The Curmudgeon’s Case for Biden

Avatar

inmd

I'm an attorney in the greater Washington, DC area. When not busy untangling obscure questions about the American healthcare system I spend my time pondering law and public policy, working on the perfect dead-lift form, and praying that my dedication to the Washington Redskins doesn't result in a heart attack.

Related Post Roulette

185 Responses

  1. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    I really liked this post. I agree with pretty much all of it.Report

  2. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    That’s all very nice and all, but why vote for a guy that’s basically going to fade to the background. They guy can’t even remember where he is or what he’s doing. You’re voting for the VP candidate to be Pres. You comfortable with that? That’s the real issue.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s certainly a concern. I think the reality though is that there’s no such thing as a no risk vote. It isn’t much different than the calculation I’ve made by deciding to vote at all. I know I’ll never agree with everything anyone I vote for does and it’s entirely possible I’ll agree with none of it. Yet I’d rather participate than not.Report

  3. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    Biden: Because every other viable candidate was even worse.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Personally, I see Biden as More Of The Same of the last 40 years of politics. He’s a Democrat that could work with Reagan and Bush, he was a good ally to Bill Clinton, he could work with Dubya, and made the perfect VP for Obama.

    I’m pretty sure that, had events conspired where he would have run in 2016 instead of Clinton, 2016’s election would have looked very different (if only because of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania).

    He *IS* the Democrats. Not the weird students screaming for segregated spaces on campus. Not the wacky excesses found in this or that part of the Culture War. He’s pro-choice (but he doesn’t *LIKE* abortion). He’s for higher taxes and more regulation (well, except for the businesses that he knows help keep the country going). He’s for green stuff, but, you know, at a sustainable pace. He’s pro-diversity and pro-making jokes about the foreigners running 7-11s.

    He’s likable as heck… but, remember 2012 when he eviscerated Paul Ryan in the VP debate? He’s capable of being a fighter as well.

    He’s a politician’s politician at the same time as being a regular guy.

    I can easily see him as being a better choice than Trump.

    Which makes it weird that a surprising amount of pro-Biden energy that I see out there in the wild is of the form “TRUMP BAD!” and not “Biden’s pretty good, really.”

    Ah, well. Maybe that’ll change once Biden wins and we can all go back to brunch.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I think there are two reasons for that, one bad, and one good.

      The bad reason is that our media is no longer capable of seeing the good in such a politician, even if it’s close enough to where a lot of the hoi polloi are. It’s either the ‘moral clarity’ of the people I mentioned in the first paragraph or the frothing of expressly Conservative(tm) media.

      The good reason is that the political establishment has never meaningfully reckoned with that which has not gone so swimmingly over the last 40 years. The wars. The inconsistent realization of the benefits of globalization. The downsides of de-industrialization. The extremely shallow view of what a ‘good economy’ is.

      As long as those issues remain unaddressed the establishment will have trouble selling itself.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah. I’ve said before: I see Trump as a symptom, not a disease in himself.

        Returning to the old ways of doing things and thinking we’ve gotten rid of the problem when we’ve only gotten rid of the symptom will inspire another symptom to pop up. Maybe a worse one next time.

        I’ve had it pointed out that Trump succeeded because he’s the last gasp of White Racism but… that explanation seems a bit too pat. Trump’s numbers with People of Color are doing a heck of a lot better than the Paragon of what we wish Republicans were like of Mitt Romney. His numbers with White People are going down (indeed, if he loses the election, it’ll be because he lost white votes, not because he lost the Black vote or the Hispanic vote).

        Anyway. If Biden does a good job of bringing us back to normal (the normality of Obama, say), we’re going to have another Trump.

        Maybe the next one won’t be laughably inept.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I think you are wrong for two reasons. First Trump was in part a direct response to our first black president and all the demographic shifts that Mr. Obama’s election demonstrated that white men could no longer ignore. Since we are over that hump, I doubt that would be the driving factor it was the first time.

          Second, the Republicans are about to trade the White House and perhaps 6 Senate seats for a semi-permanent conservative majority on the Supreme Court. They have been working toward that end for 40 years and now that its secure, the 29 state legislatures that are controlled by Republicans can escalate their evisceration of the New Deal and social liberalism by passing laws that will be contested all the way to SCOTUS. Republicans believe that a 6-3 conservative majority will allow them to roll back all sorts of progressive laws and regulations that stand in the way of their greed, in as much as Congress can’t wade into state level business fast enough to keep up. Republicans nationally thus no longer need Trump, to control the White House, or the Senate.

          Thank you Mitch McConnel . . . .Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            Mr. Obama’s election strikes me as being lightning in a bottle. He was an *IDEA* more than anything else. Remember Will.I.Am’s remix of the Yes We Can speech? That’s what Obama represented. People crying when he got elected. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

            Like many great ideas, there’s a lot of friction with interaction with the real world. And I don’t mean stuff like “racism” but stuff like “offshoring manufacturing”.

            Here’s the A and B of the main things that I see happening under Biden and what follows:

            A) We get back to the whole “International Leadership” thing of bombing people in the Middle East and creating refugees and calling other people monsters for not wanting to house refugees (while explaining that we have to create them in the first place and it’s naïve to think that we don’t). We give more space for Big Business to do their thing while putting down regulations that they can easily navigate or easily ignore while their competitors (mostly mom and pop shops) can’t. More stuff gets offshored. More jobs go away. More calls for more taxes for more social safety nets for the people who need them now, more than ever. We get rid of fracking but we don’t do anything that will affect oil/gas consumption (outside of raising gas prices). More legal-grey-area low-skilled immigrants come in and push the price of low-skilled labor down to pre-Trump levels.

            B) Biden starts raising taxes on billionaires and, more importantly, Capital. He does a great job of raising taxes on them and there is so much media coverage of how upset they are about it that you don’t even know that your own taxes went up too. (Heck, maybe someone might even go to jail!) Businesses like credit cards will have new regulations crammed down their throats while smaller businesses have a handful of shackles removed. There’s more immigration, maybe a lot more, but businesses that hire grey-area immigrants will be punished. Managers (and higher) will go to jail. Stakeholders will be fined. The immigrants’ kids will be integrated into the same schools that the managers’ and stakeholders’ kids go to.

            Which strikes you as more likely?

            Gotta say, A strikes me as a lot more likely.

            And likely to result in another Trump.

            And he’ll be called “racist” too.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            In the (very) unlikely event Trump wins… we’ll likely be scratching our heads over why a tiny (but significant) shift in support among Black and Hispanic voters in swing states happened at all.

            But since I still think that scenario very unlikely… it leaves us only to contemplate the movement of the needle and what it foretells for the Demographic Shifts and their real impact on politics going forward.Report

            • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Marchmaine
              Ignored
              says:

              It strikes me that this is largely among black and hispanic male voters, where I do think Trump has a specific appeal to.

              My experience in these communities doesn’t suggest that Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley types would do much better.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, good point, but as much as Cotton and Hawley are early adopters of a certain sort of post-Trumpism… there will likely be other forms – some better, some worse.Report

              • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah. I mean, I basically think it’s going to take about 10-12 years to get a real equivalent for Trump. I think there were a lot of things about him that were pretty unique and so anybody that was already in GOP politics before Trump quite frankly can’t necessarily become like him – so it’s going to take somebody that grew up with him, like a Charlie Kirk (better version of that) to really emulate Trump.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m sure there will be plenty who will try to emulate Trump… but like JB I don’t think Trump is really a destination just a ride. There are ‘potentially’ better rides.

                I have no particular notion at the moment whether we’ll get better rides to different destinations.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            “They have been working toward that end for 40 years and now that its secure, the 29 state legislatures that are controlled by Republicans can escalate their evisceration of the New Deal and social liberalism by passing laws that will be contested all the way to SCOTUS.”

            Yeah, this is bullshit. I’m as happy as anyone that ACB got confirmed, but this is wildly overstated in terms of what SCOTUS can affirmatively do for the Right in America, and especially under the assumption that the Demos are going to have the Presidency and both houses of Congress for a while.

            SCOTUS, as a rule, puts the hammer down on states and executive agencies which it deems to be coloring outside the lines. It is much more reluctant to tangle with Congress. Whatever libs want is much more likely to be stopped in Congress than it is by SCOTUS.

            The bigger point is that a lot of libs think that they have a natural majority in America, specifically in the Presidency and in Congress that I don’t think they do. In terms of realignment and political fallout, what happens after Trump loses, if Trump loses, is fundamentally unpredictable. And being unpredictable, that’s where the upside for the Right is. That’s why I’m not voting for Trump, or at least not intending to.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              The ACA, Roe V wade and assorted free speech lawsuits that SCOTUS is taking up shortly all stem from state laws not federal ones. Those state laws were enacted in Republican controlled legislatures. While SCOTUS may want Congress to spare it from having to act because of better legislation, you go to war with the army you have not the one you want or may need. And the Army SCOTUS has is a flarg ton of state cases it can and likely will consolidate and try to rule for a generation.

              If, surprisingly, Roberts can turn the ship and not toss all this out, Republicans will have been played. Reading Gorsuch and Kavanaugh’s rulings, combined with Thomas’ lengthy record I am not persuaded the Republicans have been.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                ACA is staying, Roe v Wade could go either way, but I’m sure you appreciate that’s not the last word on abortion anyway. What they are likely to do is eliminate Chevron deference, and that sort of thing. There’s a few lib lawyers who get agitated about that sort of thing, but it’s hard for me to see any real constituency for that.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          If Trump is the symptom, what is the disease?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Post-post-modernism. (Not just in the culture. Also in economies. Also in international relations.)Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            “If Trump is the symptom, what is the disease?”

            Libs who lack the self-awareness of to see themselves as bad people in the context of American political culture.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              Never change, Koz.Report

            • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              I think the libs would say the same of the cons. This isn’t really an explanation, rather, more of a casting aspersion.

              Paul Theroux, in his latest book, made reference to his book Deep South, and said he was not surprised that Trump got elected, based on what people down there were telling him. They were disgusted with the casual corruption of D.C. and with being afterthoughts of the ruling class. Theroux doesn’t single our one party or the other, and I think he’s right. Both parties have held sway in Washington over the past however many decades you want to look back, and neither one has covered itself in glory in trying to solve the problem of poverty in the richest country on earth.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                “They were disgusted with the casual corruption of D.C. and with being afterthoughts of the ruling class. ”

                This is the bullcrap people say when being interviewed, and the bullcrap pundits tell each other. It’s Cliff Clavin expounding at the end of the bar type of analysis.
                Its crap because it mistakes vacuous cliche for savvy insight.

                No, they are not disgusted with corruption, because the people who voted for Trump are still voting for Trump even though he is the most corrupt president in our lifetimes.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                “I think the libs would say the same of the cons. This isn’t really an explanation, rather, more of a casting aspersion.”

                It sound that way for some people, but really it isn’t. We’ve got our dirty laundry too, which imo is hurting now more than ever but the self-awareness thing isn’t it.

                With all the usual cheap identity politics polemics around racism and the rest of it, American conservatives of any strain, location, or economic class, even just apolitical white people have had to internalize some beliefs pertaining to this narrative, in a way that libs just do not.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Um you do know that liberals are, statistically, mostly white people, right?

                We aren’t some puke green “other” running amok in the night.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Wokeness is White Robustness.

                It’s one hell of a defense mechanism. Shockingly strong. I’m in awe.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “Um you do know that liberals are, statistically, mostly white people, right?”

                Well yeah, I’m especially talking about them. White libs, at least in their own mind, are going to have some kind of answer pertaining to why they aren’t racist, or colonialist or what have you.

                The vast majority of them have never meaningfully attempted to resolve why they aren’t shitbags for their hostility toward their countrymen. Or maybe more topically, why they are routinely willing to brazen out the lie to steal a base or two regarding something relevant to their political interest.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “You know the worst thinks about those Godless, Communist, traitorous shitbags? They’re hateful.”Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Somehow we missed the left turn at Albuquerque, and ended up here. We’ve ended up bitter and distant from each other, and we didn’t want it to be this way.

                Well, when push comes to shove there’s reasons for that, and they’re not necessarily that hard to figure out.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip is right. This is all fucking shit. There was an attempt to amend the Constitution in the 1960s to remove the electoral college. It passed the House and was blocked by Southern Segragationists in the Senate.

                The white South and now parts of the Midwest know what anti democratic features keep it in power. They know what it is needed to keep white supremacy going.

                Trump is the most corrupt politician since Harding. Maybe ever. If you vote for him, you are not into draining the swamp. You are into white supremacy and authoritarian plutocracy.

                Trump did not win the popular vote. He has never been popular. Rural white Americans are not more real or authentic than anyone else.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                “Trump is the most corrupt politician since Harding. Maybe ever. If you vote for him, you are not into draining the swamp. You are into white supremacy and authoritarian plutocracy.”

                With the threading in the comment section, it’s not completely clear what this is in response to. Whatever it is, this is almost certainly an exercise in hyperbole and self-deception.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            From the way he cries all the time, I’m guessing colic.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      “had events conspired where [Biden] would have run in 2016 instead of Clinton…”

      People were practically screaming from the rooftops for him to run, they were begging him to run, they were leaving anonymous notes in his mailbox saying “please run” doused in perfume with a big lipstick-print kiss mark. But he was old and tired, and his son had just died, and there wasn’t much point because how could Hillary Clinton lose to Donald Trump?Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Here’s the “Democratic criminal syndicate” version of events.

        It’s now all but certain that Hillary had enough dirt on Joe to burn his family to the ground, and she let him know that.

        The State Department was deeply involved in covering up Joe’s Burisma kickbacks, as we found out during the impeachment hearings, yet surprisingly, there’s so far not been any evidence indicating that Hillary touched a single dime in that country. Soros was doing huge deals, Biden and Obama and key Obama people were involved, but Hillary’s name isn’t anywhere on the Ukrainian side of the document dumps.

        She stayed clean, and that’s glaringly unusual, because she Hoovered up foreign donations from around the world, both as donations to the Clinton Foundation or laundering it through various overseas shell corporations like the WJC LLC (William Jefferson Clinton), which got millions for a Scandinavian telecom company in return for permission to sell Iran advanced cell-phone network monitoring equipment, which was banned by US sanctions.

        Hillary had ample opportunity to rake in money in Ukraine, but she didn’t take it. It was a feeding frenzy where even Mitt Romney was in bed with Burisma, as was the CIA, with both having representatives on Burisma’s board. Nancy Pelosi’s son was even over there as an “energy company”, while his business partner is under indictment for a completely different kind of Ukrainian scam, one that oddly involved an African soccer charity.

        Hillary isn’t taking a cut of anything, which is highly unusual for her, but she does have her State Department people in the middle of everything, which is why they had to spend so much time testifying during the impeachment hearings.

        If Hillary and State had simply stayed out of it, you’d have a nice case of two rival mobsters staying out of each other’s territory. “You’ve got Chicago. I’ve got New York.” But having her own people involved, themselves staying clean and not acting to financially benefit her, is something else. That’s a mobster using his people in the rival’s territory to gather dirt on that rival, so that when the Godfather dies, they can step into his shoes without a serious challenge because they can threaten to expose the other mobster’s operation to the police and FBI. That establishes the order of succession clearly, and makes the transfer of power go smoothly and non-violently.

        And that’s why Joe was thinking about running in 2016 until Hillary told him no, and this same idea of “who’s got dirt on who?” is likely why the party establishment fell in line with backing Joe this time around, propping him up even when his fundraising was pathetic and grass-roots support was energetic for almost anyone but him. That kind of behind-the-scenes deal making is a common element of corrupt regimes, where the government’s organizational chart is a reflection of who-has-dirt-on-who, and who pays-off-who to keep quiet.

        It’s still in operation today. Only one other candidate’s name appears in all the e-mails being dumped about Biden family’s billion-dollar financial deals with the Chinese CCP, listed as a contact. If you instinctively guessed “Kamala Harris”, you’d be correct.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          “The State Department was deeply involved in covering up Joe’s Burisma kickbacks, as we found out during the impeachment hearings, yet surprisingly, there’s so far not been any evidence indicating that Hillary touched a single dime in that country. Soros was doing huge deals, Biden and Obama and key Obama people……”

          I gotta admit, I’m not at all seeing the point of this line of thought, and others like it. It’s probably not true. But if it were true, what would it change?

          The motivation seems to be that Biden will fold like a cheap suit if the Trump campaign can land a square punch about Hunter, Ukraine, cognitive decline or whatever. It’s pretty obvious for me at least this is not accurately understanding how the American voters are thinking about this election.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz
            Ignored
            says:

            Well its a nice deflection from Trump’s many failings and equally glaring . . . omissions?Report

            • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              Well yeah. (if you mean what I think you mean and I’m not entirely sure on that)

              The point being, this election is about Trump, and how people feel about him and whether people want him around and whether they want to see his tweets on the evening news for the next four years. On that score the answer seems to be a pretty hard no.

              A lot of people give George a hard time here, and I’m not sure he deserves it. But I do have a problem with George-style conservatism, in that he always wants to talk his way around this in ways that are completely not credible.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                We give him a “hard time” exactly because he’d rather spin large gauzey lies into conspiracy theories then deal with issues. Take all that above. It has zero basis in fact. Zero. But we’re supposed to respect him for it?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “But we’re supposed to respect him for it?”

                Well yeah. I haven’t followed George in particular too closely, but there’s been plenty of George-y stuff that’s turned out to be true during the Trump era, and a lot of it was significantly surprising to me at the time.

                And there’s been plenty of libs writing plenty of ridiculous and disgraceful things for a long time here at the League.

                So yeah, I do think the nasty directed against George is probably unfair.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s almost identical to the ways that liberals have spent the past four years coming up with the Big Scandal that will Definitely Get Trump This Time, and then it doesn’t, and then they find another Big Scandal that will absolutely Definitely Get Trump This Time.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                “……Big Scandal that will Definitely Get Trump This Time, and …..”

                Yeah, that’s exactly right, except that as things stand right now, the shoe is on the other foot.

                Trump partisans want to talk about party registrations in Pennsylvania China payoffs to Biden through some scummy Hunter stuff. And when push comes to shove there may be a little bit of traction there.

                But not enough. There is a huge desire in normie white America for Trump not to be around, and on that point we’ve got nothin’.Report

  5. Avatar CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    Two cheers for grown-up politics.Report

  6. Avatar y10nerd
    Ignored
    says:

    I kinda want focus on the idea of sort of this vocal minority who is currently advancing a more radical racial and gender critique of America as well as politics. Because while people will cite the poll you are citing to note that they are a vocal minority (whereas that poll to me suggests that everybody has their own definition of political correctness) and I think something that I’ve noticed a lot from the right and the center-left:

    They don’t really have an answer to it that doesn’t seem obviously dumb in tactics.

    Like, the racial identity politics/intersectionality critique is a real response to real issues – the absurd experienced inequalities experienced by younger generations, the inability to close real inequalities between racial groups. Whether you think the response is correct – there are specific experiences and issues here that they are responding to.

    And the political response on the right when you look at the Dreher’s of the world is to basically cite MLK’s I have a Dream and on the center-left is to speak with platitudes, but also sort of pivot to ‘real Americans’

    And like, while I don’t buy everything the DEI set has (particularly how many of the white ones involved in this work have cyncially used it for their own gain), like, I do find myself soo much more sympathetic to it because it does speak to real experiences I’ve had as a gay working class Mexican – experiences that outside of that, seem to get no response.

    And so like, what’s the hope here? What’s going to get people feeling like they don’t have to self-radicalize and accept the most negative critique of America possible, that it is somehow irredemeable? I’m an American exceptionalist but there are days that even I’m like ‘FUCK IT’.

    And this is specifically acute because this is a generational issue – but a lot of people seem hopeful that it just all goes away.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to y10nerd
      Ignored
      says:

      Honestly this is one of the reasons as a csi-hetero white male I remain firmly to the left of the Democratic Party (which has been a party of centerists since at least Bill Clinton). Democrats can’t really address your lived experience from a policy perspective without endangering their donor class, and the few regular also-rans as third parties seem unwilling to do the hard work of organizing to win local and state elections to force a reckoning.

      So once the election is over we on the left will have to work doubly hard to keep up the pressure. And frankly I don’t see that happening as people are so damn tired.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to y10nerd
      Ignored
      says:

      This is a fair critique. That stuff is coming from somewhere real, and I concede some kernels of truth to the view of the world. Where I get off the train is the rejection of empirical processes and the weaponization of elite social values into another culture war/socio-economic cudgel. It knows how to destroy, and how to alienate, but not how to make things better. To paraphrase Freddie deBoer, no amount of privilege checking has ever put food in anyone’s belly.

      Now, far be it from me to tell you
      how you should handle these things personally. My only answer is that there are things that have proven helpful over time and things that haven’t. I think we should focus on those things that have. ‘Easy for you to say’ is the not entirely unfair retort but I see no viable alternative.Report

      • Avatar y10nerd in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        So, I think DeBoer’s comment kinda elides what the point of a lot of this works is. Yes, privilege checking doesn’t put food in anyone’s belly – but one of the reasons why we struggle to do that is because of the country’s history of racism. Listening to DeBoer is like listening to the old ‘class, not race’ Marxists who are also falling out of favor with folks because, well, it doesn’t match lived realities.

        I think it can be tempting to think the more radical race/gender politics and critique are those that are found on Twitter, which does devolve often into white people navel gazing with some bad-faith efforts slammed into it. In the world as physically experience, I have seen it with my students that they’re rapidly losing faith that America is a place for them – and so they are going to find themselves yielding to far more radical politics because people don’t seem to seek answers to their issues.

        Like, let’s acknowledge this: the attempt at relative race-neutrality after the CRM failed as a project to answer the real thrust of the CRM, which was that this country’s laws and realities were fundamentally unequal. It failed because it wasn’t even race-neutral (though it claimed to be) and then in the 2000s, the gains made to close inequality between groups grew. And so that’s what people are reacting towards. And also, well, the backlash that was Trump’s election (though really, as a gay poc, what the hell was Reagan and Bush?)

        Maybe there’s a world were 9/11 doesn’t happen and Bush has relatively uneventful 4 or 8 years that really does see the growth of compassionate conservatism (see the 00 RNC to see some interesting racial pivoting).

        I guess that’s my frustration. And the frustration of tons of other folks. And yeah, the academic privelege checking stupidity often goes too far (believe me, grad school is at trip). But being gaslight into oblivion isn’t fun either.

        And in your answer, ‘prove helpful’ is doing a lot of work given the historical context of this country.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to y10nerd
          Ignored
          says:

          I’d say ‘historical context of this country’ is doing the same amount of heavy lifting. I don’t think it’s gaslighting to say the country is not the same as it was prior to 1968. And I think that’s mostly a good thing.

          But this is where that hand wave at history glosses over now existing reality. We still have a problem with what could broadly be called the legacy of slavery, and how it impacts a particular socio-economic class of black Americans. That analysis does not apply writ large to every problem of race, class, sexuality, sex, and exclusion. There are so many wrenches in it, from the fact that more women are going to college than men, to the illegality of the most egregious forms of discrimination, to the assimilation of Mexican and Central American immigrants, to gay marriage, to the academic butt kicking of everyone, including whites, by Asian Americans, and so on.

          For your students I would say empathize with their feelings, but remind them that they are now part of a system that can slowly, grudgingly, improve. The radical path can destroy, but it cannot build. But again, just my opinion, and YMMV.Report

          • Avatar y10nerd in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            I think very few people would say that the country is the same as it was in 1968 in terms of many less powerful groups – but I point to the gaslighting as acting as if those issues have largely gone away.

            I find it particularly fascinating that you chose ‘the assimilation of Mexican and Central American immigrants’ which, well, given that there is a political party that literally was motivated by anti-Mexican animus (the long escalator ride to oblivion) – this seems sort of silly. In general, it also strikes me kinda funny about how few greenshoots there are – I mean, white straight men literally controlled EVERY aspect of society in 1960 so that there has been some wins seems like not a ton of commentary on it.

            I’m going to drop out of this conversation now because we’ve reached the point where it always gets when I ask people to think of answers – ‘just keep on working, it will get better, the system works’ – when this is asking people feeling like they got the socioeconomic short end of the stick to just accept that they will largely remain at the short end of the stick for the rest of their lives.

            There has to be a better answer, otherwise burn it all down seems like a more appropriate one. And again, as I’ve said here before, I’m generally one of the winners – I grew up poor, gay and Mexican in a border colonia. I have fancy ivy league degrees now. And my experience is still one where I feel the weight of all of those discriminatory factors in subtle ways and I see the rise of a political party terrified of my existence and I see not a ton of work being done by the ‘grown-ups’ to make all of this better…and even I’m tempted to burn it all down every once in a while.

            I can’t imagine what it’s like to have nothing to lose and feel that.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to y10nerd
              Ignored
              says:

              In that case I’m sad to see you leave the conversation and I mean that, no sarcasm intended.Report

              • Avatar y10nerd in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I appreciate it. I’ve just found at around that juncture (just keep on trying, things do get better) the answer is so unsatisfactory (though it might be correct!) that it feels like the burden is on the people fighting and like you aren’t getting much help for it. So it’s emotionally draining.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                Well at the risk of forcing you to do that I will say I’m open to and in many cases supportive of legislative action on some fronts and expanding our understanding of equal protection on others. What I don’t see the case for is a bunch of struggle sessions and public self-flaggelation or blackholing every person or cultural artifact that someone, somewhere finds offensive. Giving that kind of thing primacy is what I’m talking about in the first paragraph of the post. But anyway maybe best to leave it at that. After all I assume we’re voting for the same guy so we can save that fight for later.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I get why “class not race” politics sounds good in theory but it always breaks down in a lot of ways for me:

        1. It seems abundantly clear that LBJ was correct when he observed that some of lowest white people did not mind getting their pockets picked if they still got to be “superior” over black and brown people;

        2. Police seem incapable of not murdering black and brown people despite the recent protests. Hell, a lot of them seem to love impunity in ways that are connected to race;

        3.There are quite a few Bernie or Busters/alleged leftists who seem to have gone completely around to the Trump train or close to it. HA Goodman, Michael Tracey, and Glenn Greenwald come to mind. Walker Bragman, Meghan Day, Bhrianna Gray, and Nathan Robinson are not quite going right-wing but seem to be filled with rage that they are not the center of attention in the Democratic Party. I like the description of the last group as cos-play socialists.

        To be fairish # seems to be based a lot more in sexism than racism. This group hates, hates, hates, hates that the Democratic Party successes of 2018 and 2020 is because of women largely especially the group they deride as “wine moms.” They hate that the winning issues for Democrats are schools, education, daycare, expanding access to healthcare, and not a complete revolutionary overturn of the economy into luxury space communism or whatever it is called these days. They hate, hate, hate, hate that their contemporaries feel fine working in the private sector and sill identify as liberal.

        But sexism might be the one thing that is more striking in this country than racism.
        In the end, there are still a lot of people who are very upset that they can’t use various insulting terms anymore for minorities and want to fight for it. A lot of the class over race socialists seem fine playing footsie with these groups. I am not.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          To many groups have gotten brain worms from being too on line. Sadly that afflicts a lot of the Left. To many memes, to many sick burns, to much utterly shallow thinking. And to much X not Y politics. It’s all important; race, class, gender are all Important Things and trying to shuffle one off, like some Leftwards do, is utterly blind.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            Biden’s great insight was that twitter is not real life. Too many Democratic candidates got tripped up by playing to the loud online. I think you could argue Trump and the GOP are also stuck arguing to the Fox News Cinematic Universe.*

            But I think for the online left, they are not interested in “boring” things like childcare and education because they see it as “boring” and/or “bourgeois.”

            *From what I heard on another blog, the Democratic congressional candidates in Virginia are running ads on healthcare and education. The GOP is all “AOC plus 3”Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw
              Ignored
              says:

              The online Left along with a lot of “centrists” and libertarians suffers from reflexive contrarianism. Whatever seems popular or a widespread issue must never be the “real” issue. There always has to be something deeper or unseen that is the real issue. The issue is never just a problem to be solved.

              One point i saw on twitter last week was that all of Biden’s upper staff don’t seem to tweet nor did anybody know much of anything about them. They were busy doing their jobs in the background as opposed to Trumps staff who when not being arrested or convicted are often Personalities themselves.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I agree that a lot of online politics suffers deeply from knee-jerk contrarianism. I suppose it is a chicken or egg issue re whether they are contrarian because of sexism and racism or their desire to contrarianism makes them go “Well actually into sexism and racism.”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          If you’re saying that a lot of White Dudes are going to have to learn that they’re going to have to redistribute the stuff that they used to consider their own, you’re absolutely right.

          But there’s more going on than with White Dudes.

          But, sure. White Dudes are going to see another New Deal in our lifetimes.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Not if the Republicans have anything to say about it. A major thrust of holding open the judgeships in Obama’s term and the ramming of ACB onto SCOTUS is in large art about rolling back the original New Deal and its regulation of corporations for public good. That now done, Republicans can shift back to state legislatures to create legislative opportunities for SCOTUS to dismantle the New Deal.Report

          • Avatar Jesse in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            White Dudes will have to deal with women getting abortions, trans people using the bathrooms of their choice, being unable to fire gay people, and also, it’ll be easier for them to unionize, it’ll be easier for their kids to afford college or trade school, and their retirement will be more secure thanks to expansion of Social Security and Medicare.

            If they still choose the GOP after that, then we know their actual problems are with the first part, and you won’t be able to buy them off. In reality, we’ve known that about a lot of White Dudes since 1965-ish.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Another big aspect is that the GOP did a post-mortem in 2012 that told them they could be competitive if the clamped down on racism, eased up on anti-tax extremism, and become slightly more welfare state friendly. They could keep the rest of the social conservatism including anti-abortion views. Instead the GOP decided to double down on racism and sexism this eeked them a freak victory in 2016. I suspect they will learn all the wrong lessons from this even if they get crushed from 2020 going forward.

        The California GOP has turned itself into a rump party and seems incapable of moderating. They would rather own the libs.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          I imagine that without the Republicans holding back progress, California is finally becoming a progressive place to live that has a lot fewer problems than Alabama.Report

          • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I mean, in many ways, California is a more progressive place that has a lot fewer problems than Alabama. I mean, basically every metric shows this.

            Now, I would say that a lot of things that California needs to modify (like Prop 13) to become better are things that were supported by Republicans. And a lot of the zoning issues and issues regarding housing are unfortunately a GOP/centrist-dem/DSA issues (with the center-left fighting against all of them).

            ButReport

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to y10nerd
              Ignored
              says:

              It’s worse than Alabama on segregated schools, though. Which is weird.

              You’d think that it’d be better. (Want a cite? Here you go.)

              If I were to google “income inequality”, which state do you think would be doing better? I haven’t googled it yet. Tempted to… do you want to lay a bet as to which state has better numbers?

              Quite honestly, I would be interested in checking out the basic metrics.

              I think that there are a lot of surprises in store.Report

              • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So, like, this is the kind of conversation that I saw on this site pretty often that made me hesitant to engage.

                Because it seems more pointed about gotchas and trying to get people to assume broad defenses as white people engage in politics with each other. Like, ‘lay a bet’? Seriously? I don’t know, maybe that’s a language you feel comfortable talking about politics about, but like, it always seems super gamified to me. More than anything, it seems focused on like, not dealing with the actual issues, which stretch to all the states, look differently, and should ideally have some attentio nto them being solved.

                Yeah, California schools are super segregated. White people everywhere were pretty shitty with white-flight. I’m not going to defend that nor am I trying to defend California as an idealized model. But I know when I have conversations across the country on issues of policy connecting to Latinos, the people I can get to pay attention and maybe even spend some money/look at policy with tend to be people that look like California/NY/MA liberals and not Alabama conservatives.

                By the way, by Gini coefficient, Alabama and California are pretty close. 45th for Alabama and 48th for California. The ten bottom states tend to either be in the South (LA, AL, MI, GA, KY) or in areas of absurdly high wealth concentration (DC, NY, NJ, CT, CA).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t use it to gamify, but to use it as a defense against fooling myself.

                If I say “I don’t know what the numbers would be…” and then google them, I could fool myself by saying “oh, yeah, I figured that they’d be within 10% of that” even though I never even thought of the number that it’d be 10% away from.

                By saying “No, X is greater than Y” (or “X is greater than Y (but not by much (or by a lot))”), then I can figure out whether I was thinking about it totally wrong (if the numbers are way off) or if I had a shot at thinking about it correctly (if I got close).

                So by forcing myself to say what I think it would be, I force myself to be put in a place where I can be wrong.

                And if I am wrong, I can course correct.

                That’s why *I* do that sort of thing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                Now to the meat: “by Gini coefficient, Alabama and California are pretty close. 45th for Alabama and 48th for California.”

                My original guess was to take on how, as you said, “basically every metric shows this.”

                I’m going to guess that the more metrics we look at, the closer and closer California are *IN MEASURABLES*.

                When it comes to intangibles? I’m guessing California scores off the charts. Actually, I’m sure it does.

                But I see that as a defense mechanism that needs to be overcome rather than the world existing as it ought.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                “Because it seems more pointed about gotchas and trying to get people to assume broad defenses as white people engage in politics with each other.”

                oh no

                someone pushed back on your example instead of nodding along and giving you headpats and strokes

                what a cruel, cruel site this isReport

              • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I had a pretty long post that seems to have been lost, I apologize. The short points:

                1) Some of the tone and dialogue of this back and forth feels sort of like this is a game – and it feels not good.

                2) California being segregated? No shit. Again, I think most of the time people on this blog are whites fighting across different political coalitions – whereas I find myself not super attracted to that for obvious reasons.

                3) While California white liberals are screwed up (along with MA, CT, NY, etc), I usually can get some engagement or prioritization or acknowledgement that there are issues. I have not had any success with conservatives, most who just sort of shrug.

                4) I actually know this one. Alabama is probably slight less unequal than Cali. Though in looking at the Gini coefficient, it basically seems like the bottom ten are southern states and booming liberal states, so the inequalities for one are probably driven by very very low income/hdi (in the south, which matches the data) and absurdly high levels of wealth in tech/govt areas (ca, ny, nj, ma, dc)Report

              • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I had a pretty long post that seems to have been lost, I apologize. The short points:

                1) Some of the tone and dialogue of this back and forth feels sort of like this is a game – and it feels not good.

                2) California being segregated? No shit. Again, I think most of the time people on this blog are whites fighting across different political coalitions – whereas I find myself not super attracted to that for obvious reasons.

                3) While California white liberals are screwed up (along with MA, CT, NY, etc), I usually can get some engagement or prioritization or acknowledgement that there are issues. I have not had any success with conservatives, most who just sort of shrug.

                4) I actually know this one. Alabama is probably slight less unequal than Cali. Though in looking at the Gini coefficient, it basically seems like the bottom ten are southern states and booming liberal states, so the inequalities for one are probably driven by very very low income/hdi (in the south, which matches the data) and absurdly high levels of wealth in tech/govt areas (ca, ny, nj, ma, dc)ReportReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                I dug it out. (Comments here can be capricious. Just call for someone to dig it back out if you’re 99% sure it wasn’t a web browser error.)Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                On that note should I be using or ignoring my (relatively) new power to moderate my own posts? I’ve been approving things that appear well within bounds of my perception of the OT standards. However I know I am more of a commenter and only very occasional contributor, not an editor.

                In short if I should stop doing any moderating please let me know I won’t be offended. And apologies if I inadvertently caused y10nerd’s comment to get locked up!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                If there is a comment being held in limbo, I tend to look at it and check for whether it’s spam, whether it’s an out-and-out attack, and whether it’s some weird comment that is so far out there that I don’t know whether it’s spam or an out-and-out attack or what.

                If it’s spam, I categorize it as spam.
                If it’s not an out-and-out attack or seriously wacky, I approve it.
                And if it might be an attack or seriously wacky, I leave it up to The Grown Up Editors.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Got it.Report

              • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe we should delete all those other comments/copies.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to y10nerd
                Ignored
                says:

                Fair enough. I’ll delete the two dupes.

                Edit: Oh no! It has children!

                I’ll leave them.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        There is “checking privilege” and there is “doing something”. And I think far too often these become conflated.

        The moment I really recognized my own privilege… when it went from being an abstract concept I understood to something I needed to confront… occurred after a night out in DC. I was in Adams Morgan with my friends — vast majority of us white. If you are familiar with DC, AdMo is (or at least was) a prime going out spot with venues that catered to every audience. You had divey Irish bars and sleek lounges and everything inbetween. As such, when last call arrived, everyone spilled out onto a fairly narrow street with narrower sidewalks. And I do mean everyone.

        On this particular night, I hadn’t really had much to drink so had more of my wits about me than was typical of 2AM. My friends… not so much. They proceeded to wander in and out of traffic (which is a shitshow given all the cabs trying to get drunk people home), pretended to direct traffic, and were just the sort of loud, belligerent drunks you’d expect of white guys in their mid-20s. The cops didn’t say a word to us. I noticed just ahead of us were three black guys, probably about our same age. They were leaning on a light pole and eating Jumbo Slice (which should be a crime in it’s own right but, alas, is not). Who did the cops speak to? Those guys. Told †hem to clear the sidewalk and stop causing trouble and that it was time to go home. This was while we were mere feet away being asses and putting ourselves and others in harm’s way. For whatever reason, in that moment, it really clicked.

        But so what? I mean, that was an important moment and a necessary step but if that was all I did, then, yea, I wasn’t putting food into people’s stomachs. So I have to do more. And I won’t pretend to always know what more to do or to even always do the more I know I should. That is the perverse nature of privilege: it can be self-fulfilling. But folks with privilege need to do more than just “check it” and at some point, the rubber has to meet the road in terms of actively improving the experiences of those our society continues to marginalize. We can don the Kente cloth and vote for the “right” people, but something needs to change somewhere somehow.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to y10nerd
      Ignored
      says:

      …the absurd experienced inequalities experienced by younger generations…

      It isn’t just the younger generation.

      Downthread you all talk about Freddie. I recall one of his essays where he opined that we queers were so much cooler in the 70’s, and how irreverent they were and how he loved to hang with them. Fine. I too like irreverent queers. However, he then went on to mention how most of them died from AIDS, but how much it sucks that modern queers care about identity more than material conditions — as if dying of AIDS wasn’t a “material condition.”

      I wonder if he has any idea how much of an asshole he came across when he wrote that. Add up the “gay friends” with the “dead from AIDS” and — jesus fucknuggets dude! Really? Do you have any idea how you sound to people?

      I lost a friend to AIDS last year. I’ve lost plenty more (including my g/f) to opiates. I’ve lost even more to sui.

      “But that’s not about identity.”

      Yes and no. It might come as a surprise, but being a hated minority affects your mental health.

      There is a dichotomy between the narrative of “noble suffering” and the experience of injustice. I think those of us who experience injustice have a keen sense when where dealing with a “narrative of noble suffering” type person. To them, our lives are object of consumption.Report

      • Avatar y10nerd in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        I REMEMBER THAT THREAD FROM BONERS!

        It was really really nuts. Yeah, like, gay marriage wasn’t just ‘identity politics’ or ‘symbols’ – it was an attempt to gain legal recognition by the state so you could take care of your loved one! It emerged because they couldn’t through the AIDS epidemic. AAHH.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        Freddie’s essay can be found here (if he used the illustration in more than one place, which he might have, I can’t find it with a barely-qualifies-as-lazy search for it).Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        I think for someone like Freddie, it is the same thing that drives Dreher bonkers, they hate that part of equality is the right to be boring. Dreher is going off the wall because radical Boshelviks at (checks notes) Nabisco are making rainbow colored Oreos and putting out bland PR statements about the use of gender pronouns.

        I bet Freddie hates the fact that a suburban kid can now come out and also discuss how that brings value to Goldman Sachs in the same sentence.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          I have some sympathy for Freddie since he has serious mental illness and substance abuse problems which were sort of obvious for years and have made a hash of his life. After rereading that essay Jay linked above i also remember why people , quite reasonably, hate him.

          Part of his problem is he is an ideologue. And ugh….being one of the “cool” kids. Fudge that crap. Shallow fashion obsessed bs that never amounts to anything. Glamorzing people’s suffering because it was edgy and you were in a great time of your life sucks. That is the basis of all that. He was young with energy and knew some great people. Life was still brutal for them. To much of the left is obsessed with style and being cool. All about being contrary and superior. It’s also why i said above that being too online has been bad for the Left. Work with people and you can win votes. I would like to see a vibrant Left in this country. The style and online obsessed will never do that.Report

          • Avatar y10nerd in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s funny because I interacted with Freddie back in the day on google reader comments, as he and I were a part of a broader comment circle that included what have become some pretty folks. And he really was just flamboyant and edgy and was at some point friends with all those folks.

            And one by one, he did some pretty amazingly shitty to things to them. Like, things that in an age with more delineated codes of honors would have ended with him dueling someone.Report

          • Avatar y10nerd in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            Hum. My comments seems to be have been cut. Long story short, I knew Freddie from Google Reader comments day. He was friends with tons of people that became prominent.

            And he personally hurt so many people in that circle.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to y10nerd
              Ignored
              says:

              Years ago Freddie wrote and commented here. Back in the day when we had to put coal in the back of our computers to power them. The internet was young then (insert gauzy montage of memories of the good ol days and taking 15 minutes to download one pic)

              Freddie could really bring the heat in arguments. Occasionally he brought some light. I only heard about his worse behavior other places. Damn he could be jerk at times.Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            I dunno. Style is sometimes really important for LGBTQ people. However, that’s part of what is so annoying about the Freddies of the world. It feels as if they co-opting the “style” part, but really they’re tourists. Plus, the idea that Freddie appointed himself spokesperson for those we lost to AIDS — just no! OMG no!

            It’s complicated, of course. There were str8s who participated at Stonewall. Were they “tourists”? On the one hand, they don’t live the day to day of being a hated minority. On the other hand, they “stepped up.” I suppose we can say similar things about the white kids at the BLM rallies. The point is, it’s a complicated story. I definitely know people who treat protest as a fashion statement. They often come across as dipshits who serve as a distraction.

            However, those who want to focus on that distraction are using them as a tool to further injustice. So should we focus our scorn on the dipshits or those who cynically use the dipshits as rhetorical leverage?

            I suggest the latter.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to veronica d
              Ignored
              says:

              I think style gets in the way when it determines who your allies are or who you listen to. Any large movement in this country is going to have uncool people in it. Lefties need “wine moms” or typical suburban dads. The style obsessed don’t want to listen to them since they aren’t cool. If it’s all about cool then it’s not a political movement, its a dating club and party scene. If it’s a movement then actions are what matter. Style and or fashion are their own are fine.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            Style is a tough word to quantify. For a variety of good and bad reasons, a lot of the left has always felt it was at odds with the Democratic Party and did not try to take it from within like the New Old Right did for the Republican Party. And the New Old Right really played a decades long game to do so, one that is really just starting to unravel.

            But the left dreams of a Bohemian paradise where no one ever has to do a boring job ever again. I know a lot of people who are entering or well into middle-age who are still trying to be artists. Some of them are very talented. Maybe they will catch a lucky break, I hope they do. I fear for most of them that they will end up in a life of food services and other forms of marginal employment. They hold onto a “eww Democrats eww” feeling because a farther left view offers them liberation that the Democratic Party will never offer.

            There are more progressive politicians like AOC who think change comes within the Democratic Party but she still needs to share a party with someone who thinks there is no contradiction between being rich and being liberal. Or suburban parents who might support some education reform but perhaps not the extent that it takes down the power or funding of suburban schools.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
              Ignored
              says:

              A big portion of the Left defined themselves as being against the bourgeois since Marx. The exact details might change based on time and place but dismantling everything seen as middle class and bourgeois was something a lot of them yearned for over a decade.Report

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

          Your comment makes me think of the observation that fascism promises its followers not peace but endless struggle and how communism promises endless revolution.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Orwell had a good long quote about how a lot of people are attracted to fascism and communism over socialism and liberalism because the former promise more meaning while socialism and, though he wrote this with clenched teeth, and liberalism offered people a good time.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          “I fought Andrew Sullivan and Andrew Sullivan won.” Freddie De Boer in a nutshell.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to y10nerd
      Ignored
      says:

      “What’s going to get people feeling like they don’t have to self-radicalize and accept the most negative critique of America possible, that it is somehow irredemeable?”

      A grill?

      Seriously, people talk about how Boomer Dads Just Wanna Grill and ha ha ha, but the degree of social stability and in-home comfort implied by that is incredibly de-radicalizing. It might have been the disaffected intellectuals whose death-fetishism sparked the revolution, but the berserker masses who stormed the police lines wouldn’t have done that if they knew that back home there were burgers in the freezer and beers in the fridge.

      That’s why the GI Bill happened, not (or not just) because the People In Charge wanted to do right by the soldiers who fought in the war but because they didn’t want to have a massive group of battle-hardened, weapons-qualified men with nothing to do and no money to spend and a favorable view of Commies. The Bonus Army was fewer than fifteen years past when WWII ended.Report

  7. Avatar Michael Siegel
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m not liberal, but this is basically where I am. Might write up a “why I’m voting BIden” post for my own site.Report

  8. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    Strikes me as a reasonable summation given your political positions. Of course, I’d also see your vote as “gettable” come the great realignment (TM).

    I suppose I see Biden’s replacement value as 0… which means I fervently wish his presidency reaches his ceiling as barely adequate. Though, in my darker moments, I’m not sure his replacement value is 0 anymore… that was peak Biden.

    But to answer the obvious rejoinder… yes, I think Trump is negative Replacement value… he has actively devalued whatever decent policies he might have stumbled into.

    p.s. [ahem] Do we only put the political/election disclaimer on the articles for the less savory parties, like Solidarity?Report

  9. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    For the last four years, I have watched and heard the left/Democrats attempt to make a case against Trump. And fail.

    During the election of 2016, I considered both HRC and Trump to be completely unacceptable, likening them to bone cancer and a skull fracture, respectively. But, since the election, Trump has turned out to be a serviceable president, better than his predecessor Obama, who to be honest would be outranked by a wet fart. No, Trump isn’t great, but he hasn’t worked to destroy fundamental ideas of this country; Free Speach and Due Process. Both of which, along with other important ideas, are under attack by the left.

    But one thing I have heard from the left/Dems is the screeching of a child who just had his toys taken away. Not one cogent argument about Trump, just an endless cycle of OrangeManBad, or words to that effect. And they have coupled this with an attempt at utter annihilation of any and all political dissent, an unforgivable sin in my eyes as this is a county with a fairly even split politically. And while I acknowledge, and even endorse, that politics is a game of hardball, the left/Dems seem to be under the impression that they shouldn’t be held accountable for much of their bad behavior. Sorry, but so much of what has gone on is solely the fault of the left. And I will not endorse any of this shit.

    The left has gone headfirst down a path of racism, misogyny, classism, and violence. And they are drawing my old party along with them. I do feel sorry for the NeverTrumpers out there, as I know from experience what it feels like to see your party seemingly go down the wrong path. But we are in the middle of a realignment, and the Republican party is responding to the changing demographics of who are its voters, and who are the voters they want to pick up.

    InMD, I have a lot of respect for you and feel that in many ways we are two sides of the same coin. In many ways, you make a better argument for Biden than either his surrogates or his teleprompter. But a vote for Biden is a vote for bombing more middle eastern countries and the people in them. A vote for Biden is a vote for the evil of Critical Race Theory. A vote for Biden is a vote for a shitty economy, which in my eyes is the worst thing for race relations. A vote for Biden is a vote against Due Process.

    A vote for Biden is a vote to silence dissent, which used to be the highest form of patriotism.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      I knew you would not be swayed, and hey, fair enough. I’m also not so blinded by dislike for Trump to deny you have a point. The fact that we haven’t invaded anyone in 4 years is good. Actually putting the Title IX stuff through the APA, while imperfect, was the right thing to do.

      What I’d ask you to consider is whether Trump is the right vehicle for combating some of these problems. I have always thought that the strongest counterpoint to the spread of illiberal leftism was about ends and means. Are the ends you want really achievable through means such as these? Obviously this is not persuasive to true believers but I think those with an open mind see the point.

      Anyway I think that associating those causes with Trump will make it harder to build common cause for/against them (as applicable) not easier. Maybe if I believed Trump was principled on the subjects I’d feel differently. But like I said, I knew you would not find this convincing. My hope is that a Biden presidency could de-escalate our politics somewhat but it’s entirely possible we’ll get Jaybird’s Scenario A, not B, and everything gets worse.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Let’s step back for a second, and look at why the R base selected Trump, in defiance of all odds. And in conjunction with that, how the Dems haven’t come to grips with why he won. Because the two are seriously intertwined, and speak to whether or not I think he is the right vehicle.

        First of all though, a couple of things. 1) if you are not shooting, you are not winning. If those opposed to the illiberalism coming from the left wait until the right savior comes around, they will be waiting for a long time, as that will never happen. The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good, and all that jazz. 2) As you say, he isn’t invading anyone, and he is looking at that title IX stuff. So, we are at least on a decent track, no matter where we end up.

        But to return to that two-pronged question, until the Dems understand that what just broke through their carefully crafted walled garden, and was cheered by the majority of the new constituents for the Rs, it will always be this bad. See, this all boiled down to Trump not acquiescing to PCism, not apologizing for things that upset the left. In not understanding that PCism is so offensive to so much of our population, it is always going to be something this big, this bad, this awful. For certain values of all three of these.

        As for ends/means, I am a means person. But, I should be very clear about what those means are. I know that within a given timeframe, the R’s will be just as bad, and I will go back to being with the Dems. Because the means I believe in have very little to do with the politics of one side or the other. They are a reflection of the enlightenment values. Those ideals are what I strive for, and in that striving, I know that whomever I attach my wagon to is going to help me for a short period at best and that the road is going to be a rocky one.

        If Biden was an actual forceful person, someone who was actually leading people, as opposed to a teleprompter and locus for anger and hate, you might be right regarding Jaybirds A or B thesis. But he isn’t. And I feel that those who are hoping for B will be seriously disappointed.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          Oh we understand the revolt against PC-ism. Its at the heart of the anti-black sentiment that drove so much Obama back lash. And then have a WOMAN dare to argue she could lead . . . if that wasn’t the embodiment of PC ism I can’t imagine what else you would see it as (since you seem unwilling to recognize died in the wool misogyny).

          Our general response is we don’t care. You don’t get to go around calling successful black women gorillas, or successful Hispanic men spics or successful gay women f@ggots anymore. Sorry if that offends your snowflake sensibilities, but you don’t.

          Likewise you don’t get to redline people into neighborhoods and then rail against them not being economically successful, or condemn their land disproportionately through eminent domain for sports arenas that take tax money from all of us and then have people leave town anyway taking their jobs and their profits with them. You don’t get to scream about free markets and then use the force of the state to stand between labor and fair compensation whether suppressing actual protests or using the Courts.

          You don’t get to scream about Due Process while locking up people trying to enter the US legally to seek asylum and then strip them of their kids. You don’t get to rail about the liberals seize your guns for 8 years and then never apologize when it turns out not to be true.

          You don’t get to rail about lack of free speech rights when George can come on here and spout actual verifiable lies and no one does a damn thing about it.

          Conservatives don’t like liberal democracy. They don’t like multi-culturalism. They don’t like educated elites. And thanks to Mr. Trump, and Mr. McConnell and all the rest, we don’t care. We wanted a debate of ideas. You wanted a war to keep white men in power.

          Welcome to combat.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          Well, serious disappointment is
          a virtual certainty. I take it for granted that I am never going to get anything close to what I want out of our politics. That’s just the game. I will also take the silver livings of the Trump admin. I have to.

          Where I think we differ is the bigger picture question of what is driving these illiberal flare-ups. People have been saying weird things at universities forever with no audience in the wider world. My opinion is that it’s finding new fertile ground in the failure to do anything to address economic insecurity that culminated in the Great Recession, very little of which was addressed in the recovery.

          This isn’t to say shared prosperity guarantees liberalism but I increasingly believe it is a pre-requisite for it. I think that illiberal leftism would struggle to catch on in a world with more consistent improvement in living standards and enjoyment of basic benefits. I think similar forces drive the illiberal strain of conservative thinking which of course also has an audience in Trump’s movement.

          So what I ask myself is who is more likely to help sustain an environment where those enlightenment ideas remain a strong force in our politics? I concede that the answer to that is not always easy. Had Trump/the GOP say, managed to do something towards improving healthcare when they had the chance, as promised, I’d be more open to the idea that maybe it’s them. Instead they’ve exposed themselves as having no ideas on that front, and are content to give the economy sugar rushes with unsustainable tax cuts. Then there’s elevating a human lightening rod who takes no less delight than any twitter SJW in amping up culture war brinkmanship. Just as he feeds on them so too do they feed on him.

          So while you’re right, there’s no guarantee Biden at the helm drives any sort of improvement on these issues, I feel pretty confident in my belief that Trump and the GOP won’t. But yea… coming full circle, chances of disappointment are high. All I have is posts on OT for catharsisReport

    • Avatar Kristin Devine in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      +1, and perfectly said AaronReport

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      Crimany….you haven’t heard a case against Trump!? Then your ears are closed as hard and fast at anyone ever. I know i know what your retort will be, but holy hell. The internet has overflowed with cases against trump by people all over the spectrum.Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      “But one thing I have heard from the left/Dems is the screeching of a child who just had his toys taken away. Not one cogent argument about Trump, just an endless cycle of OrangeManBad, or words to that effect.”

      A lot of us on the Right want to think that the OrangeManBad is just propaganda from the ideologically committed Left, but it’s just not so. But it’s just not so. In fact, and for the benefit of those who want to racialize everything, it’s disproportionately represented in normie white Americans.

      Once I came to grips with this, everything else became pretty clear.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Koz
        Ignored
        says:

        Koz, we were told that Trump would destroy the economy and blow up the world. But, instead, we had one of the best economies in decades and real glimmers of middle east peace, along with strengthened relations with India and Japan, and with Europe starting to put real money back in NATO. We were told that he was in collusion with Russia, but the Meuller investigation showed there was nothing to those rumors. No women or LGBTX in camps, or whatever idiocy was peddled on that front. The Border crisis that was blamed on him was shown to be from 2013 and thus long predating him, as evidenced by an Obamabot who pathetically failed at his smear campaign.

        What we got, instead, were a failed impeachment, an uncredible witness during a SCOTUS confirmation, an ever-revolving series of false claims regarding “white supremacy” and unsubstantiated tales of corruption.

        There are things I dislike about the man and his presidency, but they are either immaterial to the office or populist traits that I find as a libertarian to be either stupid or unhelpful. I dislike that the left won the spending wars, but that is a fact on the ground, as real as my like for both LGBT rights and abortion. I like that we haven’t bombed any new countries in the last four years, no matter that so many of the people who screamed about the war under Bush were so “meh” about it under Obama.

        But the reality of both liberalism and conservatism has changed over the decades that I have been alive. We are no longer stuck in the sixties, the eighties or any other decade that a political group might find it wistful to gaze back upon. And that is just reality. This is no longer a world for either those who want to go back to the milieu of Ozzy and Harriet, not for those who want to march down the streets singing the international. And I am going to do everything in my power to move the needle to a more open and libertarian society.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          I suspect most of this is true, but still it doesn’t outweigh what I wrote in the earlier comment. Once I figured that out, this race became much less complicated for me.

          Eg, it’s very plausible to believe that, by getting closer to India and Japan and pushing back against China, Trump is reordering our foreign policy to a much savvier place, much more in line with our parochial national interest, more likely to advance the cause of global human rights.

          But because Trump is Trump, he can’t advocate for these things, he doesn’t advocate for these things, we can’t build any grassroots consensus for them among apolitical Americans, we’re not going to be able to keep whatever policy achievements Trump gets (with the exception of SCOTUS appointments).

          The American people have a very strong instinct to oppose whatever Trump is for, and that’s more than we can fade. It’s best if Trump loses.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Koz
            Ignored
            says:

            A lot of it is not empirically true, its just filtered through the most generous lens Aaron could find. Lots of Americans oppose Trump’s actions because they are bad, and would oppose them no matter who was doing them. Its just they are being run by an over the top, insecure, narcissistic bully.Report

            • Avatar Koz in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              Whatever. This is six of one, half dozen of the other.

              For this purpose, it doesn’t make that much difference if Trump is a substantively great President or a substantively poor one. We in generic Right America simply can’t carry the baggage Trump brings with him, end of.

              This is the point that I think Aaron (and George for that matter) misses.Report

  10. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    “Given the choice between pandering and pushing the ball forward on meat and potatoes issues they almost always pick the kente cloth.”

    This is an interesting idea that has me thinking. These thoughts are muddled but as follows…

    By “picking the Kente cloth”, I assume you mean actions that are largely symbolic in nature and focused on gaining the support of particular sub-groups, largely around identity. Call this identity politics, call this pandering, I don’t really care. I agree that it often seems to happen. And I’m bothered by it, but probably for different reasons than you. I’ll come back to that in a bit.

    I imagine they do it because securing the votes of that groups helps them win and gain/retain power. And gaining/retaining power might allow them to pursue more of the meat and potatoes. Or, at least, that is how the logic goes. But, the Dems haven’t done a whole lot of winning lately. They’ve won some, lost some. And as such, they’ve gotten some bites of meat and a few potatoes on the plate but they haven’t really delivered. And you’d expect more winning since the groups whose support they are seeking are generally growing in size and influence politically. Now, some of their losses are because they are facing an opponent and a highly motivated one that has all their own tactics.

    But still…

    So you have a party that “picks the Kente cloth” and, in doing so, ultimately fails those they are signaling towards AND those they may be ignoring with their signaling. That is a pretty massive fail. The “failing those they are signaling towards” bit is the reason I take issue with the approach: I don’t object to them prioritizing the needs of people of color, women, or other groups I’m not a part of over my own. I object because their gestures are largely symbolic and devoid of action (if you share that critique, then we may agree more than I recognized).

    Now, I don’t subscribe to the Bernie Sanders school of thought that racism can be solved by addressing other issues independent of race. But I do think the experience of people of color — along with many other groups who are oppressed or marginalized in American society — can be improved through policies and practices that aren’t specific to their race, gender, religion, etc.

    If economic policies really did prioritize the interests of working people over big business and high finance, that would be hugely beneficial for people of color, people in poverty, women, single parents, immigrants, etc. And it wouldn’t require conning Kente cloth.

    So, maybe the Dems need to evolve their strategy. Stop trying to signal to groups that might help you win this next election and then just go about business as usual and start actually doing things that help folks and inspire them to want to vote for you.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      What I was thinking of was the kente cloth versus something like Rand Paul’s Justice for Breonna Taylor Act. One of these things does something. One does not. I think it’s pretty obvious which is which.Report

      • Avatar y10nerd in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        This seems like a weird example though. Sure, Rand Paul proposed some decent legislation. But McConnell wasn’t going to allow it to get to a vote. So here we are. Like, at some point, Rand Paul’s was also symbolism because he knew it wasn’t going to come to vote.

        If the Dems take the senate and Rand Paul proposes this legislation, then that’s a different conversation. I have no current expectation that he will.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      When he said “Kente cloth”, I immediately thought of this quotation:

      If you want to think of symbolic victories from the last six months, I’m sure you can think of at least a couple.Report

    • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      So this comment seems strange to me becomes it seems to come from a very different universe than we live in. Which is that, part of the reason why symbolic actions happen is because, well, dems haven’t really had power at the federal level to past legislative policies for a decade. So, like, you need to something for those voters where you can, even if it’s just symbols, because well, you can’t give them meat or potatoes – you don’t have power.

      So the question is – as you pointed out – how do you evolve that strategy? And there is the line ‘prioritize the interests of working people’. So how does that work as an electoral strategy? There’s not a ton of evidence that working-class white people want to be in a coalition with working-class non-whites.

      Which is why we have this interesting coalition right now of non-college-educated white voters (with some latinos in the same category), who are mostly not rich but have a ton of gentry with them vs. suburban white voters and most non-white ethnic groups.

      It’s a weird equilibrium, but it also seems to reflect what coalitions those groups want to be a part of.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to y10nerd
        Ignored
        says:

        Are there things that can be done at the state level? This is an important question. How about the city level?

        If there are, should we be able to look at the cities that have Democratic Mayors (and have had them for years), Democratic Governors (and have had them for years), Democratic State-level Houses/Senates (and have had them for years) and say “well, they’re a lot better on police violence” (or, perhaps, some other measurement you might want to pick)?Report

        • Avatar y10nerd in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          This seems to move the goalposts of the conversation though by mixing in two different concepts: the conversation with Kazzy was largely about federal politics and the comment with inMD about police brutality.

          With regards to police issues, there are a lot things the state and local governments can do. This is one of those things were the broader ‘awokening’ of the summer is going to be helpful in the long run. Quite frankly, my experience is that white liberal voters were often just as comfortable with black/brown folks being policed and hassled. Some rollbacks in pro-police legislation have happened in NY and PA for example.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to y10nerd
            Ignored
            says:

            I have no desire to move goalposts.

            It’s just that I think that a number of wins are possible at the local level (and, perhaps, *ONLY* possible at the local level) and focusing on the federal politics is likely to result in a conversation about aesthetics rather than actual justice.

            “Quite frankly, my experience is that white liberal voters were often just as comfortable with black/brown folks being policed and hassled.”

            Oh, yeah. I imagine that any policy, local, state, or federal, that resulted in property values going down would get blown out of the water pretty damn fast.

            Say what you will about symbolic victories, they’re easy and they taste like the real thing (despite, you know, not having any nutritional value).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to y10nerd
        Ignored
        says:

        But why have they been out of power for 10 years? Why did they get swept out of the 2016 election? I’m not arguing that the symbolic efforts don’t matter. My argument is that they alone aren’t enough to A) make change or B) win. What’s their goal? Some folks will sacrifice long term power to make a difference now. Others aim to just stay in power, no matter what it takes. What are the Dems doing? Is it working?Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          I think this is what McConnell has done with respect to the judiciary. Knowing demographics are turning against Republicans, and knowing that Republican conservative policies are also tanking in support, he has set up at least a generation if not two of conservative control of the federal bench. For that republicans may well lose the White House and the Senate (the later for perhaps less long then the former), and its a trade he is willing to make as it secures his desired outcome.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Vote for Biden because the greater the margin, the harder it will be for the GOP Supreme Court (and after Barrett headlined last night’s campaign event, you can’t call it anything else) to steal the election.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling
      Ignored
      says:

      The GOP isn’t the one changing ballots (which was a nice video, reminiscent of Bush/Gore vote counters), setting ballot drop boxes on fire, dumping ballots into ditches, allowing ballots to count even if they aren’t sent in until days after the election, or ruling that signatures don’t have to match names. They’re not the ones on camera filling out hundreds of fraudulent ballots and bragging about how much money they’re being paid for it. They’re not on camera at a drive-thru voting location with stack’s of fake drivers licenses so Democrats can vote all day long. They’re not the ones using blatant voter fraud to steal the election.

      When you go that far in casting millions of fake ballots, the other side doesn’t have to treat the election as in any way binding, really, because the bigger margin doesn’t incline them to view it as a measure of public support, the margin just inclines them to think “Democrat voter fraud operations were even bigger than we expected!”

      As Joe Biden said the other day, on camera, “We have put together the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud operation in the history of US politics.” Seniors have moments like that.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        George with a laundry list of anti-Dem conspiracy theories. I hear the sun is setting in the west today.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Slade the Leveller
          Ignored
          says:

          Those aren’t conspiracy theories, those are widely circulated videos where the fraudsters are caught in flagrante delicto. In many of them they spend five minutes explaining, on camera, how their particular voter fraud operation works. Everybody on the right watches those.

          Criminals love denying that they’re on video committing crimes, ye there they are, on video committing crime, much like Hunter Biden recorded himself on audio ranting:

          ****

          I get calls from my father to tell me that The New York Times is calling but my old partner Eric, who literally has done me harm for I don’t know how long, is the one taking the calls because my father will not stop sending the calls to Eric. I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of Patrick Ho – the [ed. fishing] spy chief of China who started the company that my partner, who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing. The richest man in the world is missing who was my partner. He was missing since I last saw him in his $58 million apartment inside a $4 billion deal to build the [ed. fishing] largest fucking LNG port in the world. And I am receiving calls from the Southern District of New York from the U.S. Attorney himself. My best friend in business Devon has named me as a witness without telling me in a criminal case and my father without telling me.

          ****

          I got to listen to that audio today, and nobody on the left does, because the Democrat party, the media, and big tech is committed to making sure Democrats vote in ignorance.

          Today I also got to read his newly released e-mails where he’s explaining to Devon Archer that they must both use burner phones in Ukraine when his dad flies in, and the details about where to get the right burner phone.

          And I got to read his newly released e-mail where he’s ranting that he wasn’t hiding in his hotel room for three days. He was on a corrupt Kazakh VIP’s yacht arguing viciously to get a Ukrainian pipeline deal for Burisma.Report

  12. Avatar Koz
    Ignored
    says:

    Can I get a comment rescue?Report

  13. Avatar Kristin Devine
    Ignored
    says:

    Hey, great piece. Thanks for sharing your perspective.Report

  14. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    Also worth noting that the more Trump loses by, the more likely it is that Republicans will say “Never again.” I don’t expect a legitimately good Republican (or Democratic) Party, because an electorate gets the parties it deserves, and ours does not deserve nice things. But maybe they can be convinced not to let things get quite this bad again.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      I think it’s far from clear what lesson anyone will learn from all of this, again assuming Trump loses. For example I see no reason to believe someone like him couldn’t win a Republican primary again. Absent coronavirus or something similarly catastrophic I think the smart money would be on his re-election.

      There’s still a reckoning to be bad and a whole bunch of pressure against having it.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        The recent New Yorker article was an interesting thought piece on the various ways the GOP will react: Remnant (Trumpists), Restoration (Neo/Movement-Cons), Reversal (Upper Left).

        Douthat quipped the likely result will be Restoration with bits of Remnant/Reversal spices. Probably as good a guess as any.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          There’s a populist candidate out there.

          Maybe on the left, maybe on the right.

          S/he is coming.

          The best we can hope for is that 4/8 years of Trump gave us antibodies against him/her.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Unfortunately, I think general anti-populist antibodies are very unlikely. Antibodies against right-wing populism, maybe. But the left-wing populists have only become more convinced of their own righteousness and wisdom.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I suppose it depends on what we mean by Populist. If Populist is something specific to ‘Trumpism’ and the like, then sure. But if Populist is the opposite to Movement Con/Stuart Stevens (and the Democratic equivalents)… then I guess I dissent. The first part of the article does a pretty good job recounting how Trump dismantled JEB! … that’s still the reckoning we haven’t reckoned with. If every dismantling of JEB! is Populist and therefore bad? Then I think our terms are crossed or not useful.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
              Ignored
              says:

              I mostly mean the opposite of Technocrat (the variant where the guy with a Master’s Degree is the least educated guy in the room).

              Not quite “Stupid Party”, necessarily, but Proletariat. You know who we worried Trump was?

              That.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to Marchmaine
              Ignored
              says:

              One of the big unexplored questions is ‘What if Trump isn’t actually a populist (even if he kinda plays one sometimes and our media doesn’t know the difference)?’ Followed by ‘What would a real populist look like?’Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, if I have a concern, its that Populist starts to function like Isolationist. A meaningless term that is used solely to discredit something someone dislikes that may or may not be Populist/Isolationist because we never define what the term is or the thing being labeled such.

                To JB’s point above, I certainly acknowledge that there’s a techne to governing – I’ve repeatedly commented on the importance of this – but there’s no particular reason why there couldn’t or won’t be Populist Technocrats… unless and until we define Populist to be specifically the absence of Technocrats at which point any person enacting Populist Ideas with Technocrats wouldn’t be Populist.

                That’s the gist of my issue with how we’re throwing around these terms – and probably why I run to Topologies like Technocrats to catnip.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                My use of “technocrat” is more the “Ivory Tower” variant.

                “Guys, I know that we’ve always done it like this… but I’ve written a new graph that suggests that we do it in a grid instead, but one with rotational symmetry!”

                Remember Slate Star Codex’s “Seeing Like A State” review?

                Scott starts with the story of “scientific forestry” in 18th century Prussia. Enlightenment rationalists noticed that peasants were just cutting down whatever trees happened to grow in the forests, like a chump. They came up with a better idea: clear all the forests and replace them by planting identical copies of Norway spruce (the highest-lumber-yield-per-unit-time tree) in an evenly-spaced rectangular grid. Then you could just walk in with an axe one day and chop down like a zillion trees an hour and have more timber than you could possibly ever want.

                This went poorly. The impoverished ecosystem couldn’t support the game animals and medicinal herbs that sustained the surrounding peasant villages, and they suffered an economic collapse. The endless rows of identical trees were a perfect breeding ground for plant diseases and forest fires. And the complex ecological processes that sustained the soil stopped working, so after a generation the Norway spruces grew stunted and malnourished. Yet for some reason, everyone involved got promoted, and “scientific forestry” spread across Europe and the world.

                And this pattern repeats with suspicious regularity across history, not just in biological systems but also in social ones.

                Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess I’m confused then by the relationship of Technocrat to Populist?

                I’m reading your original comment as ‘antibodies’ against Populists would make sure Technocrats are back in charge? But then your definition of Technocrat would suggest that our anti-bodies are worse than the disease. Which *might* be the point… if so, you’ve out-irony’d me… so kudos. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Instead of using Good/Evil as an axis, let’s use “Smart/Dumb” as an axis. I suppose I prefer Dumb Technocrats to Dumb Populists, but Dumb Technocrats inevitably lead to Dumb Populists.

                And Dumb Technocrats can’t tell the difference between Dumb Technocrats and Smart Technocrats.

                I don’t know if Smart ones can tell the difference either…

                Anyway, Hobbes was right.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you prefer Dumb Technocrats to Smart Populists?

                But if we’re going with Hobbes, then this reads like comparing the Sword to the Tyrant. I care little about the Sword, only that it is oiled, well balanced and sharp. As for the Tyrant? On that I have notions.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                The only smart populists I’ve ever met were at a local (even hyper-local) level.

                I don’t know of any who have left that level.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                And the two things kind of function in a similarly unhealthy and dismissive way. There are totally legitimate policy conversations that we seem unable to have in a productive way. What isn’t always understood is that failure to have it in a productive way ensures we have it in an unproductive and maybe even dangerous way.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                One of the big unexplored questions is ‘What if Trump isn’t actually a populist (even if he kinda plays one sometimes and our media doesn’t know the difference)?’ Followed by ‘What would a real populist look like?’

                I don’t understand these questions.

                A populist is just someone who says ‘Conventional political wisdom (Or just my party’s conventional wisdom) is wrong on this fairly important topic X, and I am correct’…and gets some level of electorial traction with that position.

                Trump is, definitively, a populist, in that he proposed quite a lot of things that _everyone in the system_ disagreed with, and even more things that his own party disagreed with.

                Some of that is hard to notice _because his party often immediately pivoted_. Stuff like free trade and random middle east wars, his party instantly said ‘Yeah, we’ll go with your position, even though we’ve spent years arguing the other way’.

                And other things he promised that were outside (his party’s) political norms like super-duper healthcare for all or a bunch of infrastructure spending, were just…outside his competency.

                But even if they weren’t ever intended to be done…populism is still populism even if utter lies.

                I think the thing that might be tripped people up here is that Trump often disagreed with the political establishment in _utterly horrible_ ways.

                But…the type of disagreement doesn’t make it populism or not. It just has to be some serious disagreement, policies are entirely outside the norm. It doesn’t matter if those policies are ‘deregulating meat packers’ or ‘free healthcare for all’ or ‘we should leave NATO’ or ‘we should arrest the press for treason’…none of those, when people were running on them, were standard political positions, and yet people supported those positions and thus supported the person making them: That is populism.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
              Ignored
              says:

              The reason there is so much difficulty conjuring up a definition of “populist” in America is that there isn’t an easy way to separate out The People from The Elites.

              At least…no way that the people who want to create a definition find acceptable.

              Because inevitably it turns out that The People includes mass numbers of immigrants, dark skinned people, rednecks, and bourgeoisie and poor people.

              In other words, The People is a group that isn’t comfortable with itself, and in fact the chasm within The People is wider than the one that separates them from The Elite.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure… but even that (People vs. Elite) is one competing – and IMO not the best – definition of what Populism is or might be.

                So… that’s my jeremiad against the misuse of the term Populism (and Isolationism).

                It starts to become a sort of reverse image of some other imagined thing… not an actual thing.Report

  15. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    And Greenwald resigns from The Intercept because they censored his reporting on Biden, like many other “mainstream” outlets who won’t report on this story.

    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/my-resignation-from-the-intercept

    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/article-on-joe-and-hunter-biden-censored

    Our media, who’s supposed to make the comfortable uncomfortable seems to be in bed with one party. Who’d a thought?!Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      Heck, 4/chan folks have done deeper reporting just digging through Hunter’s Reddit and Pornhub accounts, piecing together exact timelines of his interactions with his under-age niece.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *