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  #126  
Old 01-29-2018, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

The DNC isn't responsible for congressional elections.

It's interesting how few people who claim that the DNC controls the outcomes of every primary demonstrate knowledge about the DSCC, DCCC, DLCC and DGA. And then there are state organizations (some of which are quite bad). In general, the Democratic Party is quite decentralized.

At least the article Watser linked actually talks about the proper organization, the DCCC and Rahm Emanuel, who was the head of the DCCC a while back.
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  #127  
Old 01-29-2018, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

Some historical background on that 'chain migration' thing.

It's Family Immigration. No chains here.

At the bottom of the blog post is a tweet thread where he discusses some law catch 22s.
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  #128  
Old 01-30-2018, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

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Well, he's not Hitler, and they don't have mobs attacking people yet, so nothing to worry about :phew:
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  #129  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

I live in Sarasota County, which, up until tonight, had elected exactly one Democrat in the last couple of decades I've lived here (namely, the tax collector, Barbara Ford-Coates, who's been here since before I can remember - probably before I even moved here).

Tonight we elected Democratic candidate Margaret Good to the state House of Representatives in a special election after the freshman incumbent unexpectedly retired. This wasn't the hugest shift we've seen in a special election recently, but it was still a twelve-point shift: Good won by seven percentage points; Trump had carried the district by five. Good was up against James Buchanan, son of the current U.S. representative Vern Buchanan, who has been in office since 2007.

As a result, there was a fairly vast political machine backing the younger Buchanan in this race. I didn't follow the last few days that closely, but evidently there was a Trump-style rally on Sunday featuring a guest appearance from Corey Lewandowski and "lock her up"-style chants.

I didn't see a single poll about this race, but Good's victory didn't surprise me, though I was mildly surprised that it was by as comfortable a margin as seven points. Evidently a poll a few days ago had Good up by three points, and it was clear to me that the Buchanan campaign was panicking. It was also clear that the headwinds were against them, even though I hadn't read a single news story about the election since the primary.

I was actually somewhat surprised that I got a primary ballot in the mail when my parents, who are both registered Republicans, did not. (Both my parents voted for Good in the general despite their party registration - at this point I suspect they are only hanging on to their registration out of a probably futile hope that they can serve as a brake on the Republicans' worst excesses in primary elections. They certainly didn't vote for Trump either.) The fact that the Democrats had two people - both women, incidentally - running for a vacant seat, while the Republicans could only find the scion of the current U.S. rep, certainly struck me as curious.

The second indicator was yard signs. I want to be clear: these aren't reliable evidence, particularly if you just look at them without context. In order to be able to read yard signs as an even remotely reliable indicator, you need to have familiarity with their distribution in past elections. If you see a lot of signs for a Democratic candidate in areas that didn't have them in the past, that's probably a good sign for the Democrat. But they have to be evenly distributed - if one house has twenty signs for the Democrat, that's almost completely irrelevant. It just means the Democrat had more signs printed. But if they're widely distributed in places where they weren't in previous elections, that's likely to be positively correlated with voter enthusiasm, possibly by a fairly substantial margin. Strong supporters of a candidate may be willing to put up yard signs; those who are too unenthusiastic to risk arguments with their neighbours almost certainly won't.

This election cycle, I'm not exaggerating when I say I could probably count the number of Buchanan signs I saw on one hand. Good signs were everywhere. In previous elections, the signs were usually roughly evenly split between the parties. I saw more signs for the lolbert, Alison Foxall, than I did for Buchanan. (Foxall didn't get enough of the vote to serve as a spoiler - I think it must've been about 3%. Good, from my understanding, got around 52%.) When the lolbert has more yard signs than you, that's usually not a good...erm, I'm sorry. I can't think of a way to avoid this that doesn't sound more awkward than this disclaimer. Usually not a good sign.

The third indicator was the last election combined with general trends. Trump won the district by 5% in 2016. Democrats have typically moved the needle at least 10 points in their direction. This time they moved it from -5% to +7%. That's perfectly in line with other special elections we've had.

But the fourth indicator. My god, the fourth indicator. The fourth indicator was the fucking advertising. The fucking advertising was everywhere, and it was completely one-sided, and it was absolutely fucking awful. I'm just going to copy and paste this from a comment I posted to BJ/LGM because I can't bear to think of this a second time:

Quote:
...the sheer desperation and ineptitude of Buchanan’s advertising. They blanketed everything, and they did so incessantly. I have an ad blocker on my computer, but there were ads for Buchanan here, on BJ, on YouTube videos for Colbert, Trevor Noah, The Opposition. Everywhere. Constantly. Seemingly half the videos I watched had the same damn ad. All shows/sites with largely liberal audiences, too.

And it was awful. I never watched the whole thing, but it opened by name-dropping Rick Scott in a positive manner. I haven’t checked in the last couple of months, but the last time I saw, Gov. Voldemort’s approval rating was in the toilet. That seems like an enormous unforced error. They also referred to Good as a “Hillary Clinton clone”. Granted, I’m not exactly the middle of the road voter they aimed the ad at (something like that reads to me as a ringing endorsement), but… she’s hardly massively unpopular. They didn’t even open with an attack on Pelosi, whose approval rating is way lower. Amateur hour.

And then they blanketed the ad so heavily that I’m sure it just pissed off people who were on the fence. It was always the exact same ad, too. Just terrible, shoddy work.

The sheer amount of advertising read as a move of desperation to me. Like they had internal numbers that indicated they knew they were down in the polls, and they were panicking.

By contrast, I didn’t see much advertising from Good. Some people might’ve read that as a sign of weakness, but it didn’t read that way to me. They emailed me to make sure I’d voted, and there were a couple of fundraising appeals, but it was a perfectly reasonable number. If I were apolitical, I could easily see myself voting for Good just on the basis of her campaign being so much less annoying. As it was I found myself grumbling out loud at my phone in annoyance at the YouTube ads at least five times.
And I'll just close out with what I wrote there as well:

Quote:
Good ran a (pardon the pun) good campaign. I didn’t see any clear unforced errors. I could easily see her going places in the Florida Democratic Party. She’s certainly done Sarasota proud.
For the first time in awhile, I have a political reason to feel proud of my hometown. This certainly bodes positively as a barometer for the future of Florida politics.
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Last edited by The Man; 02-14-2018 at 10:07 AM.
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  #130  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man View Post
I was actually somewhat surprised that I got a primary ballot in the mail when my parents, who are both registered Republicans, did not.
omg irregularities! Voter registration fraud! The Dems stole their ballot papers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man View Post
The fact that the Democrats had two people - both women, incidentally - running for a vacant seat, while the Republicans could only find the scion of the current U.S. rep, certainly struck me as curious.
or ... wait ... are you suggesting ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man View Post
The fucking advertising was everywhere, and it was completely one-sided, and it was absolutely fucking awful.
... that the Repubs gave up? Have been hamstrung by sheer incompetence, their machinery deserted by anyone with sense? Actively did nothing useful, just spent money?
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  #131  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

I'll just put this here:





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  #132  
Old 02-15-2018, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

Resistance gets resisted by the Resistance...

After Annie Rice's Victory, Democrats Weigh Punishing Her Supporters | News Blog
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  #133  
Old 02-15-2018, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

Resistance gets resisted by the Resistance...


You are doing that thing with words that Orwell warned us about.
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  #134  
Old 02-15-2018, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

You are making as much sense as usual, so that must be really, really deep thinking...
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  #135  
Old 02-15-2018, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by River Front Times
Yet after the committee chose not to let Rice's supporters speak at the meeting, she decided to run anyway. She mounted a challenge as an independent, gathering signatures to earn the right to enter the race.

Sounds like Democracy worked in the case. So the establishment reacts in a distinctly undemocratic manner.
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  #136  
Old 02-16-2018, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: Vive la Resistance! aka non-Trump US politics

So the scenario is that the St Louis City Democratic Party chose a candidate for a special election (in a normal election, there would be a primary), and one candidate, who was also on a Democratic Party committee, didn't get chosen and thus decided to run as an independent. Given the understanding I've seen Watser and others demonstrate of internal Democratic Party procedures, I feel that it's probably necessary to point out that the St Louis City Democratic Party has its own procedures and rules, and this rule change would only affect the city of St Louis, and Nancy Pelosi and the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and so on have literally nothing to do with any of this.

The rule change they're considering is that if you are a member of a Democratic Party committee, you shouldn't run against a Democratic candidate in a general election. Doing so would be subject to censure and potentially removal, upon a vote of a two-thirds majority of the committee. The two-thirds requirement would presumably make it unlikely that such a step would be taken if the two candidates had gotten about half of the vote (the committee has 56 members so there is a bit of room between a 24 vote majority and a 38 vote supermajority).

How many parties in any country allow you to remain a member of the party leadership while running a campaign against the party? Do you suppose Artikel 1 in the Netherlands would allow a member of one of its party committees to run against the Artikel 1 candidate somewhere without consequence? This rule change doesn't seem particularly harsh to me and it's a bit ridiculous to describe it as an "activist purge". In normal elections, which are the vast majority of elections, candidates will be chosen by primary voters and it's much harder to make the case that running against the choice of the Democratic Party primary voters is always kosher with being on a Democratic Party committee.

On the other hand, it sounds like the party committee had a bad process for choosing the candidate. Given the result, it seems likely that a primary would've led to a victory for Rice and they should've taken that into account when choosing their candidate.

Either way, it's pretty small potatoes. A city-level Democratic Party committee is changing the rules in a case that's mostly only relevant in special elections and only affects the 56 members of the committee and only when they run a campaign against an official Democratic Party candidate, and wouldn't stop more progressives from getting elected to that committee. But you know, "the resistance is resisting the resistance" and thus Nancy Pelosi has crushed the left flank of the party with her mighty establishment gavel or something.

Also I would note that despite the attempt to fit the race into a certain narrative, I don't really see much in the way of explanation of the ideological stakes of Rice vs. Fehler. I guess we're just supposed to assume that because Fehler was supported by the committee that he was much more conservative, but other articles on the site mention him as part of the wave of young progressives getting involved in the St Louis Democratic Party in the past couple years. If you take out that aspect of the narrative, it seems even more inconsequential.

Given that I'm pretty sure Watser doesn't read St Louis local news regularly, I'm also guessing the only reason he saw this is because he likes to go looking for this sort of thing (or he follows people who do), but this single case doesn't really tell us, well, anything about the overall trajectory of the party. Maybe we could look at something that collects information about local races and primaries across the country, rather than cherry picking?

Last edited by erimir; 02-16-2018 at 12:28 AM.
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