Hillarity Ensues: Clinton vs Tulsi

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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.

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  1. Avatar Dark Matter
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    says:

    Who needs the Russians’ propaganda machine when we willingly dive head first into the dumb end of the political pool ourselves?

    That. If we can’t tell the difference between Russian propaganda and our own stupid stuff then maybe there’s less propaganda than we want to think.Report

  2. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
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    says:

    I think we’re entering a third Red Scare, where “red” means “Russian” and not “radicalism” or “communism.” However, those Red Scares weren’t only about radicalism and communism anyway.

    As far as “scares” go, it won’t be quite as scary. I don’t anticipate a new McCarthyism, and the side that seems to be re-uptaking the Palmer raids is the side most credibly accused of collaborating with the Russians. But as long as the allegations are “someone manipulated Facebook to direct users to posts that may support Russian-favored policies,” then my answer is “meh, that’s one of the costs of using the internet.” (One allegation I’ve heard, that “Russians” may have tampered with electronic voting machines, is much more scary, if true. I have absolutely no idea if that’s a credible allegation or something that’s just water cooler talk.)

    Mine is not specifically a comment on Clinton or Gabbard or this kefuffle. I’m not a fan of Clinton, though I voted for her in 2016. I’m probably not a fan of the second [ETA: I mean Gabbard]. At any rate, I know almost nothing about her. About the kefuffle and Democratic posturing for 2020….I’ll care when someone actually gets the nomination. At that point, I’ll almost definitely vote for that person as long as they’re not unconscionable.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Broke: Tulsi is a Russian Operative and Clinton is trying to draw your attention to that

    Woke: Clinton is a Russian Operative and Clinton is trying to draw your attention away from thatReport

  4. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    A more reasonable explanation can be found here:

    Report

  5. Avatar Stillwater
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    says:

    The best thing I read about Hillary implying Tulsi is a Putin asset came from Justin Amash, who said “The thing we know for sure is that Hillary Clinton is a Donald Trump asset.” I mean, it’s pretty clear at this point that if she really wanted Democrats to win she would stop speaking in public. How hard can it be? Obama seems to do it with ease.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    “Being useful to the GRU’s online efforts isn’t the same as being on the payroll”…

    So…is everyone agreeing that Gabbard is in fact willfully useful to the Russian attempts to manipulate our election?

    And, yet, this is waved away as a kerfuffle over nothing?

    The defense here is “Hey, I’m not a paid Russian propagandist! I do it for free!”Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Gab sucks and blows. But her play is solely to get a signal boost by trying to get someone with a lot more attention and that still, bizarrely, gives many people a raging hate-on to acknowledge her. Gab is playing to conservatives so having Clinton respond gave her what she wanted. Don’t want Gab, don’t fall for her tactic. Yeah the russian’s are, according to various figures among R’s and D’s and the intell community, trying to F with our elections again. But that makes it even more important to not fall for her play.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Ask yourself this: Would Obama have uttered the words Hillary did? (Would *any* good politician have uttered those words?)

      That’s the kerfluffle. Hillary is just awful at politics, so bad people start to wonder whose side she’s on. (Answer: Hillary’s side, of course.)

      Dems need to cut her loose from the party, but she’s like a barnacle that can’t be scraped off without destroying the hull. 🙂Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        I saw a nice graphic of a cold sore with Hillary’s face on it, proudly saying “I’m back!!!” Yeah, nice party they have there. Too bad it has herpes. ^_^

        Earlier yesterday one of Hillary’s spokesmen went on Fox News to talk to Martha McCallum and Karl Rove. They were expecting him to explain away or defuse Hillary’s Russian asset claims. Instead they watched in amazement as he doubled down on them, smearing Tulsi as an obvious Russia asset and a traitor. So it’s not just Hillary, it’s a bunch of key people around her, too.

        Yet when Bush was President, Nancy also flew over for a special meeting with Assad. Bush was not pleased because Assad was allowing foreign terrorist groups to use Syria as a staging base to attack US forces, but I don’t recall her being tarred as being an asset for Al Qaeda in Iraq or for Assad’s regime, or at least not in the way Tulsi is being attacked.

        Elizabeth Warran, Pete Buttigieg, and other Democratic candidates are demanding a non-negotiated US withdrawal from Afghanistan. This does make their carping about Trump’s pullout from the Syrian border seem pretty hypocritical, but nobody has yet accused them of working directly for the Taliban or ISIS, even though by Hillary’s standards they obviously are.

        I took a look at the UK Daily Mail story on the dust up, figuring that their readers are probably a reasonable sampling of people who like pictures and bad writing. The readers up-votes and down-votes showed a roughly 10:1 response in favor of Tulsi, and some really vicious comments about Hillary. She probably thinks she’s still loved and esteemed by a vast swatch of party loyalists, but the commenting ratios would suggest she’s wrong about that.Report

      • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        I agree with both you and Chip. What Gabbard is doing is outside the pale, as far as I’m concerned. And Hillary’s handling of it is hamhanded, and she should probably just stay quiet. RT loves to stir things up in US politics for any reason or no reason at all.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Doctor Jay
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          says:

          RT is having a field day covering US corruption in Ukraine, and their reporting is deeper than almost any I’ve seem from the US, including Adam Schiff’s deep involvement with a major Ukrainian arms dealer, who sponsors $1,500 a plate fundraisers for him, and his public calls for funding more weapons for Ukraine.

          Interestingly, according to data from Open Secrets, Russia Today’s parent company vastly outspends the Russian government on DC spending, like $38 million versus $140,000 in 2018. However, the previous year neither of them spent much of anything, which makes me wonder if the $38 million was perhaps purchasing a Washington studio building or something.

          In any event, it’s ironic that the peace-party that opposed Bush’s war for oil now finds getting troops out of Syria “beyond the pale.” I saw someone comment that Trump Derangement Syndrome was so severe that it had Bernie Sanders saying that US Special Forces aren’t killing enough indigenous brown people in a third world country, which is hilarious but pretty accurate.

          Tulsi may just be ahead of the curve, and recent events have been bearing her out. Unless someone ponies up some serious quasi-secular troop levels, Assad’s regime is probably the least bad option for Syria. Obama and Kerry portrayed him as our enemy, yet we’ve had a defacto alliance to go after his enemies such as Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and ISIS. We tried supporting various other factions, and we are actually allied with the pro-Turkish Islamists who are now busy trying to take over that northern “Peace Corridor” by purging all the Kurds.

          So what might Tulsi think to make her question US policy regarding Syria? She probably asked a lot of questions, and no doubt heard another version of events that’s circulated in various military circles for many years. Lately, she might ask how we ended up in bed with the Turkish-funded forces we’re now opposing, which circles back to the original stories.

          One thread of those stories is that Hillary was making money selling weapons to the anti-Assad rebels, funneling Libyan arms from Benghazi to Turkey and then having them supplied to jihadists, at least until the attack on our Benghazi consulate put a stop to it. The funding came from various anti-Assad emirs and sheiks in the Gulf, and her cut was in the form of partnerships and donations to the Clinton charities There’s documentation (shipping manifests, donor lists) to back some of that up, and such stories have been circulating in military circles for many years.

          If true, they would make sense of such things as not-supporting our Libyan consulate and not sending the FBI in until several months later, until after all the documents there had disappeared. It would also explain the importance of maintaining a secret server and making sure it was wiped with Bleach Bit. It would explain why a soldier would call Hillary the “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot…” It would also explain why Hillary and her minions are so desperate to destroy Tulsi Gabbard, because anyone who warms to Tulsi’s side would look back at the core of the DNC and see people who flame brutal long-running civil wars because they make a personal profit off selling the weapons and then take kickbacks off the humanitarian aid. That would be an Earth-shattering, soul-shaking revelation for staunch anti-imperlialst folks who were going into the voting booth convinced they were voting for an anti-war party. They would then demand that Tulsi purge the DNC and then run it from atop her throne, made from the skull’s of corrupt party officials.

          And that’s why I’m investing in popcorn futures.Report

          • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            “RT is having a field day covering US corruption in Ukraine, and their reporting is deeper than almost any I’ve seem from the US…” George…you are citing Russia Today. The Russia Government IS RT’s parent company. Perhaps a break from commenting while you think about how you arrived here is in order, let you gather your thoughts, regroup a bit.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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              says:

              The RT reporting originally came from US outlets many weeks ago. For example, Igor Pasternak is the Ukrainian arms dealer, and he sponsored two fund raisers for Schiff, as listed on political spending sites and on the flyers for the fundraisers. Laura Ingraham covered it on Fox on October 2, after such stories had appeared, asking why no other media outlets would report on it. I have nothing against Pasternak, whose company has been making indigenous M-4’s or M-16’s for Ukrainian forces, which is a good thing for both Ukraine and America, because ARs are better than AKs.

              RT isn’t doing any “new” reporting, they’re just repeating the US stories that outlets like ABC would never run because they’re too busy showing the brutal military engagements in Kentucky.

              The RT segment I watched just translated the US conservative reporting into Russian so that their country could all stare agog at Democrat corruption, too. 🙂

              But it’s a sad state of affairs when Democrats think anything that the Russians say must be some kind of bizarre plot or propaganda, even when they just repeat what Americans are saying. I take it as a sign of a terminal case of paranoia.

              It reminds me of an interesting comment I saw last night from some commenter called WatchWinder.

              Hundreds, thousands of people in politics and the media, are daily ramming this “Russia! Russia! Russia!” BS down our throats with a straight face. They don’t believe it, they couldn’t possibly believe it, because it’s lunacy. It’s absolutely lunacy.

              Their commitment to this lie is the measure of their contempt for us. Not just for us, but for civilization itself.

              Some years back, in the ’90s, I read a long article in Harper’s about one journalist’s Heart of Darkness-like quest to find a particular warlord in some particularly screwed up, war torn African nation. What evil looked like, he concluded, was that fact that everyone he met lied about everything. And what beliefs they had, if they had them with any consistency, were just irrational, illogical magical thinking — in other words, they were lying even to themselves. There simply wasn’t anything approaching a shared reality upon which you could base anything but warlordism. Power and brutality were the only facts that existed as facts.

              So, with this Russia! stuff, these people think that “by any means necessary” they can temporarily throw away truth and replace it with lies and magical thinking — just temporarily — until their clique runs the country again, they’re wrong. They’re wrecking something far bigger than what they’re aiming for. If there’s any significance to the Russia lie now being aimed at other Democrats, it’s the measure of how far this contempt for civilization is spreading. They’re actively trying to drag us back down to the old ways, in which power and brutality are the only facts.

              Something to think about as we head off to our beds for some rest

              The Russians don’t have enough reporters here to do any real reporting, perhaps even fewer than countries like Poland or Spain. The probably have less than one percent of the reach and influence of the Mexican press. It’s crazier than when nutcases on the right, a decade or so ago, got all hyped up that witches and Satan worshipers were infiltrating US day care centers.

              And Tulsi called Hlllary out for being the center of the madness.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            Note to the gentle reader.

            Notice how the right wing talking points now sound amazingly like something out of a looney left Noam Chomsky lecture circa 1985.

            All the cliches about a shadowy global elite of war profiteers, imperialists, are mashed together with a paste of conspiracy mongering, where the entire global journalism and government intelligence agencies are in some secret global conspiracy to hide the truth, with only the lonely voice of Russian state media daring to give us the facts.

            This is the collapse of the American conservative movement happening in real time.

            All their previously stated principles about free markets, trust in American military and intelligence agencies, faith in the secular institutions of American civic life…those are all gone now, replaced with a rabid fearful outlook where only the Strong Man on Horseback can ride to the rescue.

            Note how the enemies here are all Americans; The intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Senators, Congressmen, Presidents; American media outlets from the NYT to your local newspaper;

            There doesn’t exist a “loyal opposition” to Trump; by definition, anyone who raises a voice in opposition is corrupt and marked for destruction.

            This is what I am speaking of, when I say that liberal democracy is under assault.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              “Well sure, all that’s true. But Trump ended the Endless Wars by pulling our troops out of Syria.”

              “As a matter of fact he did not.”

              “Ah! Well. Nevertheless.”Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              There doesn’t exist a “loyal opposition” to Trump; by definition, anyone who raises a voice in opposition is corrupt and marked for destruction.

              This is what I am speaking of, when I say that liberal democracy is under assault.

              The election has started. For Team Blue it means whoever the GOP front runner is will be accused of being a Nazi.

              In election season, to be ethical means to be a member of “my” tribe.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Well, liberal democracy is under assault, all across the world. Here in the good ole USA as well.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                It’s really easy to overstate that. It’s normal for lots of shit to be thrown in politics and to look at the past with rose colored glasses.

                Other countries don’t need to worry about one side trying to cheat in an election because they don’t have elections, or they’re so completely fixed that it doesn’t matter. Here we have Trump trying to get dirt on a fellow politician?

                A big part of what is happening is attempts to inflame the base so you win the election. Ergo the country must be in danger, no the entire world, no the entire idea of democracy!

                At the end of the day we’ll have an election and both sides will respect the outcome. One term or two, history will call Trump a scumbag politician, but that’s hardly new.

                Subtract the culture war and there’s not a lot that’s going on that needs addressing. There’s the debt, and Global Warming, but those issues aren’t what is spinning people up and there’s bipartisan agreement that we’re not going to do anything about either.

                We don’t have courts being corrupted or “overruled” or packed. We aren’t ignoring judges. We’re not arresting political opponents.

                We do have scary/dangerous speech occasionally; Trump saying he’d ignore the election or lock up HRC, the Dems suggesting the SC needs to be packed. However mostly this is attention seeking and not serious.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Look, I even mock Gabbard with tweeting about her a “RTulsi” so it’s obvious to me she plays along. But treason and working directly for them is a hard bright red line that needs hard proof so I’m not going that far. I’m trust that our Democratic friends, who Chip and others are always telling me are the saner of the two parties, see through her grift and make sure she is no where near their nomination. Her third party would be nominal…the Trump folks love her as a spoiler but aren’t changing their votes from their choosen to her.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        says:

        Saner?…Hmmm It’s more like a better kind of crazy. (insert laughing insane face emoji here)

        But Gab is , last i looked, sub Beto, which is truly not near anything but a garage full of unused hats and bumper stickers.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        says:

        It’s not that we’re less crazy, it’s that we’re less of a monoculture so our crazy points in a bunch of different directions and the vector sum is close to zero.Report

      • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        says:

        You know, what Clinton did is sort of the perfect (if somewhat deranged) way to call attention to the things Gabbard is doing. Clinton isn’t running for anything, ever again. But people just love to get their hate on for her. I would not have know all this stuff about Gabbard if she hadn’t done it, which prompted you to post this.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Doctor Jay
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          says:

          Yes. There are only three options: 1. Not call Gabbard out, which results in the Republican talking point that one of the Democratic nominees is a Republican asset (Or, more likely at this point, that repeating Russians propaganda can’t be wrong, because one of the Democrats are doing it, and how mess up is that that is more likely?) 2. Have someone running for office or in office take the risk of calling Gabbard out, which invites Republican attacks and is all sorts of risky. 3. Having someone who clearly (at least in the eyes of the public) speaks for the Democratic establishment, but don’t have anything to risk, call Gabbard out.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        says:

        The comment about molesting goats ironically comes to mind.

        Yeah, its gratifying that 99% of Democrats scorn Gabbard and she will be lucky to keep her seat next year.

        But you will understand that I think its alarming how concerted and brazen Russia’s attempts are to meddle with our elections are, especially in light of their aggression in Eastern Europe. And combining that with China’s increasingly heavy handed attempts to stifle criticism here by Americans.Report

  7. Avatar pillsy
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    says:

    I think this is peak “Twitter is not real life” and I’m definitely not saying that because arguing about it on Twitter has injected some excitement into a very unpromising weekend.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
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      says:

      Donald Trump has 66 million Twitter followers. That seems pretty “real life” to me.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        The obvious question is how many of those are real people and not bots.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        “Followers” is part of the point: people who actively Tweet are a pretty small minority.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
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          says:

          That’s not the point, Pillsy, and I think you know it. Twitter and the other direct-to-consumer media platforms shape narratives which resonate with voters. These platforms effect *everything* in politics, seems to me. You place a tremendous amount of unjustified faith in a “silent majority” of voters being immune to the effects of social media.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            I think I get your point, and I think my argument was responsive.

            66 million people is a lot, but you start slicing and dicing it into logical pieces to assess its impact and you pare it back quickly.

            As for social media writ large?

            Maybe, but Twitter is a small and unrepresentative chunk, and one that’s really far removed, by all accounts (and my own experience which is of course anecdotal but not, I think irrelevant) by people who do a majority not only of the voting, but the grass-roots organizing that does so much to determine electoral outcomes.

            What it does do is fuck with the availability heuristics of a lot of people who are addicted to it and mean that they are repeatedly blindsided by shit that they absolutely shouldn’t have been blindsided by. That matters, since so many of them are journalists, wonks, and the like, but the content of the Twitter obsession of the minute rarely does.Report

  8. Avatar George Turner
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    says:

    * I deleted this one because it followed a different comment, and thus didn’t fit down here. ^_^ GT*Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    Tulsi, Ratfucking in 2020. How anyone can see her as anything but an asset for Putin, Assad, and Modi is beyond me.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Why is that surprising when half the country doesn’t think Trump is a Putin asset?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        Because the people who are enamors with Tulsi seem otherwise intelligent. Yet, they prevent her as some type of pacifist against the “warfare state” despite all evidence to the contrary. There is a certain type of allegedly pacifist activist, usually with libertarian sympathies, that is way too comfortable in allowing horrible dictators to exist and commit atrocities in the name of not fighting.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
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          says:

          Speaking of which:

          Anyway, yeah, I supported Iraq back in 2003. I, for one, have antibodies against “allowing horrible dictators to exist and commit atrocities in the name of not fighting.”Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq
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          says:

          As the old dividing lines between the parties have scrambled, the new dividing line seems to be supporters of ethno-nationalism versus supporters of cosmopolitan diversity.

          Which means that there will inevitably be people whose economic ideas read as “left” yet still will support authoritarian ethnic based regimes.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            Do *YOU* support “cosmopolitan diversity”?

            Find out here!Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              Apparently not, or he’d think Turks and Arabs and Islamists have every right to move into northern Syria. LOL.

              On another note, apparently writers in California are freaking out because after 35 freelance articles a year for an outlet, they have to become regular employees. So we won’t be hearing much from West Coasties anymore. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Still, labor experts and freelancers alike are skeptical that the desired outcome of AB 5 — that newsrooms will hire California-based freelancers as part-time or full-time employees — will be achieved in the short term, especially as the news media continues to face major challenges to its business (in September, Business Insider estimated that 7,200 workers have lost their media jobs so far this year). Many publications that employ California freelancers aren’t based in the state and it’s not clear how AB 5 will affect them. Still, some are choosing to opt out entirely. Indeed, several freelance writers who spoke to THR say that various out-of-state employers — some with offices in California — have already told them they’re cutting ties with California freelancers.

                “I have heard from clients that they’re just going to avoid working with California freelancers,” freelance entertainment writer Fred Topel says (Topel chose not to name those clients in case they change their minds). THR has additionally reviewed several job notices in transcription, blogging and SEO writing that have explicitly stated that California freelancers will not be considered.

                Large California-based news media brands are still figuring out the logistics of how to comply with the law. Asked how he plans to handle the implementation of AB 5 next year, San Diego Union-Tribune publisher and editor-in-chief Jeff Light says, “We’re in the process of sorting through the implications right now. Unfortunately, I suspect a number of freelancers will end up with less work from us as a result of the 35-piece limit. I don’t have anything more detailed than that at this point.”

                https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/everybody-is-freaking-freelance-writers-scramble-make-sense-new-california-law-1248195Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              Interestingly enough, Reuters is reporting that Merkel has said that German Multiculturalism has failed:

              Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

              “This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

              Merkel faces pressure from within her CDU to take a tougher line on immigrants who don’t show a willingness to adapt to German society and her comments appeared intended to pacify her critics.

              She said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her usual line that they should learn German in order to get by in school and have opportunities on the labor market.

              I say that German Multiculturalism has never been attempted.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            the new dividing line seems to be supporters of ethno-nationalism versus supporters of cosmopolitan diversity.

            The big coalitions are coalitions, and combine multiple issues which jockey for importance even within the larger party.

            There is a tendency to view the world through the lens of what we care about. So if abortion is your #1 issue then you view it as important and popular and THE issue which everyone else is making their choices around.

            From my point of view the Dems are parading around a large number of economically destructive ideas and trying to get elected on them. They’re doing this because it’s apparently a big part of their coalition.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
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              I thought the conservative line is that we are elitist warmongering profiteers, who use neoliberal capitalism to crush the working man?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Who somehow live in school districts that are, to all appearances, segregated.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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                I would like this line on some merchandise pleaseReport

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                says:

                “Gays- Raising Property Values Since 1969”

                “Improve Our Schools- Elect A Lesbian School Board!”Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                If the Republican Party didn’t go all in on homophobia, they could probably be really competitive within the LGBT community because of tax issues.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                If the Republican Party didn’t go all in on homophobia, they could probably be really competitive within the LGBT community because of tax issues.

                That’s an interesting observation. Homophobia is going to die with this generation so long term the GOP will get more.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Yeah and racism died in the 50’s and 60’s. Strong take.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
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                Yeah and racism died in the 50’s and 60’s.

                Every racist didn’t drop dead in 1969 so these things take time for generations to die out.

                As for now, when a Deep Blue community (where the number of racists is zero) creates the same level of segregation that a Deep Red community would enact, maybe the underlying issue isn’t racism but rather self interest, cultural dysfunctions, and the legacy of history which includes (results in?) concentrated poverty.

                Intuitively I’d expect those issues to be FAR less of a problem with the gay community.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                And somehow I managed to quote my own statement and not quote greginak’s. Reverse those.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Ahh so this is a different flavor of bad take. How much will gay people hate R’s in 20 years based on the hatred they see now? I don’t know. But i do know many gay people who viscerally hate R pols because they think all basically Rick Santorum. It’s not like the current R’s have forgone the SoCon views on gay rights.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
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                How much will gay people hate R’s in 20 years based on the hatred they see now?

                Wrong question. “Hatred they see now” means they’ve personally lived through stuff to motivate them, I assume they’re lost.

                In 20 years, someone who is 30 years old will have never known anything other than gay marriage for his political memory. The bulk of the gay community will still remember but at that point it’s an engine which is running on fumes.

                In 50 years the 70 year olds are the people who are 20 now and the BULK of the gay community won’t have grown up with anything other than political acceptance. From the GOP’s self interest point of view, targeting gays for legislation will be like targeting the left handed. It pisses off way more voters than it earns in votes.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                I’m not really gonna make predictions for political things 50 years out. That seems a bit much. I’ll note that many people pick up their political stances from their parents. That isn’t rock solid and permanent, but is a thing to keep in mind.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to greginak
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                Both of you are kind of right. Homophobia is going to be around for a long time but LGBT people have been able to make lightning strides in recognition compared to other groups. Even after Stone Wall, LGBT people were barely tolerated in the 1990s and within twenty years of DOMA, we got same-sex marriage with very little resistance from heterosexuals. So it is possible that hostility to LGBT people is kind of different than other hatreds and will die out quicker.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                Nah, because we have wokeness now. You see, gay men are the apex oppressors in the white male patriarchy that has never cared about bis, lesbians, trans people, women, people of color, racism, trans fats, animal rights, arctic drilling, or climate change.

                Brandon Straka, the gay New York hairdresser who founded the #walkAway movement, was a happy liberal until he found himself targeted as a privileged white male oppressor and realized that liberals have become the most judgmental and intolerant people on the face of the Earth (Thanks Twitter!).Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                I think it’s a combination of the success of previous civil rights movements and the continuing decline of religion as a motivating political force.Report

              • Avatar Mr.Joe in reply to InMD
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                says:

                A big factor in rapid acceptance of gay is exposure via what I term the “the Trojan gay”. People can send up discovering that various LGBTQ are good and wonderful people deserving of rights before discovering they are LGBTQ. It is a lot harder to hate Jim that runs the coffee shop than “that gay over there”. Even further, beloved family members known for years can “suddenly” turn out to be gay. Hanging on to the bigotry in those situations is a lot harder.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                hostility to LGBT people is kind of different than other hatreds and will die out quicker.

                Yes. LGBT are our children (as opposed to someone else’s children) would be part of our tribe if we’d let them. They grow up as us, they share our values, then we kick them out.

                Subtract being gay as a problem and there are no problems. Kicking people out of the tribe is expensive.
                More people means more potential donors to the local church ergo kicking people out for trivial reasons is an unforced economic loss. That same logic works for all sorts of things.

                Subtract skin color for various other groups and we still have different cultural values, various problems that come with concentrated poverty that I refuse to expose my children to, and so on.

                Those issues not only fuel hatred but they’re also misinterpreted as hatred. If Team Blue behaves the same way as Team Red in terms of segregation or whatever, then maybe “hatred” is the wrong problem and addressing it is the wrong solution.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                Without racism/ misogyny/homophobia, what else do conservatives got to say?

                The Trumpists will embrace Venezuelan style socialism before they embrace cultural diversity.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Without racism/ misogyny/homophobia, what else do conservatives got to say?

                God, Guns, Moats and Money doesn’t need to include misogyny or homophobia. Moats wasn’t called “racist” back when Team Blue was the party of Moats.

                Further it kind of doesn’t matter. The structure of our system puts huge pressure for there to be two parties. Wave a magic wand and eliminate Guns (etc) and within short order we’ll still find ourselves with two parties, just on different issues.

                If it comes down to Bacon vs. Necktie then it does.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                It is theoretically possible for there to be a white ethno-nationalist party that isn’t misogynist or homophobic, but it would take some serious changes in the current lineup.

                At this historical moment, the forces fueling white resentment are the same ones fueling misogyny. The two are very tightly entwined.

                Look at the admiring glances that American conservatives give their counterparts in Russia, Poland, and Hungary. The way the Jordan Peterson disciples blend seamlessly into white identity groups which march together with the evangelicals abortion uber alles faction.

                They stress different notes, but sing from the same hymnal.

                As others pointed out, homosexuality might be split off and disappear as a wedge issue, but for the foreseeable future racism and misogyny will be the animating power of the conservative party.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Especially among conservatives like Candace Owens!Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Notice the context magic George?

                It’s like all the parameters that don’t fit are ignored.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                It is theoretically possible for there to be a white ethno-nationalist party that isn’t misogynist or homophobic, but it would take some serious changes in the current lineup.

                I would argue it’s not. Or, at least, we can’t get there from here. It’s the same reason that anti-Semitism keeps sneaking back in, despite Jews officially becoming White People(TM) at the end of WWII. Hell, they still get _anti-Catholicism_ showing up at the edges, and that really sorta died before turn of last century.

                The thing is, fascist movements exist to find enemies. And once an enemy is found, and justifications are invented to hate that enemy, those justifications are inserted into the DNA of the movement, and it’s utterly impossible for those justifications to ever go away. Which means those justifications are the very first thing located when the movement needs to slightly expand their hated groups.

                Of course, these movements are good at creating reasonable-looking _facets_, where an organization might ‘just’ be homophobic, or misogynist, or racist, or whatever.

                But the movement itself, the interconnected parts, will always ‘know’ how various groups are the enemies, that woman are X, and gays are Y, and Jews are Z. They’ll know that forever. It’s just…built into them now. They ‘figured it out’ way back, and now they just know it. It’s why the facets keep _screwing up_, why homophobic organizations often accidentally reveal themselves as racist or whatever. They’re not trying to be, it’s just…part of them.

                It is possible to postulate a white ethno-nationalist party that isn’t homophobic. Hell, it’s possible to imagine a ethno-nationalist state that is heterophobic. It’s possible to imagine one run by women. Fascism can _technically_ have any in-group and out-group it wants, although considering the in-group has to start with some level of power, both my hypotheticals seem very unlikely in the modern world.

                But it’s not possible for the white ethno-nationalist movement descended from the current one in the US to turn into that, because they will always immediately turn against their historic enemies given the slightest need to expand their power.

                As others pointed out, homosexuality might be split off and disappear as a wedge issue, but for the foreseeable future racism and misogyny will be the animating power of the conservative party.

                I find it unlikely that, even in some hypothetical other universe that evolved differently, that you’d ever get a misogynistic fascist group without them being homophobic, too. They are almost the same thing, being exceedingly concerned with gender roles and the people failing to follow them.

                At best you might get an organization that is okay with homosexual _only if_ homosexuals perform some sort of excessive gender-conformity outside of their homosexuality.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                History agrees with you.

                “Fascism exists to find enemies.”

                I’m appropriating this comment in the name of the people.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Fascism’s enemies were external, not internal, other than attacking the interests of the ruling class and large factory owners. One of its tenets was the powers-that-be had been using race, national origin, religion, and other wedges to divide the working class and keep the peasants fighting among themselves.

                Each stick by itself was easily broken, but if bundled together into a fascio, they were unbreakable. Strength through unity, all people pulling together as one.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Fascism’s enemies were external, not internal, other than attacking the interests of the ruling class and large factory owners. One of its tenets was the powers-that-be had been using race, national origin, religion, and other wedges to divide the working class and keep the peasants fighting among themselves.

                Uh, no. Fascism has never attacked the ‘ruling class’, and that’s never been its ‘tenets’. Facism, as a political ideology, has always been somewhat tepid…the actual Fascist party in Italy started out as a moderately progressive one in 1919 and then immediately threw most of that out to join with conservatives in 1920 and take a strong anti-socialist platform.

                The actual policy of fascism, when you strip away the violence and hatred of enemies, has always been…lukewarm centralism. There’s nothing there. They aren’t against anything, they aren’t really for anything except violence. Italian fascists balanced the budget by slashing civil service positions and barred workers from striking and unions from existing, but they also established worker’s rights. They weren’t really special at all with their positions, and most of them were to consolidate power, not really solve problems.

                And they didn’t complain about the ‘ruling class and large factory owners’…they didn’t even do anything about those for a decade, and honestly only ended up in control of most of the Italian economy because it had _failed_ as part of the world-wide Great Depression and they had to seize banks to keep them working, and the banks happened to own a lot of stuff.

                But that…didn’t have a lot of do with the problems of fascism. The sole difference between fascism and everything else is that fascism doesn’t oppose violence. It instead insisted on violence. Openly, loudly, using violence. Praising it. Fascism praises not just ‘strength’, but the use of strength to hurt or kill political enemies. That’s it, that’s the difference, the defining trait. Almost all supposed traits of fascism are just so they can define enemies, because they need enemies.

                So, in Italy, in 1920, at the creation of the fascism, it did the thing that made fascism a huge success: It formed paramilitaries and started attacking ‘socialists’. Please note these socialists were, in fact, Italians. Aka, internal enemies. Despite your claim.

                Note their complaint about socialists was not particularly that they were socialist, it was that socialists kept Italy out of World War 1! Because they were, again, pro-violence and pro-using-violence-for-political-ends, and thought they could have done so during the war.

                The anti-socialist thing had barely started up when they started adding other enemies. And a political movement that isn’t in power can’t reach external enemies to attack. So their only choice was internal enemies. Duh.

                So let’s see who the Italian went after. The second enemy was…Catholic labor unions! But okay, that’s just a labor union, they’re against those thing in general. (Seems odd odd to be against labor unions and socialists when, considering that we know that the fascists were against the ruling class and large factory owners, but we easily explain that fact by you just having made it up.)

                And then the fascists went after…wait for it…the German-speakers in the cities of Trent and Bolzano. Huh. German-speakers, the third victim of fascists. Who the hell would have guessed that one?

                And…weird. Despite these imaginary tenets of ‘being against people using national origin to divide people’, they almost immediately attack people of other national origin. Weird. Or…you just made those ‘tenets’ up too.

                And, of course, the same in Germany, later. Internal enemies. Not just socialists, but Jews, etc.

                Fascist in both Italy and Germany, had decades of attacking their own country, and people within their own country, before they graduated to control of the country and started attacking others. Assenting that their enemies were only external is utter nonsense. Hell, Mussolini declared himself dictator after a Fascist killed a Socialist Party deputy and Mussolini stood up and said, paraphrased, ‘Yeah? So what! I’m in charge of this place now, and I’ll kill whatever enemy of Italy unity I want!’

                Now, I will admit: They don’t so much care about religion…even when they explicitly claim to! Like the Nazis hating Jews, there’s plenty of evidence it was more about race than religion. And the same with anti-Catholism in the US, which was often more anti-Italianism or anti-Irishism. Fascists have always sorta wavered on the whole religious thing, that hatred just doesn’t seem to catch on the way other things do. I really have no good explanation of that.

                Each stick by itself was easily broken, but if bundled together into a fascio, they were unbreakable. Strength through unity, all people pulling together as one.

                Yes, and everyone who wasn’t pulling together as one was the enemy.

                Everyone who’d been hurting the national unity for years.

                You know, those people who look different and talk different. And women who didn’t know their place. Those ‘Other’ people, not good Italians^WGermans^WAmericans.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                Well of course Mussolini had some socialists killed. That was personal. The other bigwigs in the Italian Socialist Party had denied him the position of party leader, which he felt he’d earned. So he had them purged and had their membership beat up in the streets. He kept after them, too.

                The Socialist Party had opposed Italy’s entry into the Great War because they viewed it as a war where the working class was again being used as cannon fodder by the ruling class. Mussolini and many other socialist thinkers and writers viewed the war as an opportunity to bring about Marxist revolution, drawing on revisionist Marxist thought that had been circulating since the 1890’s. Those pointed to the strengths of dynamic leaders and national myths as something that could raise the consciousness of the working classes and actually lead them to true socialism.

                This created a great schism, with socialists divided about nationalism and war. Mussolini won that argument and ruled Italy for 20 years, dating a long string of Jewish women as he did so, until the party succumbed to German pressure in the late 1930’s.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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                Mussolini and many other socialist thinkers and writers viewed the war as an opportunity to bring about Marxist revolution, drawing on revisionist Marxist thought that had been circulating since the 1890’s.

                It’s possible to make the argument that both Mussolini and the Fascism Party that he’d created were pro-war socialists at the start. Or, let’s say pro-war socialists until 1919, where that failed horrible at the ballot box, and then moved more center-left.

                To quote Wikipedia: Prior to Fascism’s accommodations to the political right, Fascism was a small, urban, northern Italian movement that had about a thousand members.[134] After Fascism’s accommodation of the political right, the Fascist movement’s membership soared to approximately 250,000 by 1921.[135]

                By 1923 the Italian Nationalist Association join in and had a philosophy that justified violence (Actually that had sorta been added back in 1921)….and they disliked socialists…despite them weirdly trying to use socialism’s class struggle as a metaphor for the struggle between countries. (Which is also where the Nazis got ‘National Socialism’. It’s too stupid to explain here.)

                The Fascists, and their support, continued to slide to center-right by 1925, where it did…okay. Mostly by using violence to make up for lack of voters.

                And then in 1925 Mussolini declared himself dicator, and dissolved Parliment because the left walked out on him in the ‘Aventine Secession’. They were intending to get the king to dissolve Parliment. Instead, Mussolini did. And it never came back.

                Meanwhile, the right loved him. More and more.

                The joke is, as I said, Mussolini arguable was socialist. When he actually did economic policies, they seemed to have a left-ward bent. It’s just…for some reason, the left doesn’t like it when thugs run around murdering people, and the right loved it.

                So pointing out that Mussolini was somewhat socialist…makes the Italian right look really really really bad, because they were his strongest supporters. It’s almost as if they had no principles at all, and thus would elect someone who completely ignores every conservative concept, who proposed outright liberal stuff like raising the minimum wage or taxing the rich, and at best pays vague lip service to things like fighting contraceptives, and he’s clearly not on board. The right’s fine with all that, as long as the leader threatens to (or does) kill the right people, invade the right countries, is a strong and virile man, and said he would make his country…great…again….oooooh, I accidentally got political, silly me.

                Those pointed to the strengths of dynamic leaders and national myths as something that could raise the consciousness of the working classes and actually lead them to true socialism.

                ‘National’ myths have never been part of any sort of socialism. The myths of socialism are myths of the _people_.

                Socialism, or at least Marxism, pretty explicitly says the class struggle is transnational.

                Now, socialist government can, of course, produce national myths, China has a lot. But that’s not some sort of thing socialism says to do.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                My revelation in the Trump era is that socialism and fascism are not in opposition to each other, and can often work in sync.

                Fascism can use any economic tool it needs to in order to satisfy its need for control and hierarchy.

                Notice how Trump can swing from barking orders at American corporations like they were his employees, to his supporters bitter denunciation of the tech companies as oligarchs and cronyists to his attempts to control the marketplace with tariffs and compensatory subsidies to favored interests.

                Its socialism when he needs it to deliver benefits to his tribe, or capitalism when they need it, or a mix of the two on alternating days.

                Political ideology is just a fig leaf, a transparent pretext to the real agenda which is defending the preferred hierarchy.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Strength through unity, all people pulling together as one.

                That, almost by definition, quickly leads to internal enemies because someone won’t be with the cause. A cynic might say it HAS to have internal enemies, ideally weak ones, that they can punish to keep the doubters in line and keep everyone unified.

                Waitbutwhy’s perspective on this was illuminating although they’re looking at it partly from an evolutionary point of view.

                https://waitbutwhy.com/2019/09/stories.htmlReport

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                It’s actually sorta a wrong statement, honestly. One of the main premises of fascism is separating society into groups, where some of the groups are good, and the other groups are the enemy.

                Which means having found enemies is almost a precondition of fascism. You get the ‘enemies’ before the fascism, in a sense.

                Of course, all political movements are blobs, with fuzzy edges, and one of the ways that fascists get power in the movement is identifying enemies…which means they have incentive to expand the movement. It’s like a liquid, it expands to fill all available space.(1)

                And the ‘past enemies’ are the lowest lying land, if you will. They fill up first. Because earlier fascists spent a lot of time and effort digging up the ground there, leaving big holes to fill.

                1. Some people are thinking “Wait, he means ‘it expands up until half the population’, because surely at some point they start accidentally hating their own supporters and cannibalizing themselves”.

                Nope. They do that. In fact, any group that hates women is already automatically against over half the population, and add in the racism and homophobia and stuff, and honestly they’ve basically against 80% of the population.

                This is where the various facets come in handy, but the thing is, once people are already in the movement, and the movement swivels around to point at them, they tend to assume the movement doesn’t mean the ‘good people’ in their group, just the bad people…and the movement will pay lip service to this.

                The expansion only really stops when the ‘next’ obvious subgroup isn’t very well-defined or looks the same or is confusing to the majority of the fascists. Like…fascists can’t attack Italian-Americas, because honestly most people are unable to identity Italian-Americans at this point. (Granted, they have the same problem with Jews, but that’s sorta grandfathered in.)Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
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                The Fascists gave Italian women the right to vote. 🙂

                They also put in the 40-hour workweek, worker representation for factories, and organized labor and owner into “syndicates” where they pulled together instead of being at loggerheads. The Soviets and Nazis did similar things, since if the government represented the workers then the workers shouldn’t go on strike unless they’re acting as foreign agents, class enemies, or saboteurs.

                And all kinds of other things kept happening because the politics were very dynamic and pragmatic. Most of the early Fascists got purged by later Fascists who had better connections and were looking to hand out jobs or get jobs.

                But it has parallels to the current far left in the US, who focus on unity by identifying everyone who disagrees with them on any issue as a Fascist and an enemy of the people.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                I’m going to ignore your baiting about ‘the left’, and continue to present facts about fascism, communism, and totalitarianism.

                They also put in the 40-hour workweek, worker representation for factories, and organized labor and owner into “syndicates” where they pulled together instead of being at loggerheads. The Soviets and Nazis did similar things, since if the government represented the workers then the workers shouldn’t go on strike unless they’re acting as foreign agents, class enemies, or saboteurs.

                Yes. All totalitarian systems have to work to reduce the ability of workers to strike in some manner, and they often do this by actually trying to be nice to the workers, and utterly disregarding the wishes of the owners of factories.

                You can come to whatever conclusions you want about this, but the actual reason is that it is easy to seize factories and remove the unhappy owners, whereas it is nearly impossible to seize the labor of unhappy workers and used them as slaves. Or at least it’s a hell of a lot of work and requires even _more_ people.

                Ergo, if the state is going to pick one of them to make happy…it’s the workers.

                But it has parallels to the current far left in the US, who focus on unity by identifying everyone who disagrees with them on any issue as a Fascist and an enemy of the people.

                Fascists don’t identify people as ‘enemies of the people’. That’s what communists do. Communism asserts it is the final form of liberal democracy. It is lying and all instances of it so far have been just as totalitarian as fascism, but the point is, the government supposedly being ‘the people’ is a communist thing.

                Fascists instead identify enemies as ‘enemies of the state‘. Fascism would never, ever, claim to represent ‘the people’. Because fascism explicitly rejects the rule of ‘the people’ as a premise. It completely rejects liberal democracy in all forms, and holds that the people are currently decadent, and thus need a strong leader telling them what to do.

                No totalitarian regime, of any sort, actually respects democracy, of course. But fascism is founded explicitly on not respecting democracy, whereas communism comes at from the completely opposite direction and claims to be the _only_ true representation of democracy.

                It’s why every fascist regime ends up with the word ‘national’ everywhere (The ‘National Fascist Party’ in Italy, the ‘National Socialist Party’ in Germany.), because the state is the ultimately important thing. Whereas every communist regime ends up with the word ‘people’ and ‘republic’ and ‘democratic’ in the name everywhere, because it’s lying that the people are.

                It actually makes it pretty easy to tell the difference between the two, once you catch the trick.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                So that whole thing about the German “volk” and the attempt to spread German DNA across the globe was just a distraction?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                So that whole thing about the German “volk” and the attempt to spread German DNA across the globe was just a distraction?

                Heheh. ‘Volk’ is a really bad example. See, volk isn’t as just ‘people’ or ‘folk’, which it’s commonly translated as. It also translates as ‘nation’. For example, the League of Nations was called ‘Völkerbund’ in German…which would otherwise translate to the nonsensical ‘people’s organization’.

                But let’s answer the question you mean to ask: How does the Nazi’s dismissal of its people fit in with their racial theories?

                And the way it works is…that question is silly. Nazism obviously admit people exist.

                What they don’t admit is that people have any rights, or at least, no rights with regard to the state. The relationship with the state is one-directional.

                Hence the state would not pretend to represent the people. Because their entire thing is…they don’t. They admit they don’t. Ergo, they wouldn’t talk about ‘enemies of the people’, but enemies of the state. The people are merely a means to the state.

                And, hence, for example, the people have a duty to reproduce, to strengthen the German state.

                Note you’re wrong there. The Nazis did not encourage ‘spreading German DNA across the globe’. That isn’t how that worked. They certainly did not want ‘German’ genes mixing with everyone else’s…they wanted them to stay at home, and make Germany bigger and better.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
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                I’m pretty sure they didn’t want Germans to stay home or they wouldn’t have sent them to settle in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and other places.

                According to the people in charge of German, a government’s main purpose was to help a people fulfill their racial destiny. Governments come and go, but its the people, locked in an eternal battle with other peoples, that matters.

                Jews, gays, and gypsies were irrelevant to the German state, except as irritants (they can’t all be saboteurs) but they were a threat to the purity of Aryan genes.

                Getting back to Mussolini, “Everything inside the state, nothing outside the state, and nothing against the state” included the Italian people. They were the state, and the state was them.

                Goebbel’s and other propagandists went to great lengths to explain that National Socialism was distinct from International Socialism because it cared about the people, as a group, not “people” as a nebulous distinction from horses and cows, or as a synonym for “serfs” that excluded everyone else.

                What the Fascists and Nazis both took from the Bolshevik’s horrifying disaster in Russia is that pitting members of a society against each other just produces mass graves and starvation. It makes no sense to kill all the factory owners and production managers and replace them with angry activists who have no idea how to run the factory or design and maintain the machinery.

                So the non-Bolshevik socialists eased back on their Marxism and argued that it doesn’t matter who owns the factory, it matters who controls the factory to make sure it works to benefit the people. Keeping the current bosses in charge, and simply making them obey, is also far less disruptive to production.

                Mussolini dropped the class warfare aspect almost entirely because in Italy most people worked for their parents and grandparents in tiny little companies and shops (Italy didn’t have much large industry), so the Bolshevik class warfare model didn’t even apply because “the workers” would inherit “the means of production” from their parents.

                So this marks a clear distinction between communism, under which the government will kill the factory owners and take their stuff, and Fascism or National Socialism, in which the government will only kill the factory owners and take their stuff if they disobey the government.

                What’s vital about the distinction is that after such Marxist and Marxist revisionist regimes collapse because they don’t work, it’s far easier to get your stuff back if you were being oppressed under Fascism or National Socialism because you’ll be able to prove ownership.

                So Italy and Germany quickly got back on their feet after 1945, whereas former Soviet regimes struggled for decades, and many still struggle, because nobody knows who owned what, since those that did know probably got shot and dumped in a ditch.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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                I’m pretty sure they didn’t want Germans to stay home or they wouldn’t have sent them to settle in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and other places.

                I didn’t say the Nazis wanted Germans to stay home. I said they wanted German _genes_ to stay home. Or perhaps a better way of saying that is that they wanted ‘Aryan’ genes to stay in ‘Aryans’. They absolutely did not want ‘race mixing’.

                Now, maybe you meant something else there, I’m not sure.

                According to the people in charge of German, a government’s main purpose was to help a people fulfill their racial destiny. Governments come and go, but its the people, locked in an eternal battle with other peoples, that matters.

                No, it wasn’t. The goal of Nazi Germany was to create a ‘Neuordnung’, aka ‘New Order’. This would expand the German state itself to the ‘Aryan’ nations, and place all of the rest of Europe under its control. (Minus the Soviets, who they would destroy.)

                Here’s how Nazi Germany spoke: The Führer gave expression to his unshakable conviction that the Reich will be the master of all Europe. We shall yet have to engage in many fights, but these will undoubtedly lead to most wonderful victories. From there on the way to world domination is practically certain. Whoever dominates Europe will thereby assume the leadership of the world. -Joseph Goebbels

                You will notice a complete lack of justification, or even mention, of the German people in that. It’s the Reich that comes out ahead, not the German people.

                Or here, why they do mention some people, in an interesting way: : World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler’s opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That [power] can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly. -Rudolf Hess

                There, they are giving something to the ‘most valuable race’, but it’s almost an incidental side effect of Nazi hegemony. In fact, they aren’t even talking about helping ‘the German people’, but helping ‘the Aryan race’ itself. Which they, in other places, asserted comprised most Nordic countries of Europe, including places they were invading.

                You’re operating off the assumption that all governments justify their actions as helping their citizens, and thus would present enemies to the government as enemies of the people. It’s an easy assumption to fall into, because you, and me, and everyone here, exist in a liberal democracy where governments do that all the time. The government claim to speak for the people and be there to help the people. That is their entire justification for existing.

                But fascism doesn’t do that. It doesn’t try to justify policies that way. It doesn’t need to justify things, or just it recursively justifies them in that they are what the state wants, and the state is good, ergo, what the state wants is good.

                And, yes, the outcome of that sounds identical to communism. Placing the state above the people is what all totalitarian governments do. They have to. But communism _pretends_ the people are above the state, and operate the state. Aka, communism lies. Which is why it puts ‘people’ and ‘democratic’ and ‘republic’ everywhere, in a desperate attempt to pretend that is what is going on.

                Whereas fascism doesn’t lie. It openly admits what is going, it openly places the state above the people, and it doesn’t like its ‘the people’ that much…often calling them degenerates.

                Consequently, Soviet and Nazi propaganda don’t sound alike at all. Soviets pretend to be the good guys, saving people from the evil of capitalism. But Nazis…just claim the right to invade everywhere and break shit, and their justification is some vague handwavey stuff about history and stuff. National myths, like you said.

                And, thus, fascism wouldn’t say ‘the enemy of the people’.

                Goebbel’s and other propagandists went to great lengths to explain that National Socialism was distinct from International Socialism because it cared about the people, as a group, not “people” as a nebulous distinction from horses and cows, or as a synonym for “serfs” that excluded everyone else.

                If by ‘distinct’, you mean ‘completely discounted the premise of Marxism’, yeah. National Socialism was distinct from ‘International Socialism’ because National Socialism operated the national level (Hence the name)…it asserted that the German and Italian states were the proletarian nations, vs. bourgeois nations that it was invading. I.e., it took the class struggle between people, and turned into a ‘class’ struggle between nations.(1)

                As literally the whole premise of Marxism is ‘all of society and history is a transnational class struggle of the worker vs. the property owner, and thus we need to overthrow the blah blah blah…’, attempting to apply that to the level of nations and calling the result ‘national socialism’ is a bit like calling basketball ‘bouncey baseball’ on the grounds there are still two team of people and a ball and a competition.

                I mean, regardless of how people feel about Marxism, Marxism says some pretty clear things. And National Socialism isn’t those things in any manner whatsoever.

                1. It is probably possible to sort countries by ‘class’, but frickin Italy and Germany were not that different than their surrounding countries…if people want to argue the international order has ‘classes’, it would be the First World vs. Third World or something, which people could make a class metaphor out of.(2) But Germany wasn’t a different ‘class’ than France, Germany just a shitty economy because they’d lost a war and had a bunch of loans, and then a world-wide depression happened.

                2. And people have made that metaphor. China actually does manage to make a semi-coherent argument about that, how Western countries and capitalism exploits third-world countries in a way that mimics the class struggle of Marxism. Not saying I agree, but it’s not automatically stupid like the whole ‘neighboring European countries’ analogy the fascists came up with.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                Soviets pretend to be the good guys, saving people from the evil of capitalism. But Nazis…just claim the right to invade everywhere and break shit, and their justification is some vague handwavey stuff about history and stuff.

                Nazis thought they were the good guys, not only saving people from the evil of capitalism, and not only saving them from the horrifying evils of Bolshevism, and not only saving all of Western Civilization and the enlightenment, but saving good European genes and thus the European peoples.

                And to motivate everybody, Nazi ideology held that Europe faced an imminent and existential threat (capitalism, degeneracy, Bolshevism, race-mixing, the accumulation of idiot genes) that had to be immediately confronted or it would be too late, and that the confrontation would be an epic struggle of all against all. Not surprisingly, they are the heroes of their own heroic and uplifting story.

                The Nazis didn’t claim they had a right to invade, they claimed they had a duty to invade, a duty to all of Western civilization. They claimed they could see the real threats that others had turned a blind eye to, or ignored because they were corrupt, or got bought off by Jews, or were controlled by Bolsheviks, or were historical relics of a bygone age.

                Germany couldn’t wait a few years until their tank and aircraft numbers were up and they’d figured out their transport problems. The imaginary threats were already upon them, forcing their hand. They had to strike before it was too late for everybody.

                Communist theory was quite different, in that they saw no existential threat. They knew their victory was inevitable, even if it took centuries and suffered countless setbacks, because science said their victory was inevitable. They didn’t need to rush anything.

                This difference played out during the war. The Soviets were resilient, whereas the Nazis were desperate, fighting the final battle of mankind, or Ragnarok, in which their victory was by no means assured.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                “enemy of the people”

                Hmm, this sounds familiar..where have I heard that phrase recently?Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            The thing that gets me about the anti-cosmopolitan is that its effectively impossible ro role back the clock. Even if they manage to really reduce immigration to the United States, it will take an outright act of genocide to really make America a white country again. As much as I think lowly of them, I don’t know if they will go that far. Cosmopolitanism is hard and people can be really hypocritical about it when it comes to their groups but what is the alternative?Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
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              says:

              Cosmopolitanism is hard and people can be really hypocritical about it when it comes to their groups but what is the alternative?

              NIMBY. Go somewhere else and be whatever you are. Go endanger someone else’s children.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                It’s some what important to me to correctly define the reason why a civil war may spark up.

                The notion that it was because of some warm fuzzy notion of cosmopolitanism looks like the worst of lies.

                That the socialist by force built a frame work over one of the most individualist nations in existence wasn’t a accident.

                Just as it is not a accident that it has turned the country into a potential nation sized kill box.

                This is the result of decades of controlled manipulation.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to LeeEsq
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          says:

          I dunno. Seems to be mostly con bluechecks and The Intercept these days and those guys tend to be dumb as fish.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            Yeah, we are talking about Michael Tracey types who seem to exist to hate the Democratic Party because “Fuck you mom”Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw
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              says:

              Tracey was never the same after Maxine Waters broke a chair over his head.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
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              says:

              I agree with those who predict that the illiberal leftists like Tracey or Greenwald will eventually become outright Republicans, as the Chamber of Commerce Republicans quietly defect to the Democrats, as many have here in California.

              The plutocrats may enjoy the electoral power that white supremacy can deliver, the the typical business owner just wants stability and order.

              Off on a tangent, I’m rethinking the traditional theory that fascism is the thing that keeps the trains running on time. I’m seeing more of the theory that fascism promises eternal chaos and war and struggle.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Orwell noted that the appeal of Hitler and Stalin over socialism and capitalism was that while the later offered you a good time, the former offered meaning in the form of sacrifice. So yeah, fascism and the hardest form of Communism promote chaos and struggle because such forces allow people to imagine themselves as parts of a great drama. Liberalism and social democracy say don’t take things so seriously, learn to relax, and accept that most of us are insignificant bit players.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                +1!Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                That was before wokeness and global warming turned theoretical liberalism into the practice of assaulting and jailing people who use plastic straws. The old live-and-let live wing is getting crushed by the “ban everything!” wing.

                It might be a while before liberals realize that, like the right, they have to keep their American Puritanical impulses in check or they’ll just drive everyone nuts, most especially themselves.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                “The old live-and-let live wing is getting crushed by the “ban everything!” wing.”

                This.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            The fish want you take that comment back.Report

  10. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    In other hilarious news, Mitt Romney admitted he had a secret Twitter account that he used to attack other politicians and support, um, Mitt Romney.

    Slate story

    That’s about as funny as Jeb Bush telling a campaign audience “Please clap.” ^_^Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Are we in “okay, maybe it was a mistake for Clinton to jump in on this particular issue” territory yet?Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Even if one shares Clinton’s suspicions of Stein and Gabbard—and, as a longtime observer of Soviet and Russian government, I do—her decision to inject herself into the 2020 election was a mistake. It was exactly the kind of clumsy, self-absorbed move that, despite Clinton’s lifetime in the public eye, revealed a total misunderstanding of how politics work. Far from exposing or thwarting Gabbard, as Clinton loyalists want to believe, the former secretary of state overshot the mark by making an accusation without proof. Gabbard will now dismiss real concerns about her as just so much conspiracy theorizing.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/hillary-clinton-elevating-tulsi-gabbard/600370/

      Notice how the author, despite agreeing with her nibs, still thinks this was politically stupid.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        That’s because it was. Yet more evidence to throw on the heap that HRC is out of politics and not coming back (to run for anything) because she’s gotten even worse at it and is obviously not trying very hard.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        What I have noticed is that HRC was right about everything she said in 2106 and appears to be right this time too.

        And that just grates on some people.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Indeed. She lost because 10-year-olds hacked the voting machines, Russians bots hacked Facebook, Donald Trump was a Russian agent, self-hating women were told how to vote by their husbands and boyfriends, Obama wouldn’t give an address to warn America that our elections were under attack, Sanders divided the Democrats with his lies and innuendos, Comey sabotaged her campaign, the New York Times ran stories against her, the media wouldn’t cover her (they hate Democrats?), uninformed voters couldn’t understand her well-thought out policy positions, the Republicans suppressed the vote, her staff failed to hone her message and didn’t get voters to the polls, she inherited nothing from the broke DNC, secret tech money flowed to Trump because of campaign finance laws, Jill Stein was a Russian plant, the Electoral College was rigged against her, Anthony Weiner wrecked her campaign, white supremacy and white resentment blossomed (under Obama?), the Supreme Court sabotaged her regarding the Voting Rights Act, coal miners couldn’t accept the end of their way of life, people were tired of Obama, Julian Assange leaked internal party communications, debate moderators wouldn’t ask her how she’d create jobs, journalists helped Trump to boost ratings, and 200,000 Wisconsin voters were rejected because they didn’t have ID’s (making it hard for them to get benefits, buy cigarettes and beer, drive a car, or hold a job?)

          With her new awareness of those problems, and fixes surely in place, I think she should take another shot at it.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Even if you posit the most elaborate theories of Russian interference (which I don’t, but of course I’m denialist scum), what happened in 2016 was still almost entirely a domestic story, with Trump benefiting from long-developing public rejection of the political establishment.

          Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration. House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”

          All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end?

          https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/clinton-gabbard-russian-asset-jill-stein-901593/

          When you have lost Matt Taibbi and Rolling Stone, you have really gone ’round the bend. (It’s a good article, I recommend it. Points out even more instances where the left is mimicking the right when it lost cultural ground).Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
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            says:

            With Trump, all roads do lead back to Putin.

            Out of all the chaos of his maladministration, there is one unwavering pole star, that whenever Trump is faced with a decision between Russia’s interest and America’s, he chooses Russia.

            Or are we supposed to believe this is entirely coincidence?Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              This is so sad.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                Consider:

                Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Premise:
                The D’s already know they have lost 2020 and are looking to buy excuses on the bargain rack.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                Goodness, that’s a surprising premise. Has Trump’s approval rating improved from November 2018?

                Last I checked it had gotten worse, ticking up to 53/40 underwater.

                Has his polling in battleground states improved? Last I checked he was losing Florida and Texas, of all things.

                What a weird premise. I must have missed a lot in the last 48 hours.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to JS
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                says:

                Remember when we couldn’t decide how big Hildogs DESTROYING of Trump would be? Man, that inauguration was awesome!Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                What were you saying, oh, this time in 2018?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to JS
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                says:

                I agree with Aaron. The Democrats have fielded the most boring set of candidates. Most of them are, at best, cringe worthy, and the rest I just can’t get excited for.

                I feel like the Dems are counting heavily on Trump’s awfulness to motivate voters to the polls to pull for a D, regardless of who it is. Instead of fielding someone who can motivate despite Trump.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                “Boring” seems like a weak criticism. Trump aint boring and how well is that working out. The various fans of the top tier candidates seem pretty excited. And this is the primary season so that is how it usually works out.

                The D’s have everything from bright young centrists to old centrists to old lefties and businessmen types and collection of weirdos. That seems like a wide variety. You may not like them but the candidates represent the D coalition pretty well.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Any other election, I’d be all for boring. Boring presidents are the best kind.

                No one is going to move Trump with boring. They don’t have to be bombastic like him, but they have to be able to outmaneuver him. I’m not confident any of the front runners can do that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                We need a charismatic but bland, exciting but safe candidate.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I feel like they have the bland and safe parts covered, but are missing the charismatic and exciting bits.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                I think Tulsi has elements of the charismatic part, very similar to JFK, but she’s where liberals used to be or should be going instead of where they are. And the party establishment hates her because she has enough integrity to call them out. She’s also gotten sucked into her personal war with the party and is becoming as repetitive about it as Marco Rubio was with his over-rehearsed talking points that Chris Christie famously exposed.

                Yang has some charisma, but it’s the kind you’d see in the average Ted Talk or sales presentation. The Shamwow guy or Ron Popeil could sell anything except the idea that we should trust them with all of our money – lest we end up broke but with a nifty Bass-O-Matic.

                The governors who took a shot were hardly as inspiring as Jeb!, who had to beg people to clap.

                Biden got where he is by being nice, smiling a lot, shaking lots of hands, and sniffing lots of hair, not by being particularly bright. He was Obama’s silver-discount Dan Quayle, our Justin Trudeau from a retirement home, a gaffe-O-matic who somehow keeps on going because he didn’t know to quit when he was ahead.

                Elizabeth Warren would be a great candidate for Harvard Law faculty president, except that she’d lose because she taught legal writing, which is about like teaching Introduction to Chemistry at a university full of Nobel laureates. She’s not good on her feet and can’t even put together a defense the glaring tax implications of the health-care policies she stole from Bernie. She’s also a capitalist to her bones and was a Republican for decades who wrote on bankruptcy law, which also raises the question of whether she believes a word she says or if it’s just more fake-Indian opportunism to get her a bigger mansion.

                Bernie isn’t even a Democrat and won’t reach must past the Bernie Bros. Any Republican who suffered a heart attack, or a Democrat back in the day, would already be out of contention purely on health questions. As far as I know, FDR is the only President we’ve ever elected who had a known, serious, pre-existing health problem, and surviving polio is not like having a ticker that’s about to expire.

                Kamala Harris has the uplifting personal background story, much like Rubio, but she’s also good at convincing people that she’s a pretty vicious person with unlimited ambition and a willingness to crush anyone in her path, especially innocent people.

                Buttigieg has been doing well, and is sane and likable, but is probably similar to Beto in how people project their lofty hopes onto an unknown because the unknown is a blank canvas. He’s a small-town mayor whose never even voted on anything important. He’s years away from even attempting a governors race in Indiana. He should be a couple hundred people down the list of viable Democratic candidates, but he looks nice and has a husband, so there he is.

                Booker and Beto are basically not-very-bright vanity candidates whose coverage was a waste of ink.

                Trump is the first President in many decades who was outspent (and outspent two to one) and still won. None of the candidates except Biden resonates with African Americans, and few really resonate with many outside of a narrow niche. None have even John Kerry’s charisma. This implies a low-turnout situation for the non-incumbent party.

                If that happens, Moody’s Analytics is projecting (PDF) that he’ll win the electoral college 380 to 158. If Democrat turnout is average they project Trump wins 332 to 206. To even squeak out a narrow victory they need high Obama-level turnout, and none of their candidates are remotely comparable to Obama. Many can hardly get 500 people to show up at an appearance, as opposed to filling stadiums with fainting throngs.

                The trouble is, I don’t see any viable Democrat who decided just to skip this cycle, someone everybody is urging to jump in to save the situation. There’s isn’t a Governor Tom Hanks or former Secretary Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sitting in the wings, someone the press oohs and aahs over as cerebral or oozing gravitas.

                Perhaps the reason might boil down to some simple dictum, such as “If you demonize success, you won’t have any candidates with a track record of success.” or “Eventually the ‘avant garde’ just become ‘garde’.'”

                Or maybe they could take a lesson from the Rebels. “You blow up two Death Stars and overthrow Chancellor Palpatine, and twenty years later everybody wants him back because you were so bad at governing.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                You’ve got a bunch of people who aren’t seriously running for President, they’re trying to increase their name so it pays off for them long term. Whether or not they understand they’re not serious is irrelevant. Ignoring those…

                You’ve got Warren, who wants massive tax increases to the point of trainwreck to pay for stuff that’s going to be unpopular, and then on top of that wants an extra 30+ Trillion to pay for medicare for all.

                You’ve got Bernie, who is trying to have gov spending be 70% of the GDP when the next closest Northern European State spends 50 (ish). His plans make hers seem reasonable.

                I’d be forgiving if they weren’t serious candidates but they are. Either would convince me Trump isn’t that bad.

                And you’ve got Biden… who I haven’t done a deep dive review on but seemed sane enough when he was working for Obama. If he’s still alive when the Primaries come to my state I’ll vote for him. If he wins the Dem nod then I’ll do a deep dive and decide if I’m going for him or for a 3rd candidate this year.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you think you are the person the D’s are aiming at? You have consistently defended Trump in your own “sure he is shite, but it’s working” kind of way. I can see no way you were ever reachable for any D unless they turned into a generic R.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                You have consistently defended Trump in your own “sure he is shite, but it’s working” kind of way

                Meaning I don’t let myself get spun up by Twitter (nor follow it) and don’t believe in “because Trump” reasoning.

                Do you think you are the person the D’s are aiming at?

                Clearly I’m not. Afaict they’re competing for the “woke” vote and competing on who can promise the biggest tax increase to fund woke causes.

                However last election I didn’t vote for Team Blue nor Team Red, that means I’m in the middle for the purposes of this conversation. IMHO as ugly as Trump is, Warren’s policies are a lot worse. I think the non-woke aren’t going to go for serious tax increases much less burning the economy down because of global warming.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Approximately 90% of the use of the word “woke” is by conservatives as a way to categorize every D/liberal goal. Even if it is ones they actually claim to share. Like uni health care, is that “woke” now? It seems to be according to you but even Trump bothered to lie that he was for it. There are certainly R’s who want a fix to HC and like things like medicare expansion.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                There are certainly R’s who want a fix to HC and like things like medicare expansion.

                Not with a $30 plus Trillion price tag there aren’t.

                Approximately 90% of the use of the word “woke” is by conservatives as a way to categorize every D/liberal goal.

                Are you disagreeing with me or not? As far as I can tell, in many ways the Dem nomination process is becoming a bidding war on how far Left they can go. Biden started out very much in the Center, he’s had to move left, and then more left, as the process has gone on. He’s now saying AOC’s Green Deal doesn’t go far enough.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                How did “referendum on Trump” work out pretty much exactly a year okay?

                I mean do you expect he’ll be less motivating next year somehow?

                He’s 10+ points underwater, has a solid majority disapproval rating, and he’s not only trending the wrong way — he’s literally had that solid disapproval rating for four years now, so it’s not some brief spike.

                He suffered a rather epic defeat in 2018, his polling shows him losing in Texas, and you think Democrats are wrong to make the election about Trump?

                Not that they have a choice — when a President is up for re-election, that election is always about the incumbent.

                As for “boring” — Jesus. Don’t need to be competent, intelligent, sane — the buzzword is excitement. And I admit, when it comes to “not boring” there’s no beating Trump.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s the main thing that I’m looking at: Memes.

                Remember this?

                That’s a video that communicates an excitement that, good lord, McCain couldn’t even get *CLOSE* to matching.

                Trump is inspiring memes of his own. They’re not as tasteful as Will.I.Am’s and so I sha’n’t link them… but they do communicate an excitement. (In the short term, I look at stuff like the lines in front of Trump rallies.)

                The motivated against vote *IS* a thing.

                But so is motivated *FOR* and one of my measurements for motivated *FOR* is memes.

                Who among the Dems have the best memes?

                At this point, I’d have to say Yang and, rest her soul, Marianne Williamson.

                But if you’ve got reason to believe that I’ve been missing out on some awesome Warren (or whomever) memes, please point them out to me.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Old (March of this year) but still good, the Donald J Trump Palm Beach Presidential Library Hall of Memes.

                Once they build it, I will drive to Florida to see it. 🙂Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Memes.

                On the one hand, you have the results of the most recent elections. You have a 53% disapproval rating, which has not been below 50% in three years. You have an incumbent, which means the election is traditionally about the occupant of the White House.

                And your response is “What about memes?”

                The lack of dank Warren memes months before the first primary vote is, of course, a very good sign for Republicans.

                Jesus Christ.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS
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                says:

                Absurd, huh?

                Anyway, as I look out at the landscape, the main thing that I am looking at is engagement of the electorate and I don’t know how to read it even now.

                Like, check this out: “Who is the obvious Democratic frontrunner?”

                If you can’t immediately answer, does that indicate a problem?

                I jump between 2 answers. What’s the energy levels of the supporters of those 2 answers? Are they more or less interchangable? (I don’t think they are.)

                Where is the energy on the part of the Democratic Candidate?

                I don’t see it.

                Hey, maybe I’m looking at the wrong thing. Look at the polls! Look at the last election!

                But I’m unconvinced.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So don’t look at polls but pay attention to the results of your own filters!?!? Yeah where could that go wrong.

                I’ll preempt the obvious silly answers that polls are not always clear and can have methodological problems and should be looked at own avg and trends instead of one single poll. Assume obvious caveats about polls.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Greg, I’m fine with looking at polls. Who do you suggest? Sam Wang?

                “Yeah where could that go wrong.”

                Indeed, indeed.

                Anyway, I’m just telling you that I have less confidence in polls (certainly at this point in the cycle) than I have in “excitement”.

                And my measurement for “excitement” is “memes”.

                And Trump’s got ’em. Yang has ’em. If you have some awesome Warren/Bernie/Harris ones, please share ’em!

                Now that I think about it, I was wrong about one of the main candidates: Biden. Here’s an awesome Biden one from a much simpler time:

                So I might have to correct myself. Biden has hella memes. (hella memes“>There’s a “but” though.)Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I thought Nate Silver had been named, dare i say crowned, official OT numbers guy after Wang had to eat a bug. It’s not like he is only one pegging Trump as looking sketchy based on the polls. Oodles of polls show trump as consistently unpopular. Will that change. Certainly. Time moves forward and polls will move one way or the other. What are the chances there will be more scandals, rage tweeting and utter confusion that turn off independents?

                Meme’s, meh, that’s just your filters talking. That is the most “the things that pass before my eyes must represent all of reality” thing everReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, Nate Silver was, but I also know that Sam Wang tends to give numbers that are more comforting to the soul.

                What’s wacky is that I also know that National Polls mean a lot less than we’d like. There are only three polls that matter: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (for some reason, Ohio isn’t considered a toss-up by the pollsters).

                As such, I see memes as important for those states.

                This ain’t gonna flip on turnout in New York and California.

                It’s going to flip on turnout in the Rust Belt. And how can we best measure turnout in the Rust Belt a year and some days from now?

                Well, the short answer is “we can’t”, but the marginally less short answer is “enthusiasm is as good an indicator as any”.

                Wanna know how *I* measure enthusiasm? I mentioned two things above. The lines outside of Trump rallies and, yes, memes.

                Now keep in mind: this is not me saying “TRUMP HAS IT IN THE BAG! IN. THE. BAG!”

                This is me saying I see more stuff going on in 2019 that reminds me of 2016 than stuff that tells me that, seriously, this time is different.

                I’d love to hear why this time is different. “2018” has shown up and, yeah, I guess that’s a good argument. But it doesn’t win hands down. There are arguments against it.

                Such as the whole “Trump ain’t running against Generic Democrat. He’s running against X” argument.

                And we don’t know who X is.

                And while I think that Biden could win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania pretty handily (and, thus, the election), I’m not sure that Warren could.

                As such… I’m still in “I don’t know that Trump’s gonna lose” territory.

                No matter how certain Democrats are that they have this one in the bag.

                By the by, did you see this tweet?

                If you want my two cents, I don’t think that the information contained in this tweet, if true, is a good indicator about the bag.

                It’s a bad bag indicator.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                This just seems like a very longwinded and elliptical way to say that you personally don’t like the Democratic candidates.

                Which is fine as your personal opinion, but why not just say it instead of using the ventriloquist voice?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I suppose that that’s one way to read it.

                It might be the only way to understand it, if you can’t understand how someone might think different thoughts than you do.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Absurd, huh?”

                Yes. You’re ignoring polls, election results, and arguing memes.

                You made up some new statistic — well, statistic is too nice a term, since you’re not actually measuring anything. Metric isn’t right either — you’re not actually measuring anything.

                Let’s just go by “feels”. “Who feels more energetic” seems to be your criteria, a fun subjective one to boot. You decided the “feels” of “memes” to YOU PERSONALLY is really the go-to data point.

                Congratulations, you are using the exact same metric that keeps Vegas in business. “Man, but I feel like this is gonna be a hot streak. Forget math, forget the fact the House always wins, the dice look super lucky and my meme game is point today. Can’t lose!”

                Fun fact: Democratic 2018 turnout was up 50% from 2014. It hit about 80% of a Presidential election year, and was the highest turnout since 2014.

                I guess Pelosi’s meme game must have been on-point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                Sam Wang was our Offical Ordinary Times Numbers guy last time around and I, for my part, am twice shy. So, at this point, yeah. I’m not looking at polls. Not yet, anyway.

                “you’re not actually measuring anything.”

                Eh, it’s more that I’m looking for stuff that bubbles out of the grassroots and catches fire among the grassroots.

                Let’s just go by “feels”. “Who feels more energetic” seems to be your criteria, a fun subjective one to boot. You decided the “feels” of “memes” to YOU PERSONALLY is really the go-to data point.

                I will ask again: If you have encountered any awesome memes from your preferred candidate: PLEASE SHARE THEM WITH ME.

                These are relevant to my interests.

                Fun fact: Democratic 2018 turnout was up 50% from 2014. It hit about 80% of a Presidential election year, and was the highest turnout since 2014.

                Hey, I am willing to call 2018 a “blue wave”.

                What I am not willing to do is call it a definitive indicator beyond which we need not look at other things.

                Like memes.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think Trump is becoming awesome, I worry that his base is motivated 125% to vote for him.

                I worry that right now the Dems have a base that is motivated 85% to vote against him, but not really motivated to vote for anyone.

                Basically, IMHO, this is the democrats election to lose, just like it was last time, and I’m not seeing much to suggest that I won’t see a repeat performance.

                And yeah, sure, 2018 was… well, was it an epic defeat? The Dems took the house, but the house usually changes hands in the midterms. I don’t recall much movement in the senate.

                But who knows, Greg is right, it’s still the primary season. Maybe once the field gets narrowed, things will pick up and whoever winds up the candidate will rally the base.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                This seems remarkably over defeatist to me. I mean look at 2016. Trump just barely eked out a win by the skin of his fingernails against HRC. Lets’ go over the uncontroversial things he had going for him in that election year:
                A- HRC ran a leisurely campaign and pretty much ignored her blue wall states.
                B- HRC had a rolling fire of the “but her emails” mess. We can litigate over what % was her fault and what % was manufactured but the media fixated on it in their desperate need to try and balance it out.
                C- Trump was interesting and got a lot of free media coverage.
                D- Comey lost his damned mind, violated precedent and put his thumb on the scale with his announcement a couple weeks before the election.
                E- The Dems were coming off a two term presidency and their purity itch and bone deep complacency was a constant drag on turnout.
                F- Trump ran to the left of his party. Remember giving his voters something better than the ACA? Draining the swamp? Protecting their social security and Medicare? Restoring manufacturing for the working stiffs?

                I could go on but I think that covers the noncontroversial factors and also covers most of the major ones in 2016. Now looking down that list I see no chance in hell that whoever the Dem nominee will be will make the mistakes of A. It is maybe –maybe- possible the GOP can gin up some kind of phenomena resembling B and D if Biden is the nominee, maybe, but without control of the House and without HRC’s personal history I doubt they can. Trump undoubtably will enjoy the benefits of C again and the Dems are unambiguously free of the problems of E. I think F is dead and buried along with all his promises. He’s accomplished absolutely nothing positive along those lines and much that is negative. I don’t think he can run as a lefty this time and have anyone outside his true believers receive it with a straight face.

                So what does Trump have going for him and against him in 2020?

                A-He’s the incumbent.
                B-The Economy may be doing alright.

                That’s all I got. Then what has he got going against him in 2020?

                A-He’s run the most scandal plagued and corrupt administration in history.
                B- The Economy could go into recession any time.
                C- He’s got impeachment hanging over him (or maybe issued against him)
                D- He’s no longer a policy cipher. The only thing he’s delivered on is pouring out love on the wealthy through his tax cuts. Every other promise is either unfulfilled or flat out reversed.
                E- His electoral base has spent four years demographically shrinking and his opponents base has spent four years doing the reverse.

                It sure doesn’t look good for him even before we look at polling and his historically bad favorable. What state is he going to win? The Midwest is full of farmers he’s be rat-fishing for 4 years with his trade war and manufacturing that he’s done bupkiss with again. WI isn’t under a friendly Republican administration any more. Do we really think he’s going to carry PA and MI again? Honestly? With the Dems most assuredly not ignoring them? And if he doesn’t carry those states then where’s he going to make up the difference?Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                To be somewhat fair in a back handed way to Trump, he also delivered on his policy of being cruel to immigrants in spades.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, but no wall and Mexico didn’t pay for it. Immigration isn’t exactly going away as an issue for him either.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                C- Trump was interesting and got a lot of free media coverage.

                Well it’s a good thing Trump is less interesting now and doesn’t get free media coverage any more.

                A-He’s the incumbent.
                B-The Economy may be doing alright.

                Lichtman says that of his 13 predictors of who will win the election, the Dems need 6 solidly against Trump and they currently have 3. Impeachment might bring in the scandal card which would make it four. That’s really grim.

                Trump wins any ties here and a ton of the factors you’re trying to bring in are nothing burgers. We don’t have a significant rival against Trump inside the GOP. We don’t have a significant 3rd party challenge. We don’t have significant social unrest, policy changes, or fighting/losing a war.

                What you’ve got is:
                1) Trump hasn’t won a war.
                2) Trump doesn’t have party mandate (i.e. the House flipped).
                3) Trump isn’t a national hero.
                You’re hoping you get
                4) Scandal (and yes, really, you don’t have that yet).
                5) Economic down turn.

                So IF the economy turns down you’ll end up depending on Warren’s or Biden’s raw charisma to carry the day. The way to bet is not only does Trump win but he wins bigger than last time.

                https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/28/politics/allan-lichtman-donald-trump-2020/index.html
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Keys_to_the_White_HouseReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Like I said, it’s the Democrats election to lose.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                “And yeah, sure, 2018 was… well, was it an epic defeat?”

                The GOP lost 42 seats.

                There has been exactly 6 elections since 1960 that saw more than 40 seats change hands. So if it’s not an epic defeat, than 2006 wasn’t one for Bush, 1994 wasn’t one for Clinton, 2010 wasn’t one for Obama, 1974 wasn’t one for Ford….

                A “wave” election is generally defined as anything more than 20 seats changing. It was the third largest House swing since 1974.

                So “the House usually changes hands” is a real understatement there.

                The Senate didn’t move at all, mostly because of a very advantageous map for the GOP. You can see a full analysis about how bad the map was here (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-did-the-house-get-bluer-and-the-senate-get-redder/) but, to sum it up: Worst map for a single party since 1914.

                “will rally the base.”

                2018 had the highest mid-term turnout in since — in a huge coincidence that isn’t — 1914.

                Just to pull up 2014 numbers: 35.4 million Democrats, 39.8 million Republicans. 2016: 51.7 million Democrats, 47.4 million Republicans.

                It;s worth noting that the 2012 and 2016 Presidential elections saw roughly 60-65 million votes per party. Trump actually turned out about 3 million more votes than Romney, while Clinton got about exactly as many as Obama 2012.

                Do you think it was Nancy Pelosi that drove such incredibly high Democratic turnout in 2018? 50% increase in their usual mid-term turnout is kind of a big thing, and if that wasn’t Trump — what was it?

                I mean something sure as heck rallied the Democratic base in 2018 to show up to vote, and the only possible candidate is Trump. And if he inspires a 50% increase in turnout in an off year, when he’s not even on the ballot, why on earth do you think that’ll somehow fade in 2020?

                It’s not like his approval ratings have improved.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Most of them are, at best, cringe worthy, and the rest I just can’t get excited for.

                Much worse. Two of the three top Dem candidates have policy so bad it makes Trump’s trade wars look great to the point of me reversing my 2016 choice and voting for him.

                He’s on course for being the least worst choice.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                MSN: Anxious Dem Establishment Asks if There is Anybody Else

                They’re very worried that they need someone else to jump in.

                One takeaway from last night’s Canadian election returns is that their Conservative pundits said “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.” As bad as Trudeau was, blackface and all, the Conservatives had nobody. The current field looks to have the same problem.Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    One of the real candidates has spoken up:

    Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    WaPo has a story, apparently:

    Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I bring this up not because it’s “proof” of anything but because it is an indicator of a handful of things.

      Remember back in 2016 when Cokie Roberts was talking on NPR about how some of her contacts were making whispers about replacing Clinton?

      I bring this up not because I saw it as evidence that Clinton was going to be replaced, but because the people behind the scenes were interpreting some bad indicators of their own. Gut feels, if you will.

      I get the feeling that there is a game going on like that scene in the book Peter Pan where the parent is supposed to make the kid say “I do believe in fairies!” to make the grown-up keep reading and have Tinkerbell wake back up.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Um, are there any stories circulating around about Republican operatives, “whispering” about their “gut feels” and “bad indicators” about their candidate?

        The clincher would be some story about his use of private email server. No candidate could survive that.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Um, are there any stories circulating around about Republican operatives, “whispering” about their “gut feels” and “bad indicators” about their candidate?

          Oh, there are a ton.

          I seriously think that there are enough that you could write a post talking about the Republicans whispering such things.

          You can conclude with something like “and this is why I feel good about the Democratic Nominee’s chances come 2020, no matter who it is!”Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Speaking of which, I just had this go across my twitters:

            The tweet that I saw linking to this was talking about how this is coming out now because… well, read the tweet:

            Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        (That reminds me: I still owe Kazzy $5.)Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      They are determined to write a “Dems in disarray!” piece, and won’t let the fact that all leading Democratic candidates beat Trump in head to head polls stop them.

      But this made me chuckle:
      “You can imagine much stronger candidates,” said Elaine Kamarck, a Democratic National Committee member. She pines for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who declined to run, or an outsider such as retired Adm. William H. McRaven…”

      who no one besides Elaine Kamarck has ever heard of.

      Seriously she complains about Biden and Warren as being weak, but then tosses out the name of a guy who has never held elected office, has no national constituency, nor apparently any desire to build one, as her Great White Hope?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Remember this from the other day?

        Good times.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          A new play in one act:
          “Wating for McRaven-mentum”Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Carter is still alive. Wont’ someone stan for him.
          Couldn’t this kind of piece by automated. X rumored/thinking about jumping in. X = every living D pol.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            Would you say it’s absurd to think that Trump would get more than 240 EVs?

            Here’s something from Nate Silver, our New and Improved Official Numbers Guy:

            As someone who thinks that Biden would win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, I think that Biden’s strength (and resiliency despite hints of scandals) is bad news for Trump.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Biden makes me nervous as all get out with his age, gaffetrack and the material that, while not actually scandalous, is the kind of thing the right wing media instruments have proven highly adept at manufacturing a “scandalish” narrative out of. But there’s no way he drops out as long as his numbers stay like this.

              As for the “new people are gonna jump in” narrative? That’s a bunch of nothingburger stories to fill page space and gather clicks. The campaign is past the immediate debates and there’s not a lot of new material for reporters to report on with regards to the primary so they’re scraping the barrel to feed the press.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                The new people are going to jump in narrative is not something that tells me “oh, someone is going to jump in!”

                It’s something that tells me “none of the real candidates are such obvious juggernauts that John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Michael Bloomberg are all openly grousing about how they totally should have run.”

                I don’t see it as “oh, they’re going to run!”

                I see it as “oh, they are crab bucketing in the absence of a sufficiently strong frontrunner.”

                I mean, can you *IMAGINE* Clinton or Kerry saying “man, I kinda wish I had gone for the nomination…” in 2012?

                I, for my part, cannot.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                In 2012? When there was an incumbent Democratic President on the ticket? Seems rather apples and oranges. Maybe Gore grumbling that he should have run in 2004 when it was still a pre-Iowa scrum… actually now that I think about it that actually did happen in 2004 didn’t it?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Was that a good indicator or a bad indicator?

                Or was it silly to call it an indicator at all because Bush was such an awful person and such and awful president that even noticing that Gore said anything at all is obviously a defense of Bush?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Mmm I’d go with none of the above but more C than the rest but not for the reasons listed in C.

                But frankly I don’t put much stock in the “Party is sad with its choices because no one has united the field” stories when we’re at the stage of the primary when everyone is lined up behind their own candidates. GOP 2016 had a historically fractured and fractious field and tons of party actors were groaning and saying they should have run or if only this other person had run.
                Was it a good indicator or a bad indicator? I mean sure it was a good indicator; the eventual nominee won.. or maybe it was a terrible indicator because eventually they got Trump.

                Personally? I don’t think it indicates much except what stage of the primary we’re at. The “everyone is divided into teams and the above it all folks and concern troll folks and horserace folks think this is significant” stage.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                But frankly I don’t put much stock in the “Party is sad with its choices because no one has united the field” stories when we’re at the stage of the primary when everyone is lined up behind their own candidates.

                Please understand: I’m not arguing “the party” is doing anything.

                I’m noticing that John Kerry is saying “I coulda been a contendah” instead of “I hope that my colleague Elizabeth Warren turns Trump into Chowdah.”Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                He’ll say that later if she wins the nod.
                Now is the time for all the didn’t runs to look at the field and say “I could have run and been doing better than this” when the reality is if they’d run they’d be in the same position or worse than the current crop of contenders.

                I mean it’s always one or the other. “The party has a huge field of candidates, it’s too fractured, no one is uniting the party and inspiring the masses.” Or it’s “There are only a couple candidates, the party is too narrow and parochial, no one is being given a real choice.”Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Umm yeah that seems bad for trump. But what i really want to know is why isn’t there a badge on the 537 site bragging about being our official numbers guy. What does Will do around here anyway if he isnt’ making that happen. But on the other hand, nothing is going well for Trump now so, at this moment, guessing on the low side for his EV”s is the smart money.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                FTR Nate was -always- my numbers guy. I got a lot wrong in 2016 but I was always on the Silver train; I didn’t get a badge either. Who’s my publicist? Oh wait a minute, I don’t have one.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know if it should seem bad to you for Trump. That’d depend on whether you agree with my premises. Here. I’ll lay out my argument.

                A: The candidate who wins Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania is the candidate who will win the election.
                B: In an election against Trump, Biden will win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania

                Conclusion: In an election against Trump, Biden will beat Trump.

                If I didn’t share one or both of those first two premises, I imagine I’d see things differently. (I also have a hidden premise that goes something like “Warren would not win two of the three states mentioned” but it’s not really relevant to the conclusion as written above.)Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Speaking of Memes:

    So we’ve reached the point where she’s trying.

    Which is good.

    Lemme know if any go viral because that sort of thing is my jam.Report

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