The Democratic Debate: Houston Has Problems, Plans, and Candidates for President


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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136 Responses

  1. Avatar Philip H says:

    I have yet to watch a democratic debate. I probably won’t until after Super Tuesday. and as a life long progressive Democrat that should worry the DNC – since I am sure I’m not the only one. Based on reporting (your and others) I draw the following conclusions:

    1) Biden is still preordained. The DNC has done that at its own peril, and nothing seems to be persuading them. That’s bad for the party in the general because a lot of Obama supporting DINO’s I have met who voted Trump will take it as the Democrats being unserious about addressing issues and vote Trump again.

    2) If the intended battle never came off, perhaps we should stop looking for it. I know, that’s not how politics works these days, but how much more air time and print space will we waste seeking the unseekable?

    3) Beto’s well planned one liner has lost him a lot of support whether he knows it or not. As a liberal gun owner I have spent a lot of time pushing back on conservatives about gun seizures, and now all that is tossed because Beto will be forever trotted out as “That Liberal” who does indeed want to take guns away. It probably doomed him as a candidate in Texas, and yes, he needed to run for Senate again. Idiot.

    4) Harris needs to get her sh!t together. If you can’t deliver the signature line of your biggest opponent back to him without laughing you will never be taken seriously as a candidate no matter your gender. And misogyny being what it is, her nervous humor response will be held against her in many public fora. Sad – yes. Demoralizing to those of us who have come around to her proposals – you bet. But still true.

    5) The media can’t host actual debates that get to real issues. They just need to give it up.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Philip H says:

      What, exactly, has the DNC done to “preordain” Biden? I can’t think of a single thumb anyone has seen them put on the scale. Biden’s current lead appears to be because a lot of older voters, moderate voters and African American voters think he’s the best shot to beat Trump and has the most sensible policies. The DNC has nothing to do with that. Hell, if he wasn’t so elderly and Biden-y I’d be firmly in favor of him myself.Report

      • Avatar JS in reply to North says:

        “What, exactly, has the DNC done to “preordain” Biden?”

        Nothing. Nothing at all. It’s the common refrain from people who cannot actually fathom members of their party might prefer someone else. It’s the primary version of “But no one I know voted for Nixon”.

        It’s really common on the intertubes, as we all lean younger and more liberal here.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H says:

      Concur with your #3. I don’t even own a military pattern rifle and Beto has lost any hope of my vote.

      And what I hear is a lot of conservative gun owners aren’t terribly happy with Trump, so there is room for a moderate and reasonable D candidate to gain traction.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

      “5) The media can’t host actual debates that get to real issues.”

      It’s impossible to host a 10-man debate on issues. I don’t care who’s hosting it. Even academic panels with more than, say, 4 people can’t do it.

      But I don’t think that’s what they were going for anyway. I don’t think the candidates were looking for that. The ones who were barely on the stage were looking to move up, and the top-tier candidates probably just want to show enough policy to demonstrate that they’re serious. There may be a low-ranked candidate who wants to advance his issues, or thinks he can move up on the basis of policy proposals, but that’s tough to do.

      Another thing is, there’s no burning issue of our time. There are maybe 5 important ones, but there isn’t a single issue where a candidate’s specific policy preference would drive the voters one way or the other. Or, rather, the Democrats have a single dominant issue, and even though I wasn’t checking ID’s, every one of the candidates onstage probably wasn’t Donald Trump, so they all checked out.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Philip H says:

      It may have doomed him for a Senate race in 2020 (maybe), but in 2028 or 2032, somebody w/ Beto’s position could possibly win without much of an issue in Texas, just like plenty of liberal candidates would’ve lost by 10 points in Virginia & Colorado in 2004, but now quite easily can win.Report

  2. Avatar InMD says:

    I’d echo many of Philip’s sentiments above. Beto doesn’t belong on the stage and the gun grab thing, as much as it captures the sentiment of a certain part of the party, has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, especially when this election probably turns on a handful of gun friendly jurisdictions in the Midwest.

    The sooner this can turn into something like a Biden versus Warren the better. I like Bernie and always will but at some point I think his principles would be better advanced by endorsing her.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to InMD says:

      Uncle Bernie, though, ain’t going anywhere- bless his heart! He was running for President first, has a passionate voter base and plenty of money. He’s going to stump along right to the end bottling up those true believers where they won’t be able to help Warren. Biden and the rest of the centrist field owes him a debt of gratitude for that.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to North says:

        It’s a challenging situation. I think there’s a good chunk of the country (not the party mind you, the country) that’s ready for an adjustment on the way our system distributes wealth and the related social contract.

        Bernie’s non-partisanship gives him a broader appeal than Warren will ever have because of the constraints of the DNC, but her adherence to those constraints make her far more viable in the two party system. It’s unfortunate and operates to marginalize some very important ideas.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

          I don’t pretend to understand the internal dynamics, but this comment from Linker today made me wonder – for a moment – whether the winning dynamic is backwards:

          “At no point did the two take direct aim at each other, with the exception of an implicit sharp disagreement over the Senate filibuster. Warren, quite understandably, wants to abolish it, since it creates a formidable obstacle to passing progressive legislation. Sanders, inexplicably, insists on defending it. That seemingly small dispute points to a much bigger difference in their sensibilities that is bound to become an issue as they begin to turn on each other. Warren believes that every progressive victory will have to be won through bloody trench warfare, whereas Sanders talks about leading a popular movement that will bring about a fundamental transformation in American politics. ”

          That is, if Bernie were the crusty proceduralist willing to legislate the new order would the foil of a Warren leading a popular spiritual movement to transform America work better. Maybe its wishful thinking, but as many have noted, Warren has a past that lends itself better to a “New Way” than Bernie does… but its Warren who has eschewed her past to become more conventionally progressive and Bernie who (I think) understands that the kind of Socialism he may have previously embraced requires a different sort of renewal approach today. Or so are the muddled musings of a non-democrat about our fraught future.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to InMD says:

          I dunno. The principled libertarians were proven in ’16 to be a mirage and are on the wane in general so, yes, in a manner of speaking the small government side of things is on the mat. But the republitarian poodles of the wealthy which proved to be the majority of the libertarian movement in general is alive, well funded and still mostly running the show on the right even as Trump flails about. It remains to be seen if they’re going to be whipped. So the constituency against the kind of change you’re talking about remains extant, it’s just not so concealed as it was.

          Bernie is a dear old man who scowls and yells a lot, has a u-haul worth of baggage from the Soviet era and wheezes about “political revolutions” as a solution to every obstacle. He has non-partisanship in that both the left wing and every right winger to the right of the Democratic Party wishes he was the Democratic nominee.

          I’m still very glad he’s in the race because I don’t like how Warren has come down on a lot of issues and he’s crippling her, so I wish Bernie good health and a long campaign.Report

  3. Avatar North says:

    I think Amy Klobuchar- her best debate to date. I agree she didn’t pull off an upset that will catapult her into the lead but she didn’t have a bad night. I imagine this’ll keep her pacing along as a strong vice presidential pick and a safety net in the wings for moderate voters if Biden collapses.

    Buttigieg did alright, he has the money to keep on going and this performance won’t hurt him even if it won’t upend him. I am beginning to think Harris is in trouble- this makes two debates she’s whiffed on.

    From a moderate point of view it wasn’t a bad debate really. Substantive and good though I would have preferred that Beto O’Rourke hadn’t self immolated on guns on stage. He’s not going to win dog catcher now in Texas.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    At least Beto’s answer was bold and considering the very real tragedy that happened in his hometown, heartfelt.

    In terms of who belonged on stage, I would say that the three big frontrunners are Biden, Warren, and Sanders. There are theoretical Hail Mary ways that Harris and Booker could win the nomination. The other candidates do not have snowball chances in hell and should probably not be allowed on the debate stage anymore.

    These debates are for the Democratic Party faithful. The ones that will vote in primaries. Unlike the GOP which seems to have fallen for the orange fuhrer and is cancelling primaries in the name of fealty and fellatio to him.

    This poll came out a week ago. The polls show a steady wise for Warren. The really interesting question was which candidate do you think would be the best President for the country. Biden got 24 percent, Warren 20 percent, and Sanders 16 percent. I think Warren has proven herself to the Democratic base through campaigning and the debates. Lots of people still think Biden is overwhelming one most likely to beat Trump but Warren is making her points.

    But there are still lots of right-wing Boomers and early Gen Xers around that are shitting their pants that the Democratic Party is moving to the left and refuses to bow in fealty to Republicans. Kind of amusing I think.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I was all set to be a Trump voter and favored modest gun control but after all those smug conservatives kept calling me a gun grabber, finally I just said fish it, hell yeah I’m a gun grabber and so this is how you get President O’Rourke.

      Said no pundit ever, although I’m not sure why.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Look at Jennifer Rubin over at the WaPo. She was a Clinton basher before Clinton Bashing was cool and yet seems to have a huge blind spot as to her part in the Kubuke theatre production that led to Trump. She’s been working hard since then to distance herself and call out fellow Republicans, and even offer Democrats useful intel if they actually care to try and win the election. Given her professional blindness to her role in getting us here, is it any wonder she’d never write those words? And if she won’t, why would you expect the more liberal bunch to do so?Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H says:

          I think he is being sarcastic. Jennifer Rubin by this point is a moderate Democrat and possibly the only sincere #NeverTrumper.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

          Scorching hot breakfast take:
          “Gun Grabber” is to Beto as “racism” is to Trump.

          IOW forbidden taboos are forbidden only until they aren’t. If Trump has proven anything, its that the old boundaries of what Must Not Be Said no longer apply.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            I dunno. I suspect that it’ll be more like as “abortion” is to Todd Akin.

            There is a small, but very real, group of Republicans to whom Todd Akin’s comments just made good common sense.

            And so Republican politicians running for office in Massachusetts and Wisconsin and Maine got asked what they think about Todd Akin’s comments and whether they agree with it and so on and so forth.

            Sure, there’s a small group of people who agree…

            Anyway. In the coming days, I wonder if we won’t return to “nobody is arguing that they want to take away your AR-15.”Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Beto might end being better for gun sales than Obama was, as if Wayne La Pierre had put a chip in his head and was operating him remotely during the debate. He totally blew up the “reasonable gun control” talking points – probably forever.

            He also might have scared enough blue collar white union Democrats into pulling the level for Republicans.

            Biden performed well enough to stay on top,, and unless he suffers a health crisis, will likely be the nominee.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

              He also might have scared enough blue collar white union Democrats into pulling the level for Republicans.

              For the party that has been openly anti-union since Reagan busted the ATC strike? Hardly. Try again.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H says:

                All the union leader singing Trump’s praises, or at least praising his policies, would beg to differ. Politicians of both parties had been selling union members down the river with their unfair trade deals, exporting American manufacturing jobs by the million. Trump stood up to those politicians and the corrupt establishment and said “No more!” That’s why he won Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

                A lot of gun-owning, pick-up truck-driving union members were already fed up with being viciously insulted by the Democrat elites, and Beto has just given them another huge reason to change allegiances.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

              Which, if he becomes the nominee, makes everything Beto said moot.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    If you are Warren supporter, that should worry you; you do not want the first time your candidate takes a punch and has to respond to it to be on stage with Donald Trump, not having answers honed and ready

    There is zero chance of this being a factor. Trump is temperamentally incapable of employing any of the numerous rhetorical technique or tricks to establish a ‘gotcha’ moment for an opponent.

    Insults he can do just fine with, ditto name calling. But he is utterly incapable of attacking any of Warren’s (or anyone elses) policies and plans on their merits or lack thereof.

    At worst (best), the mods will offer him a lifeline and pose ‘attack questions’ directly to Trump’s Democratic opponent. But he has demonstrated repeatedly that he won’t be able to pick up with it and run with it.

    eta – the only kinda debate ‘trap’ the Democratic nominee has to watch out for is that Trump’s policies are bad and his execution of those policies is also incompetent. So large swaths of Trump’s vulnerability are perhaps off the table (where for e.g. Bush jr & sr they weren’t) -i.e. you’re not going to see the Dem nominee go ‘So, how’s that wall going Donny?’Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Kolohe says:

      Oh I don’t know – “how’s that wall going for you Donnie” could lead to great attack line about taking form the military and veterans as well as Mexico never paid for it, and oh by the way Donnie’s own DHS keeps saying that drugs come into legal ports of entry . . . . With good enough prep it could well poke lots of holes in the guy and show him up as the sanctimonious buffoon he is.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    As old taboos fall away and get replaced by new ones it’s hard to predict.

    I’m betting that the number of people who view AR 15s as a Fundamental Right versus those who see them as a Public Menace will shrink.
    But time will tell.Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Meh, maybe in Australia,

      As taboos fall away here I’m looking forward to the National Grenade Association, and maybe National Artillery Association becoming the irrational fear target. We’ll just have to replace that dwindling population of good natured hunters with war gamers.

      Imagine how busy the busy bodies will have to be.

      “we need a gun free zone over there, a grenade free zone over there, and a artillery free zone over there”
      “they can have grenades over here, but not guns and artillery over there”

      “Ohh my gawd, they banned this thingy on grenades but allowed that thing on artillery, the world is literally going to end!!”

      (and yes, I am aware I’m going to hell)Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    This is for Jaybird because the reply button is silly:

    It looks like a good part of the conservative coalition via people like Sohrab Ahmari are ready and willing to use the federal government to crack down on things like Drag Queen Story Hour. So how is it that the GOP is anti-government and anti-tyranny?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      So how is it that the GOP is anti-government and anti-tyranny?

      Um… they’re not? They’re moral scolds who hate the idea of people having fun in unapproved ways?

      If I were to be extra-cynical, I’d say that they aren’t being anti-government or anti-tyranny at all, but advocating for policies that will get more fence-sitting voters than being pro-Drag Queen Story Hour. Like, this is Democracy. Yay.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I dispute that Sohrab Ahmari is the ‘good’ part of the conservative coalition in any sense of the word good.

      Hard core Roman Catholicism integralism is a hard sell even within the population that underpins American conservatism, and even puting aside the scrambling that Trumpism has done with the religiously observant and religiously affiliated.

      Yeah, everyone can share in one particularly bigotry, but once that goes away, there’s nothing but troublesReport

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Kolohe says:

        Heh, I know (some of) the ground zero hard-core Integralists personally, and they haven’t even convinced their first degree of separation acquaintances. There is no Integralist movement beyond a few writers. I am, however, fascinated at their “engagement” scores… they do really well on twitter. Sohrab (who is one degree of separation from me) is someone who didn’t exist until maybe 9 months ago. He does, however, have a platform that makes him seem bigger than he is. Of course… his mission is to become bigger than he is… and maybe he will – but from the inside I can say that he’s not resonating (yet).Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Yeah TAC had an article the other day that basically boiled down to “Ahmari, WTF, do you recall that a lot of us are PROTESTANTS??”Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to North says:

            Just came across a pretty fair summary of the Post-Liberal right by a liberal (I think) in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Might be more than most want to spend on the phenomenon just yet… but if interested, there you go.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

              I’m coming to understand that Mencius Moldbug didn’t create/discover anything. He just had a usable surface in a supersaturated solution.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                Hmmn, I’ll have to chew on that… I’m not all that familiar with MM beyond knowing there’s an MM and he occupies some space over there.

                I guess the confounding thing is that the Post-Liberal phenomenon breaks the X/Y axis in that what I’m seeing isn’t more X than X, but rather, its a new Z axis… so it f’s the narratives in non standard ways.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                One of the first essays of his that I read was “Why I Am Not A Libertarian” and, golly, it was a good essay.

                I didn’t agree with it, of course.

                Not at the time.

                But here’s the start of a fun paragraph in the middle. If it strikes you as silly or obviously wrong, the rest of the essay ain’t gonna do it for you.

                The Loyalists were right. And yet they have no intellectual descendants at all, not in the US and not anywhere else. At least from the point of view of their political DNA, they were simply obliterated—not unlike the Cavaliers, to whom their resemblance is more than passing. And in what folder does almost everyone alive file this event? I’m afraid that folder is progress.

                But if you like that paragraph… well, you might find his other stuff pretty interesting.

                He’s yet another philosopher who excels at seeing things and noticing patterns and who falls flat on his butt when it comes to the “therefore, we all ought to…” part of philosophy.

                But, dang, that first part.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                I can see why you say there’s nothing original… but yeah, very original if that’s the first place one reads it.Report

          • Avatar James K in reply to North says:

            There’s a part of me that thinks the Integralists getting their way would be almost worth it just to see the looks on their faces when the Evangelical Protestants turn around and go all Thomas Cromwell on them.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to James K says:

              We’re the Gilead Republic of Roman Integralism, they are the Gilead Republicans!Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to James K says:

              Heh, well I suppose it would depend which European state we emulated whether we got a Cromwell or a Count Tilly. Though it is interesting casually casting my mind backwards over the great Generals of the past that we Catholics seemed to have peaked around Lepanto then Vienna… like we could only really muster the good stuff for the Big League Muslim fights… Intramurals? meh, couldn’t be bothered.

              Besides, Cromwell just beat up other Protestants and the poor Irish. Now Gustavus Adolphus, that would give me nightmares.Report

              • Avatar James K in reply to Marchmaine says:

                No, you’re thinking of Oliver Cromwell, I’m referring to his great uncle Thomas.


                But yes, Gustavus Adolphus would also get the point across.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to James K says:

                Of course you were, my mistake.

                Oddly, if we’re going back another 100 yrs or so, then rather Cromwell and Henry VIII there’s Charles V… which might just be peak Integralism. And simultaneously the best critique of Integralism consistent with its own principles… How throne and altar worked under ChV should give one pause, even if you are pro both.

                But, if I had to chose sides between Cromwell and his master and Charles V… I’m with the Charles.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      How does a New York Post journalist from Iran debating a staunch anti-Trump journalist, (one who got himself on the ballot to try to throw the election to Hillary), have anything to do with the GOP?

      I’m pretty sure New York journalists don’t count as a “good part of the conservative coalition.” Regarding Ahmari’s stance, Muslims and former Muslims are also going to have some issues with “Drag Queen story hour”, and are unlikely to shy away from opining on morality.

      If they weren’t both journalists nobody would have heard of their debate, and they probably wouldn’t have heard about each other, and if their spat still took place it probably would’ve been on the front porch of a Cracker Barrel.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

        Of course.
        Sohrab Amari, like John Bolton, has been Sharpie’d off the list of Loyal Party Members.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I’m pretty sure David French doesn’t wield a Sharpie. If he did, Trump wouldn’t be lounging in the Oval Office in complete contentment.

          French is a nagging nabob of negativism who thinks the Ted Baxter country-club Republicans must save us all from our moral and philosophical failings. He really should wear a monocle, or perhaps George Will style bow ties. That way we’d know from a distance how special he is.

          Opposing him in his debate was a recent Catholic convert from Islam who knows in his bones that “Drag Queen Story Time”, on the list of things that are WRONG, ranks right up there with inviting John Wayne Gacy to entertain at your kid’s birthday party. He just can’t come up with a coherent Constitutional position on why the government should treat it differently than its positions on farting at Thanksgiving dinner or kids running with scissors.

          Both are barking at the moon.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I meant good as in numerically significant. At least a sizeable minority. Maybe more.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Meanwhile AOC is allegedly the Khemer Rogue except not:

  10. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Yet Democrats are frittering away their advantage — and damaging their image. Last fall, most Americans had a favorable view of the Democratic Party, according to the Pew Research Center. That makes sense, because Democrats ran a populist campaign in the 2018 midterms, focused on pocketbook issues that dominate many people’s lives, like wages and medical costs.

    This year, the polling has flipped. Most Americans now have an unfavorable view of the party, no better than their view of the Republican Party. Likewise, slightly more voters say the “ideas being offered by the Democratic candidates” would hurt the country than say would help, according to the NPR poll. Emp. added.

    That was from a week ago, and it is the NYT, but I think that illustrates better than anything I have seen what these “Debates” are showing America. The D’s are no longer anywhere near moderates, centrists or any other such label. They have run straight into the maw of the hard left, much like the R’s did in times past. Beto the Fool, first of his name, strongly illustrates this. It is plain that many of these candidates, and I use that term loosely, are simply fundraising for the next election that they actually have a chance of winning. And they are dragging the party down with them.

    The party needs to turn this ship around, and quickly.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

      The mask has finally dropped.
      We are so radical, we are planning to build hyper realistic training camps for government agents to use for the upcoming urban warfare.

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        So, ICE (a federal law enforcement agency) is building an updated version of Hogans Alley, which the FBI (another fed LEA) has been using for over 50 years. And this is news how? And has anything to do with what I wrote?Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

          Because Beto is going to have BATF use it for practice in AR 15 confiscation, thus instantly changing it from “reasonable exercise in LawnOrder” to “ERMAGERD Jackbooted THUGS!!11!Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            When someone points to this thread next year as a response to you arguing that you have no idea why anybody thinks that the Democrats have any intention to confiscate guns, my advice is for you to just ignore it. Pretend they didn’t comment and ask you that.Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Jaybird says:

              Next year?
              In 24 hours, this whole thing will be a mystery, completely obscure.

              A bovine fart in a AOC wind generator.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

              I have long stated that I don’t believe there is a personal right to any sort of firearm contained within the 2nd Amendment.

              Were it not for activist judges, mine would be the mainstream position.

              But yeah, its my hope that in a couple years, after the ascension of Supreme Commander Warren and Tribulation and Rectification of Senators, the official GOP position will be “Of course all reasonable conservatives support confiscation of AR-15s! We simply demand fair market value for them!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Were it not for activist judges, mine would be the mainstream position.

                I hear ya! I feel the exact same way about the commerce clause.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Gun buy backs have the same problem as car buy backs or house buy backs. The money the government is giving you is the same money they took from you in taxes (since you are where they get all their money), so the cash comes out a wash and you’re simply out your guns, cars, and a house. In short, you got conned.

                But heck, just last year Beto was correcting the assertion that Texans shouldn’t have AR-15’s, telling them “To be clear they should have [AR-15s], if you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it, continue to use it responsibly.”

                I really doubt he’ll even keep his seat in El Paso. He’s wanting to disarm the white Texans, the black Texans, the Asian Texans, and the Hispanic Texans, and there aren’t a whole lot of other Texans.Report

              • I really doubt he’ll even keep his seat in El Paso.

                He gave up his House seat last year so he could run for Cruz’s Senate seat.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I think this shows the brilliance of Beto’s boldness.

                After 50 years of proposing modest, middling gun regulation and endless appeasement the gun crowd has only pushed farther into absolutism.

                Why not just say screw it, and push the window in the other direction?

                I, for one, propose house to house searches and confiscation of all guns.

                What are you willing to compromise on?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Whether it happens to all Americans or whether it only happens to the poor ones.

                I propose: We treat it the way we treated the drug war.

                Is this acceptable to you?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I prefer we treat it like the war on smoking, but I’m sure there is another analogy which is even more contrived.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Wait, wait, wait. Less than an hour ago, you said “I, for one, propose house to house searches and confiscation of all guns.” I copied and pasted that.

                It only took an hour to get you to move to doing it like the war on smoking?

                What’s on the table? If it’s going to soften considerably the longer we talk about policy, it might be a good play to just wait long enough for you to get back to “nobody is arguing that we confiscate guns, nobody wants to take your guns away”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                We need a snark tag.

                In all seriousness, the war on smoking is my best analogy.
                The comparison would be how the culture evolved to make smoking disagreeable and unhip, which paved the way for popular acceptance of legislative bans.

                Part of changing the culture on smoking was to do this sort of radical feints, forcing people to defend even the concept of smoking, then compromising on modest curbs.

                There are no SWAT teams kicking in the doors of cigarette speakeasys, because the prohibition is self-enforcing.

                I know you prefer the war on drugs analogy, but do you think guns are more like cigarettes, or more like marijuana?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                So… what position am I arguing against? Is it back to “nobody wants to take your cigarettes away”?

                Because, if so, that was pretty easy.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s more diabolical than simple confiscation.

                We’re going to change the culture so that you will throw your guns away like an ashtray.

                And pictures of people walking around with guns will seem like Mad Men smoking in elevators, where people will be astonished it ever happened.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, Californication seems to be changing the Culture in Colorado.

                In the cities, anyway.

                Maybe similar will be able to change the rest of the country too.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                In the cities, anyway.

                North Front Range suburbs. I live in CO-7, created after the 2000 census, intended to be competitive. The first election it was — the Republican won, 47.31% to 47.24%. It’s been sliding steadily leftwards ever since. Last year the Dem won 60.42% to 35.42%. In that most recent election, the Republicans were forced to run a retread candidate from years earlier because no one else was willing to waste their time.

                I suppose we count as “cities”; most of the population is in cities with populations >100,000.Report

              • I think you are right about the window moving. Beto probably isn’t thinking this far ahead, and moderate Dem’s are right to be mortified by what this will do short term, but the dam has been broken on saying the previously quiet part out loud, and the folks that really want and believe that will be empowered to say so going forward. In the future it will no longer be shocking, or verboten, similar to the push for M4A and even using the banner Democratic Socialism as a positive compared to 10 years ago. By next cycle it will probably be party platform.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                We will see.
                Consider Beto’s statement a trial balloon, to test which way the wind is blowing.

                My entirely biased hunch is that the number of people who are weary of spree shootings is growing, while the number of gun enthusiasts is declining.Report

              • To game it out, I think the pushing of what was till now considered extreme will end up shifting the conversation in the long run, and enough moderate voices will use that extreme (to them, I don’t want to quibble over the wording there) position now voiced by Beto and give in on something with wide support, like the background checks arguing “it’s this or that.”Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                I think Beto has doomed any gun control measures for the next few decades, because the response to any measures has always been “It’s the camel’s nose under the tent. They really want to take away all the guns.”

                Well, Beto has ripped away the mask and said “F*** yeah! That’s the goal!”

                So no further compromise will be possible, because any attempts at registration are obviously just trying to get a list of guns to seize by force.

                It’s like answering the Democrat charge of “They want to put you back in chains” by having David Duke on the debate stage saying “F*** yeah, we’re gonna put you back in chains!” and thinking he’s somehow moving the Overton Window, as opposed to writing a party’s epitaph.Report

              • I think you are wrong. HE’s doomed it in the short term, but broke the taboo of D’s discussing it openly. It’s a shift that isn’t going away.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                Dem’s used to discuss it openly all the time, and then they started getting crushed at election time in district after district, as white blue collar voters rebelled. So they shut up and stopped talking about gun control.

                The only thing that changed since then is that gun rights became more and more popular, with a raft of states passing CCW legislation and the Supreme Court making multiple rulings that reaffirm the NRA’s long standing positions.

                Apparently the Democrats completely forgot why they quit talking about gun control and stopped returning calls from the Brady Center.Report

    • Avatar JS in reply to Aaron David says:

      “The party needs to turn this ship around, and quickly.”

      Why? Do you feel that they’ve changed since November of last year, when they over-performed remarkably? Do you think they’ve changed since last week, which saw multiple polls of all five top candidates beating Trump in Texas, of all places? And winning much more handily nationally?

      I get you disagree with them. But they appear to be winning. They won the last election, handily. They’re winning in polls for the next election, by a rather sizable margin. The biggest loss they’ve seen lately is a narrow loss in NC-09, an R+8 district. Which, if scaled up to the nation as a bellwether for 2020, means they’ll narrowly lose Texas but win NH, PA, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, NC, Ohio, Arizona, and Georgia.

      What exactly would they gain from changing? Besides pleasing you, personally, what reason do they have to change?Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to JS says:

        Polling before the ’18 election had the D’s doing substantially better than the R’s in these same categories. And in that election, they ran as populists. As they have dropped to these levels in the time since it seems they have changed. Which is what I am witnessing, along with the people the polling samples.Report

        • Avatar JS in reply to Aaron David says:

          >And in that election, they ran as populists

          Actually they ran as “anti-Trump” and they won. So what’s your point?

          >Which is what I am witnessing, along with the people the polling samples.

          You mean like polls from just last week showing all major Democratic candidates beating Trump in Texas?

          How about the national matchups? Aggregates show: Biden +11 versus Trump. Warren +5. Sanders +7. Harris +4. Fun fact: Trump doesn’t break 44% in a single poll. Democratic candidates range from 53 to 45, but Trump stays rock steady. That means the differences between candidates versus Trump is solely based on rising undecided voters.

          So what polling are you referencing? Biden, the most well known Democrat to the public at large and current primary leader is winning by +11. A full four candidates are pulling wins in Texas.

          I’m at a loss as to what you’re seeing. Polling shows Trump struggling with a 40% approval rating and a 53%+ disapproval rating, losing to every major Democratic candidate in head-to-heads, even the unpopular and basically unknown ones, and struggling in states such as Texas.

          And you’re recommending Democrats change their tactics? Why is that again?Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to JS says:

        Beware citing NC-09. Two weeks prior to the election the Democrat was polling 17 points ahead.

        In fact, beware of polling in general because they haven’t fixed whatever was wrong when they were saying Hillary was going to win with virtual certainty. Things have gotten a whole lot more polarized since then, and many people are not being remotely honest when contacted.

        The Democrats who flipped seats in 2018 were running to the center and emphasizing jobs and economic growth. Republicans happened to be at a nadir after abjectly failing to pass any border wall funding while controlling both houses. Their voters were pretty disenchanted and pissed off at Republicans.

        But now the Democrats are running hard left, pandering to college activists and outraged Twitter users. This may be a mistake of fantastically large proportions.Report

        • Avatar JS in reply to George Turner says:

          “But now the Democrats are running hard left, pandering to college activists and outraged Twitter users. This may be a mistake of fantastically large proportions.”

          That is exactly what was being said about Democrats right before the 2018 election. How did that work out for them?

          “Beware citing NC-09. Two weeks prior to the election the Democrat was polling 17 points ahead.”

          Don’t cherrypick polls. It’s a grave sin. At least use one that was actually in line with ever other poll, such as the last one before the election that had McReady up +3.

          I’m still not sure exactly what’s comforting about winning a hard-fought R+8 district in a low-turnout election. Texas is R+8, and I think we can all agree that if the GOP has to fight hard to hold Texas that’s a bad sign, yes?

          “The Democrats who flipped seats in 2018 were running to the center and emphasizing jobs and economic growth. ”

          Democrats ran, uniformly, on opposing and acting as a check to Donald Trump.

          “in fact, beware of polling in general because they haven’t fixed whatever was wrong when they were saying Hillary was going to win with virtual certainty.”

          People stating “ignore the polls” have generally rarely gone on to win. It seems to be the go-to move for anyone behind in the polls. As for the 2016 polls, they were spot on nationally. Even the battleground polls were fairly close — they missed a last minute shift to Trump over the last few days, but they all had very narrow spreads between Trump and Clinton. That’s why 538 was throwing out a 30%+ chance of Trump winning — if there was a last minute Trump break of even two points, it’d flip the map entirely.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Aaron David says:

      Hey, Aaron, what was your views on the 2018 Democratic midterm campaign?Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jesse says:

        My views on it? They ran a good solid campaign, on a generally economic populist platform. They weren’t running on a “We are gonna take your stuff away” platform like now. It wasn’t a wave, but very in line with what happens two years into a presidency. I do think the Mueller report not coming out yet helped them a lot. But that is just a feeling.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to Aaron David says:

          Well then, explain that despite the Democrat’s going far left, that according to the RCP polling, the Democratic lead in the Congressional ballot is sitll 8.8, only a tick off from their 9 point win in 2018?

          Also, as far as a “wave”, the margin they won by be a slightly larger margin than Republicans achieved in 2010 or 1994. It would be about the same as the Democratic advantage in 2006.

          The only reason the Democrat’s didn’t win more seats is gerrymanders engineered thanks to the 2010 GOP wave.

          Now, I know your response will be, “but the Senate”, yes, Republican’s won seats in states going their own way, as politics nationalize. I can easily see a world where Trump somehow wins in 2020, but Susan Collins still loses in Maine, or Cory Gardner loses by 10 in Colorado.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

          So far as I can see, all 4 leading Dems including Bernie beat Trump in a head to head matchup.

          So if the election were held tomorrow there is about a 30% chance that America will have a Socialist President.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Gallup polled to find the percentage of Americans who would be comfortable voting for a candidate who is:

            Black: 96%
            Catholic: 95%
            Hispanic: 95%
            Female: 94%
            Jewish: 93%
            Evangelical: 80%
            Gay or lesbian: 76%
            Under age 40: 71%
            Muslim: 66%
            Over 70: 63%
            Athiest: 60%
            Socialist: 47%

            And that’s without Trump dominating every news cycle to explain exactly how disastrously socialism always ends up, or why we spent forty years in a nuclear-tipped cold war with socialist republics.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

              Weird then, how when confronted with Socialist Bernie and Trump, they pick The Socialist.

              Says something about Trump dunnit?Report

            • Avatar Jesse in reply to George Turner says:

              People likely don’t consider things like M4A socialist.

              What they consider socialist is ya’ know, seizing the means of production or doing other thing Russia did, not things um…England does.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jesse says:

                England abandoned socialism decades ago when they risked falling to Third World status, beset by constant strikes, labor unrest, and a stagnant economy. So they went for Thatcher and she nationalized, privatized,, or axed large swaths of government dysfunction.

                Sweden likewise abandoned socialism decades ago, tired of going decades without adding a single net private sector job.

                As they say, socialism works to the extent it’s not implemented, and sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.

                Warren is going to take away everyone’s private health insurance and up their taxes, and then tax people’s capital instead of their return on investment, which will see them abandon stocks and bonds en mass because they’d be better off stuffing cash under their mattress.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                Ha ha, no one is proposing socialism.

                We are just proposing that we take billions of dollars out of the Treasury and give it to the peasants.

                And have the Executive unilaterally decide what imported products will or won’t cost more.

                And issue directives forcing utility companies to buy whatever energy source he deems appropriate.

                And have the federal government build mass housing for the peasants who currently are homeless.

                And confiscate whatever land he feels is necessary to implement policy.

                But not, in any fashion, implement socialism!Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to George Turner says:

                Meh, they still have London to deal with and the ancoms there are really, really out there. They make Chip and Jesse look like a right wing ancaps. You have to sprinkle in a little new age mysticism to get the full flavor.

                One I ran across actually believed that a person could live their entire life without food. I asked why he was still eating, and he said his soul wasn’t “balanced” with the universe enough.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            And maybe that would happen. But, at least two of those polls had HRC by 4 points. And where is she now?

            But, looking at those polls, they are 14 months out from the election, there isn’t a single person to focus on, they haven’t been in a debate with Trump, and so on. They mean nothing. Or, everything. Take your pick. Choose wisely.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

              Or mebbe, just mebbe, Real Americans luv them some gummint intervention in the marketplace, so as to pick winners and losers and bring those jobs back.

              Its only called Socialism when the wrong people benefit.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s weird your not using the term reactionary these days. It’s like the discontinuation of centrally planned, government regulated, military secured, trade thoroughfares just magically turns into a form of socialist protectionism, and not a reactionary response to “free trade”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to JoeSal says:

                Reactionary rarely has any application to economic matters.
                Reactionary is most always a reaction to threatened social hierarchy.

                And yeah, there’s a lot of that going on.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Reactionary rarely has any application to economic matters.

                See also: Socialism.

                There’s a similar joke to be written about the second sentence but it needs to change to “preaction” or something. Ah, it’s the weekend. Heck with it.Report

  11. Avatar Jesse says:

    A reminder to the people above acting like what Beto said is the equivalent of approving of Stalin –

    Quinnipiac poll 8/21-26

    • 60-34% want stricter gun laws
    • 93-6% want univ bkground checks
    • 60-36% favor assault weapons ban
    • 49-46% oppose forced buybacks
    • 80-15% favor red flag laws
    • 82-16% back licensing reqt
    • 72-21% say Cong not doing enuf

    Beto’s opinion on buybacks is more popular than basically every Republican economic item, and most of their social platform as well. The left, and more importantly, the center and moderate left is radicalizing on guns as pro-gun people all say, “but you shall not infringe.”

    Personally, even though I agree with him, the smarter thing to do is Cory Booker’s support of licensing requirement of guns, which make gun nuts go crazy, but seems reasonable and fair to literally everybody else.Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Jesse says:

      “but you shall not infringe.”
      are you sure that’s the status of those folks?

      carry on though, full speed ahead, haReport

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jesse says:

      Perhaps fair to everyone but the Supreme Court, which held in Heller that citizens have a Constitutional right to own guns that plenty of gun owning citizens have decided are guns worth owning.

      New Zealand, a country without a Second Amendment and with high tolerance for restrictive gun laws, instituted a mandatory buy back program. So far that law has a 0.1% compliance rate. Connecticut found the same problem. Virtually nobody is going to turn in their guns, even for money, even if it’s mandatory.

      Beto has just insured that any proposed compromise is dead on arrival, and he’s going to sell millions of extra AR-15’s at inflated prices.Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to George Turner says:

        “Perhaps fair to everyone but the Supreme Court, which held in Heller that citizens have a Constitutional right to own guns that plenty of gun owning citizens have decided are guns worth owning.”

        It’s amazing what can change when the composition of a Supreme Court changes when it comes to narrowly decided cases based on sketchy case law. Heller wasn’t exact Brown vs. BoE when it comes to agreement.

        Also, Heller included phrasing from noted Communist Antonin Scalia that the 2nd amendment wasn’t all encompassing, and that gun regulations could still be passed.

        “Virtually nobody is going to turn in their guns, even for money, even if it’s mandatory.”

        If the result of an AWB ban + buyback is that current AWB owners have to hide their guns, can’t display them in public, and when they die, those guns are taken by the state, that’s a positive, because it undercuts the current reactionary American gun culture in a positive way.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jesse says:

          Um, just how does the state take the guns when the owners die, except perhaps by prying them from cold dead fingers? Basically, the guns cease to exist on paper. Everybody just lost their rifles in the creek last October, so no need to worry about the twenty or so million missing ARs and AKs.

          Unless someone gets on the radar in a major way, perhaps due to mental problems or drug dealing, the police aren’t going to get involved. Many law enforcement agencies flatly refused to take anyone’s guns away because they were bigger Constitutional gun advocates than most of the citizens they serve.

          Heck. I think Montana made it a criminal violation to enforce federal gun laws within the state. That really doesn’t matter because they have a very low homicide rate, and rifles of all kinds are only involved in 2.6% of homicides. The number of people killed with rifles is less than the number of people killed with hammers and other blunt instruments.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

            Prohibitions work when they move in tandem with culture.

            Smoking restrictions come to mind.
            When I started smoking in 1978, it was still considered an abridgment of fundamental human rights not to be able to light up in an elevator.
            People smoked in grocery stores, offices, airplanes and theaters. My mom’s doctor advised her to quit after she had a collapsed lung…as he puffed away on a cigarette.

            I actually wrote an essay in college freshman composition about how absurd the advocates of smoking bans were- one of my points was that it would take a draconian police state to do something as absurd as ban smoking in workplaces.

            Yet, here we are. Smoking restrictions don’t require a police state because so few people actually want to smoke and so many people don’t.

            So the real battle isn’t going to be in the legislatures- its going to be in culture, as guns either grow more popular with more people, or less popular with fewer people.Report

      • Avatar JoeSal in reply to George Turner says:

        I would propose that pretty much everyone who is going to get a ar15 has one at this point. Hell, they may have two or three. I think where we are headed isn’t about concern over compliance rates. That’s not necessarily the part that bothers me either.

        The part that bother me is that the talk about peaceful partitioning isn’t really happening. I’m usually the gloom and doom guy, but this is pretty grim stuff.

        I guess on the lighter side, that if you do chart close to Stalin on the x-y axis there are plenty of leftist regimes out there looking for a few good men and women.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to JoeSal says:

          Well, now everyone has to go out and buy another one, plus an extra junk rifle to turn in to the government at a profit if real money gets waved around. Those $20 flea-market guns show up at every local level gun buy-back program.

          I could see a good business model of making cheap “AR like objects” that couldn’t shoot a bullet, just to bilk the government for cash. You could sell three or four of those to fund each purchase of a really nice M-14 or BAR, or something belt fed since those aren’t covered by magazine restrictions.Report

  12. I never thought I’d see a debate where the Democratic slate made Obama look like a rock-ribbed conservative and yet, here we are.Report

  13. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Meanwhile in the world of actual Democrats:

    Warren got the best performance reviews last night. Castro the worst. Biden and Sanders underperformed. O’Rourke and Beto over performed:

    • I’ll freely admit some bias and skepticism, but it isn’t like I don’t try to be objective and level about these things; I’ve been told Elizabeth Warren has won every debate she’s been in this cycle, but my eyes don’t see it. She disappeared for long stretches Thursday night. She did fine, she always performs fine in these things. If fine is good enough to win compared to what is on stage, ok I see it, but I don’t think she is blowing people away here. And, maybe wrong, I don’t think she is convincing people outside her support base, and is more like the “as others fail we turn to her” candidate. She can win the nomination that way, but not sure that’s what Team Warren is shooting for support wise.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

        I just think a lot of people on this blog are dumb struck at the idea that Democrats believe in things and don’t worship at the feet of Saints Ronnie and Rand. Plus the way people act on this blog, as noted above, you would think Donald Trump is super-popular and Democrats suffered major defeats in 2018.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          In the comment sidebar, it shows this comment as beginning “I just think a lot of people on this blog are dumb” and I thought “dang, somebody began today by eating their Wheaties!”

          Sadly, I was disappointed by the full sentence.

          Anyway, I don’t think that the problem is that Democrats believe in things.

          I think that the problem is that they believe that the things they believe in are the only moral position that anyone could reasonably hold and, moreover, so moral that they will be the only moral position tomorrow and would have been the only moral position yesterday. (Which makes it weird when you go back and see what they were arguing yesterday… and how it was completely different. But still had the whole “only moral position” thing going on.)Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

            Oh ha! There is probably more disagreement between North and I on healthcare policy than in the entire right side of the spectrum. The only acceptable right-wing position on healthcare is to end it all and set the market FREEE!!!

            Or by moral position are you annoyed that Democrats don’t give space to fascists that want to jail and hurt drag queens? Great hill to die on.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              Well, given the world of actual Democrats, I was thinking of the positions that Biden held in, say, the 90’s compared to the positions that he holds today.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yeah, but isn’t that just what people do?
                I mean, people like me and John Cole are outliers in that we repeatedly stress our past positions as wrong.

                Most people in my experience don’t do that.

                Tens of millions of Americans changed their mind about SSM virtually overnight, yet no one seems to make a big deal out of that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Tens of millions of Americans changed their mind about SSM virtually overnight, yet no one seems to make a big deal out of that.

                If they were arguing that all gay men ought to stop tomcatting around and get married and they don’t understand why in the world they don’t and, as a matter of fact, people who don’t agree are incomprehensible…

                Well, it’d be a lot easier to make a big deal out of that.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                SSM is an illustrative example of the power of the liberal project but there are important distinctions. The biggest one is that SSM and gay rights more generally involved an elimination of de jure restrictions and discrimination. The goals were tangible, limited, and consistent with other 20th century civil rights movements.

                I’m not sure that the currently influential strain of Marxist-tinged progressivism that increasingly demands accomodation and the imposition of restrictions on others will work quite the same way. The cost of losing to those forces is certainly a lot higher.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

                Erick Erickson’s essay “You Will Be Forced To Care” and the current freakout over Drag Queen Story Hour are good examples of how the right sees things.

                Erick’s point was that it wasn’t enough for us liberals to simply strike down de jure discrimination laws, and it wasn’t enough for them to simply live and let live.

                He stressed that we were demanding that the conservatives treat gays as legitimate; Legitimate marriages, legitimate Scout leaders legitimate ministers and so on.

                His fear was that anyone who was vocal about homosexuality being an immoral perversion would face social condemnation and censure.

                And..he is correct. As I’ve said before, there isn’t any middle ground with regard to dignity. It doesn’t lend itself to splitting the difference or “everybody do their own thing” accommodation.

                In virtually every study of Trump voters their biggest hot button issues are not markets or redistribution economics, but the shifting social terrain in which they find themselves as outcasts.

                Just saw this –

                In Coal Country, the Mines Shut Down, the Women Went to Work and the World Quietly Changed


                I wonder how much of the support for Trump comes from men who are terrified of this new world?Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

            As opposed to what, though?

            Are our counterparts on the right notable for their nuance, flexibility, and spirit of compromise?Report

        • No doubt true enough. FWIW I don’t care for Rand.

          Trump is not popular, by historical measurements at least, and his winning was far more a failure of HRC than an accomplishment of Trump. He was in the right place at the right time. If he is re-elected, it will once again be not because of him as much as the presented alternative was not up to the task of beating him. The Democrats won those 40-odd seats in 2018 based on several things besides just the normal cycle of out-of-power party gaining in mid-terms, annoyance with Trump from the moderates in suburbs and swing-districts chief among them. Which to me is the question of this Democratic Primary: those same voters that peeled off and handed the house to Team Blue, will the nominee be able to appeal to all of them to get across the 270 line.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

            I’m going to issue a very civil but firm dissent (largely):

            1. HRC did win the popular vote by several million. Yes, she was not the most popular candidate in the world and turn out in places like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh but if anything it was more of a failure of the electoral college being able to produce wildly undemocratic results than anything else. But dealing with electoral college reform is hard, blamming HRC is easy especially for guys who spent their adolescence and twenties during the 1990s as the Clinton Hate Machine was at full force. We are the same age but you probably grew up in much more conservative corners.

            2. I strongly disagree on 2018. How to say this? I think there is a certain type of person and this person is usually a white guy that seems to think it is inconceivable and/or impossible for Democrats to do anything well or intentionally. Every victory is a fluke for a Democrat. But this is not true. I think Trump is turning off a lot of people from the GOP/conservatism especially white women. And more demographics.

            One poll I saw this week on New York’s daily intel bar said that the only group that approved of Trump by more than 50 percent was guess what? White men. At 54 percent.

            3. I agree that AOC types are not largely representative of the freshman Democratic class but it is important to note that 2019’s moderates are not the moderates of the Clintion 1990s. They are further to the left and more firm on being pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-LBGT rights, and protecting the ACA, Medicare, and Social Security. This is not third way DLCism anymore.

            3a. We discussed this a while ago but I think a lot of these people might call themselves moderates more for aesthetic reasons than anything else. Are they to the right to AOC? Probably. But “moderate” is a term used because they think it sounds sensible and above the fray. Not because it has any meaning ideologically.

            3b. I think you are kind of proving my point by noting a lot of the freshman were more moderate than AOC.

            3c. California is instructive of how far the GOP has gone off the deep end. This used to be a state with a very Republican history and was Republican friendly more than not. This is the state that produced William Knowland, Ronald Reagan, Pete Wilson, Richard Nixon, etc. But now the GOP is a rump party and seems incapable of moderating to be competitive. If the California GOP could say turn themselves into Jacob Javits Republicans, I think they would be successful. Instead they would rather “own the libs” and troll. That is not the sign of a healthy political party.

            4. What I see are a lot of guys (often white guys) who learned about politics from the Reagan ascent and 1994 Republican revolution. To them, anything but voting Republican is like being from Saturn. But the smartest among them see that the tides are changing and instead of adapting, they just decide to dig in with minority rule techniques like gerrymandering. See how the Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina GOPs deal with being in states that are more Democratic friendly than they want. They can only stay alive because of gerrymandering, not because they win in the realm of ideas.

            5. Suppose the American public is more liberal than you are. Does that pose an existential threat? For a lot of conservatives (and white guys), the answer seems to be yes. We are entering a time when white guys might not be the default catered to American anymore and that scares the hell out of a lot of them.

            Most of the music I listen to is indie rock, jazz, and classical. These are niche genres these days. Pop and hip-hop are dominant. I am curious about this but it is not an existential threat to me. But for a lot of guys my age to 20 years older or so, they are really panicked that the rock they listened to in the 1980s and 1990s is no longer popular and they react accordingly.Report

            • If the California GOP could say turn themselves into Jacob Javits Republicans, I think they would be successful. Instead they would rather “own the libs” and troll.

              My perception is that the same thing is happening in Colorado, although not to the same degree yet. 2018 was a horrible year for the Colorado Republicans — the Dems won a state government trifecta, all the state-wide offices that were up, and flipped a US House seat.

              The Republicans ran six recall attempts this past summer — one of the six resigned for other reasons, one is still in signature collection, the other four all failed to get enough signatures to make the ballot. So much for “owning the libs”.

              There seems to be a lot of infighting going on. I don’t pay a lot of attention but I think the moderates are losing.Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              I figure we are about 3 weeks from Saul yammering that Chomsky is a far right white supremacist who is real afraid. Maybe a week after Thomas Sowell.Report

            • fair enough lets go through that:

              1. 270 is all that matters, popular vote/EC discussion is what is – we can hash that out some other time this list is long enough – and you have half a point there but cut the wrong direction on it, at least when it comes to myself. It is true, and I’ve written on it here and elsewhere, the Clinton years where formative to me, not just on the Clinton aspect but on the feckless incompentence/hypocrisy of the GOP as a political party. My feelings of the Clinton’s is not the caricature of late-90’s conservatives; I personally have interactions and knowledge of them along with other things that formed my opinion of them beyond right-wing talk radio jabber and talking points. I (assuming here correct me if wrong) did grow up probably more conservative but perhaps there are nuances there you also don’t appreciate and would have no way of knowing about. Without exception everyone I grew up around were Democrats, including me until 2004-5ish (I honestly don’t recall when I changed affiliation too many deployments right around there) Something I would actually like to have a discussion about some other time.

              2. I don’t think 2018 was a fluke at all. Trump is the fluke, if there is such a thing. Much of politics is cycles and patterns in socio-political masses. As you rightly point out, and I agree with, those suburban districts that produced that sea change and women are a dominant force in that area. And it is not just men, you can break that demographic down even farther by education and economics.

              3. Here’s how I use moderate, since your point on definition is valid: I don’t think moderate is the “third” option beside “progressive” and “conservative”. Moderate would be a spectrum that is probably something like 30-40% of the country, a number that goes higher when opposed with either of the two extremes. You are correct the shift left ward is not only noticeable, but accelerating.

              3a. Agree here. I think a lot of people that are otherwise Apolitical roll with “moderate” because a lot of things they can’t tell you with precious all the ins and outs of their belief, but they know what they ARE NOT when they see it, and when presented with it take on moderate tone and tendencies.

              3b. It is just factually true that they are, which is as it should be since you have a diverse country, of course someone in a suburban swing district isn’t going to be as progressive as NY-14.

              3c. We could write a couple of books on this topic but yes California is a one-party state for all practical purposes. The GOP holds plenty of blame for that. I forget who it was, but there was a pretty popular essay series going around about how California is the harbinger for the rest of the country. This, in my opinion, is wishful when extrapolated out to the national level. There are a lot of unique factors that make California the way it is, and it has tremendous advantages that allow experimentation in governance. But this will be tested soon enough when Gavin Newsome runs for president (FWIW I think he might well win since post-Trump GOP is going to be Chernobyl and he would be catching what should be a leftward swing in cycles but that’s another topic)

              4. I’ve already touched on the “not imagining voting for a democrat” since I have and will when they are the best candidate. As for gerrymandering, as much as it is a one sided discussion here, it is also a bipartisan practice. I abhor it being used both ways. Saying others can only win because of it is rather similar to your original complaint about folks not imagining Democrats can win, is it not? NC-9 is about 1000 yards behind my house, I’ve very happy that and other electoral corruption was caught and they can root our and prosecute such things everywhere they find it. I would love to have an end to gerrymandering, since not long ago we have three election in 18 mths due to court rulings changing/appealing/redrawing maps. It’s bad for the country. But both parties are guilty, you can argue degrees but there is none righteous in this regard. End all of it.

              5. No. I feel zero threat from demographics. People that do are small minded and have far bigger flaws than politics going on with them. Which is how you get demagogic cult of personality political leaders. Who I am well on record against.

              I like every genre of music you listed there. But as you have established, I am probably not normal. I will, however, die on the hill that 90s hip-hop was vastly superior to todays. Call me old and out of touch if you must.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                The difference between Democrat’s and Republicans on gerrymandering is simple – in 2019, some Democratic still gerrymander, but when it goes to the voters, let’s look at what happens –

                when it happened in California, sure the official Democratic party opposed the referendum, but once it passed, they’ve done nothing to undermine it.

                OTOH, after a referendum in Michigan, the Republican’s have done all they can to water down and reverse it.

                In addition, every single Democrat I know actually believes in the idea of one man, one vote, and that majorities in an area should hold political power equal to the power of their vote – which is why we want to get rid of the Electoral College, lessen the power of the Senate, expand the House, etc.

                OTOH, it’s Republicans, who talk about a ‘republic, not a democracy’, and when I bring up thinks like Wisconsin giving a legislative majority despite the Democrat’s winning a strong majority of the votes, they either say, “it’s the Dem’s fault for packing into urban areas” or “well, if we go by population, libs in cities will control everything.”

                So, in all reality, when I hear you say, “there is none righteous,” I hear the same BS Bothsideism that infects supposed moderates, who don’t want to say one side is actually worse.

                I’m all for redistricting commissions for Illinois or Maryland, as soon as the GOP passes theirs in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and every other state they’ve gerrymandered in the past decade or so.

                OTOH, if ‘moderates’ keep on acting like both sides on equal, then I’ll likely just start supporting Democratic gerrymanders anywhere we hold a modicum of power for any time at all, and screw the moderates who get upset about it.Report