The Hedgehog Who Won

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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224 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    I think your history is slightly off. A big chunk of the 19th century to early 20th century Republican Party loved protective tariffs. They thought the tariffs promoted American industry and manufacturing (and enriched themselves). One of the earliest Republican responses to the Great Depression was to increase tariffs. This backfired. The Democrats got better and for worse (see the 1619 project) were often big supporters of free trade. This did not really change until the post war era and then not really and not for long.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    My personal view is that what most GOPers decided they want most of all is white rule to varying degrees. They are seeing new generations that will be plurality if not majority minority and it freaks them out. They also fear urban rule. This is similar to the freak out had by rural Protestants in 1920 because the 1920 census showed the urban population exceeded the rural population for the first time. This lead to prohibition and suppressing reapportionment for a decade.

    2018’s Democratic houseware is largely a result of the GOP finally managing to alienate a lot of college educated suburban voters especially female voters. Fox News (yes Fox News) came out with a pol last week that should scare the bejebus out of Trump and the GOP. Trump is massively unpopular and every major nominee is beating him the pols. Though Harris does this barely as of now. A bunch of GOP Texas congresscritters decided to retire because they were facing steep odds in 2020. In Texas.

    I would like to take one partisan claim too. “Democrats in disarray” is a deeply held and wrong belief that needs to die in a fire. Lots of middle aged white guys seemed programmed to vote GOP and discount Democrats because that is what white guys seem programmed to do in the United States. I remember a lot of white guys predicting that the GOP would gain seats in the House in 2018 because how else could it be. Lots of white guys seem convinced that Trump is going to rocket to unassailable popularity any day now.

    I think the Squad and even more moderate freshman Democrats are more disciplined and better campaigners than people give them credit for. Especially guys who grew up in the Reagan 80sReport

  3. JoeSal says:

    The GOP/Republican party is doomed.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to JoeSal says:

      I agree with JoeSal. The only reason I’d disagree is to point out that they’re already dead.

      We are on the cusp of a new realignment… and where the pieces fall are going to be weird.

      We haven’t had a Stupid Party for a while. Looks like we’re going to have one again.Report

      • JoeSal in reply to Jaybird says:

        “If you want knowledge, you must take part in the practice of changing reality. If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself”Report

      • Ozzzy! in reply to Jaybird says:

        At some point, the white vote will be just another demo, and at that point things will get real interesting. Because right now the white vote is what elects contestants to state/national offices.

        It will be real interesting when people don’t have to dog whistle to those folks (in the media/online at least) and the allies realize they have a tribe all there own that isn’t just white nationalists.

        I’d guess 16 yrs, but who’s counting?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Ozzzy! says:

          It depends on whether Hispanics become as White as George Zimmerman before then.

          I give it even odds.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Ozzzy! says:

          I’ve mentioned a couple times to my fellow leftists that even if the emerging nonwhite majority happens, there isn’t any iron law of the universe that says it will be tolerant and egalitarian.

          Which is why the current white identity politics embraced by the GOP is so dangerous.
          When the idea of a Superior Group gets normalized and accepted, everyone can play that game.

          Because even if Asians and Hispanics become “white”, history shows that its just as easy to move other groups into the “nonwhite” or “wrong kind of white” category.

          But I’m not saying anything that the Right hasn’t already grasped, even intuitively. All the caterwauling from people like Erick Erickson, and the Quillette crowd about discrimination against Christians and conservatives shows that they are terrified of being on the wrong end of the power hierarchy.

          Except rather than embrace equality and tolerance they have just doubled down on trying ever harder to keep themselves in power no matter what.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird says:

        We may end up with two, if the Democrats can’t keep a leash on their populist wing.

        This cancer is spreading in both parties, and throughout much of the world, for that matter. I tentatively blame the Internet. It allows the masses to spread disinformation far and wide, unchecked by slightly more intelligent gatekeepers.

        As terrible as the news media are, it turns out that there’s something even worse.Report

  4. Doctor Jay says:

    If you don’t hold to your principles when faced with adversity, you didn’t really have any principles. This is how I feel about all those Republican office holders who threatened shutdowns over the national debt, and who crowed and crowed about free trade along with law and order. And say things like “I just want to see the law enforced”.

    And yet, here you are, propping up this guy in the White House. It looked to me in 2016 that there would be a revolt against Trump among Republican officeholders, because he wanted things they didn’t want, and he would start a war with them and get himself impeached.

    But no, they have managed to fence him in, probably with impeachment threats, so they can get their tax cuts and judges, and he won’t bother them with infrastructure spending bills.

    Yeah, they won. Because those principles never meant anything to most of them. It’s just what you said if you ran as a Republican.Report

  5. Chip Daniels says:

    While it is true that the GOP has only one remaining true principle, that of white identity politics, the bad news is that this is a really, really powerful one.Report

  6. Aaron David says:

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

    When I was a pup, the Democrats stood for a variety of things; women’s rights, civil liberties, freedom of speech, and so on. When I voted for various Dems, I was in support of these things. But, as I grew up, started really paying attention, I noticed that they fell away as soon as there was some other need. Bill Clinton showed us that women’s rights (along with the Virginia Lt. Gov.) really don’t matter if they get in the way of, well, anything else. Civil rights? No, due process is a zero-sum game now, as Obama era Title IX changes show. Good government is for suckers, as the IRS can and will be used to deny rights guaranteed under the constitution, at least under that self-same president. The accusation of white supremacy is tossed around so much it has no meaning anymore, as the word racism had to be replaced from pathetic overuse. Political Correctness is destroying free speech and intellectual diversity, much of what was good and great about that party.

    All of that is what I see, why I left the Dems. I am guessing you don’t see that right now, only see the Repubs changing. Well, the Overton window has moved, people move with it. Both parties changed. Some battles are won, some lost.

    This began in earnest when, in January of this year, Marist found that Trump’s approval rating among Hispanics had reached 50 percent. Then, in February, a Morning Consult poll showed Hispanic approval of the president at 45 percent. This was followed by a March poll from McLaughlin & Associates that found Hispanic approval for the president at 50 percent. All three polls were discounted as outliers by the media or simply ignored. This continued in June after Harvard/Harris showed similar findings.

    And a similar poll found support for Trump is up to 28% among African-Americans. Up being the keyword here. Try as they might, the left isn’t gaining ground in these areas, and that is a zero-sum game. Trying to put the R’s back in the box of the easily beatable is never going to happen. Time moved on, people changed, and that Overton window was remodeled. The Dems, the political arm of the left, are now the static party, while the Reps are the dynamic party.

    What starts as a cause, becomes a business, ends up a racket. Birth, death, rebirth. Right now, the Dems are in the bottom of that cycle.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Aaron David says:

      But honestly how long can the GOP run on a platform of supporting everything Trump wants and denying everything to the Dems?

      Right now, the GOP is losing congress critters who represent the thoughtful policy wonks, because populist candidates get more public attention. If the bulk of the party in office are vapid attention seekers, is the GOP still useful?Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Also they are in districts that are turning Blue. Trump might not be a catalyst but he is an accelerant at least.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        But honestly how long can the GOP run on a platform of supporting everything Trump wants and denying everything to the Dems?

        Four More Years!

        The GOP has been running on a “whatever we want and nothing for the Dems” platform for 10 years now and it/they seem to be doing alright. THey’re locked in. If Trump loses what are the odds that McConnell says something like the primary goal of the GOP-controlled Senate will be to make Joe Biden a one term president? Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct.Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        In the same vein, how long can Dems run on offering everything they agreed to at the debates? Do they not have “vapid attention seekers, such as Tlaib and Omar? As far as denying the D’s stuff, many on the right will say the exact same thing about Obama and the left over the last 10- 12 years.

        Policy starts as populism. It has to come from somewhere, and even the thinktanks spring eternal from the grassroots. Yes, even you and I’s libertarianism. All of the lefts current ideas are some version of populism. What we are seeing (in my opinion) is the weeding that must necessarily take place for the party to move on. What starts as a firebrand becomes an elder statesman. Tod’s version of the R’s died a long time ago, and it only put up zombie candidates and leaders afterwords. But no one likes losing, so they get behind winning ideas. Move them around until they are comfortable with them.

        Tod has been writing some version of the post for years now. Spelling doom and gloom for the right. And the R’s keep winning, gaining ground. Because the reality is the left is losing the culture war while winning the culture battles. Much like the right did when we were kids. What goes up, must come down.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Aaron David says:

          The Tlaib and Omar thing is…

          Well, we’re going to have national debates about the stuff that they want to talk about instead of the debates about the stuff a more sober DNC strategist would want to talk about.Report

          • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

            The race is shaping up to be “Keep America Great!” vs “Death to the America! Death to Israel!”

            I’m reminded of a recent NY Post article on luxury beliefs.

            We feel pressure to display our status in new ways. This is why fashionable clothing always changes. But as trendy clothes and other products become more accessible and affordable, there is increasingly less status attached to luxury goods.

            The upper classes have found a clever solution to this problem: luxury beliefs. These are ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class.

            The article of course discusses “white privilege”, and how denouncing white privilege is a white elite status signal.

            Trump isn’t running the conventional GOP vs Democrat playbook, he’s running a normals vs dysfunctional elites campaign.Report

        • North in reply to Aaron David says:

          Short answer: they won’t. Parties tack left/right in their internal debates then tack to the center in the general. Also only one of the Dems candidates is going to get the nod and any goofy offerings the losing candidates make get tossed. The most viable front runners have made very few crazy promises (and if we narrow it to the current front runner- no crazy promises at all).

          Last time the Dems won big under Obama they moved a lot of their principles and priorities into policy despite intense and cynically calculated lockstep GOP opposition. The last time the GOP won big the only thing they accomplished was a payoff for their wealthy elite and to appoint the same judges any of their elected presidents would have appointed while at the same time hurtling virtually every principle they have except for Cleeks law into the trash. You’re not a republican, IIRC, but a libertarian no? Shouldn’t you be furious at how massively the GOP has shifted away from libertarian values? No political group, not even my own poor centrist liberals, got shellacked and flattened worse than true small government libertarians in 2016. I’m quite puzzled why you would be carrying water for what the Republican Party has become.Report

          • Aaron David in reply to North says:

            “I’m quite puzzled why you would be carrying water for what the Republican Party has become.”

            30 years ago, when I was 18 it was reversed, as the R’s/right were the ones who were at the end of their sell-by-date, and causing the greatest damage to society at that time. Now, it is the Dems/left in that position. Whoever has the cultural power, left or right, wants to ram their priorities down the throats of the populace, not caring what gets damaged but telling everyone who will listen how righteous they are. And in another 30 years, I will be saying the same things about the right, as it will be them again.

            Right now, the left/Dems are the party that wants to destroy everything I think makes this country work: freedom of speech, due process, good governance, rule of law not man, intellectual freedom, and so on. So it’s not that I am carrying water so much as trying to stem the tide.

            Republicans are just run-of-the-mill assholes.Report

            • JS in reply to Aaron David says:

              “Right now, the left/Dems are the party that wants to destroy everything I think makes this country work: freedom of speech, due process, good governance, rule of law not man, intellectual freedom, and so on.”

              Weird, I thought you were talking about the American Democrats. I guess we’re discussing some other country?Report

            • North in reply to Aaron David says:

              It’s odd how you conflate the Democratic party with the loony fringes that rattle around in the universities and on twitter. You may think republicans are assholes but you sure buy into their press wholeheartedly.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to North says:

                What have I said that that shows I “buy into their press wholeheartedly?” I really don’t pay much attention to Twitter, except that it is the preferred medium of the chattering class. And as for campus environments, I come from an academic/ university family, so it is what I see first thing in the AM. And since it is the place where our next generation of leaders comes from, so it is only natural to see that as a Petrie dishReport

              • North in reply to Aaron David says:

                That lefty political correctness extremism that the Republicans specifically and BSDI media more generally highlight represents the position of most liberals or their party? That the squad, 4 congresscritters vs the 40 some that were elected in 2018 on moderate centrist platforms, is where the Democratic party is at? That the leftier promises of the lower polling candidates shows a Democratic Party stampeding left when the party’s far and away front runner hasn’t endorsed any of those positions?

                Hell, if Biden wins -which currently seems likely- what does that do to your whole thesis? Well, I can probably guess the answer- ya just dig the goal posts up and redefine him as far left I suppose?Report

              • Aaron David in reply to North says:

                Who is getting airtime right now?

                The Squad.

                Who is not saying anything to the media right now?


                Who is the face of the party right now?

                The squad.Report

              • greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

                I see conservatives/R’s consistently amplifying and talking about The Squad as THE FACE of the dems. Trump has repeatedly said that. You are literally repeating the message that Trump has been pushing.

                The coverage of the squad i’ve seen in the last week has been solely about two of them being barred from Israel. That isn’t them being the face or looking for attention. Well other then it being a controversy created by Trump and bibi to keep their bases inflamed.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                Its from the same playbook as calling any modest social welfare program “socialism”.

                And after enough of this, people have looked at Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare and said, “Hey y’know, I’m kinda diggin’ this socialism stuff!”

                Pretty soon people are going to be saying, “if only the Dems would nominate a reasonable centrist like AOC…”Report

              • Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

                “That isn’t them being the face or looking for attention”

                You’re joking, right? Taking the piss? ‘Cause they are on the twits as much as Trump, looking for every bit of attention they can wrap their hands around. NYT and Guardian write-ups, 24/7 news coverage, etc. And I am pretty sure it wasn’t the right who came up with the term Squad. Please.

                They revel in it.Report

              • greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

                Yeah they want attention. So? It is R’s giving them as much oxygen, if not more, then anyone else. They tweet. So? How does any of that lead them to be the face of the party. Again Trump has been literally calling them the face of the D’s. You said you don’t tweet and have said you don’t do con media. Welp it seems pretty vicsios to suggest you and trump think alike so i wont’ go that low. But it is trump and R’s, and you, making them the face of the party. There are still a couple dozen prez candidates, all sorts of loud D’s on the intertoobz and a few other reps/sens.

                I’ll also note one of the squad, was is it Omar, got in how water for suggesting jews have a dual loyalty problem. Weeeellllll it seems like Trump just said pretty much the same hings. Jews who vote D are disloyal to America or Israel or someone. HmmmReport

              • Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

                They are the face of the D’s as they are the ones taking up all the airtime, facetime and such. Even Jaybird has said as much. They are the ones answering every noise that Trump makes. They are the ones setting the pace for the party. If you think I am wrong, great, we disagree.

                Of course, Trump is trying to pin the whole party on those four, its good politics, the same way they want to be the ones known as setting the pace. It shakes out to whom the public thinks is worse at that point, kind of like playing chicken. Or, it doesn’t play at all in Peoria, so it makes no difference. But, make no mistake, Pelosi isn’t running the show now. Pelosi, good as she is at this, is being forced to share the reins at this point.

                But if you are going to say they aren’t the ones searching for attention, be prepared to have people disagree, like I just did.

                In any case, Isreal is a contentious issue right now (as it has been for decades at this point) and not one the two political sides in the US are going to see eye-to-eye on. And as such, both Trump and Omar (it was her) are acting like idiots about this. Is it anti-Semitic? No, at least not in my eyes. It cuts both ways. If they are both doing it than they are both guilty of being assholes.

                My family has been involved with Isreal since long before the founding, as I have written about here. I feel you can have dual loyalty there, and be pissed about the actions of both countries while still supporting them.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Aaron David says:

                “Even Jaybird” isn’t *THAT* much of an endorsement.

                I’m sort of an outlier.

                But we can make something measurable, I guess. If we’re still talking about the appropriate amount of Dual Loyalty ought to be expected of People of Hebrew Descent by Friday or so, that’ll be interesting. If someone from the squad is inspired to one-up Trump, well, we can have conversations about how they’re not representative of anything or anybody except the people they represent.Report

              • North in reply to Aaron David says:

                But they didn’t get assigned that position by the liberals or by the Democratic Party. They’re being assigned that position by Republicans who know that actual liberals will beat them in the election like a rented mule; and media figures who know the same thing and want to seem balanced/make it more dramatic a contest.

                So it’s massively obnoxious when right wingers or media figures blather about how the Dems are lurching to the left when the Dems have done no such thing. Most of the power that AoC and the squad has is being bestowed from outside the liberal and even the left wing environment. Within the party her power is literally the same as any other fresh congresscritter. The Green New Deal? Aground and defunct faster than you can say “Green new dream”.

                One can say “the Democratic Party is lurching to the left” but when all the examples are left wing fringers who are being elevated by media and right wing figures it’s not remotely persuasive to anyone who’s paying attention. The right and the media are quite literally propping up the very figures they then decry as having too much power and influence.Report

              • KenB in reply to North says:

                This reminds me of 2012 with Michelle Bachmann & Todd Akin — it was in their own interest and in the interest of the Democrats to paint them as the face of the new GOP.

                I don’t think it’s justified to point the finger at the GOP for the Squad’s prominence — certainly they’re taking advantage of it and helping it along, but it wouldn’t be happening without plenty of oxygen from the louder left and the media.Report

              • pillsy in reply to KenB says:

                I don’t think it’s particularly bad that the GOP is trying to make the Squad the face of the Democratic Party. Such maneuvers are all in the game.

                But I think we should factor those efforts in when it comes to questions of how representative they are of the Democratic Party as a whole.Report

              • KenB in reply to pillsy says:

                Sure, depending on what it is we’re trying to figure out. It’s kind of absurd to identify what’s “representative” across a group of 10s of millions of people and across any number of different areas of policy (many of which can’t be placed on a simple scale where the concept of an “average” even makes any sense).

                If we were political professionals, we might want to do a “brand equity” study, to find out what people generally associate with the party — but that will have much more to do with what they see in the media than with who’s the median Dem voter.Report

              • pillsy in reply to KenB says:

                Well it seems the question here is focused on what the Dems will go when they’re actually in power. Which is TBF different from the others.Report

              • KenB in reply to pillsy says:

                Well, if that was the question, then sure, it’s a little different. I find it hard to keep track sometimes, or even to realize that there’s a single question being discussed.Report

              • North in reply to KenB says:

                Oh I definitly included the media in my list of peeps to blame and one certainly can’t blame the very lefty left from seeking power, that’s the game.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to North says:

                Did you even watch the Dem debates? Every single one of the candidates, Biden included, went all-in on the most liberal positions available. These weren’t some trick questions posed by the right, they came straight from the hard left – open borders, Medicaid for illegal immigrants, etc. It wasn’t the right-wing doxxing Trump supporters, that was Castro’s brother. And so on. So, no these points aren’t being forced on them by the right, they are reaching for them gladly. You can say that they will walk these points back in the general, by they own them as of right now.

                Is the right trying to paint the Squaddies as the sure-fire face of the left? Of course, they think it is good politics. Are the Squaddies looking to pick up all that attention, and recast the party as hard left? Of course, for the same reason. Pissing on my leg and telling me it is raining by saying that it is solely the work of nefarious right-wingers, let alone the media, insults both of our intelligence.Report

              • North in reply to Aaron David says:

                I assuredly did watch the debates. Are you sure you aren’t confusing Biden with someone else because he said crossing the border is a criminal act; not that there should be open borders.

                I would never claim the far left isn’t participating trying to accrue power for themselves with the eager help of right wingers but trying to claim that the Democratic Party has been captured by that same far left is so ludicrous as to barely be laughable. Centrist Dems have been the Dems Presidents and nominees for President since the early 90s and have likewise been in the Dems leadership and senior leadership positons for at least that long. Likewise Democratic legislation, ya know the things they actually do in power, has been enormously centrist, possibly too centrist frankly.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to North says:

                “I respect no borders, and cannot be contained by any walls,” he said. “As president, I will do more than just restore the historic partnerships.”
                – Joe Biden

                Yes, they ran as centralist back in the ’90s, as Bill Clinton showed how Triangulation was the key to success. That was the starting peak of the D’s having cultural superiority. Now that they don’t have that, the hard-left is demanding the party play the pipers fee, and that is what the movers and shakers want. There is no one on the left calling out the Squads shenanigans because if they were able to do that successfully, they would be blaring it out coast-to-coast. No one is putting their foot down on campus idiocy. Pelosi wouldn’t be reduced to legislative maneuvers to put them in check and they would be running away and hiding from the likes of Farrakhan.

                The days of moderates controlling the party are over. They don’t have enough support.Report

              • North in reply to Aaron David says:

                Except moderates do control the party. Moderates sit in every position of power within the party. The party’s legislative calendar has been moderate in the past and is moderate now. You can find plenty of liberals (the vast majority of the party) grumbling about or calling out the squads shenanigans and the party itself called them out too when it was merited (see when Omar went too far on her idiotic comment about Jewish influence). Yeah you can go to the colleges and the festering idiot salad of twitter and find far left imbeciles squawking about any number of things. You can do the same with right wingers on twitter and (a more limited number) of colleges. Colleges are full of college kids who are prone to doing idiot things and always have been and it is neither party’s business or place to be putting feet down on them (I can’t believe I’m making this point to a libertarian).
                And, knock on wood, it looks like a (lamentably very old) moderate is going to get the nomination again this cycle. Not bad for an ideology that’s days of controlling the party is over.Report

              • pillsy in reply to North says:

                Also, like, the GOP is painting the Squad as the “face of the Democratic Party”, and the reason isn’t because the Squad is super-popular among Dems.

                If their positions were closer to that of the modal Democrat, it wouldn’t be nearly as damaging to make them the face of the Party, if they weren’t just the face by default already.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                The point isn’t to make them appear as such to the already voting Dems, its to make that clear to the undecided voters.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                I think you’re underestimating the possible benefits of the strategy. It also can cause internal dissension along fault lines within the party, which is a big part of the reason the rest of the Dems can’t just say, “Oh, pfft, they’re idiots!”

                The Democratic Party, if you look at polling, generally identifies with the majority as either self-described “moderates” or “conservatives”. Say what you will about the party lurching Leftward, such folks are not terribly enamored of the Squad either.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy says:

                What gets lost in all this, is what exactly ARE the positions of “The Squad”?

                The people on this board are about the most hyper-aware political junkies I know, and yet I doubt if anyone here could, without Googling, name some of their positions, and how they are different than the median Democrat.

                Yet everyone just assumes they are all somehow just wild revolutionaries with bizarre radical views.

                I think they are seen as “radical” mostly because they are outspoken women of color.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What gets lost in all this, is what exactly ARE the positions of “The Squad”?

                That Israel is occupying Palestinian land?

                That’s the only thing I know about them and, honestly, I only think that Tliab and Omar think that. AOC is more into immigration and socialism and… who is the 4th?Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Like Condoleezza Rice and Nikki Haley, Chip?

                No, its that they advocate for hard-left positions such as BDS, increasing socialism, open borders, etc. But you are making my argument for me with not being able to distingush them from your median Democrat.Report

              • North in reply to Aaron David says:

                Err… isn’t open borders a libertarian position? Free movement of labor just like free movement of capital?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Open Borders is now an anti-racist position, North.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to North says:

                “Err… isn’t open borders a libertarian position? Free movement of labor just like free movement of capital?”

                It runs hand-in-hand with eliminating the welfare state. The particular calculus of which aspect is more important depends on the individual Libertarian.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Aaron David says:

                “Free movement of labor just like free movement of capital”

                I could back that position, if capital could only be physically moved by a person $1,000 per person at the rate of travel of the median traveler, globally.

                New $50M investment project? round up 50,000 folks and launch them with your free flowing capital.

                Alternately, when we perfect teleportation of humans I see a lot of free flowing potential in labor.

                [I could be persuaded to increase to $10,000… I mean, I’m not totally unreasonable]Report

              • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Well capital pretty much free flows now, at least in the industrialized west though it’s somewhat more tricky to flow large amounts of capital out of China and Russia (though not hard at all to flow it in- good luck getting it back though.)Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Yes, but my apparently opaque take was that labor can’t so we’re employing a metaphor that’s more false than true even when its legally true.Report

              • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well the green new deal springs to mind (and most egregiously), free college tuition and student debt are also stirring in my own memory. They also have a very problematic tick of talking about white people in manners that would get the banned from polite company if they were using any racial descriptor other than white. They also tell racial minorities what they’re allowed to think which is also an unfortunate habit. You’ll have to take my word I didn’t go to google for any of it.

                I mean, compared to their reactionary compatriots on the right they’re not as far from the center but they are pretty lefty. Jacobins still call em squishes though.

                Aaron, I’m stealing twiddiot. But antisemitism is lamentably something that exists on both the far left AND far right, just like anti-vaxxers.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to North says:

                From memory, so suspect, but in particular the “we can print arbitrary amounts of money to pay for the Green New Deal.”Report

              • North in reply to Michael Cain says:

                It sounds wincingly familiar.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                Well, the GND and free college are vague enough proposals that about 80% of Democrats could support or oppose depending on how the question was asked.

                I mean, look at this:
                Trump signs executive order cancelling student loan debt for disabled veterans

                But anyhoo, I think you hit the nail on the head, which is that “The Squad” are outspoken women of color and don’t mince words when they talk about racism and misogyny, and that puts fragile people on edge.

                I mean, its not like they are saying mild things like the human race depends on rape and incest, or that we need a Second Amendment Solution for Trump.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to North says:

                I don’t want to crush them and silence the Twiddiots, much in the same way that I, as a Jew, don’t want to remove anti-semitism from speech. I want to point at it and laugh at it, showing the world how stupid it is.

                The fact that this still needs to be said to the left is deeply sad. But repitition…Report

              • Pat in reply to Aaron David says:

                Biden’s polling considerably higher than the Squad.

                Maybe you should try consuming some different media. The rest of the country apparently isReport

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Pat says:

                Part of the issue is that “The Face Of” is a largely ambiguous phrase with little meaning.

                Is The Face of The Democratic Party the people the party leaders are promoting to the word? In that case, The Squad is defiantly not the face – if anything, they keep them at arm’s length, and that’s’ when they aren’t swatting them down.

                Is The Face of The Democratic Party the people the democratic rank and file appear to be supporting? If so, then if polling, voting, and granted power is any indication The Squad is not remotely the Face.

                Is The Face of The Democratic Party those people who the right wing and talk radio is most focusing on right now? If so, then the Squad is absolutely Face of The Party, and it’s not even close.

                Is The Face of The Democratic Party whoever gets on TV the most? In that case, you could make a case that the Squad is he Face of The Democratic Party – but if so, you’d have to agree that Loui Gohmert and Jacob Wohl are the face of the Republican Party, and I’m not sure anyone in the GOP that wasn’t GOhmert or Wohl would agree.

                Basically, the Face is whoever you decide you want it to be.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Well, I have never heard of Gohmert or Wahl, so if they are the face of the GOP then they are speaking very softly. No, the face of the GOP is Trump. Saying anything else than that is silliness.

                Yes, the Squad is the face, as they are the ones trying to get out in front, and being placed out in front. Is Biden speaking about anything? No, unless you count saying that poor people are just as good as white people. And such. In other words, he is not the one driving the conversation. He isn’t creating the Green New Deal. He isn’t starting a conversation about open borders. Or Medicaid. Free tuition. Or myriad other things. He is simply Generic Democrat. If you can point to someone else coming up with new ideas, good bad or indifferent, I will be very surprised. Harris, Warren, they are just recycling those sam

                It is now becoming, thanks to this conversation here at OT, that this is starting to scare the left. Which means what Trump is doing is working.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

                If by “scare the Left” you mean “Make me sigh dreamily and write ‘Mr. Chip Ocasio-Cortez’ over and over in my notebook”, well, yeah sure.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Aaron David says:

                Um…the conversation at OT is scaring the left? This OT? I’m not sure I follow.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I have said before that Ordinary Times is a tiny petri dish that contains an important representation of the “real” world out there.

                Arguments that flourish here will do well out in the wild.

                Arguments that wither on the vine will also do the same Out There.

                The conversations that make “the left” uncomfortable here (as represented by The Usual Suspects) will make “the left” in The Real World uncomfortable for similar reasons.

                (Now, this representation doesn’t *ALWAYS* work. See, for example, 2016. But it’s pretty good most of the time.)Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

                If OT reflected the real world reparations would be a real thing in sed of a flashy thing to sell clicks, Gary Johnston would be a major political player if not the POTUS, and women would largely be invisible in the public sphere and wouldn’t be a voting demographic anyone would ever have to care about to win an election.

                OT is a lot of things good and bad, but representative of the real world has never been one of them.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                That’s not exactly how I said OT reflected the Real World. I said that arguments that did well here would do well there. When it comes to policies, well, those have the same limitations as found anywhere.

                But if you want to know if an *ARGUMENT* (rather than a policy) works, take it for a spin around here. See what happens.

                But to deal with what you said, your recollection of the reparations debate is not my recollection of the reparations debate. Additionally, in 2016, Gary Johnson tripled the best percentage that Libertarians had gotten to that point (beating the record set in 1980).

                And Libertarians have disappeared in The Real World similarly to how they disappeared here. Poof.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                AOC hasn’t pulled any spectacularly dumb crap since she fired her Chief of Staff or whatever it is that Congresscritters have. Conspiracy theorists say that he was the brains behind the Online AOC experience while people who aren’t sexist jerks say that Pelosi put the fear of God into AOC and now she’s sufficiently demure.

                As for “who the face is”, I’d say that the face is whoever makes the magazine covers. Whoever gets invited to the talking heads shows. Whoever gets their pictures above the fold on the newspaper. Whoever’s face you see first when you open CNN and they’re talking about who is opposing Trump’s latest dumbassery.

                Now, please, this is about trends rather than whatever is going on right now so please don’t go to CNN and point out that… (opens CNN) CNN is talking about Liam Hemsworth filing for divorce (I loved him in Expendables 2!).

                I’m talking about week after week, who is the face that you see?

                Well… that’s the face.

                And, until very recently, AOC was the face of the resistance. (Though if you want to argue that she’s receding, I’d not put up a fight.)Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well sure, if that is how you would decide who is the face, then yeah, AOC was absolutely it for a while, but since then it’s probably been Omar, but right now honestly it’s probably anti-fa. And in September it will likely be, I dunno, Warren or Alyssa Milano, or whoever gets pulled into the Epstein investigation, or more likely some combination of all three and someone I’m not thinking of right now, until it’s someone else. Those people would all get to be the face for a little while then.

                Like I said, the phrase “face that represents X” is whoever you want it to be, which makes it a super handy phrase.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                “face that represents X” is whoever you want it to be

                It’s not really who *I* want it to be as much as who the various editors want it to be.

                Who is the person in charge of deciding which picture gets loaded first on the page? Who is the person in charge of deciding which story gets an above-the-fold A1 treatment and which story goes in the middle somewhere? Who is in charge of whose face is smiling at David Brinkley from the monitor?

                Whoever *I* want it to be? I wish!

                It’s whoever these people want it to be. (Which is, of course, also driven by clicks, and sales, and ratings, and so on…)

                But this isn’t something that, to the extent individuals will them into existence, the individuals are not among hoi polloi. They’re the editors.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

                “It’s not really who *I* want it to be as much as who the various editors want it to be.”

                Well sure, they might be the person who picks out the bright shiny object every week or so, but you’re the person deciding that whatever bright shiny object they are looking at at the moment is The Face Of X.

                Which, again as I said, you get to do because it’s a nebulous phrase. I would argue that saying that whoever happens to be in the news and is connected to X is the de facto Face Of X is a new and entirely unhelpful concept, but even if I’m right you get to do it. Bonus: you get to abandon that method completely when it’s more advantageous to your argument.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I’m still not grasping the concept:
                “If only we make Rashida Tlaib The Face Of Democrats, America will recoil in Horror!”

                *Scans headlines*

                Face of Republican Party tries to buy Greenland, gets humiliated by nasty Danish lady

                Face of Republican Party announces he is the second coming of God

                Face of Republican Party tells Jews they are disloyal


              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “If only we make Rashida Tlaib The Face Of Democrats, America will recoil in Horror!”

                Okay. This is the decision in the back room. How do Republicans go on to *MAKE* Tlaib the face?

                Scheduling her on a show? They don’t run those. Put her on the front page of the NYT? They don’t run that.

                Ah, make a big deal about how Israel said “you can’t come here” and make a joke about how Gramma doesn’t have to see her?

                Suddenly she’s representative of something.

                Trump’s thin skin! Ha ha! He’s an anti-Semite! We’ll talk about the 1619 Project tomorrow, I guess!

                (As for “The Squad”, Seriously, remember this? This was a thing that happened. Tlaib wasn’t on it… but two other members of The Squad were. Maybe it’s not so simple as The Republicans choosing The Squad… but there does seem to be a “This person bugs Trump… LET’S HOLD THEM UP AS REPRESENTATIVE OF SOMETHING!” dynamic that gives us that magazine cover and such things as these candles.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Some stuff takes off, some stuff doesn’t. Like a pop album, some stuff has all of the talent in the world poured into it to make it a thing but it fizzles and doesn’t move at all. (Remember Nicole Scherzinger’s 2007 album? I digress.)

                Some stuff just comes out of nowhere and stays at the top of the charts despite the best efforts of record execs (Lil Nas X, I understand, did this on the country chart).

                While I understand the counter-argument that The Face Of X is best described as a shiny new thing that ought not be seen as representative of, say, The Guts Of X (and I agree with it), there are months at a time when you see The Face Of X every time you turn around. Reblogged, retweeted, scheduled for Sunday Morning, and, yes, above the fold.

                And it’s a phenomenon that exists, even if we don’t like the phrase that someone (probably an editor somewhere) picked out to describe it.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                To a greater or lesser degree, you are right, Tod. Anyone can say “that is the face of X.” But, in reality, all of those people saying this or that builds a zeitgeist that leads to a consensus of what is the face of X. I can point to Yang, and say “he is the face of the Dems!” and no one would take me seriously. But, a group of people who are in and out of the news, constantly holding press conferences, floating new ideas of big policy decisions and so on, a case can be made for that. Especially when they are on all the covers of left and right publications or mention of them is above the fold, etc. Editors don’t run articles of nobodies in those spots as they are prime drivers of sales.

                Jaybird is absolutely right about OT being a Petrie dish. It is where thoughts get trotted out, tried on to see if they work. Watching the leftentariat push back in the comments here, hard, at the idea of the Squad being in this position is very telling. At least to me.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Aaron David says:

                “Watching the leftentariat push back in the comments here, hard, at the idea of the Squad being in this position is very telling.”

                Dude, have you met us? This is OT. I could write a 100 word post about how water is wet and I’d get half the site vehemently pushing back. S**t, I couldn’t write a piece saying maybe we shouldn’t let people in power rape women and children that didn’t have a comments section filled with pushback.

                Pushing back against whatever someone says here is the reason 90% of the people who ever show up here show up here.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Al Franken didn’t touch people who were underage and there’s no evidence he ever flew to Epstein’s island. Are you just setting up this argument as a gotcha against Clinton? Lewinsky was consensual.

                And so on.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, perfect real time example. Thanks.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                I learned that AOC wasn’t tweeting because they’re not in session and she was on vacay.

                And, apparently, she’s back.


              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yes and she’s actually saying something correct.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Oh, I don’t have the where-to-stand to say whether she’s right or not.

                I’m only fascinated that she’s back and a firebrand again.Report

              • KenB in reply to pillsy says:

                There’s an implicit suggestion there that this is specifically a GOP failing – do you really think that if the situation were reversed and the Dems benefited from the EC, mainstream Dems wouldn’t be defending it?Report

              • pillsy in reply to KenB says:

                Don’t care. The situation’s not reversed.

                Sometimes your ideological beliefs and partisan interests align. Seems silly to pull your punches when they do.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Is The Face of The Democratic Party whoever gets on TV the most?

                By this standard, wouldn’t the face of the GOP be… Trump?

                Which, well, yeah.

                One of the things about being the party out of power is that the role of “face of the party” is up for grabs in the way it isn’t for the party that controls the White House.Report

              • JoeSal in reply to pillsy says:

                Evil is a cult.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                I would say that someone who argued that Trump was not The Face Of The Republicans was doing so in an effort to build up to how we shouldn’t see AOC as representative of anything.

                Otherwise, I don’t see how (or why) anybody would make that argument.

                Hillary Clinton was the face of it in 2016 (but it wasn’t quite organic, if you use Bernie as an indicator of discontent).

                I suppose that the argument over the Democratic Nomination today is an argument over who should be The Face of it (remember the 14 1/2 minutes we were pretty sure it’d be Harris?) and, fortunately or unfortunately, it seems that The Face Of The Democrats is fixing to be Biden (but who knows? Iowa is still a million years away).

                One of the things about being the party out of power is that the role of “face of the party” is up for grabs in the way it isn’t for the party that controls the White House.

                This is *ABSOLUTELY* true. And if I’m Nancy Pelosi, I see part of my job to make The Democrats one big amorphous blob of Generic Democrat rather than allow A Face. A Face is a point of failure. You’ve got this great politician and, next thing you know, a photo surfaces of him grabbing some sleeping chick’s boobs and you’ve got yourself a scandal. You make The Democrats into The People, you don’t have that problem. A scandal bubbles up? Just excise the guy and move on.

                It’s when someone organically becomes the person that everybody is talking about and they’re really, really good at being the person that everybody is talking about that, suddenly, you’ve got a face when what you wanted was a blob. (I googled “blobfish” but decided against linking to a funny picture of it. You get the point.)Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yeah I think this is mostly right. But I think it takes a general election victory for a candidate to really cement their identity as “face of the party”.

                That may be a lot of the reason incumbents have such an advantage most of the time, and why drawing even moderately serious primary challenges (a la Ford and Carter) is such a bad sign.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                Someone (on Twitter, maybe) mentioned that it was an odd thing that mass-movement protests in America intentionally sought to be leaderless, and my reply was exactly what you put here–that a leader, a Face, is a point of failure, so naturally you want to eliminate that, because otherwise the conversation stops being about the movement and its goals and starts being about the Face.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                “A Face is a point of failure. ”

                Two term President, Nobel Prize winner, and world’s most admired man Barack Obama is on line one.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m using “point of failure” as an engineering term. I’m not saying that any face that surfaces is a failure, Chip.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:

                As an aside, I find it interesting that all three sides in this discussion have adopted, apparently without any reflection, Donald Trump’s phrasing of the issue. From his perch atop the bully-pulpit, he declares that The Squad is the face of the Democratic party, and everyone falls in line.

                It’s amazing to watch.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Stillwater says:

                FWIW, I haven’t.

                I think “Face of the Democratic Party” is a contestable and contested thing, and will be so at least until we have a Presidential nominee.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                AOC (or her Chief of Staff) was *VERY* good at Social Media. Retweetable as hell. She’s also very photogenic. That’s a face that moves product. Of course the media jumped in with both feet.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

                It also does t hurt that she’s in the same city where the industry that covers her is. Congresswoman AOC from a Boise suburb would never have been AOCReport

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                How’s about Minnesota?Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

                Is she converting to Islam and wearing a hijab on camera in interviews? Yeah, she probably does get the press. Otherwise she’s Ayanna Pressley.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                (Or to be more precise, she’s Ayanna Pressley without any of the legislating.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Ilhan Omar, as Ayanna Pressley makes sense to me. For some reason, she got on the cover of Rolling Stone, though.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Aaron David says:

      The 28% approval poll is from Zogby, who’s basically a junk pollster at this point. All other polling, even from right-leaning places such as Rasmussen have Trump where he’s always been among A-A’s – 10-ish percent or worse. Where was all the #Blexit support for the GOP in 2018?

      I agree – the GOP is dynamic in the sense, they’re changing to be the party of upset white dudes.Report

  7. since that 2016 election, the GOP has essentially controlled all three branches of the federal government

    And has guaranteed itself control of the judiciary (not just the Supreme Court, the whole damned thing) for a generation.Report

  8. “how many of those underlying values and overarching goals have were tossed aside to assure victory?” The answer is: pretty much all of them.

    And how many were sincerely held?

    The question answers itself.Report

  9. The party has decided that one of the criteria for judges (and for that matter, federal executives) should be that candidate’s ethic background.

    That is, no ethics at all.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      He’s just pointing out that it makes no sense for them to keep voting for a party that wants to see Israel pushed into the sea.Report

      • pillsy in reply to George Turner says:

        It’s so awesome that we have you and Trump to tell us stupid Jews what our interests are.Report

        • CJColucci in reply to pillsy says:

          Well, he’s branching out.Report

        • JS in reply to pillsy says:

          They don’t restrict themselves to Jews. I mean they try so hard to make blacks understand that the GOP is the “Party of Lincoln and Civil Rights”, and that Democrats are the real racists.

          Strangely, it appears 90% of black Americans simply won’t believe it. Liberal indoctrination in schools, no doubt.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to George Turner says:

        Fuck off and don’t tell me what my interests areReport

      • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

        No body on the left wants to see Israel pushed into the sea. We want them to stop oppressing Palestinians who have as much right to self determination as the Jewish State does. It really is that simple.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Philip H says:

          It is anti-Semitism to say that Israel is occupying the Occupied .., um, I mean Judea and Samaria.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            Nope – Anti-Zionist perhaps, but not anti-Semitic. At least not in the Anti-Jewish sense of the word. Though I do have an ultra conservative friend who points out that modern Palestinians are Semites geographically . . . .Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

              “you can be anti-zionist without being anti-semitic!” (turns around) “Republicans SAY that their concerns about illegal immigration are based in economics and national security, but we ALL KNOW what they REALLY mean…”Report

              • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

                If their concerns were economic they would be advocating loudly for a different system, in as much as Hispanic migrant labor underpins several important economic sectors. And sorry, but allowing immigrants into our contory to do work we don’t want to do does not hurt our national security. The Left sees this and rightly criticizes Republicans for the stance, in as much as its really about creating a scapegoat to distract with so labor doesn’t see its being fleeced by corporations.

                Israel is also rightly criticized by t he left for its governmental policy stance that legal boundaries and property ownership don’t matter, and Palestinians need to be driven from their ancestral lands so Jews can return. That’s a dig at the choice a government is making, not the culture and ethnicity expressed by the people in that country.

                but I understand your confusion. In American we now have a leader who conflates criticism of his policies with treason, so it can be tough to discern that one can both vehemently criticize Israeli’ government policy without wanting the end of that nation.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

                “If their concerns were economic they would be advocating loudly for a different system”

                They are advocating loudly for a different system.

                “allowing immigrants into our contory[sic] to do work we don’t want to do does not hurt our national security.”

                You’re right but that’s not what the Open Borders people are asking for, that’s not what the ‘Caravan Of Refugee Migrants MUST Be Allowed To Enter’ people are asking for. They just want anyone to come in who wants to.

                “its really about creating a scapegoat to distract with so labor doesn’t see its being fleeced by corporations.”

                it’s actually really funny to see you take this line of argument when you are at the same time arguing that we have to let in migrant farm workers to do the Jobs Americans Won’t Do. You know those stories about how there’s e. coli contamination in lettuce? That’s because of those migrant farm workers you think are the only way we can get things do. e. coli is human shit bacteria, and if it’s on something it means there’s human shit on that thing, and human shit gets on lettuce because migrant farm workers aren’t allowed to go to the bathroom when they’re working so they just shit where they’re standing. And that is the job you think Americans Won’t Do because we’re so soft and fat and rich and white.

                I’ve said this a lot but I’m in favor of open entry so long as everyone gets a green card and goes on the tax rolls, and is subject to the same employment laws as any citizen–meaning they can file wage-theft lawsuits over being underpaid, they are required to get breaks during their shift, they’re requited to have health-insurance coverage, their workplaces are subject to OSHA regulations, and so on.

                “Israel is also rightly criticized by t he left for its governmental policy stance that legal boundaries and property ownership don’t matter, and Palestinians need to be driven from their ancestral lands so Jews can return. ”


                keep telling me how this isn’t about the JOOSReport

  10. Saul Degraw says:

    I don’t find George amusing. I don’t think he adds much to the discourse here. I refuse to suffer his foolishness gladly or gently because of aw schucks bipartisanship. People who put forth insanities and inane thoughts need to know it will not be taken easily.Report

    • JoeSal in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      George adds and is half as foolish as some who are considerably intolerant, yet dish it out a plenty.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      George & Aaron are both useful for one reason – to be a reminder of what modern conservatism actually is – weird conspiratorial thinking (George) and being upset white males are at the center of everything anymore (Aaron), but that’s about it.Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Jesse says:

        What? That is the dumbest thing I have ever read, especially as I am Jewish.Report

        • JoeSal in reply to Aaron David says:

          Yeah that’s weird about ‘the center of everything’. IMO your the most sane guy on the west coast.

          There are about four or five people on OT I would take bullet for, and your one of them.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to JoeSal says:

            Dang, am I the only one who now wants to know who the other 3-4 OT people JoeSal would take a bullet for might be?

            Can we get a poll up or something? Who do we speak to about this?

            [It aligns with my secret desire for the gamification of blogs where you can self-identify posts with teams/symbols and such to add a layer of context]Report

            • JoeSal in reply to Marchmaine says:

              I ain’t sayin’, and I only piped up this time because I made a promise to myself awhile back that if anyone made a run at Aaron I would be willing to cut some fence.Report

              • KenB in reply to JoeSal says:

                Rats, I was hoping to find out if you would be any use to me for my upcoming bank heist. Having you there to stop one bullet might not be a guarantee of success but it would definitely improve the odds.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jesse says:

        Are not at the center of attention anymore.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      oh cool so it’s going to be like TVD all over again, where people act like total assholes whenever he posts and then complain that he’s making the discourse so toxic.Report

  11. Marchmaine says:

    As usual, a fine essay with excellent insights. Naturally I have a quibble, which I hope is illuminating; but first I’ll agree with the major premise that the Republican Party done blew itself up. Where I’m less aligned with the cautionary tale is that it has lost its voice. It has lost “a” voice, but that voice, the voice of:

    “unfettered free trade, a small and relatively powerless federal government with limited spending, freedom of (if not celebration of) openly religious lifestyles, the putting of a stake through the heart of identity politics, the rule of law and order, adherence to the Constitution, a strong world-reaching military presence, and a return to a (perhaps mythical) state of national morality and sensibilities.”

    You may be right that they tore out their tongues to win the contest; but I think there’s a disconnect between the seeming wish to “return” to the above… what would your story look like if they tore out their tongue and yodeled their way to exactly the crazy kick-ass Winter Carnival that everyone else hates, but they love because it is theirs and the excess is theirs?

    They don’t want Free Trade where the costs were born by them, but the gains captured by others
    They don’t want a small Govt because big Govt gives them things they need where once they didn’t.
    They don’t want a small Govt that abandons their concerns to give free-er rein to the Free Traders
    They don’t want unlimited Immigration because it seems always to favor the Free Trade agenda of cheap labor.
    They don’t want freedom to worship because they worship, but because they don’t like the other gods.
    They don’t want Identity politics, but if teams are being picked it seems theirs is the only group not on one.
    They don’t want military adventurism that spends their blood and repays with VA vouchers
    They don’t want yesterday’s morals… unless by yesterday we mean, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

    As far as I can tell, the hedgehog is getting what he wants… we just mistakenly thought we knew what he wanted. And maybe some folks who counted on the hedgehog’s vote to deliver the winter carnival *they* wanted are a little bit put out.

    Now, I’ll agree with you that having torn out their tongue to win control of the winter carnival, the winter carnival we’re getting is the carnival of an unintelligible hedgehog hopping and flailing about on either side of the edge of madness… but put the tongue back and it never yodels the tune of Free Market, Small Govt Republicanism ever again. So, agree 100%: the Republican party is dead, long live the Republican party.Report

    • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Yeah it does look like the GOP is being reborn… but boy howdy no one has absolutely no idea what the new GOP actually wants or is yet so there sure is a lot of thrashing; especially as the old GOP in the halls of power would really prefer that this new GOP not be born at all.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

        Yes, but then my cautionary tale was that you should never vote for a mad hedgehog willing to mutilate itself in pursuit of a Winter Carnival that it neither liked nor understood nor had any practice in running. Even if you too didn’t like the Winter Carnival. In the end, you were going to be judged by the Winter Carnival you delivered, not the changes to the Winter Carnival you hoped you might get.Report

      • Philip H in reply to North says:

        Sorry to burst your bubble @North, but the “old GOP” knows exactly what the “new” GOP will be as the old guard is birthing the new guard precisely to consolidate power and finish dismantling the New Deal. They have had the same strategic goals for 4 decades and while their tactics have varied slightly over that time, they are not deviating so close to what they set as their finish line. Should they prevail then and only then will we see an upheaval as they will have to develop new goals.Report

  12. Tom Payne says:

    {Ed Note: Tom Payne is a banned commenter}Report

  13. Chip Daniels says:

    From the “Democrat Party Lurches To The FAR LEFT” files:

    Teslas and Maseratis lined the street as Kamala Harris greeted guests sipping drinks from plastic cups with her name on them and eating cinnamon sugar donuts from Dreesen’s at a fund-raiser hosted by movie executive Jamie Patricof and his wife Kelly as the summer of Democratic fund-raisers rolled on in East Hampton.

    The senator and former California prosecutor assured donors “I believe in capitalism” during a jam-packed weekend of pitching her plan to save the middle class. Harris is looking to raise enough money to keep her campaign fueled through the next debates in September and beyond.

    She also had events on Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts island that is a playground for celebrities, including the Obamas, Bill Clinton and David Letterman, on Friday and Saturday. Tickets ranged from $100 to $2,800…

    Harris’s event on Sunday night went head to head with one at musician Jon Bon Jovi’s house for Cory Booker. Pete Buttigieg will be in the Hamptons over Labor Day weekend. Joe Biden, who’ll be in the Hamptons next weekend, has already hit up Cape Cod, Aspen and Sun Valley, Idaho…

    “I believe in capitalism, but capitalism is not working for most people,” Harris said on the patio steps of the Patricof house, looking out at a peach orchard among flower and herb beds. She said she recognized people who’ve become successful by working hard and following rules, but that the middle class needs help…

    Man, if radicals like these are the face of the party, we’re doomed!Report

  14. Michael Cain says:

    The more likely scenario, I would argue, is that any nationally unpopular ruling SCOTUS might decree against — oh I dunno, let’s just say abortion — will just be ignored by a Democratic executive office, or negated by the appointment of additional judges.

    It seems clear to me that where the SCOTUS is headed is not to set policy at the federal level, but to push decisions down to the individual states. The ACA’s Medicaid expansion was left up to the individual states. States are no longer subject to federal pre-implementation approval for changes in election laws. Gerrymandering will be endorsed or not at the state level (yes, I know the SCOTUS left room for Congress to act). States who want to are being allowed to chip away at Casey, bit by bit.

    Overturning Roe returns control to the states. Such a decision will not be unpopular nationally; it will be unpopular in one group of states, popular in others. There are going to be some interesting environmental cases in the next year-and-a-half. A decision that allows California to continue setting tougher auto emissions standards, and other states to follow California rather then the feds, will be popular in one group of states and unpopular in another. A lot of those splits are going to be very close to 25 states on one side, 25 on the other.

    Regular readers know my geographical split of the states: 13 western states and 12 states in the NE urban corridor in one group, the other 25 states in another group (call it “the rest” for notational convenience). In 2016, Hillary Clinton got a grand total of 30 EC votes in “the rest”. In the 2018 Senate elections, the “purity” of those two groups increased. 2020 looks to me like the Senate groups will get a bit more pure.

    Ignoring a SCOTUS ruling is tough. The President is going to order the California National Guard to Utah to open abortion clinics? Packing the court with a narrow Senate majority is tough. The legislative filibuster has to be overturned, and the most conservative Dem Senators have to be convinced.Report

    • Pat in reply to Michael Cain says:

      The problem of course is that the current mechanism is such that the federal government subsidizes rural living.

      If the GOP succeeds at their “push it to the states” program they ain’t gonna like the results.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pat says:

        Yep. In Mississippi where I now reside, our governor’s election is about to have a run-off for the Republican nominee. The candidate not currently Lt. Governor is running as “the conservative who can who can win in November” in no small measure because he wants to fix roads by raising gas taxes, and implement the Medicare Expansion under the ACA so MIssissippi gets federal dollars to help with its myriad of health related statistics (we are #50 in Healthcare access, and healthcare quality; #48 in public health). And his opponent is trying to defeat him by calling him a tax and spend Republican. let that sink in.

        and @Michael Cain – the preemption clause was only for certain states, who mostly continue to actively disenfranchise minorities. Thus local control won’t actually resolve the issue, and required federal intervention.Report

  15. Saul Degraw says:

    Trump and the GOP are not well:

    Even if this is a pure troll/scam/grift, it does not bode well for politics or discourse.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Are Democrats going to be the anti-Greenland party and insist that Greenlanders should remain under Danish imperialism? Iceland has been there and done that.

      But what we’re really trying to do is make sure China and Russia don’t get a toe-hold in the North Atlantic where they throw around money and influence for mining rights, drilling rights, and basing rights. No doubt they’d start moving in long-range radars and anti-air and anti-ship missile systems and present a direct threat to the North Atlantic pipeline between the US and Europe.

      Trump’s Greenland idea comes about a week after China claimed they had territorial rights in the Arctic. Their access certainly wouldn’t be via the Bering Strait, so they’re probably looking at taking part of Greenland.Report

      • pillsy in reply to George Turner says:

        Yes, the desperate need for the partisans of Team Red to validate and rationalize the random twitches of Donald Trump’s brain worms does not bode well for politics or discourse.

        Thanks for providing such a perfect demonstration.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy says:

          We have always needed to purchase Eastasia.Report

        • George Turner in reply to pillsy says:

          It wasn’t a random twitch, it was strategic and economic genius, and might have come first from the Pentagon.

          I’ve also looked over Greenland’s mining laws (a few years ago there was a reality show about American prospectors in Greenland). Danish/Greenland mining laws are so absurdly onerous that I wouldn’t try to mine anything there even if all I had to do was scoop up gold and diamonds with a front-end loader.

          Iceland used to have the same problem when it was under Danish control. It was economically backwards and run as a protected colony, cut off from free trade with the rest of the world.

          Under US mining and drilling laws, Greenland’s GDP should skyrocket.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to George Turner says:

            It wasn’t a random twitch, it was strategic and economic genius

            Trump can’t fail, he can only be failed.Report

          • JS in reply to George Turner says:

            Pity the very stable geniuses who came up with the idea didn’t bother checking the actual relationship of Denmark or Greenland.

            Assuming they got past the absurdity of thinking you can buy and sell whole countries to other countries, they’d have quickly found Denmark couldn’t have sold Greenland and all it’s citizens to another country, even if they were crazy enough to want to.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to JS says:

              I so, so very badly want Nancy Pelosi to take a trip to Mexico and offer Texas, with maybe Arizona as an option.Report

            • George Turner in reply to JS says:

              We’ll make an offer, and Greenlanders will vote to join the US. If Denmark won’t sell Greenland, we’ll just buy Denmark.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

                $10,000, American, to every Greenlander if the Proposition To Overthrow Yoke Of Danish Colonialism passes.

                Hey, Greenland! Have you ever seen Puerto Rico? Is that something that’d interest you?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                How about we throw in some paper towels?Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                Heck, we could give each of them $100,000 and it would still be a bargain. I’d go as high as $1M each, which would still work out cheaper than NASA’s SLS/Artemis program.

                If they want $10 million each we’d want to schedule the payments over a ten or twenty year span.Report

              • JS in reply to George Turner says:

                “Greenlanders will vote to join the US.”

                Why would they do that? Are we going to make them vote? Or do you think there’s some large contingent of Greenlanders that are just dying to throw off the yoke of self-rule (they are an autonomous region, and not some Denmark subsidiary) and submit to, from their perspective, a very far-right country alien to their values and culture?

                Do you think Greenland’s people are yearning to be Americans? Or that America is so great that independent country is eager to toss aside it’s own culture and self-rule to submit to it?Report

              • Philip H in reply to JS says:

                They are the “right” kind of immigrants.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

                For the record, the Leftentariat approves of the two new Democratic Senators from the great state of Greenland.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Brown people used to health care.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Greenland doesn’t have enough people to be a state, yet.

                Greenland’s largest political party supports independence from Denmark, whereas their other political parties also support independence from Denmark. The problem is that Denmark subsidizes Greenland, and they’re going to need a new sugar daddy.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                But as you say, once the drilling and mining takes off, the population will explode.

                And who else but young, immigrant labor is going to fill those nonunion low wage jobs in the frozen tundra?

                Nope, we’re looking at a duplicate of Alaska, with California’s demographic makeup.

                Senate Majority Leader Ingmar Karlaaskuit, and President Warren and Speaker of the House Pelosi will make sure this is so.Report

              • JS in reply to George Turner says:

                So by your logic, they would trade in being an autonomous region of Denmark to be protectorate under the US, without federal representation, because their largest political party supports independence?

                That only makes logical sense if you believe that being a literal, second-rate US citizen with no federal representation at all — not even a full state — is somehow superior to both being a fully autonomous state under Denmark, or being fully independent.

                Or, I suppose, you might believe the people living in Greenland are absolute blithering morons. That would also work.

                “Greenland would love to become a US protectorate, not even a state, because it’s primary political party wants to be fully independent” is hilariously bad.Report

              • George Turner in reply to JS says:

                By “fully autonomous” I think they basically mean “small tribal reservation”, at least until recently.

                They have the population of a small town scattered about in an area the size of the eastern US.

                The US Marshall Islands and American Samoa both have about the same population as Greenland.

                They’re not going to have their own university system and medical schools, if you catch my drift.Report

              • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

                By “fully Autonomous” I am sure they mean Greenlanders get to decide for themselves how to govern Greenland without interference from Copenhagen. Small government approach if you ask me. Something conservatives used to cheer for in the US until they found out how much money they could make off large government.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Philip H says:

                Sounds like we’ve entered the haggling phase (at least online… though I hear Conan is working on it too).

                If offer A isnt’t as good as offer X, how about offer AYReport

      • Saul Degraw in reply to George Turner says:

        Way to prove a point George.Report

    • JoeSal in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      [Counter Saulism Link]

      Trump tells off Denmark:

      This bodes well for a Polar Silk Road.Report

    • JoeSal in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Fuck it, just rename this site to LGM, I’m outta here for a good long while.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      More background on the Greenland deal from the South China Morning Post.

      It’s all about China, and attempts by the PM of Greenland to get China to build three more international airports in Greenland, an idea that caused Denmark, the US, and NATO to intervene.Report

  16. Saul Degraw says:

    More insanities:

    1. What is going on with the Overstock CEO? Though he seemed to suffer from mental illness for years.

    2. Trump sent out a tweet “ordering” American companies to look for alternatives to the Chinese market? Apparently saying we have lots “trillions” of dollars because of China.

    Suppose Trump was not the President but just a relative? How many actions does he commit a day that would get his family looking into conservaship? But no, he is President and owning the libs must rule the land above all so no one is allowed to talk about our dementia addled President.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Overstock has been demonstrated themselves to be crazy ever since dropping Sabine Ehrenfeld as their spokesperson.

      Man, if manufacturing jobs come back to the US, that’ll be devastating.

      Maybe we should build factories in Africa? India?Report

    • pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Trump sent out a tweet “ordering” American companies to look for alternatives to the Chinese market? Apparently saying we have lots “trillions” of dollars because of China.

      I’m sure George will be along shortly to tell us that this is extremely smart and good.Report

      • JoeSal in reply to pillsy says:

        FTR what was the upside in supporting a murderous communist regime(other than the Clintons)?Report

        • pillsy in reply to JoeSal says:

          Because that’s not what we’re doing? Trade isn’t charity.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

            Personally, I think that if Trump wanted concessions from China, he should have just given them Hong Kong.

            Carrots work so much better than sticks.Report

            • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

              Of course what has actually happened is the opposite: the WH backed off on criticizing what the PRC is doing in Hong Kong in order to avoid upsetting the trade negotiations.Report

          • JoeSal in reply to pillsy says:

            Don’t we have an obligation to each other to at least not support (if only by denying trade) this kind of regime?

            And of course we might need to unpack their currency manipulations that have went on for the last X number of years.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to JoeSal says:

          I like how “murderous” was too broad, and needed to be qualified with “communist”.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to JoeSal says:

          Overbroad, vague. Trade is not charity. We have been trading with China since Nixon. They are an incredibly large market and a huge consumer of American agricultural products.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to JoeSal says:

          FTR what was the upside in supporting a murderous communist regime

          “Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”Report

          • JoeSal in reply to Stillwater says:

            Communist China=Rome,

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

            What’s actually striking to me is how fair the comparison is.

            Rome was of course every bit as murderous and dictatorial and unjust as any 20th century regime yet somehow, escapes the opprobrium that we assign to latter day regimes.

            I’m imagining some 23rd century historian documenting about the Great Empires of the past, which are of course, Imperial America*, the Soviet Union, and Maoist China.

            The ruins of Soviet tractor factories and hydroelectic dams and the Interstate Highway system and the massive Foxxcon works will be painted by legions of artists the way we fondly paint the Colosseum and Parthenon.

            *after the fall of the Republic, but before the unfortunate Twitter Incident by the Mad PresidentReport

    • DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      oh hi there sundowning meme how are you doing today? still accusing political opponents of being literally brain-damaged while saying that you’re the one being reasonable? cool, cool, well anyway see ya round!Report