Friday, June 14, 2019

Interesting Lineup for the 2020 Democratic Primary Debates (NBC Edition)

Very Interesting.

First of all, there's the theory that Warren's main role is so siphon votes away from Sanders, which would hard to do (a) if they are on stage where people can compare them and (b) in light of Sander's awesome speech the other day. Of course, pitting Biden with Sanders could hurt Biden's chance of getting the True Base to even give him a decent look. And putting Biden and Warren together only to let Sanders be the star of the other night would be disastrous for every establishment Democrat out there. So the choice to pit Biden against Sanders makes me think the Shaft of the Democratic Party believes that Biden's lead is genuine (Ha!) and enough to weather a Bernie Storm.

Next, we have Tulsi Gabbard (a person who makes Fox News shake in their boots) in a group that are pushing sad Military Industrial Complex-friendly ideas. Gabbard is to foreign policy what Sanders is to economic policy, so unless the questions are all on the domestic side, she'll have a real chance to shine. In fact it's very possible that due to her non-interventionist stance, left-leaning libertarian types gravitate to Gabbard in a similar way that Democrats began gravitating to Ron Paul when he ran for President.

Booker, Klobuchar, O'Rouke and Gillibrand need to use the debate to move up a tier; they are still mentioned in the cable news circuit, but with nothing of note coming out of their camps they could slip into the "also-ran" category. Williamson and Yang, being the only two non-elected officials, will need to prove their ability to govern (sorry; just because Trump won doesn't mean that everyone is willing to vote for non-politicos in every election going forward).

Harris and Buttigieg seem to be at the crossroads; this debate could either be what propels them or what sinks their chances. Biden has them beat on experience, Sanders has them beat on True Base appeal, and Williamson and Yang has them beat on outsider appeal...outside of identity politics I don't see how these two can stand out.

That leaves Castro, de Blasio, Delaney, Inslee, Ryan, Bennet, Hickenlooper and Swalwell. *Ahem*

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Bernie Sanders Makes His Case

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Joe Biden Isn't a Progressive; He's Barely Even a Democrat

Monday, June 03, 2019

"Blue No Matter Who" Forces Progressives and Democrats to Make Excuses for DINOs

So Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a fetal heartbeat (six weeks, BTW) bill into law.

Normally, left-leaning Americans would go after Governor Edwards hard for this, as a majority of those who vote Democrat range from being pro-choice to supporting abortion under specific circumstances (rape, incest, health of the mother, etc.).

But we live in the Age of Team Politics, where you can be as conservative as you want even if you're a Democrat, and other Democratic voters/supporters will bend over backwards to justify deviations from traditional positions.

Websites that have been referenced here in the past are a good example of how Team Politics has shrouded ideological perspectives. The reactions/comments on Daily Kos and Democratic Underground, for example, has mostly ranged from  this is the price we pay for being a big tent  and better a Democrat than a Republican (although DU has, to be fair, more willing to challenge the status quo).

Compare this to the drastic shift in tone when the Republican Governor of Ohio signed similar legislation. And before anyone says, "Well, the laws were different enough to make a distinction," let me remind everyone that the prevailing reactions have not been about the details of the law, but the politics of those behind creating and signing it. It's a given that all of these laws are, in terms of policy, against the Democratic Party's traditional stance on abortion.

But in the spirit of remaining nostalgic to pro-Democratic site that used to also be very progressive (before you take offense, check in see how many Bernie Sanders/Tulsi Gabbard/Mike Gravel posts dominate compared to Joe Biden/Kamala Harris/Pete Buttigieg posts are on your favorite site; chances are high that's it's the later), let's ask a version of the question posed by Crooks & Liars: How much like a Republican does a Democrat has to at like before Democratic voters no longer see him/her as a Democrat?

I think the answer depends on who you're asking, so let's break the Democratic Voters down a bit.

The elected party members (both those in the state/federal government) as well as those in groups like the DCCC and DNC, are more or less concerned with the status quo; as long as the policies don't impact their power or finances to a great degree they don't really care. On the other end we have the progressives and old-school liberals who will readily admit they have their own -for lack of a better phrase- litmus test (and pity on the politician who fails to measure up). So what we really have are those in the middle of the party's power structure: they don't have the ability to draft/create legislation, but they certainly have more access to have their voices heard by those in power. Those who have outlets (websites, radio shows, YouTube channels, TV shows, etc.) that are approved by those in power, but those outlets are generally targeted towards a left-leaning voting populace.

Or to put it another way (using the classic "column" example): if the die-hard progressives (say Bernie/Tulsi/Gravel supporters who may or may not vote a third party if none of those candidates win the primary) is The Base (at the bottom but holds the party up), and the Elected Officials/Party Leaders are The Capital (the top, with various degrees of decor), we can call those who support the Blue No Matter Who philosophy The Shaft (in the middle, most visible on eye-level, keeps the Base and the Capital separate).

Now revisiting that question, How much like a Republican does a Democrat has to be like before Democratic voters no longer see him/her as a Democrat?, we can say:

  • The Base would most likely sour on such a Democrat if it involved (a) a key policy/issue close to the voter's heart, or (b) a series of policies/issues that when added up, looks more conservative/GOP than progressive/Democrat. Lacking any real power or access to power gives them the freedom to be more selective and objective. 
  • The Capital would sour if the backlash affected their poll numbers or financial bottom line, but outside that, they all work together so why rock the boat?
  • The Shaft, being stuck in the middle, has no choice but to accept the situation. Sure some in this grouping will question the politician's actions, but the risk of losing access will prevent them from going beyond that. 

If you're in the Shaft of the Democratic Column, you'll support a Democratic congressperson who's against medical marijuana because they are a yes vote on the ACA. You'll support the Democratic majority in California to keep Democrats in a majority, despite them having no universal healthcare in the state. You'll support Democratic leaders who question President Trump's sanity despite that fact that they helped pass legislation that gave President Trump more money in military spending than what he originally requested. You'll support a Democratic President who took a hard line on immigration and whistle-blowing because you're more concerned about how much worse it could be under a Republican President instead of being concerned that no president should be authorizing the separation of families or imprisoning leakers to news outlets under the Espionage Act. You'll support a Democratic Governor who made abortion illegal in his state.

In other words: they will support Republicans who run as Democrats because of their affiliation, not their politics. 

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