Yes, Democrats Do Have to Be Perfect

Eric Medlin

History instructor. Writer. Rising star in the world of affordable housing.

Related Post Roulette

117 Responses

  1. Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    In a close race, everything can somehow be thought to have made the difference.

    I remember a lot of stuff thrown at Trump for any reason at all so I’m not sure why he’s assumed to be “forgiven” for not having an infrastructure bill. If the issue didn’t come up it’s because the Press was focused on him cheating on his wife with a porn star or whatever.Report

  2. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    In North Carolina, the Democrats have to win something like 60% of the vote in order to gain 50% of the seats.

    This is NOT just a “fact of political life” except in banana republics.

    The Republicans have chosen to destroy democracy rather than participate in it.Report

  3. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    This unquestioning of Republicans rules of the road will serve you will in corporate media.Report

  4. North
    Ignored
    says:

    Ehh.. I suppose. The Democratic Party is a normal functioning political party. That means that they really need/want to be as perfect/close to perfect as possible. This is so anodyne as to be almost a truism.

    The more interesting question to me is why the GOP doesn’t seem to have to be perfect. Is this because their voting base mostly has its own siloed media apparatus (indeed at this point the media apparatus is virtually running the party)? Or is there a floor to the penalty any party suffers for incompetence and the GOP merely bounces along on it (but if so, the penalty seems pretty weak)? Or does the media cover for whichever side is inepter to try and make it more of a horse race? Or to protect themselves from allegations of bias?Report

    • InMD in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      I think that Chait article you shared yesterday or the day before basically answers the question.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      The Democratic Party is a big tent party where the poles really do not interact except to keep up the tent. Each poll has a variety of different passion projects that might or might no be the priorities or important at all to others in the party. It is quite easy for one or more of the poles to slump for a bit after it is told to take it on the chin and forget its passion project again, it ain’t happening this year because another pole through a fit and that pole has more power despite not having more numbers. See Joe Manchin and parental leave and Sinema and prescription drugs and medicare.

      The Republicans care about the same things. One of which has grown present but is considered rude to mention in the dulcet toned environment of OT. Lets just call them modernities discontents.Report

      • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that’s true but that in addition the party as a whole can struggle to put its finger on where the center of gravity really is. Individual politicians like Obama or Bill Clinton occasionally figure it out but it’s fleeting.

        One of the good points in that Chait article was that the vast majority of Democratic voters and people open to voting D are quite moderate. But moderate is not the same thing as chamber of commerce types. They too are another special interest. My belief is that what the party really coalesces around is a belief in the need for the state to provide decent public services. However it struggles due to competing and even mutually exclusive visions of what that looks like and can easily be derailed by compromises that look unprincipled or straight up fighting over spoils for favored parts of the coalition.

        The Republicans I think have an easier time of throwing a bone or two to cultural grievances of varying legitimacy that cut across a decent swathe of the public before going about their usual business of tax cuts for the rich, swatting down benefits on the margins where they can get away with it, and throwing various wrenches into the administrative state.Report

  5. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Sometimes baseball teams lose a game without making a single error.

    That said, sometimes baseball teams lose games that they would not have lost if they had avoided one (or more) errors.

    “Don’t make errors!” seems like trivially dumb advice. You’d be shocked, shocked at who would argue against it, though. “Maybe the umpires should be less biased!” “Maybe the other team shouldn’t have stolen so many bases!” “Maybe their pitcher shouldn’t have thrown so many sliders!”Report

  6. Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    Democrats do not have to be perfect in California. They do not have to be perfect in Colorado, a much more recent development. They are on the verge of not having to be perfect in Arizona. These are all places where the economies have boomed under the party that is looking forward, where the rules no longer allow gerrymanders or significant voter restrictions, where suburban population density is double that in the rest of the country, where African-Americans are not the largest (or in some cases, the second-largest) minority.

    Open bet no one here has been willing to take: a craft beer or its equivalent on Arizona flips from trifecta red at the state level to trifecta blue in 2022. No exotic analysis, just “one of the parties is out of touch with Arizona voters, and it’s not the Democrats.”Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      Its…almost like, when the people are allowed a free and fair election, Democrats can behave just like normal political parties.

      Huh.Report

    • Koz in reply to Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      Open bet no one here has been willing to take: a craft beer or its equivalent on Arizona flips from trifecta red at the state level to trifecta blue in 2022. No exotic analysis, just “one of the parties is out of touch with Arizona voters, and it’s not the Democrats.”

      You seem to know a lot about the politics of the Interior West, but frankly this seems ridiculous. The one thing the Demos have is that the AZ Republicans are one of the very worst state parties, where a lot of the time they want to fight each other way more than the Democrats.

      But if that’s not happening, and for the moment it’s not, the political culture (and future) of the state is heavily Republican almost everywhere. So let me raise you back a couple. Mark Kelly will lose reelection to the Senate by more than 5%. There will be other “competitive” races where the Dems will lose by 10%, maybe even 15%.

      Maybe you’re hoping that swing voters in Scottsdale or Tempe are going to vote against Andy Biggs or Paul Gosar (who aren’t on their ballot) yeah but that ain’t happening. I suspect AZ will end up being the West Virginia/Tennessee/Arkansas/Missouri of the 2020s.Report

  7. Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    The idea that Democrats have to be perfect to win is self-indulgent nonsense. There are a ton of Democrats in office who are just straight-up trash.

    This article seems less about making a substantive point than an excuse to cheerlead for your team without actually having to defend their policies, which are a very mixed bag.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      I think it’s more the natural instinct of a partisan. It’s easy to think “we have all the best ideas and people, we should win every argument”.

      The truth is that there are very few locks in American politics, but a lot of near-locks. Most politicians look undefeatable until the moment they implode. McAuliffe wasn’t near perfection even before he Loudon County stories broke and he made that terrible gaffe. Youngkin wasn’t near perfection either, but he crushed it near the end.Report

  8. John Puccio
    Ignored
    says:

    Q: What are 2 things Republicans and Democrats have in common?

    A: Authoritarian Tendencies and a Persecution ComplexReport

  9. Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    “The Democratic Party is currently in the position of fighting back against entrenched power.”

    This is just a strange sentence. On the one hand, sure there are $billions arranged against the Democrats and there are $billions arranged against Republicans… trenches are trenches.

    What strikes me as somewhat obvious as a recent participant in the Virginia election is that McAuliffe’s gaffe was the sort of gaffe that is costly not becuase it is some mal adroit phrasing that causes the other side to ‘pounce’ but because it is the sort of thing that uncovers what lots (enough) people are concerned might be really true about a particular party… it demoralizes some who would vote for you, turns away some who might vote for you, and energizes those who won’t vote for you.

    McCauliffe was going to be the next Governor precisely because he wasn’t fighting against entrenched power… he had entrenched power backing — all he had to do was run an imperfect campaign that didn’t veer into wackadoodle territory, which was his within his rights but not within his ability.

    The counter-balance to that was that Youngkin could also make a plausible appeal to entrenched power (not a better one — he LOST all the entrenched power strongholds – but plausible) so not having a Trumpkin on the ballot exposed McAuliffe’s gaffe fatally.

    In fact, going back to the original quotation, what’s strange about the Dems right now is that they are winning the ‘entrenched power’ battle — they don’t need perfection, they just need to not screw up. But not screwing-up in this definition is explicitly jettisoning the far left (esp. on Social Issues)… which is difficult because the far left has trenches too, which run perpendicular to other trenches.Report

    • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Isn’t there some quote about a gaffe not being a mistake so much as an accidental revelation of what a politician actually thinks?Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      “If only the Democrats would jettison the far left” is a useless cliche.

      First, the Far Left is a free floating meaningless term.

      According to Fox News, expanding Medicaid and funding preschool is a Far Left agenda item, supported only by ah, lets see *checks notes* a majority of voters.

      Or maybe the Far Left which must be abandoned is teaching history like, um, let me check here, ah, the story of Ruby Bridges desegregating schools.

      Its the old motte and bailey where the alleged Far Left is some nutty professor, when the true goal is to delegitimize anything counter to Republican talking points.

      Second, its truly bizarre that this appeal is premised on the existence of some imaginary group of moderate centrist voters who are appalled by a random nutty professor who makes a stupid tweet, while being perfectly comfortable with torch-bearing mobs of white supremacists.

      The pool of “jettison the Far Left and I’ll vote Democrat” simply doesn’t exist in any significant number.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s your examples of “far left”? Expanding Medicaid and teaching about Ruby Bridges?

        And then you bring up “the old mottle and bailey”?

        Is your expectation that no one will notice? Or just that you haven’t considered what other people might consider to be “far left” (e.g., house to house searches for guns by the police you’ve recently defunded)?Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Please understand.
          It is not my example.
          It is the Republicans example.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Well, if you can just get people like McAuliffe to say “all we want to do is give people health care and teach them American history, warts and all” instead of stuff like “parents shouldn’t have a say in their child’s education”, maybe Republicans will start looking like a worse alternative again.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              There is no McAuliffe in Texas, or Tennessee, or any of the other half dozen states where the Republicans are trying to ban any books related to race or LGBTQ.

              And Democrats like Biden, Buttigieg, Newsom or even Clinton are the furthest thing from “Far Left” and yet the Republicans hate them with the heat of a million suns and swear up and down they are Bolsheviks intent on frog marching people into gulags.

              These alleged “But for the Far Left” voters don’t exist.

              But as long as we’re talking about swing voters…

              You know who DOES exist?
              Conservative minorities who would totally vote Republican if only the Republicans would jettison their white supremacists.

              But pundits never seem to ask why they won’t.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “Conservative minorities who would totally vote Republican if only the Republicans would jettison their white supremacists.”

                Lots of people are asking exactly that.

                I keep saying that it’s an open race to the upper left for either party… both parties have pathways to a better and enduring realigned coalition.

                The ‘entrenched powers’ in this article aren’t what Dems are fighting… they are going along with the entrenched powers so they don’t have to adjust.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s the narrative I’m seeing:

                Trump wins 30% of Hispanic voters;
                “This is astonishing. The Democrats should really do some soul searching as to why they’re losing this demographic.”

                Biden wins 30% of churchgoing voters;
                “This is astonishing. The Democrats should really do some soul searching as to why they’re losing this demographic.”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That sounds like a version of what I talked about earlier. If the press assumes that only inbred Kentuckians would vote for Republicans, then any other group going 70% for Republicans is astonishing.

                ETA: Not just the press. Definitely the D’s, and also the elite R’s are so used to hearing that that they get confused by actual Republican wins.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                In an America where race isn’t an issue, you wouldn’t see these weird clumpings where 90% of a particular ethnic group votes for the same party.

                There might be clumpings by region or religion or economic class, but not race.

                Race is the strongest explanatory variable in American politics.Report

              • Oman in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                La Luchadore begs to differ with you. Mr. Pro-Wrestling is very popular with Mexicans.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                In an America where race isn’t an issue, you wouldn’t see these weird clumpings where 90% of a particular ethnic group votes for the same party.

                True. This means the Democrats need to do everything they can to keep race alive as an issue.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                There ain’t no McAuliffe in Virginia neither.

                But there coulda been.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Republicans are talking about Ruby Bridges a lot? Enough so that you think it’s one of their defining issues? If you were playing a board game and the answer was “Republican” would you be calling out “Ruby Bridges” and expect people to get it?Report

      • Koz in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Second, its truly bizarre that this appeal is premised on the existence of some imaginary group of moderate centrist voters who are appalled by a random nutty professor who makes a stupid tweet, while being perfectly comfortable with torch-bearing mobs of white supremacists.

        Well yeah, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles for libs sometimes. The unfortunate reality for libs is that they can squeeze a lot of resistance juice _against Donald Trump_, _if_ Donald Trump is the center of our politics and right now he’s not. There’s a lot of other things that libs truly despise, like Tucker, Stephen Miller, Stop the Steal, Steve Bannon, etc, that Real Americans just don’t get that worked up over. Not that they’re in favor or support them, but Real Americans aren’t going to quit caring about what they actually care about, in favor of opposing lib betes noire that they don’t care about.

        So, looking from the proper context, the Far Left thing actually has juice.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          Next time I need support for my argument that Republicans have become a revolutionary faction who are at war with their fellow Americans, can I count on you to help me make the case?

          You don’t have to do anything special, just speak normally.Report

          • Koz in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            No Chip. The one who is at war with their fellow Americans is you. Frankly, I don’t even get what the Ruby Bridges thing is supposed to be about. I’m ready to settle all the family business in the 2022 election cycle.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              Koz, Chip:

              The game is iterated. Worse than that, some of the players remember the last time we played. Some of them even remember the two or three games prior to that one.Report

              • Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s a bunch of things your comment _couid be_ about. But frankly, I’m at a loss as to what you comment _actually is_ about.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                My guess, neither the liberals nor the conservatives are at war with their fellow Americans per se, but are at war with each other (and mistake themselves as identical with America).Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Scott Thompson, the Vice Mayor of Oroville, CA, which just declared itself a “constitutional republic,” says they are in a war. “I believe that the very fabric of our nation is at a crossroads .. Every time you lose freedom .. usually it takes bloodshed to get it back.”

                Just so everyone is clear-
                When he talks about killing people, he isn’t talking about Iraqis, or Canadians, or zombies.

                He is talking about taking up weapons and killing Americans.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Population 15,000, such a mighty force in California.Report

              • Koz in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                He is talking about taking up weapons and killing Americans.

                Well, when I want to know the ideas and thoughts of conservatives in America, well the Vice Mayor of Oroville, CA is next to the Word of God.

                Chip, a long time ago and a galaxy far away Ronald Reagan was President. And he believed certain things, and he did certain things in furtherance of those beliefs (and some Dems in Congress helped him at least sometimes, but that complicates things a little bit to let’s forget about that for now). And there were conservatives and Republicans, and there were also liberals and Democrats. (And IIRC you were one of us back then but that’s another complication so again let’s ignore that). And we were all Americans.

                That doesn’t mean that we were just one big happy family, because it didn’t work that way. There were deep disagreements among us, and the sides were bitterly contested. And we were right and they were wrong, but again, details and complications. What’s more important is that the disagreements were just that, disagreements, differences of opinion. So, when new information surfaced, or events transpired to reduce the salience of those issues of contention, the associated bitterness could subside as well. That’s why, during the Clinton and GHWB years, we didn’t have to have the same fights we did during the Reagan years.

                Politics isn’t like that any more. It would be better if it were, but it’s not. Now, there are policy disagreements among us, but those are less important, relatively speaking. What’s more important is the libs’ disdain for us. The idea that we get to make rules, and libs have to follow them, is just unacceptable for libs. It doesn’t make that much difference what the rules are, and it should be noted that libs did very well in Trump’s America.

                This is very important in the context of your ideas about the demographic disempowerment of conservative Christian white Americans. Specifically, you have it exactly backwards. It is possible, in some places around the margins, that white Americans resent other Americans and are looking to coalesce politically for the for the purpose of acting to the detriment of other Americans. But that’s not really topical. The Emerging Democratic Majority was written in 2002(?) I think and the scenario it talks about has probably never looked further from reality.

                The policies that conservative/Republican America would do if they could are sometimes stupid, but also sometimes prudent and judicious and most importantly they are legitimate, assuming we elect enough Republicans who support them. If we could clear this hurdle together we can dial down the culture of antagonism between us and move forward for the betterment of one nation, all of us.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, the mayor of Oroville is in fact fully representative of the Republican Party as a whole.

                See, everything you need to know about the Republican Party can be learned by looking at Jan. 6, and its reaction to it.

                This revolutionary thinking is held by the leader of the party, Donald Trump, as well as by the emerging leaders like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.

                Not to mention the paramilitary arm of the party such as the Boogaloo Boys, 3 Percenters, Oath Keepers and the like who have murdered over 50 police officers in recent decades as well as staging the largest act of terrorism on American soil before 9-11.

                And the entire Republican media arm of Fox/ OAN and the spokespeople like Tucker Carlson keeps up a steady drumbeat of portraying liberals as enemies to be destroyed rather than fellow Americans.

                There are no moderate Republicans in any positions of power.

                Because even people who express moderate positions, lets say Mitt Romney, fall silent and turn away when the radicals express the desire for violence.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If forced to pick between the mayor of Oroville and Darrell Brooks, you might be surprised to find who picks the mayor of Oroville.

                Even taking January 6th’s insurrection into account.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                fall silent and turn away when the radicals express the desire for violence.

                Below is a link to US’s riots.

                What really stands out is how often the Left burns down stuff. You have to seriously cherry pick to worry more about the Right than the Left.

                Some of the Left’s antics are summed up into one line; “2020–2021 United States racial unrest”.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_of_civil_unrest_in_the_United_States#2020%E2%80%932021Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                As you often say, lets count corpses.

                How many cops has the left killed in recent decades?

                How many civilians murdered?

                How many times has the left tried to murder Congressmen and the Vice President?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Would the Wisconsin SUV kinetic incident count as “civilians murdered”?

                I’m just wondering where the goalposts are.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Provide any set of goalposts you want, and give us the results.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And “recent decades” takes us back to the 90’s? The 80’s? The 70’s?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Provide any goalposts you want, and give us the results.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d prefer to hear your goalposts before I post something like FBI crime stats by zip code and point to voting record of the same zip code.

                “Oh, you had to go back to 1994 for those numbers?” when I posted, like, a range would be irritating.

                That’s why I want to know where the goalposts are before I try to kick the football.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                What’s the point of posting stats if you don’t even have an argument?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Like you said, Chip.

                We’re counting corpses.

                How many cops has the left killed in recent decades?

                How many civilians murdered?

                How many times has the left tried to murder Congressmen and the Vice President?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You have me in the crushing grip of reason.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, you’re asking a question.

                I’m just hammering out, beforehand, the answers that you’re willing to accept.

                Here’s a site where you can search for crime rate by zip code. (It’s got tabs for overall, tabs for property crime (which doesn’t count!), and tabs for violent crime.)

                Here’s a map of the 2020 (and 2016!) elections that goes down to the zip code level.

                If we look at the most dangerous zip codes in the US, we’ve got:
                10128, NY
                85281, AZ
                90006, CA
                10023, NY
                94109, CA
                10011, NY
                89119, NV
                60637, IL
                90057, CA
                89030, NV

                So let’s check those against the voting records.

                10128, NY — 88% Biden, 10% Trump
                85281, AZ — 74% Biden, 23% Trump
                90006, CA — 73% Biden, 25% Trump
                10023, NY — 88% Biden, 10% Trump
                94109, CA — 86% Biden, 12% Trump
                10011, NY — 89% Biden, 9% Trump
                89119, NV — 56% Biden, 38% Trump (a squeaker!)
                60637, IL — 92% Biden, 6% Trump
                90057, CA — 74% Biden, 24% Trump
                89030, NV — 78% Biden, 19% Trump

                Hrm.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I never mentioned crime. You ignored what I wrote, and instead are talking about something else entirely.

                I said that political violence is primarily by rightwing, usually white supremacists. Oroville is a very good example of the Republican embrace of violence as a tool to achieve power.

                It is white supremacists murdering cops, not leftists.
                It is rightwingers who tried to murder the Vice President and overturn an election, not the left.
                In the entire history of America in fact, most of the political violence has been by the right.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You ignored what I wrote, and instead are talking about something else entirely.

                I’m still trying to hammer out where the goalposts are! We haven’t hammered out where the borders to the argument are!

                Would the children murdered at the CHAZ/CHOP qualify?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course not. The Left can repeatedly burn down cities as a side effect of their protests and the violence that travels with them magically is never on their ticket.

                To be fair, something like 94% of their protests are peaceful. To be realistic, some of the protesters can turn into rioters at the sight of a broken window and then they’re off the clock.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “Beware Isolated Demands for Rigor”Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Summation of data website for political violence.

                https://acleddata.com/special-projects/us-crisis-monitor/Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Summation of summation.

                There is some spin there, “overwhelming majority of the more than 9k BLM demonstrations being peaceful” ignores that 6% of 9k is 540 violent protests. Dozens of deaths in connection with the protests are “not connected”, except if you’re creating chaos that others take advantage of then that seems like “connected”.

                https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/31/americans-killed-protests-political-unrest-acledReport

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Once again- for the umpteenth time-

                We don’t know the political orientation or purpose of the violence in the BLM protests, but the best evidence it was mostly non-political hooligans, but some was certainly performed by white supremacists.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                some was certainly performed by white supremacists.

                One Hells Angel Right winger with an umbrella breaks a window and the previously peaceful Left wingers transform into Rioters and burn/loot.

                So clearly this means it’s the Right’s fault that the Left is burning/looting.

                There’s a flaw in this logic somewhere.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That mayor is probably talking about *getting* killed. He’s as deep into the fantasy of inevitable violence as you seem to be.

                Let’s see how many votes that Ohioan Senate candidate gets before we write off the Republican Party.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                One side tried to violently overturn an election; one side dd not. BSDI remains crap.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                You aren’t new here. You shouldn’t be surprised.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              How can we be at war with our fellow Americans, if we aren’t even Real Americans?Report

    • Koz in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      McCauliffe was going to be the next Governor precisely because he wasn’t fighting against entrenched power… he had entrenched power backing — all he had to do was run an imperfect campaign that didn’t veer into wackadoodle territory, which was his within his rights but not within his ability.

      This is the conventional wisdom and it could be true. But in this case I think there’s at least a good chance that it’s not. I think you have to at least consider the possibility that Virginia was downstream of the national political environment and that environment turned decisively against the Dems during this campaign. And furthermore Mac knew this from public polling but also private polling and other info we didn’t have access to.

      Therefore some of the seemingly stupid and radical things Mac did were actually decently rational from someone who thinks he has a losing hand and needs to take some chances he wouldn’t not otherwise take.Report

      • KenB in reply to Koz
        Ignored
        says:

        FWIW that was Josh Barro’s take too. I guess if placed in the proper context, I can see how the thought behind his comment about parents meddling in schools would sell well on the left…but the way he phrased it sure didn’t help his cause.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Koz
        Ignored
        says:

        In the realm of counter-factuals… sure, plausible but not likely. Are you in the VA/MD media market? The campaign was as boring and predictable as a Clintonite vs. Venture Capitalist could be. The thing exploded after that and it got Youngkin second looks where he needed it.

        The ‘gamble’ that McAuliffe took wasn’t with the Teachers’ Union stuff it was the lame “[Youngkin in grainy photo at picnic with kids eating jello] Voicover: You know who else likes to eat strawberry jello? That’s right, Donald Trump” Those were the desperation gambles that didn’t land.

        The other key factor is that the School gaffe — in addition to being about people’s kids — also tapped into a sizable reservoir of lock-down resentment against Schools … particularly in NOVA. I don’t know exactly how universal that is in the US right now — I suspect it it locale by locale — but it was pretty big in Virginia and the biggest resentment was in the Blue districts.

        This was not an election to pander to Schools… so I’m less inclined to think he was pandering in desperation; the pandering created the desperation. That is, usually it’s a 100% safe bet to pander to Schools — just not on the back-end of a pandemic where the schools alienated large chunks of otherwise pro-school voters.Report

        • Koz in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          Voicover: You know who else likes to eat strawberry jello? That’s right, Donald Trump” Those were the desperation gambles that didn’t land.

          I certainly agree with you on that point, the question is where the desperation comes from. I think I might have seen that tween that Ken cites above us, and in any event, I have a hunch it might be right.

          Your idea that the pandering caused the desperation, it could be but I think it’s easier to see the national environment heading south for the Dems. IMO there’s six big negative issues for the Dems this cycle: schools, CRT, the virus, immigration, inflation, and Afghanistan.

          It’s pretty easy to believe that schools are a bigger issue, in NoVa than immigration is, but that doesn’t speak to either counterfactual, yours or mine. Like you said, there’s a lot of resentment from otherwise D-leaning voters about schools not being open. Does that mean that if Mac just held a low profile on that issue that it would go away? Idk tbh, but the polls aren’t necessarily saying that.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Koz
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s been largely unexplored how the military-dominated Virginia electorate responded to the fall of Afghanistan. I don’t know why; maybe there’s polling data to suggest that it wasn’t a factor. But it wouldn’t surprise me if it were.Report

            • Koz in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              Yeah, that’s certainly could be a factor. AFAIK there’s no real data that speaks directly to this, but this could be because the libs were blaming the brass and deep state for the failure in Afghanistan. Or maybe was too tenuous to count. Like the nerds say, it was overdetermined.

              It’s why I’m a little reluctant to say that Mac was a bad candidate. Maybe Dems were a bad party.Report

            • InMD in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              The media desperately wants that to be an issue but I still don’t see it. All those people will just be re-oriented to strategic consulting and weapons design for Taiwan. Nary a mortgage payment in McLean will be missed.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Ooh, the people who work in defense (military or civilian) aren’t just looking for a paycheck.Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m open to being convinced that it isn’t just money they’re after. But I’d still have a hard time getting to where I thought it was a factor in a gubernatorial race, especially on an issue where there was probably the least daylight between the candidates. Occam’s razor says it was the schools.

                Aren’t the woke blaming treacherous white women and working class minorities, with their multiracial whiteness? I just struggle to see Afghanistan as the issue moving those demographics.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m just asking questions. (j/k) Yeah, truthfully I don’t know if it affected the election. It just surprises me that I haven’t seen any discussion of it.Report

          • InMD in reply to Koz
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t think the Virginia result was based on the national issues at all, except to the extent education is part of national discourse. The news has had a steady stream of school related blow ups coming out of NoVa for over a year, well before Afghanistan or people were feeling inflation or the summer wave of illegal immigration. There was no way it wasn’t going to be a factor. Bottom line is a critical mass of nominally blue voters defected because of the association of Democrats with various screw ups with the schools, which is a primary reason people live in NoVa to begin with.Report

            • Koz in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              I don’t think the Virginia result was based on the national issues at all, except to the extent education is part of national discourse.

              Well yeah, but that’s a pretty big “but…”

              For me, the lines connecting the Biden Administration, the teachers’ unions, the virus, over the last 2 years or so are really clear. The upshot isn’t just the bad policy relating to schools, though that was bad enough, it was that you had a very influential, numerous, affluent cohort of voters who thought they were pulling the strings on policy found out they were the marionette instead.

              This is a big reason why the GOP is likely to be in the ascendancy for a while, and in particular why I don’t buy the idea of America has to be a 50-50 demographic battle royale. We’re going to regain a significant part of white-collar UMC white voters, we’re going to keep everything we’ve gotten from white voters w/o college degrees, and make significant inroads among minorities, some big others medium-sized.

              Libs get the Karens and the feminists.Report

              • North in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Heehee remember when you were predicting generations of Republican domination round here back during the late Bush W. term? Good times.Report

              • Koz in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Sort of. I was certainly wrong about what was likely to happen in 2012 in 2010-2011, so take some comfort in that as you will.Report

              • InMD in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I think your read on 2020 was right. That it was really about regular old normie people being sick of the Trump show, more than any kind of mandate beyond the most mundane of Democratic aspirations. I also think you’re right that it’s not a matter of whether the Democrats lose their majority next year but how bad those losses will be.

                Where I think you’re wrong is where I read you as suggesting some kind of permanence to the situation. The GOP will become subject to the same forces it’s riding. And whatever they are I don’t see some kind of Reagan level redefining of the landscape coming.Report

              • Koz in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I think your read on 2020 was right. That it was really about regular old normie people being sick of the Trump show, more than any kind of mandate beyond the most mundane of Democratic aspirations. I also think you’re right that it’s not a matter of whether the Democrats lose their majority next year but how bad those losses will be.

                Thanks.

                Where I think you’re wrong is where I read you as suggesting some kind of permanence to the situation. The GOP will become subject to the same forces it’s riding. And whatever they are I don’t see some kind of Reagan level redefining of the landscape coming.

                That’s certainly where the downside if for the GOP. If somehow the GOP actually gets and keeps the coalition it is building, it’s game over for the Dems. But Jay Cost and Sean Trende would say that’s not gonna happen. New events will transpire, and they will cause some elements of the new GOP coalition to become dissatisfied and flip back to the Demos.

                Extrapolating from prior situations in American history, I’d venture the same as well. But, the GOP has some reasons to hope that won’t happen and it will get the benefit of some medium/long-term realignment.

                First is maybe the voters aren’t going to be looking for divided government, or to be looking to make tactical switches for policy gains. Normies will want to ignore politics for a while if they can, and there’s a real chance that the GOP will have the opportunity to actually deliver on the failed promise of the Biden Presidency. And to that end, the constituents of the new GOP coalition will be more motivated to stay in the coalition than they otherwise might. Of course, this depends on the GOP not renominating Trump, but for various reasons I think the Trump renomination is less likely than most other political observers.

                The other thing the GOP needs is escape velocity in 2022. Like you said, the GOP is going to win in 2022, it’s a matter of how big. Well, it’s gotta be big for the GOP, especially in the House. If the GOP actually does well in 2022, then the House will not be perceived to be meaningfully at risk in the 2024 cycle (the Senate too, will like to be perceived to be out of reach because of the set of seat the Demos will have to defend). IF this does happen, I think it will help the GOP long term because the would-be dissidents within the GOP can’t actually flip anything by leaving, which will motivate them to stay where they are.

                Right now, this is the best hope for America, and it’s basically the photographic negative of the NeverTrump scenario. It’s gotten very little media attention for reasons I don’t really understand since the lay of the land is absolutely set up for this to go down.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Republicans get elected.
                They don’t do any of that.
                They pass tax cuts for corporations.
                Democrats get elected.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I do remember when you said that the one thing Trump fans wouldn’t forgive is failure to build The Wall. He failed, and they don’t seem even to realize that.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                No, he never said he’d build a wall. He said Mexico would pay for a wall. Yet again, THOSE people have failed America and the only one who can save us is Trump.Report

              • Koz in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                I do remember when you said that the one thing Trump fans wouldn’t forgive is failure to build The Wall. He failed, and they don’t seem even to realize that.

                I actually don’t remember writing that, tho some people do believe that. Truth be told, Trump isn’t nearly as popular among Republicans as the worrier types would have you believe.

                What is true is that the overwhelming majority of Republican voters don’t want Democrats, MSM media people or NeverTrumpers taking gratuitous shots against Trump. They can’t do anything about Democrats or media people, but when people like Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger turn up, they can be primaried or kicked of their committees or whatever.

                But for Glenn Youngkin et al, they can say, “He’s over there doing his thing, and I’m over here doing my thing.” GOP voters are ok with that, and so are other voters who would probably vote against Trump if he were on the ballot.

                It’s part of the reason why I don’t think Trump is nearly as inevitable as the nominee for 2024 as some people seem to believe.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                If “you criticized him” is a deal-breaker, he’s still pretty fishing popular.Report

              • David in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Obviously he would have finished building it but the election was stolen! REEEEEEE — !Report

              • InMD in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe I’m misremembering but I feel like there was a conventional wisdom in the years just following 9/11 about the GOP riding fears about terrorism and wedge issues like gay marriage to permanent majority. Like conventional to the point I recall reading about it in a Time magazine laying around at my parents house. Then Obama won and it changed to demography will lead to a permanent Democratic majority. Now we seem to be sliding into something like geography will give the GOP a permanent majority.

                I’ve come to the conclusion that our system is inimical to that and we should go back to talking about pendulums or tides.Report

              • Koz in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve come to the conclusion that our system is inimical to that and we should go back to talking about pendulums or tides.

                IIRC, that’s basically the pov of Jay Cost and Sean Trende who I have a lot of respect for.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Then Obama won and it changed to demography will lead to a permanent Democratic majority.

                Then ten years later this was officially declared to be a crazy white supremacist conspiracy theory.Report

              • North in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m certainly more inclined towards the thermostatic theory of elections than not. Yes.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                The permanent Democratic majority is actually happening.

                In election after election, the Democrats win more and more of the vote, and their policies are favored by a majority of the voters.

                To explain how Republicans can control the government while not holding a majority of votes, one has to mimic a party official from some East Bloc regime.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The Republicans don’t control the government.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s part of the Dems constant war on Entrenched Power.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, they do in places like Wisconsin and North Carolina, where even when Democrats win a majority of the votes, the Republicans remain in control.

                Explaining, as this essay does, that “Them’s just the rules, folks!” is like telling the people of Hong Kong they just need to work harder to defeat the Chinese Communist Party.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Don’t both of those states have Democratic governors?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, and do you realize why that is evidence in support of my point?Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Not really, at least not in the way you’re presenting it. But I also live in what is fairly described as the mirror image of the situation in North Carolina. Not that I like gerrymandering but it’s on us as voters to do something about it at the state level.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Not really, no.

                2020:
                Donald Trump/Mike Pence (R) 49.9 2,758,775
                Joe Biden/Kamala D. Harris (D) 48.6 2,684,292
                Total Votes: 5.442M
                Delta: 74k +R

                2020:
                Roy Cooper (D) 51.5 2,834,790
                Dan Forest (R) 47.0 2,586,605
                Total Votes: 5.420M
                Delta: 248k +D

                Which means that a significant chunk of Gov Dem Voters switched votes and/or didn’t vote for National Dems. That’s not a Demographic phenomenon… but a local/national phenomenon.

                Which suggests that the Permanent Democratic Majority isn’t aligned with National Democratic narratives… and that’s a sub-point we are making about Virginia too.

                I’m in favor of taking districting out the the hands of the beneficiaries – for simple conflict of interest / good governance reasons – but the end result for both parties would be candidates that are ‘less’ doctrinaire D’s & R’s, not more.

                Which leads us inevitably back to what’s the point of a national narrative on what the parties must stand for when national messages hit local issues orthogonally. Good candidates adjust, bad ones press on and keep the money.

                Edit: Jinx 1.2.3… you owe me a coke.Report

              • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Ha I guess I do.

                But to build (I think) on your point, the outcome of this would be more heterodox Democrats (and hopefully Republicans). There’d be more Joe Manchins and maybe even Kyrsten Sinemas to deal with, not less. The center of gravity for the Democrats would be even closer to the mushy middle than to urban strongholds or the more ideological parts of the coalition. At some point I imagine the agenda would reflect that.

                And from my perspective that’s not really a bad thing. I think we should be having voter initiatives all over the country to deal with this purely for the good governance/conflict of interest issues it raises. But it’s not whats holding back progressive reform. If anything I think it makes (certain) progressive reforms look more plausible than they are and obscures why people really vote for Democrats in the first place. It’s been similarly terrible for the Republican party, it’s just that the individuals who benefit are the only ones who have a say.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Focusing on Wisconsin and North Carolina while ignoring Illinois and Oregon is cherry picking. BSDI.

                https://apnews.com/article/redistricting-gerrymandering-46ceaf3fb90a4ce3b2fc026c7c18e747Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                As I ask below, do Republicans get more votes than Democrats in these states?Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I literally posted the results from 2020 elections (Ballotpedia) for one of your showcase states which illustrate that in the same election voters voted for both Dems and Republican in majorities.

                What I think you don’t fully appreciate is that if you alter the rules of the game, you will get different actions in the game by the players.

                There’s no Democratic demographic wave that will give progressives what they want.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Anomolies like split tickets are common and don’t change the basic orientation of a state.

                As I mentioned, even situations like the one i describe, where one party gets more votes but not as many seats can happen even in well functioning democracies.

                But not to this extent, and not as a pattern. When voters repeatedly cast more votes for one party but get another, something is wrong and so far no one can explain it other than “Well, them’s the rules!”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s a good summation in the Guardian:
                https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/28/republicans-are-quietly-rigging-election-maps-to-ensure-permanent-rule

                In some cases, even when a majority of voters voted for one party to be in charge, the rigged districts meant that the losing party remained in charge. In Michigan, in 2018, voters chose Democrats over Republicans for their statehouse by 52%-47%. Nevertheless, this led to a Republican majority in that statehouse of 58-52. In Wisconsin, losing the popular vote for the statehouse across the state by a 54-45 gave Republicans a 63-36 supermajority in that statehouse.
                Outraged by a decade of rigged elections, citizens in Ohio and other states took action to change the process of how lines are drawn. Some opted for independent districting commissions. In Ohio, more than 70% of the voters amended the Ohio constitution (twice!) to add clear guidelines to curb the type of extreme partisan districting that led to a decade without democracy.

                And how have those in charge responded? Knowing that fair districts and robust democracy threaten their grip on power, the legislative leaders are simply ignoring the new rules. Defying them. In fact, the first map they have proposed here in Ohio would guarantee an astonishing 13-2 map, knowing full well that Ohio’s partisan breakdown would best be reflected by an 8-7 map. Despite the new rules, key urban counties are now being split three ways rather than two to achieve that outrageous result.Report

  10. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    When the people of these states vote statewide, they chose a Democrat.
    When they vote in their gerrymandered districts, the Democrat got more votes but somehow the Republicans won.

    Its understandable that in close elections, the gap between vote totals and representation in the legislature can exist.
    But the gap continues to widen and the number of competitive districts continues to fall.

    I’ve read that in order to win 50% of the representation in the legislature, North Carolina Democrats will need to win about 60% of the vote.

    This is not a sign of a functioning democracy.

    And the fact that this is hotly disputed even by self described non-Republicans seems like another sign of the deterioration of our democracy, where people just nod and accept that yes, the majority of the citizens don’t like this government, but somehow the government keeps winning and well, there’s nothing we can really do about it.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, you know that part of that is due to black leadership, historically. If there are three districts, they’d rather the black population be 80-10-10 than 34-33-33, even if that leads to two R’s and one D.Report

    • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Chip, by this analysis Massachusetts and Maryland are really red states that are being suppressed by the Democrats. No serious person thinks that. We can oppose gerrymandering while being clear-eyed about its impact and why it’s happening. IMO all states need to move to an independent commission process but understand the net win would be for ‘blue dog’ type Democrats and chamber of commerce type Republicans, not progressives.Report

Leave a Reply

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