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DMC

US Politics: Out in the Cold

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Maybe Democrats should provide funds to an "establishment Republican" to run as an independent in 2020? A pity Flake said he wouldn't run.

'tis a risky strategy, but if Trump doesn't get any real challenge in the primaries it may end up being a kinda viable option, no?

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7 minutes ago, Ran said:

Booker and Harris seem like the strongest possibilities at present. Beto as an outside, with the upside of being the sort of person who can bring out a lot of enthusiasm, but I'm honestly not sure he's going to be able to manage. All three have their negatives, though. 

For sure no one is perfect and so much depends on the debates and who gets traction. Beto does seem like someone who could flame out. I could see him winning Iowa and no other states.

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

Here's a fair, if brief, summary of Harris' prosecutorial record.  The article you quoted was a regurgitation of Lara Bazelon's NYT op-ed - the one whose methodology merely entailed lexisnexis'ing every problematic case Harris' office was involved in, then putting all the blame on her with no context.  That piece was a hit job - and an oppo dump - plain and simple.  Anyway, more important than the substantive pros and cons of Harris' record, the link above emphasizes:

This is echoed in some of the substantive complaints often highlighted.  She often worked to uphold cases where the prosecution fucked up the evidence?  She defended the state's death penalty law even though she opposed it?  These would be expected of any DA - and if she hadn't done these things she's be filleted by the right.

Actually, I like how it appears Harris leaning in to her prosecution background as she starts her campaign.  Intuitively, it is an advantage for a Democrat to have that protection against the "tough on crime" idiots once the general election hits.  Especially when facing a president that should, could, and would be prosecuted if he wasn't president.

There might be something in her record that is particularly concerning, or even disqualifying (although it clearly hasn't been found yet).  And she certainly may fail on the merits regardless.  But if the left rejects out of hand the candidate that plainly enjoys the broadest potential across all the constituencies needed to defeat Trump by caricaturing and dismissing her as "a cop," then - seriously - fuck the left.

I'm sorry, but I don't think the race and gender argument is going to fly for those Democratic primary voters who count criminal justice reform among their top-tier priorities. 

The reason I don't think it will fly is because I think those voters who vote on this issue are equal-opportunity critics of any prosecutor, DA or AG who argues or tacitly supports the argument that innocent people should stay in prison even though prosecutorial misconduct has been proved.

Here is an article about one such case. Note, the article is from 2015, long before Harris was being seriously discussed as a contender for the nomination.

Quote

California Judge H.A. Staley got it right. He found that Mr. Murray’s fabrication of “evidence”—falsifying the transcript of a confession during discovery and plea negotiations—was “egregious, outrageous, and . . . shocked the conscience.”

The trial judge saw no laughing matter—and neither should the rest of us. He dismissed the indictment completely, and in a scathing opinion, also quoted by the appellate court, wrote that the prosecutor’s actions “diluted the protections accompanying the right to counsel and ran the risk of fraudulently inducing defendant to enter a plea and forfeit his right to a jury trial.” The court refused to “tolerate such outrageous conduct that results in the depravation of basic fundamental constitutional rights that are designed to provide basic fairness.”

Quote

Undaunted by the criminal conduct of a state prosecutor, or the district court’s opinion, Ms. Harris appealed the decision dismissing the indictment. According to the California attorney general, only abject physical brutality would warrant a finding of prosecutorial misconduct and the dismissal of an indictment. Fortunately for all of us—and the Constitution—she lost again.

This doesn't mean that I don't think she can win the nomination, but she will need to convince the voters that her other qualities outweigh her negatives on this issue and using "white men do it too" as a defense kind of misses the whole point when it comes to criminal justice reform.

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1 minute ago, Darzin said:

For sure no one is perfect and so much depends on the debates and who gets traction. Beto does seem like someone who could flame out. I could see him winning Iowa and no other states.

If he wins Iowa it's hard to imagine him not winning Texas, even if he lost NH/SC/NV. 

And there are no perfect candidates.  Such a thing doesn't exist.  I think this crop is looking pretty good IMO, a lot better than the mediocre choices of 2004. 

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18 minutes ago, Darzin said:

 

I agree with those saying that trying to convert Trump voters is a lost cause, much better to boost turnout half the country doesn't vote it's much easier to run up your margins with them than try to bring Trump voters into the fold. 

It's not a lost cause. Sherrod Brown won easy in a Trump state that elected a new Republican governor who hitched himself to Trump's wagon. Problem is it took messaging which focused on the economy and jobs which isn't what coastal Dems seem interested in discussing. 

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Lindsay graham is suggesting that trump attach a debt ceiling raise to the next government shutdown in order to successfully blackmail democrats fro wall money. Republicans are starting to support this latest blackmail idea 

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/29/18202557/lindsey-graham-debt-ceiling-wall

 

—-

also, republican analysts have declared the Medicaid expansion a failure because in three years mortality numbers haven’t changed much—although all other markers of health and access to Healthcare have improved for expansion recipients.

But for republicans the only actual indicator of health  for poor people is “is you is or is you ain’t dead?”

https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-medicaid-value-20190129-story.html

 

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Also Kamala Harris has committed to a Medicare for all policy that she said would end private insurance and will kick everyone with insurance off their current policy, this is a remarkably unpopular approach for the road to single payer, and a fairly risky explicit commitment for her to make. Should be easy for Anyone not Bernie to shred her on this issue while tacking to a more gradual “automatic enrollment” social security type of approach to Medicare for all (with incentives for the laggards to switch out of the old system and into the new).

And the unions are really going to hate her wiping out their Cadillac health plans. She just lost a huge potential ally.

Edited by lokisnow

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1 hour ago, The Great Unwashed said:

I'm sorry, but I don't think the race and gender argument is going to fly for those Democratic primary voters who count criminal justice reform among their top-tier priorities. 

To clarify, when I say "the left," I mean as a large constituency bloc.  Not specific criminal justice IGs, or the handful of voters in which it's the top issue.  No problem with them voicing concerns and/or not supporting Harris.  It'd be kind of weird if they did, and in some cases I bet Harris wouldn't (and shouldn't) want the endorsement.

1 hour ago, The Great Unwashed said:

This doesn't mean that I don't think she can win the nomination, but she will need to convince the voters that her other qualities outweigh her negatives on this issue and using "white men do it too" as a defense kind of misses the whole point when it comes to criminal justice reform.

2 big problems with this:  First, while she has some clear negatives on criminal justice reform, she also has some concrete, substantive positives.  What about the other candidates' bona fides on cj reform?  Not much there.  And it's an entire reasonable argument for Harris to say she can affect much more change, and is obviously free to act on her own discretion, as a policymaker rather than as an officer of the court.

Second, yes, Harris took some objectionable positions.  But from what I've seen a lot of this is in the form of cautious position taking, which is usually an indicator of good potential candidate.  Generally, you want that characteristic in a presidential campaign (at least within the still somewhat sane party). 

I don't really blame Harris for this the same way I don't blame Beto for tacking to the right on some things because, ya know, he wanted to run statewide in Texas; or Booker and the Wall Street Guys cuz he wanted to get elected in New Jersey; or Gillibrand making a monumental pivot when she got appointed to the Senate that would make Wilt Chamberlain blush; or the litany of cringe-inducing blemishes on Biden and Sanders' very very long records.  If we're gonna start disqualifying politicians for sometimes being risk-averse because they have higher-office ambitions, then we're just asking to be governed by idiots.  Like the Republicans.

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2 hours ago, Zorral said:

To win a great deal must be done to rid the system of voter repression and gerrymandering and all the rest of the methods the rethugs have been mining for many a cycle to ensure the Dems don't win.  Is the party and the politicians willing to do that?  It seems all they are interested in is getting the nomination to run for themselves.  The hell with reformative legislation.  They're raising money and making speeches around the country and tv programs instead. In fact, one doubts that clowns like Schultz even know about voter repression and supression and gerrymandering.  Their ilk don't vote -- they donate to candidates.

You can blame gerrymandering for the House, you can't blame it for the republicans winning the presidency or the having a majority in the Senate. The electoral college and 2/state senate thing advantages Republicans but neither of them is a gerrymander. They are just structural flaws.

I was reading an article yesterday (lost the link) about some old guard Democratic party cadre looking to restore the traditional value of uncritical and unwavering support of Israel as a core element of the democratic party. It's a kneejerk reaction to those young Dems who range from BDS proponents, to strong critics, to supporters with significant and vocal concerns of Israel's actions wrt Palestine. The article talked about this unwavering Israel support group primarying any Democrat who dares to speak critically of Israel or show strong support to Palestine. They are cosying up to AIPAC.

This sounds like a good way to create [more] division and factionalism within the party, which no doubt will be immensely helpful to the Democrats in trying to win in 2020.

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Nope! They simply need to get more people voting on their side, and it's far more likely to get a chunk of the 40% who didn't vote for anyone last campaign than it is to get the 1% that voted for Trump. 

Yeah when  running in a election getting the most votes tend to be the aim man. A good portion of the people who voted for Trump in the last election voted for Obama in 2008, 2012 and voted democratic in the midterms. They can be flipped. It was arrogant to suppose they couldn't be flipped in 2016 and its arrogant to brush them all off as if there no hope to flip them back. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Mexal said:

No. I'm not disregarding them. I'm just not catering to them. I'm catering to the entire US and the policies that the Dems push forward and have been pushing forward do benefit white, high school educated, workers, which is very much the group you're talking about. Catering to them though with the bullshit immigration issues, the bullshit nationalism that doesn't work, with the bullshit healthcare appeals, is the wrong path forward. Stick with the economic and healthcare issues with them and hope they realize that everything Trump has done has actually made shit worse for them. A Bernie candidacy, which fails with women, suburban white men and minorities is a terrible idea.

I didn't say democrats need to be more xenophobic or nationalistic. That would only alienate Poc and probably cost them the election anyway,   I'm simply saying democrats should endeavor to win these voters back rather rely on the main  strategy they used last election that failed completely. Galvanizing the base is needed. But so is trying to winning back as many of those votes as they can rasher than just hope enough excitement is generated among the base to carry the day. 

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2 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I didn't say democrats need to be more xenophobic or nationalistic. That would only alienate Poc and probably cost them the election anyway,   I'm simply saying democrats should endeavor to win these voters back rather rely on the main  strategy they used last election that failed completely. Galvanizing the base is needed. But so is trying to winning back as many of those votes as they can rasher than just hope enough excitement is generated among the base to carry the day. 

I think they're going to rely on the strategy they used in 2018 rather than 2016.

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3 hours ago, lokisnow said:

Clinton doesn’t count since Ross Perot gifted him that win by weakening bush more in several states bush ultimately lost (and never saw coming), while the places Perot weakened Clinton more luckily were in places where he could absorb the loss and thus didn’t lose those states.

No.  This bullshit Shall. Not. Pass.  Really, the Perot myth?  538 bothered to edit a whole ten minute video on it because it's so stupid.  There's plenty of scholarly demonstrations of how wrong it is, and I even recall doing an exercise in a community college math class that demonstrated Perot didn't cost Bush the election.  But really, it all boils down to this simple fact:

Quote

Let’s start with the basics. Clinton was elected with 43% of the vote, to Bush’s 37.5%, a difference of nearly six million votes. To overtake Clinton in a two-way race, then, Bush would have needed to gain the lion’s share of the Perot vote, about two-thirds of it. But in the exit poll conducted on Election Day, just 38% of Perot’s backers said Bush was their second choice. Thirty-eight percent also said Clinton was. 

 

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Just now, DMC said:

No.  This bullshit Shall. Not. Pass.  Really, the Perot myth?  538 bothered to edit a whole ten minute video on it because it's so stupid.  There's plenty of scholarly demonstrations of how wrong it is, and I even recall doing an exercise in a community college math class that demonstrated Perot didn't cost Bush the election.  But really, it all boils down to this simple fact:

 

Yes and that’s like saying the president is elected by popular vote. Perots effect differed regionally state by state, and studying only the numbers averaged out nationally hides those shifts.

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3 hours ago, Darzin said:

Some are I've heard Beto talk about gerrymandering in Texas. 

I agree with those saying that trying to convert Trump voters is a lost cause, much better to boost turnout half the country doesn't vote it's much easier to run up your margins with them than try to bring Trump voters into the fold.

Those I was speaking of in that particular post were not the likes of Beto or Castro or even Sanders, but the Ilks of the Schultzes who call themselves centerist Dems -- what they really are: Guardians of My Own Fortune Must Make Sure No Goodies Flow To Those Who Aren't Me Because Holy Cow I Might Have A Million Dollars Less Or Treat My Employees Better and Pay Them More -- Bad! EviLe! Precedent!

For another discussion of this phenomenon here ya go:

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/01/howard-schultz-2020-inequality-is-less-of-a-realist-than-ocasio-cortez.html

Quote

 

But what makes Schultz’s pretensions to realism truly hallucinatory is this: Even if one stipulates that he is right about the appeal of centrism, and the evil of deficits, his own promises about fiscal policy would still be much more extravagantly “unrealistic” than the median democratic socialist’s.

In recent days, Schultz has promised to reduce economic inequality, end extreme poverty, cut the deficit, combat structural racism, and ensure that every American has access to quality health care — while keeping taxes on the rich near historic lows.

 

 

Edited by Zorral

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Just now, lokisnow said:

Yes and that’s like saying the president is elected by popular vote. Perots effect differed regionally state by state, and studying only the numbers averaged out nationally hides those shifts.

Right, cuz the state-by-state numbers are going to be that fundamentally different.  :rolleyes:

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34 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

You can blame gerrymandering for the House, you can't blame it for the republicans winning the presidency or the having a majority in the Senate. The electoral college and 2/state senate thing advantages Republicans but neither of them is a gerrymander. They are just structural flaws.

 

Voting is voting, right?  In your assigned district, right? Voter Repression, Voter Supression, Voter roll purging, Voter registration, are things in all elections, Not just for representatives to Congress.

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1 minute ago, Zorral said:

Voting is voting, right?  In your assigned district, right? Voter Repression, Voter Supression, Voter roll purging, Voter registration, are things in all elections, Not just for representatives to Congress.

I didn't mention those things. I only mentioned gerrymandering.

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6 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I didn't mention those things. I only mentioned gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is part of those things and is part of every election, from local on up.  You aren't making sense saying it has no effect on presidential elections.  It has a huge effect on the electoral college shenanigans.  

 

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2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

And there are no perfect candidates.  Such a thing doesn't exist.  I think this crop is looking pretty good IMO, a lot better than the mediocre choices of 2004. 

Thinking about it, I think this is not only the best presidential primary field since I've started voting, I think it's my favorite of my lifetime.  The only competition is 2008.  And, yeah, I'd take Obama before any of the current candidates.  But after that?  I always had a distaste for Hillary.  John Edwards always struck me as a sleazy car-salesman (nice way of saying sociopath).  Richardson, Biden, and Dodd were all actually very solid candidates on paper, but never had that umph (and Richardson had other problems).  Now, the list of candidates I'd be perfectly satisfied winning goes Harris, Gillibrand, Beto, Booker, Biden, Castro.  Don't think that list has ever been that long.  And, for comparison's sake, I'd take all six of those over Hillary in 2008.  For the omissions, I'd be very worried about electability if Sanders or Warren got the nomination, which is very unlikely.

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