Off Topic Political Rant: Why a Centrist Candidate Won’t Work for the Democrats

With such an interesting debate the other day on politics, I decided to break my own rules and dip my toe into the political discussion. Normally I would just reply via comments, but I have a lot to say on the subject and it won’t fit in the word limit. This article is meant for Democrats and undecideds, so if you’re solidly Republican or uninterested in American politics, you should skip this one. This about what the Democrats should do for their own party.

I grew up in a heavily Republican household. My family, especially my grandfather, loved Reagan and Giuliani (the 20th century version), and I followed along with them. It made sense to me at the time, as I remembered the 70s as blackouts and crime and graffiti and the old 42nd street. In NYC, the 80s and 90s were improvements over what I remembered from my youth.

I don’t want to go too deep into my conversion to the Democratic party. I just want to establish that I was a Republican for a good portion of my life, and I remember first hand what being a Republican in the 70s, 80s, and 90s was like. That said, today’s Republican party resembles nothing of the party I grew up with. I could find a host of policy stances that many in the party follow that would have been career killers in the 80s and 90s. The GOP has gone far right on a number of issues. Guns. War. Immigration. Abortion. Healthcare. Racism. To name a few.

I’m not going to go into each of these or bother to support these positions. Again this article is intended for Democrats and Centrists, so if you believe in a D’Souzan history of the world, this isn’t meant for you.

Which brings me to point #1: by chasing the Center the Democrats are just pulling themselves more to the Right. Put it this way: what’s the centrist position between “every citizen should be allowed all types of guns” and “guns should be treated like cars with licenses, registration, criminal checks, and limitations?” What’s the centrist position between “Mexicans are sending rapists and murderers” and “citizenship for Dreamers?” What’s the centrist position between “LGBT people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, join the military, adopt children, have wedding cakes, etc.” and “LGBT people should be treated like other people?”

It’s difficult to find a center when the GOP stands on the far right. Just look at abortion. The GOP has done everything they can to make abortion as difficult as possible. Seven states have just one abortion clinic, due to laws that require a bunch of difficult hurdles for abortions to occur. Eighteen states have laws that require counseling prior to the abortion. Twenty-seven states require a waiting period, often where the woman will receive counseling. Three states want to ban abortion after only eight weeks. Where is the middle ground here?

For the Democrats, trying to find a middle ground means abandoning their core principles.

The reason you can’t find a middle ideology is that (point #2) the GOP stances are just based on cementing voter blocks, not any tangible ideology. One of the reasons I left the party is the hypocrisy in their views. Take the above example of abortion. If conservatives really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, they’d be in favor of sex ed in schools, more access to birth control, affordable daycare, etc. Yet they actually are opposed to these kinds of changes, despite the evidence that they would decrease the abortion rate. Why? Because their goal with abortion laws isn’t meant to reduce abortions per se, it’s to fire up their base to vote for them.

You can make a similar argument with the debt. Historically Republicans have given lip service to and fought for a lower debt. Yet it seems that the GOP has done the former. I’m sure you’ve seen one of those graphs/charts/memes that show how the deficit is reduced by Democratic presidents and increased by Republican presidents. The debt/deficit only seems to matter when Democrats are in control, and they want to pass laws.

Yet when the GOP gains control of the executive, no such consideration is taken. Remember Dick Cheney said “Deficits don’t matter?” Notice how tax cuts by Trump/GOP have raised the deficit, with nary a peep. Did you see when Rand Paul didn’t want to give 9/11 responders money because of the debt? How do you make sense of the fact that the Republicans only seem to care about debt depending on who is spending the money? Simple. The GOP doesn’t actually care about the debt, they just use it as a political tool when it benefits them, and ignore it when it doesn’t.

You can find this kind of hypocritical thinking on a number of issues of the GOP platform. Republicans claim to care about voter fraud, and then they create laws and circumstances to suppress the votes of minorities and the youth. They want the freedom of religious expression when it comes to school prayer (as long as the prayer is Christian), but not when that Mosque is too close to the World Trade Center. Proper email protocol only applies to Hillary Clinton, not Ivanka and Jared.

How does the GOP get away with such contradictory positions? Conservative news, which is a dominant force in modern day politics and now ubiquitous to the masses. Once upon a time there was just Rush Limbaugh on your am radio and Fox News on cable. Now far right pundits are visible on a number of cable channels (OANN, Blaze, etc.), forced on local news stations via Sinclair, and available on various web sites, etc. Conservative news will reinforce the above paradoxes, providing cover for politicians. Considering Trumps’ obsession with Fox News and his relationship with Hannity, it’s uncertain whether the tail is wagging the dog these days.

What does this mean for non-conservatives? Point #3: Conservative news will always bash the Democrats, no matter what they do. I’m sure you have seen one of those videos showing Fox News deriding Democrats and then later praising Republicans for the exact same action. People clamoring for a middle-of-the-road candidate thinks that a centrist will do things that appeal to both parties. They dream of a day they can have a Thanksgiving day dinner where they can agree with their uncle/aunt/grandparents on politics and it’ll be a wonderful day.

But guess what conservative news will say of the actions of a centrist president with a (D) after their name? You don’t have to guess, just look at what they did during Obama’s presidency when he took positions in the center. Did they care when Obama got tough on immigration, deporting over a million illegal immigrants? Did they give him credit for boosting money to border protection? Did they say something good about him when he lowered the deficit? Or lowered unemployment? Or saved the auto-industry?

Nope.

The GOP has long used a boogeyman approach to politics. It was Willie Horton. Then it was Al Qaeda. Now it’s Mexicans, and Homosexuals, and Atheists, and the Press and … Somewhere in-between Liberals were added. Liberals, and by extension Democrats, are the enemy. And such an enemy in that everything Liberals believe in is wrong. This ties in with point #2, because the GOP ideology is pretty much librul-tears, which is why some of their stances are in direct contradiction with each other. They don’t need to be consistent with their own reasoning, because the true purpose is to vilify the other party.

As long as the conservative media has a stronghold in this country, it’s best stick to football during Thanksgiving (don’t talk about taking a knee tho!)

I don’t think that moving towards the center is a good political strategy in general. Why? Point #4: moving to the edge of the party has worked well for the GOP, why would the Dems ignore it? No one is telling the Republican party they need to be more centrist. That their ideas on climate change, guns, abortion, etc. are far out of whack with the rest of the world. Their party lost big in 2018, and actually lost the popular vote in the last 3 presidential elections. Yet Fox News isn’t interviewing minority women in big cities on what the GOP needs to do to get their vote. (I’m staring at you New York Times and CNN.)

It’s cute that the never-Trumpers want to recreate the Democratic party in their own image. Sorry Joe Scarborough, James Comey, Bill Kristol, Chris Wallace, et. al., you’re going to have to sit this one out. After years of pulling the Republican party to the right, they want to leave it and pull the Democratic party there too? And let me remind them, if they were fine going along with the GOP until 2016, then they got what they’ve asked for. Trump isn’t the cause of the problem, he’s the result of years of choices by the Republican party. Trump is where the party was headed, eventually.

Of the two parties, one has moved far from the center. But no one asks Republicans if their party needs to appeal to the middle.

Finally, and this doesn’t get covered enough, but point #5: The Democrats actually have popular ideas. Even from the very beginning, when stripped of the label of “Obamacare” people approved of it’s ideals. Now it’s straight up popular. Most Americans, including NRA owners, want common-sense solutions to our gun problem. Most Americans also approve of a $15 minimum wage, taxing the rich more, spending on infrastructure, expanding healthcare, citizenship for DACA recipients, etc. The reason Dems don’t do well in elections is because they don’t get these points across as well as the Republican party.

In the last Democratic debates, the candidates spent 30-60 minutes discussing the finer points of Healthcare. They are expected to discuss their plans in minutiae, and account for every single possibility that could arise. “Sure it’ll give affordable healthcare to everyone, reduce rates across the board, promote preventative care, be cheaper overall than what people are currently paying, and stop the domino effect of bankruptcy due to healthcare bills. But what about that one Union guy in Michigan with a good plan already? Won’t he be slightly inconvenienced?”

The GOP line on healthcare? We’ll repeal Obamacare & replace it with something better and cheaper. What is this mysterious plan? No one knows. The Republicans didn’t introduce a plan when they held the Executive, the House, and the Senate. No one has come close with a plan or even a framework that fits the GOP’s rhetoric. It’s been 10 years, and the GOP doesn’t get raked over the coals on it.

That double standard is a failure of messaging by the Democrats. They shouldn’t be scared of their positions, especially when they are popular! Maybe they should take a page from the Republican playbook and say that single payer healthcare “will pay for itself”, taxing the rich will cause a “trickle-down effect” on the economy, and “Mexico will pay” for the increase in minimum wage!

All-in-all I don’t see centrism working for the Democrats. Partially because I don’t believe a central position actually exists, partially because I don’t believe moving to the center accomplishes anything other than allowing the Republicans to move the goal-posts and get everything they want, and partially because they should excite their own base. Hillary lost the last national election by a hair, and having a less beleaguered candidate should alone be the difference. In 2018, the Democrats electrified their left flank and had a huge victory, with many liberal candidates doing exceptionally well. Polling and recent elections show the Democrats doing very well, so tracking back to the middle doesn’t seem to be a good idea.

Things may look bleak for the Democrats, but they don’t need to abandon the direction they’re heading in. It’s not like they’re the New York Giants. ;-)

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

203 thoughts to “Off Topic Political Rant: Why a Centrist Candidate Won’t Work for the Democrats”

  1. That said, today’s Republican party resembles nothing of the party I grew up with.

    The very same could be said of the democrats and their extreme move to left.

    Sometimes I still watch speeches from Clinton and even Obama. If you were a republican and made those same speeches now you’d be accused of all sorts of horrible things by the democrats and especially by the soulless ghouls in the media. You’d also probably get thrown off social media for hate speech by the totalitarians that are fashionable on the left now now.

    If you go back further to when I was a democrat, the debates were about where to set tax rates to maximize revenue, whether we were better off helping the poor with direct subsidies or by giving businesses subsidies to invest in those communities and hire people and how to set other priorities we ALL shared. They were sensible debates.

    Back in those days Russia actually WAS a boogie man with an empire trying to blanket the globe with a horrible political and economic system, but most democrats had to be prodded into saying a bad word about them because their economic system looked so attractive to the left from afar.

    Now, Russia could easily become a business partner like the Chinese and help bring prosperity to millions of people around the globe if it weren’t for all the left wing hyperbole about an election they can’t get over and war mongering from crazy necons that can’t see how the world has changed. Ironically though, the economic dimwits on the left that briefly came to their senses under Clinton still find socialism attractive. Some people never learn.

    It’s 100% a two way street.

    Both parties have moved further apart and THAT is the PROBLEM.

  2. It would be nice to have a new political party that believed in smart government instead of no government or dumb government.

  3. This isn’t a column for conservatives and those on the right. I’d freely admit that the Democratic party has gone left on social issues. 100% for sure on that. And I’d say they’ve moved left from the 1990s on crime, drugs, race, etc. Although more with the times and popular opinion than a radical shift.

    But if it seems they’ve moved left on healthcare, it’s because they stood still. For years the GOP tried to enact healthcare (see: Jacob Javits, Nixon, Romneycare, etc.). The reason the GOP hates healthcare now is because Hillary tried to pass it in 1993 and Republicans thought “[a Democratic health care bill would] revive the reputation of… Democrats as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.”

    And if it seems that they’ve moved left on taxes, then look back at the tax rates going back to FDR, and how they’ve been slashed.

    However I don’t think there’s a middle ground between us, if you classify Russian election interference is thought of as “left wing hyperbole.”

    https://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/read-the-declassified-report-on-russian-interference-in-the-us-election/2433/

  4. Both parties have moved further apart and THAT is the PROBLEM.

    The solution is making a list of the problems, prioritizing them, looking at our current resources, looking at projections for spending/resources on promises we’ve already made, and then trying to find solutions that get MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK with those resources so we can do more things. Everyone can’t have everything. But if people insist on living in an economically delusional fantasy world we’ll just create major economic problems a lot faster than we already are.

    Pretty much everyone in this country wants cheaper and more comprehensive healthcare, infrastructure spending, immigration reform, gun control, higher wages etc..

    We just disagree on how to get there (in some cases for political reasons and not because of what is obviously in the best interests of the country).

    Whatever we do simply has to be done in an economically viable way with due consideration for all sides of the debate. None of us is going to get exactly what we want. That’s is both a strength and weakness of democracy. However, if we don’t learn to comprise, let’s just get a divorce.

  5. I just read this from Bill Kristol (now never-Trumper) from 1993 on killing Hillarycare.

    https://delong.typepad.com/egregious_moderation/2009/03/william-kristol-defeating-president-clintons-health-care-proposal.html

    Any Republican urge to negotiate a “least bad” compromise with the Democrats, and thereby gain momentary public credit for helping the president “do something” about health care, should also be resisted… But the Clinton proposal is also a serious political threat to the Republican Party. Republicans must therefore clearly understand the political strategy implicit in the Clinton plan–and then adopt an aggressive and uncompromising counterstrategy designed to delegitimize the proposal and defeat its partisan purpose.

    This is from ~25 years ago, and you see the seeds of non-compromise within the GOP. Gingrich will later adopt this, only to be revived in the 00s and 10s. Again to my point – we’re at a place and time where compromise doesn’t exist.

    [BTW – It’s ironic to read, because Kristol is so sure that government healthcare is doomed to fail and destroy America — yet at the same time he thinks it’ll make the Democrats wildly popular! How can something devastate the middle class, destroy the wonderful American Healthcare system, and then be popular?!?! ]

  6. However I don’t think there’s a middle ground between us, if you classify Russian election interference is thought of as “left wing hyperbole.”

    I think Russian and US interference in elections has been going on for decades around the globe and everyone knows it (except apparently democrats). The only reason it was a big deal this time is that the media’s favorite darling lost and she needed an excuse for losing to PT Barnum after taking all that money from donors.

    Besides, the Wikileaks documents that may have had some small impact were newsworthy. People had a right to know how the DNC and Hillary screwed Bernie and they had a right to know about the cozy relationship between the media and democrats and DNC.

    To me, Assange may be doing some anti US things, but he’s the one guy out there telling the truth about the US government. And it’s not one sided. He’s the one that released all the documents about all the lying leading up to the Iraq war (which of course the left loved him for at the time).

    The reason they are trying to bring him down now is that unlike the frauds in the mainstream media he’s a TRUTH TELLER and the truth hurt Hillary this time. Washington and the media want to keep lying to you and getting away with it.

  7. Whatever we do simply has to be done in an economically viable way with due consideration for all sides of the debate. None of us is going to get exactly what we want. That’s is both a strength and weakness of democracy. However, if we don’t learn to comprise, let’s just get a divorce.

    Do you remember when McConnell filibustered his own bill because Obama came out in support of it?

    If “we” don’t learn to compromise… uh huh…

  8. Bill Kristol is a disgusting human being and has been for decades. He’s a plague on conservatism and republicans. If ever the term “nazi” should be was tossed around (and it’s a terrible insult to use that term as loosely as it is now) it applies to him. The main difference between Kristol and an actual Nazi is that he’s smart to kill the people he hates under the guise of a justified war (which he lied to get people into to) instead of in gas chambers.

  9. @8

    It’s not a one way problem. However, if you think this is all about the republicans moving too far right or being the obstacle you are delusional.

    I’m all over the map politically. I’m just to the right of most people here. I’m also a lot older than most of you guys. I’ve seen this crap for a lot more years than most of you. The environment is toxic because republicans have steadily moved right and democrats have steadily moved left. But the main reason it’s toxic is because the media and many on the left went bat shit crazy bonkers and in need of medication after losing the last election to PT Barnum. They thought the changing demographics were going to give them power for as far as the eye could see and it caused mental health issues to see Hillary go down to a realty TV moron.

  10. I’m going to move on from this topic. It was probably a bad idea to even get started. Arguing and debating politics is not a healthy thing for me to do. Let me just say I suspect that most of you would be surprised how much we have in common even though I am to the right of most people here. It’s practically everything. The differences are in how to best get there and not even that large. It’s the media that making it seem so extreme. There’s this huge middle ground where it’s less toxic. That’s all I am trying to encourage. Strategically, maybe I’m wrong about what’s best to get elected, but I know I’m right about what’s best for the country. It’s the middle.

  11. Hello Mike,

    I read your opinion/analysis piece, and I respect your views. I am Italian, and I have seen similar shifts in politics when the old parties collapsed under corruption scandals and Berlusconi rose to power.
    The one thing I strongly disagree with your analysis, strong enough to actually write about it, is about point 5. Political messages are always understood, but they may not resonate. Healthcare resonated very well in 2018 for the democrats. It is rarely about means of communication: it is about the content of the message.

    I give you a potential interpretation of the shift to the right of GOP: there was just a little shift. A large part of voters always had far right ideas, but did settle for more centrist politics. Then they got larger numbers and bolder champions (Fox follows the money too: they know they have a market), and now it is the centrist part of the GOP that settle for far right politics.

    I also noted, and not only in the US, that if a party shifts far right, the party at the opposite end shifts to the left as if to keep a gravitational balance. Not sure why, but it is happening again.

  12. However, if you think this is all about the republicans moving too far right or being the obstacle you are delusional.

    I implore you to read that book. It is short and easy to read, written by two non-partisan researchers in D.C. They do not absolve the Democrats of gridlock, polarization or partisanship. They simply argue that the polarization is asymmetric, and the GOP has turned sharply right and unusually combative, especially since 2010.

    If you think that the GOP’s platform is not one of wanton obstructionism, you are living in delusion yourself. There is simply no way to explain one-hundred and fifty bills buried in the Senate’s legislative graveyard in 2019 alone as anything but radical obstruction.

  13. There’s this sort of weird false binary sorting going on in the Democratic Party where you’re either a “progressive” or a “centrist.” A lot of this is because the Bernie left is defining the terms. So you get regular mainstream liberal Democrats like Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke who get sorted into the “centrist” column.

    There are more than two types of Democrat, there is a whole spectrum. I’m interested in the 2020 candidates who have crossover appeal, who can both get the base relatively excited AND win back Obama/Trump voters.

  14. However I don’t think there’s a middle ground between us, if you classify Russian election interference is thought of as “left wing hyperbole.”

    Russian election interference isn’t “left wing hyperbole” but the notion that Trump, et al were involved in some illegal cabal to subvert the election is an Onanistic fantasy which has been foisted on this country for 3 years now.

    I’m giving ya’ll a pro tip… if a team of Weissmann led democrats with the full weight of the federal government’s prosecutorial powers using every scum bag technique designed to get witnesses to “compose” with unlimited funding and time couldn’t find a single offense to charge Trump and his inner circle with… THEY DON’T F’in EXIST!

    The US government tries to influence elections worldwide and when that failed often went on to assassinations and coups. Breaking news…. Russia does the same thing. The only problem is under whose watch the the Russian meddling take place??? Your boy was to frightened to do anything to make waves assuming Hildog would win and didn’t want to tarnish her glorious “victory”.

    If you want to bitch about Russian interference, why not take it up with the actual people who had their pants down and were responsible? Nahhhh…. can’t do that!

    We’ve gotta make up some BS story as to why a known dick head won an electoral majority.

    Cliff’s notes: You ran an awful candidate who was almost as detestable as Trump with a completely tin ear politically who ran an awful campaign. Your party neglected the vast middle of this country and its working people. Bannon caught wind of this unrest in the middle and talked Trump the billionaire to be their champion.

    After decades of being shit on the confederacy of dunces said, ” WTF…. it can’t be any worse. Maybe this guy will actually work for me,” and so millions in the mid west who voted for Obama at least once became racists and took a chance with Trump. The rest is…

  15. If you think that the GOP’s platform is not one of wanton obstructionism, you are living in delusion yourself. There is simply no way to explain one-hundred and fifty bills buried in the Senate’s legislative graveyard in 2019 alone as anything but radical obstruction.

    Add to that the GOP literally stole a Supreme Court seat under false pretenses, then admitted they’d be willing to lift those pretenses under Trump if the situation would arise.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/28/politics/mitch-mcconnell-supreme-court-2020/index.html

  16. There are more than two types of Democrat, there is a whole spectrum. I’m interested in the 2020 candidates who have crossover appeal, who can both get the base relatively excited AND win back Obama/Trump voters.

    You are completely correct and you do have two candidates who could easily win nationally but can never get the nomination from the woke crowd: Sen Bennet and Governor Bullock.

  17. Concern trolls love telling us to nominate no-hopers who poll at .000001 percent. Tulsi Gabbard! The generic rando white guys who are just running to raise their own profiles! Those are the kind of charismatic dynamos you guys need!

  18. When we’re talking about center vs left Democrats we’re really talking about just this particular snapshot in time. Because over time, the party WILL move left. The country WILL move left. The demographic future of the Republican Party is not pretty, I don’t know where they think they’re going to find votes 15 years from now when the Boomers are thinned out, Gen Xers are approaching retirement and Millennials and Gen Z are running the show.

    The common response I’ll hear is that “yeah but those people will become conservative once they start getting paychecks hurr durr” but that is not happening with Millenials, who are now in their mid-30’s. Republicans have quadrupled down on the Southern Strategy, and it’s working at the moment. They’re successfully squeezing every last drop out of the Southern Strategy, but there’s an expiration date on that strategy. It has been disastrously off-putting to Millenials and Gen Z’ers.

    The electorate is going to become less white, less Boomer, less racially aggrieved and more liberal in a very short time. Tick tock motherfuckers.

  19. Also I don’t get the logic behind, “the Democrats better put out a centrist candidate, because if they don’t I’ll vote for the far right guy.” Again why are only the Dems held to this standard?

    Second, if the key to national elections are to win the middle, why aren’t we talking about how the Dems can defeat the successor to Pres. Romney?

  20. Add to that the GOP literally stole a Supreme Court seat under false pretenses, then admitted they’d be willing to lift those pretenses under Trump if the situation would arise.

    More fake news .

    I assume you know that Joe Biden (then head of the Senate Judiciary committee) announced to GHW Bush in 1992 that he shouldn’t nominate a Supreme Court replacement in an election year if one materialized.

    As I am assuming you well know the nuclear option was introduced by Harry Reid in 2013 to end debate on all cabinet nominations and nominations to the federal judiciary sans the supreme court so he could jam through Obama nominees with a simple majority.

    Well who knew the shoe might be on the other foot one day….. McConnell just extended Reid’s precedent and agreed with the musings of Joe Biden in 1992!

    Tough nuggies fellas…. politics is hardball.

  21. Tough nuggies fellas…. politics is hardball.

    This is something the Dems haven’t played well, which I lament.

    That’s about to change though. This is why young Dems love AOC, and why Republicans loathe her: she plays hardball. She claps back hard and she doesn’t shy away from aggressive rhetoric, and she doesn’t back down or play nice.

    The next gen Dems are going to throw the high hard one like AOC does.

  22. Saber rattling rhetoric vs. actually doing the deed is quite a gulf. You ever say you want to kill your boss/neighbor/spouse? You ever actually do it? See the difference?

  23. Republicans have quadrupled down on the Southern Strategy, and it’s working at the moment. They’re successfully squeezing every last drop out of the Southern Strategy, but there’s an expiration date on that strategy. It has been disastrously off-putting to Millenials and Gen Z’ers.

    Hmmmm…. it seems to me like Trump won with a midwest working class voter’s strategy or did Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and nearly bloody bleepin Minnesota and New Hampshire become parts of the confederacy recently??????

    That sad trope hold’s little water with TRUMP. Until you guys nominate a person who appeals to those voters again you’ll have a tough time beating the man.

  24. Hmmmm…. it seems to me like Trump won with a midwest working class voter’s strategy or did Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and nearly bloody bleepin Minnesota and New Hampshire become parts of the confederacy recently??????

    The Southern Strategy isn’t just a geographic strategy, I would think you’d be smart enough to know this. It’s an exploitation of racial grievance politics, which is why you see racists in New Hampshire fighting to protect Confederate monuments. It’s a fifty-year old strategy so it has evolved, but there are plenty of rednecks in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, etc so it works there too.

  25. This is something the Dems haven’t played well, which I lament.

    That’s about to change though. This is why young Dems love AOC, and why Republicans loathe her: she plays hardball. She claps back hard and she doesn’t shy away from aggressive rhetoric, and she doesn’t back down or play nice.

    The next gen Dems are going to throw the high hard one like AOC does.

    I actually hope they do for the country deserves the government it votes for, either way. I DO hope Bernie wins the nomination because you couldn’t have a more stark contrast. Let the best man win!

  26. That sad trope hold’s little water with TRUMP. Until you guys nominate a person who appeals to those voters again you’ll have a tough time beating the man.

    He’s already so badly underwater in Michigan and Pennsylvania that he’s probably toast in both of those places. The polling for him is brutal there and Republicans got beaten badly in those two states. A reasonably competent Dem will beat him in those places.

    Wisconsin is the linchpin. That miiiiight be white and racist enough to hold out for him.

  27. You ever say you want to kill your boss/neighbor/spouse? You ever actually do it? See the difference?

    Emotionally healthy people don’t talk about wanting to kill their spouse. WTF.

  28. The Southern Strategy isn’t just a geographic strategy, I would think you’d be smart enough to know this. It’s an exploitation of racial grievance politics, which is why you see racists in New Hampshire fighting to protect Confederate monuments. It’s a fifty-year old strategy so it has evolved, but there are plenty of rednecks in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, etc so it works there too.

    Sooooo…. according to you all those millions of Midwesterners who voted for Obama at least once when they had a chance to vote for reasonable non nut job lily white Republicans (McCain and Romney) suddenly came under TRUMP’s spell and became closet racists when they switched over and swung those Midwest state????

    Orrrrrr….. just maybe they became tired of getting shat upon for decades and voted for a guy that “felt their pain!”

    HMMMMM…. what really happened????

  29. Impressive rant, Mike!

    Trump is the logical evolution of years of hate and obstructionism. The Democrats need to find the proverbial tough talking “liberal hawk,” assuming one even exists, to run for president. No one in the current field strikes me as such.

    BTW, I’d argue that in gun control, treating guns sort of like cars with all sorts of registrations, background checks, etc. is centrist. Far left would be to ban all gun sales going forward and issuing an aggressive buy back campaign.

    One good consequence of Trump is that he’s galvanized my wife. She’s long been rather quiet and moderate about politics, but she really hates him and the Republican party now (she grew up Republican, voted for Reagan, etc.). She’s really all in on feminist issues and such. I don’t know how anecdotal this is, or not.

    The Repubs used to tout “family values” in their campaigns. The Dems could really steal that now, if they want (tie health care to that), but probably too dim to see that. Trump is still defining the terms of this election, and the Dem debates have been all dominated by too much minutiae.

  30. Orrrrrr….. just maybe they became tired of getting shat upon for decades and voted for a guy that “felt their pain!”

    HMMMMM…. what really happened????

    What really happened, for the most part, is that the Dem base didn’t turn out enough. For a variety of reasons. The R base was more excited than the D base in 2016, and so Trump was able to win squeakers in those key states.

    In 2018 though, this did not happen: both bases turned out heavily, and the D base swamped the R base. This is something that a lot of pundits miss: Trump really only wins in 2020 if the D base is unexcited again. He’ll have to hope to have an opponent who has sky-high unfavorables like HRC, and he’ll also have to hope that candidate ignores MI, PA and WI the way HRC did. She was farting around in GA and AZ trying to run up the score in the last couple of weeks.

    He pulled an inside straight last time, and he’ll need to do it again to win next time.

  31. The Repubs used to tout “family values” in their campaigns. The Dems could really steal that now, if they want (tie health care to that), but probably too dim to see that. Trump is still defining the terms of this election, and the Dem debates have been all dominated by too much minutiae.

    It’s a 20+ candidate field right now, and everybody is trying to just get their name in the news cycle, so you can’t really put too much weight on what is happening in the D debates. Whenever there is a big field (on either side) you get the “hurr durr what a clown car” narrative from the media, but it surely didn’t hurt Rs last time. I mean last go-around Trump bragged about his cock during one of the debates.

    When the field narrows and only the strong candidates are standing, it’s going to look a lot different.

  32. @29 and 31

    The Hillary Clinton factor? I don’t want to debate her merits or lack of, but lots of people did not like her. One of my two brothers says he voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils.

    A female teacher friend of mine told me she voted for Trump. I sort of pressed her on why, and she said of Clinton, “I couldn’t vote for that woman.”

    I don’t know if cases like this are just lame rationalizations or what they really thought.

  33. Wisconsin is the linchpin. That miiiiight be white and racist enough to hold out for him.

    Obama won Wisconsin by 14% in 2008 and 7% in 2012…. Wisconsin voters all of a sudden became racist in 2016. Breaking news elucidated here!

    You guys are pretty funny, though….. you are certainly entitled to you own misguided opinions, but certainly not your own facts.

  34. Emotionally healthy people don’t talk about wanting to kill their spouse. WTF.

    I don’t think emotionally healthy people talk about wanting to kill anyone. Using the word kill without meaning you actually want to end a life is a common enough expression of frustration with a wide distance between word and deed. Though I guess that was a distracting example to use!

  35. Obama won Wisconsin by 14% in 2008 and 7% in 2012…. Wisconsin voters all of a sudden became racist in 2016. Breaking news elucidated here!

    I’m sure this sounded very clever when you wrote it out but it shows that you’re completely ignoring what JK47 has repeated a million times regarding turnout. Let me help you:

    Wisconsin 2012 popular vote:
    Obama–1,620,985
    Romney–1,407,966

    Wisconsin 2016 popular vote:
    Clinton–1,382,536
    Trump–1,405,284

    As you can see, turnout went down on both sides (despite the electorate being larger) but much more drastically for the Democrats. HRC’s biggest problem wasn’t the Obama-Trump voter, not even close. It was the Obama-nobody voter.

    Now, there are a fair number of Obama-Trump voters and I think it’s worth exploring what can be done to win them back (without giving an inch to racism, sexism, etc.), but it’s a phenomenon that hardly anyone would be talking about if HRC just achieved Obama level turnout in a year in which it was easier to do so than 2012.

  36. Sooooo…. according to you all those millions of Midwesterners who voted for Obama at least once when they had a chance to vote for reasonable non nut job lily white Republicans (McCain and Romney) suddenly came under TRUMP’s spell and became closet racists when they switched over and swung those Midwest state????

    Orrrrrr….. just maybe they became tired of getting shat upon for decades and voted for a guy that “felt their pain!”

    HMMMMM…. what really happened????

    Can’t be racism can it?

    https://theintercept.com/2018/09/18/2016-election-race-class-trump/

    “In fact, according to the survey data, white, working-class voters who expressed fears of “cultural displacement” were three-and-a-half times more likely to vote for Trump than those who didn’t share these fears.”

    And definitely not sexism, right?

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/

    “By 53% to 41%, more men supported Trump than Clinton (the 12-point margin is identical to the margin by which women supported Clinton). The advantage for Trump among men is larger than the 7-point advantage Romney had in 2012 and much different than in 2008, when men preferred Obama over McCain by a single point.”

    Definitely not religious animosity, xenophobia, and more racism either:

    https://www.voterstudygroup.org/publication/political-divisions-in-2016-and-beyond

    “Divides get much wider as we move toward questions of race and national identity. Trump voters have more negative attitudes than Clinton supporters about African-Americans, are much less supportive of immigration, and have much more negative feelings toward Muslims.”

  37. Obama won Wisconsin by 14% in 2008 and 7% in 2012…. Wisconsin voters all of a sudden became racist in 2016. Breaking news elucidated here!

    Hey, guess what, there are these things called “trends!” That means that things don’t stay the same forever!

    Trump is pretty clearly going all-in with a strategy of “attack the dark skinned” in 2020, it’s as plain as day.

  38. One good consequence of Trump is that he’s galvanized my wife. She’s long been rather quiet and moderate about politics, but she really hates him and the Republican party now (she grew up Republican, voted for Reagan, etc.). She’s really all in on feminist issues and such. I don’t know how anecdotal this is, or not.

    Mine too! She was a registered Republican until 2016. Now she’s very much into politics!

  39. HMMMMM…. what really happened????

    Link me to Breitbart so I can get the raw, unfiltered truth.

  40. The Hillary Clinton factor? I don’t want to debate her merits or lack of, but lots of people did not like her. One of my two brothers says he voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils.

    A female teacher friend of mine told me she voted for Trump. I sort of pressed her on why, and she said of Clinton, “I couldn’t vote for that woman.”

    I don’t know if cases like this are just lame rationalizations or what they really thought.

    The GOP has been dragging her name through the mud for 30 years. My first foray into politics was an intense hatred for Bill (and Hillary) during the Lewisnky/Whitewater scandal. I thought elected officials should be held to a higher standard, and thought that America deserved better.

    There’s no doubt that years of political bashing from the right ruined her chances. Trump (“lock her up”), along with Russia/Wikileaks played right along with it. The GOP helped by yelling “Ben Ghazi!” and “Butter Emails!”, and of course a good assist goes to James Comey, with a nod to the New York Times.

    Granted it’s up to the voters to make an informed decision, but a lot of Americans couldn’t tell you where Ben Ghazi is, or what crime she committed. But if 1/3 of the country is screaming “lock her up”, she’s gotta be bad, right?

  41. @39
    Well, that’s two of us!

    My wife has been more of a slow burn, as she did like Obama and began to see what you talked about, the incredibly negative obstructionism by the Repubs during his administration. But it wasn’t until Trump that she began to shout (at him) on TV!
    :-)

  42. Trump is pretty clearly going all-in with a strategy of “attack the dark skinned” in 2020, it’s as plain as day.

    He’s more clever than that. He’s saying that to the people who want to hear that. But he doesn’t stop there.

    He’s telling middle class people that he’ll restore jobs and manufacturing. He’s telling people without healthcare that he’ll repeal and replace Obamacare with something even better. He told Flint he’d clean their water. He told the people worried about corruption that he’d put his company in a trust so he won’t profit off the office of Presidency. He told fiscal conservatives he’d pay off the debt in 8 years. He said he’d institute price controls on prescriptions. He said he’d spend $1T on infrastructure.

    It’s snake oil. Cures all for everyone!

  43. My wife jumped into the political fray with both feet the day after Trump was elected (as did I to a lesser degree) She joined a local activist group, and has made many new friends some of whom she’s gotten incredibly close with (and I also really like a lot.)

    So ironic that the election of this scourge upon humanity Donald J. Trump has resulted in long lasting friendships that would never have come to fruition if Hillary had won. My wife wouldn’t even know these people.

  44. He said he’d ____________.

    And here’s the best part: he doesn’t have to do any of it to retain his base. If he doesn’t get his way, or he fails to accomplish a batshit-insane goal like increasing jobs in “clean” coal, he’ll claim it’s a conspiracy between the Demo-craps and the Fake News Media to undo his great works.

    And wait for our resident Breitbart F5-er to tell us about all that Trump has accomplished, and how much more he’d have accomplished if the libtards would “compromise.”

  45. At least your right wing leader doesn’t want to be an amateur DJ at the most white trash beach in the whole Italian peninsula.

  46. All the empty promises are hurting him with the Obama/Trump voters. This is one of the reason Rs tanked hard in MI and PA in the midterms. Focus groups consistently show that these voters have caught onto the bullshit.

    WI has been more of an uphill climb.

  47. I am screaming inside! This is cathartic for me…

    NO! This country’s problem is the shift to extremism. It’s the end result of a lot of other things but the polarization has turned this into the Ununited States of America. We’re so splintered that it’s destroying everything. So Democrats moving further to the left is a non-starter for me. I’ve been saying for years that we need a 3rd, centrist party.

    A rational centrist is the only think that can SAVE this country.

    @BobNeptune –

    but the notion that Trump, et al were involved in some illegal cabal to subvert the election is an Onanistic fantasy which has been foisted on this country for 3 years now.

    I am convinced that it’s the other way around. You’ve been hoodwinked by a snake-oil salesman and haven’t figured out that you’ve been conned. No need to reply because we’re both “convinced”. I’m sure that Trump dealt with the Russians and should be in a prison cell awaiting his execution for treason.

    Did I pull too many punches?

  48. I think Medicare for All makes all the sense in the world. Unfortunately, it gives Republicans 2 big talking points: 1) they’re coming to take away your private health insurance and 2) there are going to be massive tax increases on the middle class to pay for it.

    Right now Trump has a $100 million war chest and it’s only going to keep growing. If Sanders or Warren gets the nomination, you can bet there will be endless attack ads meant to scare middle class voters. And whether they’re right or wrong, as Fox News constantly demonstrates, you keep saying the same bullshit over and over to enough people and they start to believe it.

  49. @50

    I saw a poll that said 55% of Americans would support Medicare for All if it meant they could keep their doctor and go to the same hospital.

  50. I don’t think the war chest really matters all that much. Opinions about Trump are baked in, he never budges off that 41-43% approval baseline, no matter what current events happen, good or bad. There are very few persuadables remaining and there are what, like 10 states total maybe where the outcome is even in doubt.

    2020 is going to be base vs base. The Dems need to run somebody who will drive base turnout, that is the absolute key to winning. A 2018 turnout model means Trump is probably toast. If Dems fall short of that, he’ll win again.

  51. i remember my roommate at school putting up a ronald reagan poster…at the time the military was just starting to recover from the 70’s…reagan made it cool again to wear a uniform…still friends with my old roomie, who’s actually cool with some of the folks trump brought in from our class…

    a remember jimmie carter as a brilliant and good man, didn’t seem to do the party many favors though…clinton helped bring me back in to the democratic party flow in the 90’s…

    all this political discussion actually had me checking in with all the different political “news” channels…you ain’t kidding there’s money to be made in conservative news feeds…wow has it grown…

    my normal go to has been, and continues to be cnn (although, always been a big rachel maddows fan)…i’ve always been pretty set on my team – but, if there was ever anyone to get me to think about switching teams – it might just be don lemon :)

    i’ll tell you – after checking in over the last week on all the different channels – i feel pretty confident that trump is gonna win again…

    strong rhetoric > whiney righteousness

    it’ll be amazing the amount of damage he’ll be able to accomplish in just two terms…considering over half the country are women, and 40% are non-white – i just don’t understand how it is that fucker will win again…

  52. Geo, simple messages plus an “us vs. them”, whomever those them might be, go an extremely long way to entice the masses. A lot of people want to be told that whatever personal insuccess they are going through is not their fault. Right wing propaganda is a winning formula for that.

  53. I don’t think the war chest really matters all that much. Opinions about Trump are baked in, he never budges off that 41-43% approval baseline, no matter what current events happen, good or bad.

    I kinda disagree. The GOP has been great at has been messaging and demonizing the Dems. They can take just about anything and politicize it. They did it with Hillary to great success, and they’ll do it with whoever the Dems run against him in 2020. And conservative news will repeat it. And eventually stupid mainstream news will (knowingly or not) lend credence to those claims. (NyTimes, I’m looking at you. You too CNN.) And if you repeat a lie enough times…

    Mayor Pete said it best:
    “If we embrace a far-left agenda, [Republicans are] going to say that we’re a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they’re going to say? They’re going to say we’re a bunch of crazy socialists.”

    They’re going to use that money to sow doubt and discord. They don’t need to win. They just need the other person to lose.

  54. Geo, simple messages plus an “us vs. them”, whomever those them might be, go an extremely long way to entice the masses.

    ugh, it’s so frustrating farfa…i get what trump and the republicans are doing…i just don’t understand why the democrats have to be so flipping inept…

  55. Certainly the Rs are going to demonize the opposing candidate, I mean that’s kind of just what politics is when you get right down to it. So any poll that shows Biden up by like 10 points or whatever doesn’t mean he’ll win by ten. His unfavorables will be driven up during the campaign. That would be the same of any candidate.

    My point is that $100M of that doesn’t buy them much more demonization than $50M would. People’s minds are really made up. There really are not a lot of persuadable voters.

    People know what the deal is and what the stakes are. We know what Trump is. We can either go for more of that, or something different. There is not really much of a debate to have or many minds to be changed.

  56. I agree 100% with Mike’s well written and thoughtful article. The Overton Window in our political discourse has been shifting so rightward on economic and military issues that a “centrist position” actually represents a step back from, say, twenty years ago. If I’d told you back then that the “centrist position” accepted by both major political parties is that the American public should be engaged in war in Afghanistan for a generation; that the U.S. military should have decimated Iraq with eyes towards invading Syria and Iran; that the President should unilaterally have the power to drone bomb civilian populations around the world; that persons should privately endure being spied upon by their own intelligence community with no oversight, that citizens should accept the possibility of being indefinitely detained without trial; and that taxpayers should expect to bailout a finance sector deemed too big to fail that their leaders won’t prosecute you’d have seen that “centrist position” as a step backwards no doubt.

    And the bigger problem is that this “centrist position” is ill-equipped to deal with the growing problems of climate change, over-consumption of natural resources, growing class inequality, perpetual warfare, and nuclear proliferation that have become so much more daunting as the chance of major catastrophe looms greater by the day.

  57. The environment is toxic because republicans have steadily moved right and democrats have steadily moved left.

    This is not exactly right. Republicans have steadily moved right. Democrats stood still, then lurched left the last couple of years.

    For 25 years, the narrative was that the two sides were moving further apart. This always drove me crazy, because Clinton, Obama, Reid, Kerry, et al were such generic politicians that could have easily served 50 years ago. But starting with the embrace of Bernie in 2016, and accelerating as a response to Trump’s victory, the Dems actually did move left quite quickly.

    But most of that is still rhetoric, since there’s only been one election since 2016. If Biden wins in 2020 and the Democratic Party becomes a big tent that welcomes in all the college-educated fiscal conservatives who were repelled by Trump, you’ll see the party quickly tack back toward the center.

  58. @52 I agree that most people have made up their minds already. However, the same suburban white voters in 2016 in Michigan, PA and Wisconsin who thought Trump was despicable but that Hillary was worse (you know, emails and such) and held their noses and voted for him could be swayed in 2020 by the “Socialists are coming for your health insurance and their gonna raise your taxes” argument.”

    These are the voters that would never admit to anyone that they support Trump, but would pull his lever and protect their own economic interests.

  59. In a De­mo­c­ra­tic de­bate last week, Ver­mont Sen. Bernie Sanders ar­gued that to deal with the mi­gra­tion cri­sis at the U.S. south­ern bor­der, “we’ve got to ask our­selves, ‘Why are peo­ple walk­ing 2,000 miles to a strange coun­try where they don’t know the lan­guage?’ ”

    It’s a sad day when a U.S. Sen­a­tor and presidential candidate can’t grasp the rea­son for Cen­tral Amer­i­can poverty.

    The mi­grants were born in coun­tries that lack rule of law, re­spect for pri­vate prop­erty, and eco­nomic free­dom. The na­tions of the North­ern Tri­an­gle—El Sal­vador, Gua­temala and Hon­duras—in­stead have pur­sued Sanders-style so­cial jus­tice as a path to pros­per­ity. It’s hardly a sur­prise their cit­i­zens en­joy nei­ther.

  60. I think the “No Child Left Behind” act might have been one of the last big bi-partisan pieces of legislation that I remember. As I recall W and Ted Kennedy were the respective proponents.

  61. Many critics say a progressive candidate can’t win, but not mentioned here is why it’s better to vote for the most committed progressive in any case–win, lose or draw. Consider what happens when one of the Koch Brother proteges steps out of line. They can count on a well-funded ideologue to oppose them in the next primary election. This is so successful that the “Overton window” (the range of respectable public policy options) has crept ever rightward since Kochs have adopted it.

    So how would one enforce discipline on the legislative left? Obviously run opponents to primary the recalcitrant pseudo-lefties. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s campaign arm, recently mandated in late March that it will no longer work with political strategists and vendors who support candidates running against sitting Democrats. That they are so tactically challenged is really frustrating. Democratic “centrists” like Pelosi and Schumer would rather lose with a milquetoast centrist their big money donor base approves of (see John Ossoff) than elect a winner.

    As a result, the electorate feels betrayed by Democrats for throwing their traditional FDR constituents under the bus for literally generations.”

  62. Oh good now we know what reub’s opinion is.

    It’s right in line with “Phil Jackson is a good executive” in terms of brain power.

  63. Right wing populists’ rise in Europe and here is simple. The right used to be an uneasy coalition between identity-focused/nativist cultural positions and free market economic positions on taxes, trade, immigration. The gains on the right come from jettisoning old free market positions in favor of protectionist ones, co-opting social safety net policies, and doubling down on identity issues. That is very appealing to many in the working class who were never very culturally progressive, but usually voted left for economic reasons.

    Tactics for defeating right wing populism should attack weaknesses in this strategy: Highlight obvious cronyism, dishonesty, corruption and hammer away on working class suspicions about whoever is in power; double down on identification with the safety net; don’t go for the bait every time identity politics red meat is offered. That’s where Trump, Orban, Salvini and Farage etc. play media and lefty firebrands like a fiddle. Demagoguery works in part because it opponents always take the bait.

    That’s all just political strategy though. What’s actually best for America has to be put into the mix too. I’m against framing all issues in partisan terms. Our challenges are too complicated and important to ignore any thoughtful perspective. Intense partisanship makes us second guess the other guy’s motivations and loses the value of dialog.

    Being anti-partisan doesn’t equal centrist. Positions should be as radical as needed to be effective, and borrow from any tradition with evidence to support its claims. Values should guide goals. Strategies should be pragmatic.

    On values, I think the left should swipe the patriotism card from the right. Being anti-immigrant is profoundly anti-American. Being a nation of immigrants isn’t something I tolerate. It’s something I love, gives the juice to daily life, and makes me proud to be American. Dem’s should steal the claim to national pride and sub that out for whining.

  64. In a De­mo­c­ra­tic de­bate last week, Ver­mont Sen. Bernie Sanders ar­gued that to deal with the mi­gra­tion cri­sis at the U.S. south­ern bor­der, “we’ve got to ask our­selves, ‘Why are peo­ple walk­ing 2,000 miles to a strange coun­try where they don’t know the lan­guage?’ ”

    It’s a sad day when a U.S. Sen­a­tor and presidential candidate can’t grasp the rea­son for Cen­tral Amer­i­can poverty.

    The mi­grants were born in coun­tries that lack rule of law, re­spect for pri­vate prop­erty, and eco­nomic free­dom. The na­tions of the North­ern Tri­an­gle—El Sal­vador, Gua­temala and Hon­duras—in­stead have pur­sued Sanders-style so­cial jus­tice as a path to pros­per­ity. It’s hardly a sur­prise their cit­i­zens en­joy nei­ther.

    Those three countries rank 77th, 84th, and 93rd in The Heritage Foundation’s ranking of economic freedom. That puts them in the middle of the pack of the 180-nation list.

    Where they stand out is on their murder rates. All three countries are in the Top 6 in the world.

    So the statistics strongly contradict any assertion that Golden Triangle migration is due to Bernie Sanders-style “social justice.” To be honest I’ve never even heard that theory before.

  65. So the statistics strongly contradict any assertion that Golden Triangle migration is due to Bernie Sanders-style “social justice.” To be honest I’ve never even heard that theory before.

    You have to take into account that reub is a fool who keeps coming back here despite being banned for continually disrupting conversations.

  66. As the right dismiss the left as identity politics shoveling, rage invoking, anti-business socialists, and the left dismiss the right as evil, reactionary, greedy and corrupt racists, maybe both sides are shitty and intolerant of their ridiculous views.

    The republicans are not the same party of thirty years ago, I agree. But not all right wing people are alt-right. The need by the left to paint everyone they don’t agree with as disgusting creatures of evil is THE reason half the country is fed up with the Democratic Party. I would say the majority of republicans are mostly sick of being forgotten because they are ‘privileged’ – they view cops as humans, they don’t want their children penalized by affirmative action because they are white, they don’t want their taxes raised for healthcare run by a government they distrust as inefficient, bureaucratic, and bent on helping groups that are not them.

    They feel forgotten, and they are being increasingly marginalized by the progressive left. Until the Democrats stop marginalizing the parts of the country they call racist in every political discussion, they will lose those states over and over again.

  67. The majority of Central America migrants are coming from Honduras, the idea that a U.S. sponsored right-wing oligarch like Juan Orlando Hernandez, with ties to drug lords and death squads, is a Bernie Sanders style politician is laughable assessment of that country’s past ten years since the overthrow of the Manuel Zalaya government.

    When Bernie Sanders comments about the reasons for the migrant caravans at our border he’s pointing to the blood on our government’s hands in supporting repressive regimes in the Northern Triangle, a nasty history which the U.S. has failed to acknowledge or apologize for.

  68. Remember when reub first started the GianaDani account? He was pretending to be a middle-aged mother of three. Good times.

  69. @70

    I seriously thought he was banned, but this one post about the Central American countries is a top 5 most stupid post I’ve read on KB, and I’ve been here for quite a while.

  70. sometimes i wonder if mills runs the DNC too…

    i liked reub…this type of discourse just ain’t that serious…no need to to get worked up just by someone’s comments…seriously, who cares if someone thinks red is blue, and green is gray…have at it…

  71. I’ll just throw my two cents based on something I keep seeing. The divide you guys are talking about is something that happened in Brasil and led to Bolsonaro’s election. Here, it was never about the left being too far left; it was a lot more about a group of organized right wing people managing to convince the privileged yet not rich that they were being taken advantage of.

    Here, things were never truly about policy, they were mostly about the way society changed: during PT’s almost 16 years in charge, a lot of the poorest people in the country benefited a lot from social services and started occupying the places that were typically reserved to middle class people, airports, supermarkets, shopping centers, parties, better jobs, universities. It was all fine while the economy was still growing enough to support this, but once the growth showed itself to be unsustainable, and the middle class and poorer whites started taking hits on their living standards, the right wing convinced them that the social services and the social ascension of the lowest classes were the reason their lives were getting worse, and not the economy. That, coupled with a group of people who were already supportive of fascist ideas, gun ownership etc created the support necessary for Bolsonaro to win.

    What I see in the US is a similar process going on, where the poorer middle class people, generally white, are led to believe their lives are terrible because of immigrants, black peoples etc. That doesn’t make them outright racists, which only a few actually are, but puts them into the position to be in the same political groups as the fascists. These are relatively privileged people who are, even understandably so, fighting to keep whatever’s left of those advantages they have / used to have.

  72. It was all fine while the economy was still growing enough to support this, but once the growth showed itself to be unsustainable, and the middle class and poorer whites started taking hits on their living standards, the right wing convinced them that the social services and the social ascension of the lowest classes were the reason their lives were getting worse, and not the economy. That, coupled with a group of people who were already supportive of fascist ideas, gun ownership etc created the support necessary for Bolsonaro to win.

    Correct me if I am wrong, Bruno, but isn’t the problem also that government prosecutors under Jugde Moro’s coordination, systematically persecuted the left-wing as part of it’s Lava Jato anti-corruption campaign? They went and nailed Dilma for less than her replacement Temer was documented to have committed, then went on to imprison Lula on flimsy charges about some apartment he was never proven to have owned when they knew he would’ve beaten the shit out of Bolsinaro in an election.

  73. I don’t necessarily agree that a centrist democrat can’t or shouldn’t win.

    1) I believe I heard that of all the seats that the Dems flipped during the midterms the vast majority were actually won by more centrist democrats. Most of the wins were center-right-ish suburbs that flipped to a center-left democrat. Nominating, say, Bernie Sanders may cause those to flip back as the Fox and co. media machine vilifies medicare for all.

    2) Speaking of medicare for all — I think it is a laudable goal, and if we were designing a healthcare system from scratch, we would choose a single payer system. But a single payer system is not the end all and be all, and comes with all of the potential pitfalls of any monopolistic system. In addition, while the current health insurance system is no bueno for many people, completely upending 18% of the economy can’t help but come with risks and with unintended consequences with winners and losers galore — and the losers won’t necessarily just be health insurance companies. When dealing with something as important as healthcare, a low-risk incremental approach is not the end of the world. For all the weaknesses of the ACA, it has made a lot of difference in a lot of people’s lives, and it was an incremental (but still monumental) shift. Listen to Lauren Underwood on Kara Swisher’s podcast – a freshman congresswomen that flipped a traditionally red seat blue running on a center-left platform – she’s a poster child for center-left SMART politics. She is unbelievably smart and deeply invested in the healthcare debate.

    3) Mike’s point about Hillary losing by a hair is exactly right – but I take the opposite conclusion. Even before anyone with a brain knew for sure that Trump is a total monster, Hillary won the popular vote and almost won despite terrible unpopularity. Run someone similarly center-left without her history and he/she almost certainly wins.

  74. What I see in the US is a similar process going on, where the poorer middle class people, generally white, are led to believe their lives are terrible because of immigrants, black peoples etc.

    This has been going on here for 50 years, and it’s called the Southern Strategy. And no, it’s not just limited to the South, it’s a mindset that is transferable anywhere. It was pioneered by Richard Nixon and honed into perfection by Lee Atwater, and it is the foundation of Republican Party politics in 2019. The right-wingers here will call that ridiculous, but it’s the truth. Over the last 40-50 years a humongous amount of wealth has been sucked out of the middle class and transferred upstream to the uber-wealthy, to the point where we’re pretty much back to the Gilded Age in terms of wealth and income inequality.

    Who’s to blame? The uber-rich, who have acquired all of the wealth that has been sucked out of the middle class? Why, heavens no! It’s the darker skinned peoples. It’s a very simple but effective misdirection play, a parlor magician’s sleight of hand. This ain’t nothin’ new here. It’s been fifty years of this bullshit.

  75. What are we defining as “center-left”? Is Kamala Harris center-left? Because she seems like a pretty much straight up mainstream liberal Democrat to me. Same with Pete Buttigieg, he’s a mainstream Democrat.

    But I think we’re missing the point– the Dems need a candidate who crosses over. The candidate needs to get massive turnout from the inner city base, and also needs to be able to get massive turnout from the young, millennial, progressive-leaning part of the base. That’s kind of a tough trick to pull off, but not impossible. Rally both of those parts of the base, and you win.

  76. The candidate needs to get massive turnout from the inner city base, and also needs to be able to get massive turnout from the young, millennial, progressive-leaning part of the base. That’s kind of a tough trick to pull off, but not impossible. Rally both of those parts of the base, and you win.

    Basically, the 2008 Obama coalition all over again.

  77. Even before anyone with a brain knew for sure that Trump is a total monster, Hillary won the popular vote and almost won despite terrible unpopularity.

    You mean to tell me we didn’t know he was a total monster in 2016? He was the most unpopular presidential candidate in recorded U.S. history, beating Hillary out for the #1 spot.

  78. Who’s to blame? The uber-rich, who have acquired all of the wealth that has been sucked out of the middle class? Why, heavens no! It’s the darker skinned peoples. It’s a very simple but effective misdirection play, a parlor magician’s sleight of hand. This ain’t nothin’ new here. It’s been fifty years of this bullshit.

    Honestly it’s this part of the Southern Strategy that I can’t believe people swallow. How the heck is it the poor that are making your wallets smaller? By definition the poor doesn’t have much money! You’re trying to get blood from a stone here.

    Let’s just assume for a second the strategy is sound. Cut taxes and services. Now what happens? You end up with a shitload of people that have no support and up flooding the streets/cities as beggars. Landlords and stores in poor neighborhood dry up. And the economy collapses from there.

    Wait? I’m wrong. Those poor people will get jobs? Oh great. Well they won’t be good paying jobs, because you’re likely to kill off the minimum wage in this scenario. Those starters jobs aren’t suppose to be permanent you say? OK Let’s say that’s true too. So all these poor people take these jobs, and a good portion of them don’t pay much, but that’s OK, because they’ll eventually get better jobs, right?

    If this is all true, the portion of poor that do succeed will actually be competing against the middle class for jobs. And when you have tons of people competing for jobs, wages will plummet.

    Honestly if our country went all in on this strategy, there are only a few possibilities I can plausibly imagine: 1930s style unemployment, 1910s awful work conditions and pay, 1870s style of one people being totally subservient to the other. I don’t see any other rosy outcome.

  79. The germinal cell of the Southern Strategy epitomized in one beautiful Lee Atwater quote:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

    To this I add instead of saying “Obama is a foreign nigger” you say “Obama is a Muslim,” instead of saying wetback/spic/greaser you say “illegal,” instead of saying “raghead” you say “terrorist,” instead of saying “concentration camp” you say “detention center” and instead of saying “Final Solution” you say “White Nationalist.”

  80. @74

    That was the second part of the plan, pretty much. They knew despite all the hatred, Lula would simply get elected anyway, so they went such lengths to guarantee he couldn’t compete.

    Lula is a one of a kind and is still kinda immune to any sort of negative discourse amongst a huge amount of people here, so they had to take him out the hard way. However, the strategy I specified guaranteed other left wing candidates had no chance against Bolsonaro, basically. I didn’t mention Lula because clearly the US “left” has no one remotely close to his level of magnetism.

  81. OK tomorrow’s question:

    What do the Republicans do if Trump loses in 2020 by a slim margin? What if he loses by a large margin (to a socialist!)?

  82. I didn’t mention Lula because clearly the US “left” has no one remotely close to his level of magnetism.

    Agreed. He’s arguably the most exceptional politician in the world today and is certainly the most important political prisoner in the Western world right now. To put it in North American terms, what happened to Lula would be the equivalent of a federal prosecutor in 1931 colluding with Republican federal judge to arrest FDR on trumped up bribery charges in anticipation of him defeating Hoover in the 1932 presidential election. Except in this case the FDR figure had already served consecutive terms as a historically transformative national leader and left office with his party in power while the Hoover figure was Hitler, with a sordid past as a military government thug.

  83. The demographic future of the Republican Party is not pretty

    This is an amazingly racist and sexist attitude because it assumes that people’s political views are determined by what demographic box they occupy. That attitude is one of the biggest reason we wound up with Trump because it encouraged Democrats to think they could just write off whole sections of the county and whole segments of the population as “not mattering anymore.”

    Mike

  84. What do the Republicans do if Trump loses in 2020 by a slim margin? What if he loses by a large margin (to a socialist!)?

    what a sweet dream that is…i don’t know what’s caused more cynicism in my views over the years, the knicks or our political system…

  85. This is an amazingly racist and sexist attitude because it assumes that people’s political views are determined by what demographic box they occupy. That attitude is one of the biggest reason we wound up with Trump because it encouraged Democrats to think they could just write off whole sections of the county and whole segments of the population as “not mattering anymore.”

    You do know that Trump won 2016 on the backs of older, whiter, and more educated male voters, no? That’s basically the same demographic which supported Mitt Romney back in 2012.

  86. write off whole sections of the county and whole segments of the population as “not mattering anymore.”

    You mean the same people who responded to the phrase Black Lives Matter (which means “black lives also matter”) with All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter? The self-victimization was underway far before Hillary was on track to dodder in Arizona and Georgia.

  87. what a sweet dream that is…i don’t know what’s caused more cynicism in my views over the years, the knicks or our political system…

    And isn’t amazing how both are caused by the same structural problem? Greedy, insulated and unaccountable elites catered to by a managerial class of corrupt figureheads who are financially incentivized to administer institutions at their behest? Professional sports truly is a reflection of the larger society.

  88. @93

    I should amend that to “older, whiter, and less educated male voters”….

  89. This is an amazingly racist and sexist attitude because it assumes that people’s political views are determined by what demographic box they occupy.

    It’s not an “attitude,” it’s simple mathematics. Democrats have a MASSIVE registration edge with Millennials. A 2018 survey showed that 59% of Millennials identify as Democrats, while only 32% identify as Republicans. The generation behind them, Gen Z, is MORE liberal. They’re more comfortable with multiculturalism, a bigger role for government, gender neutral pronouns (oh the horror!), and the idea that minorities are treated unfairly by society.

    The main reason that the Democrats had a wave election in 2018 was that the Millennials turned out to vote in huge numbers.

  90. LOL Trump really is a moron. He can’t even read off a teleprompter correctly to competently send well-wishes to the people of Dayton, Ohio. I wonder what in his McDonald’s infested, sundowning husk of a mind spurred him to say “May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo.”

  91. @92

    LOL Trump really is a moron. He can’t even read off a teleprompter correctly

    Yeah, but don’t forget: he apparently has banged more hot women then all of us on this board, combined!
    :-)
    Did reub say that?

  92. i feel pretty confident that trump is gonna win again…

    strong rhetoric > whiney righteousness

    geo, I think this is super interesting. My take is that it’s just perception and a sorta ingrained consciousness, cause I read the divide as being marginalized groups finally feeling able to push back vs whiney victumhood. Kinda the same way that wanting the same level of civil rights for say, LGBTQ folks is identity politics but an implicit argument that “real Americans” are White working class and not Black or Hispanic or Asian working class is not identity politics. Like, even the progressive parts of the country have internalized right wing talking points. It’s interesting.

  93. The fact that Lula and Bolsonaro inevitably share a fair number of supporters reminds me of an important point: voters are generally terrible at perceiving a candidate’s ideology. I mean, voters perceived Trump, who was running on establishing a Herrenvolk state, as more “moderate” than Clinton, who was running on “can we at least all agree this guy is crazy?”

    There are other examples: the most common second choice for Joe Biden supporters in the primary is Bernie Sanders, and in some polls vice-versa applies too (in others, the second choice for Sanders supporters is the much more obvious one: Elizabeth Warren). Sherrod Brown keeps winning big in what’s become a pretty solidly red state. I could go on.

    I’m pointing all this out to say that very, very few voters are calculating where the candidates fall on an ideological scale and making their decision based on that. It’s quite likely that there are certain progressives who would do better against Trump than certain centrists, and there are certain centrists who would do better against Trump than certain progressives.

    So, where a candidate falls on the standard ideological pole is only one factor in their “electability” (in quotes because I think it’s a largely garbage term that’s only employed to left-punch in this country). If you’re actually trying to project electoral outcomes, there are much more important questions to ask. Who will be able to turn out more of their own base? Who will be able to flip more of the other’s supporters? Who will independents be more likely to support?

    To be sure, ideology can help answer these questions, but people tend to think it can do so more cleanly than the evidence shows. It’s hard to say exactly what the others factors are, though some of them are fairly simple–racism, misogyny, etc. can outweigh perceived ideological preference. Others are more nebulous–such as the idea that a candidate “cares about people like me.”

  94. @94

    This annoys me to death and it’s so true. One of the main things the right wings around the world have managed to do successfully is to reinforce the idea that being a white heterosexual male is somehow not an identity, but the “standard”, and that everything else is what is an identity. It’s somwthing Monique Wittig brilliantly realized (and tore down) like 50 years ago, yet it’s getting more and more acceptance, even by progressive people who can’t seem to understand that this is an issue within the discourse they’re using to go against the right wing arguments.

  95. Yeah, but don’t forget: he apparently has banged more hot women then all of us on this board, combined!

    Especially when you count all of Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express sex slaves!

  96. @95 – I agree with your perspective, which is why I vehemently disagree with the subject of this thread. I believe that the best Democratic candidate will be able to win center-right Republican voters just by being a morally acceptable alternative to Trump. The rash of GOP congressmen that have declared they are not seeking re-election is a symptom of how much he is despised. There are many that yearn for a sane president. But that crowd will flee from a leftist like he or she was a leper. A stabilizing centrist will win when viewed as the lesser of two evils.

  97. Democrats to think they could just write off whole sections of the county and whole segments of the population as “not mattering anymore.”

    The should act like the Republicans who haven’t written off any groups except [… checks list …] blacks, muslims, latinos, women, and LGBT people.

  98. Who here thinks that confiscating financial & physical assets from wealthy and giving them to poor will leads towards a more prosperous and peaceful nation?

    You guys can’t be serious? Who is going to walk in my house and take my TV because I own four of them and somehow Bernie passed legislation that three is the new limit? Same with cars; houses; baseball card valuations; gold coins, Jordan sneaker collection etc….

    This is theft…it’s immoral. No one should be able to touch the fruits of my families labor and/or investment accumen.

  99. This is his shtick: say shit that is obviously sub-moronic just to disrupt interesting conversations between intelligent people.

    All of you on here who I disagree with from time to time, I respect you. I mean that. There’s not a single one of you here who don’t come here in good faith and whose opinion I don’t value in some way. Except that fucking pathetic asshole. He is only here to make this place worse.

    Re-ban please.

  100. I believe that the best Democratic candidate will be able to win center-right Republican voters just by being a morally acceptable alternative to Trump.

    But this just doesn’t seem true. As Mike wrote in the original, our ideological divide isn’t just about tribalism. There are serious, basic policy differences. Thinking Trump is immoral doesn’t mean you disagree with the actual policy, just the extremes he goes to. There really isn’t a policy middle ground, though I’ll grant there are plenty of people who think there should be. I’ve yet to see any of them articulate a position that wasn’t one side or the other. Case in point, David Brooks many columns bemoaning that Obama wasn’t doing “x” when Obama’s stated policy position was “x”.

  101. Who here thinks that confiscating financial & physical assets from wealthy and giving them to poor will leads towards a more prosperous and peaceful nation?

    The irony here is that our redistributive economic policy has been the opposite: assets have been taken from the 99% and given to the top 1%. Remember the taxpayer funded Wall Street bailout after the 2008 crash? Socialism for the rich.

    Who is going to walk in my house and take my TV because I own four of them and somehow Bernie passed legislation that three is the new limit?

    A new MGB is going to form after Comrade Bernie’s November Revolution. We will liquidate your decadent bourgeois home like the capitalist pig you are and reassign you to reeducation in our newly built gulags along the Canadian border where you will learn to love socialized healthcare, capital gains taxes, and free public college.

  102. Democrats to think they could just write off whole sections of the county and whole segments of the population as “not mattering anymore.”

    My family comes from eastern Kentucky which are definitely one of the sections you’re talking about. Republicans promise jobs coming back, blame it on dems and then cut social services for the area. Dems vote for services for the area and tell the truth: those jobs aren’t coming back. Who cares more? Voters think the empty promises matter more. Coal has been completely undercut by nat gas. Those jobs are not coming back. It’s not that there aren’t easy answers, there are no answers. I don’t really blame people for taking the offered bullshit, or for grabbing at scapegoats. If they aren’t willing to abandon the area those are the only answers they’re given. I don’t blame them for rejecting the real answer, which is that Appalachia can’t economically support many people at all for a whole host of reasons. But it’s not writing off whole sections of the country when all you’re doing is telling the truth and voting for shit to help them, while the other side is telling lies and voting against shit to help them.

  103. @103 – Yeah, there are centrist positions. Examples:

    Immigration:
    Right – What we’ve got now, ICE and the camps.
    Left – Open borders. Let them all in.
    Center – Controlled borders. Path to citizenship for long term residents. Build infrastructure to support immigration growth.

    Healthcare:
    Right: Free market
    Left: Medicare for all
    Center: ACA/Obamacare

    Gun Control:
    Right: 2nd Ammendment rules
    Left: Ban weapons like many other countries
    Center: Assault weapons ban, Background checks, Required training/testing

  104. Can somebody please re-ban reub

    I am not yet willing to make this imperialist swine a nonperson. He can still be resocialized into a loyal, productive member of the future People’s Republic of the Bernie-Bro Union.

  105. Left – Open borders. Let them all in.

    This is not the left’s position. Granting asylum is not open borders.

    Center: Assault weapons ban, Background checks, Required training/testing

    This is also the left’s position.

  106. @106

    All those things you listed as “centrist,” most Democrats would say “yes, we’ll accept that” while just about every Republican would say “no fucking way to any of that ever in a million years.”

  107. This is theft…it’s immoral. No one should be able to touch the fruits of my families labor and/or investment accumen.

    lol, I must have missed Bernie’s three-TV policy, plz link some1

  108. Healthcare:
    Right: Free market
    Left: Medicare for all
    Center: ACA/Obamacare

    The center position is Medicare for All since most people want it. ACA is the center-right position.

  109. lol, I must have missed Bernie’s three-TV policy, plz link some1

    Careful, Comrade Cock Jowles. Any criticism of Comrade Bernie’s three-TV policy will be met with the harshest reprimand by the Governing Council. We wouldn’t want it to be said you are an enemy of our Glorious Leader’s mission to restrict appliances in every household. You could end up a sad causality of the latest purge.

  110. @108 – You see, that’s the perspective of someone on the right. I have a democratic-socialist brother and he would be hard-pressed to accept the centrist positions. Being extreme is defined by how you can no longer discern the middle from the other extreme. Unfortunately, today, the majority seems to be in one extreme camp or the other.

  111. Never forget:

    First they came for the homes with four television sets, and I did not speak out—
    Because I did not own four television sets.

    Then they came for the homes with surround sound speakers, and I did not speak out—
    Because I did not own a surround sound system.

    Then they came for the homes with Amazon Alexas, and I did not speak out—
    Because I thought an Amazon Alexa was unnecessary.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me (they were too busy watching surround sound TVs activated by their Amazon Alexas).

  112. Wasn’t there an American president who once said, “A turkey in every pot, and four TVs in every house”? Or was that, “A car in every garage?”
    :-)
    Actually, I don’t want people banned for making comments like reub/Giani. I find them fascinating; they make me wonder how serious the person is, and I wonder at the psychology of it all.

    I know people who are incredibly selfish and greedy. Rather than silence them, I’d like to know what makes them tick and try to find ways to temper such attitudes.

    I mentioned my wife’s move to “feminism,” accelerated by Trump. Yet, my mother in law loves him, thinks everyone on welfare is a lazy cheater (I grew up on welfare and am thankful it existed for me and my siblings…we all got off of it), etc. I’ve yet to find a way to change her mind…

  113. @106,

    You’re getting piled on but seriously your center positions are mostly the Democratic positions of most every candidate, with the exception of healthcare where we obviously need something better.

  114. I’ve stopped hoping for the Mets. The primitive, reptilian part of my brain has convinced the other part that the moment I begin to really give a damn again is the moment they will tumble and fall only to make me suffer in despair once more. It’s all a trick by malicious baseball Gods to entrap me into finding yet another way to crush my hopes as a former diehard fan. So I will trick these this mean-spirited, capricious gods by carefully checking in on game box scores as if casually amused, when in secret I gleefully imagine a playoff scenario whereby deGrom, Syndegaard, Stroman, Wheeler, and Matz carry the Amazins to a a miracle championship run not seen by the likes of Mets fans since 1973!

  115. I remember the last time two series I really enjoyed had their final seasons televise closely together :

    breaking bad – didn’t end the way I wanted (I was hoping for walter white visits oz), but, continued its quality work (looking forward to better call saul)…

    dexter – one of the most inconsistent series ever (a lot like the books)…a show all about introversion and vivisection, both interesting topics :)…i didn’t think the series ended on a high note…

    looking forward to seeing how things wrap up for both legion and preacher…

    preacher has had some of the best supporting characters and cast (outside the main trio) of any show I can remember watching…

  116. Put it this way: what’s the centrist position between “every citizen should be allowed all types of guns” and “guns should be treated like cars with licenses, registration, criminal checks, and limitations?” What’s the centrist position between “Mexicans are sending rapists and murderers” and “citizenship for Dreamers?” What’s the centrist position between “LGBT people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, join the military, adopt children, have wedding cakes, etc.” and “LGBT people should be treated like other people?”

    I may be betraying my own centrism, but I think all the positions you cited as counters to the right are actually center positions. There is support for all those things on both sides of the aisle.

    Your posting cartoonish, far right examples of the right’s view and responding with centrist solutions in an article arguing against centrism. That’s apples to oranges. If you give the corresponding cartoonish far left solution, you come up with something just as stupid: ban all guns, eliminate ICE completely, compromise a military unit, etc.

    I’ve been Democratic for a while and I’m abandoning the party due to its push away from centrism. Not sure where exactly that leaves me. But following the right to crazy town is not what I’m in favor of.

  117. @120 – I don’t think I’m getting piled on. I think folks have lost sight of what is and isn’t centrist. It is EXACTLY the point. The fringes don’t know that they are fringe any longer. The GOP platform is unrelenting far right-wing. The “centrist” positions are viewed as leftist when they really aren’t. To say that Assault Weapons ban and background checks are leftist is insanity. It’s simply a “reasonable” position. Maintaining of quotas and allowing people who are well integrated into our society to continue their lives here is, again reasonable. The alternative is the fascist state we’ve become. The words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” is not “leftist” it is core American values.

  118. Ah, you’re ascribing values for ideas without regard to who is advocating for them. I think everyone thought you were attributing the various policy positions to actual existing blocks of people, which was generating some disagreement.

    I don’t know that I think the Overton window stuff is all that useful a way to think about things. What folks will support can shift so quickly that it’s kind of lacks practical value as a method of analysis. The only people it really effects are the chattering classes. Sure, you got a subset of people like Strat who are incapable of thinking themselves extreme and thus erronously think themselves centrist, but weve always had folks like that. Sure, some define the other side in bad faith to make themselves appear more moderate, we’ve also always had that. But it doesn’t tell you anything.

    Two out of three of the centrist positions you listed are held by the leading leftist candidates. All three of the centrist positions you listed are dealbreakers for most Republican voters. What Mike wrote in the original is true: our divide isn’t just tribal, there are real, substantive policy disagreements here that do not have compromise positions. There are tribal elements too, no elected Republican will compromise with a Democrat anymore (because they’ll lose to a primary challenge next election if they do so). But there’s no policy reason for them to do so either.
    Here’s your categories adjusted for where the parties are:

    Immigration:
    Right – ICE and the camps, no non-white immigration at all.
    Centrist – ???
    Left – Controlled borders. Path to citizenship for long term residents.

    Healthcare:
    Right: No plan, just not whatever Dems say.
    Left: Medicare for all through building out ACA some.
    Center: ???

    Gun Control:
    Right: 2nd Ammendment maximalism.
    Left: Assault weapons ban, Background checks, restrictions for violent felons/abusers.
    Center: ???

  119. To me, the “centrist” position in a democratic society should mean what the majority position is, since a democracy is rule by the majority. But it seems that in our society “centrist” means what the small number of elites in the two party system agree to be the middle ground of acceptable political options, and that seems to be an “oligarchic” definition of centrism to me.

  120. There are plenty of pols who don’t care that much about particular things. Back when there were earmarks you could get them to compromise by giving their district money for something, which got them votes. Now, with no earmarks, there’s no way to grease the wheels. And since the movement conservatives took over the republican party there are no points of compromise anymore.

  121. it seems that in our society “centrist” means what the small number of elites in the two party system agree to be the middle ground of acceptable political option

    To be fair, it’s mostly just pundits and almost no one gives a shit what they think.

  122. @124

    I kept expecting for the “highlights” to come up, but it really was just him missing shots and making some passes here and there.

  123. To be fair, it’s mostly just pundits and almost no one gives a shit what they think.

    Yep, but that’s problem isn’t it? That these out of touch people have the power to shape political discourse in the mass media in a way that doesn’t reflect what the majority of Americans in a supposedly democratic society want. It’s why Warren and Sanders are incessantly asked by the major news networks about how they are going to pay for M4A, one of the most popular and cost-effective proposals in the Democratic Primary, while those same networks look the other way as Congress passed a 738 billion dollar Pentagon spending bill a week ago with near unanimous support on Capitol Hill.

  124. Doesn’t seem like I can get my post out of moderation (ironically it’s banning the language Mike K used himself), but the point is I think mike (and grocer a few comments ago) are revealing their own bias by citing cartoonish far right examples of what the right thinks and then countering them with reasonable centrist examples of what the left thinks.

    Everyone on the left thinks all the crazy people in their party are just a noisy minority and then they think the noisy minority on the right is emblematic of the way the entire right thinks. It’s absurd.

    For example: on immigration, controlled borders and path to citizenship actually has support on both the right and the left. That is a center position. If you’re going to post the far right example of an immigration stance, you have to counter with the far left position, which is open borders and the elimination of ICE. That’s as stupid as the wall.

    Same with guns. The NRA controls the Republican Party but not every republican supports the NRA. Reasonable gun control is actually a center position.

    The problem with this conversation is the people saying the center won’t work don’t even realize how centrist their positions are because they’re in denial about how far the left is moving in response to how far the right has gone. Following the right to crazy town is not the way forward.

  125. Healthcare:
    Right: No plan, just not whatever Dems say.
    Left: Medicare for all through building out ACA some.
    Center: ???

    The center position on healthcare is to stop bickering about who is covered and do something about the absurdity of its cost.

  126. Healthcare:
    Right: No plan, just not whatever Dems say.
    Left: Medicare for all through building out ACA some.
    Center: ???

    The center position on health care is to stop bickering about who is covered and do something about the absurdity of its cost.

  127. Someone mentioned Berlusconi earlier in the thread. Worth mentioning that he won every election when he was opposed by someone on the opposite end of the spectrum as him. He only lost when they ran boring, centrist, policy wonks against him. I’ve caught enough of these two debates to see that the dems didn’t learn the lesson in that and are fucked.

  128. BTW, highlights of Frank in FIBA Friendly vs Turkey

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many missed shots in a “highlight” reel. )-:

  129. OK tomorrow’s question:

    What do the Republicans do if Trump loses in 2020 by a slim margin? What if he loses by a large margin (to a socialist!)?

    My answer to the first question is that they will contest the validity of the narrow victory and use to it to delegitimize the Democratic nominee who wins the election. Then they will obstruct, obstruct, and obstruct as only a Mitch McConnell led Senate can. That’s all pretty given based on what we know about their modus operandi during the Obama years.

    But I think the more interesting question is actually what the Democratic Party establishment would do if a Socialist like Bernie Sanders won the general election by a wide margin. And I think they too would find ways to obstruct the aspects of his progressive agenda that their donor class do not want to pass Congress. You can kind of see the blueprint for this across the pond in Britain ever since Jeremy Corbyn has assumed the mantle of leadership within the Labor party. The right-wing Blairite faction there has stooped to the lowest level of decency to slander him as an anti-Semite in hopes that it will discredit his bid to become Prime Minister of the UK.

  130. I watched the Ntilikina highlights. Thanks for posting the link. I looked for a box score, but couldn’t find it. I suspect he just didn’t take many shots and they showed the ones he took. Most of them looked like shots in traffic that he took because the shot clock was low, and they mostly looked defended. He didn’t seem to take open threes, maybe because he was defended. I agree, it wasn’t promising shooting. I’m hoping, but not optimistic that, when he’s shooting open threes in the NBA he looks better.

    On the other hand, I thought his passing looked really good. He was getting passes to players in useful positions in traffic and the passes were right on the money. That’s better than he did last year.

  131. @125 – Where our parties are now, is the is issue. If one looks at it objectively, without regard to where society is today, the “centrist” positions I put forth are centrist.

    For Immigration, as an example (you’ll love this and it’s probably not my first time posting this) I put forth the 8th resolution of the GOP party platform of 1864:

    8. Resolved, That foreign immigration, which in the past has added so much to the wealth, development of resources, and increase of power to this nation, –the asylum of the oppressed of all nations, –should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.

    For gun control, first take a look at Israel gun laws and consider that every adult Jew, male or female, serves in the military and is trained. Also look at Japan for a comparison. Let’s make those your “Left wing” and move to the center from there.

    As for healthcare, consider that ObamaCare is RomneyCare relabeled. That’s centrist.

    The fact that these are non-starters for conservatives here IS THE PROBLEM. And the fact that most Democratic candidates are aligned with centrist positions (not Warren or Sanders) adds to the sad story about our rapidly disintegrating society.

  132. Based off that short video (small sample size alert), it doesn’t look like Frank has developed that much. His handle is still trash with high dribbling + no burst. Still shooting like butt. Looked awkward and confused when navigating thru traffic. Really hope he shows more in the coming games, but I’m not counting on it.

    Anybody know a *legal* way to watch the non-US teams in these exhibitions?

  133. @131

    I’m sure there’s an unwashed centrist right that meets the unwashed centrist left somewhere on some policies. However, it’s impossible to ignore that the mouthpieces of the right (Fox et al.) are very, very different in terms of where they are on the spectrum from the mouthpieces of the left (NY Times, WashPost). And that’s had a huge influence, not just on how people think of the divide, but on the divide itself. And — as many smart people said yesterday — even on people’s rhetoric describing those differences.
    In the end, while it’s nice (sic) to argue about who’s the best candidate, to me the bloviating positions of our candidates are largely pointless — @135’s second point is actually correct that even radical left positions are likely to only make incremental progress in a four- or even eight-year timespan. What really makes a difference, and what everyone tends not to talk about, is at the agency level, e.g.,:
    “William Perry Pendley has argued for selling off almost all public lands. Now he’s been named the Trump administration’s chief of nearly a quarter-billion federally controlled acres, raising questions about what will happen to vast Western ranges and other lands roamed by hunters, hikers and wildlife.”
    I’d vote for a rock to stop things like this from happening.

  134. @136 – You’re welcome. I was happy to see Frank actually playing like a point guard. His defense looked solid too. But to be of any use to the Knicks he’s going to need to be able to shoot in traffic, under duress. I saw a video of him a few months ago raining down three’s in Twitter. A comment on the tweet rang true to me “Let’s see him do that with a hand in his face”.
    To be fair, it was the first game after a long break for the kid and yes, all of the shots were bad, forced shots where he had no choice but to chuck it up.

  135. @131 – You get it. There is a center. I believe that the rift between left and right is so wide that discussions, even among friends often leads to “Let’s not talk politics”. Nobody wants to listen anymore. Yes, open borders, elimination of ICE is the leftist position. You think it’s wacko, I don’t. I argue that immigration laws are all founded in bigotry. The only immigration that right-wing bigots believe in is slave trade. (Don’t get me started on this – you wouldn’t believe how many people have told me that there’s “nothing wrong with slavery”) . A study of American immigration laws will underscore this. They were almost all created to keep out “undesirables” such as Chinese, Jews, Italians and Irish immigrants. Look it up. Turning away the St. Louis is one of the most shameful episodes in our short history.

  136. 0/3 2 pts
    6 assists
    2 steals

    Seems pretty Frank-y. His alley-oop to Gobert in the pnr was nice.

  137. The center doesn’t exist to the media because cable news and then the web have created a race to the bottom situation where the only way to stay profitable is to focus on the most outrageous, eye grabbing stories. This has likely destroyed a good amount of centrists, but I think most people’s perception of the size of the middle has diminished to a far larger degree than reality.

  138. Someone mentioned Berlusconi earlier in the thread. Worth mentioning that he won every election when he was opposed by someone on the opposite end of the spectrum as him. He only lost when they ran boring, centrist, policy wonks against him. I’ve caught enough of these two debates to see that the dems didn’t learn the lesson in that and are fucked.

    The Berlusconi base was solid and monolithic. The center-left alliance varied from Christians to borderline communists (communists had a couple of parties). A vast spectrum.
    Berlusconi won the elections (he was very good at campaigning), but was not good at governing and he purged his own alliance reducing his majority.
    The one that bested him, Prodi, was able to keep the center-left spectrum together. Only to see the infights break the alliance and lead to a defeat to Berlusconi in the following elections.
    Repeat the cycle once more.

    There was no “opposite to the spectrum” of Berlusconi. Thank god for that.
    And the boring wonks were the ones that kept the center left energized enough to win against the monolithic right block. Twice.

  139. Yes, open borders, elimination of ICE is the leftist position. You think it’s wacko, I don’t. I argue that immigration laws are all founded in bigotry. The only immigration that right-wing bigots believe in is slave trade.

    Do you honestly believe this stuff… that people that object to unfettered immigration have an affinity for the slave trade??

    Is it not possible that reasonable people can fairly believe that once we put out the clarion call that anyone in the world is welcome AND upon arrival you will be gifted citizenship, free healthcare and a safety net that is likely better than 95% of the non first world nations we will be inundated with literally hundreds of millions of people which will certainly lower the standard of living here ENORMOUSLY?

    This open borders nonsense has been the perfect political storm in America. The repubs love it because Paul Ryans of the world and his cabal’s puppeteer donor class/wealthy businessmen get an enormous downward force on the price of cheap labor and live in tony areas where they don’t have to interact with the riff-raff and the hurly-burly and the dems (who were getting demographically out bred by Christian conservatives) get a steady flow of poor uneducated new voters. It couldn’t be better for both parties. Just not so good for the working stiff in America.

  140. 8. Resolved, That foreign immigration, which in the past has added so much to the wealth, development of resources, and increase of power to this nation, –the asylum of the oppressed of all nations, –should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.

    You may be surprised that most people in this country agree with this depending on the definition of “just”.

    If just as a reasonable/assimilatible number then fine…. if just = every soul on earth then not so much

  141. you wouldn’t believe how many people have told me that there’s “nothing wrong with slavery”

    wait, what???

  142. @BobNeptune – I absolutely do. I believe in absolute open borders. Yes, register your presence, but if you want to immigrate here, I welcome you and not only that, I’ll make it work for you by offering language and skill training and job placement assistance. There’s no gifts. Get a job, pay taxes and integrate into our society. My parents were the exact type of immigrants that needed all that. It is the American dream.

  143. @150 – Fact.
    I’ve also had my head felt for horns in the midwest when I told someone on a cross-country trip and told that person that I was Jewish. Yes. That’s America.

  144. However, it’s impossible to ignore that the mouthpieces of the right (Fox et al.) are very, very different in terms of where they are on the spectrum from the mouthpieces of the left (NY Times, WashPost).

    Again, apples to oranges. You’re trying to pick the matches where you look better than the right. The apples to apples comp is not fox to The NY Times, it’s fox to Comedy Central. As many people on the left get their news from stand up comics as people from the right get their news from fox.

    You guys are also handpicking the topics where the democratic position is more reasonable than the republican position. Wait til you can’t build a deck in your backyard bc the EPA has assumed jurisdiction of your home since it’s adjacent to a puddle and then tell me that only the right is crazy.

  145. The apples to apples comp is not fox to The NY Times, it’s fox to Comedy Central. As many people on the left get their news from stand up comics as people from the right get their news from fox.

    CITATION NEEDED. From just looking at the ratings at the respective networks it looks like way more people are watching/getting information from Fox News vs. Comedy Central. It’s even more unbalanced when you compare the ratings of the daily show to prime time Fox programming.

    It’s baseless ‘whataboutism’.

  146. My parents were the exact type of immigrants that needed all that. It is the American dream.

    Consider that maybe what was a great immigration policy when we needed people to settle California is not as great when California doesn’t have enough water for the people who live there.

  147. CITATION NEEDED

    Dude you cited a newspaper that has three million subscribers in a nation of 327 million people as evidence that the left is better than the right.

    Yeah, The NY Times is better than Fox News. That doesn’t mean that the left is more reasonable than the right. It doesn’t mean anything. This is typical modern day partisan bullshit: “let’s pick the most idiotic representation of our opponent and hold it up against the best possible iteration of ourselves to highlight how superior we are to them.”

  148. If a lack of earmarks is stopping congressional compromise, I say bring them back. If earmarks could get effective anti global warming legislation passed, for example, that would be a great trade off.

  149. I get that it must suck for the common American to have to deal with immigration and all the suproducts of it, but as someone living in a country that was pretty much colonized by the US in many aspects, I really can’t empathize, I’m sorry. Most of the benefits those people are losing came from the US having a commanding geopolitical position for decades and basically outsourcing their garbage and and the exploitation of the so called third world. So yeah, I guess I do have a bit of schadenfreude watching this play out.

    It does annoy me because the immigration hurts the most the people who weren’t the ones who benefited massively from this process, and those people aren’t necessarily at fault for what their government or the companies based in the US did, but don’t expect much sympathy from me.

  150. before i forget – thank you very much hubert for the headspace app suggestion…that’s some pretty cool stuff…

    right now i’m going over the studio’s class schedule to find some beginner (low intensity) classes for after work…i’ve tried the “restorative” yoga class (Gentle, meditative class -incorporates props, gentle stretches & guided relaxation), and will try something different this week: “yin” (Seated poses held for 2-3 minutes at a time. Yin, aka: Long, Slow & Deep, incorporates long holds and deep stretching floor postures to help increase mobility throughout muscle ligaments, tendons and fascia.)

    it’s been a very long time since i’ve tried connecting my mind, body, and spirit together…this is some pretty cool stuff, i can totally understand how folks could really get hooked on it…

  151. That’s about to change though. This is why young Dems love AOC, and why Republicans loathe her: she plays hardball. She claps back hard and she doesn’t shy away from aggressive rhetoric, and she doesn’t back down or play nice.

    The next gen Dems are going to throw the high hard one like AOC does.

    And this is why I’m abandoning the Democratic Party. AOC fucked over her whole district and the city that she’s supposed to serve with her anti-amazon misinformation campaign. But she’s a hero bc she can throw a high hard one on Twitter? Who gives a fuck?

    The dems narrowly lost one election by a fluke and their response is to race to the bottom and find people who are as polarizing and incompetent as trump. Great idea.

    Maybe after enough idiots seize control of both parties, a new one with common sense will emerge and those of us in the center can start electing boring politicians who understand what his/her job is.

  152. Good stuff, geo. Glad you liked it. I’m a little worked up today, maybe it’s time I check it out myself :)

  153. wow a politics thread…

    i will say that hubert is right…. responding to an extreme right movement by going extreme left will lead to the status quo… this has always been the natural response and it’s always failed…. you win elections by winning the center… and relinquishing the center keeps the status quo… and i’m sure a lot of folks don’t like the status quo now…

    i would also caution against basing policy positions on poll numbers… $15 min wage.. m4a… free college all seem popular until you start talking details….

    https://www.kff.org/slideshow/public-opinion-on-single-payer-national-health-plans-and-expanding-access-to-medicare-coverage/

    that is a link to polling on m4a.. a lot of ppl are very confused about it…. just like i’m sure ppl were very confused about obamacare…. the truth is most ppl like their coverage…. ppl just want to pay lower costs….

    what that should tell you is that there is a lot of nuance… there’s a lot of nuance in anything related to politics…. and politics fail the ppl when that nuance gets discarded… and when you get your political views from facebook… instagram… or twitter…. or a poll…. that’s really all youre getting… you’re getting the 10 word view of a very complicated thing and then it morphs into something binary…. i want m4a.. but not the m4a plans pushed by politicians who seem to handwave all the legitimate concerns about its implementation…

    i don’t agree with the premise of this article… i respect mike’s opinion but progress is made in inches…. this isn’t some third world country where whole systems need to be upended overnight… the ACA was a good piece of legislation… but in today’s environment it wouldn’t exist because you have large sects of each of the parties unwilling to compromise…. moving right is not the answer… but being reasonable and responsible is… and that’s not something the far left is really good at either…

  154. No, she’s a hero because she’s not going to be a milquetoast pussy like Democrats of yore. Well, I don’t know about “hero,” but that’s why she’s popular. Getting bullied and pushed around hasn’t worked well for us and there’s a lot of desire for some Dem politicians who actually have some balls and speak truth to power.

  155. wow a politics thread…

    ha :)

    okay, dj phan…if you were king – other than b-ball what would you choose to discuss?

  156. Most of the benefits those people are losing came from the US having a commanding geopolitical position for decades and basically outsourcing their garbage and and the exploitation of the so called third world. So yeah, I guess I do have a bit of schadenfreude watching this play out.

    Also, if the average American had one inkling and cared about what the U.S. has done to the nations from which most of the refugee migrating to their country are from the entire right-wing discourse we see today on what’s happening at the U.S.-Mexican border would cease out of shame.

  157. Consider that maybe what was a great immigration policy when we needed people to settle California is not as great when California doesn’t have enough water for the people who live there.

    That won’t be a problem when the California is under the Pacific with climate change! (sorry, a troll response and not a fair statement).

    Truth is that this country is filled with empty space. There are enough resources for everyone so I call BS on that line of thinking. I also call BS on @BobNeptune’s statement:

    It couldn’t be better for both parties. Just not so good for the working stiff in America.

    The population of the US sits now at about 330 Million people. Imagine how powerful the USA would be with a population of 33 Million or 3.3 Million or 330,000. Of course, with less people, we would be less powerful. People=power.

    But put that macro idea aside and let’s examine the problem of the “working stiff”. We’ll take 3 examples: A skilled technician, an unskilled factory worker and a small business operator.

    There is no problems for skilled technicians to get work these days. As a hiring manager, it’s difficult to find people to work. Major corporations are dying to get more HIB visas approved because we simply can’t fill the void in the US alone.

    The small business operator only stands to benefit from an increased customer base. Take small town Decorah Iowa with a population of 7,700. John owns a gas station/convenience store. Decorah gets another 800 people to move in. Now John has another 800 potential customers. He’s pumping more gas, selling more potato chips, Coke and cigarettes. He’s benefiting.

    The person that seems to be at the greatest risk is the factory worker. But factories are dying because of a lack of consumers. There’s jobs for all, if business is good.

    My math concludes that a large population = a greater USA.

  158. And this is why I’m abandoning the Democratic Party.

    And that’s fine. The party has spent long enough time catering to Republican-lite voters who mobilize around right-wing talking points so their leaders can justify paying Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, $120,000 per one minimum wage job he brings to their city. For that money NYC would be better suited giving two actual worker jobs helping to rebuild it’s dilapidated mass transportation system which Governor Cuomo claims there is no money to rebuild.

    The dems narrowly lost one election by a fluke and their response is to race to the bottom and find people who are as polarizing and incompetent as trump. Great idea.

    2016 was no fluke. People were warned for months by the polling that Hillary Clinton was a problematic candidate who was running an incompetent campaign.

  159. let’s pick the most idiotic representation of our opponent and hold it up against the best possible iteration of ourselves to highlight how superior we are to them.

    [… 3 posts earlier …]

    Wait til you can’t build a deck in your backyard bc the EPA has assumed jurisdiction of your home since it’s adjacent to a puddle and then tell me that only the right is crazy.

  160. okay, dj phan…if you were king – other than b-ball what would you choose to discuss?

    i rather political discussions be focused… and moderated… for the most part the discussion is surprisingly tame so far… but there are obviously folks on extreme parts of the political spectrum who are itching to troll the conversation….

  161. @150 – Fact.
    I’ve also had my head felt for horns in the midwest when I told someone on a cross-country trip and told that person that I was Jewish. Yes. That’s America.

    yuch…i guess i’ve been extremely fortunate to have never been singled out for either my appearance or religion…

    actually, now thinking back on it – one time i was chilling at lake merritt with a friend a few shades darker than myself and got a little hate from some jealous folks…if you’re familiar with lake merritt you’ll understand…it wasn’t much a big deal, just a unique experience…

    but yeah, there’s a whole lot of anger and hate in our country – hell inside many people in general…sure doesn’t help when the “leader” of a nation helps to empower them…heard about the different mass shootings over the last week…a scary trend that seemingly continues to grow…

  162. or the most part the discussion is surprisingly tame so far… but there are obviously folks on extreme parts of the political spectrum who are itching to troll the conversation….

    i had the same thought also…it’s pretty cool to see folks with such different views, on really sensitive issues be able to go back and forth with others without any serious meltdowns…

    there’s a lot of complexity to many of the issues being discussed…

    a lot of smart folks kick in here, whom have the interest, and, have taken the time to educate themselves…plus, just one single political platform/ideology won’t fit for everyone…

  163. i had the same thought also…it’s pretty cool to see folks with such different views, on really sensitive issues be able to go back and forth with others without any serious meltdowns…there’s a lot of complexity to many of the issues being discussed…

    It’s also why I love bringing up political issues here, despite this being a sportsblog. You go to a political blog and the battlelines are already drawn, with conservatives sticking to their threads, liberals in their threads and every other group breaking off to their own threads. Here you get a good mix of thoughtful discussion and even if you don’t agree with it all and others don’t agree with you the conversation is almost always worthwhile.

  164. And that’s fine. The party has spent long enough time catering to Republican-lite voters who mobilize around right-wing talking points so their leaders can justify paying Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, $120,000 per one minimum wage job he brings to their city. For that money NYC would be better suited giving two actual worker jobs helping to rebuild it’s dilapidated mass transportation system which Governor Cuomo claims there is no money to rebuild.

    He wasn’t actually being paid. There would be tax breaks. Perhaps, that is semantics but they are not giving money that could be spent elsewhere, they are just punting on collecting. My take was it seemed a little rammed through so Cuomo could wave his “trophy.” I’m sorry I still have to fight gagging everytime I drive over the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

  165. Cuomo miscalculated on both the bridge and the Amazon HQ. The bridge naming is just bad optics – wanting to do something for his father. It’s blown up in his face. There were several misreads on LIC Amazon HQ. First, he didn’t expect the gentrification backlash. Second, he didn’t understand that doing this behind closed doors wouldn’t sit well with Queens residents. Finally, he gave Amazon too much in tax breaks without getting insuring that Amazon would have contracted obligations to live up to.

    The reality is that the new bridge is great (I live on the other side of the Hudson up there) and that the Amazon deal was actually terrific for the city (my opinion).

  166. The bridge is great. I went on a foliage cruise about five years ago and you could look up and see the holes. The naming is just …, but then again I still refer to the RFK bridge as Triboro.

  167. Where our parties are now, is the is issue. If one looks at it objectively, without regard to where society is today, the “centrist” positions I put forth are centrist.

    Backing up a bit, got a job with some hours ect. I don’t think there’s much value in the sorta historically this is a centrist position thing. For example Hubert is absolutely right above when he pointed out that there’s a block of Republicans that support what’s functionally become the main leftist position on immigration. But it doesn’t mean much in a world where those folks can’t find a compromise with their own party on the topic. It is a center/right position historically, but it’s been redefined as a leftist position such that conservatives who vote for it will face and lose well fumded primary challenges from groups who have become mainstream conservatives. It has the votes to pass, theoretically, and has for years, but because there’s no middle ground between that and the immigration hardliners it can’t pass because the hardliners have the money/power.

    I mean this in a very literal sense: legal graft used to deliver votes by delivering money to the districts of moderates which allowed them to step out of party lines. Our current political situation is a direct result of the end of earmarks. Politicians can no longer tell voters “I got you these projects” which gives a lot of more space for the loud moneyed voices to control elections.

  168. My fav thing about tge amazon shit is that amazon still bought a bunch of office space in Manhattan a couple months ago absent any deal. This race to the bottom shit for big employers is as ridiculous as stadium deals.

  169. Amen to Frank O. but replace compulsive service with greater incentives to young, talented people to serve the federal government.

    So basically another New Deal type Alphabet agency initiative that rebuilds the nation’s infrastructure.

  170. I mean this in a very literal sense: legal graft used to deliver votes by delivering money to the districts of moderates which allowed them to step out of party lines. Our current political situation is a direct result of the end of earmarks. Politicians can no longer tell voters “I got you these projects” which gives a lot of more space for the loud moneyed voices to control elections.

    I agree 100% that money and politics is a bad mix. Earmarks are just one aspect of bad. The Citizen’s United ruling that struck down prohibiting corporations and unions from buying federal elections
    is a cancer.

    BTW, Google has had a large presence in NYC for a very long time. My son used to live across the street from their office.

    There’s one thing that has me really pissed today and that’s the attack on Maggie Haberman and the NY Times by the far left. What fucking morons! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! All because the NY Times published an article with a heading (which was 100% accurate) that said “Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism”. The NY Times succumbed to pressure from the left and changed the Headline soon after to “Assailing Hate but Not Guns”. If Trump wins again it’s because of the ignorant morons that are too lazy to actually read newspaper articles. Sheesh.

  171. Hot take alert: Trump is going to get crushed in 2020.

    HRC was a terrible uninspiring candidate, as someone already pointed out millenials will be coming out in droves, Trump already lost some rust belt voters with his trade war, independents that took a flyer on him are embarrassed by his lack of accomplishments with 2 years of total control (polls show that voters are pretty much indifferent in both parties regarding the tax cut, one year removed) and the fact that his decorum is actually worse than expected at home and abroad, no one will be underestimating him this time (so many voters uninspired by HRC didn’t show bc they thought Trump couldn’t win).

    Don’t get me wrong, his base will be out in full force, but people will be inspired to vote against him this time much more so than last time (where he wasn’t taken seriously except for by Michael Moore apparently?). It’s not his steady (but bad) approval rating we should be looking at. It’s his historically bad (worse than Jimmy Carter) disapproval rating. People will come out to vote against him, not for his opponent. A quote from Bloomberg: “It’s one thing to dislike a politician, but it’s another to think he’s doing a poor job as president – and the latter is usually a good predictor of vote choice.”

    Worst case scenario (according to head to head polls) for Dems is Warren wins the primary. He calls her Pocahontas until it gets old. She emasculates him repeatedly on the campaign trail and makes him look like a sore “loser” (which is a bad look; even his base hates when he tweet/whines too much) rails against the swamp, corporations, and the rich (who rust belt voters are not fond of despite voting for a trust fund baby), she accepts corporate donations (which she’s pretty much said she’d do in the general despite the obvious hypocrisy) and beats him by 4 points and a handful of states. Take that Nate Silver! Get your bets in early before it becomes clear that Trump is a lame duck.

  172. I hate Trump as president; he’s doing a horrible job and wants to destroy the world to boot. But I can’t see myself voting for Warren. It would be such a dilemma I probably wouldn’t vote. If there are a lot of centrists like me, that would probably get Trump reelected.

  173. 2016 was no fluke. People were warned for months by the polling that Hillary Clinton was a problematic candidate who was running an incompetent campaign.

    Yet she still managed to wipe the floor with Bernie. Hmmm…

    Bernie bros are in their own bubble and refuse to acknowledge that lots of Americans still dislike Communism and his angry rhetoric.

  174. No matter which candidate comes out of the pack for Dems, they will come swinging haymakers at Trump unlike Hillary who basically watched with popcorn expecting him to fall on his face while she cruised to victory. He can dish it out but he can’t take it and it’s all about optics.

    Trump was a gimmick for a lot of undecideds that don’t follow the issues. Just like Brexit. Many who voted for him admittedly didn’t take him seriously and almost immediately (according to polls) there was buyers remorse. He won’t be a flashy gimmick this time for people protesting Hillary (or Warren or whoever). He’s a known, annoying, embarrassing commodity (again, for those in the middle that aren’t heavily engaged in politics and not in favor of or abjectly offended by his policy positions).

  175. Sanders is as much a communist as my penis is a mother fucking vagina

  176. I hate Trump as president; he’s doing a horrible job and wants to destroy the world to boot. But I can’t see myself voting for Warren. It would be such a dilemma I probably wouldn’t vote. If there are a lot of centrists like me, that would probably get Trump reelected.

    #VoteBlueNoMatterWho

    I don’t like Warren or Sanders. I think DeBlasio is a moron. Tulsi doesn’t represent me or my opinions. However, anyone who will be nominated by the Democrats is going to be better than Trump.

    I agree that Bernie is not a communist. He’s a socialist and there’s a huuuuuuge difference that most Americans just don’t get.

  177. Sanders is a mixed-economy advocate. He stirs the pot by labeling himself with the S-bomb after decades of conservatives and centrists arguing that Venezuela et al. are the archetypical socialist government (run by an autocratic military dictatorship) while conveniently ignoring the fact that many of the world’s highest HDI run a more mixed and less corrupt government than America’s.

    If you fail to show up to vote for someone like Warren (who will face the same obstructionism that any other Dem will), you deserve another four years of Trump. And maybe you’ll get it. Be pragmatic, not dumb. Do you want another four years of children sleeping under aluminum foil at the border? Stay home. More “fine people on both sides?” Stay home. Our fucking President cozying up to the autocrat running the government that ran and is running influence campaigns to undermine our fucking democracy? Stay home.

    And when you do, make sure you note that it’s over Warren’s student debt forgiveness campaign, which will NEVER make it through the House, much less the Senate. Stay home!

  178. If you fail to show up to vote for someone like Warren (who will face the same obstructionism that any other Dem will), you deserve another four years of Trump.

    Word!

  179. Haha, just reread my post saying that Trump will be a known commodity in the next election. I obviously meant known quantity. Don’t know wtf my brain was doing in that moment.

  180. I don’t like Sanders or Warren enough to vote for them, and I’m not claiming they are socialists. They are not. I just don’t like their attitudes towards taxpayer dollars. I agree, not voting for anyone would be a bit like voting for Trump, but psychologically it would be easier for me than actually pulling the lever for him.

  181. “This article is meant for Democrats and undecideds, so if you’re solidly Republican or uninterested in American politics, you should skip this one.”

    Had to respond to this….. This phrasing is shit. There are more points of view than Democrat or Republican or uninterested. Your lack of imagination and knowledge of this is duly noted. Might as well change the motto of the site to: Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks. Democratic talking points.

    The article is about the Democratic candidate for President. Take a guess at which people get to choose that? Democrats! So which people should be in on that discussion? Democrats! And now which people’s opinions don’t matter? Everyone that isn’t a Democrat! Amazing how that works, right?

    Although before you get all steamy mad, guess who got to choose the Republican candidate for President – Republicans! Yes see how fair and balanced that is!

    And if you don’t reading my opinion, on my web page, that I pay for, and spend time up-keeping, I’ll take a phrase that you’re probably familiar with “Fuck your feelings, snowflake!”

  182. I agree 100% that money and politics is a bad mix. Earmarks are just one aspect of bad.

    Yeah, I don’t think earmarks were, in retrospect, bad. Certainly less ideal than a federal jobs program, but they were a lifeline to a lot of very poor areas and an extremely useful mechanism in keeping extremists from winning primaries.

  183. Hot take alert: Trump is going to get crushed in 2020.

    Oh yeah. The economy is, theoretically, doing really well and he’s more disliked than the guy who presided over stagflation.

  184. I am definitely not cool with calling out Mike K for posting on his blog that we enjoy free of charge.

    On the border issue I think their are bigger, albeit less photogenic, issues than the sleeping conditions of people that traveled hundreds of miles on foot.

    STATEMENT ON DOJ AND DHS RULE BARRING IMMIGRANTS FROM APPLYING FOR ASYLUM AT THE SOUTHERN U.S.
    BORDER

    The interim final rule being issued tomorrow by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security will bar asylum for everyone approaching the southern border, with few exceptions. The rule will be applied at the screening stage at the border as well as in immigration courts. Families, unaccompanied children, survivors of violence – all will be prohibited from obtaining asylum. The standard for obtaining asylum has always been high, and
    the requirements stringent. Now, people will be barred before they can even demonstrate their need for protection.

  185. let’s pick the most idiotic representation of our opponent and hold it up against the best possible iteration of ourselves to highlight how superior we are to them.

    [… 3 posts earlier …]

    Wait til you can’t build a deck in your backyard bc the EPA has assumed jurisdiction of your home since it’s adjacent to a puddle and then tell me that only the right is crazy.

    Yes, Mike. That was an intentional example of executing the same practice, written to demonstrate that it can be done from the other side. Glad you caught it.

    Anyway, your politics are centrist. Literally every position you argued for is a centrist position, not a left position.

    What you really seem to be arguing for, in my opinion, is simply for the democratic candidates to adopt more aggressive methods of fighting the Republicans. You want the Dems to stop getting pushed around, and I agree with you.

    The problem is the people who are good at that are currently the worst people in the Democratic Party, and their ideas are very far to the left of the ones you posted. The person in the Republican Party we need to develop an adequate adversary to is Mitch McConnell, not Donald Trump.

  186. their leaders can justify paying Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, $120,000 per one minimum wage job he brings to their city.

    You are very well read and yet you understand so little.

  187. AOC fucked over her whole district and the city that she’s supposed to serve with her anti-amazon misinformation campaign.

    Hubert, while I am not deeply knowledgable about politics, I know more about Amazon than anyone on the board, and I can tell you she isn’t wrong about them. Their goals and methods have been written about in depth in many places, so I won’t bother linking to them, but you are 100% wrong on this one.

    You’re also wrong that the HQ wasn’t going to be in her district, and that she wasn’t the only or even the main antagonist, but the larger point is that it is a good thing Amazon isn’t coming to LIC.

  188. the truth is most ppl like their coverage…. ppl just want to pay lower costs….

    djphan, I disagree that

    responding to an extreme right movement by going extreme left will lead to the status quo

    because every example I can think of when it comes to social progress shows that without a more vocal, even violent opposition (Malcolm X), “centrist” positions (MLK) such as “black people shouldn’t have to sit in the back of the bus” is impossible to advance. But I’m not a political expert.

    I do, however, run a business, and both in paying exorbitant amounts for healthcare and then seeing how unbelievably BAD that healthcare is, I can directly speak to “people just want to pay lower costs.” Yes, they do, but beyond that, the options are simply put, terrible. Do I want to pay $3000 a month for my family (wife + 2 kids) just so that when my kid needs an annual endoscopy (because of celiac disease) I can also pay $2600 for that, since our deductible is $5000? And then get random bills from anesthesiologists for another $400 because they don’t take our insurance, which there is no way to know before the procedure?

    At this point most people have insurance in case of catastrophe – car accident, cancer, etc. It’s there for when things go really wrong and you have bills in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because I am pretty sure my family isn’t otherwise going to use anything like $35,000 of healthcare in a given year – which makes paying another $5,000 when we need fairly basic services enraging.

  189. Hubert, while I am not deeply knowledgable about politics, I know more about Amazon than anyone on the board, and I can tell you she isn’t wrong about them. Their goals and methods have been written about in depth in many places, so I won’t bother linking to them, but you are 100% wrong on this one.

    Her opposition had nothing to do with their methods. She either doesn’t understand how a tax break works (like Ntilikilla) or she was intentionally misleading people into believing NY was paying amazon to move here.

    And even if you do, in fact, have some inside proof that Amazon has bad practices…. so what? You’re going to find a squeaky clean multinational to move in? I spent 18 years working for Citigroup and UBS. They’re terrible companies who have some awful practices. Should we kick them out of NYC, too? How many companies do you want to get rid of?

    The Amazon to LIC deal was worth it just on the basis of redirecting subway traffic to lighten the load on a decaying system. That’s what’s going to redirect funds from the people in the city who need it. Not leveling NYC taxes with the rest of the country’s.

  190. I read that Nate Cohn article the day it came out and then heard him interviewed about it later on a podcast. He’s trying to get clicks with a hot take article that actually has the political agenda of pushing centrist democrats. I’m completely ambivalent about whether centrist or leftists would do better against Trump, but either way, I think he loses and am putting my money where my mouth (fingers?) is. The Cohn article is based on a ton of assumptions and selectively ignores contradictory empirical data to make a cute simple point. Then he qualifies it all by saying he doesn’t even think it’s very likely, but within the realm of possibility.

  191. In regard to the Amazon deal: The reason Amazon chose LIC is because it is literally the hottest growing spot in the country (based on rent and housing price data). It will continue to crush with or without Amazon. Amazon is still moving a ton of employees there anyway, and I bet within 15 years (the original timeline) ends up silently relocating about the same amount but without nearly the level of incentives in the deal. So many tech companies have already moved so many jobs to LIC. What I don’t understand is why its obvious to some that the hottest spot in the country needs to offer $2B in tax breaks to lure companies that are coming anyway. As someone already mentioned, it’s like the public funding of stadiums (ask Malcolm Gladwell about ROI for those). How much return would the taxpayers get on that $2B investment when similar jobs are coming anyway? I understand why the Maryland location needed to offer incentives (maybe it didn’t but there’s at least an argument to be made). Why would you trade your entire starting lineup for Melo on an expiring, and throw in a fucking Helipad on the water so Jeff Bezos can fly into the city easier to go out to eat?

  192. How much return would the taxpayers get on that $2B investment when similar jobs are coming anyway?

    she was intentionally misleading people into believing NY was paying amazon to move here.

    Jobs would be pushed out because of Amazon, plus Amazon jobs that are coming anyway.. Those tax breaks most definitely were NY paying amazon cause they cost revenue. Not counting the tax credits which are straight up paid out. I could have sworn I’ve read you say you can’t get anything for free. Who’s paying for all the shit the city will have to do for amazon and their employees if they aren’t?

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