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August 19, 2019 07:02 AM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“The patient is not likely to recover who makes the doctor his heir.”

–Thomas Fuller


59 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. WOTD from Paul Rosenberg at Salon: "Does anyone understand the 2020 race? This scholar nailed the blue wave — here's her forecast"

    Another explainer discussing Rachel Bitecofer's insights about the 2018 & 2020 elections. Her primary insight is that most media observers and the Democratic strategists are missing the most significant dynamics of recent elections. Namely, it is ALL about partisan realignment and turnout driven by Trump.

    It is not about policy, it is not White Working Class, it is not about getting back Obama-Trump voters. It is not about convincing rural evangelical gun-lovers that a Democrat is also a rural-evangelical-gun-lover.

    We are seeing a wholesale partisan re-alignment, with young people and college educated (i.e. the suburbs) becoming solidly Democratic. The Blue Dogs are going to be decimated because being kinda-sorta Republican-lite is Not An Option; that position simply has no base (gun-loving, anti-abortion Democrats is a non-existant constituency). Democrats are going to win Pennsylvania & Michigan and probably Wisconsin & Minnesota. Democrats will probably lose Ohio. In a wave election, Texas, Florida and Georgia are in play, and Republicans will have to divert resources to defend there.

    In Texas and Georgia, O'Rourke and Abrams both carried the votes of independents, whereas in Missouri and Indiana, where [incumbent senators] Claire McCaskill and Joe Donnelly positioned themselves much more in the Blue Dog camp in terms of issues positions, both of them lost independents. 

    So you might think, "Why is that? If one group of candidates took more liberal issue positions, why did they win over independents?"  It seems counterfactual, and the reason is what mattered was turnout. O’Rourke and Abrams carried independents because turnout surged, with different independents showing up to vote, motivated by the  targeting strategy deployed by those campaigns, which were run under my suggested model rather than the old playbook that used to work back in the '90s and '80s.

    It's all about turnout.

    1. Indeed, PH. It is all about turnout, (ballot turn-in in Colorado), and having candidates that young people, Latinx and other people of color, women, and unaffiliated voters are excited about. And you also need solid progressive policy, an appealing message widely delivered, and enthusiastic registration and GOTV operations.

      Democratic consultants keep trotting out the old playbook, and the “safe” older white male established moderate candidates- (Hick-up!), but these are not the candidates who drove big turnout in 2018. 

      And, attack from the Blue Dogs on here in 3, 2, 1…..

      1. Agree, turnout will be key. But it's more than just chasing ballots on election day. It's doing appropriate outreach months ahead of the election to folks who notoriously don't vote consistently. And it's more than just, hey, I came and talked to your community once a few months (or years) ago! Who is developing the comprehensive approach that's needed? If anyone is, they've been rather secretive.

          1. There are some categories of non-voters who are worth pursuing, such as Latino voters who perhaps live with or have relatives who are undocumented so the voters in the household don't vote out of fear. Another category: College students, many of whom have to be recruited and motivated to vote.

      2. Fact: none of the uber left winners in 2018 turned a seat from red to blue.  They only beat moderates in primaries in seats already held by D emocrats. 

        Fact. 40 moderate Democrats took seats from Republicans, capturing the Hous e and building a bulwark against fascism.

        Play Ride of the Valkyries and sing "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last Night ."

        And try to convince people that Nancy Pelosi is a Blue Dog! 

          1. Yes, indeed. Sharice Davids who actually defeated Brent Welder in a primary before beating Kevin Yoder. Welder had the coveted – at least, among hard leftists – endorsement from Bernie Sanders. For all the good it did him.

          2. Fact: A moderate Democrat lost to Donald F-ing Trump in 2016.

            I almost suspect Voyageur didn't read the article.

            2016 was about turnout, turnout, turnout. Trump activated his base; Clinton failed to activate her base in 4 key States. Period.

            In 2018, Suburban, college-educated districts voted against Trump, because the base was activated… by Trump, I hasten to add, not by anything the Democrats did!

            2020 will have NOTHING to do with "moderate" or "LWNJ". Republicans believe ALL Democrats are LWNJs, and you can't convince them otherwise. We see from early polling results that any of the top 4 Dem candidates win against Trump, but at this stage, that is all about name recognition, not policies.

            "The Base" is malleable. As Bitecofer says, your campaign activates DIFFERENT independents. A Democrat representative like Sestak voting with Republicans doesn't convince Republicans to become Democrats. 

          3. There is nothing about being Native American or Lesbian that marks you as a lwnj, Michael.  As R&R notes, Davids actually beat a Bernie supporter in the primary.

            1. So absent Hick, who is our Sharice-David-equivalent in the US Senate race? You know my leanings and I’ll be supporting our D candidate, but the narrative that only John can beat Cory is preposterous. 

              1. Senate candidates from Colorado Democratic Party website: More info, links to candidate websites.

                I like Lorena Garcia. (3rd from left, top row) Resemblances to Sharice David: strong reproductive rights background, out lesbian, strong grassroots support because of years of working in nonprofit s with community outreach, Latina, young, drove up to Morgan County 3 times. Dynamic speaker, good policy head. Downside: no elected office experience.

                Stephany Rose Spaulding:(bottom left) strong speaker, evangelical Christian (your kind, not a prosperity type),African American, relatively young, finished strong against Lamborn in CD5, drives RWNJs batshit., as seen by this billboard on Parker Road.

                Elected reps: Alice Madden, (2nd from top right)former house majority leader, elected twice, policy wonk, moderate policies.

                Angela Williams,( 2nd from bottom right)serving Senator, African American, business friendly, moderate to liberal policies. 

                Some of the menfolk running are sort of OK, too. There’s a Bolshevik, Romonovsky or something…😉






              2. Maybe, Michael.   But history shows your favorite lost his last two outings.  My favorite (Madden) lost also.   Johnston actually finished third!  Hick has never been beaten, nor has Cory.

                That counts for something.  Plus anything that makes Joe Salazar swing naked from the chandelier can't be all bad.

                1. Comparing (almost any) D in a 2020 race to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch, Inc., who votes with Trump 89.3% of the time, all while representing a trending blue-ish state and hasn't had a public town hall meeting in two years seems like an apples-oranges comparison.  

                  I'll be behind whoever is our nominee, but there is one that stands out for me for a lot of (rural) reasons, not the least of which is his leadership on renewable energy in the early days and BEST – which is the *best* thing to happen to almost any small, rural school system in the state in a couple of generations. He earned his chops as a senior policy advisor with Roy Romer who was a fabulous rural advocate as governor, he has international experience and his recent experience in the mental health space is important in this day and age. 

                  I'm not going to diss JH; he was clearly the best option in 2010/2014.  His accomplishments as mayor are impressive.  I think he lacked vision and the kind of bold leadership we needed in the early days of cannabis reform but he was not alone on that island. I think his biggest stain may be how his lack of real reform in the gas industry (particularly fugitive emissions) has left the Front Range with some of the worst air in the nation and is demonstrably affecting the production levels of our corn and wheat crops. 

        1. Are Blue Dogs "moderates"? I thought they were RINOs without the R, running from the label "liberal" or even "Democrat".

          Dan Lipinski is a radical anti-abortionist.
          Joe Sestak is a fanatic gun supporter.

          A Democratic candidate who is anti-abortion or gun-rights is not going to convince an evangelical-Republican or red-neck-Republican to vote Democrat. 

          WTF does "Moderate" mean?

          1. "Moderate" means that group of people who embrace neither the coalition of white supremacists + tea baggers, nor the "free stuff for all" socialists.

            If the LWNJs manage to take over the Democratic Party, one of two things will happen:  gridlock thanks to Moscow Mitch holding the Senate, or enactment of some of the free stuff agenda combined with a tax increase (assuming the Republicans lose the Senate and there are enough votes to abolish the filibuster).

            What will happen then is the GOP will come back in two or four years, and repeal some of the hard left stuff, and enact their own hard right stuff (i.e., more tax cuts for rich people). There may also be entitlement reform.

            Two or four years after that, the left will rise again, repeal the tax cuts and give away more stuff until the cycle reverses itself yet again and again.

            At some point, the rational ideological middle will tire of these wild gyrations and form a centrist party, leaving the screw balls on each side to go their own way.

            1. Are you a Libertarian? You remind me of William F. Buckley standing athwart democracy screaming STOP!

              Don't look now, but The socialist apocalypse has already happened:
              Free Stuff means the highway system, and public education.
              Free Stuff means Social Security and Medicare?

              Since Social Security and Medicare are LWNJ ideas, who are the moderates who want to take away free SS and free Medicare?

              You misunderstand one important thing: ALL democrats are LWNJs, according to Republicans. There is nothing you can do to stop the Republican messaging machine. 

              1. "Free stuff means the highway system, and public education, Social Security and Medicare…."

                All paid for by tax dollars; borrowed money from Chinese, German and other bankers/countries that buy our debt; and by citizens who pay in to a system.

                Of course, once one gets back every dollar paid into social security and Medicare by themselves and their employers, as benefits, then they are living "for free."

                1. Go tell that to Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, or Herbert Hoover.

                  Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare are all examples of Socialism Incarnate. Those "moderates" used exactly the same "LWNJ and "free stuff" arguments that you are using, with a bunch of red-baiting thrown in for good measure… wait, you're also red-baiting. And, they aren't frickin' moderates, they're conservatives, if not reactionaries.

                  Now that we can all agree that "socialist free stuff" is actually paid for by taxes, you are admitting that your "socialist free stuff" accusation has always been a red-herring, and we can move on to deciding on a case-by-case basis, which "free stuff" (as you put it) is worthwhile and which is not. Followed up with whose taxes need to be raised to cover the cost.

                  My problem with your argument style isn't the red-baiting, that is oh-so-typical. My problem is that you won't specify what policies are good or bad, you just stand athwart history screaming "no free stuff".

                  The real Socialist threat is when people realize that the government can provide a social net that offers financial and health security.

                  1. Uhh, Parkie, we owe over $20 trillion in debt and it's growing at about $1.3 trillion a year.

                    Your argument that "free stuff" is paid for by taxes just ain't so.  We're just using our. Mastercard to pay off our Visa.

                    1. Who got the big tax breaks?

                      We got screwed because rich people got a tax break. As Krugman would say, the US economy is an insurance company with a police force (Social Security and the Military). Everything else is chump-change. In order to pay down the debt caused by giving rich people a tax break, you have three primary choices:
                      (1) Steal from Social Security
                      (2) Let inflation reduce the debt. 
                      (3a) Raise taxes on the 99% of us (10% of the wealth).
                      (3b) Raise taxes on the 1% (90% of the wealth)

                      Bad analogy:

                      Government debt is not a credit card. (Did you say you have a masters in economics, or is that someone else. "Remember, he's not a real doctor") 

                      2/3 of Government bonds are owned within the US, for example your pension fund. In other words, the Federal debt is more like Dad loaning Mom the money to buy a new car so she can take the high-paying job across town. Dad gets paid back and the family has more money.

                    2. Okay. Dad didn't quite have 30k for a new prius, he only had 20k, and had to borrow the 10k from the bank. 

                      On the other hand, Mom got rid of the unsafe 1965 Ford 150 that got 10 mpg and the family got a tax break for donating it to CPR.

                      The better mileage pays back the interest on the 10k gap.

                    3. In your analogy, dad lent mom money so her ne w job would make the family richer.  

                      Okay, we borrow trillions so we can cut taxes by trillions and increase the pentagon budget by trillions.  The Reaganites callef that supply side economics. 

                      it don't work.  Our family income didn't go u p, the deficit — annual — jumpe d to $1.3 trillion. So you want to borrow trillions mor e to spend trillions more– an f-35 in every garage — so revenue will rise.

                      you sure you're a dimmycrat, Parkie?  The koch brothers are laughing their asses off at the fact that you fell for this.


                  2. (ran out of Reply buttons)

                    "We got screwed because rich people got a tax break"

                    It's worse than that on several scores.
                    In addition to cutting their taxes,
                    – we eliminated environmental and workplace safey standards
                    – we created new ways to subsidize their businesses and cap gains
                    – we are taxing the consumer class with "tariff" expenses that are paid by Americans

                  3. No, ParkHill. The "free stuff" you love is Medicare for All, free college tuition, and other similar stuff coming out of Bernie Sanders' aging brain.

                2. The problem is that the hard left doesn't know when to stop….

                  They don't realize that while there may be social utility and consensus in providing some stuff collectively, there are limits to what people want done by the government.

                  They have the same mentality as an alcoholic or a drug addict. If two of these make me feel better, maybe 20 will make me feel great.

                  1. F.U.
                    Clearly understanding neither addiction nor political motivations in a 'free' democracy you should limit your comments on both.

                    Most people prefer the cell phone they own now to the one that Gordon Gekko was dragging around. Most people prefer the car they have now to the ones that were available even 10 years ago. Appliances, electronics, clothes, construction materials, soap, tools, and a million other things – same.

                    But when the 'free' market delivers inferior solutions compared to the wisdom of the commons, call it "collecetive" but it's better to replace the 'free' market solution with something better.

                    Military and other security – police, fire, FEMA, 
                    Highways & bridges (buh bye ferries)
                    Social Security.
                    Civil rights.
                    Some level of the arts.
                    and a million other things.

                    The question is not whether your preferred form of moderation or someone else's hard left politics are better.
                    The question is whether and how to deliver the best solution for civilization.

                    Go study some more.
                    read those "happiness" studies which all economists and psychologists know show over and over that when it comes to money and stuff people are happiest when they believe they have slightly more than their neighbors, no matte how much that really is.  Just a little more than the neighbors.

                    I know a lot of people who you would describe as hard left or LWNJ
                    But none of them are communist. None want dictatorship. None want equal outcomes – but we all want the mythical equal opportunity. We all want a free market solution when it optimizes – but none of us want an edge solution where sure we build the emperor's great wall – just to get our salt ration. 
                    We all like freedom. We almost all respect the power of a market solution.  But don't give the safety net to the o&g guys when  there is lead in the water. Don't tax the helloutta our wages when cap gains get a slide.

                    No thing is free. Ever.
                    But some things should be: clean air, clean water, speech, thought, will.  I could go on- but there is no point.


                    1. Oh my….

                      MADCO has a bee in his/her/their bonnet. Since you are more of an expert than I, perhaps you should recite the Serenity Prayer.

                      I don't believe I called you a communist.

                3. We’re all mostly rational grownups here. We get that “free stuff” is paid for by some people – some combination of taxpayers, user fees, out of pocket copays, and debt.

                  The challenge is to make the benefits of the social good (vaccinations, STD and cancer screenings, water and food testing and regulation, highway repair, public education) spread as widely and democratically as possible. Access. Efficiency.

                  This necessitates limiting the private profit to be made (insurance CEO salaries, rationing care, ending regulations, kickback schemes, student debt usury).

                  Those who are receiving private gain from public good will fight it every centimeter of the way, hollering about “socialism” and “takers of free stuff”, while they pocket record profits and pay minimal taxes. 

                  These are the battles we fight in a mixed capitalist/ democratic socialist economy. You have to pick a side. You’ve chosen yours.


              2. The "free" highway system is paid in part by gasoline taxes and tolls. Coincidentally, those gasoline taxes and tolls are paid for by people driving on those free highways. Assign the cost to the user.

                I do not want to take away social security or Medicare. In fact some, including myself, want to make Medicare available for all who want it by making it an option if they want to buy into it as opposed private insurance. If it turns out to be such a big improvement over private insurance, everyone will opt in while private insurance will wither and die out.


                1. That takes too long.
                  I'm not just whining impatiently – the actuarial math doesn't work.
                  In the first few years – the only ones who will opt in are the ones with no choice.  People who have 'employer paid plans that they think they like" will not join.

                  Unless the employers are allowed in too.
                  And then there will be a mad dash for the public, no profit option.


                  1. People who have 'employer paid plans that they think they like" will not join.

                    They only think they like it but once you, La Pomposa, Bernie and Warren explain it to them, they will realize that they have have hoodwinked into thinking that they liked it.

                    This is one of the problems with the hard left.

                    PS Thank you, MJ and V, for catching the typo. I’ve corrected it.

                    1. Who is this “pampasa” you’re obsessed with now? Move over, Jill Stein?.  Do you, like former Governor Sanford, have a secret Argentinian love interest, with whom you take long, torrid walks on the pampas plains?

                      You do know that “pampasa” is not a word in Spanish. 

                    2. He didn’t say Pampasa, you did, mj.
                      As best I can tell, that ain’t a Spanish word.
                      R&R said “Pamposa.” I suspect he means "pomposa" , which is Spanish for pompous, conceited or inflated.  But secondary meanings can be splendid or magnificent.

                      Pomposa is an adjective.  As a noun, la pomposa would be a pompous, conceited woman.  Or, possibly a magnificent woman.

                      If in doubt, google. "Pomposa in Spanish translate.  "


                    3. Well, the hard left has problems for sure.
                      Branding is one of them, for sure.

                      Before government controlled health care called Medicare, everyone loved the market solutions.
                      Prior to the widespread adoption of employer paid* healthcare during WW2, people loved the market solutions they were offered.

                      If, IF, instead of healthcare, people were offered the employer contribution and group rates and the same kind of tax benefit as the employer – they would choose different plans. And they would have mobility and as much continuity as they wanted.


                      They love that they have it. And it feels "free"
                      but we all know it isn't free. Because nothing is.

                    1. I suppose we can't all come up with bon mots that rise to the level of  "Tee hee", or "cue the Ride of the Valkyries" for the umpteenth time.  

                    2. A curmudgeon wrote on a toilet wall

                      Sharing his thoughts with one and all.

                      Always eager to show his wit

                      The word he mostly scrawled was … thanatopsis.

                    3. Ironic, considering one of us is a lot closer to death than the other one.  Tic. Toc. 

                    4. Or perhaps one of us has a better vocabulary.  And knows how to spell tick tock.

                      Tee hee.

                    5. Y'know Bob, I'd be bothered by your creepy attention, but I try to keep it in perspective. 

                       A lot of nice women have worked in journalism.  

  2. Unaffiliated voters is an amorphous term.  There are vast contradictions built into the 40-50% of those who are not in a party and may or may not vote.  As Magellan Strategies pointed out when they surveyed 2018 Unaffiliateds, if it is a group, it has really swingy opinions between 2016 and 2018.

    [In 2018, a] majority of unaffiliated voters, 51%, want the government to do more to solve the country’s problems, while 34% think the government is doing too much. This is a significant change of opinion compared to unaffiliated voters who voted in the 2016 election, where 61% thought the government was doing too much and only 26% thought the government should do more.

    I'm pretty certain every district has a potential "unaffiliated" strategy that will go a long way to electoral victory   I'm equally, if not more, certain the "unaffiliated" will respond differently to candidates and their appeals based on them being incumbent, challenger or in an "open seat" circumstance; on their feelings toward various party "brands," on their policy preferences of the moment. and their resonance with the candidate running.

    1. Bitecofer is claiming that Party allegiance & branding is dominant, and that marketing into specific policy options doesn't have much effect. This is because we have gone through a partisan realignment.

      For those of us who pay attention to policies, not matter which side we are on, this is a hard bone to chew on.

    2. In Colorado, though,  unaffiliated voters mostly swung Democratic in 2018. Most 18-35 and new voters are unaffiliated. The Republican policies and Trump are turning them off, but Democrats aren’t doing a great job convincing them to affiliate or become active in the Party. And there usually aren’t any candidates who look and think like them, since conventional Democratic wisdom says that “”Those people aren’t electable.”

      When I was canvassing in 2018, in working-class neighborhoods, young Latino folks were so surprised that someone actually reached out to them and asked them to vote, like their opinions and votes mattered. They did vote -our margin in Morgan County increased from 30 to 40% for Karen McCormick, for example.

    3. I agree that it is always about turnout. If you get more of your voters to the polls, you win. But I am still fascinated by the exit polls from 2016 that showed 14% of the voters that voted for president hated both Clinton and Trump, but most held their nose and voted, 69% to 15%, for Trump.  So, should Democrats presume that Trump cannot possibly carry these disillusioned voters by this huge margin again (now that they have seen him in action), so appeal to the base with progressive policies and drive turnout, or  .  .  . do you worry that a lefty candidate will drive the disillusioned voters back to Trump? i.e. "Yeah I know Trump is a jackass, but I aint votin for no socialist." 

      1. I think most independents aren't really independent because they have partisan leanings. Maybe the 25% in the middle are persuadable, or else they are dis-engaged from the process. 

        The more important question is that Bitecofer talks about is that a base engagement strategy activates different people, rather than persuades people to change their mind. 

        So the Russian strategy of deactivating or de-enthusing the Democratic base depended on persuading Democrats that Hillary Clinton was bad (ugly, mean, crooked, etc) to the point where they didn't vote.

        That is different from activating WWC men to vote for Trump.

        I've been around Hillary haters from 25 years ago. It is bizarre; sort of a mysogynistic passion play.

  3. Planned Parenthood will  leave  Title X funding behind, rather than comply with $rump’s gag rule. . This means that, often, PP may not be able to provide the contraceptive, STD and cancer screenings they were offering to low income clients at affordable rates. I know a great place for donations these days: your local  Planned Parenthood center.

  4. “Pocahontas” insult meme eclipsed by actual plans on Native issues. 

    Native American Forum Focuses On Elizabeth Warren’s Policies, Not DNA Test 

    Warren’s plan includes

    1. giving Native Courts power to prosecute non-Natives, which would be a huge step in bringing justice closer for the hundreds of indigenous  women raped and assaulted every year, mostly by white men.

    2. Stopping the Dakota Access and other oil and gas encroachments on needed water and on sacred sites, revoking present permits, blocking future unless there is meaningful negotiation with Native stakeholders

    3. Creating a Cabinet level liaison with Native communities 

    and more….

    So far, Warren is the only Presidential candidate taking “Indian Country” seriously.

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