Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Not Just About The Money.

Nancy Pelosi is a fundraiser for the Democrats, and a darn good one. But considering that Hillary Clinton raised more money than Donald Trump and still lost the election, we should not equate "raising a lot of cash" with "winning elections."

Yet, that is what appears to be happening.

Wining elections will come when the Democrats show that they are fighting in Congress. The best (but not only) way to do this is introduce legislation that gives words and life to their message and values.

I know, "What's the point if it doesn't pass in a GOP-controlled Congress?" The point is that:

  • There is a record that Democrats advocated something;
  • It could garnish enough attention to give them on TV, where that can control the narrative;
  • They can go after Republicans for repeatedly shooting down their attempts to improve the lives of millions of Americans.
The GOP got votes not because they just talked about repealing the ACA, but because that's pretty much all they did in Congress during President Obama's term in office. They showed the voters, that, with a few more victories, what they were trying to do could be accomplished (the fact that Trump is himself responsible for its failure is another story).

This "Better Deal" that Chuck Schumer is proposing is lacking some of the traditional elements that older voters would associate with the party. Words like "Unions" and "single payer/Medicare For All" don't seem to be part of it, at least not the flashy parts.

I'm currently combing through the nitty-gritty of the BD; we'll see how much teeth it has. In the meantime, the Democrats need to get started on some legislation a.s.a.p. Money will only get you so far. 

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

It Only Matters When It Affects Them Personally

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Messaging vs The Message

The Democratic Party's problem, in a nutshell, is that they believe their recent losses and the "sudden" lack of enthusiasm from their base and the "center" is due to poor articulation.

They want to move on, and with a plan to win the middle again.

To do this, they are being lead by the same Democratic Senator who said losing one Democratic voter from the urban areas to gain two Republican voters from the suburbs was ideal.   He's not exactly a fighter for the people.

But I digress: the new better deal includes some things that might have helped Hillary Clinton win the damn election, as well as things designed to get the attention of dissatisfied Trump voters.

Maybe it will give them just enough seats in the mid-terms to keep this tug-of-war with Republicans going, while both parties focus on things they agree on (like conducting war for profit).

What it doesn't do is "wow." There's not much in this proposal that makes me think that the Democrats are doing more than fishing for votes.

Schumer has been around since Clinton and Bush; these ideas would have been considered radical then, but now?

A majority of people want Medicare for all and campaign finance reform. Those two issues would really rock the political boat. And it would send a message.

But sure, continue with the platitudes and pictures. Continue to cozy up to the corporations who do not have the working class' best interest in mind. Continue to push for wars over oil.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In Politics, Status Quo Is God

Because Status Quo keeps those who make money in a place to keep making money.

Because politicians are too lazy and/or scared to do actual research to make necessary changes.

The ACA, aka Obamacare, is now status quo (as flawed as it is).

But it is Status Quo, Republicans can't really change or repeal it. And Democrats aren't lifting a finger to improve it.

Sure there are things like "voters" and "the will of the people," but those pale in comparison of Big Pharma, who is essentially accepting of this particular Status Quo. So much so they pretty much run the most Democratic, left-leaning state in the country.

Remember when the GOP promised their voters that they'd outlaw abortion every election cycle, yet could never push it through Congress?

Remember when Obama pushed for Single Payer as a candidate an was rewarded a Democrat-friendly Congress, only to essentially nationalize Mitt Romney's health care plan?

Status Quo is their God.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

States With High War Casualties Tended to Lean Toward Donald Trump

The military is always an interesting demographic, particularly because it's changing. But also because those connected to the military (spouses, parents, children, friends) can be a good indicator of how people feel about things like war and global politics.

Well, after two Bush wars and at least seven extended conflicts with Obama (a combination of Bush's wars, drone-lead assaults and other skirmishes involving troops), these people seem to bet tired of the whole thing.

At least, that's how they may have voted.

The Intercept has a story that supports the theory that President Trump won over voters connected to military casualties. It should be noted that while Hillary Clinton was marginalizing Black Lives Matter and calling Bernie Sanders supporter sexists, Trump was promising factory workers that they would keep their jobs and war survivors that conflicts would end.

Now while the truth is ugly (namely that Clinton's disdain for those who opposed her was genuine while Trump's promises were empty) is does not negate the difference between the two: while false, Trump had a message that resonated. His slogan (Make American Great Again) was formatted for every audience he encountered, and while his actions may have made many mature and critical thinking minds cringe, his words gave a comfort to those who felt unrepresented.

The most stunning revelation of this story is that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan -all states which could have swung in Clinton's favor and have drawn the ire of both her supporters and center-right Democrats- had relatively high casualty rates. If the Democrats had been more anti-war during Obama's term or if Clinton has spoken more clearly about how she intended to minimize losses, these states may have swung in the Democrat's favor.

A second revelation comes from the researchers behind the study: don't expect many in the mainstream to discuss these findings, because they have very connection to anyone who has experienced military casualty.

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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Around the Internets