Pelosi versus the Justice Democrats: What does it mean for 2020?

As you surely know if you’re a Democrat, the party is fracturing along progressive/moderate lines, with the “progressives” comprising four newly-elected but vociferous members of the Justice Democrats (JDs): Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts. Their stance to the left of “mainstream” Democrats has clearly influenced the Presidential candidates from that party, who, in their two debates, seem to compete to see who could be the most “woke”. (Of course, it’s common for a Democrat to campaign left but then, when nominated for the candidate, head more toward the center.)

The three articles below, from the Washington Post (first article) and New York Times (other two), recount the fractious relationship between these four and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (The Post article is behind a paywall, but is derived largely from Maureen Dowd’s piece in the NYT):

I take no pleasure in this battle, nor am I ignoring the perfidy, mendacity, and sheer stupidity embodied by Donald Trump. I’d vote for any Democrat in the race over Trump or, indeed, any Republican. But I’m worried that the widely-reported schism among Democrats in the House will hurt the chances of our defeating Trump in 2020.  Although the “progressives” are few, they are loud and adept on social media, and conservatives are gleefully pouncing on their statements and misssteps—and yes, they’ve had quite a few missteps, especially Ocasio-Cortez and Omar.

The thing is, I agree with many of the JD’s views: healthcare for all, greater attention to global warming, reform of immigration laws, and so on. But along with this ideological bent has come not only extreme positions, like calls for the abolition of Homeland Security (not just ICE), guardedly anti-Semitic statements, implicit calls for open borders, and demands for impeachment, that I either disagree with or am not sure about. The Justice Democrats don’t seem to have accomplished much via legislation, either, perhaps because they’re too involved on Twitter, and giving speeches to their choirs. But maybe their aim is not legislation, but influence. If that’s the case, what are they doing in Congress?

Besides this we see a palpable hubris of the JDs, derived from social media and their notion that they can steer the entire party toward their own positions. They overestimate their own power and influence, their ambition is arrant, and they often play the victim card whenever they’re criticized. In the Post piece, Ocasio-Cortez, after receiving some stinging and dismissive remarks by Pelosi (not undeserved), played the race card (my emphasis):

The four are struggling with the speaker’s moves to isolate them in recent weeks, according to interviews with the lawmakers, congressional aides and allies. Pelosi has made at least half a dozen remarks dismissing the group or their far-left proposals on the environment and health care. More recently she scorned their lonely opposition to the party’s emergency border bill last month.

And she defended those comments Wednesday, saying, “I have no regrets about anything. Regrets is not what I do,” doubling down on her claim that the group has little power in the House.

“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post. “But the persistent singling out . . . it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”

This is their typical response. But it carries absolutely no weight with me, for I don’t believe Pelosi is singling out this group because they are “people of color”. No, she’s singling them out because they’re splitting what should be and must be a unified party, and undermine the centrism needed to defeat Trump.

It’s okay to have an agenda farther left than that of most Democrats. It’s not okay to use that agenda to demonize or “primary” Democratic centrists at a time when the country is imperiled by perhaps the worst and most dangerous President we’ve ever had.

Don’t get me wrong: Pelosi isn’t perfect. She could have been harder on Trump, if not calling for a futile impeachment at least having a House vote to censure him. In his New York Magazine column this week, Andrew Sullivan excoriates Pelosi for being too kind to Trump, and not going after him or his minions like Jared Kushner. But Sullivan’s solution is not to adopt the platform of the Justice Democrats, but rather to start holding the feet of Republican malefactors to the fire:

Why impeach when the Senate will acquit? Why go to war now, when it might imperil electoral victory next year?

Here’s why. There is a strong possibility that Trump is going to win the next election. I know it’s early but the head-to-head polling against most of the Democratic candidates is very close — and that’s before the GOP has gotten to work on oppo research on those Democrats who aren’t well known. Incumbency in a strong economy is usually dispositive. The Dems have almost all decided to run further to the left than even Hillary’s woke-a-thon in 2016: free health care for illegal aliens, abolishing private health insurance, publicly funding abortions, declaring America in 2019 a product of white supremacy, etc. Their strategy seems designed to alienate every white person in the Midwest and give Trump another victory in the Electoral College. Only Biden has a serious polling advantage, and he’s looking frail and weak.

If Pelosi keeps playing it safe and Trump is reelected, it will set a precedent that a president can obstruct justice and be rewarded for it. He can avoid all serious congressional oversight and get away with it. The Congress will continue its journey as a withered limb in a Constitution that actually gives it pride of place, Article 1. And every time Trump gets away with another crime, or abuse of power, he is emboldened. Vindicated by re-election? God help us.

Here I can’t agree completely with Sullivan: by and large, I think Pelosi’s done a damn good job holding the Democrats together and pushing forward a legislative agenda that, while doomed for the nonce, is still liberal.

I cannot tell the Justice Democrats to shut up (I don’t like the term “progressive”, since many non-Justice Democrats also have a progressive agenda). They have the right to say what they want. But I can highlight the consequences of their words. If they keep highlighting their social-media power, saying hamhanded things, floating unrealizable programs, effectively calling for open borders, dissing Israel and Jews, and showing not a bit of humility about their status as novices with much to learn, they’re going to lose not just my support, but also threaten national support for every other Democrat. If you look at the conservative media, you’ll see “AOC” highlighted all over the place as a risible symbol of the “new” Democrats. I may be wrong (and hope I am), but that demonization by the GOP—and the JDs’ criticism of Pelosi and Democratic moderates—will solidify support for the Orange Man. It doesn’t help that the JD’s ideology has shifted most of the Democratic candidates for President further Left, to a point where the uncommitted voters, or those who don’t much care for Trump, might vote for him to avoid having a Woke President.

Which is better: pushing for Democratic unity so that we get even a moderate Democratic President, or the possibility of losing the election by favoring programs that aren’t realistic—programs pushed largely on Twitter? (Twitter, by the way, is a tool of the young, not of the average Democratic voter).

What we have here, I think, is a Hobson’s choice. Pelosi is right to try to hold the party together, even at the expense of dissing a small cabal of self-important tweeters.

I’m sure many readers will disagree. By all means, do so in the comments below, but, as always, I request a civil discussion.

************

ADDENDUM: Here’s a tweet—or rather two tweets—instantiating the controversy between most House Democrats and the Justice Democrats.  Chakrabarti is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, and “House Democrats” is the official Twitter account of the House Democratic Caucus.

191 Comments

  1. Posted July 13, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I, for one, have pretty much run out of patience for “the squad”. I think they have an excellent chance of screwing up the next election for us with their leftism.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      At some point all the good names are taken, and it’s unfortunate that this faction isn’t aware enough to know that Mussolini’s bully boys were called squadristi.

    • Deodand
      Posted July 14, 2019 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      I prefer the term “Gang of Four”, it seems more appropriate. While they may have thousands of twitter followers, the problem is that those followers agree with everything they say. What they believe in is diversity of appearance and uniformity of thought, rather like this old Coke commercial…

      There is a recent interview on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Educations podcast where they discuss excactly where people like the “Gang of Four” may have got their ideas and what those ideas lead to, spoilers, it’s not pretty at all…

      https://www.thefire.org/so-to-speak-podcast-professor-samuel-abrams-wrote-an-op-ed-encouraging-viewpoint-diversity-then-came-the-fallout/

  2. Harrison
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    There are a lot of people mad at Pelosi because of her unwillingness to bring any weapon to bear other than snark against the present administration.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I completely agree with Andrew Sullivan on this. Not holding Trump accountable sets a dangerous precedent.

    • Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      I think the idea is to hold Trump accountable by defeating him in 2020. With a Republican Senate and a Republican SCOTUS, that seems to me to be the way to go.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        And that paves the way for the next person to flaunt the law and get away with it. Why have laws if you aren’t going to enforce them? Sure, it may seem like a good strategy but how confident is everyone in that strategy? What happens when Trump isn’t defeated and he wasn’t held accountable?

        • Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          How do you propose to do that? Even if the House votes to impeach, which isn’t certain, the Senate will not convict. Best thing to do is get the bastard out of office and then deal with him as an ordinary citizen in the courts.

          • tomh
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            “Best thing to do is get the bastard out of office and then deal with him as an ordinary citizen in the courts.”

            And there’s no reason that can’t still be done. It’s not an either/or proposition.

            • Greg Geisler
              Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

              The theory behind an impeachment trial is not that Trump will be impeached (he won’t be) but that the public presentation of his wrongdoings will influence voters. Not pursuing this increases the apathy that resulted in 117 million people not voting in 2016. When the pols are not held accountable it translates to “what’s the point in voting?”.

              • JohnE
                Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

                None of us are clairvoyant, and reasonable minds can certainly differ on what the effect would be if the House impeaches and the Senate acquits, but the concern Pelosi sees is that Trump will flaunt his acquittal as another complete “exhoneration,” and the ignorant or disinterested masses will assume he is correct.

              • Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

                … the public presentation of his wrongdoings will influence voters.

                You remember “No Collusion!”, right?

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted July 13, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

                If tRump was convicted on 99 charges of bank robbery and exonerated on one charge of creating a disturbance, he would loudly claim to have won the case.

                😦

                cr

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            People get to hear all the things he has done….even people in the bubble. Nixon’s impeachment trials sealed his fate. People were on the fence about him until they heard what he had done.

            • Posted July 15, 2019 at 3:59 am | Permalink

              What impeachment trials? Nixon wasn’t impeached, he resigned when it became certain he would be impeached and the physical evidence had come to light that he was as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo.

              I would seriously doubt that Trump has allowed anything as incriminating as the Watergate Tapes to exist. Impeachment of Trump would have to be based on personal testimony, a lot of which would come from people who have gone to prison, or who are going to prison for lying i.e. Trump could paint them as unreliable or out to get him.

              When he gets acquitted by the Senate, he’ll be able to say “see, I was innocent”.

              Impeachment is a pointless waste of time. Get him booted out of office in 2020 and then start proper criminal trials for whatever crimes he has committed.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

                “I would seriously doubt that Trump has allowed anything as incriminating as the Watergate Tapes to exist.”

                It all exists in plain sight. There is way more than enough for impeachment if Watergate is the standard.

                Failing to impeach because it is expected that the Senate will not convict is not justifiable, IMO. It totally abandons the only Constitutional tool we have to remove a criminal President. I don’t think there will ever be a more appropriate case for using it.

                It doesn’t matter that Trump will claim vindication. He will do that no matter what. He would do that after being convicted of crimes in a “proper” criminal trial. He’s tRump.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

                +1

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

                Where are these tapes in plain sight? I don’t see any.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

                Did I say Nixon was impeached – impeachment process then. It is well known and documented that opinion went way down from apathy to outright disdain toward Nixon and it played a part in him leaving office.

              • tomh
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

                You’re right, of course. Instead of a smorgasbord of legislative investigations, that Trump can simply refuse to cooperate with, a formal impeachment inquiry needs to begin.

                In the Watergate era, a formal impeachment inquiry was begun in 1974 when the House passed a resolution to authorize the Judiciary committee to investigate whether crimes had been committed by the WH. Nixon refused to comply with their subpoenas but courts enforced them and testimony and evidence was brought to light that completely changed public opinion.

                Without a focussed inquiry, the scattered investigatons that are taking place will go nowhere.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

                Because of the evidence against him. Trump won’t have left any tapes.

              • Posted July 15, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

                Sure. Shaming Trump has worked a lot. It’s also caused his supporters to lose confidence in him. Sure. That’s the proven method.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

                It’s not about shaming Trump. Narcissists and Sociopaths have low empathy and therefore no shame. It’s about following the Constitution and enforcing the law regardless of what Trump feels.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

                @Jeremy… why are you hung up on tapes? Evidence comes in all forms. Mueller’s report is chock-a-block full of it.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

                Murller’s report is chock full of personal testimony. It does not, however, address Trump’s motivation in any concrete way. With the Watergate tapes you had physical recordings of the President actually conspiring. You don’t have that here.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

                If cases required tape recordings to proceed, our courts would be mostly empty.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

                This isn’t a trial in the normal sense of the word. We know that the Senate is going to acquit pretty much already. The only way this is a win is if the evidence is undeniable, if it can’t be spun. You need Trump’s voice admitting he is deliberately obstructing justice.

                We know anything less is not enough, because “anything less” is already in the Mueller report and Trump is doing fine.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

                Well, Jeremy, we have had three impeachments in the US. Only one of them involved tape recordings. I don’t understand why you are so hung up on audio recordings.

                What we need is a forum that lays out evidence clearly for the public. Impeachment provides that. Even if the evidence isn’t a voice recording.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

                It’s not audio recordings specifically, it’s actual physical evidence of Trump’s guilt. What you have now in the Mueller report is not enough. For example, Trump fired James Comey. The evidence that exists about that doesn’t meet the test of malicious intent. What evidence can you envisage that would prove malicious intent other than a recording of Trump saying it or a document written by him saying it.

                I know you guys really want to believe you’ve got him by the balls but the reality is that you don’t yet.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

                We’re not talking about indictment….an impeachment proceeding would bring out a lot of evidence we haven’t seen yet and it just might show it to people in the Fox bubble.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

                Would it? Why would there be any new evidence that is not in the Mueller report? I admire your optimism, but every step of the way on this crappy journey has been littered with the unfulfilled hopes of optimists who thought the latest thing would lead to Trump’s downfall.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

                Of course it would – Trump could be forced to reveal his tax returns which hasn’t been something anyone has been able to force on him so far and that’s just getting started. All the investigations spawned from the Mueller report would be made public and all the misdeeds would be presented daily and televised. It’s a different situation when the president can’t control the narrative so well – his staff may even be able to curtail his tweets and even if they don’t, who cares! It will incriminate him further AND people will continue to want impeachment as the proceedings progress if the Nixon proceedings are anything to go by.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

                What makes you think Trump’s tax returns show evidence of criminality? Wouldn’t he have already been convicted of tax fraud if his tax returns showed any evidence of such? Note: I’m not saying he has not committed fraud, only that his tax returns won’t show that he has.

                I’m sorry, I have been told so many times that such and such will be Trump’s downfall, only to see it have no effect at all, that I simply will not believe anybody who says there is Trump destroying evidence until it actually destroys him. And neither should you.

                As of now, the only way to get rid of him that has any significant chance of working is to vote him out in 2020.

              • merilee
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

                Don’t you suspect that his taxes show him to be much less wealthy than he spouts?

              • Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

                Is it illegal to pretend you are richer than you really are? Will it make any difference to his political base?

              • merilee
                Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

                I think it might embarrass him “bigly”.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

                The point is neither you, me or the rest of the public know what that evidence was is. I used the tax returns as an example of what could be brought forward that hasn’t yet. To me, having the evidence, nine of which we know of because it has no way of being released ans explained, presented can be nothing but good. Saying “well the Mueller report wasn’t enough so let’s just not bother enforcing the law” seems like a grave error. It’s especially erroneous to assume because you haven’t seen any evidence there is no evidence to be seen.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

                “What makes you think Trump’s tax returns show evidence of criminality? Wouldn’t he have already been convicted of tax fraud if his tax returns showed any evidence of such?”

                There was a pretty good article in the NYT about enforcement actions against the very rich and how infrequently they go anywhere. https://tinyurl.com/y3le6bn3 The Republicans especially squeezed the IRS for resources in my opinion. My ex-congressman, Peter Roskam, spent untold time and constituent newsletters bragging about his work in “stopping” the IRS from persecuting people. A quick google search will show you other articles from The Atlantic, ProPublica, and Forbes for example detailing how hard it is to audit the ultra-wealthy.

                So basically, no, the chances of his having been convicted if he had done something appear to be pretty low.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

                Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, Jeremy. Evidence supporting what Mueller reports hasn’t been made public. That’s the value of impeachment hearings.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

                Just because you wish it exists doesn’t mean it does exist.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

                Jeremy, at this point I’m not sure who you are addressing. But we know that supporting evidence hasn’t been made public because the issue of showing it to Congress is an active issue. A report is a report. It is not the evidence upon which the report was written.

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

                Do you think there is any evidence of the quality of the Watergate tapes to be found? I don’t. I think , if Trump is good at one thing, it’s distancing himself from the illegal activities done on his behalf.

                You can believe that this magic Trump destroying evidence exists if you like, but I would put money on it that there isn’t enough to damage him politically.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

                I’m not clairvoyant like you, Jeremy. I want to see the evidence that supports the 10+ cases of obstruction of justice that Muller’s report describes.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

                +1. You simply can’t say “there is no evidence”. You know how you actually find out if there is evidence? By conducting impeachment proceedings that call for evidence.

              • Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

                I’ve probably gone too far already in respect of da Roolz, so this is my last post on this thread:

                I want to see Trump booted out of office. Impeachment isn’t going to do that. Voting might. Hand Trump the victory of being acquitted and voting might not. I think a failed impeachment and trial will be disastrous.

                Trump voters already have the evidence that he likes sexually assaulting women, is a failed business man, is a racist and so much more, but they still vote for him. A failed impeachment is just going to be spun as the narrative that the Dems are out to get him.

          • Posted July 14, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            When I was in junior high school, there was a gang of kids who would do things like throw my books and homework down the hall. One day I fought one of them. I “lost” in that I got more bruises than he did. Guess what happened after that.

            Sometimes you can win by “losing”. People can be deterred even if what happens to the first perpetrator is not so bad, because who knows how it will work out next time?

            With Trump, not only do we get some deterrence for the next president, but we get to expose Trump’s sleaze to the vast middle of the public who only glance at headlines occasionally. They will get an education, even just glancing at headlines.

        • Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          +1

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Big risk and still a dangerous precedent. What happens when Trump wins another term and is embolden by the lack of impeachment?

        • Mike Anderson
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          The counter argument is that a failed impeachment would help Trump win again. Trump will frame a failed impeachment as YUGE win.

          These calculations are above my pay grade, so I defer to people like Nancy Pelosi.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            And not impeaching doesn’t guarantee a win and sends the message that laws are not enforced so therefore don’t matter. It’s like saying, “we won’t convict that guy of committing fraud in our company, we’ll just fire him” although it’s worse because you might not be able to fire him.

            • Mike Anderson
              Posted July 13, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

              It’s like saying, “we won’t convict that guy of committing fraud in our company, we’ll just fire him”

              I think it’s more like saying, “we won’t indict him because we know he won’t be convicted.” And that’s a very common scenario in our justice system.

              • Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

                Agreed. If we could convict him, I’d be all in. Instead we’ll have no conviction and Trump claiming vindication.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 13, 2019 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

                Then accept all that follows.

              • tomh
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

                “I think it’s more like saying, “we won’t indict him because we know he won’t be convicted.” And that’s a very common scenario in our justice system.”

                And that judgment is made after a thorough investigation and all the facts are known. In this case you’re making that decision before the investigation.

              • Mike Anderson
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

                I’m making a prediction based on the behavior of the current Senate and the need to get 67 Senators to vote to convict.

                And I’m not making this prediction “before the investigation” – we’ve had plenty of investigation and can see how the Senate has reacted to it. In a normal criminal trial there is plenty to convict, but impeachment isn’t a normal criminal trial, it’s a political vote.

                Maybe there is an undiscovered bombshell that would change the mind of the GOP Senate, but I think the odds of that are very slim.

              • tomh
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

                Right, so let’s just let Trump proclaim innocence, issue blanket orders that no one will testify before Congress, refuse to comply with subpoenas, refuse to supply any documents pertinent to investigations in the name of “no legislative purpose,” all because the Senate won’t convict him no matter how guilty.

                I happen to disagree with this strategy. A formal impeachment inquiry would force testimony from relevant witnesses and material that is being withheld into the open. I happen to think there is value in this.

              • Mike Anderson
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

                A formal impeachment inquiry would force testimony from relevant witnesses and material that is being withheld into the open.

                If impeachment would give the House greater leverage with that, then I’d agree, but I’m not sure it does.

              • tomh
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

                Courts have always given far greater weight to enforcing compliance with subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry, rather than when they are simply legislative investigations. The most obvious example was the unanimous Supreme Court decision forcing Nixon to turn over tapes refuting his claims of executive privilege.

              • Mike Anderson
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

                Courts have always given far greater weight to enforcing compliance with subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry

                “Always”? It’s never happened before. The subpoenas SCOTUS upheld, forcing Nixon’s to turn over more tapes, stemmed from a criminal case by the DOJ, not congressional inquiries. The criminal case wasn’t against Nixon, and there’s nothing to indicate that the existence of an impeachment inquiry had any effect on the decision. Remember, articles of impeachment came after that SCOTUS decision.

              • tomh
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

                The articles came after, but the formal inquiry was opened six months before. The decision was made in the context of impeachment.

                Once an inquiry is opened, wheels are set in motion, that the WH would be unable to stop. Their objections go directly to the SC, the Chief Justice, in fact, who would decide if the subpoenas were relevant to the investigation. It’s past time to do it.

              • Mike Anderson
                Posted July 15, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

                The Chief Justice presides over the impeachment trial by the Senate. There’s no provision for fast-tracking subpoenas by the House in an impeachment inquiry.

                It’s not clear what additional leverage the House gains by impeachment. Some legal experts are arguing that it would provide some extra leverage, others are saying it wouldn’t. It’s uncharted territory and nothing about it is clear.

              • Posted July 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

                First, what kind of horrifying detail do you think an investigation will reveal that hasn’t been hinted at already. And second, please tell me what twenty Republican senators you feel are likely to change their vote in response to this information. Which twenty free thinking souls do you think are going to wake up one morning and declare they’ve had enough.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Seems we in the U.S. don’t like holding Presidents accountable once they leave office…at least not since Nixon, and he got pardoned. But think of the crimes that Reagan and both Bush’s committed that were never investigated. Obama dropped the ball by not investigating the lies and cover-ups leading to the Iraq invasion. Will Trump’s replacement hold him accountable once he’s out of office? Doubt it.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, and politicians aren’t alone among the powerful who escape justice. Nobody from Wall Street took a fall for the rapacious fuckery the led to the 2008 financial disaster, either.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          Good point.
          “rapacious fuckery” …Man, that’s good.

      • Harrison
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Obama kept trying to make peace with Republicans despite their declaration from day one that their only goal was to destroy him. If anyone but Biden should win, I think it will be clear that reaching across the aisle is these days as absurd as reaching into a campfire and complaining that you got singed.

        The new political calculus is win at all costs and make the losers suck it up.

      • Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Under Obama’s AG, Eric Holder, the constitutional right of due process was in abeyance. Obama himself ordered the extra-judicial killings (a.k.a., “assassinations”) of US citizens.

        He conducted thousands of drone strikes, including ‘double-tap’ strikes, that were war crimes under the Hague and Geneva conventions.

        His continued operation of Gitmo was illegal under either international, or Federal criminal, law, pick one.

        I could go on.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 14, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          You do know that it was Congress that prevented Obama from closing Gitmo, don’t you?

          • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            Obama promised to close Gitmo in his first 100 days in office. All it needed was an executive order. What, exactly did the GOP do in 2009 to prevent that?

            • GBJames
              Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

              Honestly, Matt, there was an Internet in 2009 and news stories from the time are easily found. Someday I’ll introduce you to my friend Mr. Google who can find old news reports for you if you ask.

              CONGRESS OVERWHELMINGLY VOTES TO BLOCK GUANTÁNAMO CLOSURE

              House votes to block Obama from releasing any more Guantanamo detainees

              • Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

                Did you even read your own citation? First, it’s from 2015 — I asked you who stopped Obama from fulfilling his campaign promise in 2009.

                Second, it contains this:

                As former Obama administration lawyers Gregory Craig and Cliff Sloan argued in a Washington Post opinion piece on Saturday, Obama doesn’t need Congress’s permission. “Under Article II of the Constitution, the president has exclusive authority to determine the facilities in which military detainees are held. Obama has the authority to move forward. He should use it,” they wrote.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

                I think you miss the point. Congress passed legislation to prevent Gitmo closing. Framing this as a “he could have just used executive order if he wasn’t a hypocrite” (yeah… I’m paraphrasing what I think your position is) is disingenuous. It ignores political reality of the time. If he had acted thus he would likely have run into the congressional buzz saw that he ran into anyway. Too many people were skeered that terrorists would sneak out of prison in Oklahoma and come get their children.

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think an impeachment without an indictment by Senate would be holding him accountable.

      • Mike Anderson
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        ^ I meant “impeachment without conviction by Senate wouldn’t be holding him accountable.”

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Impeachment does hold you accountable. Much more so than doing nothing.

        • tomh
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          The queston of conviction is irrelevant. Opening a formal impeachment inquiry gives the House much more power to force the White House to produce documents and witnesses. As it stands now, the WH has issued a blanket refusal to allow testimony or produce documents, on the grounds that Congress has no “legitimate legislative purpose” for requesting the materials. Courts (including the SC) have given broad scope to the inquiry power of the House in impeachment proceedings compared to more confined scope in legislative investigations. That’s how Watergate materials were made public. This should have been done months ago.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Yes I agree!

          • Mike Anderson
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think Trump will comply with impeachment subpoenas any more than he is complying with non-impeachment subpoenas. It would need to be resolved by the courts, as is currently the case.

            • tomh
              Posted July 13, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

              Of course, and the courts are much more empowered to enforce these things if it’s a formal impeachment inquiry.

  4. Seriosity
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I always said that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the Left’s young Sarah Palin. What a gift for the GOP. Republicans are as cool as cucumbers because of her.

    • tomh
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Unlike Palin she was elected to Congress. And she hasn’t been nominated for VP.

    • Greg Geisler
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      That’s really unfair and inaccurate. Despite her idealism, AOC has demonstrated that she reads and she has communication skills that are levels above what Palin has.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        I’ve also seen nothing to suggest that AOC is grifting for personal enrichment, unlike Governor Half-Term from Wasilla.

      • Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        She reads Jacobin, and thinks the US didn’t have free public education until the 1960s.

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I liked Peggy Noonan’s piece this week where she called Cortez “a one-woman committee to re-elect the president.”

    • tomh
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      You and thousands of Trumpites.

      • DrBrydon
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        On the contrary, I want her to stop messing things up so I can vote for Biden. We need an electable Democratic candidate. Cortez is so impressed with herself that she can’t be bothered to learn how her new job works.

        • tomh
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Well, I hope Biden doesn’t come close to the nomination. And Cortez doesn’t know how her job works? Based on what?

      • BJ
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        You’re right, all us people who have never voted for anyone but Dems and desperately want Trump gone are nothing but “Trumpites” because we disagree with you and, goodness forbid, once agreed with something Peggy Noonan wrote.

        Your response is part of the problem Jerry is outlining.

        • tomh
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Seriously? Because I pointed out that this was an opinion that Trump supporters would approve of, I’m part of some… problem? That’s an odd conclusion to draw.

  6. Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Pelosi initially made a mistake by thinking she could appease that little narcissist by tossing her a few bones. Smacking AOC and her radical leftist posse is belated but necessary.

    • Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I assume we mean “narcissist” in the colloquial sense, not the medical one. Aren’t all politicians narcissists, in that usage? Aren’t all public figures?

      Seems like more ad hominemmatt hominem, if you will – hot air directed at people with whom we disagree.

      Isn’t it interesting how humans are? If someone speaks their truth to power when we agree, they are brave truth-tellers.

      In my opinion, language invoking physical violence against women of color is uncouth at best – and all four members of the “radical” “posse” are women of color!

      Maybe I’m just being a big SJW cuck. I mean, “it’s past time she got smacked” is something only misogynistic pigs say, but, in this one post, it’s a coincidence. Please.

      LOL “No.”

      • merilee
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Posted July 13, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        I consider your comment a violation of Rule #8 of this site’s code of conduct.

        • Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Is it insulting to note that words suggesting a woman be “smacked” is misogynistic? I’m insulting the words, not a person. If the words want me to call the waaaahmbulance to take them to a safe space, too bad. If the commenter wants to explain “no, I didn’t mean ‘smacked’ in that way,” this would be illuminating and might get a response of “oh, all right then.”

          I’m not the one suggesting a prominent woman needed to get “smacked.” Shall I dig around to find a comment where it’s suggested a white male needs to be “smacked” for, say, enabling the imprisonment and torture of child refugees from despotic governments, impoverishment, and the effects of climate change? I bet I won’t find one!

      • Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        It’s clear that “smacking” here is verbal smacking, like “smack down”. At any rate, it is a Roolz vioation to call someone who posts like this a “misogynist pig”. You could have made your point without name-calling.

        You will apologize or you won’t post here again. I will give you an opportunity to rewrite your post, but consider that saying “smack” in this way and analogizing it to physical violence is the same as saying that calling some event “crazy” is an insult to the mentally ill. You have gone to far.

        I, too, abhor violence, but this is not a call for violence, as the poster is just saying that Pelosi needed to verbally smack down the posse.

        • Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          As the request came from the host, of course, I apologize.

          • Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            Are you apologizing just so you can keep posting, or are you sorry for misinterpreting a verbal smack as a physical smack? I wouldn’t normally ask, but your “non apology” comment just before this one suggests that you don’t have any problem with what you said.

      • pablo
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        So Pelosi is a racist for criticizing them, and Matt is a misogynist for approving of Pelosi criticizing them? Enjoy Trump’s second term because it’s people like you who are going to get him re-elected.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          Oh come off it with the “it’s people like you” comments. That’s the second one on this thread like that. Maybe it’s people like you who make “people like you” generalizations that cause the division.

          • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            Sadly, I encounter more of “these people” every day — far leftists with a manichaean view of the world, where everyone who is not far left is de facto far right. (NB: the far left represent c. 8% of the electorate.)

            That attitude is tearing the nation apart, and also ensuring the Dem nominee will be too far left to win the general election.

  7. tomh
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I don’t think demonization of progressives by the GOP should even be a consideration. Before the last Congressional elections, they demonized Pelosi to a degree seldom seen in modern times and we saw how much good that did them.

    That being said, I’ve been disappointed with Pelosi, who seems to think playing it safe and pandering to old-time, standard Democratic stalwarts will win the day. It won’t.

  8. merilee
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Sub

    • GBJames
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Ya.

      • merilee
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        ?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          GBJ is creatively “sub”ing.

          • GBJames
            Posted July 14, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Indeed. Thought I’d save a keystroke. Led to confusion. Unwise.

  9. Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    If the Democrats wanted to be 100% certain they can defeat Trump, they should nominate Michael Bloomberg even though he decided to not be a candidate. He’s an environmentalist, he is for free trade, and he is very pro-business. Millions of Republicans who hate Trump would vote for Bloomberg.

  10. Eli Siegel
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Bill Maher said the Republicans win because they stick together and they cheat.

  11. Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Watch for Repubs to suddenly take a passionate interest in opposing (leftist) antisemitism and split the Dems between those who genuinely oppose it, and those who don’t know what it is — because they think there really is a global conspiracy that all Jews are complicit in, and think they’re being told to apologise for “speaking the truth to power”. This form of abject stupidity has already destroyed the UK Labour Party, and it will hit the Dems too, though maybe not as hard.

    In general, I feel sorry for friends in the US having to watch their democracy being dismantled in broad daylight (contrary to how the WaPo thinks it happens). Dems would have been better off, I think, openly treating Trump for what he is — boring, predictable and totally ignorant. I think many in the US still haven’t woken up to the profound danger their country is in — having already fallen off a cliff, the question is how far will it be allowed to wade out into the ocean. Trump is too stupid to implement fascism, much as he would love to emulate his superiors. Whoever follows him will start with all the safety mechanisms dismantled, and will have a better idea of the what can be done with the apparatus of the NSA, an immensely powerful military and a bunch of nukes.

    Call me paranoid, but I saw what happened to Khashoggi and that poor fellow captured by the North Koreans, and I saw the way the US timidly capitulated while the president looked on with fascination.

    The US is sunk and the only question is how much damage it will do to the rest of the world in the coming years.

    • Historian
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I agree generally with your analysis, but I would wait until after the next election before conceding that the nation is sunk. The times are perilous, indeed, but we should not yet sink into despair.

    • A C Harper
      Posted July 14, 2019 at 3:33 am | Permalink

      As a UK citizen I look on at the USA main parties apparently schisming over policy issues. Much like the main parties in the UK (although over different policy issues).

      Arguably who you voted for (still just within living memory) depended on the colour of your collar (yes, I realise that is a stereotypical argument). Now there are far more ‘issues’ in play.

      I don’t think the main parties can go back to the time to when each party and their supporters hung together ‘naturally’. Perhaps more, smaller, more focused parties will emerge…

      • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        Our electoral system stifles the development of multiple, smaller parties.

        What could arise is a grand coalition of the center, where moderates eschew the stridency & zealotry of both the far left and far right.

        Actually, it must arise, or we’re done for.

  12. Historian
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I ignore pundits, of which there is no shortage, who predict with absolute confidence how the election will turn out. Many of them will be wrong, but will fearlessly go on spewing out their political “wisdom” since they will suffer no consequences for their blather. The fact is that it is impossible to say with confidence what will happen. Pelosi realizes that elections can turn on many little things. She knows that the best chance of a Democratic victory hinges on keeping the coalition together while expanding it. Hence, she cannot alienate any faction. Her task is much more difficult than for the Republicans because the latter’s base has only one faction that needs to stay loyal: white people, most of whom are old and religious. AOC and her cohort, although small in number in the House of Representatives, do speak for a growing number of Democrats, particularly those who are likely to vote in the Democratic primaries. Pelosi needs to tread carefully. She is touted as a consummate political operative. This remains to be seen. She has resisted impeachment while more and more Democrats want it. I have no idea if Pelosi’s strategy will work in light of the situation where many Democrats are viewing the House Democrats as moral cowards.

    It is rational for moderate Democrats to fear that AOC and company could be helping Trump. This is not because the Democratic candidate will lose the opportunity to win over Trump voters or lose Democratic loyalists, whether progressive or moderate. Those who think the Democrats should spend resources trying to win over Trump voters are delusional. This will not happen regardless of what the Democrats do. The Trump cult is unmovable. The real danger is that a too leftist candidate will suppress turnout of those generally disgusted with Trump and largely approve of the Democratic agenda, i.e., people who have rarely voted in the past or the relatively few true independents. Lower turnout was one factor that did in Hillary Clinton in 2016, particularly in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Tom Edsall, an NYT columnist that I truly respect, notes that “the key role of the Democratic nominee in this cycle will be to drive turnout.”

    I have argued before that I am cautiously optimistic that the Democrat will prevail because I believe that Trump has done nothing to expand his base. If the Democrats don’t self-destruct and manage to expand turnout, they can win in the key battleground states. Things can change and I wouldn’t bet my first or last dollar on a Democratic win. If the Democrats blow it, more than an election will be lost, but maybe democracy itself.

  13. Linda Calhoun
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I question whether this “split” is all that real.

    The media, print and social, thrive on conflict. If conflict exists, and it does, it will be magnified and weaponized, just for the sake of hits.

    I’d be willing to bet that all the participants understand that unity will be required in the end. I don’t think that expressing multiple viewpoints is a bad idea, and I think that the right-wingers are going to play this up no matter what the participants do or don’t do.

    All Congressmen and women not only have to look at the Presidential possibilities, they also have to represent their districts. The four women being spotlighted now got elected based on their views, and those districts are to the left of many. One of our Congresswomen comes from NM2, which has been in Republican hands for many years, and her win was a great surprise to many of us. Yes, she is a D, but she still comes from the most conservative area in our state, and has to be cognizant of that as she makes her way to (hopefully) reelection.

    Ideas can and should fly freely, be examined, debated, picked apart, evaluated, and reassembled. The rancor is in my estimation at least 50% manufactured.

    L

    • BJ
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      “The four women being spotlighted now got elected based on their views…”

      I don’t know. At least three of them (Omar, AOC, and Tlaib) waited until after they were elected to express quite a few of their views, including their views on Israel. And Omar’s past didn’t come out until after the election. I wonder if the elections, particularly for Omar, would have gone a bit differently, as her withholding was clearly a calculated move (she started talking about Israel, BDS, etc. only a week after being elected, and she hasn’t slowed down a bit). Perhaps not, but there was a very clear intention to hide certain views from the electorate.

  14. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I think it is far too early to worry about this. The democrats have always had far left side and they have always had a moderate and almost conservative side. That does not mean they cannot or will not get together to beat the idiot in the white house. If they don’t get along when it come to the vote, they don’t deserve it.

    The idea that they should part ways before voting to defeat the republicans is really a party that wants defeat. Whether it is Biden, Warren, Harris or whoever, the democrats should rally like hell and vote and vote. To do anything else is just foolish. Why would Bernie or Warren think they can simply take office and accomplish all the things they want. Anyone who believes that is crazier than I. So everyone just take a deep breath, stop going nuts over every little thing you read about this stuff and wait.

    I hear some saying the far left wants to get some things done right now in congress. Well that is a pipe dream. Take a look. Nothing is getting past the Senate as long as the republicans have the majority. They can pass stuff all day in the house but it is going nowhere.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      I lean toward this view. If they are still bawling just before the election, I will be very worried.

  15. Roo
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I think part of the problem is that the Democrats and Republicans are getting close to being about half of the voting population combined (with Independents as the other half,) while our two party political system would seem to be set up more for a country that is made up largely of Democrats and Republicans. My guess is that most moderates these days self-identify as Independents, leaving those with views that are farther Left or Right left as the bases of both political parties and thus polarizing them – at the same time, however, the majority middle is key for either group (unless they are in a diehard Blue or Red district) at the polls, creating a conflict between what plays well to the base and what will succeed at the polls.

  16. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    We Democrats are too quick to clutch our pearls over any internecine conflict. Some intra-party dispute is good for the Party body politic, airing contentious issues and moving the Overton Window.

    We’re also too concerned about appealing to moderates and independents. I’ve been guilty of this myself, tergiversating on the steps the Party should take to lure disaffected Democrats who voted for Trump back into the fold. The fact of the matter is that this nation is overdue for a shift to the left, though it needn’t be a lurch, nor upset our institutions and norms. But the nation needs to escape the right-wing rut it’s been in since the days of Reaganism.

    Hell, the last two Democratic presidents governed essentially as mid-20th-century Republicans. Bill Clinton ran for president in ’92 by executing retarded Arkansas inmate Ricky Ray Rector to show he was tough on crime, and by dissing Sister Souljah to show he wouldn’t take any lip from an uppity young black woman. In office, under the “triangulation” sway of his creepy little Richelieu, Dick Morris, he governed by co-opting Republican policies — tossing mothers and children off the welfare rolls, enacting evermore harsh minimum-mandatory criminal sentencing statutes and going on a prison-building spree, signing the Defense of Marriage Act. Oh, and he balanced the budget — which was a perfectly fine thing to do, but bespoke Eisenhower-era Republicanism.

    Barack Obama’s signal achievement in office was the Affordable Care Act — a warmed-over version of health-care legislation that Republican then-Governor (and future Obama presidential opponent) Mitt Romney had enacted in Massachusetts, a plan originally hatched by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

    This nation is ready for a shift to the left on the following issues, at least:

    ~ Climate change. It’s time to get serious on this issue, after decades of right-wing denialism.

    ~ Healthcare. This nation is due to join the other modern, industrialized democracies with a single-payer, universal-coverage system. This may not be achievable in a single fell swoop, so we might have to settle in the interim for a public-option plan.

    ~ Economic justice. It’s time to give the kiss-off to the supply-side, trickle-down bullshit that’s dominated our economics (and for which Donald Trump just awarded Arthur Laffer of all people the Presidential Medal of Freedom) — the system, that is, that’s given us our current vast income inequality. Let’s start with a repeal of Trump’s tax cut for super fat-cats and replace it with middle-class tax relief. Let’s raise the minimum wage to a livable level. Let’s revitalize consumer protection and collective bargaining. Let’s also have free public two-year community colleges and give some relief to the working- and middle-class kids coming out of college with suffocating debt.

    ~ Criminal Justice Reform. Reduce the harshness of guidelines’ sentencing and repeal the mandatory sentencing statutes enacted in the shadow of the high-crime and crack-craze of the Reagan-Bush years.

    ~ Gun control. Reenact the assault weapons ban. Let’s have universal background checks and close the gun-show loophole. Prevent people on terrorist-watch and no-fly lists from purchasing firearms (at least until they can establish that they don’t pose a risk to the public). How many more mass shootings must we suffer, O Lord, how many?

    ~ Immigration. Let’s finally enact humane comprehensive reform in place of quixotic plans for medieval border walls (that Mexico will never pay for), in place of religion-based travel bans, and in place of kiddie jails for children torn from their families at the border.

    Sure, the Republicans (who are clinging to power with every fiber in the face of shifting demographics) will attack these ideas as “socialism” — but you know what? Fuck them. The rightwing has attacked every piece of progressive legislation over the past century with the slur “creeping socialism” — from the Social Security Act and National Labor Relations Act and the the 40-hour work week of the 1930s to minimum-wage and Medicare legislation of the 1960s.

    Fact of the matter is, we live in a mixed capitalist-socialist economy. You know what’s socialistic? Free K-through-12 public education. Anybody (aside from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos) really want to repeal that?

    Individually, the above policies are popular with the American public across a broad political spectrum. Elections can be won by embracing them.

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      The fact of the matter is that the last presidential election was won by the candidate furthest from the center.

      The argument that the Dems should go moderate because the GOP candidate is far right doesn’t add up. It would be just as fair to say the GOP should go moderate against a far left candidate for the Dems. Weld vs Sanders!

      I think the electorate much prefers candidates that are not mealy-mouthed centrists straddling the middle.

      That is not an argument for far left policies, but for something distinctive enough to get enthusiastic about. Once in office Obama may have ended up in the middle somewhere, but he was not perceived by anyone as a “routine moderate” in 2008. He was the first POC to run for president, for goodness sake. And he won!

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      “Let’s finally enact humane comprehensive reform.”

      Also this. The Dems could run on the underlying principle that no matter what the details are regarding who gets in and who doesn’t, at a minimum our policy at the border should be humane.

      The child camps apparently cost over $700 per day per child. It is nuts to spend that kind of money, and not bother with soap and toothbrushes. For far less money you could at least treat them decently.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Christ, for $700 a day we could put those kids up in their own room at one of Trump’s trash-palace hotels, and still have a little scratch left over for snacks from the mini-bar.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately for the immigrants, and for us taxpayers the $700/day/child helps Trump’s rich buddies who run many of the concentration camps. It’s part of the plan, as well as inflicting as much suffering as possible as a supposed deterrent. That’s the unimaginable travesty of it all; it’s a manufactured crisis used for political purposes and monetary benefit.

    • Historian
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I think you are correct that the issues you listed are growing in favor with the American people. I believe that the Democrat will the popular vote by a bigger margin than Hillary did in 2016. As you well know, what is important is the Electoral College, particularly the outcomes in the battleground states. In these states, the Republicans will go all out with voter suppression and attempting to paint the Democrat, whomever the candidate is, as a socialist, immigrant loving, me too, radical. In other words, Republicans will attempt to suppress the Democratic vote by catering to cultural fears. This strategy has worked before. To overcome this, the Democrats must work hard not to lose any voters while increasing turnout. The task is not impossible to achieve, but cultural anxiety is a force to be reckoned with because although irrational, it induces people to act against their best interests.

      There is a segment of the population, how big I am not sure of, that can play a role in close elections. Jonathan M. Metzl is a physician who has traveled the country interviewing people in regard to their health care. In Tennessee, he interviewed “Trevor,” who was dying of hepatitis C. He did not have medical insurance because the state did not expand Medicaid. But Trevor did not care that the state’s actions could kill him. Metzl writes:

      ——————
      Even on death’s doorstep, Trevor was not angry. In fact, he staunchly supported the stance promoted by his elected officials. “Ain’t no way I would ever support Obamacare or sign up for it,” he told me. “I would rather die.” When I asked him why he felt this way even as he faced severe illness, he explained: “We don’t need any more government in our lives. And in any case, no way I want my tax dollars paying for Mexicans or welfare queens.”

      ——————-
      Trevor is now dead. Metzl attributes Trevor’s attitudes to white racial resentment. Again, I hope people like Trevor are in a distinct minority. But, people like him could swing close races. Republicans have understood since at least Reagan that appeals to what the great historian Richard Hofstadter referred to as “status anxiety” can win elections. Democrats have failed to understand this. Presenting detailed programs, such as Elizabeth Warren has done, is fine, but it is questionable how many votes it will get her. Let’s hope that in the battleground states people like Trevor do not have the final say.

      https://bostonreview.net/race/jonathan-m-metzl-dying-whiteness

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        I’m glad Trevor can’t vote anymore.

    • Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Immigration. Let’s finally enact humane comprehensive reform …

      What do you suggest? (A question relevant across the Western world.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t gotten down in the weeds on specific immigration policy, but the bipartisan plan put forward by the so-called “Gang of Eight” (four Republican and four Democratic senators) in 2013 — but blackballed by hardliners in the House of Representatives (the precursor of today’s “Freedom Caucus”) — would be a good starting point.

        We could’ve also gotten a foothold on the matter with the joint proposal regarding DACA and border-security funding put forward by Democratic senator Dick Durbin and that flaming Marxist South Carolina Republican senator Lindsay Graham in January 2018. You may recall that that was when Trump held a meeting in the cabinet room with those two and several other congresscritters on committees overseeing immigration, and invited in the tv cameras so that he might feign “presidentiality.”

        At that meeting, Trump told Durbin and Graham that he would sign whatever proposal the two of them could come to agreement on. Then, two days later, after White House advisor Martin Bormann Stephen Miller got hold of him and stuffed him in the Oval with the immigration hardliners, when Durbin and Graham returned with just such a plan, instead of signing it, Trump went off on his rant about why should we have immigrants from “shithole” countries instead of just Norwegian beauty-contest winners. (I exaggerate only slightly.)

    • Roo
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      We’re also too concerned about appealing to moderates and independents.

      I think you’re using the phrase ‘appealing to’ to mean ‘imitating’ in this sentence. I think it’s fine to say that the Left can be innovative and doesn’t necessarily have to imitate moderates and Independents all the time – but as far as appeal to – I would disagree and say that yes, they absolutely have to do that.

      Consider these numbers… according to Gallup’s most recent poll, the population leans 26% Republican, 27% Democrat, and 46% Independent. Right out of the gate, Independents outnumber Democrats even when very partisan and very moderate Democrats are combined. In addition, conservatives may be more likely to vote overall, as this article states:

      By contrast, Democrats and Democratic leaners made up much greater shares of drop-off voters (58%) and nonvoters (58%) than consistent voters (47%).

      Consistent voters also were conservative, on balance. Conservative Republicans (38%) made up a larger share of consistent voters than did either liberal Democrats or conservative and moderate Democrats (24% each) or moderate and liberal Republicans (14%).

      By numbers alone, a platform that only appeals to Democrats is automatically in the minority unless it can pick up support from Independents.

      • Historian
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Students of American politics have known for a long time that there are very few true “independents” in the United States. Yet, we experience the continual call by the unaware that there is some benefit to appeal to them. A March 2019 report by Pew Research sums it up:
        ——————-

        Independents often are portrayed as political free agents with the potential to alleviate the nation’s rigid partisan divisions. Yet the reality is that most independents are not all that “independent” politically. And the small share of Americans who are truly independent – less than 10% of the public has no partisan leaning – stand out for their low level of interest in politics.

        [Later on in the report]

        An overwhelming majority of independents (81%) continue to “lean” toward either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. Among the public overall, 17% are Democratic-leaning independents, while 13% lean toward the Republican Party. Just 7% of Americans decline to lean toward a party, a share that has changed little in recent years.

        [Later]

        Those who do not lean toward a party – a group that consistently expresses less interest in politics than partisan leaners – were less likely to say they had registered to vote and much less likely to say they voted. In fact, just a third said they voted in the midterms.

        ————–

        So, let’s cut out the nonsense that there is some great segment of independents who need to be wooed. Democrats need to increase turnout from their base as well as from people sympathetic to their agenda who rarely vote, but do not call themselves independents.

        https://www.people-press.org/2019/03/14/political-independents-who-they-are-what-they-think/

        • Roo
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          So, let’s cut out the nonsense that there is some great segment of independents who need to be wooed. Democrats need to increase turnout from their base as well as from people sympathetic to their agenda who rarely vote, but do not call themselves independents

          You’re entitled to your opinion of course, but to my mind, those numbers are no joke – literally almost half of voters, if that poll is correct, identify as Independent. And yes, they may lean this or that way, but they still feel enough distance from the parties that they choose not to identify with them.

          At any rate, opinions aside, this is one historical debate that will yield fairly clear empirical results within just a few election cycles, and at that point we’ll have something more to go on than intuitions. Either the Democrats will swing left and lose; swing Left and win; lean moderate and lose; or lean moderate and win, and then we’ll have much more data to support one opinion or the other.

          • GBJames
            Posted July 14, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            I’m only a sample of one but I think I actually am representative. I used to call myself “independent”. I was fooling myself. I always voted for the Democratic candidate. Finally, I owned up to reality.

            After the election, we’ll be just as confused about this subject as we are now. Reality is complex enough that we’ll very likely be exactly where we are now w/r/t this issue. IMO.

            • Roo
              Posted July 14, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

              I’ve looked and unfortunately can’t find any data on how independents vote overall (whether they are any more likely to cross partisan lines than anyone else), so that point is still a question mark for me.

              I do think we will have a clearer picture of how the far Left fares over the next few election cycles. The 2020 Presidential election will be something of an exception as the usual norms don’t apply there (you have people who are very fervently for or against him and will likely vote on that alone, all other politics aside,) but in general I think seats in Congress paint a pretty clear picture of national sentiment (not perfect, but relatively clear.)

              I understand one school of thought is that since Trump is not centrist, this proves that non-centrism is where it’s at right now. This may be true to a point, but ‘non centrist’ is way, way to broad a category in my opinion. I don’t think one can assume people like any non-centrist platform, one still has to be able to sell their particular platform. And I will tentatively say that I don’t think the far Left is doing that at this point. (I think they could turn that around if they pivoted more to positions that Sanders was promoting in 2016, and focused heavily on them. I don’t necessarily agree with all of those positions, but I think they were far more effective in garnering popular support vs animosity.) So I think dems will start losing seats if they focus on the former, gaining them if they focus on the latter. Also, I do not think the country is going to do a pendulum swing left this time. I would have predicted that a few years ago, but it seems to me more and more that we are in a post-pendulum-swing era. What I think we will see more of is “division of labor”. The Left has made such huge gains in some areas (in civil rights and societal acceptance – ending segregation, gay rights, etc.,) that in many ways that is largely their purview now. On the other hand, does anyone really see a realistic way forward when it comes to developing a “far Left military strategy” (by that I mean the far Left as it exists in this country, not historically Leftist armies)? I don’t think anyone even knows what that would mean, we’re so far from such a thing existing. So I do not necessarily think liberal thinking will have much impact there one way or the other, save for maybe a bit more diplomacy in certain areas. I think we’ll see voting to accommodate this labor division, vs. sweeping wins for one party or the other.

              Sorry for the long post, I do find attempts at analysis and even crystal ball reading fascinating when it comes to these topics.

              • Mike Anderson
                Posted July 14, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

                … in general I think seats in Congress paint a pretty clear picture of national sentiment (not perfect, but relatively clear.)

                A much clearer picture of national sentiment is how people vote.

            • Roo
              Posted July 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

              @Mike, I’m not clear on your point. If you’re talking about gerrymandering then yes, you’re right, looking at raw vote tallies is more accurate.

              • Mike Anderson
                Posted July 14, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

                Yes, gerrymandering, and the makeup of the Senate is not representative of the people’s wishes.

                Bottom line: the makeup of congress skews right of the people’s sentiment for a number of reasons.

              • Roo
                Posted July 14, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

                The statistics behind how much gerrymandering influence things is beyond my pay grade. But to be on the safe side, I will add governorships, mayorships, and general polls, such as those measuring party affiliation, to my earlier statement. My point being, I still think it’s probable that we will get a relatively clear picture of how far left policies or moderate policies (depending on which way the democratic party leans) are received nationally.

        • Posted July 14, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Yes. This.

      • Posted July 14, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        I think this over 40% of those surveyed are independent trope is complete horse manure. I, too, like to think that I am very independent and willing to examine all sides of an issue. I also know that the chances of me voting for any republican for the foreseeable future is lower than zero.

      • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        What Roo said.

        The far left is 8% of the electorate; the far right, 25%. And the 67% in the middle is sick to death of them.

        cf.
        https://hiddentribes.us

    • Posted July 14, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      +1.

      If the most centrist candidate always won the election, we wouldn’t be talking about how to prevent a second term for Trump.

      • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Wrong. Trump is in office Clinton ran a terrible campaign, not because she was centrist. She ran to win the popular vote rather than the electoral college failing to campaign in critical states. She told voters they were deplorable rather than listening to their problems. She did everything wrong because she thought she was entitled and expected to be coronated. It wasn’t centrism that lost it for her, it was her arrogance.

        • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

          …office *because* Clinton…

        • Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          Trump was also a giant F-you to the identity politics, race-baiting, and SJW hectoring & shaming of the previous 8 years.

          As Eric Weinstein recently pointed out, shaming is a very effective in-group tactic, but backfires when directed out-group. The regressive left constantly attempts to shame the out-group (i.e., the other 92% of the population.)

  17. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The other thing we must all remember is, this is what happens when the country switches over to full time, all the time election mode. It means the democrats spend over a year running against each other. That is what we are in the middle of right now. A whole year of debating and beating on each other, ever before the primaries start. It is a joke. By the time they have their convention, a year from now, they will have forgotten who they are running against. The republicans get to sit back and laugh for 1.5 years and continue to do nothing.

  18. Steve Gerrard
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Pelosi said this:
    “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

    She can’t have it both ways. Either they have only four votes that don’t matter, or their four votes do matter, and she needs to include them in her caucus management.

    Pelosi is where she is because of her much vaunted skill in wrangling votes. She needs to wrangle votes from these four as well, if they matter to her, and not just blow them off and then complain when they break ranks.

    • Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      I believe she had some private conversation with them, but it had no effect on their status as renegades. They don’t want to be part of a unified party; they want the party to coalesce around their agenda.

      Remember that Ocasio-Cortez’s first act in Congress, before she’d even taken office, was to stage a sit-in in Pelosi’s office. Pelosi didn’t even have her and her minions heaved out, which was a generous gesture.

    • Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Pelosi … needs to wrangle votes from these four as well, if they matter to her, and not just blow them off and then complain when they break ranks.

      Not when she can get 8 Republicans to vote for her bill.

      Nor was this just a matter of ‘breaking ranks’. “The Squad” was never in the Dem ranks to begin with; they are radical leftists far beyond the Pale. They have no intention of working within congressional politics, but rather seek to foment rapid, revolutionary upheaval.

      The smartest thing Pelosi and the Dems can do is to treat AOC’s posse as one would a gangrenous appendage.

  19. Blue
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    O yeah, in re some W E I T commenters,
    let us UPON our own side’s women,
    SOUND and BE … … V I O L E N T.

    As I myself am of the radical leftist posse
    in very many aspects of living life Worldwide,
    particularly within those in re feminism and
    of atheism, why, I am certain that:
    .violence in word and in deed ‘ll surely
    h e l p. in all of those matters, too, won’t it ?

    Blue

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      But let us all answer this one most important question. When it is all said and done, whoever gets nominated, we all vote for that person and defeat Trump.

  20. Liz
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I would think everyone would come together and somehow get Joe Biden to run. That’s the best bet in my view.

    Whatever so we can breathe again.

    • tomh
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I would rather everyone come together and convince Biden to drop out of the race.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Hell, add him to at least another 10 candidates who need to drop out.

        • Liz
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          Mark, Who do you see winning the election over Trump?

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            Way too early to tell. Whoever can light the spark and motivate the base will beat Trump; we won’t know until after the next 5 debates and the first primaries in Feb./March 2020. I don’t think Biden can light that spark. Imo, we need someone younger, more dynamic, less centrist, and more in touch with the lives of average young people. That being said, if Biden gets the nomination, I’ll crawl naked over glass to vote for him. 🙂

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      For most of us Democrats beating Donald Trump in 2020 is the #1 issue — hell, for many of us it’s issues ##2, 3, 4, and 5, too.

      I would gladly vote for any of the Democrats currently in the race over Trump, including, of course, Joe Biden. But Biden’s front-runner status is based entirely on the impression that he is the one who can kick Trump’s ass — he’s our ol’ Uncle Joe and he’s got great name-recognition, and though he might be gaffe-prone, he wouldn’t actually do anything crazy in office.

      Problem is, as goes that impression, so goes Biden’s candidacy. He hasn’t shown himself to be an effective campaigner during his two prior runs for the nomination. And he’s already stumbled in the first debate. Should he lose the luster of being perceived as the best bet to beat Trump, Biden doesn’t have a hardcore base, or a large group of people enamored of his policy positions, to fall back on.

      There are a few of the Democratic contenders I’m liking more and more. Let’s let the debates and the caucuses and the primaries sort out the wheat from the chaff, the winner from the also-rans. Whoever’s left standing to claim the nomination will the best candidate to take on Trump in the 2020 general.

      Trump is a weak candidate, with little appeal beyond his hardcore base. But he has the key advantage of incumbency — and the key advantage that, unlike anyone else ever to have held or aspired to his office, Trump alone will do anything, no matter how dishonest or depraved or unpatriotic, to avoid the label “loser” (and to avoid the indictment that likely awaits him when he leaves office).

      We must unite behind the eventual Democratic nominee and work our asses off to assure her or him the win.

      • Historian
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        “We must unite behind the eventual Democratic nominee and work our asses off to assure her or him the win.”

        This is the absolute truth. Uniting behind the candidate means that all bickering must cease. There can be no sitting at home or voting for the Green Party candidate. I hope this a message that the ideological purists understand. Trump has endangered the future in so many ways that 2020 may be the only way to reverse (if it will still be possible) the poison he has spewed in American life. I will hold in utter contempt any person who claims to be on the Left and withholds his/her vote because the candidate does not meet ideological purity. If there were such a place as hell that is where those people would deserve to end up.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Surely that doesn’t include Marianne Williamson.

        • merilee
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Even Marianne would be better than Trump.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, against Trump, even Marianne Williamson, I’m afraid. She’s weird and fulla woo. But she’s well-spoken and no doubt can read a teleprompter at better than a remedial sixth-grade level.

          She’s got no chance, of course, but if she did, I’m sure there would be some cringe-inducing moment on the world stage, but nothing like the arrant national embarrassment and existential threat that is the Donald.

      • Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Not relevant I suppose, but is it just me or does Biden’s face look a little strange? Sort of artificial or reconstructed. Perhaps a facelift? It creeps me out a bit.

      • Steve Gerrard
        Posted July 14, 2019 at 1:40 am | Permalink

        It is easy to forget that Trump won without a majority or plurality of the national vote, and with narrow wins (< 1%) in the three closest states (MI, WI, PA). If those 46 electoral votes had gone to Clinton, she would have won. In those three states, just adding either Gary Johnson's votes or Jill Stein's votes to Clinton would have flipped them blue. The 4th closest state was Florida, with a margin of 1.2%. Gary Johnson's vote added to Clinton's would have flipped FL blue.

        So by this analysis, we should focus on getting everyone else to vote Dem or GOP for president exactly as they did in 2016. We will then put our effort into convincing the Jill Stein voters in MI, WI, and PA to fricking get real, and maybe twist the arms of the Gary Johnson voters in FL for good measure. If we flipped those four states and the others stayed the same, the Dem candidate would win 302 to 229.

  21. Mike Anderson
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think this “Democrat civil war” is anything to worry about. 20 years ago we wouldn’t have even heard about something like this happening, but today is gets aired and amplified.

    Whichever Dem candidate wins the primary won’t be adopting the hard left (e.g. abolish DHS) agenda. The left will be more unified and more energized than it ever has ever been in the history of our country, thanks to Trump. (Not that it will be a blowout – the right is energized too, but the numbers favor the left.)

  22. Amyt
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I like Jerry will vote anyone but Trump. I have never agreed with “free college for all”. Millionaires should pay. Especially billionaires. I’m for means based education fee. That includes tech, 2 year and vocational schools as well.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Do you favor privatizing K-through-12 education, too — or do you think this nation hit the all-time sweet-spot regarding free public education for all back at the beginning of the Progressive Era in the late 19th century (when the K-12 system was widely adopted), such that this system should perdure forever?

      Seems to me that American society has grown sufficiently more complex that a 12th grade education doesn’t go as far as it used to, so it would benefit the nation as a whole to add a couple more years to it.

      • merilee
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        “Perdure”: I’ve prided myself on having a pretty decent vocabulary, but I very often learn a new word or two when Ken posts.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Aint that the truth.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          I count on you guys to check ’em to make sure they’re real. I’d hate to get sloppy and think I could get one over on ya. 🙂

  23. Charles Sawicki
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    The SJW Democratic positions can’t compete usefully with Trump and Republicans on social media. Fear, used by Republicans is far more effective at motivating their base than far left Tweets are for Democrats. Extreme SJW positions in Tweets will only discourage centrist voters. Pelosi and reasonable Democrats should spend their time separating themselves from the far left and come right out and say that, for example, open borders is a stupid idea. If they had some balls they could win the reasonable center.

  24. pablo
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m already in my Kubler-Rossian acceptance stage of another Trump term. The truth is that even though I think most people don’t like the way it’s being done, they’re happy that SOMETHING is finally being done about immigration. In the meantime the Democrats are trying to out woke each other. I’m certain that it’s a matter of days before Castro, or Booker, proposes free hormone replacement therapy for the trans kids of illegal immigrants.

    • Posted July 15, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Castro already proposed free abortions for pregnant transwomen.

  25. Jsmes
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    The Dems should be strategizing on how to beat Trump and present a single qualified candidate, not on how to outdo each other on impractical social reforms that would add to the $22.03 Trillion dollar debt that will bury our economy when interest rates really begin to rise.

  26. Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Whoever wins the nomination will need to direct a “Sister Souljah moment” against the squad if s/he wants any chance of beating Trump.

  27. Posted July 13, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I think it is kind of important to note with the centrists – Whenever the Dems have needed to vote as a bloc, there has always been a certain sector within the party that has voted Republican.

    There is a reason why it was not enough, under Obama, for the Dems to get all three houses, suddenly they needed super-majorities to get anything really done.

    And that’s the precise centrists who are being targeted by the Justice Dems.

    So who are actually the renegades here?

  28. merilee
    Posted July 13, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    A big thank you to whoever just mentioned the Mayor Pete interview with David Axelrod(why can’t I find the post?). I went downstairs to tape it and ended up watching the whole thing. Such a breath of fresh air. I can’t find a single thing to dislike about Pete (as he mostly keeps his goddiness under wraps and calls out the hypocrisy of the evangelicals.)

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I think the only reason he gets on it, religion, is to put down the republican hard core religious and their cave in to Trump. Pence his fellow Indianian for sure. He thinks they should be called out for backing this vile immoral pig. I have never figured out why the democrats have not hit much harder on this? The party of family values and all that mom and apple pie crap have thrown it all under the bus for Trump.

      • Blue
        Posted July 13, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Me either, Randall: I, too, cannot figure out why
        We Democrats have not gone after the religionists,
        as their h y p o c r i s y is so, so mucking blatant.

        Blue

  29. Posted July 14, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    she’s singling them out because they’re splitting what should be and must be a unified party,

    She’s isolating these four in order to unify the party? That has a distinct “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” ring to it.

    and undermine the centrism needed to defeat Trump.

    If centrism were needed for victory, there wouldn’t be a President Trump.

    It’s okay to have an agenda farther left than that of most Democrats. It’s not okay to use that agenda to demonize or “primary” Democratic centrists

    It is definitely OK to primary Democratic centrists, or Democratic leftists, or AnyParty Anything-ists. That’s what primaries are for.

  30. Blue
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    As a woman with, finally, my right of freed up speech,
    I am language – focused, I reckon; and I go
    way out of my way to avoid using words that
    can be AT ALL misconstrued. As when some
    right wing – rando / – incel refers to
    Ms Michelle Obama as a monkey or talks about
    smacking a woman. Any which way.

    I draw a fence around that muck and try to
    say what I mean with plain English, not
    imprecise blather. I say what needs stating
    without the allusion to violence. Else ?
    when others do allude to violence ? Well,
    from my past of having been only summoned
    by my being called pussy, twat, cunt,
    stupid – ass heifer, whore and bitch
    by my wedded husband and never, EVER,
    just AFTER his wooing resulted in that legal binding,
    verbalized to by my actual first name, I have
    a strong suspicion as to .the why. which is,
    o’course, bolstered by my and by very many
    other women’s history and the context for
    them. Not woke. Not social justice warrioring.
    Not virtue signaling. J u s t reality.
    Mine. And women’s. Everywhere.

    “Ms Nancy Pelosi believes unity within her
    caucus is the most important thing, and she
    is trying to hold an opinionated, diverse
    caucus together. I get that … … and she
    is a remarkable leader. She needs to keep
    conservative Democrats in the fold and,
    as importantly, she has to keep corporate
    patrons on board. So it appears she is
    sending a message to her people that they
    need to stay in line for the good of the
    Party in an effort to hold the majority.”
    = O Look ! No violent imagery required !

    Elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio –
    Cortez and her Caucus understand that their
    message is what gave Ms Pelosi her gavel.
    They want what they see as their fair share
    of attention and influence and are willing
    to test the patience and power of the
    Speaker of the House to get it. They also
    want to make sure their policies are taken
    seriously because they believe … … and
    I agree ! … … that it is for the good
    of the Party, not to mention, of the Nation
    and of the World.

    This ? This is something that can be
    expressed without using tired labels or
    saltily diagnosing them with a(ny)
    personality disorder. Verbalizing women
    as crazy is so, well, … … u s u a l.
    Utterly common. Usual for women’s labeling
    … … even for the women upon … …
    OUR side.

    Every single far Left – policy polls with
    substantial majorities … … nationalized
    health service, reproductive choice, living
    wages and basic income, infrastructure
    building and repair, free and fair elections,
    restoring progressive income tax, non –
    extractive carbon – neutral energy … …
    when they are disassociated from party and
    personality. If we as a civilization cannot
    manage to vote in our own self – interest,
    it is not the Left’s fault for not “smacking”
    the people who are promoting the policies.
    It is OUR OWN FAULT for accepting that
    corporations and financial interests actually
    think it matters whether we live or die,
    and that human survival factors into their
    decision – making. They do not, and it does
    not.

    But by all means, let’s call “centrist” those
    who think petroleum extractors deserve more
    respect than those who point out that they
    are robbing us of our money and our lives.

    The free exchange of ideas or something ?
    Who gives a damn about whether the Democrats
    are split over internal posturing ?

    Babies. Are. Dying. In. Concentration. Camps.
    In. America. Separated. From. Their. Parents.

    But: by all means, denigrate those uppity
    colored girls who wanna pick a fight … …
    over it. Over those dying babes.

    Ha Ha = they are young and too, too sensitive !
    What do they know ? ! Smack ’em down … …
    those narcissists. Those women.

    Blue

    • GBJames
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    • merilee
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      👏

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      You called me a “right wing – rando / – incel”.

      Retract that ad hominem attack.

      • Mike Anderson
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        You’re imagining things, Matt. Think about why that’s happening.

        • Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          Blue wrote:

          As when some
          right wing – rando / – incel … talks about
          smacking a woman. Any which way.

          As it was I who used the colloquialism ‘smack’ to describe Pelosi’s censure of AOC, the target of Blue’s personal insult can only be me.

          And I also consider your comment an insult regarding my mental health.

          If ad hominem is your preferred response to interlocutors you disagree with, then may I suggest either Pharyngula or several Patheos:Nonreligious sites.

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Well said.


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