Tibbs

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About Tibbs

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  1. US Politics: Ask Fox News

    Sanders was plausible as the liberal insurgent candidate for president in that race in a way that, say Dennis Kucinich never was, at the same time that Clinton's web of connections, qualifications, sacrifices and strengths on paper made her an overwhelmingly obvious choice -- if she wanted it. The result of that was that the grassroots (with some nudging by professional activists) coalesced behind Sanders much faster than they usually do in a race and so he had all the momentum for anyone who harbored any doubts about pulling the lever for Clinton. It left O'Malley in the unfortunate position of being both camp's second choice, either as a generally uninspiring but generically 'okay' plan B, or as a very impressive, "That guy would be good too!" Whether or not he should have received that reception is ultimately irrelevant, people don't vote for the best available substitute.
  2. That's a very shrewd point, and, I think, the real reason this is shaping up as an increasingly divisive proxy fight: Both wings (although it's a bit of an oversimplification to say there are only two of them) have vested, emotional stakes in making, but more importantly in being, the definition of a progressive. At this point it's not at all clear to me that mutual accommodation is possible. The establishment wing needs to stop condescending to the Sanders wing and make them feel actually welcome at the table, the Sanders wing needs to stop smearing the accomplishments/intentions/progressivism of the establishment wing. Neither is going to happen so long as both sides have reason to feel defensive towards the other.
  3. I don't know, I remember Jane Sanders saying of Dean and O'Malley when they both flirted with running for Chair that these were, "Decent people, but not progressives." I know anecdotal evidence counts for nothing, but I've noticed a lot of people making bizarre claims that Perez has no authentic liberal credentials. I have two problems with this line of argument on Ellison's behalf: Bernie Sanders was and is divisive, putting Ellison up on the grounds of his connection to Sanders because only a Sanders-backed candidate can be a unity choice is simply silly. Of course the people who weren't on board with Sanders to begin with are going to find it divisive if the main credential you offer is any particular candidate's ability to assuage those voters. More pertinently to me, however, is the nature of the demand that these "alienated" (some are, some aren't) voters are making: It's post-policy, un-ideological, and based off of smearing the accomplishments of any other liberal politician that doesn't come with the explicit Sanders stamp of approval. The concession they want is a kind of political hagiography that has nothing to do with the post in question or the causes that most of them claim to care about. I personally find that distasteful. In the interest of even-handedness, I think that this Vox piece makes the affirmative case for Ellison on the grounds that you're arguing.
  4. Ignoring what either Ellison or Perez themselves have said, and focusing instead on the arguments their supporters have made, it's Ellison's supporters who from the beginning have focused on the Sanders connection in an attempt to gin up outrage against any argument that's made against him. The anti-Semite stories (garbage, I agree although in at least one case he could have chosen his words a bit better) broke in the media before he announced that he would step down from Congress if elected (and the part-time objection is hardly bad-faith unless the people who pointed to that as one of the problems with Wasserman-Schultz were bad-faith as well). And as for consensus candidates, that was precisely what Hillary Clinton was also supposed to be, at least measured by the strength of her endorsements. The bad-faith arguments go both ways: If the premise is that there's not a clear ideological or structural difference between the two most prominent candidates, then surely the question should be asked both ways: Is there a substantive reason for backers of a liberal candidate in Ellison to not consider a liberal candidate in Perez? There is an active attempt here being made by a vocal contingent of Ellison's backers to hold the threat of alienation over the selection process: They don't want an ideological progress, they want a stamp of approval from Bernie Sanders and argue that anything else smacks of dishonest establishment politics. Perhaps Ellison would be politically the wiser choice precisely because of that dynamic, but it's not a particularly honest argument either.