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  • I’ll double down on the economic ideas that failed to create broadly shared prosperity as well as the worst, most dead-end political strategies of the Obama Administration, but on the bright side I may die and give the Oval Office to whatever woman and/or person of color I pick as veep. Also I’m not Trump. Vote for me!

    I will of course vote for him over Trump but if he gets the nomination it will be because Democrats once again let themselves get told what they need to do. He offers nothing new. And the idea that his personal relationships with Republicans will let him succeed where the more charismatic/sophisticated/articulate Obama failed would be a joke if he didn’t firmly believe it.

    Lev filed this under: ,  

    It’s about rapidly unraveling faith that the system can hold any elite accountable. It’s about the fear that if Trump doesn’t have to pay for what he’s done then he’ll keep pushing the envelope and do more bad stuff. It’s about fear for the continuation of the republic.

    You can speak to these things without being in favor of impeachment but elite Democrats aren’t doing it. It’s almost as though having a bunch of people in charge of the Democratic Party happened to live through the longest stretch of stability and prosperity in US history can’t adjust to a different situation eight decades in.

    In conclusion, Biden 2020!

    Lev filed this under:  

    This is a propos of nothing, but I sometimes just forget that John Bolton is the National Security Adviser. I admit there are a lot of things to be just flummoxed about nowadays but it’s amazing the extent to which Trump finds people who were too bad/stupid/evil even for prior Republican administrations and just put them in there (and yes I do know that Bolton was Bush’s UN Ambassador for a while, but that was because Bush didn’t care about the UN and let Cheney put one of his toadies in there for a little while, before the 2006 midterms came and Bolton was dropped with extreme prejudice).

    I know it’s partially trolling the libs but the NSA isn’t a hugely public-facing position, and putting a hard-liner in there is going to determine the direction of foreign policy to a huge degree. I get having Rudy 9/11 troll liberals and work them into a lather, to an extent. But Bolton? It’s almost as though Trump has absolutely no ability to judge ability or character. Guess you gotta have it if you’re going to judge it.

    Lev filed this under:  

    Pete Buttigieg likes to style himself as Mr. Midwest but goddamn if this?isn’t the fifteenth freshest take from March of 2016. It’s almost as though he’s part of our glorious new perfect aristocracy and doesn’t actually have any specific or personal observations to make about what’s going on in the Rust Belt than anybody else!?Because, of course, not all of the Midwest is rotted out factories. I know this because I’ve been there a lot. Some parts of it are doing real well! Other parts are not doing well at all. Just like…California! I wrote about going to Fresno before, and it is a terrifying town, and one where I did worry about my safety in a way I never did in Wisconsin or Cleveland or Southwest Pennsylvania. And it’s a mere three hour drive from the Bay Area! Mayor Pete can’t seem to put in any personally observed details in his take on the working class though, and I’ll tell you why: because he doesn’t have any.

    But there is a point to this. Buttigieg is putting this view out there as part of his quest to win the elite white guy primary, which he’s doing an excellent job at. Brooks! Sully! Axelrod! And it will no doubt keep on growing. He’s succeeding exactly where Howard “Am I Still Running?” Schultz failed. Needless to say, implicitly blaming working class white voters for Trump is the natural choice for higher status white people who don’t want to admit that it was their friends (or themselves)?wot won it. Not that I’m blaming Buttigieg for it personally, but the evidence is pretty strong that Trump did better among working class people of all races and ethnicities than Romney did, not just white people in Michigan. Fact: Hillary Clinton did worse among union voters than any Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1980. This has a lot of factors behind it but not a small one is that virtually all Democrats have, over the past few decades, completely forgotten how to talk about class. In most recent elections this wasn’t much of a detriment—it’s not as though Mitt “47%” Romney knew how to use it as a wedge against Democrats—but when up against an opponent who did know how to talk about it…yeah, it didn’t turn out so great. If you want to fix that you probably want to find somebody who can speak well about class, and there are some out there. Mayor Pete is not one of them.

    Buttigieg is certainly not a favorite of mine. I’ll still vote for him if he’s the nominee (which I’m guessing he will be…for veep). But damn, if anybody thinks that this guy knows uniquely how to unlock the working-class white voter in the Midwest, you’re just fooling yourselves. Pundit speak instead of empirical detail, the basic worldview of the ruling class, a lot of talk but no real record at all…just don’t be surprised at how it turns out.

    Lev filed this under: ,  

    I’ve never paid enough attention to our wildly illegal “secret war” in Laos in the late 1960s.

    By the end of the U.S.’s 9 years of aerial attacks, [Laos] was the most bombed country in the history of the world. And since ? of the bombs failed to explode, 50,000 people were killed or maimed there in the decades after?the bombing stopped.

    How the hell do we keep doing shit like this and always come out with no burden of a reckoning?

    When figuring out how to put your yearly charitable donations to good use, helping Legacies of War stop the killing is a pretty great cause:

    Nearly forty years after the end of the U.S. bombing in Laos, more than 100 Laotian villagers — 40 percent of them children — are killed or maimed every year by unexploded cluster bombs. About 80 million cluster bombs contaminate around one third of the land in Laos, posing a constant threat to the people and their economic security.

    Donate here

    Metavirus filed this under: , ,  

    And they want impeachment so they can’t have it, much like the Green New Deal, single-payer, etc. Pretty much all that is going on here. Marshall’s take is a better idea than what they’re going with and they’d do wise to listen but while Pelosi is the best floor leader of the past few decades, she simply hasn’t changed since 2007. Her party has, but she’s sort of dug into denial about it. The Bush Administration probably should have ended in impeachment and jail sentences but even though it was worse materially than Trump’s has been to date, it wasn’t nearly the threat to the republic that Trump is. This is why pro-impeachment sentiment was marginal during those years but is unavoidable now.

    Also, if impeachment is the hippie position that must be avoided because we have protect them from themselves to avoid McGovern II, then there are an awful fucking lot of hippies out there nowadays. (Note: pre-Mueller poll.)

    Lev filed this under: ,  

    Never forget Spicey:


    I actually don’t agree with much of Judis’s take on why Buttigieg is up and Warren isn’t, though it’s a good question because the reason is the same in both cases. It’s pretty simple to me: Buttigieg is a master storyteller and in campaigns, as this blog has argued for ages, this is everything. Certainly it is in the primaries. It’s powerful enough to take a small-town mayor into serious contention for the nomination. I’ve become much less of a fan of the guy as it’s becoming clear that he’s being pushed by the absolute worst people out there (David Axelrod being the most recent), but he clearly understands how politics actually gets processed by humans. You have to connect emotionally first if you’re to have any hope.

    The odd thing is that I think Warren gets this too. She’s just not doing it. She seems to be trying to win the Vox primary by flooding the zone with white papers, which isn’t a bad thing by any means. But she’s been lacking in the storytelling, gut-level prowess on display in the viral video moments that made her one of the nation’s most popular politicians in the first place. Honestly, her Wells Fargo grilling or her “nobody got their on their own” moments were more memorable than any moment or rhetoric Bernie Sanders ever created. I thought she’d leave Sanders in the dust but her campaign seems like a more lefty version of Hillary’s, i.e. all head and no heart, but minus the massive empire of upper-middle and upper-class Boomer and early GenX women who think she’s a goddess. Not that she necessarily needs that (my guess is that virtually all of them are for Biden anyway) but without that sort of base you can’t just chase the votes of people who read white papers for fun. There just aren’t many of them.

    Given that I’d much rather prefer Warren to Biden or Sanders, it’s time for a change of direction for her. It’s certainly not too late, but there’s a change in thinking that needs to occur if she’s to have a shot.

    Lev filed this under: