Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Hold ’em and Fold ’em Edition


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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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Kolohe says:


    Sounded good at the time. Utterly laughable now. Since that 1996 State of the Union, blowing out the budget — that is, when congress bothers to even have one — has been a bipartisan tradition that shows no signs of stopping.

    To harsh your mellow, the GOP congress and the Clinton administration did do a good job of paring down and eventually eliminating the deficit before that combo was no longer in power.

    Sure, there were external factors that helped – dot com boom and optimized working age/retirement age demographics were most prominent – but nonetheless scoreboardReport

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There are a buncha theories online about Warren failing to catch on when Vox, for example, had her as the presumptive frontrunner as recently as October.

    The “sexism” argument would resonate better, I think, were it not for Clinton in 2016 and the whole “presumptive frontrunner” thing as recently as October.

    I think it’s as simple as her positioning herself to be all things to all people and not being the best at any one of those as so always being a perpetual not-as-good-as-(insert name here). You want a centrist? We’ve got Biden. You want a Socialist? We’ve got Bernie. You want someone young and energetic? We’ve got Mayor Pete! So on and so forth.

    Never bad, mind… just never a first choice for any lane she was in. The main exception might be the “woke” lane.

    And that lane seems to be punching below its weight.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think the main problem is that she’s not Bernieing as hard as Bernie, but is Bernieing too hard for the people who aren’t into that kind of thing. Consequently, her base is people who are willing to accept a bit less free stuff in exchange for a passable simulacrum of responsibility and intellectual respectability. That’s something, but it won’t win you the nomination.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    It’s pushing the limits of how much advertising someone can do before it tips over to actively ticking people off.

    Oh, I think it’s blown past those limits.Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Warrens issue was that she was in no way genuine. Every time she opened her mouth it was simply to say what was politically expedient at that moment. Indeed, when you start to look at her career it is redily apparent that this has been her MO for an entire life. And when the proping up started to look a little rikity, these things became just too apparent.

    She didn’t have a plan for that.

    As far as spending an deficits go, I would say you are on the money with power-in and power-out, vis-a-vis the things said to the punters. But one thought on that; Democrats won the spending wars. Whether due to the financial crisis, the aging population, ending the cold war, whatever. It doesn’t matter at this point. This is the new reality. And while some of us want this to end, that reality is going to be driving the clown car for the forseeable future. Bernies politics, Obama and Bush’s politics, Trumps. All spending.Report

    • The compete divorce of revenue and spending began with Reagan’s supply-side and Laffer Curve nonsense, whence came the orthodoxy that tax cuts always pay for themselves and solve all problems. Also the Starve the Beast theory that there’s no need to make hard decisions about spending now — it’ll happen in the future, magically. Dick Cheney gave Reagan credit for proving that deficits don’t matter — we should too. (Though Cheney and Bush are the ones who get credit for running two wars on credit cards.)Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Since almost everyone here is anti-Warren to a comical degree, I’ll chip in as a supporter. Warren seems like the candidate who got attacked from the right and the left. I’m pretty convinced that Bloomberg was more freaked out about Warren being the nominee than Sanders because Warren has the knowledge to be effective. She seems to be the only Democratic candidate still around that acknowledges the utter nihilism of Mitch McConnell. Biden’s odes to the old bipartisan Senate are delusional as is Sanders when he thinks he can have a heart to heart with Mitch about the poor in Kentucky. Mitch does not give a fuck. Sanders is also delusional when he talks about “revolution.”

    Warren on the other hand gets it and understands it. I think the corporate class was more freaked out by her plans than it was by Sanders and his socialism. Warren sought to reform Capitalism and make it more fair. She could be effective here. But she did not earn the trust of the Berniestans because she calls herself a capitalist and it is believable even if she wants a more robust welfare state and knows how to get there. So she caused the anti M4A and lovers of extreme wealth inequality to shit their pants and never earned the trust of the Jacobin set and the Sandersistas.

    This is also a combination of aesthetics and sexism. Bernie is gruff and unpolished and that has appeal to a lot of people. I met Elizabeth Warren in 2012 when she was first running for Senate. She is a great and down to earth person. Very friendly. But she is also a law professor and generally talks to people like they are adults. This is where “school marm” came as an insult for her. It also explains why almost every Warren supporter I know has a graduate degree or at least really liked college a lot. She is the candidate of middle-class liberals.

    This is a loyal Democratic group and an important one but not a majority. There was also that poll from a few months ago where 90 percent of Warren supporters said they would support whomever the Democratic nominee was even if not their first choice. This makes her the most expendable unfortunately because her supporters have stakes of removing Donald Trump as being very high.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I think that if she ran on the ideas in The Two-Income Trap, she’d have done better.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      As a fellow Warrenista I also have a hard time grasping why my fellow Dems would prefer Biden to her but I’ve had to accept that I am not necessarily the median Dem across even California, let alone the rest of the country.

      Like I’ve said, were it not for the raging racism/ misogyny, a good portion of Democrats would vote Republican.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Well don’t forget your old fashioned Dixiecrats . . . . most of who are voting Republican around me if not actually saying so.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        The articles I have read state that Democrats going into the primaries voting on issues go for Sanders and Warren. Democrats deciding on “electability” go for Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar.

        Warren seems to appeal to people with graduate degrees. As someone on LGM just commented, success in grad school is not necessarily about smarts but the ability to delay gratification for a long time and to slog. She is calm and persistent. She also implicitly or explicitly promises hardwork.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          As fond as I am of her I wouldn’t be heartbroken to see her stay as a highly effective Senator, or return to the CFPB or even the NLRB.

          She can be very effective in almost any role.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Ah conservative activists are having a freak out about budget and deficits. Hypocritical bastards.Report

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