Thursday Open Thread

“I long ago tired of politicians who never say anything, adhere to their talking points, and avoid all controversy.”

–Richard Cohen

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    AP reports on rural politics:  ‘The brand is so toxic’: Dems fear extinction in rural US

    “The hatred for Democrats is just unbelievable,” said Tim Holohan, an accountant based in rural McKean County [PA] who recently encouraged his daughter to get rid of a pro-Joe Biden bumper sticker. “I feel like we’re on the run.”

    The climate across rural Pennsylvania is symptomatic of a larger political problem threatening the Democratic Party ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Beyond losing votes in virtually every election since 2008, Democrats have been effectively ostracized from many parts of rural America, leaving party leaders with few options to reverse a cultural trend that is redefining the nation’s political landscape. …

    Barack Obama won 875 counties nationwide in his overwhelming 2008 victory. Twelve years later, Biden won only 527. The vast majority of those losses — 260 of the 348 counties — took place in rural counties, according to data compiled by The Associated Press.


    • ParkHill says:

      The Democratic Party messaging people have no clue regarding brand management.

      Also, Fox News is highly dominant across rural America.

      • gertie97 says:

        Fox News isn't that big a factor. The top influence in rural politics is talk radio–by far. They listened to Paul Harvey, a benign conservative, for decades. Then Limbaugh started throwing bombs and his ratings soared. Today, it's Hannity and cohorts in pickups all over America. Go into any oil change shop, repairs of any sort, and hear what's on the radio. It's Hate, Inc. The stations are top-rated in their markets and sell ads to one and all. The Democrats shoot themselves in the foot by never buying ads in rural America, particularly with the right message.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      I saw the same thing on Yahoo News just now. It’s not a good omen for the mid-terms in November.

      It’s also a reflection of the Republicans’ use of Bernie, AOC, The Squad, and their socialist agenda. The Dems haven’t helped themselves either with the vicious attacks by the progressives on centrists like Senators Manchin and Sinema.

      • Voyageur says:

        Sinema is no centrist — she's Benedict Arnold without his fashion sense.

      • ParkHill says:

        BS. Right wing attacks are about bitch-slapping and power. They have NOTHING to do with socialism and nothing with Bernie and the squad.

        The Republican nut job messaging machine goes after everyone and anyone they can think of, especially if they are black: Obama's tan suit, Hillary's email, Kamala's pant-suit, "a little bit nutty; a little bit slutty", Fauci.

        Republicans wouldn't know socialism if it hit them over the head and funneled blue state taxes into red states.

        As Voyageur points out, you are delusional if you think Sinema and Manchin are centrists. They are conservative, corporate whores, if you'll excuse the language.

        • ParkHill says:

          Sinema and Manchin are opposed to the Biden agenda, and have intentionally blocked the Democratic initiatives. I'm sure they are getting a payoff or golden parachute, if they haven't already.

          If the Democrats lose in 2022, the blame will lie on S & M, not Bernie, the Squad and the left 3/4 of the Party.

          Who are the compromisers and who are the stick-in-the-mud objectionists?

        • Voyageur says:

          Don’t conflate the two, Parkie.  Manchin is right-center and the best we can hope for in what is now an ultra red state.  Sinema was a green, ran as a liberal in a state Biden won, and is now Mitch’s succubus.  Like I said, Benedict Arnold without the fashion sense.
          As an old West Point guy, I’m entitled to despise Arnold.

          • ParkHill says:

            Yes, Sinema and Manchin are two odd ducks. Maybe I shouldn't have conflated them, but the way they are torturing the Democrats does make them sort of an S&M pair.

            Sinema may have "run" as a green, and "run" as a liberal but she sure as heck isn't green or liberal in terms of how she votes. Big Pharma monopolies are costing us insulin at 10 times the price other countries get. That's pretty radical-corporatist, not centrist.

            Manchin is in the pocket of Big Coal and is intentionally screwing the Democratic agenda. Given that climate change and Republican radicalism are the two biggest threats we have, that makes him an extreme radical on the right end of the political spectrum.

            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              “Sinema and Manchin are opposed to the Biden agenda…….”

              Parkhill: generally you do better than this. Biden’s two signature bills since January, 2021 were the American Recovery Act, March, 2021; and the Infrastructure Bill last fall. Manchin and Sinema voted for each.

              Regarding the Build Back Better bill, Manchin has clearly stated he would support most of the climate provisions.

              The progressives have bungled things in assuming they had a mandate to transform the country despite having only a 6 vote edge in the House and being 50-50 in the Senate. Many people voted for Biden solely to get rid of Trump.

    • allyncooper says:

      I shot a nice 8 point buck in McKean County on a backpack hunt in Allegheny National Forest. Nice country.

    • Negev says:

      Are bellwether counties still relevant in the current political environment?

      Sorry that was for John in Denver…thought I hit reply to his post….

      • JohnInDenver says:

        No worries … but bellwether counties (or states) are those that vary & go for the winners.  There are fewer of them …

        Wikipedia article says that of the 3141 counties (& equivalents), precisely 1 has voted with the winner in every Presidential contest since 1980.  another 41 managed to vote right in all but one. 

        To me, they are interesting — but not especially significant, as most are small populations.  Also, most are in states that consistently vote for one party or the other.


  2. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Mike Lindell: "Little parachutes. Make SURE you mention the little parachutes."

  3. allyncooper says:

    Three woke progressive school board members immediately recalled in San Francisco by between a 72 to 79 percent yes vote. Less than 7 percent of the voters there are registered Republicans.

    You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Yep, indeed and overdue.

      Yet, at least one of the icons of the progressive caucus, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), continues to push defunding the police. That will play real well for the Republicans with swing voting suburban women, concerned about safety, in the fall.

    • kwtree says:

      Yeah, there's a lot more to it than just "wokeness". Mother Jones breaks down the factors leading to voter dissatisfaction, and the recall.

      I might have had some problems with those SF board decisions, too, and I'm pretty "woke" as these things go. 

      A lot closer to home, allyncooper, voters elected a progressive school board slate in a swing county – Jefferson. We remember what happened the last time we bought the conservative line on censoring history, etc…we had to recall those folks. 

    • Voyageur says:

      Their signature move was an effort to rename schools that honored vicious racists: including Abraham Lincoln!

      • kwtree says:

        Lincoln's views on race were complex. This NPR article does a good job of revealing the nuances of his words vs. his actions in the context of a structurally racist society.

        In any case, I wouldn't agree with re-naming Lincoln school. I would happily assign the topic "Was Lincoln a racist?" as a critical thinking essay. 


        • Voyageur says:

          It’s an excellent piece. To me, Lincoln, like FDR, masked liberal actions in conservative rhetoric. And, yes, the emancipation proclation was a war measure. That was what made it constitutional and led 200,000 black soldiers and sailors to fight for the union.

          • allyncooper says:

            Read Lincoln's first inaugural address. In it he states he would sign legislation which would protect slavery as it existed (but no expansion of it) if that would preserve the Union.

            Lincoln was no abolitionist. And he questioned whether the two races would ever be able to harmoniously live together. 

            • ParkHill says:

              There you go again. Compressing the complexities of the Civil War into a cheap slogan.

              Read Heather Cox-Richardson, the historian who is an expert on the mid 19th Century and the American civil war.

            • Voyageur says:

              There was one, and only one, ultimate issue, in the 1860 election.  As Lincoln telegraphed to his convention managers, “No expansion of slavery to the territories.  On this point hold firm as though cast in chains of steel.  All else is negotiable.”

              Without that expansion, slavery was ultimately doomed: and Lincoln and the slave-owners both knew that.  All the other stuff was tossed to voters to make him seem more moderate.  Lincoln always wanted slavery to die.   Only the when and how was negotiable.  

              He was a master politician.


            • JohnInDenver says:

              Lincoln wasn't a consistent abolitionist.  At various points, he attempted to duck the issue in favor of maintaining the Union; he was a situational abolitionist in order to gain pragmatic military advantages and a greater agreement with international sentiment (and thus block CSA alliances with European nations); and ultimately, he agreed with the moral objection to owning people  — but apparently thought the way to make it happen was to deport Blacks.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      I can’t remember, . . .

      . . . how many voters had any say in John Eastman at CU?

      Yep.  Politics in education is a problem.  The woke crowd creates problems; their ideological polar opposites are a goddamn nightmare.

      The demise of, and failure to support, secular non-political public institutions is the (sad) history and legacy of American decline these past five decades . . .

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      One of the recalled school board members' brain farts was to change the admissions criteria for a school for gifted and talented students from the students' grades to a lottery system.

  4. ParkHill says:

    Example from the fever swamps. This is from my canary in the Maga mine. Funny, I thought our big branding problem was Bernie and AOC.

    The media's SILENCE on the Clinton Campaign's VISUAL act of treason uncovered by John Durham is HAUNTING and should tell you all you need to know about their POLITICAL motivations and COLLUSION with LARGE MEDIA outlets tasked with accountability.

    See EmptyWheel in case you're not following the story. I can't do it justice, and probably have some details wrong, but the whole scam has been going on for longer than the Mueller investigation…

    The Durham investigation started with a possible lie in a meeting with an FBI agent, who actually can't remember whether Michael Sussman told him he was or wasn't working for another consultant. (That's it. That's the whole lie).

    Durham is conflating timelines in order to create a RWNJ talking point (see Republicans on CRT and Obama's tan suit), that somehow ties the IT guy in charge of investigating the Russian hack on the Clinton campaign's computer, to the computer security consultants who were called in to check for Russian hacking activity. They noticed Russian smart-phone internet traffic between Russian controlled banks to Trump tower and Betsy Devos's hospital. The curious thing is that the firewalls in these computers were opened to specifically permit that traffic.

    And, Donald Trump has called for Michael Sussman to be killed.

  5. ParkHill says:

    How do you spell perjury trap or maybe schaden freude!

    If he’s not guilty why would trump be afraid to testify.

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