Crossing the Suburbicon

Russell Michaels

Russell Michaels

Russell is inside his own mind, a comfortable yet silly place. He is also on Twitter.

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95 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    “Joe Biden won. But how did he win?

    White men, mostly, and college-educated white women a little bit.

    Every other demographic was stronger for Trump in 2020 than in 2016.Report

  2. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    Trump won’t go away because the Republican party voting base doesn’t want him to go away.

    He will continue to destroy any norm or institution that doesn’t bend to his will because the Republican Party voting base wants to destroy those norms and institutions that won’t bend to their will.

    The guardrails of our democracy can’t restrain this because they were never designed to.

    The American constitutional republic was designed with checks and balances and distribution of power centers to restrain a single would-be tyrant. But it was designed also to empower a large group of people who can control a even a large minority of those power centers.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
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      I’d argue it was designed to restrain a single tyrant, even with some measure of public support.

      But Congress and the courts have, over the decades, abdicated a lot of their power to the executive because of wars, or because it made it easier to push policy without having to compromise.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        And, most importantly, because it made it easier for congresscritters to keep their jobs for long comfortable hauls. In other words, we all abdicated this power to the executive.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to North
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          says:

          The only thing Congress wants to do is raise funds (for themselves and their allies) and allocate tax expenditures… when they don’t have a green light for expenditure expenditures.

          One of the reasons why I could be persuaded by an overhaul of the tax code and/or UBI would be to reduce some of the directed spending they do via taxation. Note, this isn’t to say taxes should be lower or higher… just that they shouldn’t be policy proxies.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine
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            Sure, and that is all to one end: re-election.

            Hell I’m in tentative favor of replacing a lot of safety net spending with some kind of UBI setup but if that was the only thing you did it wouldn’t change the incentives for Congress.
            -They want to be reelected.
            -Barring that, if they don’t get reelected they want a comfortable well paying job adjacent to government. For both parties this means lobbyists, for both parties it means sucking up to large corporations. For right wingers there’s the additional, and absolutely poison, incentive of a paid gig in the right wing media apparatus.

            Those two incentives inform their moves and deferring the power and responsibility for those tough decisions to the executive lets them focus on those incentives.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to North
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          ‘Comfortable’ is the key here. I can be sold on the argument that term limits for congress would not be the panacea that they are often imagined to be, but that doesn’t mean we should tolerate politicians who vote the party line and otherwise don’t do much aside from chasing sound bites.

          I’ll say it again, one of the big reasons I prefer vote by mail is that I can sit with my ballot for a few days and do some research on the candidates and issues that appear on my ballot. I don’t have to fall back on incumbent name recognition.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon
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            do some research on the candidates and issues that appear on my ballot. I don’t have to fall back on incumbent name recognition.

            Not for nothing but in the internet age you can do that quite easily without a ballot in hand. Even down here in red and reticent Mississippi we can get our sample ballot on line weeks before the election and a decent night’s googling gets you the information you need.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H
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              Good!

              But then I gotta remember it all, and put on clothes and go stand in line, etc.

              So much easier to just do it at my kitchen table where I can argue with my wife about everything on the ballot, while keeping her from trying to steal my ballot so she can just vote for me. Then a quick trip to the mailbox while taking the dog out for a walk and I’m all done without ever having to change out of my pajamas.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Philip H
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              Very true. But I live in a high population growth area and every two years I had to find out where my voting site was, then hope the county had chosen wisely so the lines weren’t long, and that the weather wouldn’t be bad (“seasonal” on election day here can be anything from 70 and sunny to single digits and a blizzard). Once we had no-excuse, absentee voting was so much more convenient. As soon as we had a permanent mail-ballot list, it got more convenient. Since we started sending mail ballots to everyone (with an option for in-person for people when necessary or preferred), keeping the system is preferred by 75% of Republicans, 80% of unaffiliated, and 85% of Democrats.

              This seems to be a common experience in western states.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Michael Cain
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                I’m in no way arguing AGAINST 100% mail in ballots for everyone. I think their virtues outweigh their vices 100000000:1.

                But there are solutions we can all use as alternatives, and we should promulgate them often, especially since many Republican controlled states look like they will try to further restrict voting before the next election.

                And down here, Pajamas are acceptable polling place voting attire, just as they are at a major retailer with its own website titled ” People of . . . “Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Oscar Gordon
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            says:

            I don’t understand this point. You can do the same thing with the sample ballot before voting in person.

            Update: OK, I get pajamas.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Oscar Gordon
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            I’m 110% in favor of vote by mail. Heck, considering the challenges facing the states in this environment I’d go so far as to say that mail in voting cleared the bar with flying colors.

            I’m 110% against term limits as you should be as well. You wanna empower both lobbyists and entrenched interests then pass term limits which ensures that your elected officials will be locked in a perpetual state of neophyte status.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North
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              I admit that I was wrong; I figured that at least one of GA, NY, PA, or MI would have a total disaster trying to do large-scale vote-by-mail at the (relatively) last minute. And when I say total disaster there, I mean something that everyone would recognize as a disaster.

              I worked for a state legislature as permanent staff enough years after term limits were put in for them to bite. Along with lobbyists and outside interests, permanent staff gain a lot of power. Staff on both sides of the legislative/executive divide, I would add. In my case, it was discouraging to realize that the collective staff remembered that some budget maneuver tried eight years ago was such a mess that it had to be reversed two years later, and no one on the budget committee was a sitting member of the General Assembly when either of those happened.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to North
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              says:

              Hanley once posted the results of a study that examined the effects of term limits, and it made enough sense to me that I changed my stance on it.

              At this point, I’d be less in favor of term limits and more in favor of mandatory retirement (we have a minimum age, why can’t we have a maximum age?).Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Ageism! When will the hate end??!?!?!
                But seriously.. I still feel this is on the voters. If more youngsters voted than maybe those old fossils in the assemblies and congress wouldn’t have such an easy time shuffling to reelection.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Chip Daniels
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      I’m in the minority, but believe the entire Trump family will disappear from view fairly quickly. If the Trump Organization finances are as shaky as I’m guessing, and the NY/NJ authorities have money laundering charges on the order of $100M, Javanka will tie Daddy up and stuff him in a closet while they try to get things back under control.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
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        My focus is increasingly less on Trump than on Trumpism.

        Specifically the large number of people who would be happy to accept a court overturning the election and installing a President against the wishes of the majority.

        These people aren’t going away and they aren’t becoming more moderate.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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        says:

        I agree with this but the problem with Trump is that he was a symptom, he was not the disease.

        We were lucky to get Trump.

        We’ll probably move toward doing everything we can to prevent future symptoms instead of addressing the root cause, though. The root cause is good!, we can tell ourselves. It’s the *SYMPTOMS* that are bad!Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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          What weight would you assign to the various causes?
          Partisan yellow dog that I am I put a high weight on the dysfunctional chasm between the GOP’s intellegensia and leadership versus their voters; also the existence of a right wing media system that’s genuinely beginning to wear the GOP as an appendage rather than the other way around.
          A less partisan person would no doubt point the finger at technocrats, Arch liberal culture warriors, globalism and other things.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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            The GOP’S intellgensia” is often just as nutty as the base. Hence all the GOP congresscritters that signed on for the Texas lawsuit. Dreher is practically in hysterics all the time about something or other destroying everything he holds dear. Miller is a fanatical foot soldier for xenophobia and racism. Anton is Anton.

            David Frum observed in 2018 that if forced to pick between conservatism and democracy, conservatives would pick conservatism and this is why we are here. The Flight 93 election is now a full force thing.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
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              The intellegensia may be as nutty as the base but usually in a different direction. The GOP’s elite are libertarian corporatists mostly (that’s who pays their salaries after all). The base is enormously more populist and social conservative. The base is also, by and large, where the ugly racialist sentiments reside.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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                Eh plenty of racists all the way up and down.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
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                I don’t think simply writing off a third to half the country as racist is a winning formulae. Especially since, using the definitions en vogue currently, everyone is racist.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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                says:

                Racism is more than the neo-nazis screaming the Jews will not replace us at the top of their lungs. Miller is a racist to the core and at the top of Trump’s policy gang and one of the few to survive. Trump has been screaming raw and unvarnished racism for a long, long time.

                The future of the GOP pols is all own the libs/racist grifters.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                What makes you think there is a “winning formula”?

                What if around 40% of the American electorate really doesn’t want to live in a world where different ethnicities and orientations are respected?

                Suppose they really don’t value democracy and the consent of the governed?

                Isn’t it entirely possible that this 40% were more accurately represented by the likes of Adrian Vermuele and Sohrab Amari, than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Because they weren’t when they voted for Obama?

                As to your hypothetical? If 40% of the electorate thought that way then it’d be absolutely imperative to bind, gag and throw in a closet every extreme left wing racial essentialist to make sure you could keep from alienating that uncommitted 10-20% and wrangle a majority to keep that 40% out of power.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                Aren’t Obama, Biden, Harris all members of the “extreme left wing racial essentialist” caucus that they hate with the heat of a thousand suns?

                Do you think that anyone who votes Republican sees any daylight at all between AOC and Kamala Harris?

                What I’m saying is that a lot of Democrats are acting like some evangelical missionary who is convinced that the only reason the kids haven’t embraced his religion is due to his poor messaging or delivery; That maybe if he added electric guitars and strobe lights they would come around.

                I’m suggesting that a very large number of Americans simply reject the foundational premise of the Democratic party, and even democracy itself.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                To the ungettable partisans nestled in the busom of Fox and Friends or worse, sure.

                But obviously, as history shows, not to all of the GOP’s voters vote or think that way for some of them voted for Obama and no small number of them voted for Biden and Harris too.

                I agree with you on actions not measuring up to words. The idealistic left says “Oh all those right wing voters are irredeemable racists.” but they sure as hell don’t act like it. If you honestly to God(ess?) thought that if you lost genuine racists would be taking charge you sure as fish wouldn’t be pushing Kendi’s 1984 Department of Antiracism and you sure as hell wouldn’t be launching ballot initiatives in CA that say “It’s ok for the government to discriminate based on race now.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Foundational premise?

                This is where “Does California have more segregation in its schools than mother-father Alabama?” becomes and interesting question.

                If California does, I’d point out that “Californians” compromises that very large number.

                And if the state that voted for Democrats by a larger margin by any other has more segregation than Alabama, I’d submit:

                The foundational premise is not, in fact, what you claim to think it is.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                The foundational premise of this country is that people live where they can afford to. One of the foundational facts of this country is that white folk, on the whole, have more money than other folk. Conclusion, places that cost more to live in will be whiter than places that cost less. Further conclusion, places where there are more well-off people will be more segregated than places with fewer well-off people. And that’s before people start screwing around, as some do.
                There are people who find these obvious facts interesting, but even a dog knows the difference between being stumbled over and being kicked.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                It’s not *RACIST*. It’s only *STRUCTURALLY* racist!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                Tu quoque doesn’t advance any argument, it just throws dust in the air and shouts “Look over there!”

                But ok, lets Look Over There;
                Yes, racism is persistent and engrained within the Democratic Party. Sexism and homophobia as well.

                Are we done? Had a good long look?
                OK, lets get back to the topic.

                The Democratic Party enjoys the support of the vast majority of ethnic minorities because they see it as the best vehicle to their goals of inclusion. Even with its flaws!

                Further, the Democratic Party is committed to respecting the norms of democracy and our constitutional order. We aren’t trying to kidnap governors or threatening election officials with murder.

                Until around 2010 or so, this would have been mostly true of the Republicans as well.

                But they have since made a clear and conscious choice to abandon any pretense of republican democracy in favor of full authoritarianism.
                Any Republican who does stand up for the norms of democracy, like the election officials in Georgia, find themselves at the end of threats of jail from the President.

                So yeah, anyone who voted Republican in 2020 has rejected the founding premises of the Democratic Party.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Oh, I thought you were making that claim from a position of moral strength, not a position of relative moral strength.

                Please, carry on.

                (I look forward to seeing what the founding premises of the Democratic Party do with defunding the police once Trump is frogmarched out of the White House.)Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Oh, I thought you were making that claim from a position of moral strength, not a position of relative moral strength.
                Are you under the impression that, in this vale of tears, these are two different things?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                Yes, actually.

                It involves seeing a difference between “morality” and “moral fashion”, though.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                As opposed to the better and the impossible.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                I’m a big fan of better. I’m less a fan of “you need to understand that the world works a certain way and that’s why, on the surface, it might look like I haven’t done the stuff that I’m demanding other people do, but you need to be better while it’s impossible for me to be so.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                In which case, the Democratic Party even with its flaws, fits the definition of “better”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                And yet California is still not better than Alabama when it comes to segregation of schools.

                You’re wearing blinders. And these blinders are telling you that you’re fine, you don’t have to change. It’s other people that have to change.

                And you’re wrong on that.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                You aren’t making any sort of an argument here.

                Saying over and over that there is racism in the Democratic Party is an observation, not a thesis.

                You aren’t even attacking my premise that the Democrats are better; You cite one metric, asking it to carry the weight of a real argument without bothering to make a clear assertion of whether the Democrats are or are not better.

                Saying the “Democrats must change” is a meaningless phrase; Change from what to what? For what purpose?

                I can’t even begin to agree or disagree with you, since you aren’t constructing a proposition which can be tested or defended.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                The fundamental proposition that I am arguing against is that the Democrats won because they were above any baseline that was not “Donald Trump”.

                “People preferred the Democrats!” is one way to read this election. It is the wrong way.

                “People were repulsed by Trump!” is a better way to read it.

                “That means that, positionally, the Democrats were better!” This is technically true, but uninteresting.

                Because if the Democrats look at Trump and say “therefore, we don’t have to change!”, they will lose again. The pendulum will swing and they will lose again and, next time, they might not be fighting against someone stupid and lazy.

                This is an actual opportunity for the Democrats to be better than something other than Trump.

                If they take this opportunity to say “We beat Trump, therefore we are good!”, then they will make things easier for the guy who comes after Trump.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                OK, so if your argument is that people are not voting FOR Democrats, but merely AGAINST Trump, then logically it would mean that absent Trump, people are indifferent to the choice of Democrat or Republican.

                But that isn’t backed up by empirical evidence, is it?

                I already posted the specifics of progressive change on racial justice enacted here in Los Angeles by the Democratic voting base, in the election of George Gascon.

                Here’s another data point-
                HOW OHIO’S RACIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT WON BIG AT THE BALLOT BOX
                Although judicial races are nonpartisan in Hamilton County, Democrats invested in them like never before, winning nine out of 13 open seats in the appeals and common pleas courts in November. The slate included candidates with experience as public defenders and civil rights lawyers, who promised reforms like overhauling the bail system to reduce pretrial incarceration. In an interview with Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT, attorney Bill Gallagher credited racial justice protesters for the election of a slate of judges more reflective of the communities they serve.
                https://theappeal.org/politicalreport/ohio-racial-justice-organizing/

                This wasn’t anything to do with Trump; The local voters, led by Democrats, enacted real change in the way their criminal justice system operates.

                This is “better” by any objective metric.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                OK, so if your argument is that people are not voting FOR Democrats, but merely AGAINST Trump, then logically it would mean that absent Trump, people are indifferent to the choice of Democrat or Republican.

                They would probably prefer something in the ballpark of what Republicans campaign on or something in the ballpark of what Democrats campaign on.

                I already posted the specifics of progressive change on racial justice enacted here in Los Angeles by the Democratic voting base, in the election of George Gascon.

                Yes, you did.

                And if my argument is that people don’t vote *FOR* X but *AGAINST* Y, then pointing out that someone won an election isn’t a counterargument.

                I think it’s great that George got elected. Yay.

                Let’s see what he does when he gets asked to do something.

                “Well, you have to understand. The wheels of the political machine turn slowly…” is one of the things I expect to be told when he’s not that different from the guy he replaced.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                This was his first day as District Attorney:

                New Los Angeles DA announces end to cash bail, the death penalty and trying children as adults

                https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/08/us/los-angeles-da-criminal-justice-reform/index.html

                This is what Gascon’s supporters, and BLM specifically, lobbied FOR.

                Even stipulating that many white Democrats are still racist and live in segregated neighborhoods, the Democratic Party and its racial justice caucus have brought real change to Los Angeles.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                It’s not an awful start and does seem to indicate good things.

                (But it’s been a week.)Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
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                You aren’t making any sort of an argument here.

                Dog bites man. Film at 11:00.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                And I’m a big fan of professional wrestling, which this is beginning to resemble.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                Okay, Clarence Mason.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                I remember that Mike Dwyer used to think that identifying my (or Saul’s) profession was some sort of insult.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                I was running with the Pro Wrestling Lawyer thing.

                I wouldn’t insult the profession. The profession, much like any other, can be good or bad.

                It can be used to defend the innocent. It can be used to defend corporations from facing the repercussions of bad action.

                You know what’s weird? The lawyers who advertise specifically for helping poor people who can’t afford lawyers are the ones who get the most jokes about how awful lawyers are. That’s kinda wacky, don’t you think?

                It’s the ones like Neal Katyal that are the ones who are considered “respectable”.

                So, all that to say, being a lawyer is like being a cop.

                Some of them are good and do good work. We should celebrate that. Would that we had more of such cops.

                But the people who fly “Thin Blue Line” flags are kinda nutty.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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                Uh we already know the answer to that one. Biden didn’t run on Defund the Police, he wasn’t elected on Defund the Police and so he’s not going to Defund the Police.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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                Well, I keep thinking that something is eventually going to stop working but then it keeps working.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North
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                But I at least feel like Biden today could be convinced to do what the Front Range cities and suburbs are doing and add co-responders who are mental health professionals.

                Arrests are down, jailings are down, and some part of the chronic 911 callers are calling people who can do a better job of helping them.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain
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                Dude, Biden would totally do that! Except, of course, that the feds don’t actually hire, fire or fund cops.
                But let’s be real, if his party converged on a policy that they could pass through congress you can be pretty confident that Biden would support it. He’s a party creature.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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            Part of the causes are The Usual Complaints. “This country isn’t like what it was when I was 12!”

            Yes, that sucks. If it makes you feel any better, 50 year olds will be making that complaint in 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 years.

            the dysfunctional chasm between the GOP’s intellegensia and leadership versus their voters

            This is *A* problem but not *THE* problem. There were Trump voters who were Obama voters. There were Trump voters who were, to that point, non-voters.

            It’s the chasm between the GOP’s/DNC’s intelligentsia and leadership and the voters that is part of the problem.

            Some of Joe Biden’s zoom calls got leaked and, golly, there was surprise expressed.

            Stuff like this keeps bubbling up:

            More and more people are noticing that power protects power and it has nothing to do with the “their voters” people. All of them.

            I wouldn’t point the finger at technocrats, culture warriors, globalism (really) as much as the gap between the people who benefit from technocracy, the culture war, and globalism and the people who don’t benefit (or are even harmed) by technocracy, culture war, and globalism.

            You can only say “learn to code” so many times.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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              Oh sure, I’m pretty sympathetic to the criticisms of the dream hoarders and the other well off but not fabulously rich cohort that is such a huge power in the Democratic Party and is also the driving local force behind exclusionary zoning, exclusive schooling etc. I don’t know how you go after them easily, though. Zoning and the like is primarily a state and local level policy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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                All politics is local.

                There were (and are!) a ton of people who vote for President as if it were a local election.

                Then they go back to complaining for 4 years.

                If they stop believing in the system as a whole, though… well, that’s when they might find common cause with a whole lot of folks who are having problems believing in the system as a whole.

                Again: We got lucky with Trump.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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                Oddly enough I do actually agree with you on Trump. He could have been so much worse.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    Trump sort of tried to appeal to women but he did so in a very ham-fisted kind of way that treated the suburbs as if they were trapped in amber circa 1972. In other words, he saw suburban women as stay at home moms who were very white, very conservative, and fearful that minorities would erode property values.

    The suburbs of 2020 are not the suburbs of 1972. They are more diverse, educated, and liberal. Plus the GOP’s never ending assault on abortion rights was finally going to tell women that perhaps the GOP was not on their side.

    As to men? I think part of it is the incumbency effect but there are also a lot of guys who really like and wish they could get away with Trump’s machismo caudillo shtick. These are the same guys who watch Wall Street and Scarface (Al Pacino version) and take away all the wrong lessons.Report

  4. Avatar North
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    Post-election analysis is always an exercise in fun or frustration. Particularly when the outcome is muddled as this election very much was. I could wax rhapsodic about the fun side for ages but it probably wouldn’t be interesting so, for personal mental hygiene, I’m gonna focus on the frustrating side which necessarily means looking at my own party.

    Biden outperformed his party. That’s a really alarming fact, especially when you consider that he did it from a very throwback front porch style of campaigning. From the moderate side of the liberal aisle that draws a number of conclusions.

    -3 left wing arch liberals (the Squad) outweigh the entire rest of the party in terms of who the media (both mainstream and right wing) describes as representing the position of the Democratic Party. That just is utterly maddening. Obviously, I can see why the Squad and the liberal fringe they represent think it’s aces but how the fuck do you reverse that? Nominate more charismatic centrists, I guess? What would make me change my mind on this? How about we see some of those rose twitter fishers elect some AOC’s and Omar style politicians in R+1 or D+1-5 districts instead of the D+40 districts where all of them currently comfortably squat.

    -I differ from my compatriots in thinking that Pelosi has done a pretty decent job as Speaker this run. Be that as it may she is elderly and even fans like me can sense a general rigidity in her decision making. We really really really could use some fresh blood in Democratic Leadership but the seniority system means that when the current crop retires the new comers will only be marginally less stale. That definitely sends a chill up my spine. What would make me change my mind on this? I dunno, the GOP chucked their seniority system back in the 80’s-90’s yes and we see where their younger newer leaders led them: the hypocrisy and vapidity of Paul Ryan mirrored by the pure competent malevolence of McConnel? The genial ruin of Bush and the hilarious corruption of Trump. Ugh.

    -Even as he got devastated in suburbia Trump made slight inroads with minorities. It’s interesting to ponder why. Moderates say that with the rampaging identarian left’s campaigns to discriminate against Asians and Jewish people in University admissions and the woke’s whirling, ever-expanding gyre of ever shifting identarian wingnuttery it’s no wonder that some minorities are running away. Liberals point out that the worst losses were among minority men who may be drawn to Trumps personal style. Everyone except the Squad observes that embracing socialism is going to be a problem with communities who fled genuine socialist fiascos in Cuba, Vietnam or Venezuela. I just don’t know on this one. Maybe this could be a healthy thing? Can a post Trump GOP get his numbers or better with minorities? No fishin clue, but then no one knows what the GOP will look like post Trump or even when it’ll be post Trump.

    -There is something that personally drives me up the wall about the woke left trying to leap in front of the current victory parade and claim that they’re responsible for Bidens’ win and thus he should cater to their positions, such as they are. These are the people who spent the whole primary penning screeds about how Biden was utterly unacceptable and how his very candidacy was offensive; then shifted to predicting he’d loose one he was nominated. Absolutely- minority, and especially AA community, votes were central to Bidens primary win and his general election victory but for the woke to claim, post hoc, that they speak for those voters who were responsible for Biden’s win is just amazing chutzpah. What would make me change my mind? How about the woke nominating a woke-acceptable candidate who speaks in strong woke speak then wins a solid primary victory and goes on to a landslide general election win with hordes of those young woke voters who never seem to show up leading the way.

    Where do we go from here? Joe Biden is gonna be President and, barring a miracle in GA, he’s going to have Mitch McConnel opposing absolutely everything he does. The GOP and the right will no doubt suddenly rediscover the importance of fiscal discipline and, hopefully, will be drowned in the contemptuous laughter that any right wing talk of fiscal sobriety merits at this point. Still, Joe will have a mountain of shit to clean up just to get back to the starting line in terms of the mess that’s been made of the institutions and foreign relations. I personally think voters would reward him if he delivers a period of low-key competence and quiet even though the media is going to probably be spasming out like a toddler going through sugar withdrawal.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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      says:

      Spanberger and Lamb were elected with higher percentages this time than in 2018 rants against the squad not withstanding. Rose twitter did nothing to elect or reelect AOC as far as I can tell, they know hate AOC and the Squad because they are doing a whole Horseshoe thing and want to destroy the Democratic Party. What you are basically asking for is for solidly Democratic districts to move to the right it seems.

      Bush II also did better with minorities in 2004 than he did in 2000 and then it reverted in 2008-2016. It may just be an incumbency effect. Some of it could be the pure secular machismo that somehow gets projected onto Trump. Some people like to think he is a macho macho big boss.

      Trump seems to have gotten older Asian and Hispanic voters because of “communism” and anti-Muslim Indians think he is pro-Modi. According to this NBC article, Biden received 63 percent of the Asian-American vote:

      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/asian-americans-voted-biden-63-31-reality-more-complex-n1247171

      Polling on Jewish groups indicates Biden received anywhere from 60 percent to 77 percent of the Jewish vote. The polling orgs are all partisan so the actual numbers are murky and unclear.

      What it seems to me as someone who is more partisan than you is?

      1. Gerrymandering is still very effective but no one wants to discuss this because it is a hard and depressing structural issue as oppose to yelling at Democrats to “try harder” which is cheap and easy and emotionally satisfying. Democratic candidates still won more votes than R candidates but not as big a wave as 2018 and this led to an eating away at the minority.

      2. There were voters who went for Biden but did not vote downballot for Ds. Perhaps people are still in denial about Trump not being an aberration and think things will go back to “normal” once Trump is gone.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        No, I’m saying that a potted plant would be elected in AOC or any of the Squads districts so long as it was nominated by the Democratic Party and we all know it. AOC’s presence in congress isn’t a sign of some coming left wing surge. It’s just primary politics. If the far left wants to be taken seriously they need to nominate and -elect- an AOC (or even more socialist) style politician in a swing district or two. Until then they’re just fringers fringing fringily.

        1. Gerrymandering is a very interesting subject, primarily because of its fragility. When you make a lot of somewhat safe GOP districts and a couple super safe Dem districts you set it up so that any wave election will have outsized effects. But, of course, you need to get a wave election first and preferably in a decile year. Thus the moderates and the wingers knife fighting in the rows.

        2. I mean c’mon here, let’s call a spade a spade. Voters who voted Biden then GOP down ballot were voting against the Democratic Party and against Trump. I don’t know how one can interpret that any differently. Why they’re voting against the Dems is a more interesting question. Moderates say “Durn it, it’s because the party is being misrepresented as a bunch of socialist, defund the police, kooks” and the liberals say “Durn it, it’s because the party isn’t a bunch of socialist, defund the police, idealists.” Knife fighting ensues.Report

    • Avatar gregian in reply to North
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      says:

      Pelosi has some skills but i’ve soured a bit on her. She is almost entirely passive and bad at messaging. The house did the minimum to investigate trump despite the frickn side loader full of corruption on his part. She just wanted to fly low and let him F up. One way to neutralize teh “GAH the soshuism” is coming for us is to be presenting good things and good messages to voters. Nancy really didn’t do much of that. R’s always scream soshulism, D’s need to speak up to show something different and why to vote for them. At the House level the D’s didn’t do it well. Nancy is from a different era of politics.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to gregian
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        says:

        She’ll always be the Mother and savior of the ACA in my books and to be fair to her the impeachment foofaraw went the way she said it would- it died in the Senate and seemed to sway the electorate not even in the slightest.
        That being said, I’m open to the idea of a fresher leadership team. Entheusiastic even. Still one shouldn’t undersell the value of a cautious “don’t fuck up” stance.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to North
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          says:

          Agreed on the ACA. True and to her credit. Impeachment was never going to fly in the senate, but to many people who don’t follow the news didn’t get it nor did they really understand the depths of the trump admins corruption. She dropped the ball on that. There was corruption to show every day and twice on sundays. She’s a great party whip though.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to greginak
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            says:

            That’s because the case for impeachment was never that strong and given the make-up of the Senate it had to be extraordinary for any hope of succeeding. Someone needed to be able to explain why the situation with Trump was so bad that it couldn’t wait for an election. Further they needed to convince a critical mass of people that it could only be rectified by emergency removal from office and installation of Mike Pence.

            I’m not trying to be a jerk about it but the fact that D leadership can’t figure these things out does not inspire confidence. There’s too many people way too willing to believe their own BS.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to InMD
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              says:

              No jerkiness received. Many of us on the left agree. Heck I have beat the drum for Pelosi and Schumer to be retired for several years now. its one of the reasons I don’t want the Biden Administration poaching more Senators (who used to be competitors) for cabinet positions.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to InMD
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              says:

              The Mueller report on it’s own was grounds for impeachment. Ukraine just added on to that. Did the D’s make a great case to the public: no, that is part of the problem. It seems pretty clear to me nothing would get the senate to vote for impeachment. At least after seeing their cowardice in the last year or so. That the D’s couldn’t and didn’t keep making that case is one big reason why i’m not that thrilled with nancy now and schumer has sucked for a long time.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North
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          says:

          She was outstanding at shepherding it through. She is a terrific Speaker, and a fairly horrible “face of the party.” Harry Reid gets a big call-out for holding a majority where he couldn’t lose a vote together enough to get something passed. Look, neither Lieberman (Connecticut) nor Nelson (Nebraska) were going to ever vote for a public option which would be at the expense of the health insurance companies that had a huge role in those states’ economy.

          Ditto on the leadership. I’m a mid-Boomer (1953, smack in the middle of that 1948-1960 band). We never got a shot at leadership, but our time is past. Time to move on.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain
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            says:

            Yeah it’s fashionable to dump on the ACA on the left now days (ironic considering that the electorate now loves it) but its passage was not remotely forgone and after Grimes fished up the MA Senate seat the ACA’s passage was a small legislative miracle.Report

  5. Avatar JS
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    says:

    “What the absolute bloody Hell has Trump been doing for the last month and a half?”

    Making money hand over fist. He has raised at least 200 million for his “Leadership PAC” under the guise of asking for people to donate to pay for “legal fees” to “fight the fraud”. The vast bulk of those donations don’t go into his legal fund, but into that Leadership PAC, which has remarkably few restrictions on spending. He could pay himself and his family ridiculous salaries, buy a jet, and basically use it as his personal fund for whatever he wants.

    Ironically, he can’t use it to pay for campaign legal fees.

    Refusing to acknowledge and loss and claiming fraud, and filing endless meritless lawsuits has earned him over 200 MILLION DOLLARS. Why would he stop? And why would Powell and Wood, when they’re ALSO raking in donations for lawsuits that are clearly crowdsourced and simply tossed repeatedly at the Courts without even so much as being spell checked, over and over?

    Because it’s making them rich. Far richer than actually being a lawyer. Or President. It’s endless free money, grifted from the base.

    And this, BTW, is our electoral future because if you can make that kind of money doing it — people are gonna do it.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to JS
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      says:

      I’m trying to think of a parallel structure on the left and I’m not coming up with anything but it could be my partisan blinders are just on. Arguably the homeless industrial complex on the left coast is a grift but they are, at least, a lot more subtle about it.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to North
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        says:

        The grift has always been there, Trump and the GOP just put it on blast because they’ve shown that you don’t need to be subtle about it any more.

        I mean, it’s performance art, and they are getting paid for it.

        And people say the arts are dead…Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          Absolutely, the charismatic preachers in the 80’s taught it to the policy peddlers and Clinton conspiracists in the 90’s; who taught it to the whole right wing media industry in the aughts; who looped in the birthers in the teens and then it was rarified by Trump in ’16 and has now reached these heights.Report

  6. Avatar North
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    says:

    I think my big comment went into moderation.Report

  7. Avatar Richard Hershberger
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    says:

    “95% of the national media is already against Republicans and largely actively rooting for the Democrats.”

    Cite?Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Richard Hershberger
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      says:

      95% of the media openly support the idea that the winner of the most votes should be declared the winner of the election.

      This is rank partisanship.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        Whenever I see the old “leftist media” trope my eyes glaze over, and a usually skip the rest of the piece. While it is possible that the writer somehow manages both to repeat tired bullshit and have something interesting to say, the odds are not in our favor here.Report

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