops taking these ‘extreme’ positions, and move to the right, a few Republicans like me might vote for them, and until then we won’t.’

    Well, as Democrats are not a monolith and thus cannot actually do that, you have helpfully explained why Democrats should not, in fact, try that! There will always be some super-liberal Democrat, or hell just some super-liberal college professor somewhere that Fox News is blathering about, who does something that causes NeverTrumpers to take a ‘principled’ stand and refuse to vote for Democrats. It’s an idiotic game to even try to win, as explained by NeverTrumpers themselves. Repeatedly. Over and over. In articles like this.

    Let’s pretend we actually take these suggestions serriously: What, _exactly_, do you think Democrats should do about AOC? Seriously, what actual plausible thing do you think we should do about AOC before the 2020 election? Demand she magically get less air time?

    As we cannot do anything about AOC before 2020, and as AOC (supposedly) stops people like you voting for the Democratic candidate in 2020, then it seems clear we should not change positions to get your vote in any manner at all, especially since changing positions on many of those things could cost us votes off the other end. Q.E.D.

    NeverTrumps who want the Democratic party to moderate are entirely projecting their desire for a sane conservative party onto the Democrats, not actually doing any work to figure out ‘What should the Democrats do to beat Trump’.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to DavidTC says:

      I can assure you the arguments and advice is in good faith. Take it or leave it, your choice.

      As for believing democrats should not listen, its your race to lose, including the house. Nothing motivates republicans more than when democrats push far left policies. What doesn’t seem extreme to you, is to us and ignoring that for the far left ideology is your choice.

      You can never go wrong from listening to swing voters-we are needed in the general.

      Good luck!👍🏻Report

      • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Tonto and the Lone Ranger were surrounded by hostile Apaches. The Lone Ranger looked at Tonto and says: “Looks like we’re done for.” Tonto replied: “Who is this ‘we’ you speak of, white man?”Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        You can never go wrong from listening to swing voters-we are needed in the general.

        No.

        the 45% of people who didn’t vote in 2016 are needed. The few actual swing voters in play are such a statistical minority that, frankly, both parties can ignore you.

        Does that suck – yep. Do democrats have a need to solve that problem? Nope.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Philip H says:

          A turnout boost would have won it for the Democrats in 2016. But so would having won over more voters. There are multiple ways to win or lose an election. It’s about finding the right balance, and often the right candidate.

          I do not expect the 2020 election to be decided based on policy positioning. Either way. So the party can find someone positioning themselves on the Further Left, but they should probably try to land on somebody that people outside the Further Left are okay with.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

            My “most likely dark horse” is Kamala.
            My “best for the party” is Buttigieg.
            My “wish she was better under the bright lights” is Amy K.

            It’ll probably be Biden… Which brings up the Big Question (since he’d win the nom on the premise that he’d do best in the general): Does Biden have enough steel in his b***s to take on Trump without cracking.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

            How much of policy positioning in elections actually ever comes down to actual policies? I’d think even to the extent that they do matter, they matter most in a, “Sounds good/bad to a marginally informed voter,” way instead of a, “Really riles/entices activists,” way.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

              “Policy positioning” was probably not the right phrase to use. Like specific policies? Not often. I mean more in the general left-right positioning and policy… I don’t know… gestalt.

              Nobody is reading white papers, but “This person is kind of where I am” (in a vague sense) vs “This person is way off to my side” does often matter. But probably won’t matter so much in 2020 unless maybe Bernie Sanders.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        Nothing motivates republicans more than when democrats push far left policies.

        Plenty of things motivate Republicans, and honestly at this point ‘actual policy proposals’ are pretty far down the list. The Republican base is, at this point, basically comprised of negative-information voters. Actual facts do not matter.

        What doesn’t seem extreme to you, is to us and ignoring that for the far left ideology is your choice.

        So…you admit all this stuff that seemed extreme you seems perfectly normal to Democrats. Expected, almost?

        So…why would the Democratic party suddenly _stop_ offering those things? The things the Democrats expect as normal. The things the Democrats want, and if the party does something else there’d be an open revolt.

        It sucks you don’t have a party anymore, and I’m sure you _think_ there’s some large amount of Americans like you, but there actually aren’t, and regardless, the Democrats gaining a small fraction of another party’s voters is not actually a good trade for _seriously pissing off_ something like half of existing voters by, for example, becoming anti-choice. This is…really really obvious.

        You can never go wrong from listening to swing voters-we are needed in the general.

        Swing voters barely exist.

        For reference: You are not a swing voter. You have made it very clear in the post you just wrote that you won’t vote for pro-choice candidates, which any Democratic presidential nominee will be. In fact, several of the positions that any possible nominated Democrat will hold seem to be dealbreakers for you. That means you are not, in any sense at all, a swing voter.

        Swing voters are people who can’t choose between the _currently held_ positions of the parties, or the candidates, not people who can imagine one of the parties moving towards them and perhaps them voting for that party if it happens. People who assert they would be willing to vote for the other party if it makes some changes are perhaps moderates, and also not hyper-partisan, but that’s not the same as ‘swing voters’.

        The _actual_ swing voters in this country could fit in football stadium, and they are all _astonishly_ uniformed about politics so the idea that the parties could change positions to attract them is a bit absurd.

        In fact, changing position _towards_ the other party in a bit to attract swing voters is almost completely nonsensical even if there was some reason to try for them.

        Swing voters, to the extent they exist at all, are the moronic ‘There is no difference between the parties’ voter, not this hypothetical ‘Both parties have a bunch of stuff I hate and are balanced equally, so if one changes a little I will vote for it’ voter you’ve invented and claim to be. No one is the sort of voter you described, literally no one.

        Yourself included.

        People don’t actually ‘weight’ the parties or candidates at all, in any sense whatsoever. Non-automatic party voters choose who to vote for, in increasing level of political sophistication, by 1) who they personally like completely unrelated to politics (And this is where you find actual swing voters), 2) who gave a good argument or took a policy position, and 3) increasingly abstract things like philosophy.

        That’s it. There is no ‘mathematical’ level where people add up pros and cons of each candidate’s position. We might like to think that’s how voting should work, but it is _absolutely_ not how it works in reality. Of the people who picked candidates based on policy, something like 99% of them are picking based on one specific policy. Just one. Or a few related ones.

        Yourself included. I mean, you can say you’re carefully calculating this out all you want, but a few people have pointed out some of your misconceptions in this very discussion. For example, are you _now_ going to vote for Democrats now that you know Democrats didn’t actually propose letting permanent residents vote in HR.1? I’m doubting it.

        To me, it sounds like your deal-breaker is abortion. I’m not sure, but seems likely. I’m also not sure why you think you’d be willing to elect ‘moderate on abortion rights’ Democrats that would nominate pro-life Supreme Court Justices.

        In fact, most of the NeverTrumpers who want to make this sort of plea have a very very very specific thing that they want changed. These requests are almost always about a _fundamental_ aspect of Democratic politics and changing position on that thing would seriously demoralize the base.

        Yours may be abortion, but there are just as many that come in saying ‘Democrats have always had it right on social issues like abortion and homosexuality, but they need to be more pro-gun’. Or ‘The Democrats are right about guns and gays, but they need less business regulation’.

        You can basically find every size and shape NeverTrumper pundit, standing there demanding that Democrats change random ‘Bedrock Democratic Policy X’ and surely millions of NeverTrump Republicans will pour in, and the Democratic base won’t mind, we surely aren’t actually serious about those things.

        Or, to quote someone else: What doesn’t seem extreme to you, is to us.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to DavidTC says:

          Out of all the NeverTrump pundits, Jennifer Rubin seems to be the only one that crossed the Rubicon like Juan Cole did during the Bush II term. She isn’t perfect yet but she has made a lot of statements lambasting the GOP as senseless and cruel.

          That being said, I think you are right and a lot of NeverTrump Republicans still hate the Democrats more than they hate Trump. Or as Jason Kuzinsinski states on social media “Libertarians often hate the left more than they love liberty.”

          There are just lots of people who just really hate the Democrats to the point of binding rage. Some of these people allege being on the left but ended up gladly being useful idiots for Tucker Carlson and Fox News (Hi Gleen Greenwald and Michael Tracey and Walker Bragmann). Others became Full Trumpists or seem poised to become them (Hi HA HA HA Goodman)Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            I’d have more respect for Ms. Ruben if she’d at least acknowledge her role in driving the party to this point. Kind of like Rod Dreher is excoriating the New Zealand shooter as a terrorist without taking other conservative pundits to task for not doing so.

            The cynicism hasn’t been beaten out of me yet.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Philip H says:

              Honestly, I think any role she played was minimal. Not because she was a good actor, but because she’s a cipher. She was a cipher then, and now she’s just a cipher in different garb.

              You look at her and see someone who hasn’t sufficiently repudiated her previous views. I look at her and see someone who has actually arbitrarily repudiated positions she held with the same high degree of confidence she had then with no explanation for the shift.

              I guess what our criticisms have in common is that they both indicate a complete lack of reflection on her part. But more than that, I believe it’s mostly indicative that she’s not good at her job. Neither the writing part nor the thinking part.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                Yeah. Her evolution has been interesting, but not in any way persuasive.

                I think a lot of people are like her: partisan because of one or two issues, habit, and social ties, and if something shifts them out all their interests in the other partisan issues just fall away.

                It’s just that those people usually aren’t political columnists for the Washington PostReport

          • The Romney thing really broke Jen Rubin. You can see a clear divining in her evolution after going so all in for Mitt, and getting crushed for it, and everything that came after that.

            I think the standard of “Hates X more than supports y” works, and is something I use frequently. Don’t just tell me what you are, I want to see how you react to things and deal with the grey areas. Too many deal with the latter by just blaming and hating, and tells me much of their viewpoints and worldviews.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

          Swing voters barely exist.

          Which is why we’ve alternated Dem/Rep/Dem/Rep going back decades making only one exception for Ronald Reagan’s disappointing 3rd term.Report

          • Avatar Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

            The Democrat’s have won more votes in full national elections, as opposed to midterms, in 6 out of the last 8 elections.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            Dude, I would take you seriously, but you’re one of the prime pushers of the true fact that excitement and turnout is basically the only thing that matters and that people do not actually switch parties. I literally mentioned you in a previous comment about this. 😉 But I’ll pretend you’re being serious just in case anyone else took your comment seriously.

            There are actually swing voters, I was simplifying in that sentence, as I explained later.

            As I said, the actual swing voters are _incredibly uninformed_ WRT policies and basically pick whoever they think is most charismatic.

            What there is _not_ are ‘centrist undecided’ voters that just need some small-ish movement on one of the parties to pick. People who are identified as ‘swing voters’ or ‘undecided’ are actually one of these two type:

            1. Hypothetical voters who have looked at the party’s positions and occupy a line down the exact middle. These do exist, weirdly, but cause and effect are backwards: A lot of voters who don’t know anything about a specific area of policy, like foreign policy, will pick a middle-ground between the two parties. Middle-of-the-roaders.

            Which is fine, no one expects everyone to understand every political issue. Where it gets odd is for voters who know nothing at all about any policy whatsoever. They will draw a line right down the middle of _everything_ and put themselves in the middle.

            These people sometimes very proudly think of themselves as ‘independents’ or ‘centrist’, but it’s complete bullshit. They’re basically just a running average of politics, and thus if the Democratic party moves to the right, instead gaining that person as a voter, the voter instead moves to the further right as the average shifts! Now they still aren’t voting for Democrats _and also_ putting forward a more conservative position, normalizing it.

            These ‘swing voters’, like I said, really are swing voters in the technical sense, but they swing on things other than policy. They pick whoever they like the most…or sometimes whoever they think will win so they can be on the winning side.

            2. People who have conflicting positions on fundamental party positions. Someone who is pro-life and in favor of a security net, for example. Or are anti-tax pro-gun-control gun. Or in the case of the author here, an anti-Trump otherwise-standard Republican. These people often think they are swing voters, that two conflicting desired-policy positions makes them swinging.

            They are not. They always have one position that outweighs the others, and will always vote that way. They’re people who vote one way that _wish_ they had a better party to represent them, not ‘swing voters’.

            The idea of swing voters that can be sought after by _policy changes_, like this article claims, is wrong. The claim is that ‘Democrats should change some of their policies and will get swing voters’ is…not supported by facts. Democrats need to nominate a good candidate that generally appeals to people, yes, but the candidate’s policy positions won’t really don’t matter WRT to ‘swing voters’. Whereas their policy positions _will_ matter, in the extreme, WRT base turnout.

            Now, the fact that a lot of voters operate entirely _outside_ policy and will vote for the most charismatic (Or, apparently, most hateful) person is fairly relevant to politics, although I don’t like the idea of calling those ‘swing voters’ because everyone assumes the wrong thing there.

            Basically, the ideal Democratic candidate is one that excites the base with policy positions and excites the non-base with just being charismatic. (Republican candidates can replace the first with ‘excites the base with racist demagoguery’, apparently.) The idea of exciting the non-base with centrist policy positions in the general is completely absurd, and has literally never happened.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

              There are actually swing voters, I was simplifying in that sentence, as I explained later.

              Oh, then I don’t have a problem with the statement.

              I know that there are people who, if they vote, will vote for their party and never the other one.

              There are, however, people who can be persuaded to vote for Dubya but, later, be persuaded to vote for Obama, and then, later on, to be persuaded to vote Trump.

              And the attitude that persuadables don’t exist because they aren’t persuaded by your particular brand of persuasion is a good way to end up under Trump a second time.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                And the attitude that persuadables don’t exist because they aren’t persuaded by your particular brand of persuasion is a good way to end up under Trump a second time.

                I’m honestly not sure there’s any way to end up under ‘Trump’ a second time, because, as I’ve said before, I can’t actually see him still in office at election time…or maybe, maybe, withdrawing from the election and hoping his term ends before the inevitable legal problems catch up to him.

                I’ve actually been saying this would be true from the very start of his term if Democrats gained control of just one house. Trump would be so damaged by the investigations finding blatant criminal actions that he would not attempt to carry on in 2020. I don’t know if he’s willing to resign, and I’m sure if he drops out of the race it will be for ‘health reasons’ or ‘he did everything he wanted to do’, but he’s not going to be there in 2020. (Hell, knowing Trump, I expect it to be a total clusterfish, with impeachment hanging over his head after the election, and thus the Republicans decide to primary him, and it splits the party, and then Trump decides not to run anyway.)

                However, that aside, yes, it’s a good way to end up under someone Trump-like in the future. The Republicans spent decades poisoning the well of Hillary Clinton, and the fact the Democrats just ignored that and tried to elect her anyway was a pretty large error that the party leadership needs to think about. Yes, it was extremely sexist, but pretending sexism doesn’t exist and thus losing elections to it is dumb….Democrats can’t really work to reduce sexism when they’re not in power, can they?

                The Republicans spent decades breaking their own party to be forced into someone like Trump, which the leadership clearly didn’t want. But the Democrat leadership did Clinton entirely to themselves.

                And the undecided looked back and forth between them, said ‘I hate both of them’, and then enough of them, in the right states, said ‘But I hate Clinton more’.

                Let’s, uh, not do that again.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m honestly not sure there’s any way to end up under ‘Trump’ a second time, because, as I’ve said before, I can’t actually see him still in office at election time…or maybe, maybe, withdrawing from the election and hoping his term ends before the inevitable legal problems catch up to him.

                Could you see him winning the 2016 election?

                If you couldn’t, I submit that the problem is not with what is there but with whatever it is that is preventing you from seeing things.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                As for Trump’s legal problems, this report is coming in from ABC and I don’t know whether we should trust it, being ABC, but it talks about how many more indictments are expected.

                We’re in the home stretch.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                “We’re in the home stretch.”

                We’re not. Bear in mind Mueller’s actual mandate — investigation. Not prosecution, not bringing everyone responsible to justice, investigation. He only prosecuted people he clearly though had information he needed or wanted, and any other crimes were referred to FBI prosecutors.

                At some point, which is apparently “nowish”, he’ll feel confidant he knows what can be really known. And he’ll write it up in a report, and hand it off to the FBI. It may contain enough damning information to indict a few dozen people. It might not have anything we don’t already know.

                But the point is, he is supposed to hand over the reins back to the FBI once he’s reached the answers he was told to seek, or come to a point where he can’t go further.

                Flynn is still cooperating in something, so is Gates. Stone’s trial hasn’t even started. He only personally brought charges on people he needed information from. Everyone else got referred to SDNY.

                Hopefully we’ll actually get to see this thing. I have no idea what it contains. Maybe it’s a roadmap for indicting a few dozen people on charges relating to the investigation. Maybe it’s all “Manafort was pretty much it, guys. Everything else was just poor decision making”.

                No idea.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                I wonder if we’ll forever be in a state of superposition.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                Could you see him winning the 2016 election?

                Could and did are not the same things. I believed the polling data, and it was off by a bit.

                Believing polling data is quite a bit difference than having paid attention to the investigations and Trump’s legal liability. I’m not predicting how the _voters_ will act, I’m predicting Trump’s level of criminality and how it will no longer remain secret.

                At which point I expect the Republicans to break with him. It’s going to be too damaging to their own reelection.

                What exactly Trump does in response to this, I don’t know. I can’t model the behavior of someone who has no idea what is going on outside of what Fox News tells him without knowing what Fox News is going to tell him.

                Before people get too worried about the fact I’m over-optimistic there, I will also state that I see it almost impossible for Trump to be reelected _even now_. Like, this moment.

                Trump was the Brexit of the US, someone that a moderate percentage of people voted for as a protest, a ‘screw you’ to the establishment, understanding ‘it couldn’t happen’, and then being shocked and confused when it did. Trump wouldn’t have won reelection _a week later_.

                As I’ve pointed out, Republicans in general somehow lost somewhere around 15% of their support when they elected (Or sometimes preemptively when they nominated) Trump. This has slowly tapered arguable 10% or so, but that’s just Trump’s disapproval’s _drag_.

                And don’t just look to Trump’s polled popularity there, even though that’s already pretty damn low. There are a lot of Republicans who fell they have to defend Trump and claim they like him, but are not willing to actually vote Republican at this moment. And in the privacy of a voting booth, they will not. (Or just be ‘too busy’ to vote.)

                Meanwhile, there’s an equal situation on the other side. The people who figured voting was pointless, or Trump couldn’t win. They’ll be voting.

                The amount of people willing to cast a vote for Trump again are not enough to elect him, both in this moment and in any likely future.

                It’s hypothetically possible there could be some backlash over impeaching him, I guess. But that’s wandering rather outside the scope of this discussion, which claimed Democrats needed to become Republican-lite to not reelect Trump. If someone wants to make the claim ‘Democrats should not impeach Trump’, hey, I’m with them on that. I hope Democrats just keep exposing his crimes. Impeaching Trump and getting Pence serves no purpose at this point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Could and did are not the same things. I believed the polling data, and it was off by a bit.

                I was more asking if you recognize when you’re operating under motivated reasoning and, if so, how close this situation is to the times that you now recognize that you were operating under motivated reasoning in the past.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                The problem there is that I _don’t_ believe I was operating under motivated reasoning for Trump’s election.

                Just being wrong is not automatically ‘motivated reasoning’.

                Motivated reasoning would be if I thought Clinton was going to win because I _wanted_ her to win. While I did want her to win, that is not why I thought it would happen. Instead, people I thought were experts told me one thing, I believe them, they were wrong, hence I was wrong.

                I find myself is reasonable company, though, as a bunch of actual political professionals actually screwed this up, including Clinton’s own campaign.

                The way for me to not do this in the future is for me to put less stock in how people are interpreting the polling, or perhaps just less stock in polling in general.

                But my prediction that Trump will not be running for office in 2020, obviously, has nothing to do with the polling data. I’m basing this on the fact we now have Congressional oversight, and Trump simply cannot operate with oversight. He is incapable of doing so.(1) Even if they don’t impeach him, and the scandals don’t take him out, he is going to discover that being a president is a lot less fun with oversight.

                Even my point that he would not win relection even if he did run is not based on ‘polling’: It is about the observed fact that actual Republican vote totals have been hit hard by Trump’s nomination and election. How people voted between then and now is not really debatable.

                1) I read an interesting fact the other day: Normal administrations have people challenge their regulatory changes a lot. Trump’s malministration has had that too, even more challenges. But normal administrations win those in court about 60% of the time. Trump’s wins…less than 10% of the time. Because they completely refuse to follow the procedure laid out in law.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Okay.

                Well, we’ve yet to see if the Mueller Investigation says anything about Trump’s level of criminality so we’re still in a state of superposition.

                Maybe it’ll be 2025 before we can say anything with any confidence at all other than “the only people who should have been confident to say things were the ones who were confident enough to not say things”.Report

  18. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I do appreciate an alternative point of view. I don’t agree with hardly anything above (I think you’re assigning to much weight to several factors, and diminishing/neglecting other important factors) but who knows, maybe you’re right on some of the politics of this.

    But let’s make one thing perfectly clear. The ‘crisis on the border’ the ‘human trafficking crisis’ – those are *entirely* problems created by the anti-immigration political forces in this country, from the center-right being basically in agreement on immigration restrictions (for NIMBY reasons basically), and the center-left trying to appease those forces in misplaced hope for a ‘grand bargain’ on immigration reform.

    The overwhelming of border control checkpoints, the lines of people at the fences, the trafficking – they are all caused by the quest to squash immigration. Just like the violence of the 1920s flowed directly from Prohibition.

    If we made it much easier for people to enter the country, then all the trafficking concerns would disappear tomorrow.

    Because you don’t want that. You don’t want any more immigrants coming into the country. I will leave it open as to why.Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Kolohe says:

      I’ll have to disagree with you on the human trafficking issue. I know quite a bit about this subject.

      It is a crisis. 65% of undocumented cases were reported alone. It is a problem at the border and has been for some time.

      Now is it the main source for high levels of trafficking? Nooooooo

      That would be airports, cargo containers at piers, and recruitment inside hub cities, and trafficked through small towns.

      Las Vegas is a hub. Atlanta is a hub. Houston is a hub. New York is a hub. Jacksonville and Miami are a hub. San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles is a hub. It’s real, and corrupt as hell going as far up to our military, and higher offices. Once people see human beings what as cattle, livestock, slaves, we have a moral obligation to fight it where it leads, educate middle school children on the dangers of recruitment, state boards of cosmetology, spa industry, start writing about It in our history books.

      So please, with all due respect, democrats have yet to address this problem in speeches, or bills. The last trafficking bill was presented by former congressman Dave Reichart, Sen Orrin Hatch, Sen Dick Durbin, and a democrat congressman from MN I believe. It was to address the failures of our foster care systems responsible for over 60% trafficking cases.

      If there’s a bill presented to ending trafficking, I’m going to applaud it. Doesn’t matter which political party- it should not be a partisan issue.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Tracy Downey says:

        With due respect, I don’t trust whereever you’re getting your data to draw your conclusions on the nature and scope of trafficking.

        It does not instill me with confidence, for instance, that you call H.R. 1 “HB-1”, or else you mean to say there’s an H1-B bill going around. Either way, you’re playing the telephone game with that Wall Street Journal article.Report

  19. It’s supposed to HR-1 not HB-1 my apologies. MS is a tricky disease.

    As for your distrust… Warranted. I shall return with your statsReport

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tracy Downey says:

      Link to text of HR-1 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1/text). There is nothing in there about non-citizens voting, green card holders voting, etc. In fact, the very beginning of the bill states:

      “SEC. 1000. SHORT TITLE; STATEMENT OF POLICY.
      (a) Short Title.—This title may be cited as the “Voter Empowerment Act of 2019”.

      (b) Statement Of Policy.—It is the policy of the United States that—

      (1) all eligible citizens of the United States should access and exercise their constitutional right to vote in a free, fair, and timely manner; and

      (2) the integrity, security, and accountability of the voting process must be vigilantly protected, maintained, and enhanced in order to protect and preserve electoral and participatory democracy in the United States.”

      Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Tracy Downey says:

      just a lil sanity fluid from a old right codger, life is a lot better when you scrub this stuff:

      The Guardian
      NPR
      New York Times
      The Daily Show
      Buzzfeed
      The New Yorker
      Slate
      Huffington Post
      Washington Post
      Politico
      PBS
      (did I mention before that social constructs get infiltrated?)
      CNN
      The Colbert Report
      MSNBC
      NBC
      The Economist
      Google News
      (I swear I mentioned that before)
      USA Today
      CBS News
      BBC
      ABC News
      Bloomberg
      Yahoo News
      LGM
      Salon

      That’s all I can remember at the moment, now go wash all the commie stuff off your eyeballs. If for some ungodly reason you have to get a news fix, put your waders on and go pick from the two or three outlets on the right, and don’t believe a word of it.

      😉Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tracy Downey says:

      Out of curiosity, who are you responding to with human trafficking stats? the threading limits can be very vexing.Report

      • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Morat20 says:

        Kolohe.

        I cannot post multiple links from my phone at the same time. When I leave the site to grab a link it disappears.

        Hope that helps.

        As for the trafficking- I write about sex trafficking my novels, attend sex trafficking conferences, interviewed law enforcement here locally inLas Vegas, in Mexico, and soon with Dallas PD.

        I lean on Polaris project and safe horizon because both organizations endorsed my first book and gave me permission to use their organizations in the story for a PSA.Report

  20. “Here’s why: it’s because you find yourself in the exact same position as every other voter in the country – having to choose between the existing policies and politics represented by candidate and party even tho you don’t agree with all of it -,”

    No, that’s not it. It’s about being stuck with the lesser of two evils. There’s a reason why independents are the growing electorate-because both parties refuse to give up their populist viewpoints-and its alienating 1/3 of the American people. Eventually, that 1/3 will become 2/3 because both parties are out of touch with what the center wants.

    “but unlike everyone else who admits that their choice is based on balancing their own preferences,”

    No this is false too. And quite presumptuous I may add. “balancing their own preferences,”

    If the war in your party mirrors the war inside mine, I’ve made my point. As long as democrats continue to go further left than where the country is, they’ll continue losing elections. Democrats don’t want to beat Trump-they want to push forth a populist agenda.

    If the center of the country is forced to choose between which ideology that aligns with their own, they’re going to choose what morally fits their viewpoint.

    “you want to blame Democrats for yours.”

    That’s absurd, and quite arrogant.

    I’m responsible for my vote as you are for yours. My point has been democrats cannot win a general without independents. Majority of independents lean right. None of their policies on the table appeal to that voting base.

    If GOP does not give us a primary challenge, Trump will win. If democrats do not care about that, that’s fine…they seem to think they have this all sewed up.

    Well, good luck with that.

    “It’s baffling, so baffling I can’t help but think you might have an ulterior motive…”

    No, what’s baffling is that the left is on a sugar high and not prepared for the crash coming. If your ideas are better, then great, you should win on those. But democrats poll numbers are dropping and its only been three months since they’ve held the gavel.

    Republicans vote on hot button emotional issues. As long asdemocratscontinue to work against those policies for their *base* good luck maintaining 40 seats.

    Now I will take my leave for the day. Politics is not personal just a topic. In spite of the fact that I’ve been insulted more times than I can count over ridiculous assumptions that are far from being true, ill take the high road here.

    Good day, and God bless you all.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tracy Downey says:

      Sure, if the Dem party were different than it is you wouldn’t have to vote for Trump again. But everything is what it is and not another thing.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tracy Downey says:

      “I’m responsible for my vote as you are for yours. My point has been democrats cannot win a general without independents. Majority of independents lean right. None of their policies on the table appeal to that voting base.”

      So Democrats lost in 2018? 2008? 2012? 2006? 2008?

      You’re assuming a right-wing electorate, but by your logic Democrats should have been soundly defeated last year.

      And yet they won the Presidency in 2008 and again in 2012 and lost in 2016 by less than 100k votes spread across three states, and actually won the popular vote while losing the EC. (For the second time in less than 20 years, no less).

      >Republicans vote on hot button emotional issues. As long asdemocratscontinue to work against those policies for their *base* good luck maintaining 40 seats.
      Like in 2008?

      > But democrats poll numbers are dropping and its only been three months since they’ve held the gavel.

      Really? Based on what? I mean I went digging for aggregates and couldn’t find them, but Gallup keeps an eye on it: https://news.gallup.com/poll/24655/party-images.aspx

      The chart’s pretty clear, and it’s not that the GOP is gaining approval. Or the Democrats losing it.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Tracy Downey says:

      America has such a right wing electorate, that the Republican’s have won more votes in the Presidential race 2 out of the last 8 elections.Report

  21. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Tracy, I keep asking about what “center-right” means, because after all these comments, it appears there is one very powerful issue that pulls you towards the Trump camp, and it is abortion, followed distantly by immigration.

    Nothing wrong with that! We all have certain Trigger Issues, issues that dwarf all others, and if that is yours, fine.

    But lets just be upfront about it. All the other stuff like the electoral college are just stocking stuffer issues, stuff we throw in so we don’t seem like we are single issue voters and the “Burkean” label is just the abstract wrapper people give to lend weight to what is really a gut level moral issue.

    I mean, lets test this theory.

    Imagine the Democratic Party embraced a flat ban on late term abortion, and restriction on 2nd term. And imagine that the Republicans suddenly embrace abortion on demand. And all other issues remain exactly as they are.

    Would that change your vote?
    Now do that for issues like the Green New Deal, breaking up the tech companies, etc.

    Which of those changes would trigger a different vote?

    You do that, you will find your Trigger Issue, which we all have. It’s a lot more helpful to think in those terms, rather than the diffuse cloud of abstract terminology.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Oh, did you ever answer my question of what you’d accept as an answer to your question about what center-right means?

      I’d love to throw something together, but I don’t want to immediately run into “that wasn’t what I was *REALLY* asking”.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

        I didn’t understand your question. Mine was meant to be pretty straightforward.
        Like, what is a center-right position, on any of the current issues such as immigration? Even just one?
        And it should be obvious, a position which isn’t identical to either a bog standard Democrat or Republican. Because those we just call “Democrat” and “Republican.”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Well, first off, if you’re saying that “center-right” isn’t allowed to be either a position associated with Democrats or Republicans, I’d say that you’re already making a category error.

          But I think it’s fair to say that there are far-right Republicans, center-right Republicans, and liberal Republicans.

          And, indeed, we used to have conservative Democrats, center-left Democrats, and far-left Democrats.

          And it feels like if I argue that the Fudds who argue that the 2nd Amendment refers to hunting and so hunting rifles are protected and that is a Center-Right position, that you’d say “That’s not center-right! That’s bog standard!”

          Where I go back to saying that you’re making a category error again.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

            I agree with you!
            Because it isn’t me who is saying that there exists a center-right which is different than Democrats or Republicans, it is the author of this piece. It is her entire premise.

            Note that above I stated honestly that I believe the Democratic Party is in fact America’s center-right party.Report

  22. Worth pointing out how much of this argument falls along geographic lines.

    Split the country in three: the 13-state West (as defined by the Census Bureau), the 12-states-plus-DC NE urban corridor, and the Rest. This is an argument for the Rest. In the West/NE, Trump lost very badly by both popular and EC votes. In 2016, the Dems made modest gains at the state and federal levels in the West/NE. In 2018, the Dems made large gains in the West/NE. Independents in the West/NE are breaking very strongly towards the Dems.

    Call it the Big Sort or whatever you like, but there’s a center-right country and a center-left country and they are increasingly separated along geographic lines.Report

  23. Avatar Dave says:

    Tracy,

    My comments below notwithstanding, I like posts like these. You can read the detail below if you want, but I’ll summarize my view here:

    I identify as a left-of-center liberal. Lord knows I can’t stand the identitarian Left and the shit show the toddler-like progressives in Congress are putting on. However, what you left out of your post that under Trump, the Republican Party is true to its ethics, which is why I’ll never compromise my principles.

    I didn’t pick my spot on the spectrum, but I’m left of center. I don’t care for illiberal mindsets and I’ll have no problem going full-on scorched earth if I encounter it. The best I can say about the Right is the left is going to keep me busy for a while, but your party is just as much in my cross hairs. You’ll see a bit of that below…maybe not a bit.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Details:

    Note that I haven’t read the comments yet and I’m going to have myself a little fun here. I enjoyed the post –

    “a disastrous green new deal mouthed by insufferable, unmanageable, anti-Semitic, fringy freshmen.”

    Very nice. I would have thrown in a few more adjective like reality challenged and brain dead and used the term “toddlers” instead of freshmen. In fact, because most of the nitwits making the noise are women, I feel obligated to remind you that “freshman” is gendered, which you probably don’t realize due to your internalized white privilege. Make sure you check all of that next time…or not… 😉

    But yea, there’s a “bit” of an anti-semitism problem on the Left. Seems like people are afraid to call bigots for what they are. The right has no problem though because the far right types are not only not afraid of calling it like it is but some back it up with violence. Let’s not forget that. Therefore…this…

    “nor will principled Zionists support a party where their own tribal leadership defends anti-Semitic diatribes from two of their own representatives”

    I’m as sure as I’m as short that this is addressed above so all I say about that is that it’s complicated – my own feelings notwithstanding.

    “After three years of Trumpism, one would think the Democratic Party held some kind of common sense regarding the dangers of radical populism. And yet, their proclivity for identity politics and sugary dalliances with their fringe-box is the ultimate self-own for Nancy Pelosi.”

    But playing “hold my beer” is so much more fun. Identity politics? No such thing. Everyone should know that there are no fundamental differences in opposing racism, sexism, etc. from a liberal position (moral, ethics, politics) and anti-racism and intersectionality. Just ask Robin Diangelo…better yet…avoid that one like the plague…

    “Marxism doesn’t mesh with kitchen table values, and the constant flinging of monkey-poo at the center-right by the left’s wanna-be-cast members for DC’s Clueless reboot may be a deal breaker for on-the-fence-conservatives.”

    As a liberal, I find most of what’s to the left of me to be at best tolerable but on average infantile and obnoxious. However, while I prefer to use the term “bullshit” and not monkey-poo, terms like Marxism and socialism also qualify as bullshit, creating a scenario where people taking shit are themselves full of shit. Not good. Besides, grand narratives are a thing of the past…or so I’ve heard.

    “Far-right populism isn’t conservatism.”

    Who cares? Unlike left-wing identity politics, right-identity politics can in fact manifest itself as a political force because it “mostly” deals with a single identity (white, nationalist) and seeks sovereign power to protect itself. Left identity politics assumes a different framework of power, which is why it seems so keen on addressing cultural issues. Sure, that’s a crude framework but the point is that left identity politics is not able to translate to a political movement that can achieve let alone influence sovereign power. That, and the GOP will gladly turn a blind eye to it if not sell themselves out like they have. It’s always been part of the right.

    This is why right identity politics will ALWAYS be more dangerous.

    “Across the U.S., Democrats are pushing full-term abortion legislation.”

    I’ll check the comments on this one. My sense is that there’s a reality vs. representation of reality difference going on. Your language kind of gives that away.

    “Nearly two decades ago, Bush’s presidency ushered in a new era of pro-life voters, a monumental shift, and another losing message for Democrats.”

    Not that monumental. They failed miserably to get a Federal Marriage Amendment passed in light of the legalization of same sex marriage in MA. They also made complete fools of themselves interjecting in the Terri Schiavo case and trying to drag into the federal courts what was a state case based on state law.

    “That should also include either party’s inability to reign in their own. To be quite honest, I’m not witnessing much of that on the left.”

    I commend the Republicans in Congress for reigning in the man-child in Chief.

    “Planned Parenthood’s death grip and out of control lobbying is just as toxic as the NRA’s stranglehold on the GOP”

    Here’s the scary thing about this statement – I’ve been spending a ton of time diving into the whole identity politics thing and not just as the political pundit level where people talk broadly about groups and call-outs etc. etc. etc. That stuff is easy.

    I’ve been diving into the “scholarship”, the actual stuff behind it – in many cases in peer reviewed papers (i.e. Kimberle Crenshaw). For the good of the community, I’ve even suffered through reading the “whiteness” stuff (Diangelo, McIntosh, etc.).

    Your comparison of Planned Parenthood to the NRA as being “a death grip”, “out of control” and similarly “toxic” raises eyebrows. I’m surprised to see people admitting that the NRA is toxic, especially from the Right so that’s good. Yet, the claim is about as supportable and falsifiable as the activist scholarship that is forever seared into my small brain. It’s not an uncommon talking point on the right but that’s all it is.

    “The left’s ongoing desire to ravage lucidity for their self-destructive identity politics is why moderates in their party are becoming extinct.”

    Nah…some of us stayed behind and will start dealing with the children in short order.

    “She attacked Ronald Reagan, called him a racist, and attacked capitalism.”

    Anything but that…

    “What the clueless, social media acronym fails at discerning is that the Generation X conservatives and moderates from the Reagan era whom she viciously attacks will eventually put her party out of power.”

    You’d be surprised how many of us won’t go right because we think it’s a shit hole. It doesn’t mean I like the left because…

    “Justice Democrats is just a synonym for revenge toward everyone on the right, including NeverTrump.”

    I think you meant to say “everyone to the right of THEM”. Big difference. I”m called alt-right-adjacent at least once a week by these kinds of people. They’re children that just happen to be physiologically similar to adults…although none of them even lift.

    “It no longer matters how contemptible Trump gets because the Democrats no longer have the moral high ground.”

    I never thought they did nor do you.

    “As long as the president pushes policies for rock-ribbed conservatives, courts center-right once again while Democrats work in concert to obstruct those bread and butter issues, forget about impeachment, or about remaining in power.”

    Or he can just do what he normally does when he panders to bigots and they’ll vote for him anyway.Report

  24. Avatar atomickristin says:

    I just realized you wrote this, Tracy! Great piece! And kudos to you for fighting the good fight in the comments, you’re a trooper. Thanks so much for writing it!!Report

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