Tulsi Gabbard Taps Out on Congress

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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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219 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    Ain’t no hate like a lib has for a traitor chick. Ain’t nothin’ like it.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      Doesn’t seem hateful, just factual. And there’s nothing wrong with Gabbard cashing in, power to her. She just won’t be a Democrat anymore- big deal. There’s good money to be had as a Fox personality.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    It’s time we had a Jennifer Rubin for Democrats/Republicans. Man, if there happens to be a market for that sort of thing? Katie bar the door.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Jennifer Rubin has more or less become a moderate Democrat at this point if you read her columns. She basically admits it. Bruce Bartlett is for Warren.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        Saul, don’t trust Rubin. She’s a known liar who’s obviously more interested in remaining relevant than promulgating any particular set of vales or principles.

        Same with Frum, for that matter, though his disdain for the party he created Trumpist GOP seems genuinely sincere. Rubin? She’s just in it for clicks.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
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          says:

          The difference is Frum is actually a good writer and sharp analyst, which makes him worth reading (but definitely not trusting).

          Rubin just seems to have gone from being a run-of-the-mill right-leaning pundit to and run-of-the-mill moderate or left-leaning pundit.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Without Googling, can anyone say what Gabbard’s opinions or proposals are for a standard range of issues?
    Like, what would she do with Obamacare? Taxes? Trade? Unions? Consumer financial protection? Policing and crime?

    I don’t know myself, which is kinda my point. We OT commenters are about the most hyper aware and plugged in political people around, and yet I doubt anyone here could answer those questions without homework.

    We all know what Warren stands for, or Sanders, or Biden.

    Gabbard doesn’t seem to have any self-constructed identity other than “foreign policy critic”. And even then, it consists only of lobbing tired Marxist cliches about warmongering profiteers.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      It is a great point. I know them because I looked them up to write on her, but you get to the heart of this. This isn’t a campaign it is a grift, so the buzzwords that feed thin slices of the electorate and cross normal lines is the whole point. Getting into policy gets in the way of that. You can’t be a Bernie-ite, which she openly is, and get on Tucker Carlson talking about M4A, but you sling “Warmonger” around at a Clinton and folks all the sudden think they have a fellow traveler without thinking much past that.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        says:

        This isn’t a campaign it is a grift

        What are the odds Tulsi teams up with fellow professional grifter Jill Stein on a third party run?Report

        • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Stillwater
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          says:

          None. Especially with Stein, which the optics would really crank up the “Russian asset” nonsense. I could be wrong and she gets looped into a 3rd party run, but I don’t think so, it would immediately cutoff her current most rabid fans — Trump and other Right-wing supporters — and those folks would never forgive her for a Biden/Warren presidency, let alone be a financial base for Tulsi Inc she wants to set up.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      I don’t know exactly what her positions are, but I think it’d be fair to say that if she endorsed Sanders in 2016, she doesn’t represent the right of the Democratic Party.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        Given her scathing comments about Hillary one pretty easy conclusion to draw is that, like Sanders, she thinks the Democratic party is due for a complete overhaul. And there’s a sizeable faction of Dem voters who broadly agree with that view.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Hey I also know she’s anti-anti-Trump.

      Weird that she’s not doing better in the Democratic primary.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    The usual suspects have chimed in I see. How nice to know that clockwork is reliable.

    Gabbard ran as a Democrat because she is from Hawaii and that is more or less necessary for anyone hoping to go to Washington these days from Hawaii. As Chip points out though, her politics were never really where the rest of the party was. There was a good chance she would get defeated in a primary in 2020. She was always low in polling. She might have even been defeated in her primary if she opted out of the Presidency.

    Maybe she can find a spot in the Duma to run for though.

    But the usual suspects hate the Democratic Party and will never admit it but they love to troll and will defend Gabbard because she was an outlier in the party and that makes it good to troll the real Democrats whom they hate so much. As far as I can tell, a lot of this hate comes from seeing the Democratic Party as the Mommy Party and “fuck you mom” rules their psychology. But I am sure they will love watching her as the Fox News liberal who bashes the Democratic Party for a seven-figure salary.Report

  5. Avatar Doctor Jay
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    says:

    What that meeting at Scaramucci’s restaurant said to me was that those guys want to get Gabbard prepped and ready as a third-party counter to Elizabeth Warren. Wall Street is terrified of Warren. Seriously, even Dem-leaning money people don’t want the wealth tax, and will do just about anything to stop it. Wall Street is happy to take Trump if it means no wealth tax.

    Let me note that I did not come into this a Warren fan, but I’m warming to her. Even though I don’t really agree with most of her policy white papers. I console myself that few of them will make it through Congress.

    What I love is that her candidacy prompts people to make public statements like “50 million dollars doesn’t make you rich, it just makes you upper middle class.” I laughed and laughed at that one. But they are sweating silver dollars right now. Maybe Tulsi can save them.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      Yeah, that’s kinda what I’m seeing.

      Like the Eye of Sauron is slowly turning from the army of Biden to the little hobbit of Warren, quietly trudging up the polls.

      And they really are becoming afraid.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        I Kinda agree with your kinda agreement…

        There’s no real constituency that Mooch and Wall Street represent that overlaps even a little bit with what Tulsi could tackle, if she were serious about politics – which – I don’t think she is.

        So when I drop this Sullivan quote, think of me as concurring with your gut instinct while simultaneously disagreeing with your sentiments about hobbiton (and the political wisdom of Wall Street financiers).

        “For what it’s worth, I suspect Warren will win the nomination and dutifully lose the election just like Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, and the second Clinton. She has that quintessential perfume of smug, well-meaning, mediocre doom that Democrats simply cannot resist.”
        ~Sullivan, AReport

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          Well! I’ll say one thing about Sullivan’s critique: anyone who’s seen Warren interact with people understands that she very much is *not* like Mondale, Dukakis, Gore (!), Kerry and all that. Unlike those stiff old white guys, she’s relatable and human.

          That doesn’t mean, of course, that a big chunk of the electorate won’t continue to think she’s smug.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            For what it’s worth, I suspect Warren will win the nomination and usher in twin back to back landslide victories in a New New Deal era of progressive action. She has that quintessential perfume of folksy charm, spunky can-do country girl attitude and sharp eyed policy chops that Americans simply cannot resist.

            Why the hell not? This has more actual evidence in support than Sullivan’s does.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Heck, if that can’t win against Trump in 2020 what could!?

              But if not, then maybe Democratic by-laws should be rewritten to handicap any future New England Democrat in the primaries… like, they start with auto-losses in NH and any state north of PA and east of OH… if they still win the nomination, then godspeed.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                There seems to be this notion underlying a lot of analyses like Sullivan’s that Trump is some colossal electoral juggernaut.

                Where is this supported?
                In almost any poll anywhere, if the election were to be held tomorrow any of the top 5 Democrats would beat him handily.

                And he appears to have hit his ironclad ceiling of support, which hasn’t changed since 2016.

                So all this “this is how we get Trump” stuff just seems odd to me, conjured out of a barely suppressed wishcasting.

                Don’t get me wrong- there is plenty of reason to think he could squeak out another victory. But plenty more reasons to think he is beatable.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Trump’s totally beatable. I saw one person’s analysis of the 2020 race which showed that Dems could win the popular vote by +9% and still lose the EC.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I’m not one of those people.

                I’m honestly one of those people who thinks Trump is very easy to beat. If simply beating Trump is the goal; but that isn’t the goal, its a thing that has to happen for the goal. Problem is, some goals (in either party) would need reorienting. But neither party is (yet) at a point where it feels it needs to.

                So, we’re gutting it out by doubling down… but, my contrarian take is that this is a “Loser Take All” scenario in that whoever loses this fight, will make the necessary political adjustments and steal a march on realignment.

                The R’s can’t do it until Trump loses (hopefully) in a landslide.

                The D’s can’t (won’t) do it because victory is so achingly, tantalizingly close (or so it seems). But if you lose to Trump(!) with another New England Liberal(!)… opportunities for new coalition factions will arise.

                Of course its a Friday, I haven’t had any meat to fuel my great brain… so maybe its a take more contrarian than good.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I have been reliably informed that we can discard the 2018 results, we can discard the 40/53 underwater approval ratings, and discard the fact that Trump is actually losing Texas to hypothetical matchups with the Democratic front-runners because….

                His meme game is solid. So much energy. Democrats might as well toss the whole field and elect someone from 4chan who can get that meme-energy flowing.

                Forget facts: It’s all about gut feelings based on Twitter, the best and most reliable sort of analysis!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS
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                says:

                JS, please know this: I read your comment not as a rebuke of my silly theory but as confirmation that you don’t understand why (or even *THAT*) Trump won in 2016 which is not a good indicator for me that the democratic machine will be able to beat him in 2020.

                Mock me for trying to read tea leaves this early in the process if you must. But saying that they aren’t really tea leaves when they would have been good tea leaves to have noticed last time really, really doesn’t help me with my confirmation bias problem.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                “But saying that they aren’t really tea leaves when they would have been good tea leaves to have noticed last time really, really doesn’t help me with my confirmation bias problem.”

                So you’re really just gonna pick a random indicator and claim it has predictive value? How many elections has ‘meme energy’ correctly predicted? How are you measuring ‘meme energy’? What were the relative values last time, and what are they now? How tight are these predictions — is it a ratio thing, or a certain threshold?

                How did the ‘meme energy’ work in 2018?

                I kid. We both know it’s none of those things. You picked a random thing to pretend you weren’t just picking based on whatever your gut said, claimed it meant something, and rather than back down when it was pointed out how stupid it was and admit it was just gut feeling, you doubled down on the dumb.

                Well, tripled now.

                If Trump wins in 2020, efffing memes won’t have a damn thing to do with it. Nor will you have predicted it, other than by randomly guessing a coin flip.

                And no, I wasn’t rebuking your silly theory. I was mocking the hell out of it, and you for trying to peddle it. And I’ll continue to mock it, because it was really, really, really stupid.

                There’s plenty of bellweathers with some actual predictive power — like state of the economy — that signal good news for Trump, and for you to instead pick memes is pretty damn hilarious.

                Especially for a man who delights in playing the condescending lecturer to the benighted masses.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS
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                says:

                So you’re really just gonna pick a random indicator and claim it has predictive value?

                For you it’s a random indicator.

                For me it’s the thing that made me suspect that Trump could, indeed, win. (And that Clinton was, indeed, a bad candidate. I can find you threads from 2016, if you’d like.)

                How many elections has ‘meme energy’ correctly predicted? How are you measuring ‘meme energy’? What were the relative values last time, and what are they now? How tight are these predictions — is it a ratio thing, or a certain threshold?

                Well, in the original comment you’re mocking, I pointed to this video:

                I kinda see that meme energy as being off the charts.

                (Also there were the jokes from around that time that Priuses came off the assembly line with those little “O” stickers on the back.)

                That, to me, was an indicator that Obama was something special (above and beyond a zombie with (D) next to his name would have won 2008).

                Romney vs Obama in 2012 had less of that energy for Obama, but less of it is like saying that 98 is less than 99. It was still off the charts high. Romney, by comparison, didn’t have any of that energy, really. There was “WE NEED TO VOTE AGAINST OBAMA!” energy and not “WE NEED TO VOTE FOR ROMNEY!” energy.

                2016 had not only “WE NEED TO VOTE AGAINST CLINTON” energy but also “WE NEED TO VOTE FOR TRUMP!” energy.

                If Trump wins in 2020, efffing memes won’t have a damn thing to do with it. Nor will you have predicted it, other than by randomly guessing a coin flip.

                Please understand: I’m not claiming to have predicted Trump’s win in 2016. I *AM* claiming to have predicted that it wasn’t going to be a goddamn walk.

                Here’s our prediction thread from the time, if you care to read it. (I said that it’d be a plurality squeaker in favor of Hillary but there’d be two or three states that we’d be able to point to and say “man, if this state went 48-49 instead of 49-48, we’d have President Trump now!”)

                Here’s the thread from August 2016 in which I posted my best guess at an election map. I’m pretty proud of it, looking back at it now! I got Michigan wrong but I got the rest right.

                I am not saying that memes will cause Trump to be elected in 2020.

                That *IS* an absurd thing to argue.

                What I am arguing is that memes are an indicator of not only enthusiasm but an indicator of the potential virality of the enthusiasm for the candidate.

                And I’m saying that, at this point, the memes indicate to me that there is a hell of a lot of “WE HAVE TO VOTE AGAINST TRUMP!” energy out there.

                But I’m not seeing a whole lot of enthusiasm for any given Democrat.

                Hey, maybe being a Generic Democrat will be enough come 2020. (It appears to have been enough in 2018!)

                But I’m seeing a lot of things that remind me of the things I saw in 2016.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                I get that the old guard Dems want to preserve their power, but man have they created some *huge* obstacles politicians need to navigate to win the hearts and minds of people across the country.

                Ive seen a lot of Warren-skeptics turning to Amy K as some sort of party savior and all I can think is that she’s a) a Prosecutor who believes b) that every problem can be solved by more legislation. Dems have a real problem right now, and it’s not Warren or Biden specifically. It has to do with authenticity on a human level. I’m still sad and mad that Sherrod Brown didnt enter the race.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                At least Amy K hasn’t promised to take peoples health insurance away and, when asked how she’d pay for it, say “The dog ate my homework”. This from the “I have a plan for that” candidate.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
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                says:

                North, I like Amy K. When this whole thing started I was 100% behind Amy K. But she’s turrible at retail politics. She has no chance. Of current candidates I can see only Biden, Warren, and Buttigieig getting the nom.

                This somewhat aligns with Marchmaine’s point above, but quite a while ago I suggested that the Dem establishment should get behind Warren and roll with those dice. But they didn’t, because (as March mentions) the Dem powerbrokers are committed to leveraging the likelihood of a Dem victory against their own interests.

                It’s just so quintessentially Dem that they’ll trade getting nothing against a marginal gain in their own utility without even batting an eye.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Err.. how is Warren not the Dem establishment? It’s not like she’s Bernie.

                As for Amy? I agree her odds don’t look great right now. It depends on what happens with Biden. If Joe implodes then Amy and Pete will duke it out for the massive centrist lane of the party. She has a decent shot at the VP nod even if she doesn’t get the Presidency.

                I don’t personally have a beef with Warren. Hell, she’s basically Hillary without any of the substantive baggage HRC had so of course I’d like her. But I don’t blame the party, establishment or not, for being nervous considering how thin the ice Warren is skating around on is.

                But what Dem power brokers would a Warren victory upend? She’s not some crazy lefty nut. She’s just a center leftist who has painted herself into some really bad policy positions to try and suck up to the twitteratti and now can’t figure out how to square them with reality. I have no worries at all about how a President Warren, in office, would operate. My concern about her is strictly about how I think she’ll do in the flipping general. And considering how she squirmed when they stuck it to her, gently, in the last debate about her Medicare for all nonsense I am far from convinced she’ll do well against Trump in a debate too. Especially when he starts calling her names.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
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                says:

                Err.. how is Warren not the Dem establishment?

                She wants to, and will, challenge all their existing power. The Dem establishment isn’t the voting base, it’s the rich folk and old-guard power-brokers who aligned with (eg) Hillary to further ostensibly liberal goals while maintaining their own power within the party.

                Warren would shake up the status quo within the party. Much more than, say, Buttigeig would.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I find it hilarious that people believe the Dem establishment is powerful, competent, and unified.

                It speaks to our need, as human beings, to have a single, unified, explicable thread of decision making — the same urge that drives every conspiracy theory.

                The Democrats are as they’ve always been — it’s a bunch of cats. The Democratic ‘establishment’ has no more of a singular vision or will than 50 cats in a room, and it’s certainly not guiding anything.

                What’s the old saying? “I’m not a member of an organized party, I’m a Democrat”?

                Yeah, it hasn’t changed.

                If your thesis starts with “The Dem establishment wants” or the “Dem establishment is trying” then your thesis is fundamentally flawed.

                I’m sure some members of the Democratic party see Warren as a threat. Yet others see her as an actual member of the Shadowy Democratic Establishment and others see her as an outsider and others see her as an opportunity and others see her as a good bet and others see her as a potential President…

                Just like every other candidate. You know why Biden is still in the race, if not for much longer? It’s not a “Democratic Establishment”. It’s a good chunk of Democratic voters, mostly older. It’s not smoke filled rooms, it’s a 55 year old black Democrat who has fond memories of Obama and really wants Trump gone, and so he’s backing the former VP – -because that seems pretty electable and pretty competent and that beats Trump all hollow.

                You know who is afraid of Warren? Random people. Some with money. Some without. Some in politics. Some not. You know what they aren’t? A shadowy cabal of “establishment politicians”.

                If one existed, she’d be a member — as she’s a prominent politician. And if they had the ability to shut down politicians they didn’t like, she wouldn’t be a Senator.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to JS
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                says:

                I find this comment so naive that it’s not worth taking seriously. 🙂Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Funny, I think it’s an amazing comment and is pretty clear eyed-realistic. But then again I’m still hoping to get a golden donkey key ring to access the smoke filled room so I would say that.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
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                says:

                Do you remember a whole news cycle (two days anymore) about Gillibrand being blackballed by the big NY donors?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I don’t recall anyone specifying big NY donors but I recall the stories being that some big donors and influential people were not supporting her because of the Franklin embroglio. Is that what you’re referring to?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
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                says:

                Yes. She was embargoed.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                But Yang wasn’t? I mean Gilibrand had plenty of means of getting money IF large numbers of people gave a damn about her candidacy- which they didn’t.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
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                says:

                She’s just a center leftist who has painted herself into some really bad policy positions

                Her whole history as a Senator is challenging existing (financial) power structures to make them more equitable. If you don’t think that has Dem Money shaking in their shoes you’re tripping.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Thanks for clarifying, I see what you mean now. The powers that be seemed to endure the CFPB without melting down and that was a Warren brainchild.

                I mean I get your point but I’m deeply dubious that Warren is that genuinely threatening to the people you’re talking about. But, on the other hand, if Warren has a cynical lefty like you thinking that way about her it’s a big count in her favor over all so yay for her.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Chip Daniels
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              Arguably, by the local standards, she’s been a “city girl” all her life. Warren will be labeled a Massachusetts-Senator college-professor northeast-liberal candidate. The downside risk is that the same places where the Dem voters weren’t excited about a candidate that had to start with a New York-Senator Washington-insider northeast-liberal label won’t be excited about Warren.Report

    • Avatar J_A in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      Wall Street is terrified of Warren. Seriously, even Dem-leaning money people don’t want the wealth tax, and will do just about anything to stop it.

      If they don’t want Warren (or Bernie), I suggest they jump onto Mayor Pete’s wagon, the standard bearer of conservative, moderate, Democrats (an Afghanistan veteran, McKinsey alumni, you don’t get more conservative Democrat than that). He has a better chance to stop Warren that Tulsi will ever haveReport

      • Avatar North in reply to J_A
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        They’re talking about in the general, not the primary. Though I am massively dubious that a third party Tulsi run would take more from the Dems than the GOP. Who the hell is her constituency among the voting masses?Report

        • Avatar J_A in reply to North
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          says:

          I would think the best way to make sure Warren doesn’t win the General is for her to not win the nomination, hence the Mayor Pete alternative.

          If Warren is indeed nominated, as a Wall Street Tycoon, I would be very concerned that Trump is all that stands between President Warren and my offshore wealthReport

          • Avatar North in reply to J_A
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            says:

            Perhaps so, though they might think they’ll get more bang for their buck from Biden… though he’s so old.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
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              It’s not just that he’s old. He’s a creature of a time so distant we need binoculars to see it.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Eh, he seems to be reining in his old fashioned impulses well enough but he rambles like the oldie he is. If I could wave a magic wand and have him bow out of the race I would but I am far from delighted with Senator “Gonna take your insurance away” Warren either. I am not sure which one is higher risk in the general.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
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                says:

                In a head-to-head, I think Joe gets crushed by Trump. He’s too dim, self-impressed, and uncreative to counter Trump’s attacks. Trump will expose him as the old fool that he is.

                Warren on the other hand is mentally nimble enough to parry Trump’s thrusts (??) while landing some blows of her own. She has grit where Biden only has grime.

                But maybe Buttigeig makes a move and takes Iowa and we’re off to the races. Weirder things than that have happened.Report

              • Avatar Stillwaterw in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I just noticed I didn’t mention Bernie. I apologize to all the Bernie fanboys out there for my inexcusable thoughtlessness, but maybe that “oversite” is for the best, to get this narrative out there now. Bernie is grifting right now with no hope of winning nuthin.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                As an example, have you seen anything sadder than Biden selling T-shirts on his website with the words “Beat Trump like a drum”?

                Joe! has no idea what he’s doing or what he’s up against.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                No idea how he’ll do against Trump in a one on one debate. HRC whupped him sideways and still lost. Joe won’t be threatening to take away everyone’s health insurance and promising to power the electric grid on moonbeams so that’s an awfully big lift he doesn’t have to support that Warren will*.

                But I sure as hell hope neither Warren nor Joe nor Crazy uncle Bernie win it… but let’s be real- right now the odds suggest it’s either her or him. God(ess?) help us.

                *And to be clear, if she wins the nomination I’ll 100% support her. I worry about how badly she’s stumbled in the policy department where she’s supposed to be super strong. Cribbing Bernies plan? WTF??Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Some wonder if Joe is even seriously running, because judging from the competence of his campaign he can’t be. He announced some “Hispanics for Biden” website without buying the URL, so Trump snatched it up and his folks did the usual brilliant trolling with it.

                But along with that was the sad fact that Biden’s announcement of the website for Hispanics was the fact that the announcement only had about 4,000 total views. BIden’s not reaching anybody, and when he does his campaign is incompetent at it, as if he’d hired a bunch of retired 60 year-olds to staff his digital campaign effort.

                That’s the kind of thing we’re used to from also-rans who typically drop out prior to Iowa, which is normally how Biden does. The whole party would have to come together to support him, not like they did for Obama, but like the characters Weekend at Bernie’s did, or as if they were running Biden as an alternative to moving him to an assisted living retirement home.

                Letting him completely dominate the centrist lane may prove to have been an epic blunder.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Some wonder if Joe is even seriously running,

                Well, he’s not running. Too hard on the joints at his age.

                He’s speed walking. [shuck shuck shuck shuck shuck shuck]Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                In a head-to-head, I think Joe gets crushed by Trump.

                In a head-to-head, I see Joe taking Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                We’ll see!

                Unless that NeoMarxist Warren tricks her way into the nom.Report

      • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to J_A
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        Who’s to say they haven’t? Somebody’s giving Mayor Pete lots of cash. But Mayor Pete isn’t interested in a third-party run in the general. For that, they have to go to Gabbard, who seems to be interested in “how much would you pay me to do that?”

        These are not people who put all their eggs in one basket. The cover all kinds of contingencies, it’s called “hedging”. As in hedge funds.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    @Doctor Jay,

    From what I’ve read, the rank and file Wall Street workers are fine with Warren as President. There are just voices at the top with piles and piles of money that are scared shitless.

    That being said, Gabbard might or might not run as a third party ratfucker. She is probably going to make lots of money as a Fox News “liberal” and will be trotted out at seven figures to bash Democrats. There are basically lots of people in this country who just hate Democrats and not all of them are necessarily right-wingers. Here are the types:

    1. Conservatives, reactionaries, and Republicans. This is obvious. They are just ideologically opposed to Democrats. A lot of them have been radicalized by Fox News to see Democrats as nothing but illegitimate.

    2. Libertarians who might or might not be right-leaning but has libertarian Steve Horowitz observed “hate the left more than they love liberty.”

    3. People who identify as left but just hate the Democratic Party because they see it as being dorky, uncool, and controlled by suburban moms. Some of these people might like Sanders but I think preferring Sanders over Warren says a lot more about aesthetic than policy preferences. Policy-wise they are pretty similar but Warren calls herself a capitalist (and she is one) and her demeanor is more professional/professorial. Sanders casts himself as an outside, he never joined the Democratic Party and he speaks in tones of revolution over reform. Plus he is rumpled and people associate that with sincerity. You also have the El Chapo and Michael Tracey types who love going on Tucker Carlson’s White Power Hour to hate on Democrats. Hey Gabbard likes doing that too!Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      On my pessimistic days, I do foresee a coalition of white power social democrats, sort of a national Dixiecrat caucus of Trumpians and dirtbag leftists who hold enough votes to be kingmaker.

      How it could translate into policy I can’t quite identify, but maybe it would be something like where they use “Urban” and “Rural” as proxy for race, and craft all manner of policies that deliver gummint benefits to one and not the other.

      Over at Slacktivist, Fred Clark is talking about the Wilhoit axiom that conservatism consists of the proposition that society should consist of one class which the law protects but does not bind, and another that the law binds but does not protect.

      https://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2019/10/23/rights-for-me-but-not-for-thee-3/

      I can see that in both the Trumpers and some leftists who are hyper sensitive to infringement on liberty when it comes to class, but insensitive to it when it comes to race.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Fred Clark is still writing? Tremendous. I used to read him regularly at his old site and lost track of where he ended up during the transition. (Ten years ago?) He’s an intelligent, wise man.

        I’d just add that the Wilhoit axiom (which I’d not heard of before now) seems very similar to Corey Robin’s thesis that conservatism’s first principle is to maintain existing cultural privileges.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        My problem with Wilhoit’s Axiom is that when I examine the liberal and left side of politics, I find that there are plenty of in-groups and out-groups on that side of the aisle to. The might not want to have a group that the “law binds but does not protect” but the definitely want groups that the law protects more than others because they feel particularly sympathetic to them.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Articles like that aren’t going to help anyone understand conservatism. What jumps out at me, aside from the flailing, is the blindness of the flailing. The author doesn’t even really try to provide examples of what he’s saying. He puts a few things in at the end, as if saying “Stormy Daniels” somehow supports his position. But he doesn’t explain how, leading me to suspect that either he hasn’t thought out how, and/or he thinks his readers won’t bother asking how. If people cited articles like that one and demonstrated a good understanding of conservatism, it would give me pause. But they don’t. There is no reason – no evidence or logic – to believe that article.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          Examples would be the spinning weathervane of states rights, strict law enforcement, free markets, or religious piety.

          The point that Clarke, Wilhoit, and Robin are making is that these aren’t examples of hypocrisy, where people want to be observant of their belief but fail.

          These are examples of a true fidelity to their principles, since the principle of hierarchy never varies but remains fixed like a pole star.Report

    • You have, incidentally, just accurately summarized why I am far more enthusiastic about Warren than Sanders. She also generally seems to fill the “values competency” slot better.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, it seems fair to say that Gabbard will take the best deal offered to her. And if “third party run PLUS Fox News Disenchanted Democrat” is on offer, well, that’s probably a better deal than just “Disenchanted Democrat”, wouldn’t you say?Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    It isn’t Tulsi’s Party but she can cry if she wants to.Report

  8. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    Many have said that Tulsi has no chance at a VP slot. I think they’re wrong. If Trump picks Tulsi over Pence, Democrats will drop impeachment in less than two seconds. ^_^

    She’ll stay in the race a while longer, and seems quite committed to it. If she can hang in until Sanders drops out, she might pick up a fair segment of his supporters who can’t stand Biden or Warren (Polls of “second choices” show that Warren and Sanders supporters don’t revert to the other as most would expect). However, it’s highly unlikely that Tulsi will outlast him, though she has the heart and focus to hang around pretty deep into the primaries to give a voice to those serving in uniform who are fighting in endless regime change wars.

    Unfortunately she’ll have trouble getting past her support for Assad, and has failed to convince Democrats that they should back secular socialist multiculturalism against religious and ethnic intolerance and genocidal theocracy. She’ll also fail to convince them that we should stop being the world’s policeman and stop bombing brown people who don’t behave. Progressive Democrats used to believe those things, but apparently not anymore.

    Trump’s withdrawal from Syria and failure to bomb lots of people has really put the Democrat party in a bind, because they have to be against whatever he does. For those really committed to such positions, like Code Pink, the new “stay in Syria forever!” stance of the Democratic field should drive them to Tulsi. But Trump’s withdrawal simultaneously takes Tulsi’s issue away because he’s already done what she was campaigning on, so even the single-issue anti-war voters have no clear reason to support her.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      Ain’t no way Tulsi will outlast Bernie. He’s got the money to go all the way to the convention- she doesn’t.

      As for Assad, yeah, it’s weird that the Dems don’t line up to kiss the ring of a dude who thinks dropping barrel bombs on protesting civilians is good domestic policy. No wonder Trump likes him; says plenty about Tulsi too.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        Don’t some of the single issue or fringe candidates stay in all the way to the convention, like Kucinich, Nader, or even narcissists like Kasich? The trouble is, at the convention Bernie or whoever will throw their weight to the winner, not to also-rans who are even more out-there than they are, and after the convention it simply doesn’t matter what the also-rans do unless they go third party.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      If Trump picks Tulsi over Pence, Democrats will drop impeachment in less than two seconds.

      92 points for effort. 96 points for creativity. 46 on on content/substance.

      Overall grade: C+

      Comments: the idea driving this proposal isn’t to get Dems to drop the impeachment (since impeaching Trump was the goal of Trump’s Trap all along*) but that a Trump/Tulsi ticket would, at least hypothetically, defeat the best ticket Dems could put forward.

      *You lost points ( -46) on forgetting about that as well. 🙁Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Thanks!

        Trump is big on loyalty, and the Democrat’s demonized Tulsi because she publicly broke with Obama’s foreign policy, which they denounced as traitorous. So I really don’t see Trump offering her a minor position, such as VA Secretary, unless it’s a good opportunity to troll.

        I’m not sure what her business options are, if any, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns to active duty in the Army. She might rise further through the ranks, and in some future situation people might decide that she’d been right all along. If so, she might show back up on the public stage, perhaps with a slightly different worldview based on her further experiences.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      Personally, I find the joke amusing, if utterly counterfactual. It won’t happen, and it wouldn’t work. But it is funny.

      Personally, I would like to see you spend more time on “what George wants” and less time on “why Democrats are so bad”. I’m interested in the former, not so much in the latter. And yeah, I feel that way about some Democrats, with the shoe on the other foot.

      I supported the invasion of Afghanistan, though it sucks that we are still there. I did not support the invasion of Iraq, because I thought that what happened after would happen. It cost us a lot, I don’t think it was worth it. But it made some rich people richer, I’m sure.

      Intervention in Syria was a mixed bag. That doesn’t mean once in, we should just up and walk away after a single phone call with a dictator “friend” that bullied us into it. I’m not all that dovish. I was ok with staying in the role we had, which was mostly keeping other forces out.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Doctor Jay
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        says:

        What I would want regarding Syria, Middle East policy in general, or the Democratic primaries?

        On the Middle East, there are places where we can positively intervene and places where it’s eventually going to be pointless, counterproductive, or just a mess. Syria would be one of these cases.

        We’re essentially playing policeman. ISIS and its caliphate was extremely bad, producing huge numbers of mass graves and doing things the civilized world hasn’t seen for quite a long time. They were brutal even by primitive standards, and threatened to not just a regional problem, but a global one. It was in our national interest, and the world’s interest, to take them out. That’s one of the jobs for which everyone is happy that there’s a policeman.

        But the area has some other problems, and if we get sucked into the police role too deeply, we can end up stuck in the trailer-park/domestic dispute episodes of Cops. Generals are like many problem solvers, sometimes similar to engineers, in that if you give them a complex problem they’ll all-to-often immediately start trying to manage it, optimize it, improve it, and tweak it, instead of asking if the whole thing is a hairball that needs to be junked, or perhaps requires a totally out-of-the-box solution that isn’t even in their toolkit.

        In tonight’s call, Abdul’s son busted out the neighbor’s window and the neighbor is in the yard with a baseball bat. Our intrepid men of law enforcement manage to defuse the situation. Three hours later Aisha is drunk and throwing her husbands TV through the window. Our guys work to calm her down. The next morning two neighbors are fighting over a property line, and that afternoon one’s waving a gun because his daughter is dating a low-rent drug dealer. That night there are two more domestic disputes and two robberies. The next day they’re all out protesting an eviction, and on and on it goes.

        The problem isn’t the toys on someone’s lawn, or the property boundary, or the crime, or the domestic violence, or any of the other symptoms. The problem they have can only be fixed by Will Smith going in with his red blinky thing and giving them all a completely different life story, telling them to dump their husbands, get some new clothes, try some college classes, and treat themselves to a manicure.

        For purely political reasons, Assad and Putin probably hit on the best actual solution for much of Syria, which was to make everyone move to Germany, France, or Sweden where they might get an education, put some money in the bank, and learn how to get along with people. But most of all they need to move away from each other because as a group they’re as dysfunctional as a Canadian trailer park.

        We shouldn’t worry to much about skipping out on pointless Muslim conflict #18,343, because we can always jump right in the middle of #18,344. But we should note that Muslims have been up to their necks in thousands of these and there’s still no sign of progress. It doesn’t seem to be something that our military is equipped or obligated to fix, and it may not even be fixable.

        We can topple a rogue regime or a bad ruler, when US or world interests make that a compelling need, but unless we’re willing to go in and convert them all to Episcopalians or Buddhists, our efforts will quickly reach a point of diminishing returns. We can make some of their lives a lot better, and we can make all of their lives a little better in some cases, and we can sow the seeds of reform, but unless we want to devote ourselves to a project that may last until the sun runs out of hydrogen, we need to know when to walk away, or we’ll get sucked into defending “our” Sunnis, or Shias, or Yazidis, or Kurds, or Zorastrians, or Iranian reformers, or any of the other of the hundreds of sides littered throughout the region’s history. When we go in to settle tribal warfare, we have to be careful not to become one of the tribes.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          We’re essentially playing policeman.

          Yes we are. Playing policeman is what made America great, especially after WWII, and is a useful role we play in the world. To say we shouldn’t be the world’s policeman is to say American shouldn’t be the great country it once was and (sometimes) is, and surrender to the will of other country’s in determining foreign affairs.

          People like to focus on Afghanistan as an area where the US should pull back, as if that one example of misguided American power generalizes. But if the premise of US isolationism is taken seriously, pulling troops and bases from all over the world will lead to some incredibly bad outcomes, not just for the people effected but US interests as well.

          On the other hand, if the argument is that other countries should pay their fair share of the cost of the US acting as their defacto defense force, then I’m all ears. Just as I was when Trump said those words repeatedly in his campaign in 2016. He hasn’t done shit on that front, though, except to rent out the US military to Saudi Arabia at a price.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            It depends what kind of policemen we are playing. If we’re state troopers, able to show up in numbers if anything gets out of hand, then we’re both good at that and suited to the role. The US Navy inherited that job from the British regarding freedom of the seas, and everybody appreciates the lack of piracy or zany national maritime claims (the South China sea being a glaring problem in that regard).

            But figuring out who should be living in which Syrian village is not something we signed up for, nor is it something we’re suited for. We’re the world policemen, not everybody’s beat cop who patrols their neighborhood. That’s what local law enforcement is for. If the US military is not allowed to serve as local law enforcement in New York or Alabama, it probably has no business doing it in other countries.

            Failed states are a problem we sometimes might have to address, but trying to settle civil disputes, even civil war style disputes, means we’re trying to use infantry to settle what would be, in a civilized country, civil court cases regarding sovereignty, land ownership, and every other question regarding government.

            The West tragically made that mistake in the Middle East in the aftermath of The Great War, dividing the entire region up into nation states according to our preferences, and many of our current conflicts trace right back to those imperialist decisions where the victors divided up the spoils.

            Syria, in particular, followed the French model for governing Syria, which was to make sure minority populations held all the military force, part of France’s “divide-and-conquer” strategy for ruling the place. We could certainly go into Syria and divide and redivide it and shuffle people back and forth, but that wouldn’t be anything like maintaining “Freedom of the seas” or freedom of air travel, it would be like an imperial power carving up a foreign region according to what it views as its own interests.

            There was a time when people decried that as imperialism or nation building,, and that we should seek to avoid it. Well, Trump is avoiding it because he has yet to find an upside or an exit strategy. If we protect the Kurds, will there be any point in the next 50 years that we won’t need to keep protecting the Kurds? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Where is the “win”? What would victory look like? What are the odds that President Johnson will decide to send in ground troops to help stabilize the situation?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              But figuring out who should be living in which Syrian village is not something we signed up for, nor is it something we’re suited for.

              Except … Trump gave the greenilight to Turkey to invadem displacing potentially hundreds of thousands of people, an area which our 200 boots on the ground had maintained a tenuous peace over.

              Just as Bush shouldn’t have attempted nation building in Iraq you’re mistaken to think that the US plays no useful role in preventing (eg) Turks from slaughtering Kurds. And that’s especially true given Trump’s cynicism regarding the role those troops played and his complicity in the resulting ethnic cleansing.

              I mean, it’s pretty obvious. Trump is an asshole who lacks any discernible foreign policy other than agreeing with totalitarians against US interests.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Turkey was invading anyway. Trump tried to talk them out of it, but Erdogan wasn’t budging, as he’d run out of patience. So he was coming in. So should we let our troops get surrounded and captured by whatever proxy shows up, or should we withdraw them ten miles? That is the question.

                So, first off, nobody can hold two hundred miles of border with a rifle company. The idea is ridiculous. If we could do that, we wouldn’t have any illegal immigration.

                At most we could block off one or two miles of it and watch our position get completely swallowed up. Then we’d be negotiating with Erdogan’s forces about returning our soldiers to us. Wouldn’t that be just peachy?

                Turkey has 350,000 troops they could send in and we had 200 who’d be defending, which we could possibly have reinforced with about 800 more that were elsewhere in country. France was only outnumbered three or four to one at Dien Bien Phu, whereas initially we would have been outnumbered by about 1,500 to one, plus we have 5,000 US troops inside Turkey. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing when they got kicked out or used as pawns?

                Now sure, our men could have stopped the Turks cold in hand-to-hand combat over the course of a few days, but only in a narrow pass. But the narrow passes are all in Turkey or in Western Syria, not along that northern strip where we wouldn’t be able to protect our flanks from cavalry attacks, nor defend against Turkish F-16’s.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean, Trump said no, but Erdogan had a rolled up newspaper.
                A ROLLED UP NEWSPAPER fer gawdssakes!

                So what else could Trump do but roll over and piddle himself?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Erdogan: But Mistere President, I really want to invade Syria.

                Trump: OK, I get that. Sure go ahead.

                Erdogan: Really? A total greenlight?

                Trump: Why not. And don’t worry about the US troops in your way. If they’re not gone when you et there just mow em over.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Wrong Georgie or just plain lying. The Turks and Kurds had a cease fire in place. We, as i’ve noted repeatedly, were helping the kurds pull back because both sides had agreed to a safe zone. We agreed to a cease fire then trump gave the green light.

                FFS, trump sent his tough guy letter which the turks ignored. They went in the same day trump tried to get all tough guy.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Why would the Turks and Kurds have a cease fire before Turkey rolled into Syria and started shooting? That really doesn’t make any sense.

                Back in the summer, to try an appease the Turks on their complaints, and their threats to roll in, we agreed to have joint patrols with them in some of the border zones. So we had the joint patrols for months and they said those were completely insufficient, and that they were going with their original plan of just invading and establishing a secure corridor along the border. Trump tried and failed to talk Erdogan out of it, and so he said okay, he’d pull US forces back to deconflict.

                Of course the other option was to leave US forces in and still have the Turks invade, which would of course require us to be a partner in that invasion because we’re not going to shoot at the Turks when we’re surrounded and outnumbered a thousand to one.

                We could have sent several division in, given a bit of time, and that’s how you get sucked into a long bloody war that costs tens of thousands of US casualties over issues none of us care about on a piece of land that we wouldn’t buy for $5.

                After decades of protests and “deep thought”, haven’t you guys learned anything about how these things start, or do you just wait six months before you start prancing around in paper mache puppet heads holding TRUMP=HITLER signs?

                Who would want the US at war with Turkey? Oh, Putin would. Two NATO allies taking each other out and he gets to play kingmaker. Who else would love it? Why Assad would. Two of his mortal enemies fighting to the last man and trampling the last of those who rebelled against him.

                What would the US get out of it? Absolutely nothing, other than convincing the world that we’re absolute morons.

                What Trump did, in breaking with Erdogan’s policy, is distance the US enough so that we could point to Turkey as the bad guy, and wash our hands of it. There are times in your life when your buddy gets drunk and belligerent and decides that he’s going to go beat up some co-eds and a bunch of campus cops. You can hang with him and try to be the voice of restraint as he goes on his little rampage, thinking everyone will see you as the voice of reason, of the two guys on the rampage, or you can break with him, warn everybody and denounce what your buddy is about to do in a loud and public fashion.

                Sure, stupid people are going to try to blame you for not exerting your non-existent influence to make him see reason and talk him out of starting a drunken brawl. Sure, some will say you betrayed the co-eds you’d been drinking with. But the main thing is you’re not going to end up in jail with a broken nose, a blinded eye, and rap sheet that will follow you the rest of your life, while getting sucked into that crowd’s crazy, violent, dysfunctional life for the next twenty years.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I love how the party line now is, “well, we tried to appease them, but by golly, they insisted on more! So what else could America do but turn tail and run!”

                Oh, and the hilarious detail of Mr. Art Of The Deal in action: ” He tried to talk him out of it…but he said no.”

                I’m surprised Erdogan didn’t get Trump to pay for the undercoating and the extended warranty.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                “What Chamberlain did, in breaking with Hitler’s policy, is distance England enough so that they could point to Germany as the bad guy, and wash their hands of it” – George Turner, 30 September 1938, probably…

                Your premise was flawed. Turkey was never “going to war” with us. They did not dare risk fighting US forces. All Trump had to do – literally – was nothing. Nothing. And he screwed up “just don’t do anything and it will work.” He couldn’t just take the win. Turkey needed a greenlight and surrender from a weak president to get what they want. Erdogan, along with Putin, Xi, and Kim, have his number and know exactly how to work him, his ego, his limited knowledge of world affairs and mostly his admitted apathy to bothering to learn, to get exactly what they want with no consequences. Then the president parrots their propaganda and talking points, convinced by them he has solved the problem through his sheer awesomeness, and folks like you dutifully repeat it. Meanwhile plenty of other people suffer for it out of sight and out of mind, and in a few years — one way or the other — a bunch of our people are going to die because of it fixing the mess it causes.

                You don’t get any credit for a bad solution to a horrible problem that you created in the first place and just made exponentially worse because you didn’t know what you were doing.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                says:

                What US forces would they be fighting? The 50 guys they’d been conducting joint patrols with? Turkey knew where those guys are because they conducted joint patrols with them every day. That leaves about two-hundred miles of everywhere else that they were free to occupy without the slightest conflict with those 50 guys.

                All the people who are screaming about Trump’s withdrawal from the border are engaged in “magical thinking”. Neither Trump nor our soldiers have superpowers, nor are they worshiped as god-kings by the Turks.

                What is this “war” that Turkey risked with the US by occupying border areas that didn’t have US troops? Ergogan knows the US isn’t going to start carpet bombing a NATO ally over a piece of land filled with Muslim terrorists where we won’t even commit to a serious footprint, because that would be absurd.

                Game through that idea logically. Trump tells Erdogan not to do it. Erdogan starts sending some troops somewhere about 50 miles from out guys. Trump sends fighter planes from Incirlik to bomb what, the Turkish troops, Istanbul? What’s the headline going to be on CNN? “TRUMP GOES INSANE, BOMBS NATO ALLY. MCCONNELL DEMANDS IMMEDIATE IMPEACHMENT.”

                When you have an extremely weak hand (50 soldiers), it’s important to know that you’ve got a weak hand. Pretending that the other guy is willing to pretend that you actually have 50,000 soldiers is not smart, because if he isn’t willing to pretend and calls your bluff, you lose. You could stand firm, but then he takes your 50 soldiers and you don’t even have a hand. You’re just sitting there with egg on your face, shamefully begging for the return of your 50 soldiers.

                You could blame Trump for not holding a strong hand, but we didn’t want to hold a strong hand because we didn’t want to put 50,000 troops into Syria.

                If Congress really wants to put that many troops into Syria, then they can vote for such a deployment and then see how they do in 2020.

                So Trump removes the US soldiers so they don’t get captured or exposed as absolutely useless when it comes to stopping Turkey (because they are), and uses US diplomatic and financial power to constrain Turkey’s actions. “If you shell civilians or do other nasty things, we will completely destroy your economy.”

                This puts Turkey in a weak position, because they’re trying to invade and occupy a neighboring country, which really doesn’t benefit Turkey much at all, and doing so will see them isolated and bankrupt and there’s almost nothing they can do about it except to threaten Europe with more waves of refugees, and Europe is tired of Turkish bullying.

                This kind of thing is where the anti-Trump people, including many US generals, are far more dangerous than Trump. When Trump does something smart and wise, their blind hatred makes them want to do the opposite, even if that would be pointless, stupid, and cost thousands of US lives and trillions of dollars, just so they can score a few political points.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Your points on this topic always begin with “Trump was right” and then take a walkabout to make sure you arrive back at that declarative statement as your conclusion regardless of any other presented facts. As you have no idea what you are talking about here, on multiple levels, I will leave you to it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, yesterday I got some pushback for calling out various commenter’s bullshit, but honestly I don’t see any other mechanism to shut down disingenuous debate.

                What are the alternatives?

                1. Engage in civil debate over the facts of the matter? That not only doesn’t work with bullshitters (because they don’t give a rats ass about facts) but actually plays into their hands since at some level of analysis disputes about what constitutes a “fact” arise, thus validating their original view.

                2. Not responding doesn’t work either since refraining from correcting the record implies that readers accept the formulation the bullshitter put on the table.

                I could be wrong, (of course :), but the only antidote to bullshit is calling out people for their bullshit. And that (unfortunately) means violating a norm of civility be calling them the bullshitters that they are.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                When someone is so disingenuous as to not be worth talking to, I just elect to do exactly that. YMMV.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                Then why are you talking to George?

                You have two choices when engaging him: mockery, or calling him out as a bullshitter. Anything else is *worse* than a waste of time.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I talk to all sorts of people. I have many choices. Stay tuned to which I select on a given day.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh! If I knew you had many choices available to you I wouldn’t have intruded in your private project.

                Apologies!

                Add: for some reason I think approaching a zero tolerance policy on bullshit may be a preferred solution to people spewing bullshit, but obvs that’s just me.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Fortunately many of us do not have a zero tolerance on such things, otherwise we would be without such startling insights from you.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, you’d still get the insights. It’s how you respond to them that matters. You can view yourself as a big enough thinker to play George’s game, but I’m here to tell you – you aren’t. 🙂Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                says:

                Well, right after Trump’s move to pull back from the Syrian border there was lots of really bad Monday morning quarterbacking in the news. Somehow Trump was supposed to stop Turkey from even trying to throw a short pass into our end zone, as if a good coach wouldn’t have let the other coach make such an easy play. But coaching doesn’t work that way.

                If Turkey wanted to roll in, we could no more stop them than 50 Turkish troops in Mexico could stop the US Army from moving 10 miles south of our border. That’s just the reality of it.

                But the pundits weren’t done in their over-the-top condemnation of Trump, and many from both sides of the aisle expressed their deepest fears like they were writing a global disaster movie. They’d typically start with the prediction that millions of Kurds were going to be immediately slaughtered, and then go on from there, throwing in every apocalyptic fantasy short of a dinosaur-killing asteroid strike. They were unhinged, and unhinged people aren’t known for rational analysis.

                Are bad things going to happen? Certainly. Bad things are going to happen in Syria under all possible scenarios because it’s a really bad place. Is this an unmitigated disaster? Not by a long shot unless Turkey sides with ISIS or turns the Syrian civil war into an open Turkish-Syrian war.

                But among the first responses to Turkey’s move and Trump’s pullback was an open alliance between the Kurds and the Syrian government, with Russian forces rolling right up to the border to stop the Turks. In terms of ending Syria’s civil war, that might be the best thing to happen since the whole thing got started, finally turning the vast majority of the battle map one big color, like you find in the final chapter or two in a history book about a big war.

                Now all they have to do is mop up the isolated ISIS areas, stand united against Turkey and Turkey’s jihadist militias, and things should wind down. The Kurds will likely get a great degree of autonomy from the Syrian government, for helping to defeat ISIS and frankly being too well armed and trained for the depleted Syrian government forces to disarm.

                Sure, politicians can fume and demand that the US fight endless wars in the Middle East when no vital US interests are at stake, but I don’t think many of them are going to do well in 2020 on that platform.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Other things that happened today:

    1. Mollie Hemmingway at the Federalist said that the impeachment inquiry was a coup d’état. Something something that term does not mean what Mollie thinks it means but all the loyalists have left is to attack the process, attack the Constitution, and whacky stunts so expect it to get worse.

    2. Rudy goes against the Clash and butt dials a reporter.Report

    • Avatar Mr.Joe in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      RE: #1 — She went further to say that a Democrat winning in 2020 also counts as a coup and the end of the US as a constitutional republic. The dog whistles of 2008 are already steam whistles. I really can’t imagine how they can get louder over the next 12 months, but I am pretty sure they will.Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Other things I discovered today:

    Anti-anti Trumpers are tankies and nothing will never convince them that Trump is less than genius. Plus they are addicted to trolling like Boroughs was addicted to junk. I think they would suffer from major depression if you found a way to stop them from trolling. There is literally no evidence that can convince the anti-anti Trumpist that perhaps a huge number of Americans feel that 2016 was a mistake and can never happen again.Report

    • Avatar JS in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      It’s the memes. I’ve been told that’s the deciding factor. I mean it used to be the buzz on Twitter, but now it’s ‘meme energy’ that is the great predictor of elections.

      Trump has all the meme energy, as the left is sadly devoid of energy, enthusiasm, or memes.

      I mean sure, in 2018 they turned out at 80% of a Presidential election year, shattering turnout records going back a century — but in 2018 they…..

      I’m not actually sure, but I’m certain they had some awe-inspiring, memable, energetic candidate that is clearly in no way on the 2020 ballot or in any way a factor.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to JS
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t think this kind of complacency will do us any good. He did win in 2016 after all.Report

        • Avatar JS in reply to North
          Ignored
          says:

          Who says I’m complacent? There’s plenty of reasons to worry about 2020. I’m just still finding that pretty damn funny.

          I mean in the end — we, here and now, aren’t actually going to effect the election an iota. Everyone here is already going to vote, or stay home and they know which — and there’s probably not one single person that reads or posts here that hasn’t already decided which side they’re gonna be voting on in 2020.

          They may say they’re undecided, but it’ll be the sort of undecided that is “Okay, well, if one party totally got rid of 80% of it’s core principles, and adopted these six things that are antithetical to it’s current voters, I might consider it” — which isn’t undecided in reality, just someone who likes to pretend they’re unaffiliated. It’s the “If my Aunt had balls she’d be my uncle” sort of thing — she doesn’t, and she’s not.

          Hand to go, my simple opinion is this: As long as Trump is on the ballot, this election is entirely about Trump. There is literally no way to make it about anything else. I mean that’s all Presidential elections where an incumbent is up, but it’s a lot more so when the incumbent is 53/40 underwater and has held that lovely position since about the second month in office. People aren’t gonna change their minds.

          Trump 2016 enjoyed a lot of advantages Trump 2020 doesn’t have, and he won in 2016 by the narrowest possible margin. And I can’t think of a single real indicator, fact, poll, or concept that has improved for Trump since 2016.

          I don’t think anyone will be complacent about 2020. I’m just not going to decide “meme energy” is something to worry about, or to pretend it’s all doom and gloom when a GOP President is losing head-to-head matchups in Texas.

          Absolutely Trump can win in 2020. But I’d be flat out lying if I said his chances look good. They don’t. Any President — left or right, Republican or Democrat — heading into re-election with a majority disapproval, one that has held for their entire term of office — is in a bad position.

          And no meme changes that.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t think anyone is being complacent but I am a bit in awe of how some people who are allegedly not Trumpists can be in such willful denial of Trump’s massive unpopularity and shortcomings. They care too much about trolling the libs.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            I think, Saul, that you would have a better time arguing if you put less energy into trying to divine others motivations.

            JS: you’re preaching to the choir when you talk about Trumps disadvantages! I wrote a far too long comment over in the other discussion in the HRC-gabbard post about all the ways Trump was advantaged in 2016 that he won’t have in 2020.

            That all being said; I think back on how confident I was in the run up to 2016 and I don’t like putting that complacency out there. I have kind of enjoyed watching Trump go through the GOP’s so called principles like termites through a rotted outhouse but I’m really ready for the reckoning to come. I mean on one hand, sure, what we say here is arguably meaningless but, hell, voting is pretty marginal in terms of effecting the outcome and I do that too.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
              Ignored
              says:

              Eh. The problem is that I am tired of suffering fool’s gladly and i do think that a lot out there are merely seeking chaos and trolling alone and would be unable to function without the trolling. I don’t see why I should put up with the chaos lovers and miscreants with grace though:

              https://psyarxiv.com/6m4ts/

              Trump did not win a marginal victory. He lost the popular vote by a significant number of people (except some say those people don’t count for existing in the wrong states and usually being brown people). He won because of a freak electoral college victory and there are people who might be NeverTrumpers themselves but have too much of an affinity for the alleged WWC-MAGA voters to go damning the anti-democratic (small d) result for what it is. Plus their general affinity for Trump voters makes them defensive at any accusation of racist in intent or effect.

              There are basically posters here that are alt-right in effect, if not intent. It’s tiresome to use politese and tip toe around it. It also raises questions about the line between civility and moral cowardice.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                I would put it a little differently, in that the conservative faction in America isn’t practicing politics any more, and the liberal faction has to recognize that.

                By politics, I mean the conventional clash of policy disagreements where the two sides share a common framework of respect for the rules and acceptance of power sharing.

                The modern conservatives don’t share this anymore.

                The Flight 93 narrative that went viral, the open acceptance of gerrymandering and vote suppression, the hysterical reactions to impeachment and winking invitations to stochastic terror and threats of violence all point to the conclusion that they don’t view us as legitimate partners in power sharing.

                This isn’t a novel observation; as far back as the Tea Party, people were pointing out that conservatives had adopted a revolutionary mindset. Democracy and the rule of law themselves, are the conservative enemy.

                So I think it’s foolish for us liberals to think we can confront the Trumpists as though they were a political party that can be bargained and compromised with.

                Their negotiating objective is to prevent us from participating as full and equal citizens in the republic.

                The best thing we liberals can do is keep the focus on this issue, that everyone is an equal citizen, and there can be no negotiation or compromise on that fact.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “So I think it’s foolish for us liberals to think we can confront the Trumpists as though they were a political party that can be bargained and compromised with.”

                Because to the “Trumpist” true believers — not the politicos, or ideologues, or the folks trying to get x, y, or x policy done, or even party affiliated folks — the cult of personality is always going to win. The proxy must win at all cost. If you identify those folks as that, then yes there is no reasoning with them they are too far gone to help with the greater good we can debate and differences on in good faith. It overrides everything else.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                That is potentially true Chip, Saul, but just because the GOP goes plunging off the cliff into idiocy and Flight 93 narratives doesn’t mean liberals should go romping wildly leftward and devolve into our own angry twitterati versions of them. If anything the serious danger of the GOP wrecking everything at that point makes it imperative that liberals adapt a strategy that maximalizes the odds of victory so that the GOP can be shoved out of power and the political wilderness can work its salutary effect on their derangement.

                I suppose we can debate on the political efficacity of an “excite the base” strategy vs an “appeal to the moderates” strategy but I don’t think it’s controversial to observe that the liberal extreme of the spectrum is astronomically less numerous and popular than its right wing equivalent and so one might say with some merit that for liberals to adopt an “exicte the base” strategy is a mugs game.

                And since our modern conservatives seem to have internalized Cleeks law to a frightening degree why would you want to give them what they so earnestly desire by getting angry and outraged on the internet?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think the concepts of “moderate” versus “left” even apply any more.

                The defining variable in swaying votes won’t be the subtle nuances of M4A versus some other policy. Whether or not Warren is “too far left” on financial reform is totally irrelevant to the election.

                So its foolish for us to get sucked into a proxy debate while ignoring the real issue.

                For example, we are being invited to a debate about abstract norms about impeachment, when the real issue is whether or not the President is above the law.

                We are being invited to debates about law, when the real issue is the politicization of the Justice department and the organized campaigns of propaganda and disinformation.

                The very tools that we use to conduct political debates- things like news media accounts and investigations- are themselves under attack.

                The goal of the authoritarians is to convince us to not speak about this, to accept propaganda and lies at face value and then debate issues using them.

                ETA: Note that I’m adopting an agnostic posture on what is the best strategy to winning elections. My point is just to speak openly about the issue.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I wish you were right but there definitely is a difference between moderates and left. The right wingers keep magnifying it to beat us over the head with. There’s a reason Biden remains the front runner, however wobbly even as Warren is running away with the hearts and minds of those of us who chatter online. That’s not a small different- it’s a big one.

                I’d agree Warrens position on financial reform is probably not going to move voters but i suspect you well know that her M4A one very likely will it’s not a small difference and it’s one she’s repeatedly failed to address in an effective manner.

                And while I agree entirely that the principles you’re going on to talk about are enormously important I’m baffled that you think that they are going to sway votes when the divide on what they are, how they’re being impacted and what can be done about them is so vast.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                says:

                I don’t think its good or healthy for ordinary citizens of a democracy to become fixated on “how to sway votes” as if we were campaign managers.

                Too much fixation on salesmanship leads to the sophistry I discussed before, where the focus is less on speaking the truth, and more on lies and propaganda.

                It turns us from engaged citizens directing the fate of our republic into indifferent spectators.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Hypothetically, Warren gets the nomination and keeps pushing for M4A and this scares off enough “moderate” voters that they vote for Trump despite all his recognized and admitted horribleness or they stay home and Trump gets another 2016.

                Does this say anything good about the moral and ethical stances of the moderates? I can’t think of a way in which it does.

                But I also think 2017 and 2018 were major victories because a lot of people realized that the Republicans really went off the deep end. I also don’t think the Squad is as scary as those who want to triangulate forever say they are.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                The Squad is not what the more hyperbolic voices insist. AOC axed her CoS, who was the much more radical voice than her own, on Speaker Pelosi’s insistence so she is showing she isn’t going to far off the Democratic reservation when it really comes down to it. Rep Tlaib has one-termer written all over her, she won a 6-way race by the skin of her teeth and will be facing very formidable candidate. You could go on but those that play ball will make it while the truly radical outliers will not. It’ll sort itself out.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                AOC axed her CoS

                Best thing that ever happened to her, too. That guy was loony.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is why I refuse to discuss Trump in terms of policy.
                There is no rational argument that concludes with “…so I will vote for Trump.”

                Because Trump and the conservative movement no longer have any coherent political theory or policy framework.

                The only way to vote for Trump is to accept his premise which is white male entitlement and grievance.

                Tax policy, foreign policy, crime and justice, environmental policy…all of it is filtered through the lens of angry white male sense of being cheated, and a need to lash out and inflict pain upon those who fail to give them obedience.

                This grievance and need to inflict pain to restore the hierarchy is the elephant in the room I refuse to stop discussing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                There is no rational argument that concludes with “…so I will vote for Trump.”

                “I’m not a big fan of Trump and the current GOP, but I really dislike progressive Dem policy positions so I will vote for Trump.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Right.
                But in so doing, they accept the underlying premise of racism and hierarchy, and a wholesale rejection of the idea of a republican democracy where everyone is equal under the law.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Does this say anything good about the moral and ethical stances of the moderates? I can’t think of a way in which it does.

                So let’s suppose that the moderates are so morally and ethically compromised that we know, going in to the general election, that they *won’t* vote for Elizabeth Warren and Dems nominate her anyway.

                Who’s fault will it be when Trump defeats her? Not the moderates, seems to me. They were who we thought they were.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater puts his finger on it here in my opinion. Is the more moderate, longer and quite likely more politically feasible route to single payer (a public option in the existing structure) so much worse than M4A that it’s worth a significantly higher chance of losing to get it. And, ffs, it’d help a lot if Warren backed M4A and also had one of her vaunted plans in place for it; right now she doesn’t and considering its a point, if not -the- point where liberals have a massive advantage over republicans in the public eye that’s an almost unforgivable problem (though, obviously, a fixable one).

                On AoC I really want to commend Andrews point: if you look at what AoC has actually done and not at what the right wing usual suspects say she is or has done she’s a very capable young politician. I don’t agree with her on policy but I respect her enormously as a politician and as a fellow Democrat. She is trying to move the party, sure, but she isn’t trying to destroy the party and she’s not trying to burn it down for her own advantage. I don’t buy into the fear mongering about “the Squad” I just also don’t buy into the attempts by the media usual suspects to elevate them beyond what they actually are- four freshmen congress folks just getting started.

                And yeah, Chip, I take your point about wanting to talk principles about politics but I just can’t subscribe to it. I know that dirty miserable old persuasive politics are responsible for a sea change in my own personal prospects as a gay man for a happy and healthy life. I can’t not know that. For a lot of people we can’t afford to restrict ourselves to esoteric principle pondering and we certainly can’t afford politically disadvantageous purity nonsense. There are stakes here; we can’t afford to go the way of the true libertarians.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                (a public option in the existing structure)

                Are they going to require doctors to take it? Will they staff an organization to build one of those annually changing lists of in-network doctors? Will it be voluntary for the doctors like Medicare and Medicaid? There’s a ton of doctors where I live that won’t touch Medicare or Medicaid.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                Michael,. personally speaking here I think that’s easily resolved: require practitioners to take Medicare/Medicaid. Part of that imposition requires bringing reimbursement rates for those federal programs closer to industry standard negotiated rates, but even as it is *right now* my wife’s practice just signed a contract with a heath insurance company where they’re stipulated negotiated rate is only 15% higher than Medicaids rate.

                In my limited experience of a small portion of the insurance industry, the low end of negotiated rates is often equal to or sometimes lower than the Medicaid rate. Reminder tho: my experience is in a very small slice of the overall healthcare market.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                I’m not wedded to one answer to your questions, I’d be unenthusiastic at the idea of forcing doctors to take it but there’s a lot of moving parts in there.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, if you knew how horrifically abysmal and malevolently cynical some insurance companies are your views would be different. 🙂Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                North is right. I think there’s a misunderstanding of what ‘moderate’ really means in the context of a presidential election. It isn’t some wishy washy split the difference ideology.

                In our current context it means winnable voters in tight districts in the upper mid west. They’re whiter and more conservative than D strongholds on the coasts but they existed as recently as 2012 and I don’t think many turned into Trumpists. More likely they just don’t show up due to economic plans they fear will take something from them but from which they will not benefit. That or alienation from the increasingly radical and bizarre rhetoric around race and sex activists expect, but which normies find just as offensive as Trump style race baiting. Maybe even moreso.

                Remember even with all Hilary’s baggage and the externalities she still only lost because of less than 200k votes spread around the Great Lakes. They are who matter most for defeating Trump.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Exactly InMD, thank you. We don’t need to abandon women’s rights, or lgbt rights, or good government or or proper regulation to win. If we could get the our own to shut the fish up about eliminating heteronormativity; get our class warriors to get over the whole axe capitalism business; maybe get our race warriors to stop hypocritically using age and race terms against the majority as pejoratives in ways that’d get them dragged if they used it on minorities then the moderates they scorn are eminently getable.

                And I say this while recognizing that, as a matter of reality, the Democratic Party is by and large doing this already as an institution. Yeah the squad got elected in 2018, along side dozens and dozens of other congress folk who didn’t share those priors.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Agree 100% and I mean that, even with my attitude about all this wokeness. The Democrats need to be the party for inclusion and against discrimination on race, sex, and sexual orientation. But making that case doesn’t require telling people that them and their children and their childrens children need to spend their lives somberly atoning for ‘whiteness’ or that they need to reject even the most basic observable biological realities of our species as social constructs. Which like you say, is what most of the party quietly does (or rather, doesn’t do).

                Its tougher for me to swallow on economics and I do have a lot of sympathies towards Warren. I think the Two Income Trap is prescient. But we also live in a big country with a system of government designed to frustrate radical change. The choice isn’t incrementalism vs radicalism its incrementalism vs nothing, maybe even regression.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
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                says:

                InMD,

                All of this is true, but I think it’s pretty important to remember that the discussion we’re having right now is embedded in the context of a Democratic party presidential primary. In an ideal scenario Warren (for example) wouldn’t alienate potentially millions of voters by doubling down on a single payer healthcare system for precisely the reasons North articulates. *But* she can have made fatal mistakes in the primary which cost her the general election only if she gets there.

                You’re larger critique of how moderates (specifically, swing voters in the Rust Belt – Go Badgers!) perceive Dems is 100% on point, though it seems to me those concerns/criticisms are beyond any particular candidates ability to control.*

                *Or are they? My suspicion is that if a candidate with the right temperament rebuked the SJW wing of the party in the right tone on the right substance they would be rewarded.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I don’t mean to be glib but Obama did it, and left office about as popular as I think a president in our age can. Now I get there’s a primary to win and activist support is part of that but to me the choice right now is as simple as who can beat Trump. Im not any more in love with the idea of nominating Biden than anyone else here probably is but if he looks like he can win in those districts… well itll be one of the easiest votes I’ve ever cast (not that MD is an important one of course).Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Now I get there’s a primary to win and activist support is part of that but to me the choice right now is as simple as who can beat Trump.

                Oh, I get that. Part of the problem you’re talking about (why that isn’t the primary goal) goes back to the Dem establishment leading from behind. They’re all *waiting* to back a winner instead of backing the candidate most likely to beat Trump and by doing so shaping the entire political narrative.

                [One data point which is relevant, I think, is that Pelosi led from behind on impeachment, such that it was only *after* she formally opened impeachment inquiry that public sentiment on the issue moved.]

                I’ve referenced Marchmaine’s comment a couple times in this subthread, but he’s exactly right that this would be an easy election to win if Dems (ie., various Dem factions) weren’t trying to leverage the likelihood of winning against their own often chaotic and unpopular goals.

                But also, I think that if Obama were the fresh young candidate in the field *this* cycle he’d be ahead of the field by miles and his nomination would be foregone. He was a spectacularly great campaigner. None of the current Dems have that kind of star power.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                That’s a good point. Maybe it really is a case of all the wrong lessons being learned about 2016. From that perspective the mistake wasn’t being in the tank for a candidate it was failing to read the room well enough to get in the tank for the right candidate. Which if true would mean we’re probably leading up to 4 more years of MAGA buffoonery. What a grim thought.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Exactly. That’s my worry too. Dems always seem to learn the wrong lessons about politics.

                The GOP, on the other hand, learns the right lessons.* So it you like to back a winner regardless of policies, they’re the easy choice.

                *Lately anywayReport

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Out of curiosity, who would that “right candidate” have been in 2016?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Not Hillary.

                That’s the problem with a counterfactual, Chip. There’s just no way of knowing. But the idea that Hillary was the best the Dems could do is a pretty devastating indictment of the Dem party.

                Add: I mean, she’s not in politics right now and she *still* sucks at politics, as evidenced by the Tulsi boondoggle.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                What is with this “terrible candidate” stuff?

                Was Mitt Romeny a “terrible ” candidate?
                Was John McCain?
                Is Donald Trump?

                When you say she was a terrible candidate, doesn’t that really just mean you would have preferred someone else?

                Using the term just seems to be a way of trying to transform a subjective personal opinion into some sort of objective fact.

                What sort of objective metrics do you use to decide who is a good or terrible candidate?

                I would think that “getting the most votes” would be a useful metric.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                What is with this “terrible candidate” stuff?

                She had the highest disapprovals of any candidate in Presidential election history except for Donald Trump and still lost to him.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                And she won more votes, and came within 80,000 votes of winning the EC.

                And no one can name anyone else who would have done better.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                C’mon Chip. Just stop. She was an awful candidate. Nothing in your Dem identity should be threatened by admitting that fact.

                Add: Remember who she lost to, if that helps.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                And if Trump wins in 2020, what will be the excuse then?

                Another “terrible candidate”?

                I would like to think that had Biden or Warren run in 2016 all this could have been averted. Maybe!

                And the fact that they are polling well against him now gives me hope.

                But I also see that even after two years of unmitigated awfulness, there is still a 40% base that loves this, regardless of who the Dems field.

                Repeat- there is no candidate anywhere in America right now who appears to be able to shake loose that 40%.

                And when 40% of American voters like this, there is more at work here than just picking the dream candidate.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                IF Trump wins again I won’t offer any excuses at all. Instead, I’ll say what I did after 2016: the Democratic party is broken.

                As an analogy, blaming a Dem loss on the nominee would be like blaming a loss on the quarterback without admitting that the O line sucks, the receivers can’t get separation, and the defense is porous as swiss cheese.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Except in this analogy, 120 million American voters are the players.

                I think there is a terrible tendency here to relegate Trump voters to the side and excuse their behavior.

                To assume that, if presented with a choice between justice and injustice, they would choose justice. To assume good faith and shared values.

                The Trump voters weren’t fooled, or tricked, they weren’t driven away by Dem treachery.

                No, they looked long and hard, and willfully and deliberately chose someone who promised to inflict suffering on others. And still are making that choice, nearly 4 years on.

                They aren’t voting for a Dem President, they aren’t voting for a Dem Governor, Senator, Congressman, or school board trustee.

                Up and down the ballot they eagerly choose candidates who promise to ban abortion, round up immigrants, fire gay people and make women second class citizens.

                This isn’t a failure of Dem messaging or clever memes or Facebook ads.

                They understand the Democratic message very well, and despise it.

                And again, I don’t propose some clever strategy to appeal to them, or beguile them, or use Scott Alexander Jedi pickup artist mindtricks to get them to vote for us.

                And honestly, I think they will find some excuse to vote against Biden or Warren or whoever we put up.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Well, with an analysis like this, Chip, the Dems should just shutter the campaign and give up. Nothing we can do to prevent the malignancy of Trumpism from entrenching itself on our governence.

                Or! OOORRRR! Maybe Hillary sucked as a candidate and that flipped things in Trump’s favor.

                Just a thought.

                OR2: maybe it’s time for Dems to overhaul their policy priorities (along the lines of the 2018 House class) and rebrand itself as a party!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                If it was just “Hillary Sucked! ” then, as George suggests below, Generic Democrat 2020 will beat Trump like a rented mule.

                “Lets have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I didn’t read that comment very carefully, but I don’t think he suggested that a non-Hillary candidate would beat Trump in 2020, only that she would have in 2016.

                He’s right. Trump was awful. Only an even more awful candidate could have lost to him in 2016.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                And I just gotta say that the fact that we – two dem voters – are *still* arguing about 2016 makes me think we’re in serious trouble in 2020.

                The upside, I guess, is Marchmaine’s idea of a “loser take all” election. Losing *again* might – MIGHT – make the Dem party honestly look at why it sucks so bad and realign to better compete in future elections.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                As I was eating dinner I watched a bit of Mark Levin interviewing Senator Johnson about the Ukraine goings on, and just in passing one of them (I forget which) made the briefest comment about the possibility that what we’re hearing about now was also what let Hillary keep Joe Biden out of the 2016 race.

                Recall that for a long while in 2016 Biden was considering making a run, and many urged him to get in, but in the end he decided against it. Obama’s folks (and thus Hilary’s) had to have been well aware of Hunter Biden’s activities and Joe’s intervention regarding the prosecutor.

                I wouldn’t say that it’s at all unlikely that she used that to leverage or threaten Joe back then, just as I won’t say it’s unlikely that her folks are behind the whistleblower this time, to take Joe out once again and give her a compelling reason to jump in as soon as he falters.

                If that happens she will of course lose to Trump, giving him a second term and even more Supreme Court picks, and maybe then Democrats will decide that she is every bit as toxic as the “never Hillary” folks have always claimed.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Wait. So The Kiev Trap is *now* that Trump will intentionally violate the law in order to get impeached by the Democrats in order for Hillary to leverage Joe out of the race for a last-minute run at the nomination which Trump knew she couldn’t help herself from entering?

                The genius of this plan continues to astound. Really. It’s just brilliant.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump wasn’t the one who told Schiff about the phone call. Trump and the DoJ might or might not find something big about the DNC’s attempts to collude with Ukraine in 2016, and something involving Biden, but it was the whistleblower or the Democrats behind him who publicly damaged Joe’s candidacy, and did so early enough for Hillary to step in.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                But the The Trap is that Trump enticed^ Dems into impeaching him which, if they fell for it, would spell Dem doom, right? I mean, that’s The Trap, yes?

                Yeah, some of the details still don’t make sense to me, but, honestly, Trumps an effing genius to spring this Trap on the Democrats. I’m just so happy that all those people implicated in it are cool with the consequences. I’d feel so bad for them if they were just pawns on one of Trump’s games.

                *by openly committing impeachable crimesReport

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Not that Trump would play games with people or use them as pawns. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, you see it.

                The inability to tell that Hillary made mistakes tells me that they won’t be able to tell if they’re making mistakes next time.

                And if they can’t tell if they’re making mistakes, they can’t correct them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh I hear ya. One of the weird things I see with my Dem voting brothers and sisters is a reflexively cynical rejection of anyone’s critiques of how things went down in 2016. That’s not a healthy view on a couple of levels. The first is that alienating those people won’t help you win future elections, but the other is that if you’re *confident* in your tactics and strategy you accept othesr criticisms like water off a ducks back. Or maybe, more to the point, even use that criticism to your advantage. Instead of they bitch and moan.

                The problem with the Democratic party seems to track pretty closely with a large enough share of the electorate that it’s been incorporated wholseale, namely, that academic conclusions about the way the world is are not only decisive but argumentative killers. Once you say those words, the opposition blows up in dust.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “Hey, I thought I already exploded everyone into dust here. How did Trump win again? WTF???

                HOW’D THAT HAPPEN?”Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, tonight US forces killed Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi in a US airborne raid that Trump green-lighted last week. The founder and leader of ISIS and caliph of the caliphate is no more.

                One of the locals posted a clip of it, which was mainly audio because it was nighttime.

                Things like that might help explain how that’d happen.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I thought the whole point of allowing Turkey, Russia and Assad to carve up Syria was to pull US troops *out* of endless wars. ?? Well, except for wnough troops and air support to maintain control over the oil. And kill a few more people with air strikes.

                MAGA!Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m wondering what connections there were between these raid, which Trump authorized a week ago, and recent events. They needed to flush out Baghdadi, and possibly with his senior leadership, and the video I saw looked like an attack on a convoy.

                That spells the end of the caliphate, so we can go ahead and leave now.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Except for the oil. Trump said that’s ours now. Gotta defend that.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                BTW, Mitt Romney wasn’t an awful candidate, he just ran an absolutely awful campaign. FWTW!!

                Add, to head off criticism: HIllary was an awful candidate who also ran a spectacularly awful campaign. Double whammy.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Hard to say. But I struggle with the idea that Trump or any Republican given the weakness of their own contenders was inevitable. Seems like the people who make the big bucks to figure it out really, really should’ve figured it out.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Isn’t the bitter truth we need to face, that some 60 million Americans took a good long look at Donald Trump and said, “Yep, I like it!”?

                And even now, with a dozen or more non-Hillarys running, those same 60 million are still out there, waiting to cast the ballot again for him?

                How does “Hillary was a bad candidate” explain how those 60 million people are still there?

                How does it explain the success the Republicans had during the Obama years at the state level?

                I think we need to face the sobering fact that a plurality of Americans either support or tacitly accept the idea that not all persons are born equal.

                And one of our major parties has eagerly embraced that as their creed.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s roughly 25% of eligible voters. Not great, but I don’t find that analysis compelling. For one thing, it’s really convenient in that it lets the DNC and progressive thought leaders totally off the hook for the most baffling loss in modern political history.

                Second, while I dont doubt that some number of Trump voters (and Americans generally) believe that or something like it, latching onto it as the decisive factor is misplaced. Apart from members of a few statistically insignificant avowedly racist groups the assertion itself is so murky and subjective as to be impossible to prove or disprove. The vast majority of people who voted for him are Republicans who will always vote Republican in all cases no matter what.

                Yea it’s stupid that America is like that but it isnt exactly a novel observation. Frankly I think it says a lot more about how dumb and susceptible to propaganda people are than what they believe about equality.

                But even if it’s true, which I don’t exactly think it is (or rather what I think is true is a lot more complicated) it doesn’t get us anywhere. So why insist on it being paramount?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I think many senators like Al Franken (who would have carried the Rust Belt) and maybe half of Obama’s cabinet officials could have beaten Trump. Much of Trump’s support, especially in swing states, really was a “not Hillary” vote that would have gone to almost any Democrat who wasn’t Hillary.

                That also means that scandal-free Joe Biden would likely have beaten Trump in 2016 with relative ease.

                The Republican “not Trump” vote would have been even larger if the other option wasn’t Hillary, one of the only people most anti-Trump Republicans hated more than Trump.

                But none of Obama’s other officials ran, nor did mainstream senators, and I think it’s because they were afraid of Hillary, Hillary’s minions, Hillary’s alliances with the party leaders like Debbie Wassermann Schultz, and Hillary’s virtually unlimited black budget in the form of her nebulous charities. It was her turn, and heaven help anyone who got in her way.

                After eight years of Obama, the 2016 Democratic field should have been as big or bigger than the 2020 field (unless Biden ran ala Gore in 2000), but instead it was almost like Hillary was the incumbent, with only crazy Bernie (who isn’t even a Democrat) and a dweeb from Virginia challenging her.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                “Much of Trump’s support, especially in swing states, really was a “not Hillary” vote that would have gone to almost any Democrat who wasn’t Hillary.”

                Like Elizabeth Warren in 2020?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Probably, but a closer analogy might be Klobuchar 2020. The 2016 campaign wasn’t particularly left wing or socialist. The party’s current shift toward socialism might make it much harder for the current incarnation of Warren to win in 2020. In 2016 the only real attack on her probably would have been about her fake Indian heritage.

                And we’re talking about shifts in lifelong Democrats in the Rust Belt, people who’d voted pro-labor union for generations. Those are the people who flipped to put Trump in the White House, and many of them had a horrible personal opinion of Hillary. Even Joe Biden’s family voted for Trump over Hillary because they loathed her that much.

                Hillary had negatives not shared by any other Democrat, and those built up over years of her behavior. There are some feminists who loathed her over how she treated the women involved in Bill’s dalliances. There are some veterans who loathed her over Benghazi, or Bill’s time in office.

                I would suggest that the set of people who voted for Hillary over Trump includes nobody who would have voted for Trump over some other generic Democrat, or just sat out the election. Not one.

                Was their anyone who would be okay skipping the election because they were okay with Trump and his antics, and only decided to vote Democrat because they were inspired by Hillary’s personal story? I don’t think so. Everybody who voted for Hillary would still have showed up to vote against Trump or for some other Democrat.

                If I’m correct in that, then anyone else, such as Al Franken, gets every vote that Hillary got. Additionally, the Democrat would have gotten the votes of all those lifelong union Democrats who flipped in 2016 because they couldn’t stand Hillary, and they’d have gotten votes from anti-Trump Republicans who only swallowed down their bile to vote for him because they thought Hillary was even worse.

                And Trump’s campaign would have been less effective because it would have been harder to come up with effective ads against someone like Joe Biden or Al Franken (or Michelle Obama), compared to vicious attacks against Hillary that were, for the most part, like shooting fish in a barrel because she’s got so much really awful baggage.

                Another advantage any other Democrat would have is that they would have campaigned in places that weren’t Hollywood or Martha’s Vineyard, such as Wisconsin. Recall that Hillary’s campaign was notable by her virtual absence from it for long stretches. That was a mistake that others wouldn’t have made.

                As a side note, I should mention that Trump will probably carry the popular vote in 2020 because the Republicans have scheduled three days of high winds in California, so three to five million Californian’s won’t have electricity to run their fancy voting machines. Democrats will scream about election interference from PG&E, but PG&E will blame it on the Russians. ^_^Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                There is the Flight 93 aspect but those are true believers and not quite what I am talking about. I’m talking about about the anti-anti Trumpers. A lot of them seem drawn to just trying to defend anti-Semitism because it shocks the middle classes.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                There really isn’t any need to take the Pepe memes seriously, or the mutterings of the 2nd Amendment Remedy types when you are confident none of it will ever wash up to your door.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, and white liberals are a galaxy more extreme on race issues than racial minorities are. Makes perfect sense too: they can virtue signal on the internet and form rabid internet mobs on the cheap and if it prompts a backlash, hell, it’s not white liberal shoulders the blow will land on.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            Saul, do you remember back in 2016 when you argued that you preferred Sam Wang’s polling numbers to Nate Silver’s?

            Do you see why *I* would remember that? (Or do you see the only reason that someone would ask that question would be “they’re trolling”?)Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t think that’s *quite* right though I understand the sentiment. Not-Trumpers, seems to me, criticize Democrats for engaging in behaviors which, from their sincere view of politics, could cost them the election. The problem, of course, is that pointing out those defects sounds like concern trolling and an implicit threat that they won’t vote against Trump.

            IOW, not-Trumpers aren’t pulling in the same direction as Dems. And I get that. They don’t want Neo-Marxism to overtake the White House and banish all Freedoms in order to take everyone’s guns just prior to dismantling traditional Judeo Christian values from families.* I mean, I get it.

            So insofar as their criticisms of Dems in the primary field have merit, they’re signaling that they’re *not* Not-Trump. At best, they’re Maybe-Not-Trump.

            *None of the current Dem front runners are Neo-Marxists who want to dismantle traditional Judeo Christian values I PROMISE.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS
        Ignored
        says:

        If you think that what I said was an indicator is, instead, something that I am arguing is a cause, then you didn’t understand my argument.

        And, given my assumption that OT is a mini-petri dish that contains the close future, that’s not helping me conclude that the democrats at large understand how (or that) they lost in 2016.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          The OT is, as far as i can tell, far whiter and more manly ( well has a far higher proportion of men) then the D coalition. Then of course we are politics dorks who are more online then most people and choosing a place that is less of a mono culture then most poli sites. It is a sampling error to see this place as indicative of anything but this place.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            The smoke-filled rooms at the DNC, then.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Not that many millionaires, grifter consultants or long time DC pols here either. And the smoke filled room ain’t what they used to be.Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Correct me if I am wrong, but Kimmi was the only one left of center that called Trump winning. She is gone now. Notme called it on the right side, but he is gone.

              I think I may be the last one that could see through all the “Trump is doomed” mantra that was being dished up on the site for what it was before 2016.

              We are going through a whole “Trump is doomed to be impeached” or “Trump is wrong about everything” 4 year cycle now.

              To push back against that mania brings out a hell of a lot of hostility.

              A lot of the left libertarians are going to escalate, I get that, but there weren’t many around that hadn’t already took that jump pre 2016.

              I am very tempted to let the bubble be.

              I recognize that there are good people out there on both sides.

              I think they are far outnumbered by the will to power folks on all sides.

              I am not one of the good ones, but I am also not one of the will to power folks.

              There is plenty of long standing anger in the “leave me alone” folks.

              The Good Society folks keep wanting to place people like that in the herd and assume the herd will survive it.

              They really need to stop making that assumption.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JoeSal
                Ignored
                says:

                We even had a “well, the election is over and Clinton won and the people who thought Trump had a snowball’s chance should really ask themselves ‘Why?'” post that was auto-scheduled for the Wednesday morning.

                It was unceremoniously removed.

                We all believed Sam Wang. Well, except for the crazy people.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, I was 100% confident Clinton was going to win but I never -ever- gave Wang even a crumb of belief. I was a Silver man all the way. Thank goodness too, I can’t imagine how bad the hangover would have been for me if I’d bought into Wangs numbers. With Nate I at least could say “this was included as a possibility”. Still stung like a motherfisher though.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                I was never 100% sure about Clinton winning (since I was a Clinton skeptic from the time she was anointed), but I *DO* remember being shocked at the early east coast returns. I felt a sense of deep dread. Not because I thought she was going to win, but because I realized how heavily I leaned, in that election cycle, on hope.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Tod, right?

                Did he eat a bug?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeppers.

                It was a really good post, too. It explained, perfectly, why everybody knew Trump was going to lose.

                I thought it made for a magnificent artifact.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Post it.

                POST IT!!

                🙂Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t have access to it.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I would respectfully join in on that request, assuming Tod would be ok with the level of dissection that would follow. Maybe posted with a serious disclaimer about civility and willingness to strike comments more aggressively than normal OT standards.

                Obviously its easy for me to ask since I’m not the one who would have to police the comments and I totally get why the editorial crew wouldn’t want to deal with it. But I’m also a big believer in the maxim about learning more from defeats than victories and man would it be educational.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Eh, I guess I can kinda understand it. It was an essay that spiked the football.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It was an essay that spiked the ball at the five-yard line. In other words, hubris. Which was then clobbered by nemesis*.

                *For the left.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It does not appear to exist any longer in OT’s system.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                Too bad.

                If it really was a spiking of the football then maybe thats for the best. It takes guts to write a post here. Rubbing someone’s face in a whiff would be very uncool, and counter to the spirit of the place.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                If you are interested, Tod spilled a lot of ink in the leadup basically saying the same thing. This is a good example, five months to T-day: https://ordinary-times.com/2016/06/09/can-we-please-not-spend-the-next-five-months-pretending-this-is-going-to-be-a-close-election/

                (And going through the comments, I feel pretty vindicated there)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Tod’s effort to re-write history by denying his *own written words* was embarrassing. Here’s one example from the thread you linked:

                Tod: Actually, I did predict the GOP nominee. I said in August he had a strong chance,

                Me: Here’s what you said on Aug, 27: “The question isn’t whether or not the Donald will lose. He will.”Report

              • Avatar KenB in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                True, but that earlier post wasn’t a prediction post — his statement there was just a quick intro to an essay about who Trump is (which I think captures it much more accurately than the picture that eventually became the conventional wisdom on the left).

                Personally I’m less interested in rehashing faulty predictions than hearing what people learned from the experience. I’m sure some would explain away their confidence in a self-serving way, along the lines of “I underestimated how stupid and racist the American people were”, or even worse, go back to the Popular Vote well. But surely there are others who acquired a bit more humility and circumspection. I was as sure as anyone else that Hillary had it in the bag, and I dismissed the concerns of the hand-wringers and worrywarts I talked to on election eve. It’s not a mistake I ever expect to make again.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to KenB
                Ignored
                says:

                Which Tod, notably, given the topic we’re discussing, didn’t do.

                I’m all for looking after the fact for mistakes that were made. I’m also all for looking at before the fact views of what constituted a good candidate and so on. Both are useful, of course, but only in a betting sense.

                But to focus on Tod a bit more to highlight your comments about learning from the past, he wrote a very long series about how the GOP was sailing away to irrelevance, which garnered cheers from almost everyone in the commentariat except for Aaron D and Jaybird and myself, who pointed out that his thesis was undermined by the *gains* the GOP had made at every level of government over the preceding (at the time) ten years. So some people went into that election a bit more clear eyed than others (ie., Tod). Which, isn’t to play an ‘I told you so’ game, but more to emphasize how disastrously wrong Tod’s whole framework of analysis was. Which is something he’s never copped, at least here at the OT.Report

  11. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    I would like to point out that I am currently engaged in this argument elsewhere:

    Me: Tulsi Gabbard is to the right of the Democratic Party and she probably would have lost her primary in 2020.

    Middle-aged libertarian white guys who will probably never vote Democratic: No way. Tulsi is to the far-left and she is the only Democrat willing to be truly anti-war. Democrats are the real right-wingers.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Is this one of those things where we’re going to look at what is actually said and it’s going to be a Democrat from not-San Fran arguing that Tulsi is representative of a variant of Democrats that exist in flyover country and you’re misrepresenting them as being libertarian?Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I was in a somewhat similar discussion with the right wing in thread at Instapundit yesterday.

      I said:

      I don’t agree with her policies, but she does have honesty, a really good ability to connect with normal people, and an ability to lead – through serving. When she first appeared in Congress progressives were writing glowing articles about her as the next JFK, and she has his charisma and probably his courage. Then she questioned Obama’s Middle East policy, and then she supported Bernie and called out DNC corruption, and that was that. No more glowing coverage for the backstabbing traitor.

      Yes, she’s a wacko Hindu socialist, but one whose heart is in the right place and who would probably worry the Secret Service to death because they’d be afraid she’d reflexively throw herself in front of a bullet to protect them.

      It’s been so long since we’ve had a Democrat who deserves and commands respect that it feels completely wrong, but that used to be normal. Both parties used to be chock full of military personnel who served with distinction, and who could lead with their presence. Many of the military veterans the Democrats have been running lately are SJW pander monkeys who despise Republicans, but Tulsi doesn’t seem to be one of those, perhaps because she realized that most of the people she was fighting alongside in Iraq were patriotic Republicans who were laying down their lives to protect the United States.

      I regard her as a Democrat who has at least seen part of the elephant. She dealt with Muslim women first hand and decided that Islam is not a good thing, even if many Muslims are wonderful people. That’s something virtually nobody in her party is willing to believe. Of course we’re going to say, rightly, that she’s wrong about socialism and many issues. But if she weren’t she’d be a Republican akin to Dan Crenshaw, instead of being on the podium at the Democrat debates blasting Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton.

      The long thread is probably a good sampling if the wide range of right-wing opinions on Tulsi, which varies wildly, and some bits of it are insightful about party history, demographics, or whatnot. She’s so far out of sync that the normal tribalism doesn’t apply very well.Report

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