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Old 08-22-2019, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

Jay Inslee has, alas, ended his campaign. Of all the white dudes running for the presidency next year, he seemed like he had the most coherent reason for running: he correctly recognises climate change as the existential threat that it is, and he has a lot of specific policy knowledge that would be useful in combating it. So, of course, he never stood a snowball’s chance in hell.

He wasn’t really running for president, though; he was running for the head of the EPA, or the Department of Energy, or the Department of the Interior, or maybe some newfangled climate czar position that could be created in a Democratic administration to manage climate-related aspects of all of those departments and more.

At least one other candidate gets it, though:



I’ve been saying for a while that Warren and Harris have lapped the field in my estimation, which is still true, but I feel like Warren is almost two laps ahead of the third place candidate (whoever that is – changes depending on my mood) and one lap ahead of Harris by this point. (Ask me again after the next debate and I may still change my mind, though!)

Meanwhile, over at Balloon Juice, Adam Silverman makes the case for a mixture of idealism and realism being necessary both to win a campaign and to enact one’s political agenda. The whole thing is not very long and worth reading in full, but here is a lengthy excerpt, with my own emphasis added to the points I consider most important:

Quote:
Idealism is important. It motivates people. It provides purpose. It is inspiring. It is necessary, but it is not sufficient to win.

As I’ve written about here before, the 2020 campaign is, essentially, occurring at the same time as a largely non-violent, non-lethal, and non-kinetic domestic rebellion and insurgency against the late 19th and almost all of the 20th centuries, as well as the ever more diverse emerging American demographic majority. Though the spikes in violence and lethality have increased recently and I expect they’ll continue to do so. As such, realism is both necessary and sufficient to temper the idealism.

In order to win in 2020, Democrats must fight to win on the terrain that actually exists. And that terrain includes large donations being legal. While we might all agree that in an ideal America, large donations, large corporate donors, dark money networks, and a whole host of other campaign financing that is currently legal would be replaced with something that doesn’t just equate the ability to spend money with protected speech under the 1st Amendment. But that is not the America we currently live in. Nor is it the America in which the 2020 elections will be taking place. If you want to change the system to more closely resemble your ideal campaign finance and election system, you must first mount a successful, winning campaign within the system we currently have. This is simply recognizing reality. And candidates failing to avail themselves of all legal means to win are not dealing with reality. They are also making it harder for themselves to actually win. Part of securing the peace after winning is remaking the system so it is closer to the ideal one you want. The battlefields of the 2020 campaign and election exist in reality as it is, not in the ideal future we would like to get to. For the Democrats, winning in 2020 means that they must win the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote outcome, retake the majority in the Senate, hold the majority in the House, hold all the state houses and legislatures that Democrats currently have, and flip as many as possible of those they don’t before the next round of redistricting. Anything and everything else is a waste of resources. Nothing anyone wants done on any issue from campaign finance reform to healthcare reform, from the most moderate to the most progressive and idealistic approach to any domestic or foreign policy concern will occur if these battles aren’t won.
Naturally, I agree. I still have a firm vision for how I would like the world to look (i.e., idealism), but I’ve become increasingly convinced that pragmatism or realism – the ability to deal with the world as it exists rather than as I wish it existed – is a necessary step towards getting any of those political ideals made real. This may mean allying ourselves temporarily with people we don’t like or even particularly trust if it’s necessary to overcome fascism. It may mean working on the inside of a system that we wish didn’t even exist, either so we can influence it to be less malevolent or so we can take advantage of its resources to direct them against the system’s malefactors. It may, as Adam says, mean politicians have to take money from people they don’t particularly care for – this isn’t a typical election, and desperate measures are called for to remove the occupant of the White House. And so on.

Politicians are frequently judged on the basis of their donors. On this subject, I keep being pulled back to this quote from Jesse Unruh, California State Treasurer from 1975-1987: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money, and then vote against them, you’ve got no business being up here.”

Unruh is a fascinating figure. Biographer Bill Boyarsky, according to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Charles Matthews (again, emphasis mine),

Quote:
makes the case that, for a quarter of a century, Unruh played a central role in shaping the California that emerged as the nation’s setter of trends, both culturally and politically. Putting it simply, Unruh got his hands on the money, and while some of it may have lined his pockets, he also used it to promote a progressive agenda that transformed California, not only through direct accomplishments in such areas as civil rights and improvements in the state’s education system and infrastructure, but also through provoking the conservative backlash represented by such figures as Ronald Reagan and Howard Jarvis.

[…]

Boyarsky also lauds Unruh’s many achievements, calling him “one of the creators of twentieth-century California,” whose blend of populism, idealism and pragmatism is reflected in “just about every mile of water project, every freeway, every new university campus, every civil rights bill, every piece of legislation protecting consumers, women, and children” - all of which “was won by ferocious combat, deal by deal. […] He accumulated power so he could make those deals and win those fights.”
California is currently one of the most prosperous regions of the country. I could think of worse models for our future than California. Idealism tempered with pragmatism – not a bad combination. (This review, I should note, was also written before “populism” became a euphemism for “racism”, in a time when Warren’s campaign might have been described as “populist” with no need for any caveats.)

So that’s my argument (echoing Adam’s), I suppose. We shouldn’t lose our idealism, but we shouldn’t allow our idealism to cause us to lose sight of reality. We can be idealistic and pragmatic at the same time.

This post has been rather heavy overall, so I’ll close it with something fun.


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  #277  
Old 08-25-2019, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

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Jay Inslee has, alas, ended his campaign.
I'll raise a glass to ye, Jay Inslee. You're not wrong, this issue eclipses and contains all other issues within it and is the emergency, the crisis, the collapse and death of thousands of species, ecosystems; the literally shorter, harder, more brutal lives of our heirs. The refusal to ever stand in the way of obscene profit built on genocide, colonial occupation, slavery, exploitation, and greed, because we're so far down in our paucity of thought we cannot even conceive of a world better than this hellscape, conditioned to believe that we can't do shit.

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I’ve been saying for a while that Warren and Harris have lapped the field in my estimation
Warren has a ton of solid policy proposals and you can look at how she's voted and what she's put skin in the game to support or reject. There's at least this record, despite her being a, "Capitalist to my bones," and a relatively recent Republican. You know what she stands for. I struggle on many levels to see anything like that in Harris. Tulsi Gabbard, a candidate with problematic past positions, alliances, and one-note foreign policy military focus (playing to strengths...) still has the knack to tell a few uncomfortable truths, and she wasn't lying when she talked about Harris' troubling history as a prosecutor in the last debate.

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Meanwhile, over at Balloon Juice, Adam Silverman
Here's why you have to maintain the status quo; AKA more than begging for table scraps is the death knell of the party

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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
Unruh is a fascinating figure.
Here's why you have to vote against your base's interests. So at the hardcore realism level, for sure. Tons of Americans wanted to pardon Lt. Calley in the Mai Lai Massacre and wrote the President demanding he be released; there are reasons to not just follow reactionary responses from the base- at that politician's own peril. But let's talk about how prosperous (and WHO is prosperous) California really is as a result, exactly. How the being a tool of rich donors has served Californians exceptionally well- so well that in the face of extinction we really ought to stick with this system, because it is obviously working... for the 1%.

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California is currently one of the most prosperous regions of the country. I could think of worse models for our future than California. Idealism tempered with pragmatism – not a bad combination.
Predatory capital models relying on 90-hour work weeks in Silicon Valley, and immigrants with captured visas and status? The porn industry? Hollywood, no exploitation there, amirite? Whew! Migrant workers being poisoned by pesticides on the super-fun farms? Teachers were striking across California this year. Many of the Dems there are heavily in the pocket of Pharma and Health Insurance Industry lobbies, banking lobbies. Nurses are striking in California. It's just big, not awesome. I'm glad it's more progressive on environmental standards. With a massive prison population they use to fight forest fires for a dollar a day. For sure I get the lesser of evils argument but this is just Third Way Democrat defeatist pap recycled; they have no plan to win the Senate. Billionaires support that position, when they aren't busy building their bunkers in New Zealand and figuring out how to make their security team dependent on them in some way (time release drugs? Diabetics without access to the insulin vault? Robot kill switch?) They have no plan to win. They still think it's the same territory, that they just have to cling to power without deserving that power. They think they are leading and the left had best follow; they are deluded and the election will show this.

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So that’s my argument (echoing Adam’s), I suppose. We shouldn’t lose our idealism, but we shouldn’t allow our idealism to cause us to lose sight of reality. We can be idealistic and pragmatic at the same time.
Jay Inslee is going to turn his back to you now. 12 years, The Man. Incrementalism is corporate poison. Status quo is not the way forward.
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  #278  
Old 08-25-2019, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

Tulsi Gabbard was flat-out lying about a lot of Harris' record, and that Putin and Assad stooge deserves zero credit for pretty much anything she said in that debate. CNN:

Quote:
Facts First: It's true that, as a prosecutor, Harris advocated for higher bail amounts as a way to fight what she said was a public safety issue, supporting raising cash bail costs for gun-related crimes shortly after being elected San Francisco's district attorney in 2004. But she also introduced legislation as a senator in 2017 to "reform or replace the practice of money bail."

Speaking at a May 2004 event, audio of which was first reported by the Free Beacon, Harris argued the city's low bail meant people came to commit cheaper crimes in San Francisco.

That same year, San Francisco's Superior Court drastically increased cash bail costs for weapon-related felony charges. The cost doubled and even tripled in some cases.

In 2017, however, as a senator, Harris introduced legislation along Sen. Rand Paul to encourage changes or replacement of the cash bail system, which requires those awaiting trial to put up a specified amount of money to be released from jail.

"It's long past time to address bail reform across the country," Harris said in a February 2019 tweet. "Too often, poor people sit in jail because they don't have the money to pay bail, while someone with the same offense but money in their back pocket gets out. This is a serious injustice."

In her book "The Truths We Hold," Harris also writes that she knew, as a prosecutor, that lower-income families were affected by the cash bail system.
Russian stooge logic is that what you did 15 years ago reflects your current beliefs more than what you did 2 years ago. Or probably, more accurately, Russian stooge logic is just to fucking lie about everything.

I'm not particularly interested in going on a point-by-point rebuttal of your long series of straw men, and in fact I honestly just skimmed it in parts because it was such a grossly bad-faith misreading. Also, learn to use some fucking paragraph breaks once in a while.

I, of all people, am certainly not in favour of the status quo. In fact, I despise the status quo, which is literally an existential threat to people like me. However, my attitude to the status quo isn't going to do a fucking thing to erase its existence. The status quo is completely indifferent to my feelings about it. I would probably be better off to hate glaciers - those may well disappear in my lifetime. (However, that is precisely one of the aspects of the status quo that I can't stand.)

No less a source than Noam Chomsky emphasizes again and again that it's necessary for radicals to engage with actually existing power structures in order to change them, rather than simply disengage from the system entirely. Is Noam Chomsky a supporter of the status quo? According to your logic, he is. He advocates voting for even imperfect Democrats in swing states, for instance, and acknowledges that many people are compromised by the very nature of late-stage capitalism.

The campaign finance system absolutely should not exist, but if we do not win in 2020, we may very never get another chance to reshape it. I don't know how much attention you're paying to what the Nazis in control of our government are doing, especially to our most vulnerable residents. If you were paying enough attention, perhaps you wouldn't be writing lengthy bad-faith attacks on people you are ostensibly allied with. If Republicans are allowed another four years to hollow out our government, there may be nothing left to save. The climate certainly doesn't have that long to wait.

The problem is that governments are elected with a limited amount of political capital, and all the wishing in the world isn't going to change that. Obama had a grand total of two years with a Democratic Senate and House, but even that's a colossal overstatement, because there was a filibuster-proof majority for about five months. With Joe "Judas" Lieberman as the 60th vote.

There are structural factors baked into our system that make it virtually impossible for the president's party not to lose seats in the midterm elections. The Democrats had an unusually poor showing in 2010, to be fair, but I've never been clear on what exactly Obama's critics on the left think he should have done to stop the losses entirely, especially given the machine of voter suppression that went all-in against his administration.

For all the Monday morning quarterbacking I've read of the Obama administration, I've never seen anything that qualifies as, y'know, a plan for how he could've stopped the backlash to his policies. The Tea Party was guaranteed to happen one way or the other, especially when the economy didn't get better overnight. (It doesn't help at all that many of the people critical of the Democrats' showing during this time period attribute numerous tasks to the DNC that are actually the province of the DCCC and DSCC, but that's a rant for another day.)

This entire case study is exhibit A in why the filibuster should be nuked Day One of the next Democratic administration, and the fact that Warren is the only candidate who has demonstrated a clear-eyed understanding of this is part and parcel of why she is #1 on my candidate list, but even that will only give us two years, if we're even able to take the Senate - a part of Adam's argument I notice you provided no response to.

The problem, again, is that new administrations are elected with limited political capital. I think it's obvious that climate has to be the #1 priority. #2 and #3 will probably have to be elections and the economy. Good luck getting anything else past the Senate when Joe Manchin is the deciding vote, as he is exceedingly likely to be. Hell, we'll be fortunate to get anything on climate done at all with that setup. It'll be a miracle if we adequately address the top three items on my list. I don't hold out much hope that we'll get them all. Expecting more would be outright magical thinking.

So what's your alternative solution? Revolution? Good luck with that. You probably won't get it to happen when people are as desperate as many of them currently are, anyway. People tend not to revolt when they're too worried about where their next meal is going to come from. Contrary to common belief, most revolutionaries tend to be from the middle and upper classes.

Without a revolution (which is not going to happen) or a second constitutional convention (which would not go well for us), we're stuck with the levers of power where they are in this shitty timeline we're in. Refusing to engage with them because we don't like them won't win us any elections.

We are essentially in an undeclared civil war. Our opponents certainly aren't going to stop taking every advantage they can. It would be fucking imbecilic for us to cede advantages because we don't feel ~comfortable~ taking them. We'll be a lot less comfortable when Miami, D.C., and New York City are underwater because we didn't get enough power to stop climate change.

And I doubt Jay Inslee approves of bad-faith attacks on leftists and liberals either, and I'm sure that he also recognises it's necessary to get Republicans out of office so his plans can even get enacted.

In short, fuck off until you're actually willing to engage with what I write.
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  #279  
Old 08-25-2019, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

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  #280  
Old 08-25-2019, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

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Tulsi Gabbard was flat-out lying about a lot of Harris' record
When Kamala Was a Top Cop
Quote:
Harris’s office didn’t merely fight to keep a man in prison after he’d demonstrated his innocence to the satisfaction of the Innocence Project, a judge, and an appeals court. After losing, it fought to keep the newly released man from being compensated for the decade that he spent wrongfully imprisoned.
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
...learn to use some fucking paragraph breaks once in a while.
Good advice!

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No less a source than Noam Chomsky emphasizes again and again that it's necessary for radicals to engage with actually existing power structures in order to change them, rather than simply disengage from the system entirely.
Two key points: what Noam Chomsky is arguing and what Adam L. Silverman is arguing are two different things. Adam Silverman is specifically arguing that the Democrats must avail themselves of dark money, large donations, corporate donors to win. That's what you linked to. Here's Chomsky:
Quote:
The concentration of wealth and enhancement of corporate power translate automatically to decline of democracy. Research in academic political science has revealed that a large majority of voters are literally disenfranchised, in that their own representatives pay no attention to their wishes but listen to the voices of the donor class. It is furthermore well established that elections are pretty much bought: electability, hence policy, is predictable with remarkable precision from the single variable of campaign spending, both for the executive and Congress. ...>snip<...
It’s hard to see how some form of civil conflict can be avoided unless the Democrats reverse course sharply and become a political party that doesn’t simply abandon the working class to its bitter class enemy, as they have done for 40 years.
You can't suck at the corporate teat and reverse corporate capture of the party.

Second key point:
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
... it's necessary for radicals to engage with actually existing power structures in order to change them, rather than simply disengage from the system entirely.
Disengaging from the system entirely is not a position anyone is taking in this conversation, nor the point of my previous post. Electoral politics are part of politics, and one can choose to not avail themselves of rich donors AND participate in electoral politics, despite the grave warnings of the rich donor class and Centrist Democrats and the army of people who make money off of this system.

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If you were paying enough attention, perhaps you wouldn't be writing lengthy bad-faith attacks on people you are ostensibly allied with.
You say bad faith and straw man a lot, but I don't think you're using either term well.

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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
So what's your alternative solution? Revolution? Good luck with that.
See? Now that's how you start a straw man.
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
You probably won't get it to happen when people are as desperate as many of them currently are, anyway. People tend not to revolt when they're too worried about where their next meal is going to come from. Contrary to common belief, most revolutionaries tend to be from the middle and upper classes.
And that's how you finish a straw man, by rebutting an argument I never made.

Armed struggle against the government- if that's what you mean by revolution- is not viable and suicidal. Not effective. See Chomsky on the subject.

What is effective is building mass movements around worker power, class war, and social justice that organize for general strike power and civil disobedience, and create enough social pressure on politicians to change policies.

That's how you counter the senate, filibuster, procedural folderol, and how you counter intractable and entrenched interests. See Chomsky on the subject here:
Quote:
the professor said that if young people and activists revived a strong labour movement, which could overcome racial conflict like it did in the 1930s, then the workers’ favour could be won back.
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
Without a revolution (which is not going to happen) or a second constitutional convention (which would not go well for us), we're stuck with the levers of power where they are in this shitty timeline we're in. Refusing to engage with them because we don't like them won't win us any elections.

We are essentially in an undeclared civil war. Our opponents certainly aren't going to stop taking every advantage they can. It would be fucking imbecilic for us to cede advantages because we don't feel ~comfortable~ taking them.
Just to be clear, the specific advantage you're talking about here, that would be foolish to ignore in your opinion, are large corporate donors, dark money, and large donations from elites whose interests are 100% against changing the status quo.

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In short, fuck off until you're actually willing to engage with what I write.
I like your passion.
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  #281  
Old 08-25-2019, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

We are in an undeclared civil war. One might call it a cold civil war.

The actual civil war lasted a mere four years, at a horrific cost. The current cold civil war has been going on for at least a quarter century, back to when Newt Gingrich Republican obstructionists arose, and arguably all the way back to the election of Nixon, and the crackup of the New Deal coalition. In the long run, the cost of the cold civil war may be greater than the cost of the hot civil war.

One (temporary) solution, which I advocate, is to dissolve the country. The red and blue states can peacefully divorce. Even Lincoln, who was staunchly anti-secessionist, recognized this course as valid. He characterized the union as in the nature of a contract, holding that while one side could not legally break such a contract, both sides could agree to dissolve it. In 1861, Lincoln and his supporters simply refused to agree to dissolve the contract.

Now, let the red and blue states dissolve the contract. There are many problems with this, not least that a good number of blues live in red states and vice versa, and one would ask, what is to become of them? But there are no perfect solutions.

In the long term, the dispute looks moot. We continue to draw down finite fossil resources and convert them into carbon that we put into the atmosphere.

This means we are running out of affordable resources to power industrial/technological civilization, while at the same time converting those finite resources into a climate-change death sentence.

Make America Great Again was, and is, apart from being a transparent con job, interpreted by those sucked into it an appeal to return America to circa 1945 — when male WASPS ran the roost, when gays were in the closet, when women knew their place and when blacks were subject to Jim Crow.

It seems to me that the Sanders/Warren appeal is also to return to 1945, though from a different perspective. They want to return America to the promise of the New Deal and the Fair Deal, and to FDR’s visionary Four Freedoms.

Neither, I think, is going to happen, or even can happen. Both doctrines are predicated, each in its own way, on an a “vision” of America that is obsolete.

This isn’t 1945, either for MAGA or the Green New Deal. The unrelenting drawdown of irreplaceable resources, coupled with the fact that the waste of those resources is being converted into a death sentence, rules out both the retrogression of MAGA and the progressivism of Sanders/Warren. No matter what “vision” one wishes to adopt, it amounts to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Jim Kunstler, at this Clusterfuck blog, and in several books, has been talking about these issues for years, mainly from the energy-depletion perspective and not climate change.

Unfortunately, in his senescence, Jim has devolved into a Bitter Old White Man, castigating people of color, gays, women, and trans people, and predicting that Hillary and even Obama might be prosecuted for collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, a stupefying standing of reality on its head. So I have stopped reading him, as I have most others.

We may be living out, in our own time, the solution to Fermi’s paradox: advanced civilizations commit species suicide in much less than even a blink of geological time.

If you condensed the history of the earth into a single calendar year, beginning on Jan. 1, then modern humans made their first appearance at about one-tenth of a second before midnight on the final day of the year, Dec. 31.

Likely we’ll all be gone by substantially less than one-tenth of a second after midnight on Jan. 1, on the first day of the new year. Earth will shrug.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by chunksmediocrites View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man View Post
Tulsi Gabbard was flat-out lying about a lot of Harris' record
When Kamala Was a Top Cop
Quote:
Harris’s office didn’t merely fight to keep a man in prison after he’d demonstrated his innocence to the satisfaction of the Innocence Project, a judge, and an appeals court. After losing, it fought to keep the newly released man from being compensated for the decade that he spent wrongfully imprisoned.
For the record, I agree that there are serious concerns about Harris’ record as a prosecutor. That’s one of two major reasons she’s quite a way behind Warren in my candidate ranking.

I have, however, been quite impressed with her as a senator, and frankly, her record as a legislator, being more recent, seems a lot more relevant to evaluating what she would do as president. People change their views as new evidence emerges that policies that used to be fashionable are ineffective or destructive. Sanders voted for the justly reviled 1994 crime bill, as well as the 1996 crime bill that should be equally reviled. No one seriously thinks those votes are reflective of his current stances. I’m less concerned with what Kamala Harris believed 10 to 15 years ago than I am with what she believes now. Her current stances on criminal justice are mostly adequate.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man View Post
...learn to use some fucking paragraph breaks once in a while.
Good advice!
Thanks!

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man View Post
No less a source than Noam Chomsky emphasizes again and again that it's necessary for radicals to engage with actually existing power structures in order to change them, rather than simply disengage from the system entirely.
Two key points: what Noam Chomsky is arguing and what Adam L. Silverman is arguing are two different things. Adam Silverman is specifically arguing that the Democrats must avail themselves of dark money, large donations, corporate donors to win. That's what you linked to. Here's Chomsky:
Quote:
The concentration of wealth and enhancement of corporate power translate automatically to decline of democracy. Research in academic political science has revealed that a large majority of voters are literally disenfranchised, in that their own representatives pay no attention to their wishes but listen to the voices of the donor class. It is furthermore well established that elections are pretty much bought: electability, hence policy, is predictable with remarkable precision from the single variable of campaign spending, both for the executive and Congress. ...>snip<...
It’s hard to see how some form of civil conflict can be avoided unless the Democrats reverse course sharply and become a political party that doesn’t simply abandon the working class to its bitter class enemy, as they have done for 40 years.
You can't suck at the corporate teat and reverse corporate capture of the party.
Sure you can. You accept their money and when they ask you for favours that go against the wish of your constituents, you tell them, “Fuck off. I was elected to serve the people, and what you are asking me to do is not in their interest. If you want to donate to my opponent next election, go right ahead.” And if we’ve gotten the necessary amount of control, you’ll be able to say, “You should know, however, that your money isn’t going to make as big of a difference next election.” The goal is to be able to say that. Again, to paraphrase Unruh: if you can’t tell your donors to eat shit, you don’t belong in politics.

Of course, this actually occurring depends on the president (or other elected official) having nerves of steel. This is, again, another argument for Warren.

I fully agree that there are numerous reasons the current electoral system needs to be completely dismantled, and Chomsky raises a number of valid concerns and critiques in your excerpted text. However, we are in a paradoxical position where if we do not size the levers of power, we may not be able to dismantle it in time to prevent a climate catastrophe. I mean, the Amazon is literally burning. Right now. There is no time to waste. The sooner we can remove anyone who would provide an obstacle to solving the crisis from power, the better.

And the Republican Party is, as we speak, also taking steps to dismantle American democracy. The more power they are able to seize, the more they will be able to rig future elections.

And to be clear: 2016 was absolutely rigged. I suspect we will eventually learn that Hillary Clinton was not only the legitimate winner of the popular vote but also the Electoral College. I’m by this point completely convinced that voters were strategically removed from the rolls in key states by outside actors – we already know the Russians accessed voter rolls in all 50 states. Authorities denied that they accessed anything, but they had previously denied that the Russians had accessed the rolls in all but (IIRC) two states, and before that they denied the Russians had accessed voter rolls at all, and on and on. The denials are worth less than the paper they’re printed on.

So we have to stem both these tides, and if that means a bit of hedging to less than savoury people, I think it’s an acceptable compromise - if we elect the sort of candidate who, in Unruh’s phrasing, “belong[s] up here.” If Elizabeth Warren receives super PAC money from, say, banks, she’s not going to suddenly turn around and do a 180° on predatory lending and her other critiques of the banking industry.

There is no legal reason that financial assistance from a particular source in an election compels you to return the favour later on. The problem is, of course, that most people don’t have the nerve that I suspect Warren has, and so for most of them large donations turn into little more than organised bribery. So that system needs to be dismantled. And if we have to take advantage of that system to dismantle it, I’m willing to go down that route, because the alternative is letting the planet burn.

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Second key point:
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
... it's necessary for radicals to engage with actually existing power structures in order to change them, rather than simply disengage from the system entirely.
Disengaging from the system entirely is not a position anyone is taking in this conversation, nor the point of my previous post. Electoral politics are part of politics, and one can choose to not avail themselves of rich donors AND participate in electoral politics, despite the grave warnings of the rich donor class and Centrist Democrats and the army of people who make money off of this system.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a strong correlation between finances and the outcome of an election. The better funded candidate wins something like 80-95% of the time, depending on the election.

We are essentially rolling the dice here with the future of the planet. Current polling has Warren at something like 6-7% above the occupant of the WH in the popular vote, which gives me mild hope, but it needs to be a much larger margin. Perhaps with the inevitable recession we seem to be headed into as we speak, that margin will rise.

Warren (or whoever our nominee is – yes, even if it’s fucking Biden) has to crush Dump. Make him a stain on her shoe. She has to have coattails that bring in dozens of new House members and, most notably, at least four new Senators (because Doug Jones is probably doomed). Really, at least five if you want anything serious on climate, because Joe Manchin probably would be no help there; he’d end up being the Joe Lieberman of the Warren administration. (Lieberman, for those who may have forgotten, scuttled the public option from Obamacare after explicitly pledging not to in his re-election campaign.)

If we don’t retake the Senate, we’re fucked from a legislative standpoint. We’re fucked from a judicial appointment standpoint. There’s a reasonable chance that these two sources of gridlock would lead us to be fucked from a 2024 presidential election standpoint as well, because nothing would get done in the middle of a fucking recession.

You’re essentially arguing that we shouldn’t take advantage of a potential source of assistance in the middle of what is – yes, this is a cliché, but it once again happens to be completely true – the most important election of (at least most of) our lives so far. I’m not comfortable rolling the dice that way. The outcome of this election will essentially determine whether the last years of my life are a blighted hellscape.

Elizabeth Warren will not be compromised if she receives super PAC money. I doubt Sanders would be compromised either. There are a few other candidates who could go either way, but certainly seem less corruptible than any Republican.

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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
If you were paying enough attention, perhaps you wouldn't be writing lengthy bad-faith attacks on people you are ostensibly allied with.
You say bad faith and straw man a lot, but I don't think you're using either term well.
Well, let’s review some of your statements in your previous post, shall we?

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Here's why you have to vote against your base's interests. So at the hardcore realism level, for sure. Tons of Americans wanted to pardon Lt. Calley in the Mai Lai Massacre and wrote the President demanding he be released; there are reasons to not just follow reactionary responses from the base- at that politician's own peril. But let's talk about how prosperous (and WHO is prosperous) California really is as a result, exactly. How the being a tool of rich donors has served Californians exceptionally well- so well that in the face of extinction we really ought to stick with this system, because it is obviously working... for the 1%.
And then another, much longer paragraph of similar bullshit. All of this is an absurd mischaracterisation of the post to which you are responding. I wrote: “I could think of worse models for our future than California.” This is far from implying that everything about California is sunshine and roses. The state is, however, a vast improvement over the current national system, even if no one can afford homes. But guess what? I can’t afford a home in Florida either, and I probably won’t for decades (though to be fair, I have a disability working against me as well). Home ownership amongst people in their twenties and thirties has declined nationwide, not just in California. So have marriage rates, for that matter, and even the amount of sex people are having – people literally can’t afford to get married, and sex becomes a lot riskier when an unintended pregnancy could derail your entire life plan (especially with abortion looking to become illegal in several states – thanks a lot, people who sat out 2016 or voted for Stein).

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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
So what's your alternative solution? Revolution? Good luck with that.
See? Now that's how you start a straw man.
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
You probably won't get it to happen when people are as desperate as many of them currently are, anyway. People tend not to revolt when they're too worried about where their next meal is going to come from. Contrary to common belief, most revolutionaries tend to be from the middle and upper classes.
And that's how you finish a straw man, by rebutting an argument I never made.
Your post was full of a lot of completely irrelevant bullshit that had nothing to do with what I wrote. I thought I’d return the favour. There was nothing in your post that I could make out that suggested what your solution actually was.

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Armed struggle against the government- if that's what you mean by revolution- is not viable and suicidal. Not effective. See Chomsky on the subject.
I completely agree.

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What is effective is building mass movements around worker power, class war, and social justice that organize for general strike power and civil disobedience, and create enough social pressure on politicians to change policies.

That's how you counter the senate, filibuster, procedural folderol, and how you counter intractable and entrenched interests. See Chomsky on the subject here:
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the professor said that if young people and activists revived a strong labour movement, which could overcome racial conflict like it did in the 1930s, then the workers’ favour could be won back.
I completely agree with this and am rather puzzled that you’re saying any of it as though I would be hostile to these ideas. But your post was full of invective without any semblance of solutions that I could make out. If you had instead provided this sort of constructive dialogue in your first reply (and also not engaged in a few outright insults), I probably wouldn’t have ended it by telling you to fuck off.

I would, however, disagree with Chomsky on one small point for the purpose of this one election, assuming I’m reading him correctly: I would contend that to remove fascists, you take advantage of every possible (metaphorical) weapon you can. You have to. These people are literally building concentration camps. They are unapologetically engaging in overt antisemitism and attempting to strip the civil service of everyone who’s not a white supremacist. They are draining the institutional memory of valuable branches of government such as the EPA and the Department of the Interior that are necessary to combat climate change.

(I would also note that the interview linked in your post is from 2016 and would be interested to see what Chomsky is saying now that the concentration camps and other similar atrocities exist.)

The Republican Party is now essentially an overtly fascist party and an existential threat to the country and to people like me. It must be destroyed root and branch, the crops burned and the earth salted. Factio Republicana delenda est. Until it goes the way of the CPSU and the NSDAP, we have to use every means at our disposal to defeat them. And this holds true regardless of who’s nominated in what position. Biden would be at best a mediocre president, but mediocre would be a colossal improvement over the current existential threat to the planet we currently have.

I should add that I’ve read about half of Richard Evans’ The Coming of the Third Reich – I had to return it to the library before I could complete it, but intend to finish someday when it reads less like a news report. The number of parallels to modern American society are alarming. They are not exact – history doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes. (Twain? I think that was Twain.) But they are there, and they are getting stronger seemingly every day.

I am a queer, autistic person of Jewish descent with an obviously Jewish appearance and obviously Jewish name. Naturally, I will be in a very bad position if the Fourth Reich somehow gets set up in this country, and the further we go into the Dump administration, the less implausible that sounds. I can pass as cis and may even be able to learn to consistently pass as neurotypical with the majority of people I encounter if I practise mirroring neurotypical body language enough, but it’d be a struggle. The Jewish part, however, is something I would be completely unable to hide without plastic surgery and a fake ID. This is an existential matter for me.

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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
Without a revolution (which is not going to happen) or a second constitutional convention (which would not go well for us), we're stuck with the levers of power where they are in this shitty timeline we're in. Refusing to engage with them because we don't like them won't win us any elections.

We are essentially in an undeclared civil war. Our opponents certainly aren't going to stop taking every advantage they can. It would be fucking imbecilic for us to cede advantages because we don't feel ~comfortable~ taking them.
Just to be clear, the specific advantage you're talking about here, that would be foolish to ignore in your opinion, are large corporate donors, dark money, and large donations from elites whose interests are 100% against changing the status quo.
Yes. I don’t see why their donations compel whoever gets elected to do a goddamn thing that’s against our interests, however. There’s no law saying “Elizabeth Warren took money from the banks, so now she has to push for policies favourable to the banks.” That is what usually occurs, because people are generally corruptible. But there are a few who aren’t. Warren is fully free to take their money, then smile at them and tell them to fuck off when they ask her to maintain the current electoral system, financial regulations, or other problematic legislation. (She probably would use more gracious language than “fuck off”, because she’s a much better person than I am.)

Actually, writing this post has me feeling increasingly convinced that Elizabeth Warren must be elected with as many Democratic Representatives and Senators as possible, and preferably as many recaptured state legislatures as possible as well.

I fully agree with you on the need for pressure from the bottom up. Workers need to organise more. Since I’m an amateur video game developer myself, I’ve been following with some interest how video game developers, who have been subjected to utterly grueling schedules for decades, are starting to unionise. This is a welcome development, and I’d love to see similar trends in other fields.

But people unionising isn’t going to take Mitch McConnell out of power, and he is arguably an even bigger roadblock than the occupant of the White House. What will take McConnell out of power is defeating him in the Kentucky Senate race next year, and/or defeating at least four incumbent Republican Senators (again, Jones is probably doomed) and taking the presidency (or defeating at least five incumbent Republican Senators and somehow failing to take the Presidency, which would be the final sign that the writers had completely lost the plot).

We must put pressure on the system from every angle we can without burning ourselves out. This means from both the bottom and, where possible, from the top. I do not dispute the importance of labour organising, and it will eventually (hopefully) build Democratic strength throughout the country.

But that’s a long-term strategy. We need to optimise our short-term tactics as well. Right now, the patient is haemorrhaging blood at an alarming rate. We need to get into the position so we can simply tie a tourniquet. Moscow Mitch is blocking that. Moscow Mitch needs to be flipped over on his back. (Obligatory Blade Runner “you’re not helping; why is that?” quote here.)

It’s a dice roll whether we’ll be able to remove Dump and Moscow Mitch. Right now, our odds are decent, but 2020’s election is going to have a major part in determining the quality of the rest of my life. I’m not comfortable with us having a 70% chance if we can up that to an 80% chance, 90% chance, or more.

You’re seemingly attributing some sort of almost supernatural powers to campaign donations here. There is an implied tit for tat by American political tradition, but a politician doesn’t have to honour it. A particularly honourable politician won’t honour if it’s not in the interests of their constituents to do so. This means that if you have an honourable enough politician, it is probably safe for them to get campaign donations from large donors – particularly if the candidate’s intention is to completely overhaul the campaign finance system as we know it to begin with. Which is one of Warren’s intentions.

This goes back to my reasoning for listing her in #1: she’s the only one I’m aware of who’s come flat out, unequivocally, and said the filibuster just needs to fucking go. Some others such as Sanders have hedged a bit and said maybe it’s worth looking at. Warren, however, clearly realises what a roadblock to progress it is. She has a plan for that.

Which, now that I’ve written all this, makes this entire discussion seem rather superfluous: she’s probably already thought about all these issues more than either of us have.

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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
In short, fuck off until you're actually willing to engage with what I write.
I like your passion.
Thanks! At least your second reply didn’t leave me wanting to tell you to fuck off. I will, however, tell davidm, whom I still have on ignore, to fuck off. :wave:

Also, I apologise if this got repetitive; I didn’t sleep much last night, so my short-term memory is questionable.

…also, too, given how long this reply got, I probably won’t have time to do another point-by-point response if future replies are of comparable length; sorry in advance. I think I spent about an hour and a half composing this thing, and I intended to spend about twenty minutes. Oops.

…one final addendum, and I can’t think where to put this, but it seems relevant to the above discussion: I want to say a few words in favour of earmarks and pork-barrel projects. They were a drop in the bucket of our spending and probably did a fair amount to help avoid gridlock. Removing them seems to have been one of those seeming good governance reforms that hasn’t worked as intended. Maybe we should bring them back. I’m not sure how much it would help with today’s GOP, who refuse to compromise on anything anyway, but it might have at least a mild effect, which would be something!
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  #283  
Old 08-25-2019, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

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. I will, however, tell davidm, whom I still have on ignore, to fuck off. :wave:
:lol:

What a cowardly little twit you are!
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  #284  
Old 08-26-2019, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

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For all the Monday morning quarterbacking I've read of the Obama administration, I've never seen anything that qualifies as, y'know, a plan for how he could've stopped the backlash to his policies.
He should've used the bully pulpit! More speeches! He should've done rallies, like Donald Trump does! It has done wonders in bringing the public around to his position on tariffs and free trade!

On a more serious note, a problem was the weak-kneed Democrats in Congress (a problem which Obama could not have solved, I would note!). If I were to propose a way Obama actually could have moved public opinion, I'd suggest two things: aggressive action to increase unionization and whatever actions that would be legal under the 1st Amendment which would undermine FOX News and their ideological ilk.

The problem is that both of those things would've required Congressional cooperation. Democrats tried to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, but they couldn't get 60 votes in the Senate. It probably would've passed if they had been willing to eliminate the filibuster, but there was likely a strong majority opposed to getting rid of it. Those Democrats made a big mistake, one which besides hindering progressive legislation, didn't even save them seats in 2010. But Obama didn't control the Senate, he couldn't force it, no matter how eloquent his speeches were.

Probably a productive course to undermine the right-wing propaganda machine would've been more anti-trust enforcement in the media in general (which would not only affect FOX), but I don't know how easy that would've been without legislative help. It's also unclear what Obama could've done to undermine the right-wing propaganda machine without Congressional cooperation, and I might suggest that attempting to rein it in through executive action and failing could potentially have had worse consequences. I'd note that when he tried to limit FOX News's access to interviews and such (not press conferences), the other media conglomerates rose to FOX's defense.

But usually I just see "not using the bully pulpit" as Obama's big mistake, one which there isn't much evidence made a huge difference.
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This entire case study is exhibit A in why the filibuster should be nuked Day One of the next Democratic administration
Well, when it comes to Citizens United and other campaign finance stuff, the relevant filibuster has already been nuked (judicial filibuster). The problem there was that Democrats, and Democratic voters (and left-wing voters who wouldn't like to be called Democrats) didn't prioritize the courts for a long time. There has been some improvement on this since Garland, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Democrats in surveys are recognizing the conservative bent and political hackery of the courts far more than they did in the past few decades. But the courts have been mostly conservative since forever, in fact, aside from an anomalous period from FDR to LBJ, a period ended by our "last liberal president" Richard Nixon, and always political.
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So what's your alternative solution?
You forget that providing solutions, or even evidence that the outcome he wants is possible is "not chunks' job":
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Originally Posted by chunksmediocrites View Post
I'm also not beholden to tell you how to solve the issue of blocking Kavanaugh- your exasperation that I dare criticize without offering to solve the epic problems of the Democratic Party at the national level is noted, but not my fucking job
Quote:
but self-immolation of every center-right democrat millionaire senator on the floor of the senate would be a nice start; even better if they hugged it out with the Republicans simultaneously, about how much they respect John McCain.
Expecting chunks to acknowledge, that, for example, the "center-right Democrats" he'd prefer to commit suicide would trigger special elections, some of which would be in states that voted strongly for Trump, and which the Republicans would be heavily favored to win in an open seat (i.e. at the time, AL, MO, IN, ND, MT and WV) is just too much. Acknowledging political realities like "centrist Democrats in red states are better than Republicans, and if they dropped dead, no matter how much I hate them and how much they suck, their replacements would actually be worse" is just proof that you are actually a center-right status quo fool.

Expecting chunks to acknowledge that, had Democrats adopted a policy of treating John McCain like the shithead he was all the time, McCain might've decided to go through with stripping millions of people of their health insurance, is also proof.

And so on and so forth with such issues like "How can Democrats stop Republicans from confirming Kavanaugh if they have 51 votes given that any procedural trick can also be overridden with 51 votes?"

If you disagree with chunks about tactics, it just means that you must not actually be a progressive. Because the proper tactics are obvious**, and if you shared any principles with him, or nay, had any principles, you would agree.

*As Susan Collins evidently was! Her approval rating has fallen precipitously and predictably in response to confirming a very anti-abortion justice in a pro-choice state

**Or rather, the fact that Democrats' tactics are wrong is obvious. The correct tactics may not be obvious, but it's NOT HIS JOB to figure out what they are! Therefore your arguments and evidence that he's wrong about tactics don't matter. He is allowed to simply assume, without evidence, that the correct, perfect tactic is available, and other people are simply refusing to use it because they WANT the bad thing to happen.
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I will enjoy watching the Democratic Leadership shit their pants every time an M4A and Abolish ICE candidate wins. WHY WON'T THEY KISS THE RING?
Ok, I had to quote this because it was amusing. "Abolish ICE" has mostly dropped off as a demand. Gillibrand endorsed the idea, nobody like chunks gave a shit, they didn't rally to her, and she hasn't gone anywhere. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders refuses to endorse the slogan. So as it turns out, chunks himself would prefer a candidate who does not call to "Abolish ICE." Does that mean I think he, or Bernie Sanders, don't care about immigration reform? No. Or that his plans are therefore horrible and tantamount to capitulation? No. But I do find it interesting.
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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
. I will, however, tell davidm, whom I still have on ignore, to fuck off. :wave:
:lol:

What a cowardly little twit you are!
I wonder if this means chunks is a "cowardly little twit" for having me on ignore? :chin:
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  #285  
Old 08-28-2019, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

So Joe Biden dropped heavily in a recent national poll to third at 19%, pushing Bernie and Warren both at 20% to the lead. Three notes:
This is a national poll, as opposed to polling in the key swing states that will actually decide the election.
This is one poll, not a bunch of polls, so let's see how this plays out.
It's good to look at more data than just polls, and avoid horse-racey parts.

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Originally Posted by The Man
Elizabeth Warren will not be compromised if she receives super PAC money.
I'm not sure how you're making that determination. And I'm not sure how a candidate that relies on elite donors then pivots away from them to... switch to grassroots donations for their run for a second term?

There's always an argument from the elites and corporate lobbyists that politicians should take their money; it's a trap. They aren't wanting to give money to Warren because they love Warren; they want to buy a candidate to influence the administration and policies, full stop. And more specifically, Bernie scares the fuck out of them.

Elizabeth Warren Cozies Up To DNC After Accusing It Of Rigging The 2016 Primary
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2020 White House hopeful and Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent the weekend attracting the Democratic Party’s establishment donors just less than two years after alleging the 2016 primary was rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
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  #286  
Old 08-28-2019, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

Monmouth is a good pollster, but there were also only 298 registered (not likely) voters in that poll. So if it looks like an outlier w/re to Biden... it probably is. If we see more polls showing that, then probably not. But the other polls out in the past few days don't show the same thing and nothing big happened that you'd expect a reaction to.

RCP shows Biden dropping and Sanders potentially gaining (partly due to Emerson returning to their average - their results aren't super different from their last poll though). A more 538-style average that accounts for that sort of effect (which pollsters polled recently) is here, which shows a more moderate effect for Biden and little change for Sanders: https://projects.economist.com/democ...rimaries-2020/

Also, if Democrats pass campaign finance reform, then they won't need super PAC money. The problem in 2020 is that super PACs are available to the GOP, and it could be an uneven playing field if Democrats refuse to use any of that big money. If they subsequently pass campaign finance reform, they don't need the money, because there will no longer be a concern about a tilted playing field. That's the whole fucking point.

And if it is the case, which I believe it is, that the current system of Super PACs and dark money and "money is speech" bullshit, benefits Republicans more, even when Democrats utilize big money... what is their incentive for not reforming it?

chunks can't seem to conceive that it's possible the way to maximize their chance of winning in 2020 is to use big money, but once they have the ability to reform campaign finance, the way to maximize their chance of winning is to reform it and thus NOT use big money. Even if you're single-mindedly focused on winning and don't care about good governance per se, it would still be the right move for Warren to try to reform campaign finance laws.
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  #287  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

As expected*, the other polls out this week do not find a big drop for Biden.

YouGov: Biden 25 (+3 from last poll)
Quinnipiac: Biden 32 (±0 from last poll)
Suffolk/USA Today: Biden 32 (+2 from last poll)
Emerson: Biden 31 (-2 from last poll)
HarrisX: Biden 30 (-1 from last poll)
Morning Consult: Biden 33 (+2 from last poll)

Monmouth: Biden 19 (-13 from last poll)

One of these is clearly not like the others. YouGov has had lower numbers for Biden for a while (between 22 and 26), whereas Monmouth had generally been more in line with the other polls previously. The trend, excluding Monmouth, is +0.7 pts. With Monmouth it's -1.3 pts.

So... outlier appears to be outlier. Put it in the average. What is true is that there's been a slight downward trend for Biden over the past month (dropping from 32 to 29). Before either debate, Biden was at 32.

BUT in other news, the debate seems to be finalized (they have 8 hrs to get a surprise poll, since no other polls are expected to come out today) with 10 participants. Steyer is thus very highly likely not getting in, and Gabbard is definitely not (she'd need TWO surprise polls).

*Not that it would've been a huge surprise to find Biden dropping somewhat... but dropping by 10+ points? That's surprising, given that nothing happened of note.

Last edited by erimir; 08-29-2019 at 05:31 AM. Reason: correcting #
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  #288  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

I hope Gabbard stays in for a little while longer, whining, wasting time, and spending money, to make life easier for her primary opponent in HI.
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  #289  
Old 08-29-2019, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

Gillibrand out. She never really found traction but raised her national profile and did not damage herself (Al Franken nonsense notwithstanding). Exit was smooth, on her terms, and reasonably classy. All in all, a good campaign for a second tier candidate.
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  #290  
Old 09-05-2019, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

So yesterday CNN hosted a 7-hour Town Hall on Climate Change. I watched Biden, Sanders, and Warren but did not see the rest of the candidates.
Here's Vox's summary of how it went, and here's Time's summary.

The questions from the audience that I heard were about 1 million times better than the questions offered up in the debates- substantive! 40 minutes of a candidate talking instead of sparring and looking for the dunk or damage control is a better format for hearing from candidates, in my opinion.

Sunrise is a growing and serious player going forward in putting political pressure on candidates and parties, and I'm excited to see them push hard on climate extinction.

In my opinion Biden was on defense and unfocused; Bernie was sharp and did well though I don't understand his protection of the filibuster. Warren did fine.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

Not exactly a Democrat, but someone who seemed determined to fuck it up for the Democrats, changed his mind. Howard Schultz is out.
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  #292  
Old 09-10-2019, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

Demographics of supporters of Democratic candidates, from August, data from Pew Research Center.

Also already vying for the fourth democratic debate(s) in mid-October, where Tom Steyer has qualified, making it 11, and for which Gabbard is still attempting to qualify.

Third debate coming up this Thursday.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

I watched the debate.

Read the full transcript of ABC News' 3rd Democratic debate

Vox: 5 winners and 3 losers from the September 2019 Democratic presidential debate

Business Insider: 7 standout moments from the 3rd Democratic debate

I'm happy to get into debate performance in detail on any of these candidates but right now I'm going to highlight the commentators ABC brought in for the debate:
Quote:
...Contributors Yvette Simpson, Heidi Heitkamp, Rahm Emanuel and Chris Christie will be on the ground reporting the latest developments from the campaign trail and the candidates, and providing analysis before and after the debate.
Yvette Simpson makes some sense as an analyst here, as the chief executive of Democracy for America.

Heidi Heitkamp was rated the third most conservative blue dog, and literally to the right of Republican Susan Collins. The Koch Brothers thanked her for voting to ease banking restrictions. She voted with republicans and Trump more than half the time she was in office, voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and has an A rating from the NRA. Why is this person opining on the democratic field?

Rahm Emmanuel. I know he's Obama's former chief of staff. He's also a corrupt, union-busting, safety-net gutting corporate tool who allegedly as the mayor of Chicago helped cover up the murder of the black teen Laquan McDonald. Fuck Rahm Emmanuel, why is this piece of shit commentating on the democratic field? Was anyone surprised that he praised Biden and trashed others?

Chris Christie? Do we really need former Republican Governor Bridgegate Christie, who regularly shit on teachers unions, social safety nets, and Democrats generally? The guy who was offered several cabinet positions under Trump? Why is his commentary a thing that would be useful in regard to the democratic candidates?
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  #294  
Old 09-15-2019, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

In re: Chris Christie: I get unreasonably pissed off when my friend is watching whatever yammering head from MSNBC starts talking to Mark Sanford. It's a knee jerk visceral reaction. Like, do they not remember a little while back when this guy lost any credibility he should have ever had? Or do they think we forgot? Did we? How the fuck is there not some kind of revolt from whoever is watching MSNBC about this bullshit? I mean, I know we should listen to what other people have to say so we can try to live together in this country and be exposed to opinions that are different from our own - but is it so fucking hard to find a decent person?
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  #295  
Old 09-15-2019, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Ultimate Cagefight MMXIX, Democratic Edition

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Originally Posted by chunksmediocrites View Post
Points taken about who they had commenting, especially Rahm and Christie, but...
Quote:
Heidi Heitkamp was rated the third most conservative blue dog, and literally to the right of Republican Susan Collins.
You are so full of shit whenever you talk about Democrats moving to the right, or being more right-wing than Republicans.

There is one aggregate overall measure (not issue-specific) in which Heitkamp rates more "conservative" than Susan Collins. But her Trump score? 54%. Susan Collins's for the same period? 77%

On DW-Nominate, the liberal-conservative dimension... Heidi Heitkamp rates a -0.122 (negative is more liberal) while Susan Collins rates a 0.112.

On almost every measure, Heitkamp gets ratings to the left of Collins. Which makes sense, she's a Democrat and Collins is a Republican. Heitkamp voted for Harry Reid to be majority leader, and Collins voted for Trent Lott, Bill Frist and Mitch fucking McConnell, and that's the most important vote a Senator can make to bring about liberal vs. conservative outcomes. Heitkamp wanted to confirm Merrick Garland, and Collins was willing to go along with no more than an expression of worry. Heitkamp voted against the GOP tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy, and Collins voted for it. Heitkamp voted against Kavanaugh, and Collins voted for him.

Heitkamp was definitely one of the most conservative Democrats, and would probably call herself a moderate. But if you really can't tell which one is more conservative, you don't have much business opining on American politics. And if you can, and you just like to exaggerate how conservative Democrats are as a tactic, well, it's worth pointing out that that's your thing and your proclamations about such things are pretty much worthless.

But yes, she's moderate and on most measures she rates left of Collins, but only by a little bit. Apparently that isn't outrageous enough, so you need to pretend that she's "really" a Republican. But these scores aren't designed to take into account things like... the votes that don't happen because you voted for a Democratic or Republican Majority Leader.

But I would say that Heitkamp is fine as a guest to discuss the primary, as long as there are more progressive Democrats on the panel. Because guess what? About of half of Democratic voters would call themselves moderate or conservative. There is a place for that perspective, and it's useful to understand why, for example, Joe Biden is still polling in the lead.

(Also guess what? There's NO DEMOCRAT currently in the Senate who is to the right of Susan Collins on the most common overall ideological measures. Which, again, do not give extra weight to voting for MITCH FUCKING MCCONNELL. There is a difference between the parties, and even Joe fucking Manchin is preferable to ANY Republican, and that's not even by comparison to WV Republicans.)
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