Thread: News Miscellany
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Old 07-26-2017, 05:14 AM
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erimir erimir is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Default Re: News Miscellany

Obviously you need to have policies you're proposing and ideas you're advancing.

But it seems probable that Joe Manchin's optimal responses won't be the same as Bill Nelson's (FL), or Jacky Rosen's (running against Heller in NV).

The parties and their coalitions aren't symmetrical. Republicans are authoritarians, and falling in line is their thing. Their coalition is largely homogeneous (almost entirely white, more rural and religious Christian, mostly evangelical). It's easier to keep everyone in the tent when there's less diversity in the tent. Democrats sometimes need to vary their message. And the media doesn't treat the Democrats fairly either - which is not to say that I think Democrats should just accept that - but that's a consideration as well. Can Joe Manchin win if the WV media is attributing the national Democratic platform to him? Do we prefer to be a pure minority to being a majority that can stop Trump's agenda and retake Congress and the White House in 2020?

Can you tell me what the Democrats' message for 2006 was, other than that the Republicans had royally fucked everything up? They still won in a landslide.

I think one lesson of the election last year is that the policies you run on are maybe not that important, tribalism will get you most of the way regardless. Trump did not run on cutting Medicaid, filling the cabinet with Wall Street bankers, etc. I think if Democrats get into office, they should govern to the left of where things have been. And I also think they should nuke the filibuster, pass sweeping voting rights protections, ram DC statehood through on a party-line vote, and potentially even play hardball on the judiciary (possibly packing the courts to compensate for McConnell's unprecedented obstructionism denying Obama's appointments). I'm far less certain that's what they should run on. So many people have opinions on what Democrats need to do to win*, and while they've made mistakes, I don't really see any reason to think that everything they've been doing is wrong. If Democrats in red states don't think they can win on an unabashedly progressive platform... maybe they're right? But when it came down to it, Pelosi got the votes in Congress despite having vulnerable members. And if we blow up the filibuster, getting the votes in the Senate will be easier than before.

On the other hand, the special election results so far indicate that Democrats might win the House popular vote by around 10 pts, and that could expand to even more in the wake of the Republicans' unpopular healthcare and tax "reform" pushes, and Trump's approval potentially sinking even lower (note that he has yet to face a real crisis that's not of his own making... or even a single hurricane response). Not to be triumphalist or complacent, but the encouraging results shouldn't have us thinking "OMG we're doing everything wrong!"

*And I'll note that some of those leftist critics actually have evidence against their ability to win. Nina Turner's been touring the country shitting on Democrats... her experience? Being appointed to an ultra-safe state senate seat in Cleveland, being reelected unopposed and then running statewide in Ohio and losing by 24 pts. But she knows how to win. (I think she's just a grifter who saw Bernie Sanders as her ticket... if she had stuck with Clinton she'd be a total nobody right now.)
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