About Last Night: Fifty Shades of Fearful Beige in Democratic Debate

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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 and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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  1. Avatar pillsy
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    My take is that Joe Biden won the debate by not literally dying at the podium.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    On the twitters, it’s almost entirely a Warren vs. Bernie and who stabbed whom in the back debate.

    The argument is that those who believe Warren wronged Bernie and are upset about it are sexist, secret Tulsi fans who are just waiting for Bernie to drop out and Tulsi to run as an independent.

    Those who believe Warren was wronged are pointing at Bernie and how sexist he is and saying that people like him are the reason that a woman can’t be elected President.

    Nobody is talking about how so-and-so came out of the debate looking stronger than when s/he went in.

    Maybe I’m following the wrong people.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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      Dude, twitter is representative of nothing but the rarefied universe of twitter. It’s no surprise they’re giving you a skewed vision- why is this surprising you?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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        Every single journalist is on Twitter. Which has ripple effects.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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          Yes, it makes most journalists talk like twitter twitts and then be gobsmacked when the real life left and overall Democratic Electorate fail to be left wing loons. They, at least, get paid to be gullible like that.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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            Yes, but it results in such things as the questioning of Warren and Bernie about the Sexism Discussion being the #1 Takeaway on NPR’s Recap of the takeaways from the debate.

            It leaks into normieland.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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              Sure, though I am not convinced that is a salutary effect. Twitter is a cesspool and people aren’t normally happy about leaking cesspools.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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                Nor am I suggesting they should be.

                But if I wanted to theorize about how cholera was likely to spread in any given city, I’d want to keep an eye on those cesspools and the types of debris therein (and the types of debris known to spread like a virus and those known to have somehow developed a sort of resistance among the population).Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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                Happily twitter has less penetration into the electorate than leaking cesspools do into their environments.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to North
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                Twitter is a cesspool and people aren’t normally happy about leaking cesspools.

                A more apt description of the nature of Twitter has yet to come to my attention.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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              To the extent it leaks into normieland, it makes normies think their normie candidate (Biden) is even more of a normie.

              I don’t know how much it contributes, but the most plausible effect is to boost Biden at the expense of the various non-Bidens.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                This is true and I should not undersell it.

                The people who don’t really pay attention are the people among the vast majority of the high numbers that buoy Biden to the #1 spot in the polls. To the extent that Bernie and Warren come out of the debates with mud on them, that only affects the people who are paying attention and that ain’t the Biden fans.

                That said, one of the things I keep my eye open for is “Enthusiasm” and Biden is the sober, normal, boring choice to upset Trump and he has sober, normal, and boring energy behind him. And while I can certainly understand the argument that that is enough, I find myself with doubts.

                Iowa is soon, then New Hampshire. We’ll see if my doubts are rooted in anything approaching real.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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                I’ll give an example. My argument is simply this:

                Does Biden win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan? At this point, the answer seems to be “yes”.

                And that means that Biden wins the election. Does he lose any states that Clinton won?

                Mmmmmmaybe New Hampshire? Maybe? That ain’t enough.

                But play with it here and start with “2016 Actual” and fiddle around with the knobs and say “Biden wins this one and that one and that one and loses… NO! HE DOESN’T LOSE ANYTHING!” and see what you come up with.

                But remember we had a symposium where each of us wrote essays about our favorite candidates where we tried to get you to see why you should stop supporting your stupid candidate and, instead, support ours. We had a set of *AWESOME* essays. From Inslee to Bernie, from Harris to Williamson.

                But nobody picked Biden.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                So what does this tell us and our analytic abilities?

                That none of the OT commentariat picked Biden, but he somehow leads head and shoulders above all others?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                What does that tell me?

                That none of us have our finger on the pulse of the election.

                We’re all people arguing over the Cats movie, even though none of us have seen it and only a handful have seen the trailer with a couple of folks happening to see the stage play back in the 1990’s.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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                Umm I’ve seen the Cats movie. Not bad, but not as good as the Broadway shows. Also the butchered “Memories” but several other songs were done really well. Also the uncanny valley just rampaged through that movie.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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      Team Blue Twitter is dominated by Bernie stans and Warren stans.

      Members occasionally acknowledge Buttigieg to get very mad at him for reasons that I’m sure I would think are extremely normal if I took the time to understand them.

      They effectively don’t acknowledge anybody else.

      Amy Klobuchar could have performed a Mortal Kombat fatality on Tom Steyer in the middle of the debate and Twitter wouldn’t have noticed.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    According to this article, Klobuchar’s argument against medicare for all it is that it will never pass the Senate: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/1/14/21066566/dem-debate-amy-klobuchar-elizabeth-warren-health-care-plan

    Given that it is likely that Republicans are likely to retain the Senate, it is a fair question to ask Democratic contenders how they would deal with that. Even if Democrats regain the Senate, not very Senator is going to be an M4A progressive or even a universal health care progressive.

    On the other hand, Warren and Sanders supporters combined making up somewhere between 30-35 percent of the Democratic Party depending on the polling. This is not an insignificant number. It is a pretty decent plurality. But Amy Klobuchar’s offer to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is essentially Michael Corleone in Godfather II stating he will give the Senator “nothing.” Or in internet parlance, she might as well have said “we can never have nice things.”Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Saul Degraw
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      Honest question to that is: is there anything sort of M4A that they are going to accept? Usually in these arguments you go with “well, there is a spectrum between those two lets find the happy place” but that Sanders/Warren wing you speak of is growing, is significant, and is not known for their burning desire to compromise or accept half measures. Quite the opposite in fact. They are driven by wanting M4A as a matter of principle, so offering them all they want or nothing is probably the only real option. Not good politics, but it is honest.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        I suspect that Warren and many Sanders fans would accept a public option of some sort that provided universal healthcare. However, I think even this is a bridge too far for many Republicans who still dream of dismantling medicare and medicaid and adding on burdensome work requirements which do not work empirically.

        With re to Klobuchar, I suspect her offer is to give liberals nothing on any policy whatsoever. She is stuck in the 1990s DLC mode which is going the way of the dodo. She even seems to relish saying no to progressive wants.

        Warren by contrast acknowledges that she will sometimes or often need to use executive powers to get around the Senate. The disadvantage to this campaign tactic is that it invites people to weigh in on whether her use of executive power is unconstitutional or not. Some of it might be, some of it will be found unconstitutional for partisan over actual constitutional reasons.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        Warren said that she would accept a public option as a transitional step.

        This came out of her general floundering after her transient front-runnerness, and also did a lot to outrage Bernieworld on Twitter.

        Bernieworld on Twitter is chock full of maniacs, even by “Twitter subculture” standards.Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David
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    Interesting if true.

    Report

  5. Avatar LTL FTC
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    Guess: media hyperfocus on Twitter controversies (HandsyGate, busing, being gay while having a front yard, how dare you run for President as a man) and the smug attitude that anyone not veering far left is somehow misreading the mood of the nation made the media miss the story: return to normalcy is popular. Biden will won because he didn’t screw up and the attacks on him came across to most people as desperate and moronic.

    Look to the Harris campaign postmortems for how Biden’s win will be treated: yes, they mentioned that her campaign was in sustained turmoil, it made bad decisions on where to focus and whiffed on capitalizing on the one big blow she managed to land. Then 80% of the article goes on to the usuals:

    – Gaslighting black Biden voters (they would have chosen the black woman but didn’t because they know white people are irredeemably racist so we should ignore stated preferences)

    – Blaming a media that has had nothing good to say about Biden since he entered the race and is constantly making excuses for Harris.

    – Strawmanning “electability” arguments nobody with an audience is making.

    – Insinuations that anyone who voted out of the intersectional rank of worthiness is voting based on *isms, whether they know it or not.

    – [Gestures vaguely toward the rich, the Russians, and rich Russians.]

    There are bits and pieces of truth here, but it misses the point: most of what we know about the growing share of minority voters in the Democratic Party – who we are told time and again are the path to victory – is filtered through an activist class whose paychecks depend on telling a familiar story to well-to-do middle aged white women that simultaneously gives them personal agency and helpless charges to save, like those sad puppies in fundraising ads.Report

  6. Avatar North
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    I don’t disagree with your general analysis but I don’t share your apocalyptic view on what this means for the general election. Trump won in 2016 at least partially by going dark and shutting his gab in the run up to the election. If he’s energized and hateful that’s the opposite of his former winning strategy. Also if you think the left isn’t going to also be at least as energized to turn out against Trump as the right is to turn out to support him I’d be very interested to know why.

    Biden seems to be basically a sleepy old default Democrat and in a political environment where generic democrat beats generic republican handily (and Trump even more handily) that isn’t exactly a disaster. Pete and Amy seem to be sputtering which is mildly disappointing for me since Biden is a distant #3 pick for me but Liz and Bernie seem to be choking each others campaigns to death so it’s not like the news is all bad.

    *sigh* I really would rather have Pete or Amy over Biden though.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to North
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      Almost all of the left will turn out for Biden with a lot of moaning and gnashing of teeth about how much it hurts. But they will show up. Once this unending primary season ends the focus will turn back to the highest goal. Bernie and Warren, assuming it is Biden as the candidate, will go to bat for him.

      Trump will certainly do enough to create energy against. People are still cloaking him with some election winning magic. He’ll have his rabid followers but they do plenty to turn everybody else off.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to greginak
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        I agree, I’ve never seen the left wing purity dragon rise and rampage during a campaign for a Republican held White House before. I’d be very surprised if it does much more than twitch in its slumber this year.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to North
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      Biden has been doing an exceptional job muddling through so far.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to pillsy
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        He’s my #3 pick, I don’t really have any beef with Biden per say. But I sure to heck can’t gin up any real joy at him either. Considering how 2016 went that perhaps means he’s a shoe in.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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      As far as I can tell, everyone is in doom and gloom regardless of Democratic victories. The Democratic Party can never do right, it can only do wrong.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Saul, if you happen to have examples of people who watched last night’s debate and feel energized and excited as a result of doing so, now is an excellent time to link to them.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to Jaybird
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          Compared to the 2008 debates, this is still a lovefest.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
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            Jesse, people who supported Obama in 2008 were *EXCITED* to support him. They couldn’t stop singing about him.

            Remember this? This song is dated “February 2nd, 2008”.

            We have 18 days until February 2nd, 2020.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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              Do the Dems need to have Obama levels of historic excitement to win the White House? Personally I don’t think they need to have historic firsts to win.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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                That’s not what I was arguing.

                What I was arguing was that I hadn’t seen any examples of people coming out of the debate last night excited/energized and I would like to see examples of such.

                It was pointed out to me that last night was a lovefest compared to 2008… but if I wanted to find an example of people excited/energized somewhere around this point in time in 2008, I could find some.

                If you have examples of people coming out of last night’s debate excited/energized, I’d still love to see them.

                Even if they’re not Will.I.Am level’s of excitement, I’d still like to see them.

                Even something like “I’m so excited and energized after last night’s debate!” from someone saying that sort of thing unironically would suffice.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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                I’m not on twitter and since I’m not, myself, energized and excited after the debate I certainly am not going to take up the brief that everyone is energized and excited from the debates. I object to the, at least implied, assertion that unless everyone is energized and excited at this stage something is wrong. Since you’re not saying that it’s required and since I’m not saying people are energized and excited I guess there isn’t a disagreement here.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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                I’m not asking for “everyone is energized and excited from the debates”.

                I’m asking for an example of a single person saying “After those debates, I am energized and excited!”

                Because I haven’t seen a single example of someone saying “After those debates, I am energized and excited!”

                So I’m not arguing that unless everyone is energized and excited that something is wrong.

                I am arguing that if we can’t find an example of *SOMEBODY* being energized and excited then something is wrong.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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                I haven’t seen anyone energized or excited in my limited circles of the internet so can’t help ya there. I also don’t think it matter. If there are people who’re energized and excited by the debates then great but I don’t think their purpose is to energize and excite. Their purpose is to test, inform and winnow- I think they’re working fine for that purpose.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                Given that you are admittedly hoping that the Democrats fail, and given that you don’t have a good grasp of the mood of the electorate, what should we find persuasive about your spidey sense that something is wrong?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Err, I’m not aware that Jay has anything against the Democrats. Has he said somewhere that he’s rootin for Trump or the GOP?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                Are you new here?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Nope.
                I’m aware of Jaybirdism, he can be oblique or contrarian and sometimes can take a hundred posts to say something that could be said in a sentence, but I have worse tics than that and I love him all the same.
                Has he stated somewhere that he supports the GOP or Trump? Last I was aware he’d come off the libertarian reservation in a reluctant liberal direction.

                And I’d like to reiterate that you can be anti-Trump and still think he’s going to win (I don’t).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                He pretty much opposes nearly every policy preference of the Democrats, from healthcare reform to the minimum wage to labor unions, from environmental regulations to safety regulations to immigration liberalization.

                Aside from legal weed and abortion, I’m hard pressed to think of a single area in which he would align with any Democrat.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to North
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                I don’t think Jaybird wants Trump to win, but as a successful middle to upper middle class white guy in a blue state, nothing is going to change much about his life whether Trump wins or loses, so he’s perfectly OK trolling and using right-wing frames for basically all his arguments when arguing with people to his left.

                Now, Jaybird may possibly respond to this with how he just really wants Trump to lose, so he’s just upset the Democrats are using the wrong tactics, which when thrown in the translator, actually means, “Democrat’s are trying to appeal in a way that doesn’t appeal to me, a middle to upper middle class white dude who was a libertarian until seven seconds ago,” so his arguments mean little to me, and that, along with a ton of other reasons, is why have less and less interest in this site in generalReport

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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                I am pretty much with Jesse and Chip. Jaybird might or might not be a Trumpist. He has however remarked that he thinks middle class liberals are big hypocrites and he has a huge chip on his shoulder against them. He hates antifa and has obliquely expressed sympathy for gamergaters and other “kill all normie” types.

                His instinct to be contrarian outwieighs any sense of morality or decency and he gets too much of a thrill out of trying to argue the contrarian point. He has admitted to this to when I challenged him.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
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                Umm.. dude, I LOATHE those Antifa imbeciles and I recognize the raging hypocrisy of middle class and upper middle class liberals (which is dwarfed only by the towering Vesuvius sized hypocrisy of conservatives) so by that definition I’m a fishing Trump supporter. What I’m getting is that he’s not a professed conservative or Trump supporter but you guys are projecting that opinion on him because he doesn’t agree with you on stuff? Doesn’t seem kosher to me.

                As for being contrarian and argumentative and liking to debate stuff regardless of questions of high morality? Umm welcome to OT?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to North
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                You know if you were on twitter you could have the fun of someone pointing out that Vesuvius isn’t really that big of a volcano. Krakatoa sized hypocrisy is a better term for R behavior. Luckily for you this isnt’ twitter so no one is doing that. But on the other hand i’m not getting an sweet sweet likes for subtly hiding the pedantry.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to greginak
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                A very fine point, I’m not well suited to twitt-space I suspect.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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                I question your assertion on the dominance and demographics of antifa.

                My view is that Trump’s vulgarity for the base is a plus not a detriment except to a few weirdos like Rod Dreher. Trump continues to play to racism and white supremacy and the media’s addiction and psychological balm to appearing neutral and objective lets him get away with way too much shit.

                The Quillette Brigade are much more vile and dangerous than antifa.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
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                I hear that the Governor of Virginia had to call a state of emergency due to the threat of Antifa.

                Wait, just a moment, I am getting a correction…Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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                The Gov of Virginia is pre-emptively calling a state of emergency… for a state I very much doubt will be an emergency. So he’s doing something, but battling emergencies isn’t what he’s doing.

                A bit like Bankruptcy, declaring Emergency does not an Emergency make.

                I’m very skeptical of his motives, and honestly I don’t think good liberals ought to welcome pre-emptive emergencies for the purpose of mobilizing extra-judicial police powers in the face of protests against policies the Govt is pursuing that is the reason for the protests.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Marchmaine
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                West Virginia has introduced House concurrent resolution 8 which reads, in part:

                Whereas, Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state; and

                Whereas, In a spirit of conciliation, the Legislature of West Virginia hereby extends an invitation to our fellow Virginians who wish to do so, to join us in our noble experiment of 156 years of separation from the government at Richmond; and, we extend an invitation to any constituent county or city of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the body politic of the State of West Virginia, under the conditions set forth in our state Constitution, specifically, with the consent of a majority of the voters of such county or city voting upon such proposition; and we hereby covenant that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitutions; and

                Whereas, Providing that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall give its assent to any county or independent city presently part of the Commonwealth of Virginia having the opportunity and ability to do so, therefore, be it

                Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

                That the question of admission, or, the rejection of such admission, of any county or independent city of the Commonwealth of Virginia desiring admission to the State of West Virginia, and a majority of whose qualified voters, voting on the question, have approved such measure, prior to August 1, 2020, shall be submitted to the voters of the State of West Virginia at the next general election to be held in the year 2020.

                You know the NRA and Rand-McNally have to be behind this!Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to George Turner
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                This is a colossal waste of everyones time.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                I’m sure a lot of people thought the same thing in 1863, yet there you are. There’s a lot of Virginia counties that are upset enough to distribute some West Virginia tax forms and order some West Virginia police patches for their deputies to wear. What’s Northram going to do about it?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to George Turner
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                My guess is that it’s the counties in particular that are likely to be the biggest stopping point. At least with the counties I am looking at (Frederick and Clarke). West Virginia would love to have them. Virginia probably doesn’t care enough to stand in their way if they want to go. Nor congress. They’re as good a cultural fit for West Virginia as the eastern panhandle is (which is kind of mixed) and as good a cultural fit for WV as they are for VA en toto. In a way, both West Virginia and Virginia would be improved. But… howevermuch they might disagree with the Virginia gun law there are a lot of advantages to living in Virginia and from house-hunting I can tell you people literally pay a premium to live just on the other side of the West Virginia state line.

                That said, no harm in asking I say.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
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                Heck, if we’re going all 1863, I suggest on Day One of a unified Democratic control of the House and Senate, Congress by a simple majority admit DC, Guam, Puerto Rico and American Samoa as states, each with two Democratic Senators.

                And to give those Senators something to do, we may as well reorganize the Federal Judiciary as well, adding 2 or 4 new Justices and a few hundred appellate Justices.

                See, maybe the silver lining of Trump and McConnell is that now there are no norms, only power.

                And don’t get me started on Rep. Maxine Waters going all Preston Brooks on Louie Gohmert’s ass.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to George Turner
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                From what I’ve read from Em and Andrew about WVA’s fine efforts at self-governance… it’s hard to see why my county would want to trade bad governance from Richmond for bad Governance from wherever it is they govern badly in WVA.

                At least I can drive to Richmond. We haven’t been able to get a road punched through the mountains into WVA since I’ve been here.

                Fund the road, then maybe talk (voluntary) annexation.

                Though, for the record, I’m 100% in favor of states poaching territory … would be good for the country in that bracing sort of way.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
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                Data point:
                F.B.I. Arrests Suspected Members of Neo-Nazi Group Before Virginia Gun Rally
                https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/us/politics/fbi-arrest-virginia-gun-rally.html

                Separately WaPo describes their group:
                “The charges, expected to be unsealed Thursday, grew from an investigation of a somewhat new effort among online extremists who refer to themselves as “the Base,” which is the English translation of “al Qaida.” According to experts who track hate groups, the Base promotes racist views and seeks to unite different hate groups in preparation for a “race war.”

                But yeah man, those Mississippi Somali Pirates are outta control.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Yep… that’s how you do it:

                “who had weapons and discussed traveling to a pro-gun rally next week in Richmond, Va”

                Very credible, very threatening… definitely a State of Emergency… and definitely not an attempt to suggest that any political protest by people who have weapons are by implication Neo-Nazi’s attempting to start a race war.

                I mean, *you’re* the “defend our norms” guy… this is a right useful tool that I’m sure the other side won’t ever use.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Marchmaine
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                Northam really looks like authoritarian scum with this. I get not everyone believes in #2 like I do but there’s some serious implications for #1 going on as well.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
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                Saul, I haven’t made any assertion about Antifa’s dominance nor of their demographic (unless imbeciles are a demographic?). Hell, I would even go so far as to agree that right wing extremists are more dangerous in general than those Antifa hypocrites. But I will specify that Antifa is FAR more dangerous to liberalism than those Proud Boy idiots or whatever given right wing group you want to point to (I’d note that as far as I’m aware Quillette hasn’t thrown anything more substantive than language that makes us liberals grind our teeth so color me underwhelmed). Antifa is corrosion and sepsis in the body of liberalism (and is happily small, marginal and contained- so far); all the right wing extremists can do is commit violence against liberals or trigger leftists on the internet. They have no potential to corrupt who we liberals are; Antifa does.

                Thankfully Antifa’s cowardice, incoherence and hypocrisy limits their reach- long may it persist and grow until they return to their roots of trashing poor people’s cars and throwing trash cans through Starbucks windows while glomming onto the fringes of real protests like the parasites they are.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                any sense of morality or decency

                Saul, I was the kid standing on the beach (wearing slacks) who was stopping passers-by asking them if they knew where their soul would spend eternity if they died today.

                Your appeals to my sense of morality and/or decency are…

                Well, they’re primitive.

                In the future, if you model “I’m going to accuse Jaybird of contrarianism!”, please try to imagine a Dutch Calvinist yelling at me that I’m going to Hell for asking particular questions after I read particular books.

                Because, from where I sit, I’m pointing at telescopes and you’re telling me that you don’t have to look through it and using my morality, decency, and contrarian tendencies as justification to not have to look at the things I have seen.

                Please don’t see me as getting a thrill from being contrarian.

                Please see me as getting a thrill from being contrarian in the face of someone who won’t even look through the freaking telescope.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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                (Ugh. This is going to turn into “See! He admitted that he enjoys being contrarian!”)Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Here, you can at least have some company in disrepute: I, Urusigh, enjoy being contrarian. Who in an internet comment section doesn’t?

                Of course I enjoy it, “Someone on the Internet is WRONG!” is the sort of thing that occasionally keeps me up at night….including the sometimes nagging thought that that somebody just might be me, hence picking debates with the strongest proponents of other views I can find (rather than wasting time tilting at strawmen in an echo chamber and feeling good about it). The way I see it, “Contrarian” is a compliment.

                And for the record: Yes, the Democrat field looks pathetically weak, out of touch, and uninspiring. Seriously, out of the busload of candidates to attempt a run, Yang is the only one I actually considered a real contender against Trump in the general. Yes, I’m a Trump supporter. Yes, I expect him to win in 2020. I’d joke that I expect him to win again in 2024, but I’m seeing enough TDS in other comments to know that not everyone would get the joke.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                This is what I don’t get unless your priors are just “wahh the Democratic Party can win without appealing to white guys.”

                In 2018, I remember lots of libertarian and conservative white guys were predicting that the Democrats would lose big. Instead, they won a 40 seat House majority, often with progressive candidates and flipped several state legislatures and governorships. This continued in 2019 with Democrats winning counties that were Republican since the Civil War.

                Yet, there seems to be a certain kind of internet commentator that looks at this and sees nothing. As far as I can tell, most of these commentators are middle aged white guys.

                Trump’s victory in 2016 was a fluke, not a landslide. The elections from 2017-2019 should say “wow lots of people really hate Trump and are disgusted with the Republican Party for going Trumpian.” And yet, lots of white dudes are more pissed about not being the center of attention in the New Democratic Party.

                Kind of pathetic, no?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Can the Dems win without white guys? I mean probably not in absolute terms but most white guys aren’t paying attention. Can the Dems win while actively denigrating a segment of the population the way the online leftists do? I mean in theory maybe but so far it has not been proved to be the case and also why? What lift does any politician or party get from badmouthing a racial group like some drooling idiot from twitter? Hell, when did denigrating white people and old people become a thing on the far left isn’t that racism and ageism?

                And can it stay there? Because the rest of us liberals are trying to win and we have no need to tie an arm behind our back.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                The next American President will almost certainly be either Donald Trump, Joe Biden, or Bernie Sanders.

                I can understand the pain and alienation of older white guys who, when viewing this list of prospects, feel isolated, marginalized and ignored.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And, again, I’m not holding some brief for white men being oppressed or abused or mistreated. I’m asking why the far left is setting out specifically to denigrate those groups. Again, what lift is there? What upside is there and is that not contrary to liberal principles?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                I know, I couldn’t resist the jibe.

                And maybe you run in different circles, but most of the white male bashing I’m aware of comes from old white guys like me.

                And FWIW, when we say “far Left” I assume we’re talking about the Extremely Online Left, the dirtbag left, the Jacobin/ Chapo House crowd?

                Because yeah, I find those guys tiresome cranks mostly.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Gotcha, me too, and yeah when I think far Left I am thinking the Extremely Online Left. I know there’s a far left in meatspace but I don’t have enough contact with them to have any negative opinion of them. I know they and I wouldn’t agree on a lot but I value them still.

                Tiresome cranks is a really good description for the EOL.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degr in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                @north

                That is not quite what I am getting at. For most of American history, heterosexual white dudes were the forefront. Both parties needed them to win and catered to all their biases and such. This is starting to change. Some polling I saw said white men without a college degree supported Trump by a +32 margin, white men with a college degree were +9. And yet, the Democratic Party can still win elections without winning the majority of white men. As Jesse notes, the Democratic Party does not need to cater to people like Jaybird or any other white guy to win.

                And I think this is causing a lot of white guys to lose their minds.Report

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

                I mentioned a few times about living in a multicultural world where white straight Christian males are just another group, whose norms are not the automatic default.

                And yeah, I think a lot of white straight Christian males are having a hard time grappling with it.

                Not grappling with tolerance;
                Grappling with being tolerated;

                Most of these guys are perfectly fine with being tolerant; They revel in their broadminded tolerance, and take pride in their gay and nonwhite friends.

                Buts its different when we are the tolerated minority. When someone else holds the whip hand of power, and our ability to function is dependent on the good graces of people who don’t look or sound like us.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                “In 2018, I remember lots of libertarian and conservative white guys were predicting that the Democrats would lose big.”

                I wasn’t. The party out of power usually picks up seats in the House the next election. That’s normal, happened to Obama too and he still won Reelection afterwards.

                Nationally though, while Trump has been losing the upper class white suburban housewives that were already trending from red to blue, he’s picked up more of the working class and has been making major inroads with minorities. Yes, that means some locations are going to swap sides depending on the local demographics, but that’s a normal part of Realignment. The places he needs still lean Red and it doesn’t look like he’s going to lose the hole he made in the “Blue Wall”.

                He also pulled off his last victory with a tiny budget and a jury-rigged mess of a campaign operation against the single largest war chest in US history, first major party female nominee, and the entire establishment. Sure, lots of democrats hate his guts, but they already voted last time too, and he won then. Depending on the poll, Trump’s approval numbers are tracking pretty close to Obama’s, his economic indicators are far better, and this time it’s the Democrats who are short on cash and the RNC that’s flush with funds and already running the biggest ground game and digital operation ever seen. I know it’s not just the red bubble calling it either, there’s no shortage of alarmed liberals writing articles screaming that the party needs to change course now, find a better candidate, or pray that Impeachment works, because right now President Trump is on a glide path to Reelection, however narrow it might be.

                Frankly I think you democrats have lost sight of basic math: each of the last few elections you’ve relied more and more on “record-breaking turnout” without recognizing that there’s diminishing returns on that approach, especially if some of those polls are right and Trump has 30%+ support with minorities. How many democrats have won an election with less than 70% of the minority vote?

                Incidentally, yes some of those 2018 flips were straight up progressives and Reds probably aren’t getting those seats back anytime soon, but a similar number were moderates who promised to work with the administration and get things done for their constituents, not play lapdog to the radical left. Their Impeachment votes hurt them a lot back home, so don’t expect to keep all of those seats when they run again.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well yeah i assumed you are into being contrarian years ago. Not news. There are lots of telescopes out there that all see some part of the uni. No one has just the right one. Being intent on showing those libs how their lib telescope is just so blind is going to come off a certain way.

                Clear direct communication: this is what i believe based on this information and these ideals has a lot of value. The info can be directly discussed and even added or subtracted to. Clear ideals are easier to understand and discuss.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Show me your telescope.

                Show me the movement of the bodies that make you say “no, this is how things are working right now.”Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So much for clarity.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Greg, believe me when I tell you that I have grasped Perspective Theory.

                What I am interested in is “here is what I am seeing and here is how I interpret it”.

                I am infinitely less interested in hearing that I am only interpreting my data the way I am because I have different philosophical priors.

                Tell me your priors.
                Show me your data.
                Let me understand how you are reaching the conclusions you’re reaching.

                Give me clarity.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well everybody interprets data based on their priors.

                Trying to divine the “narrative” is mostly projection of ones own priors and also following the worst instincts of the opinion press to focus on heat as opposed to light. Ignoring data ( see new docs and statements in the last couple days about Ukraine for example) to talk about what people are talking about is shallow, corrupting and supportive of corruption.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Greg, for a moment, I want you to consider the following argument:

                “You only care about Ukraine because you’re a Democrat.”

                What counter-argument do you have?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I have old college friend who is Ukrainian. Is that good enough?

                Or how about rampant corruption and law breaking by trump and his admin. Do i have to state that? I can guess what the response will be but go ahead.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, here’s the response.

                “Oh, like if the Democratic frontrunner had ties to Ukrainian corruption, you wouldn’t be trying to change the subject?”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And then you say “No.” Some folks won’t believe it, but that’s life.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                And then the response comes with a link to a story like this: What Hunter Biden did on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

                Now you have to talk about Biden for a while.

                Seriously, this shit is tedious as hell.

                I don’t know why people prefer it to “Here is what I am seeing from where I am and here are the conclusions I am drawing from that.”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m sorry, I thought you were talking about Joe, “the Democratic frontrunner,” not Hunter. Talk about changing the subject.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                I was actually talking about wanting to see the narratives that exist from the different perspectives and how people reached the conclusions they were reaching but, apparently, talking about how you only think things because you have personal preferences was more interesting.

                You can scroll up and see the thread. Search on the word “telescope”.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Trying to figure out what you’re “actually talking about” is half the fun.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, above, I was talking about the Democratic Debate and what I thought indicated a problem.

                There wasn’t any “that doesn’t indicate a problem and here’s why”. There was a lot of “well, you’re a Trumpist and, look, an avowed Trumpist agrees with you!”

                And you see what *THAT* turned into.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Seriously, this shit is tedious as hell.

                I don’t know why people prefer it to “Here is what I am seeing from where I am and here are the conclusions I am drawing from that.”

                Maybe because one of them is about facts in the world and the other is about you?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                “facts in the world”

                Stealing a base there.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The Hall of Fame is full of prodigious base-stealers. Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, and Joe Morgan were among my favorite players.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re gambling, then.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The Russians just made multiple hacking intrusion attempts on Burisma, and nobody knows if they were successful or what they found.

                But I’m confident that Putin will be acting in America’s best interest when he torpedoes Joe Biden in September or October.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Great. So either you are just channeling repub attack lines because you believe them (prob not) or you don’t see through this kind of distraction so you go all in.

                This is classic tactic of the corrupt to get people to ignore their own corruption. Trump has been doing this for decades. Attack, attack attack when confronted. Put the accuser on the defensive and never defend your own actions. Make it a personal attack. If the evidence looks bad ramp up the bluster but always attack. There is no truth or wrong or right, it’s all about controlling the dialogue.

                Part of the point of this is to throw shit on everyone so that your own shit seems less bad. So what if trump is crook, everyone is, so take what you can get. Urusigh said this exactly today on some post.

                If what trump, obama, clinton, that guy standing over there with his hands in his pockets did was wrong it was wrong no matter what anyone else has done. An existential issue we are facing is the normalization of corruption. Even trying for the appearance of propriety seems irrelevant now. The distraction tactics of trump, and what you wrote above, are driving us in that direction. If you can win the news cycle and get people to accept greater and greater corruption then it is a race to the bottom of the shit barrel.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Greg, what I want to get is interesting information. Pointing out to people that they have perspectives is *NOT* interesting. Pointing out to people that you disagree with their perspective *MIGHT* be interesting, but not if the reason is because “perspectives that aren’t mine are wrong”.

                When I ask for perspectives and thought processes, I find that much more interesting than the regurgitating of talking points.

                “This is classic tactic of the corrupt to get people to ignore their own corruption.”

                Yes, I agree. That’s why I would rather talk about perspectives and thought processes.

                Put the accuser on the defensive and never defend your own actions.

                Yes, this is why I try to talk about my own perspectives and thought processes.

                The distraction tactics of trump, and what you wrote above, are driving us in that direction.

                I agree. But it got you actually answering arguments in a way that me asking you to explain your priors and perspectives did not do.

                If you can win the news cycle and get people to accept greater and greater corruption then it is a race to the bottom of the shit barrel.

                Yes, this is why I want to hear about perspectives and thought processes.

                And why I think statements like “Well everybody interprets data based on their priors.” are less than useless deflections away from talking about what one sees from where one stands.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Okay. I try to be straightforward with what i’m thinking and why. The best way to deal with distraction tactics is to call them out and definitely fall into them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                So let’s say that we’ve got a post about the Democratic debates and one of the major events that happened in it.

                And let’s say that someone mentioned that he had noticed a lack of people saying that they were excited following the debates.

                And let’s say someone else said “here’s an article from Vox talking about one of the latest happenings in the impeachment”.

                Which of these two people is engaging in a distraction tactic, according to you?Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                To be clear, I did not and do not consider President Trump a crook. I simply don’t consider the President relevant on that topic regardless of party. No matter which president you vote for, it won’t change the crony capitalism and rising debt. It’s too late for any president to stop them.

                Trump tried sending budgets to the House that would have cut spending and streamlined government. Each time, those budgets were dead on arrival, never even got a vote. He tried veto and shutdown, still didn’t do the trick. He even tried getting agencies to use less money than they were given… And got sued for it.

                The House controls the government’s spending, “the Power of the Purse”, and you’ll notice that it has a suspicious number of millionaires and even billionaires on both sides that sure as hell didn’t make all that money off of their official paychecks. The rest are pretty much all deep in hock to their big donors. I’ve seen both parties manage at least 2yr of majority control in House, Senate, and Presidency during my life, so called “unified government”. I’ve yet to see either party use that opportunity to seriously reform spending or crack down on any corruption or ethics issues that they can’t blame on the other side. There isn’t a majority in the House, bipartisan or otherwise, that is willing to make the necessary cuts or lose working relationships by outing the shady shit done by people whose votes they need for their own legislation. If love to fix that problem, but I have yet to see an idea I don’t think would be even worse.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                The “rising debt” went down under Obama. So yeah. Shutdowns are terrible and useless for trying to limit spending in any sensible way. So of course they didn’t work. Telling agencies just to spend less is also just plain silly. That was posturing for tweets and tv. Trump’s plans didn’t work because they were poorly thought out with bad methods.

                Reforming spending would be easier if cutting defense was something that we could. Sadly that seems difficult. There are very few things which are major contributors to our debt. If we are talking about spending we also need to talk about the money we are taking in. Taxes.

                None of the problems you mention about crony capitalism or ethics make Trumps corruption okey or dokey. FWIW i used to live in NJ when trump was big in NY and i also spend a ton of time in Atlantic City while he was cratering his casino empire there. So i have plenty of data on whether trump is a crook, corrupt or a good business man. Nothing in the past 3 years has changed my opinion.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Rising debt went down under Obama? I don’t know which alternate universe you live in, but over here the sky is blue and Obama makes the top 5 list out of all US Presidents in history for increasing the National Debt.

                Barack Obama: Added $8.588 trillion, a 74% increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of Bush’s last budget, FY 2009.

                FY 2017 – $671 billion
                FY 2016 – $1.423 trillion
                FY 2015 – $327 billion
                FY 2014 – $1.086 trillion
                FY 2013 – $672 billion
                FY 2012 – $1.276 trillion
                FY 2011 – $1.229 trillion
                FY 2010 – $1.652 trillion
                FY 2009 – $253 billion. Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion in FY 2009.9 This rare occurrence should be added to President Obama’s contribution to the debt.

                “Trump’s plans didn’t work because they were poorly thought out with bad methods.”

                I notice that you didn’t engage with the fact that he first submitted budgets that would have reduced the deficit and the House never even voted on them. He tried literally EVERYTHING in his power to reduce spending, hence my argument that the Presidency isn’t the primary responsible party, the House is.

                “Reforming spending would be easier if cutting defense was something that we could”

                For starters, we indeed can’t. Our military is already rated “marginal” and will need years of increased investment to recover from the damage Obama inflicted to it. Military spending as a share of GDP is at a historically low level despite our still being deployed to active combat zones. We’re currently on the verge of being flat out incapable of achieving some core national priorities. The world is a more dangerous place today than it has been in some time, our spending must keep up with our needs.

                That said, even if you could cut it to zero dollars tomorrow, it wouldn’t do more than buy a few more years of solvency for social programs going bankrupt regardless. Defense isn’t a main driver of the debt, I.E. the U.S. government spent more on kidney disease treatment last year than it did on the entire Department of Homeland Security, including ICE and the Coast Guard. Healthcare spending exceeds defense spending in general and has for quite some time. The real drivers of the debt are Social Security, MediCare/Aid, and to a lesser extent, public sector pensions.Multiple analysis from economists across the spectrum agree that we can’t tax our way out of that problem. So long as the value of entitlements are growing faster than the GDP, no possible tax scheme can keep up. Frankly, increasing taxes is only useful if you’re on the left side of the Laffer Curve, beyond that you get diminished revenue anyway, but I’ve yet to see any analysis from the pro-tax side actually try to determine where that peak is so they don’t overshoot it.

                “So i have plenty of data on whether trump is a crook, corrupt or a good business man. Nothing in the past 3 years has changed my opinion.”

                Funny, I’d never heard of Donald Trump before he declared his candidacy. I’ve been watching him in office for that same period of time and have yet to see any credible claim of corruption, despite an unprecedented level of hostile scrutiny from the IRS, Congress, the Special Counsel, the FBI, and pretty much every mainstream media news agency. AFAICT, President Trump has been proven the most squeaky clean officeholder in all of the federal government. So I laugh when the best you have is “well, some years ago there were unproven allegations that never stood up in court…”. What legal convictions does he have? Can you name the case? How long ago was it? Enough trying to “Talk past the sale”, President Trump isn’t corrupt or a crook.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Ahh sorry, the deficit went down under Obama and has ballooned under Trump.Common mistake.

                Oh FFS, trump is the “most squeaky clean officeholder”. LOL please. Try that on trump fellating message boards. We would like to have decent conversations here and that shite ain’t cutting it. How many of his officials, personal lawyers and campaign peeps have been convicted. He wins in that regard.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                You failed to actually engage with the points presented.

                1) Do you have a source that disputes these numbers?

                Barack Obama: Added $8.588 trillion, a 74% increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of Bush’s last budget, FY 2009.

                FY 2017 – $671 billion
                FY 2016 – $1.423 trillion
                FY 2015 – $327 billion
                FY 2014 – $1.086 trillion
                FY 2013 – $672 billion
                FY 2012 – $1.276 trillion
                FY 2011 – $1.229 trillion
                FY 2010 – $1.652 trillion
                FY 2009 – $253 billion. Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion in FY 2009.9 This rare occurrence should be added to President Obama’s contribution to the debt.

                2) Trump has endured an unprecedented number of investigations in office, from a wide range of agencies, and (ab)using unprecedented measures such as falsified FISA request data, use of covert operatives, and appeals to foreign government agents. The results of ALL of which, from the Mueller report on down, have been “no crime committed”, no wrongdoing by Trump found. Reply back when your personal concept of “decent conversations” includes actually using logical arguments and facts.

                So I laugh when the best you have is “well, some other people who aren’t him…”. What legal convictions does he have? Can you name the case? How long ago was it? Enough trying to “Talk past the sale”, President Trump isn’t corrupt or a crook. Either present some evidence or stop wasting my time.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I remember George Will had a perceptive insight back int he 80’s (perhaps his last) when he noticed that if you asked people if they were conservative or liberal, conservatives would loudly say “Damn right I’m a conservative!” while liberals would nervously avert their gaze and mutter something about how labels didn’t matter.

                I’ve noticed that today when you ask if someone is a Trumpist, liberals say loudly “Hell no!” while conservatives avert their eyes and mutter about how labels don’t matter.

                Or to put it another way, back in the 80’s every liberal would begin their sentences with a preamble about how they were not socialist, and they certainly wouldn’t grab guns, and they were not anti-war, but…

                I don’t see that sort of preamble anymore. At least not on our side of the fence.

                I do notice that if you call someone a Trumpist, all but the 27% will yelp like you poked them with a needle.

                But see, here’s the limitations on such an insight.
                These observations are not a scientist looking through a telescope.
                These are the observations of a tarot reader or witch doctor gazing at chicken entrails.

                Yard signs, momentum, energized tweets from people we follow…these are just Pauline Kael chatting with her neighbors.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                How’s this? If you want to call me a “Trumpist”, sure.

                “I am a Trumpist.”

                There. You can copy and paste that in the future and say stuff like “You’ve already admitted to being a Trumpist!”

                Go ahead. “Jaybird is a Trumpist! He admitted it!”

                Now.

                P
                P -> Q

                P is true.
                P -> Q is true.

                Therefore Q.

                Even if I am a Trumpist.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                God(ess?) love you Jaybird, talk about illustrating my point while also rolling over its feet with a bus. Don’t ever change buddy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                North, I love and appreciate you. I had no intention of making you look bad with my comment, I more wanted… well, I suppose it doesn’t matter what I wanted.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh boy, you’ve heard of modus ponens. Whether we should accept your P or your Q or your -> is up for grabs, and not entirely unrelated to who says any of it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                CJ, I get into this below when I say:

                What’s one of the best arguments against P -> Q?

                Well, there are a couple. The first, of course is that “P -> Q” is false. The second is that “P is false and so it doesn’t matter what Q is.”

                Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, this is an excellent question.

                That’s why I am trying to frame my argument in such a way that each premise is, itself, uncontroversial.

                So my argument is
                P -> Q
                P
                therefore
                Q

                A lot of people jump to the conclusion that I am also arguing
                Q -> R
                I may or may not be. I will say that R might happen or it might not. If R happens, I’d say that Q is a good indicator of whether R will. But, at this point, I’m just arguing P -> Q.

                Here’s P:
                There isn’t anybody arguing that they watched the debate and are energized and excited after having done so

                Here’s Q:
                The democrats have a problem.

                So to make it explicit:

                *IF* there isn’t anybody arguing that they watched the debate and are energized and excited after having done so *THEN* The democrats have a problem.

                What’s one of the best arguments against P -> Q?

                Well, there are a couple. The first, of course is that “P -> Q” is false. The second is that “P is false and so it doesn’t matter what Q is.”

                Want to know what isn’t on there?

                My intentions.

                So what you should find persuasive is looking at both “P” and “P -> Q” and determining for yourself whether P is true and whether “P -> Q” is true and my intentions don’t enter into it for a freaking second.

                And if you determine that both “P” and “P -> Q” are true then you should find “Q” persuasive *EVEN IF *I* AM THE ONE SAYING IT*.

                And you should notice that if you see both P and P -> Q as true and your first go-to is to question the person saying them, you should notice that your brain is trying to distract you with endorphins.

                And maybe even question whether your brain has distracted you with endorphins in the past… and whether that turned out better than if you hadn’t been distracted by them.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Describing chicken entrails with medical terms doesn’t make it science.

                You very badly want to see signs and omens that the Democrats are doomed, I get it. I very badly want to see signs the other way.

                Your formula is inherently flawed by relying on a single type of data, and a tiny sample taken from one vantage point, your observations of Twitter.Report

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

                Jaybird is, every night, intently staring at the sky through his telescope, but is accused of seeing heretical planetary motions and being blind to all the angels that must be hovering around up there – by people who angrily assert that the telescope is the devil’s instrument.

                My take: He’s just looking at the data and reporting what he sees. Everyone should be able to do that.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The primary has being going on so long it will have an entire geological epoch named after it. I’m tired of it and i like to follow politics and current events. If there is insufficient energy that is likely the cause. We haven’t even had anything really happen yet since we aren’t even at frickin Iowa.

                Once more canidates start dropping and we have some results things will jell. The D’s will start to focus more on the final goal instead of litigating every spat.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I know it’ll never happen but this is a good example of why the primary system could really stand to be sped up. It’s far from clear that treating the contest as a war of attrition lasting nearly 2 years is beneficial. Hell I think there’s a good argument that it’s part of what enabled Trump to win (freak show with money in a weak field where the ride seemed to never end).Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Completely agree. Very little new comes out with endless months of yakking. There is no focus so bull crap fills up all the space. It’s not like plenty of countries don’t manage to hold elections in much shorter periods. Of course Israel has gotten so good at it, they keep having election every few months but nothing is perfect.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                In my ideal world, all elections would last a year at most. Also every election would be scheduled to occur on even years. No exceptions. This will never happenReport

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Six months is more than enough. However i expect election seasons will never get shorter.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Agreed. Anything that would encourage a consolidation would be good at this point. Ideally we should be talking Biden with Buttigieg or Klobuchar versus some truce ticket on the Warren/Bernie side.

                Of course the Democratic party is sprawling and fractious which makes it hard (along with a gazillion institutional forces).Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                “March” Madness Primary:
                4 Regional Primaries one week apart (W, MW, NE, SW) starting first Tuesday in March (rotates which region goes first). Delegates apportioned per Electoral College weight.

                Top two delegate winners then go to a National Primary in April… everyone (who wants to) votes again. Delegates are appointed by Electoral College weights per state… Primary Candidate who gets 270 is the presumptive Nominee… cue the Convention.

                Maximum: Jan-March make national/regional pitches … Nominee mid-April… Convention in June.

                Could be tightened (or started later) if needed. As it is, first primary is in Feb, last in June… campaigning started middle of last year. Nothing significant has been gained between the start and now.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Regional primaries are bad. They give the illusion of momentum and whoever’s region goes first is likely to give an undue advantage. We saw this in 2016.

                My personal plan is six rounds over eight weeks (two on, one off, two on, one off, two on) with some geographic diversity in each round.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure… fine with me too… but I think 8 weeks is bad.

                We’re in an era of mass communication… Jan-March is plenty for candidate branding messaging… then the rotational (non-Regional, if you prefer) voting happens in quick succession… with implications and maybe 1 national event per week to address issues specific to that bucket of states.

                Esp if this is the down-select to the final two.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                I prefer eight weeks and would go up rather than down if I had to choose. Four is so truncated that it almost feels like a national primary. Eight gives people time to do more local campaigning. That’s the part of our primary system I’d like to hold on to. The seemingly endless part of the primary is the run-up, and we’re getting that no matter what we do.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Then we just have different notions of where the bad lives. But you’ve given it more thought over the years… so if we have to try something new, I give my permission to start with your idea (and bet we end up with mine).

                Make it so.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                If you folks somehow manage to shorten the campaign and primary season, our choices will be
                Howard Dean vs Dan Quayle, or Jeb Bush vs Beto O’Roarke.

                The British, Canadians, and Israelis certainly handle things faster, but they’re not electing a Prime Minister out of nowhere, since the choice is going to be between on of a couple party leaders, and it’s decided by electing local MPs.

                That would be like us determining who controls the Senate, McConnell or Schumer. Booker, Warren, or Rubio aren’t even options to consider, so such people don’t have to be carefully weeded out by a long primary campaign. Relatively unknown candidates aren’t even an issue their system ever has to contend with, because there are no outsiders, not even governors, who would be a party leader.Report

              • Avatar Ozzy! in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                We have found our forever war, campaigns that NEVER END.

                – George OzzywellReport

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          *raises hand*

          I think I speak for all Trump supporters when I say I feel energized and excited. ^_^

          It was like watching the first half of The Bad News Bears knowing that Disney won’t get to write a heartwarming ending to redeem the dysfunctional and inept ball players.

          Bernie and Warren going at each other was the big news, but that would normally have been covered like a spat between Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader, buried under stories about powerful candidates like Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, or Barack Obama.

          I’m just not seeing anyone who even has the gravitas of even the top six GOP candidates that Trump crushed in 2016. I would rate them on par with Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, and Jim GIlmore; people you probably hadn’t heard much about before the primaries and wound’t hear much about after the primaries. Flipping the parties around, this feels like having Dan Qayle (the actual candidate was Bob Dole) leading the pack in 1992 against an incumbent Bill Clinton, simply because Republicans couldn’t think of anyone else and a dimwitted ex-VP seemed like the safest way to go.

          I find myself agreeing with one pundit who said that none of the candidates actually want to be President because they won’t attack Biden’s glaring vulnerabilities, which means they’re all just hoping for a VP nod or just trying to get a bit of name recognition for when they return to the House or Senate.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            I have noticed a handful of people having fun with Trump memes still but they seem to be thinner on the ground than between 2017-2018.

            But the only people on the twitters who seem to have the same excited energy for their candidate on the Democratic side are Bernie, Yang, and the sadly-departed Williamson.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          The only person agreeing with you is George. You might want to consider good and hard what that says.

          Democrats and lots of others want Trump gone. Everything in 2017-2019 elections proves that and yet, it is just flukes. You pay too much attention to Twitter.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            The only person agreeing with you is George. You might want to consider good and hard what that says.

            So far what it tells me is that the people with whom I argue on this board don’t have any evidence of people coming out of the debate last night feeling energized and so have to resort to Bad People happening to agree with me.

            Democrats and lots of others want Trump gone. Everything in 2017-2019 elections proves that and yet, it is just flukes. You pay too much attention to Twitter.

            I’m not sure that 2017-2019 proves anything, given my ability to read the tea leaves of 2016.

            I probably do pay too much attention to twitter but the alternative is Facebook or agreeing with people who think “A bad person agrees with you!” is an argument sufficient to get someone else to change their mind.Report

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

            As some Canadian conservative pundits noted about their loss to Trudeau when he was weak and ridden with scandal after scandal, [summarizing] “You can’t defeat somebody, no matter how ridiculed and despised they are, with nobody, and we had nobody.”

            People know what they’re getting with Trump. A strong leader who stands up for America, against anyone, even those in his own party, even China, Russia, and Europe. They get a person who has brought back jobs [… insert boilerplate from campaign ads… ]

            To compete with Trump, Democrats need to field someone with a very strong, positive, inspiring vision that is achievable. Moderate voters need to have a clear idea of what’s behind Door #3 before they risk what they’ve already won, and easily debunked fairy tales about what they might get aren’t going to do it.

            For example, the House and Senate aren’t going to pass crazy socialist legislation, and although Warren claims she could write off all student debt with a stroke of her pen, there’s absolutely no legal way that can happen. A President has the power to issue pardons, but not to write off people’s debts, which is essentially robbing the lenders without due process of law. Such power fantasies might motivate some college kids who are already on the Bernie wagon, but they would just draw harsh ridicule in a general election.

            No matter what you think of Trump, running someone who seems more spastic, delusional, and dumber is not the way to beat him. Winning over the CNN audience is likewise not going to beat him. Winning over people who really would vote for “anyone but Trump” isn’t going to produce enough numbers to beat him. Those folks all voted for Hillary, and where is she now? You need someone who makes fence sitters in Wisconsin scratch their heads and think “Well, maybe we should try somebody new.”

            “Anybody but Trump” isn’t enough. Plenty of Republicans were “Anybody but Hillary”, but that didn’t mean that Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, or Carly Fiorina would have had a prayer against her in the general election, no matter how much Republicans despised Clinton, because voting for a nobody, or a weak waffler of uncertain loyalties and outlook, isn’t much motivation. John McCain and Mitt Romney found that out.

            And that’s why a lot of big money Democrats are holding on to their purses, reluctant to throw money down a hole on some candidate who utterly fails to inspire, who probably won’t go the distance, and who probably can’t win. There’s no return on investment there, no emotional payoff.

            Trump has a huge war chest this time (which he lacked when he defeated Hillary) and he can and will exploit every weakness, airing ads in every market, all day long. To beat him, Democrats need someone like Gore or Obama. They don’t have that this time. I don’t think they even have someone close to that. I’m not sure they even have someone as good as Michael Dukakis, Bill Richardson, or Bill “cerebral” Bradley.

            Democrats know it too, which is why Nancy was so desperate to try and impeach and remove Trump, which looks like it’s become an utter disaster for her and her party. If they were confident of defeating him, they wouldn’t have bothered trying to get rid of him six months early.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              Heheh, yeah the Dems need someone like Gore. Trump has lots of accomplishments and is a strong leader. Oh George, the things you say. On the plus side you seem to have retired your predictions that Hillary is going to jump back into the race so credit where it’s due.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              About the only accomplishment my middle class ass has seen is another round of tax cuts for billionaires on the federal credit card, a loss of all my tax deductions, continued cost disease in housing/healthcare/higher ed, and total paralysis of the administrative state. Instead of doing anything in the long term interest of the average American he picks fights with bourgeois trash from Brooklyn and triggers the easily triggerable. Big effing whoop.

              We’ve got a sugar rush and kicked the hard decisions down the road another few years. What a strong leader.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Related:
                Putin and Assad Caught On Video Mocking Trump

                https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/putin-assad-trump-syria-russia-video-joke-mock-road-damascus-a9284466.html

                As we’ve been reminded many times, people follow a strong horse, just not a horse’s ass.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Eh maybe. If Trump is anything it’s an ass. I lean more towards Jaybird’s pessimism, though the fact that Biden has been so resilient in the polls has made me feel a little better lately.

                That said I believe if he wins the general it will be more of a back-in, reversion to normalcy kind of victory where we sort of lucked out despite ourselves, not a vindication of strategy or leadership. My perception is that all of the big voices are against Biden but he’s still able to consolidate the rump of normie low info habitual D voters and racial minorities who are more moderate ideologically and have no real alternative to the DNC into a primary win. However I also think that rather than representing 2 wings of the same bloc Bernie and Warren voters have fundamentally incompatible world views and aren’t currently capable of uniting into a big enough alternative vision for the party. Gluing everything together are scatter shot groups of fellow travelers with weak partisan loyalty but who nevertheless can be necessary at times for electoral victory and are the only hope for getting some new ideas into the mainstream.

                It isn’t quite the zombie Reaganism of the GOP ripe for take over but it ain’t great either and I do believe that DNC leadership is both inept and blind to the longer term problems presented by holding the coalition together and advancing policy. And look normalcy is better than Trump, I’d never argue otherwise.
                But it still has a lot of problems and Biden is at best a one time bandaid.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Fascists worship strength and virility, so it is necessary to point out that the President is actually a weakling and the rest of the world is kicking sand in his face.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I take it you live in a blue state. ^_^

                The red states got record low unemployment, new stock market records (the DOW topped 29,000 today), a new and much better trade deal with China, and on and on.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Enjoy the cotton candy while it lasts.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I think the correct phrase is “Enjoy the Wisconsin cheese while you can, because at the rate they’re going they won’t be around much longer.”

                https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-trade-war-impact-farmers-wisconsin-biggest-decline-on-record-2020-1-1028815780Report

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

                Trump just won the trade war with China, in case you haven’t been keeping up with today’s events. The deal he signed today commits China to buying $32 billion in extra US agricultural exports over the next two years, in return for no increase in US tariffs.

                In 2017 they bought $24 billion worth of our farm products. Now they’re going to buy $36.5 billion this year, and $43.5 billion next year. Ag experts are optimistic.

                So do Democrats have any other issues that are going to blow up in their face?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is less than the pay offs to the farmers we’ve been giving and assuming they actually do that. Won’t bring back all the farmers who have gone bankrupt. So we’ll get an extra 12 bil in export this year which is a blip in our economy and why does it matter. How much has been lost to other countries? Will this just get us back to where we would have been.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                ah yes, the typical pivot from “this will RUIN EVERYTHING and there will be NO MORE JOBS” to “well there won’t be as many jobs as people thought there might be”Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah. If any of the four Democrat front runners win it’ll be back to 10% unemployment, Dow 15,000, $4.00 gas, and China buying up everything.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                how do you figure? Sure, Great Recession unemployment peaked at 10% under Mr. Obama but was down to 4.7% when he left office. Gas Prices at the end of Mr. Obama’s term were approximately $2.32 a gallon. He also led 75 straight months of job creation.

                But sure, Democrats will ruin the economy.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                People warned me that if I voted for Clinton there would be trillion dollar deficits and Chinese style crony capitalism where the government picks winners and losers.

                They were right.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yup, and the sky will be blue tomorrow. I had such hopes for the Tea Party, but here we are: no matter which party wins there will be trillion dollar deficits and Chinese style crony capitalism where the government picks winners and losers.Our choices are pretty much limited to whether the deficits go toward something useful like a capable military or something stupid like yet another bridge/train to nowhere and whether the crony company is Enron or Solyndra. It’s been that way pretty much my whole life, I don’t expect it to change now. Do you?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                I think what is noteworthy is the complete collapse of traditional conservatism within the Republican Party.

                If the standard bearer for Republicanism goes around handpicking which corporations are to win and lose, and mumbles something about providing great insurance for everybody; And if half the comments on conservative sites are bitching about crony capitalists and elites riding roughshod over the working man; And when conservatives complain about the “forever war” and the need to withdraw troops from foreign entanglements;

                Then someone can rightly ask, what really separates the average Trumpist from the average Democrat?

                It isn’t anything about economics; It isn’t really about defense or foreign policy; and it certainly isn’t anything to do with morality. Those were the three legs of the conservative stool articulated by Wm. F. Buckley.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Nah, those all still exist. If you’ve read Buckley you might recall that when asked who he’d vote for, his answer was essentially “the furthest right candidate who I think can win”. AFAICT, the Republican base, more than anything else, is tired of losing. Even when we’ve won, the guy rarely delivers. E. I. John McCain when running for Reelection declared himself “The 1# opponent of Obamacare!”… After winning that election, he later cast the vote that saved Obamacare.

                Every election, the republican candidates rally the base by going on and on about what God-fearing Christians they are, how deeply opposed to abortion they are, and how strongly 2nd Amendment they are. Looking back at their actual votes, not the “protest votes” they knew couldn’t pass, but during the few times we actually had the numbers to put a clean bill down and force it through… How many times can you recall where they used that opportunity to actually pass something in defense of religious freedom, something notably pro-life, or pro-2A? Nothing but tax cuts? Yes, I support lower taxes, but the old fusionism between social and economic conservatives hasn’t exactly been delivering for the social half.

                Trump did two things that broke that mold. First, he didn’t bother making the “I’m personally a great Christian” pitch followed by vague claims of support, instead he put down some hard markers, no more attacks on Christians, judges that’ll overturn RvW, say “Merry Christmas” with pride, etc. Those who played the “private Christian, public secular” didn’t do that job when they had the chance, so why not try the guy admitting he’s privately secular, but publicly Christian? Second, the Dems screwed up big time and united against him. My biggest worry was that a former moderate Democrat like Trump would be easy to pull left if the democrats in congress were just willing to flatter him and give him credit for “Huge Wins!”… Where they set the goalposts. NOPE! You all gave him nowhere to go on most issues but further Right. Like any reality TV star, he went where the applause is. Trump didn’t so much capture the Republican Party as we captured him after the Dems served him to us on a silver platter.

                The best part? I don’t think Trump actually cares what happens to the party after his second term ends. He has none of the “caution” of previous administrations who spend the first half of their term trying to get one signature achievement to run on and then spend the rest of their time trying to run out the clock without screwing up badly enough to cost their party the next election. Trump isn’t trying to build a movement, a lasting coalition, or any kind of path forward for the party, he’s just a guy who has spent most of his life kind of pissed off that the people in office keep “doing the dumb shit” and has always thought that he could do it better. He widened the party tent by pulling in a lot of people who agree with that sentiment. Now he has the chance and he’s doing his damned best to follow through on his promises. I prefer a coherent ideological framework, but I can leave that to the think tanks actually writing the policy papers and legislative proposals, what I need most from the guy signing them is to deliver on time. If that costs me some compromises with the working class, so what? When we didn’t, the democrats won. I’d rather get half of what I want than none.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                So…
                Trump really isn’t going to provide great insurance for everybody?

                He isn’t going to withdraw us from forever wars?

                He isn’t going to protect workers from crony capitalists?

                He really is just reinforcing old Republicanism, now with extra racism?

                This is my shocked face.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “Trump really isn’t going to provide great insurance for everybody?”

                The rate of cost growth has been falling and he made policy changes that opened up the market for affordable association and short term plans. At this point, if you aren’t insured it’s usually because you don’t want to be. Efforts are still ongoing to also bring down prescription drug prices. It’s a work in progress, but there has been good progress made.

                “He isn’t going to withdraw us from forever wars?”
                Pullback in Syria, peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, NATO spending up, working with Israel, the Saudis and others to promote local alliances, and just this week put forth a surprisingly serious and evenhanded 2-state proposal to end the Israel/Palestine conflict. In the meantime he’s managed to handle provocations from North Korea, Iran, China, and Russia without starting any new wars or deploying large numbers of troops indefinitely. It’s a work in progress, but there has been good progress made.

                “He isn’t going to protect workers from crony capitalists?”
                Not sure exactly what you expected here in policy terms, but incomes in the bottom quintile are rising significantly faster than incomes in the top quintile (which is largely unprecedented) and when drilling deeper into the jobs data we find that non-managerial positions are seeing faster gains than managerial positions. Can you recall a prior time when blue-collar income rose at a faster rate than white-collar income? Likewise, unemployment is at a historic low, particularly for women, minorities, non-graduates, convicted felons, and the disabled. The new trade agreements also include additional worker protections and are strongly supported by relevant unions. I’m not sure what more you’re asking for beyond workers of all demographics once again having the leverage to demand higher wages or easily find work elsewhere, as opposed to corporations having the leverage to demand lower wages or threaten layoffs/offshoring.

                “He really is just reinforcing old Republicanism, now with extra racism?”

                First, with no racism, either before or now. You are more than welcome to pick that debate with me if you really want to have me knock your slanders down one by one. Second, yes and no, “Old Republicanism” has several major strands that are contradictory at certain points (i.e. “common good conservatism” and “tea party conservatism” are both part of the republican party but have very different ideas on the proper role of government in regards to the common welfare). Suffice it to say he’s mostly governing within mainstream social conservative thought (I.E. about what you might have expected from a Ted Cruz or Mike Pence Presidency) and drawing from a much less modern, truly “old republican” more nationalist, somewhat isolationist economic tradition. The measures he’s using are definitely in our playbook (i.e. Republicans have previously supported tariffs as a corrective measure to unfair trade conditions), there’s just been a lot of debate over the years as to when they are appropriate in theory and whether the current economic conditions meet those standards. Trump’s assessment of current conditions does not particularly match that of the think tanks republicans usually refer to, but do match reasonably well with the assessments made by the republican base, so that’s not so much a question of whether slapping tariffs on Chinese products is particularly “Republican” but rather whether you are defining that term by what policies the republican intellectuals support or by what policies the party’s voters support.

                “This is my shocked face.”
                If commonly known facts continue to surprise you, you might want to consider broadening your range of news sources. If you’d like to see my shocked face, try telling me which President you’re familiar with who managed to actually accomplish all the campaign promises they genuinely tried to make good on (particularly against the uniform opposition of the other party). Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

                When it comes to Trump and campaign promises I find it fairly easy to ask, “Is this something he made a good faith effort to accomplish”? and “would that effort likely have worked if the other party didn’t block it or x unforeseeable circumstance hadn’t occured?”. Don’t bother accusing him of not fulfilling his promises unless you can show that at least one of those answers should be a “no”.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Obama couldn’t figure out how to stop fracking on private land, though he gave it his all. Gas prices would’ve been even lower if he hadn’t shut down offshore and Alaskan exploration. His unemployment numbers were only low because people had given up looking for work and because the long-term unemployed aren’t counted as unemployed. The labor force participation rate plummeted during his entire term, from over 66% to about 62.5%. Now it’s shooting back up, as are working-class wages.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Obama got credit he didn’t really deserve for the fracking revolution and I tend towards critical of his drilling and mineral policies generally, but there were a lot of things he could have done with respect to public lands that he did not. We will see that if Warren or Sanders are elected because they will be nowhere near as judicious.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Obama had to dial back offshore drilling because of safety flaws in government and private sector approachs that were exposed when Deep Water Horizon exploded and sank.I was part of that response, and the worst feeling in the world was finding parts of the rig as they were washing ashore. once the flaws were exposed and dealt with, he opened off shore production back up to its then current levels.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Base rate fallacy.Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Saul, you have to remember, no elections happened after 2016 at this site.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
          Ignored
          says:

          Back in 2016, I expressed some amount of concern that I hadn’t seen any Clinton/Kaine stickers on any cars. I was told something to the effect of “yard signs don’t vote”.

          When I pointed out the Obama music video, I was told something to the effect of “sure, she doesn’t have those sorts of things but she’s not that type of candidate”.

          Driving around town, I haven’t seen any Biden stickers.

          Ah, well. Bumper stickers don’t vote.
          I’m sure he’s not that type of candidate. (Though, it needs to be pointed out, he used to be.)Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            To be fair, I saw my first WARREN sticker today. I have seen a whole lotta Bernie stickers, but I can’t tell if they’re just leftover from last time around. Plenty of Trump stuff out there, and the lady down the street (on the county Dem council!) just put a Clinton/Gore sticker on her car.

            No Biden stickers though.Report

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

        Biden fans, i.e., the majority of Democrats, aren’t furiously pounding away on Twitter.

        Therefore they are invisible to the highly online partisans.

        Highly online partisans (including most of us here) account for very little electoral movement. We don’t change our minds, we don’t change anyone else’s mind, we just add a lot of noise and drama.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      I still think the most likely result of all of this is another six months of Jaybird, Aaron, and everybody else on this forum acting like the Democrats are doomed, and then on Election Day, Biden winning a perfectly healthy 52-47 to 54-45 win, with a possible Senate majority.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    If you haven’t used your one free Medium click this month yet, use it on this one:

    Report

  8. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    The whole field is struggling. I watched their discussion of Middle East policy and all I could guess is that each candidate used the Magic Eight Ball before answering each question.. They were for withdrawal from here, except when they were for beefing up troops for there, and for disengagement except for when they were for confrontation. Being against what ever Trump (or Biden) did in a particular situation is not a policy, it’s a psychological problem. Trump has done a wide range of things, and one of the criticisms from the left is that they don’t see any consistency in his actions. Well, that also means that opposing every one of those actions will sum to a policy that’s equally baffling and inconsistent.

    Buttigieg was asked this question: “Trump said that as long as he is President, Iran would never have a nuclear weapon. Would you ensure that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon?” And he responded by meandering all over the place than then saying he’d go back to teaming with our allies to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. So she asked him again, “Would you allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon?” He responded by meandering some more and saying something about Putin.

    Asked the same question, Klobuchar said everything is Trump’s fault, and continued with “I will negotiate. I will bring people together, just as Obama did years ago…. I would not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, and I would negotiate to make that happen.”

    The trouble is, there’s nothing left to negotiate with, so the only real move is to stay the course with Trump’s aggressive sanctions policy. Obama already gave the mullahs all their bank money back, much of it as pallets of cash. They blew the money on funding more terrorists and more weapons. The House and Senate are never going to write them a big fat check for shooting missiles at us, so there’s no more money to offer them.

    Worse, since Iran has restarted high levels of enrichment, blown a Ukrainian airliner out of the sky, and arrested Britain’s ambassador, our former EU partners are probably not in the mood to negotiate another humiliatingly bad agreement. Plus, Iran’s former foreign minister allegedly said he’d burn the previous European negotiators by revealing how much Iran paid them under the table.

    So in short, I didn’t get a sense that any of the candidates had a remotely coherent Middle East policy or a workable solution to anything. Then the topic switched to NAFTA and Iowa farmers and what tiny sliver of interest I had was lost.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    You know, this makes me remember that I haven’t heard about John Oliver destroying anything recently.

    Last Week Tonight returns on February 16th, 2020.Report

  10. Avatar Nevermoor
    Ignored
    says:

    The fundamental weakness of this post is that it seems to ignore the actual polling.

    Iowa, for sure, is uncertain but I don’t know how you can take the best Iowa poll (https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/iowa-poll/caucus/2020/01/10/iowa-poll-2020-bernie-sanders-lead-iowa-caucus-president-election/4426492002/), which shows the race as Sanders 20%, Warren is at 17%; Buttigieg, 16%; and former Vice President Joe Biden, 15%, and come away concluding that Biden is coasting to a win. Biden could, of course, wind up winning (even in Iowa), but his support is less enthusiastic than the other three which is a huge weakness in a caucus state. If anyone else wins Iowa, and Bernie wins NH (which seems very likely), Biden’s front-runner cred seems weakReport

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Nevermoor
      Ignored
      says:

      But the national polls still have Biden in the lead, almost certainly because vast swaths of Democrats have really serious doubts that the other candidates are electable. Combine that with Biden trailing in Iowa and NH, and this indicates that the problem might be a field made up of four unelectable candidates.

      This is what I think Jaybird is sensing and seeing. Pick any of the top tier and you can find an honest and convincing liberal article on why that candidate can’t win the general against Trump. The trouble is, those arguments might be correct – all of them. Once one picks up that vibe, and then gets a feeling that the pro-candidate articles are just whistling past the graveyard, you might step back and try to take a detached view, as if you’re watching a slow-motion train wreck and wondering why the passengers can’t see it coming. Then, for the curious, it become interesting to look at which passengers sense it, which ones are preparing themselves for the inevitable, which ones are just resigning themselves to another loss, which ones are in denial, and which ones are trying to figure out a way to avert disaster.

      Some might indulge in psychological speculation and say such a study is just subconsciously rooting for the coming train wreck, but that’s not really it. Once you think you know how the movie ends (badly) then you’re not fully invested in what the characters are going through, so much as watching their performances and perhaps trying to figure out where the script or the director went wrong. Even if you’re watching a horrible movie that’s part of a franchise you love, you can in essence root for a disaster epic enough to produce serious management changes so the franchise itself doesn’t crater by producing a long series of horrible movies. In horror film terms, sometimes the teenagers are so irritating, poorly written, and irredeemably unlikable that you root for the slasher so none of the kids get in the sequel.

      Sports analogies can convey much the same idea. Sometimes your team needs to lose badly enough to get the manager fired, otherwise you’re going to have losing seasons until he retires. Sometimes, convinced you really need better players, having the mediocre crew rack up loss after loss speeds the day that they get replaced by better ones who know what they’re doing.

      Going back to politics, staunch conservatives or populists might find themselves hoping, really hoping, that Mitt Romney face plants so badly that he slinks back to where ever he came from. There’s a feeling that letting Democrats crush RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) is good for the movement and the party because it cleanses it of weak links. The worst outcome is for the RINO’s to get elected, and then through their breathtaking incompetence, condescending arrogance, and complete cluelessness, convince everyone out there that Democrats really are the better choice. That same can apply to mediocre consultants and daft political operatives. The more they screw up, the less likely they are to get hired again, screwing up an even more important election.

      If the party has a great candidate and a bunch of mediocre ones, we all jump on the bandwagon for the great candidate and don’t have to worry about the rest. But if there’s not a great candidate, sometimes you just hope all the mediocre ones drown in quicksand, along with whatever nincompoops gave them a platform, so they won’t be in charge of anything anymore and won’t lead the party into the wilderness.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        But the national polls still have Biden in the lead, almost certainly because vast swaths of Democrats have really serious doubts that the other candidates are electable.

        This is a trap. Clinton won the national polls in 2016. Iowa ain’t about National Polls. New Hampshire ain’t about National Polls.

        If Bernie wins Iowa (not a particularly huge “if”, given the polling), the narrative changes. Even if Biden is in first place in national polling.Report

        • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Also, Biden has both name recognition and an association with the best admin we’ve had in decades so if you haven’t thought much about the election (which is nearly all Americans) he’s an easy name to pick.

          To get to know Biden, however, is to become less interested in voting for him. Much unlike Warren, Pete, and (for some) Bernie.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
            Ignored
            says:

            I think that Biden is likable, though. He’s downright charming. You know the “have a beer with” test? Biden gets the touchdown and then, after the touchdown, does the Ickey Shuffle.

            And now you’re standing next to Biden doing the Ickey Shuffle with him.

            He’s *THAT* likable.

            That overcomes a lot of “less interested in voting for him” when it comes to Trump being the other guy in the “have a beer with” test.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Ouch:

    Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s extremely likely that Warren is lying (Her whole biography seems to be a series of things that never happened) and CNN is simply trying to take out Bernie.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        If you enjoy contradictions being heightened, you will enjoy this:

        Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        “CNN reported yesterday — and Senator Sanders, Senator Warren confirmed in a statement — that, in 2018, you told her you did not believe that a woman could win the election. Why did you say that?”

        Not “did you say that,” but “why did you say that?”

        Sanders denied it, then listed the many reasons the story makes no sense: He urged Warren herself to run in 2016, campaigned for a female candidate who won the popular vote by 3 million votes, and has been saying the opposite in public for decades. “There’s a video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States,” he said.

        Phillip asked him to clarify: He never said it? “That is correct,” Sanders said. Phillip turned to Warren and deadpanned: “Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”

        That “when” was as transparent a media “fuck you” as we’ve seen in a presidential debate. It evoked memories of another infamous CNN ambush, when Bernard Shaw in 1988 crotch-kicked Mike Dukakis with a question about whether he’d favor the death penalty for someone who raped and murdered his wife, Kitty

        -Matt TaibbiReport

  1. March 2, 2020

    […] Wrong I Should Stick to Food Blogging Award — About Last Night: Fifty Shades of Fearful Beige in Democratic Debate, January 15, […]Report

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