UK Elections: The Limits of Comparisons

Andrew Donaldson

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

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126 Responses

  1. There’s a great piece from Andrew Sullivan on Boris Johnson, pointing out that he’s nothing like Trump, despite the superficial difference. BoJo is smarter, more cunning and took his party left economically while resisting Labour’s trend toward identity politics and open borders.

    Corbyn is, in fact, a lot more like Trump. Led a populist revolt within his own country, speaks in dog whistles for his own base, despise the press, rails against the international order that has brought peace and prosperity to billions and something of a cult.

    But, as you say, the lessons are limited. Trump hasn’t snuggled up to terrorists the way Corbyn did. And his economic vision was far to the Left of anything we have in the US. So interesting but the relevance is kind of hard to tease out.Report

    • North in reply to Michael Siegel says:

      Yes, this exactly, and now that Corbyn is gone maybe Labour can figure out what the hell it actual stands for now. The political wilderness can be salutary.Report

      • George Turner in reply to North says:

        I don’t think Corbyn is gone yet. He has to come up with a replacement, and the most likely candidate for the job lost their seat. If a party leader doesn’t step down quickly, they tend to find reasons why they can’t step down “just yet.” Power is a hard thing to let go of.

        One of the big risks is that if they lose the blue-collar workers, they might lose the main thing that anchored them toward the center. Without MP’s representing working class areas, they might drift into the weeds, mostly reflecting the views of ardent campus social justice warriors, Islamists, and revolutionary Marxists, becoming a relatively minor party, perhaps splitting the vote with Lib Dems, Greens, and others so that Conservatives keep winning seats with only a plurality of a riding’s votes.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    Hot takes must be had!! The biggest reason it is not a comparative is that the GOP suffered losses in 2017, 2018, and 2019. But those are apparently verboten in hot take land because it requires admitting Trump is a dumpster fire and the Democrats might know what they are doing.Report

  3. LTL FTC says:

    I expect predictive power for the coming 2020 blame game, should it be necessary. Listen to the apologists the first time while the takes are still fresh. It’s never the same re-heated.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    To the extent that Brexit was a harbinger of 2016, we have to wrestle with whether this is a harbinger for 2020.

    If we want to say that it was just a bunch of coincidences, we’re probably good.

    (Wanna see our coverage of Brexit at the time? Check out here!)Report

  5. George Turner says:

    The UK Spectator says Labour has lost the working class.

    The ‘red wall’ has fallen. Brick by brick. Almost every bit of it. Seats held by Labour for decades have been seized by the Tories. To me, this is the most exciting thing in this extraordinary election. It feels almost revolutionary. Working people have smashed years and years of tradition and laid to waste the nauseating, paternalistic idea that they would vote for a donkey so long as it was wearing a red rosette.

    The ‘red wall’ results are staggering. In Bolsover, held by Dennis Skinner since 1970, the Tories now have a 5,000+ majority. Former mining towns like Bishop Auckland and Sedgefield — Tony Blair’s old seat — fell to the Tories.

    Caroline Flint lost Don Valley — a shame, given Flint was one of very few Labour MPs who sensed that the party’s betrayal of its working-class, Brexit-voting communities would cost it dear.

    Blyth Valley has a Tory MP for the first time in its 69-year history. Dehenna Davison, a Sheffield-born, Hull-educated 25-year-old, is Bishop Auckland’s first Tory MP in its 134-year history. She has a majority of nearly 8,000.

    And on it goes. Stockton South, Darlington, Wrexham. Seat after seat that Labour bigwigs presumed for decades would naturally vote Labour — because that’s what working-class people do, right? — have turned blue. Get this: former Welsh miners and the northern working classes trust an Eton-educated bumbling eccentric more than they do the Labour party.

    That’s similar to West Virginia, the Rust Belt, and other dramatic shifts we’ve been having. There is such a thing as “too far left”.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to George Turner says:

      Except that, according to John Judis, Boris explicitly shifted left to the center on a number of issues that had been hurting them.

      To me, that’s a lot like Trump promising not to touch Social Security or Medicare, which was a big shift for an R presidential candidate.

      When a party on the right shifts left to the center to win elections, it does not indicate that the electorate is shifting to the right.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        To whit:

        It is easier for the right to move left on economics than it is for the left to move right on identity & cultureThis is a great evidence-led piece by @p_surridge outlining why Labour is in more trouble than it thinks #ge2019— Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) December 6, 2019

        • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

          The fast food place in town that has the best sides is Sonic. The place with the best burgers, though, is a little place called Drifter’s Hamburgers.

          If Drifter’s started selling tater tots and/or jalapeno poppers, I’d never be tempted to go to Sonic again.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Like I said, I’m unfamiliar with British politics, so I followed one of the links which asserts that Labour must win back the “social conservatives” who favor “traditional values”;

          What are those “traditional values, I wonder? Ah, here it is:

          “Asked whether they agreed that “Immigrants increase crime rates in Britain”, one in 10 of those on the economic left with socially liberal values agreed with the statement, while among those on the economic left with socially conservative values this was a little more than half. Meanwhile, more than half of the socially conservative group also agreed that “The will of the majority should always prevail, even over the rights of minorities”.

          Got it.
          Values…Traditional values.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            …Also guardian article that doesn’t want the framing to be true.

            So, go ahead and build your party around those things, I’ll use others… and godspeed at the polls.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

              Is the paper lying?
              Do social conservatives not believe these things?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s worse than a lie. It’s a half-truth.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Lying? I think the Guardian peers through the glass darkly.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                “I think people of your ethnicity are criminals.
                Also too, why aren’t you willing to meet me halfway and compromise?”Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                See, when a Democrat reaches for this vector we’ll get New Dealer Chip explaining how solidarity works… but as long as the vector is open, then any attempts for a non-Democrat to go there must be poisoned by Progressive Chip.

                But, in an attempt at solidarity and to show good faith, I’ll acknowledge that Trump and the Republican party are in fact hindered by an unwillingness to embrace solidarity vs. a narrow counter-identitarianism. So, I understand why you might want to turn a contingent into a universal; and try to ward off fruitful advances from the other faction.

                But, my observation remains the same… whoever gets there first will win the realignment. Now, whether its easier for the right to move left on economic issues or the left to move right on social issues… that’s still up for grabs.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Aren’t the new “social issues” the same as “unwillingness to embrace solidarity”?

                Isn’t “unwillingness to embrace solidarity” what used to be called “bigotry” in the olden days?

                Isn’t “moving right on social issues” the same as accepting bigotry?Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No. What’s strange of today’s left is the idolization of bigotry.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Well you should probably tell those British folks to shut up, because they’re giving social conservatism a bad name.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                They’d best avoid giving it a worse one lest Boris Johnson get a supermajority.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            If the Labour Party louses the voutes of thouse whou actually labour for a living, we should either rename the party our rename the labourers.Report

          • PD Shaw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Just to be clear, the social conservatives in the UK, at least until this year were primarily in the Labour Party. From one of the links in the links, etc.:

            “But the economic ‘left’ are not predominantly ‘liberal’; its ‘not liberal’ constituency outnumber the ‘liberals’ by around 2 to 1. To be able to pursue progressive policies, the votes of all these groups are essential. There are too few voters currently in ‘liberal-left’ positions to rely solely on these votes, and so a willingness to listen to and attempt to understand the motivations of those on the ‘not-liberal’ left is critical.”Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to PD Shaw says:

              What are the motivations of the “not-liberal” group?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                If polling is any indication…


              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                So its about economic issues then, not social issues?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Could very well be both. Labourers no longer felt represented by Labour.

                I’d say that the landslide is big enough that we can say it was economic issues *AND* social issues *AND* Brexit.

                Jeremy Corbyn was also, apparently, odious.

                Nate Silver said it best:


              • PD Shaw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Get Brexit done?Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                They’re motivated by what they percieve as their interests Chip. The longer this kind of misdiagnosis continues the less likely the Democratic party is going to, as Marchmaine says, win realignment, and the more the broad left will punch below its weight. There is a racial component to conservative identity politics but the dominant aspect is cultural.

                A less woke, more live-and-let-live liberalism with a view towards incremental improvement of the safety net and a citizens first attitude about the border probably can win where it needs to in our system. But as long as the face is a party specifically not for middle and working class white people plus the self-evidently absurd crap from the twitterati about some women having penises or a perpetual need to meditate on the evils of ‘whiteness’..well left leaners will disalign, not show up, and some small number might switch sides.

                But the rump will be waiting around for someone to come pick them up and hold power for a generation. The Republicans lucked into a taste of it with Trump, but so far their internal schisms prevent truly exploiting the discovery. A more capable politician like Boris Johnson will take the same forces and mercilessly spank the other side until they get their heads out of their collective asses, stop making self serving excuses, and adapt.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

                If this were true, the 2020 election would be a tight race between Mitt Romney and John Hickenlooper.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Nope. Those guys aren’t even close.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Who among all the known politicians of either party, exemplifies this mysterious latent-yet-potent voting block?Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No one in either party exemplifies this, yet. That’s rather the point.

                There’s also the real issue of funding for this sort of political movement; that’s the primary impediment.

                Part of me wonders whether seeing Boris in the UK will make some US political financiers think that something like that might work over here… and I think that’s Marco Rubio’s gambit.

                Personally, I don’t trust Rubio precisely because he’s bough/sold by his donors and I’d see him as the “Tea Party” of Republican reform… but that’s just a hunch on where I think he’s going.

                The problem with re-alignment is that it always looks like a failed election strategy until it doesn’t. So anyone aiming for a realignment candidacy is the risky bet defying the smart money and consultants.

                Biden isn’t a realignment candidate in this sense, at most he’d be transition or sign-post candidate if he wins.Report

              • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

                The challenge the Republican party has is to really, legitimately, actually pull it off they need to abandon the one thing left that they reliably do when given power. Cut taxes for the rich.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                If no one exemplifies this hidden voting block, what causes you to think it exists?

                It seems like kind a chimera, a wishcasted idea of what you want, rather than what is.

                A voting block that is not-woke, but not-racist;
                Working class, but not redistributive;
                Citizens-first but not xenophobic;

                I can’t even conjure up a notion of what such a group of people look like.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It is strange to me that you think these categories are definitive.

                It is possible to be non-racist *and* not woke.
                It is possible to pro-working class and redistributive in ways different than Democratic/Labor orthodoxy.
                It is possible to be citizen-first and not xenophobic.

                Put that together into a Democratic cocktail and the Democratic party will surge… but it shouldn’t surprise you that a Republican/Conservative cocktail of the same concepts will still have a different flavor.

                There’s also the fact that you’re hiding definitions which make it impossible for you to see the voting block you can’t see…

                That is, if you define citizen-first (your term) *as* xenophobic, then of course you can’t imagine such a thing. If the only re-distributive projects are Democratic defined projects, then you’re defining out of scope any other re-distributive projects. Intersectional power/oppression narratives which drive woke interpretations of racism, are not the best nor the only approaches to questions of race and solidarity.

                I wouldn’t blame you as a Democratic political operative to try to shape the narrative and frame the debate on your preferred terms… but if your questions aren’t rhetorical from a Democratic operative point of view, I hope you see a way forward for merely liberal Chip.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                You’re postulating the existence of something you can’t point to in the wild.

                I actually get where you’re coming from because Distributism holds appeal for me too.

                But I just don’t see evidence of it beyond the political fringes.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Can we point to Boris Johnson?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Neither one of us knows enough about Boris Johnson to discuss him.

                Can you point to an American?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                (glimpse of the future)

                Okay, can you name one from *OHIO*?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Any American will do.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                So first of all, if he’s an example of the hidden constituency the Democrats need to surge, would we expect him to sorta, surge?

                Second, in what way is Yang “not woke”?
                How is he working class without being redistributive?
                Or citizens first without being xenophobic?

                If I accused him of being a typical woke, neoliberal Clintonite open borders Democrat, how would you defend him?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!

                I wrote an essay about him.

                He is surging. Just not as much as others.

                He’s not particularly woke. Visit his webpage and check out his stances on the issues!

                And the original goalpost wasn’t that he had to be “working class without being redistributive”. It was, lemme copy and paste this, “It is possible to pro-working class and redistributive in ways different than Democratic/Labor orthodoxy”

                As for being citizens first without being xenophobic, check out his stance on the border.

                If I accused him of being a typical woke, neoliberal Clintonite open borders Democrat, how would you defend him?

                By pointing out that words mean things.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Andrew Yang on the issues:

                On Medicare For All:
                “Through a Medicare for All system, we can ensure that all Americans receive the healthcare they deserve. Not only will this raise the quality of life for all Americans, but, by increasing access to preventive care, it will also bring overall healthcare costs down.”

                On Taxes:
                “I would pass a value added tax that would generate $800 billion a year in new revenue, conservatively. And then I would be distributing all of that money back to the American people immediately in a way that would then make our people, families, communities, stronger, make our consumer economy stronger…”

                On decriminalizing immigration:
                “I would be for criminalizing those who make a business of trafficking people in, or repeat offenders or those who enter after deportation proceedings or conviction of a crime. But individuals or families who cross the border should be treated as civil offenders.”

                On LGBTQ:
                “Sexual orientation and gender identity should be protected classes under the law, receiving all the federal protections afforded under the Constitution and law.”

                On guns:
                “”We need to license guns, implement universal background checks, and get assault weapons out of people’s hands. ”

                What are you seeing in Yang that is in any way related to what Marchmaine and InMD were talking about with realignment and a new kind of liberalism?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                So stuff like the UBI’s redistribution is something you kinda just ignored entirely? (Do you consider the UBI to be orthodox?)

                You don’t see how treating crossing the border as a civil offense is different from being Open Borders?

                As for being “woke”, here’s his take on Obama’s take on Wokism:

                I assume you have new goalposts for me to jump over?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well yeah UBI and VAT are pretty much within American liberal orthodoxy. They never got a lot of traction but I’ve been hearing about them for decades.

                And isnt Yang’s immigration stance almost indistinguishable from the other Democrats?

                And quoting Barack Obama to establish Yang’s not-woke posture seems to only reinforce how utterly mainstream he is.

                Marchmaine and InMD can chime in but this doesn’t sound like what they were talking about.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Let’s go back to your original question. Allow me to copy/paste it:

                Second, in what way is Yang “not woke”?

                Here is what Obama said:

                “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly,” Obama told a crowd in Chicago.

                You’re using that to explain that Yang is “utterly mainstream” when the question wasn’t “is Yang mainstream” but whether he was “woke”.

                As for the UBI and VAT being within orthodoxy… I guess I have no idea what could possibly qualify as “unorthodox”.

                And isnt Yang’s immigration stance almost indistinguishable from the other Democrats?

                I see that we’ve moved from “SHOW ME ONE EXAMPLE OF X!” to “his positions are indistinguishable from everyone else’s.”

                Do I need to find an example of someone from Ohio?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I guess the difference between woke and not is a niggling over terms and emphasis, not policy.

                And the original point here was Marchmaines suggestion of a latent realignment Boris Johnson/Trump constituency which was not within the current Democratic tent.

                And all you’re doing here is pointing to a Democratic candidate who fits very comfortaby within the party orthodoxy.

                Put another way-what percentage of Trump 2016 voters will Yang pull over?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                If you want Trump voters to cross back over, you want Biden. (He also picks up the Obama vote that stayed home in 2016.)

                Is Biden “woke”, according to our ever-shifting definitions?

                Are Yang and Biden equally “orthodox”, according to our ever-shifting definitions?Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m not sure Biden, or any candidate, can get Trump voters to cross back over because of what voters are seeing from the two parties, similar to what’s been going on in Europe.

                Here’s a take from the Daily Mail: Douglas Murray: Britain’s divide isn’t North v South or red v blue. It’s between the ugly intolerant Left and the rest of us

                The real chasm which has arisen is between a Conservative party that committed itself to fulfilling the will of the people, and two Left-wing parties which had devoted the past three-and-a-half years to subverting it.

                It is a divide between people who have real-world concerns and those focused on niche and barely significant ones. It is a divide between those who worry about the way they are governed, how the nation will fare and how high immigration should be and those who hector them as backwards or bigoted for even noticing such things.

                How, you might ask, have we reached such a state? There is a clue in the Labour Party’s dysfunctional reaction to its catastrophic defeat on Thursday.

                Even after the Conservatives won in a near-landslide, the Leftist automatons that run the party are choosing to learn nothing.

                They are not using this time for self-reflection or to work out how they approach this new division. Instead, they’re stuck on repeat – at increasing volume.

                As he says, the left over there is fully confident that they’re right because everyone they haven’t blocked on Twitter agrees with them.

                We’re seeing similar effects over here. Another contrast is that the Republicans in Congress are far less “radical” than Trump. Compared to the Democrats, there’s not all that much difference between any two of them. Steady as she goes, try to get the border under control, don’t blow anything up.

                Then moderates look at the impeachment craziness, the Green New Deal, every increasing levels of wokeness, Antifa, the Squad, the Che Guevera brigades, and all the other crazy people that keep making the news, and they have to wonder if even voting for Biden or someone like Hickenloooper would just give all the other folks free rein to smash whatever they want to smash. Voting for the Conservatives or the GOP becomes a vote that says “Please just keep these crazy people away from me, and leave me alone in peace.”

                If that’s the case, then promising to do more of this radical thing, and go farther on that social transformation, and revolutionize everyone’s view of what was comfortable, and overturn this long accepted norm, and toss out that “bigoted” policy, and remake America along non-capitalist lines? Well, that becomes a losing message.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

                George, I’m only looking at 3 things: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

                If Californian Progressives are depressed by the choice before them, we might find that the vote that went for Clinton 61.7% might only go for Biden with something like 58.2%. If New York Progressives look at Biden and then Trump and then Biden and get depressed, the 59.1% that went for Clinton might only turn into a 54% vote for Biden.

                Add all that up, that’s a million votes all told. Maybe more!

                But he still wins MI, WI, and PA. (Well, 2 out of 3 and that is all he needs.)

                He’s not a crazy “woke” progressive. He’s crazy, sure, but he’s crazy in the “Crazy Uncle Joe” sense of the term and that’s vaguely comforting.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                Another shift that will affect those states, and many others, is that in 2008 the left in Washington didn’t seem unhinged. To comfortably well-off moderates, the Democrats were the status quo of governance, with eight years of Obama’s sonorous voice and gravitas and Hillary as the continuance of it. The party seemed to have seriousness and discipline.

                It’s long been said that all Democrats have to do to beat Trump in 2020 is not be crazy, but they can’t seem to do even that, which might certainly parallel the Labour party in the UK. The party got abandoned by the bedrock voters they left behind.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

                We’re currently debating the whole OK sign and whether it ought be interpreted as a dog whistle or not.

                I gotta say, I’m less inclined to put money on “not being crazy” than I was yesterday.

                But Biden can signal “status quo run-of-the-mill” better than anybody else up there and he doesn’t need to inspire *THAT* many voters who weren’t inspired last time nor swing *THAT* many votes in those three states to pick them up… and he can easily afford to lose the most passionate of the progressives in the most passionate progressive cities and still win those states by a dang landslide.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                But can he? Biden is no Dick Gephardt, Bill Bradley, Bill Richardson, Al Gore, or John Kerry. I think this will be his fourth run for the Presidency. In 2008 he came in behind both Dennis Kucinich and “uncommitted”. It seems that Biden has a knack for turning off Democrat supporters (such as perhaps blowing his top and fat shaming a random guy in Iowa). And that was before Ukraine and Hunter Biden getting sued for child support by a pole dancer.

                Sure, if Democrats could run the ideal Joe Biden that they wish they had, he might do okay. But that’s probably not the Biden who will be coming to the party. They’ll probably get either face-palm Biden or head-desk Biden, which is why so many money-bags and big wigs are very worried about the weakness of him in particular and the field in general. His fundraising is very poor, which shows a lack of confidence and enthusiasm, and which might really limit his chances to put up a good fight in battleground states.

                I think another key difference is that Obama could simply tell the far left to pipe down and they’d most often do what he said. Is there anyone who thinks the left is going to pay any attention to what Biden says as he launches into another rendition of “Let me tell it to ya straight…”? He doesn’t seem like the real leader of a movement or a party. He seems like a grandpa with really weird stories.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

                Biden *COULD* win PA and MI with nothing more than a re-energized African-American vote. 10K votes is how much Trump won in Michigan. 44K in Pennsylvania. .3% and .7%, respectively.

                Faceplaming/headdesking is something that engaged voters do. GOTV voters don’t care about that noisy bullshit.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                But he still wins MI, WI, and PA. (Well, 2 out of 3 and that is all he needs.)

                Needs all three of them, or two and another big-enough state. Big enough matters. Eg, AZ, MI, and WI would still be a vote short.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Oh jeez. You’re right. PA is one of the ones he *MUST* win. As is Michigan! If he only wins PA and WI (and everything else stays the same), Trump still takes it.

                (I admit to assuming that PA and MI are the ones that are easiest to win of the three but… jeez, that’s razor thin.)

                I’m not sure that the Democrats doing the purity thing is in their best interest.

                Even if it is guaranteed to give them north of 60% in California again.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                FL is a bigger percentage, but the people there voted to add felons that had finished their sentences to vote (potentially, 1.4M). The state government is trying to reduce the number that qualify and is tied up in court. If Bloomberg wants to help the party, dropping a spare billion dollars to cover fees and fines would make a lot of voters eligible there. FL plus any of AZ, MI, PA, or WI is enough.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Is there any evidence that Florida felons aren’t primarily trailer park Republicans who got busted for some indecent act with an alligator?

                Kentucky’s new governor likewise signed an executive order restoring the right to vote to 140,000 felons. But before he left office, former Governor Matt Bevin issued 480 pardons, including child rapists and a murderer whose brother raised lots of money for Bevin’s failed re-election campaign. I think both are simply looking out for their peers, kind of like politicians in Great Britain, yet different.

                Impeachment may have driven Trump’s minority approval numbers from around 10 to 11%, where it’s been for the duration of his Presidency, to 30 or 35%, based on December polls from Emerson, Marist, Rassmussen, and CNN. It’s of course unknown how much of that increase would translate into votes, since at some points GW Bush was over 40% in minority approval (go USA!) but 90% of African Americans were still going to pull the D lever.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I don’t see any major differences between Yang and Biden, or Warren, or Booker, or Buttigieg, or Klobuchar. Maybe Bernie, but even then, Bernie seems to be pretty mainstream Democrat nowadays.

                And yeah, “woke” is an ever shifting, vaporous term that generally refers to an aesthetic stance, not anything substantial.

                So I’m back to my original point.

                Where is this mysterious latent constituency that the Dems could pick up “if only they would do X”, and what is X?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The major differences between them are, in fact, aesthetic.

                So I’m back to my original point.
                Where is this mysterious latent constituency that the Dems could pick up “if only they would do X”, and what is X?

                Well, for one, I’d say that the Obama -> Trump voters did so for a handful of reasons. The Obama -> Stay Home voters did so for a handful of others.

                Many of these reasons touch on ever shifting, vaporous reasons that generally refer to aesthetic stances and not anything substantial.

                Which is why I see Biden as more dangerous to Trump than, say, Buttigeig or Warren.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                Here’s an example where a recent shift, quite possibly due to virtue signaling, could cause significant effects.


                The graph shows that on the question of “Would they like to see immigration increased?” There was hardly any daylight between Democrats and Republicans or blacks and whites during the span from 1992 to 2012, with popularity running from 5 to 15%. At times Republicans were slightly more pro-immigration than blacks.

                Then, starting in 2012, White Democrat support for more immigration starting shooting up, hitting 56% in 2018. Black support didn’t budge until four years later, when Trump was elected, and it still increased by only half of what it did among white Democrats.

                Now, this raises some obvious questions because if blacks and White Democrats didn’t disagree with Republicans on immigration from 1992 to 2010 or so, or in the case of blacks from 1992 to 2016, what changed?

                Did blacks only now realize that they’d love to see their neighborhood taken over by Hispanics, or are they just echoing Democrats’ attacks on Trump’s immigration policies? Is the number who actually want more immigration about the same as it ever was, about 10%, with 22% just delivering a canned political line?

                What if the 56% Democrat support strongly reflects the views of virtue signaling elites who will not be negatively effected by immigration because all they’ll get is cheaper maids and waiters?

                And what if, when it comes down it in the voting booth, the real numbers who support increased immigration are really the same as from 1992 to 2012, about 10 to 15%, even among minorities?

                Then you could have something similar to the UK election, where the left has relied too much on twitter and urban elite virtue signaling and ended up badly misreading how their rank and file working class base would vote, losing them to the only group on the ballot that’s still taking the same position that all the parties used to take because 90% of the public, across all demographics, agreed with it.

                I’ll also note that while everyone was focused on impeachment, House Democrats just voted to give Trump a billion and a half for his border wall, and allowed him to continue diverting DoD funds to it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I suggest that unlike Britain, America doesn’t have a Brexit type issue which propels a realignment.

                Its common to hear American Republicans, like British Tories talk about how global trade policies have harmed working class people.

                But there doesn’t seem to be much of a defining policy issue to for example, abrograte NAFTA or to actually do anything concrete about the current trade policies.
                And I mean the base GOP voters themselves- they don’t really want to levy tariffs or renegotiate trade treateies.

                Lots of sentiment to seal the border to people yes, but no desire to seal it against goods.

                Right now, the chief appeal of the Republican party is anti immigration fervor and aesthetic cultural issues i.e, white identity politics.

                If you are a black or gay or Hispanic Democratic base voter, you are very pointedly not invited to their party and realignment is very consciously made impossible.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m not arguing it had only one? I’m arguing that there were at least two genres of complaints spread across two different groups of people and it manifested itself in two different ways? (In one case, it moved from Obama -> Trump, in the other, it moved from Obama -> Not Bothering To Vote.)

                Which means that the tough part will be figuring out two ways to re-appeal to the groups.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Trump was just touting the trade agreements he just made this week, which should double US sales to China over the next two years, along with revamping our trade with Mexico. Democrats and the media apparently didn’t notice what was happening because they were too busy trying to spin impeachment.

                And we’ll see if Trump can flip blacks and Hispanics, or make major inroads. They are already giving him near record support for a Republican, in part due to record low unemployment among both groups, and in part because he actually delivers for them on key issues instead of just pandering during campaign season. They surely recall that for Democrats, campaign season marks the quadrennial meeting of the committee to discuss the idea of forming a reparations exploratory panel.

                Meanwhile the Democrat primary is coming down to a choice between old white people from the East Coast, old white people from New England, middle-aged white people from the central tundra, multimillionaire white people, and young gay white people. The Democrat debate stage is going to look like the crowd at a Neil Diamond concert.

                The UK Labour party might be in similar straits, with none of the potential Corbyn replacements having a working class background (unless being a top NHS executive or policy wonk is “working class”). The only “minority” candidate isn’t exactly hard-scrabble. Her grandfather is Lord Byers, who led in the House of Lords for 19 years, while her Indian father is perhaps even more distinguished in politics and academia.

                At some point the working class has to notice that the leadership of the Labour party has never associated with any actual laborers, and would happily replace them all with robots or whatever refugees show up in the back of a lorry.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t want to dampen JB’s enthusiam for Mr. Yang nor his quest to abolish DST… but I’d say Yang is more of a Liberaltarian than an upper-left candidate. Might still be good for the Democratic party in other ways, but not what I’d point to as an exemplar of what we’re discussing above… since you asked.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I mean, the only parts of this list I totally dissent from is AWB and ‘gender identity’ (at least as currently defined by activists) as protected class. All the rest I either support or could be brought on board with depending on some, admittedly important, details (M4A and gun licsensing being the ones with the bigger devils).

                Of course you’re also omitting the biggest part of his pitch, which I’d succinctly boil down to a futurist form of capitalism with things to like on historically opposing sides of the partisan divide, circa late 20th early 21st century. The conservative version will be more nationalist less futurist but I think the first party to master the core concept while dumping some of its more alienating baggage will be the one that wins, which is really all I’ve been saying.Report

              • On climate change:
                Basically, the engineers will find ways to reflect away some of the sunlight, and to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. How hard can it be?Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Brother, we’re a long way from any sort of Distributist influenced policymaking… I’m hardly anointing Boris of doing anything more than winning an Election. He’s caught the Tiger, actually governing will test his mettle.

                But I’m perplexed by this idea that there’s nothing afoot… I’m postulating that we’re lost in the wilds surrounded by lots of things we thought were political fringe events, but are now governing coalitions. If your anchor for “normalcy” is Germany or France, well… prepare for disappointment.

                So the point (in my mind anyhow) isn’t that we’ve arrived anywhere… but that things are in motion.

                I can empathize that the original quotation about left/right movement would be felt as a rebuke to true believers in the Left/Left paradigm (as well as the Right/Right, but JEB! is already a meme), but if I take your very own framing above, and flip it into the converse proposition you made to me:

                Woke, Open Boarders Socialism.

                …and ask whether this is a winning ticket if pressed to it’s fullest, I’m forced to conclude no.

                So which of those do you want to start moving right on to win an election? And if the only one is Socialism, may God help us all.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                There is something afoot.
                Something terrible.
                Liberal democracy is being overwhelmed by ethno authoritarianism.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Heh, yea ok.

                It’s almost like people don’t want to understand why Joe Biden of all people is still probably the biggest threat to Trump. Though in fairness he himself might not fully get it either.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

                Is Biden an example of the “less woke, more live-and-let-live liberalism with a view towards incremental improvement of the safety net and a citizens first attitude about the border “?Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I guess we’ll find out.Report

              • George Turner in reply to InMD says:

                Like Hillary, Biden is going to be a poor test case for anything because the personality (and potential scandals) outweigh whatever policies they might, ideally, represent. What did Hillary stand for, other than “I’m with her!” and something or other about glass ceilings and Trump is a Russian?

                Biden isn’t good at articulating anything, much less a clear vision for what he wants America to be. Obama was good at articulating, even though what he articulated was extremely vague (yet uplifting!). Something about all joining hands and singing Kumbaya, and you can keep your doctor. He was certainly better at it than Romney, who was for all the vague things that Obama supported, but with binders full of women.

                Trump, in contrast, is over-the-top and gives hours long speeches and rallies, which are highly entertaining. He has no qualms about letting people know what he thinks, and he talks without a filter. In that regard, he’s similar to Boris Johnson.

                I think this gives them an advantage over normal politicians who give you the impression that they’re holding back and just telling you what you want to hear, having run every position past numerous focus groups and advertising experts. They’re all package and no substance, and people don’t get a real feel for their core beliefs, or what they’ll fight for, or if they’ll fight for anything at all.

                Normally someone like Trump would have lots of trouble breaking into politics at the top levels because he’d be an unknown, whereas the usual politicians who’d been in DC for thirty years were knowns. People generally prefer to stick with something they know than take a gamble on a pig in a poke.

                But Trump got so many early interviews (Hillary and the media figured exposure would doom him), and he spoke so long as so often, that by the time the election rolled around he was the most familiar of anyone. We all knew his real opinions on almost everything. This flew against the advice of conventional political handlers, who try to keep their candidates from going off message or committing a gaffe that will haunt them, by trying to get them to say as little as possible.

                In contrast to Trump, what Hillary thinks, other than that she’s all for more money for Hillary, is still a mystery. Yet, despite it all, and despite everything she’s done since 2016 to make even Democrats repeatedly face-palm, polls indicate that if she entered the race she’d already be ahead of Biden, Warren, and Sanders.

                Sanders is similar to Trump in that he lets people know what he thinks. But he’s also much more similar to Corbyn than Johnson, because what he thinks is that some kind of Che Guevera Marxism is a good thing, and the working class isn’t go to be up for any of that. He would be, like Corbyn, a few steps too far left, and he has attracted quite a share of bitter and open anti-Semites to his cause.

                If he or Warren were the nominees, I would predict much the same pattern we saw in the UK, with huge numbers of life-long Democrats deciding that Trump was a safer bet than a woke anti-capitalist radical.

                I’d like Biden to a perpetual back bencher, one who has occasionally been a minor cabinet secretary. He’s only still in it because he’s been around forever and there’s nobody else left who has much experience and wants the job of party leader.

                Buttigieg isn’t even a back bencher, and both by absolute city population and population ranking would be equivalent to the district council leader of North West Leicestershire, who’s probably in the race because he made it to the quarter finals of Britain’s Got Talent with a funny routine involving a unicycle and three corgis, yet seems otherwise so ordinary.Report

              • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

                The real short answer is that Biden – like Secretary Clinton – is a corporate supporting neoliberal centerist democrat who is as drunk on large dollar dark money donations as Mitch McConnell is. The reason he can’t break out – and certainly doesn’t motivate the left flank of the party – is his economics are straight Ronald Reagan – who used to be called a Republican. There is no left left on the Democratic Party, and while Warren, Sanders, and Mayor Pete might well drag it more left of center, none of them is truly bound to make the Democrats the actual party of working class Americans again.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        I can’t speak to British politics, but what is noteworthy to me, is the marriage of anti-free market sentiment with white ethnic grievance within the American conservative base.

        They don’t as yet hold power- the oligarchs still pick the policy- but its interesting to see how the attacks on the social welfare system are now explicitly targeted at those who are considered outside the white tribe.

        “Left” and “Right” in American politics mean different things than they did only a few decades ago.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        To me, that’s a lot like Trump promising not to touch Social Security or Medicare, which was a big shift for an R presidential candidate.

        I was unaware that anyone in the last 20 years, other than perhaps Democrats, had ever wanted to touch Social Security or Medicare, but I don’t read the AARP magazine.Report

        • North in reply to George Turner says:

          Dude, W. Bush wanted to privatize social security and even made a run at it. Did you think anyone would forget that?Report

          • George Turner in reply to North says:

            He dropped the idea after a few months when it didn’t gain any traction. After that, under Obama, we had the Bowles-Simpson plan of increasing the deductions and slashing benefits. Republicans blocked it, and I’m not sure they’ve done much of anything since.Report

            • North in reply to George Turner says:

              Yes, in both cases cuts to those programs were agitated for by the GOP who then, when they started inching closer to their supposed goals, remembered that most of their voters loathe those goals and backed off. Trump was dramatically different in the 2015 lead up and 2016 campaign in that he expressly moved left on economics and assured voters he had no designs on cutting those programs.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                I’m still wondering why cutting Social Security (which Democrats wanted to do and which Republicans stopped) is a right-wing thing. The proposal to privatize part of Social Security was based on the idea that seniors are getting screwed, and that their payments would have been much higher if part of the money had been in the stock market, similar to IRAs.

                That comes down to what level of risk an investor is comfortable with, and what level of trust people have that the whole think isn’t an elaborate scam to enrich Wall Street buddies.Report

              • greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                Umm yeah it would have been just great to invest a ton of SS money in the stock market in the mid 00’s. There weren’t any giant stock crashes until 07ish or so. Excelsior!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                According to Moneywise , $2000 invested in 2005 would be worth:

                $2,000 invested in stocks would give you around $4,420 today.

                $2,000 invested in gold would give you around $5,120 today.

                $2,000 invested in bonds would give you around $2,870 today.

                $2,000 put into savings would give you around $2,280 today.

                So I googled an inflation calculator and put in 2000 bucks in 2005:

                What cost $2000 in 2005 would cost $2607.65 in 2018.


              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                As the shop steward and enforcer of party discipline, I would like to name names of which Democrats proposed cutting Social Security benefits, so I can send an Antifa squad to rough them up.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m pretty sure Obama has Secret Service protection, so you might need to try something else.

                Under the Bowles-Simpson plan of 2011, they intended to:

                * Reduce federal health care spending.
                * Make Social Security sustainable.

                Simpson-Bowles called for about $460 billion in health care cuts. The president’s [ed. Obama] plan includes $400 billion in such cuts.
                Simpson-Bowles included $260 billion in cuts to other mandatory programs (not including the effects of switching to a different measure of inflation). President Obama’s proposal includes $200 billion in these cuts.


              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                So Obama countered the Republican proposals with smaller cuts?

                Acquitted on all charges!Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It wasn’t a Republican proposal, it was a proposal from the presidential commission Obama set up.Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                It’s honestly rather good news, if George of all people is disavowing austerity politics and saying not only is the GOP not the party of austerity but it was never the party of austerity then it’s probably a good sign that the window is shifting leftward.Report

              • InMD in reply to North says:

                Personally I think itll take a stronger and more consistent disavowal than that, and from credible people (the semi-recent Obama comments come to mind). Whatever the effort it needs to account for ongoing right wing nut-picking efforts in the noise machine.

                However I don’t think the edge is as clearly favorable to the right in the US as it is in the UK, where conservatives had already made peace with things like NHS and the totally wild idea that sometimes taxes are necessary to run a functioning government.

                I think getting the Republican party to abandon the stance that cutting taxes on the rich (and eliminating benefits of course) is always good at all times no matter the circumstances is just as difficult as getting the D’s to abandon wokeness, maybe moreso. The Democrats after all have in the past proven that they can walk away from woke-like ideologies (Clinton’s sister souljah moment for example). Conversely, the Republican establishment shows no sign of stopping with the zombie Reaganomics, including when they arguably won the last presidential election in part because they nominated someone either too dumb or too vain to hold to what has been the party line for nearly 40 years.Report

              • InMD in reply to InMD says:

                Misthreaded of course.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    If this tweet is insightful, then it is insightful. If it’s not, then he’s not helping.


    • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah, that would be the direction 2016US to 2019UK. In 2016, Democrats lost seats in parts of the Upper Midwest that had gone for Democrats ever since the Great Depression. Yesterday, Labour lost seats in parts of the North and Midlands that had voted Labour since before the Great Depression.

      The difference would be that the U.S. system has constant federal elections at different levels that allow a party to get a bounceback without necessarily trying to resolve the larger questions of identifying the party’s electoral targets. In theory, the Labour will be appointing a new leader to lay out a course for the party’s resurgence, but I think they will nominate a female Corbyn and resume internecine fighting for the next five years, maybe allowing Boris to win another election.Report

  7. Jaybird says:

    Analysis from the WaPo:


    • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

      If Britain had the Netherlands’ electoral system, it would be requesting its 13th extension from the EU due to a breakdown btw/ the Jedi Council Party and the Church of the Militant Elvis Party to act as sixth and seventh junior coalition partners.

      If it had a Loya Jirga, it would definitetly pick Jeb Bush.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      The comments on that Tweet are hilarious, clever variations on the theme of “Under a different set of rules, I would have won!”.

      I think they’d should just connect the dots and realize that if someone could go back in time and make them lose the Battle of Britain and get Operation Sealion to succeed, Boris Johnson wouldn’t be Prime Minister, and they’d all speak German.Report

    • Aaron David in reply to Jaybird says:

      And if they had Venezuela’s system, someone would use his hair for food!Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    It Begins:


  9. Chip Daniels says:

    From Henry Olsen’s op-ed in WaPo:

    He excitedly describes Johnson as a new sort of conservative, breathing new life into the conservative tradition of Disraeli and would “return conservatism to its roots, shorn of the sectarianism and libertarianism that have choked it. The return to the idea that stable communities and families were of equal value to individual liberty would allow us to provide help to those who needed it. ”

    Wow, that sounds impressive! What sort of policy proposals would this new conservatism consist of?

    According to Henry, it would consist of “Johnson’s promises of more spending for the National Health Service and massive public investment in infrastructure in the left-behind north..”

    Hmm…more spending for socialized healthcare and massive government spending for infrastructure projects.

    I’m…kinda diggin’ this new conservatism.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      To whit:

      It is easier for the right to move left on economics than it is for the left to move right on identity & cultureThis is a great evidence-led piece by @p_surridge outlining why Labour is in more trouble than it thinks #ge2019— Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) December 6, 2019


      Wait a second, I think we’ve just confirmed that we *are* living in a simulation.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Henry Olsen is an American conservative.

        Does this suggest that the American Republican Party is moving leftward on economic issues, and we can look forward to a Republican National Health Service and massive government works programs?

        I’m not seeing it, but maybe someone can point it out to me.Report

        • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          At the moment the only parts of the party that has any fishing clue what they’re doing or what they want are the neocons (who’ want endless war and military spending) who’re generally despised and can’t accomplish anything except a holding action on military spending and the republitarians who want tax cuts no matter what.
          So, no, I wouldn’t expect that we can expect much of a leftward shift on economics from the GOP anytime soon. The elements who’d agitate for it are in disarray and have little connections to the party elite in DC while those who’d oppose it have no voter support but all the money and DC clout.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

            Given that they have a tight grip on most of our government and are an even money bet to win the 2020 elections, I think maybe they do know what they want, and and have a clear plan how to go about getting it.Report

            • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              I’m not so sure. I think they have a clear idea of what they hate and who they want to keep out of office but in terms of a positive agenda? There ain’t much there. The GOP has pretty much sleep walked on their defaults under Trump. A tax cut, conservative judges, waves of grift, graft and incompetence, typical modern conservative stuff. None of the stuff Boris is talking about has gotten much more than gestures from Trump et all.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                Who says they need a positive agenda?

                What if modern American conservatism defined itself entirely as a negative agenda? An agenda of who to blame, who to punish, who to look down upon?

                That would explain all the salient data about our electoral politics, wouldn’t it?Report

              • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                If they have no positive agenda then all they will produce is a holding action. If that’s what’s on offer, slow improvement and advancement under Liberal administrations followed by acrimonious gridlock under Conservative administrations I’d say we should take that victory with both hands and hold tight while waiting for conservatives to pull their collective head out of their asses.

                I know you’re old enough to remember when you could expect some semblance of sanity and ideas out of the right on various subjects. I’ve never seen it; just the carcass of it seething with grifters and fabulists trying to make money off of its adherents.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                “Hang on, children! Maybe in a few years the liberals will be in power and you can leave your cages and see your parents again!”Report

              • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Beats the hell out of “You’re staying in those cages indefinitely.” But if you have some notion of how to make the GOP become sane I’m all ears. I have a sinking suspicion it’s gonna take the boomers shuffling on.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                Just a point of clarification: The children were in cages because Obama put them there.

                Also, the conservative’s positive agenda is total galactic domination to foster free and open trade (except for face-hugging aliens).

                To get there, we need massive private sector involvement, which requires a booming economy, low regulation, and low barriers to entry.Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                Heheh, George, double check your notes, you’re in the same article where you were disavowing the rights schemes for privatizing social security and also alleging they never sought to do such a thing ever.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Chip: Henry Olsen is an American conservative.
          Simulated Chip: I’m not seeing it, but maybe someone can point it out to me.

          Just here to help.

          If you’re looking to score points on Trump for *not* delivering on his Healthcare Promises then that’s fair game. The Democrats should campaign on things like that.

          But, I don’t think I or anyone else has argued that Trump or the Republican party has cracked the code and is running a good program. The sole observation is that there are votes in the Vector for them that wants to have at them. Some people did in fact switch to Trump… maybe they will switch back… the Blue wall did in fact crack; and, seats in the UK that had voted Labour for 100 yrs did in fact switch.

          But at this point you’re clearly being obtuse when Boris campaigns on increasing NHS funding, the entire thread is about the Right moving Left on economic issues and you cap it with an American Conservative talking about Johnson’s model as something to consider and possibly emulate… and then wonder why it hasn’t happened in toto yet as some sort of argument that it can’t or won’t happen.

          So, to reiterate… the first team that (credibly) incorporates that vector into their platform pitch will win the realignment. Not saying Team Red has done it, or that Team Blue can’t. Maybe the original observation about it being easier for Team Red makes Team Blue nervous… then again, maybe it should.Report

          • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Eh, I don’t buy the idea that it’s harder for team Blue to move “right” on identity politics. It depends on how you define right, center and left on identity politics. Under the milder definitions, thanks to right wing caricatures, Team Blue could simply point out they never were where the twitter left is on identity politics and that could suffice.Report

            • CJColucci in reply to North says:

              Team Red moving left on economics would cost its paymasters real cash money. So it won’t happen. As for Team Blue, I agree with you.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

              Given that Team Blue has a wide variety of people who are already “rightward on identity politics”, and yet attract zero crossover votes, I think this concept is nonsense.

              The problem is “identity politics” is an ever shifting goalpost that always just seems to be defined as “Belonging to the Democratic Party”.

              What would an actual policy result of “moving rightward on identity politics” be?
              No can say, its always just held out as some vague notion, some inchoate set of aesthetic stances and self branding.

              The term “identity politics” is an attempt, not to clarify and explain things, but an attempt to evade and obscure the discomfort that conservatives feel about shifting social mores.Report

              • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                As far as I can tell it would involve looking at things that lefties say on Twitter and then publicly renouncing those things. Which is, of course, normally political malpractice.

                But the most egregious social justice identarian nonsense is confined to universities or meaningless corporate diversity seminars. There isn’t a plank in the Democratic Party platform you can remove or wave around to address that stuff- it’s not stuff the Democratic Party is pushing.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

            The signature economic accomplishment of the Trump administration is tax cuts for billionaires.
            The signature accomplishment of Republican states has been to shrunk the social safety net with work requirements and refusing Medicaid expansion.

            So this talk of a possible leftward move on economics seems absurd to me. The last new idea the Republicans had was in 1979 and that aren’t looking for new ones so long as they can win with the old ones.

            Working class conservative economics won’t exist because the voting base has repeatedly said they don’t care if it exists.Report

    • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Well British conservatism has been more sane than American conservatism for, at the minimum, my entire adult life though I agree this would be a significant improvement on that.Report

  10. North says:

    Succinct and eloquently encapsulates the right wing position- I agree.Report