Friday, July 07, 2017

Why Haven't Mark Penn And Trump Endorser Andrew Stein Joined The GOP Yet?


One way for Democrats to start winning elections and rebuilding their tattered brand would be to pay very close attention to all the advice they get from Mark Penn-- and then do the exact opposite. Yesterday Penn teamed up with Andrew Stein to tell the Democrats all they need to know about how to continue losing. Penn's an ad guy, poster and political strategist. He's always wrong about everything and his advice very much helped turn the personal brands of both Bill Clinton and Tony Blair to shit. He was a key Hillary Clinton advisor in 2008 and most observers of that race give him immense credit for her loss.

Penn teamed up with hereditary multimillionaire Andrew Stein-- a former boyfriend of Ann Coulter, a failed, dumb-as-brick New York politician who once famously was caught soliciting the Republican nomination for mayor of New York City and was later arrested for his involvement with a ponzi scheme and endorsed Trump for president-- for their centrism-uber-alles OpEd in the Times.

I can't imagine anyone would be surprised to hear Penn and Finkelstein (his real name) denouncing progressives, urging the Democratic Party to move right the way they and all their greed-obsessed cronies have, and rewriting history to glorify their reactionary instincts. Both are masters of collaborationist politics. They would have been perfect advisors to Marshall Pétain in France or Vidkun Quisling in Norway during WWII.


They really hate Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and everything they stand for-- especially honesty, ethics and opposition to elite corruption, elite corruption being the center piece of Penn's and Stein's entire lives. To them, the Democratic Party has "embraced sharply leftist ideas" and they blame all the losses the party has suffered on the left instead of on the Republican wing-- their wing-- of the Democratic Party. 'If only the Democrats were more elitist, more corrupt, more bigoted they would still own the working class' is the tired Penn/Stein thesis. Lee Fang had a better explanation of Penn's OpEd at The Intercept yesterday: he now invests in Republican advocacy firms-- and profits from the electoral defeat of Democrats. He's a part owner of the GOP consulting firm that advices Trump and developed strategy for the Handel win over Ossoff in Georgia last month. But certain types of Democrats still take Penn seriously and value his advice.

In an OpEd for TIME Magazine today, Raúl Grijalva noted that "As Democrats, the secret to reviving our fortunes turns out not to be a secret at all: The American people want us, and anyone else who hopes to earn their vote, to talk about economic fairness, which they still feel is in short supply. They want us to lay out a plan for making sure they share in the profits they help create. They want to hear that from top to bottom, Democrats will close corporate tax loopholes and make sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share."
How do we know? A comprehensive post-election analysis by the polling and consulting firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, funded by multiple groups with nothing to gain by paying for bad information, found that fully 60% of voters believe “Jobs still don’t pay enough to live on and it is a struggle to save anything”-- and that belief motivated their votes. The same analysis found that when Clinton changed the focus of her campaign message from the economy (on which she soundly beat Trump for months, especially after the presidential debates) to a vague call for “unity and opportunity,” she lost the most important ground of the campaign: who voters trusted more to help their pocketbooks.

According to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, by the end of the campaign, voters ultimately trusted Trump more on the economy by a 48-42 margin. That simple fact transcended a good number of the other factors in play last November. Unless the President ushers in the era of blanket prosperity he keeps promising, being trusted on the economy will be similarly decisive in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

Perhaps just as importantly, the firm found that a generic congressional candidate running on a message of economic contrast-- roughly, “Democrats support investing in Social Security, education and jobs with rising incomes, while Republicans support tax cuts for the richest”-- significantly outperformed a more general contrast with Trump and his personality across multiple demographic groups. Like it or not, what you’ll do is more important to voters than who you are or what private values you stand for. Democrats need to understand that.
Wednesday the NY Times reported on the latest establishment trick: another new identity politics groups the DCCC is pushing. Pushing identity politics is so much easier-- if you're talking to idiots-- than making a case for an individual based on policy. But it doesn't work. Here are just a half dozen of the common identity groups always being pushed on Democrats and in each case, someone great from that group and someone who personifies complete garbage politics. Next to each name is their ProgressivePunch crucial vote score for the current session. Ready?
Women: Pramila Jayapal (100- A), Kyrsten Sinema (12.50- F)
Black: Barbara Lee (100- A), Dave Scott (59.09- F)
Hispanic: Raul Grijalva (100- A), Henry Cuellar (16.67- F)
Jewish: Jan Schakowsky (100- A), Josh Gottheimer (25.00- F)
LGBT: Mark Pocan (100- A), Sean Patrick Maloney (41.67- F)
Asian: Judy Chu (95.83- A), Ami Bera (29.17- F)
You can do this with any identity group-- find a great one with an "A" rating and then find a piece of crap from the same identity group with an "F" rating. The latest one the DCCC is pushing: military veterans. So you wind up with great members of Congress and congressional candidates who are vets-- like Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Randy Bryce (D-WI) and then you find-- despite appreciating their service-- the ones who make terrible members of Congress because of their stands on issues, a Tulsi Gabbard or Seth Moulton for example (a couple of "F"s).

Of course what the DCCC is trying to do now is say, forget about where this piece of crap candidate we dug up stands on the issues that are important to you, support them because if you don't you aren't patriotic and you're disrespecting our fighting men and women. Sick. Wasn't that DCCC chairman, Ben Ray Lujan, a draft-dodger? And the chairman of the DCCC's shitty recruitment committee, Denny Heck? But never you mind if Chrissy Houlihan (PA), Mikie Sherrill (NJ), Joseph Kopser (TX)-- also trying to get over as part of the "scientist" identity group-- Dan McCready (NC) or Brendan Kelly (IL) is the best qualified Democrat in the primary, if they're the DCCC-recruited candidate and a veteran... that's the one and don't even think about it. As we were saying earlier, Kopser sucks, veteran or not. There are much better candidates in TX-21. This is a very poor way to pick a candidate to represent you.

When it comes to evaluating candidates, military service could be a plus-- it's certainly made Randy Bryce a better candidate, for example-- but it is no more a substitute for a worldview that shapes a policy agenda than is the color of someone's skin or their religion or gender.

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At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Candidates need to speak in a direct manner about their stands on various policies, as Ted Lieu does. However, Including feelings is also important, which the last Presidential election made quite clear. Missing this combination would be a big mistake. Bernie did both, Hillary did not. Strong Democratic candidates can and should do both and they will have broad appeal.

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Raúl Grijalva noted that 'As Democrats, the secret to reviving our fortunes turns out not to be a secret at all: The American people want us... to talk about economic fairness..."

No, Raul, we're sick of only a few of them TALKING about economic fairness. We had some of that from obamanation in 2008 and a very few congressliars since. What we WANT is for them to quit talking and start DOING. We waited for 8 years for obamanation to DO... anything at all about that and everything else. Nothing much happened until his last 9 months when he hoped what he did was not hurting $hillbillary's campaign. And even then he did very little; certainly nothing that would make a diff.

We heard Bernie SAY lots of great shit during his '16 run. But after he was cheated, he FAILED to DO anything about anything. Instead he DID what democraps always do... support the money whoring democrap system instead of leading a movement that would DO something useful for the 99.9%.

Speaking for most non-Nazis that I know, we're tired of words. We want deeds. And the democraps are NOT going to be able to perform those deeds because their donors forbid them from doing so (and they don't seem inclined to do so in any case).

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Albert Einstein reputed said that doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome is insane. It is thus with expecting the Democratic Party to abandon the very lucrative role of leading the people to the slaughter at the polls every election.

Did the outcome of the California State Democratic Party elections not demonstrate that the Will of the People means nothing compared to the continued torrent of corporate money distributed to ensure Too Big To Fail means Too Rich To Jail?

The Republican overreach on "health insurance" - ahem, tax cuts is producing a backlash. There is no reason to think that the Democrats will escape. There is thus no reason to waste our efforts and expose our weaknesses to those who would betray us for the corporate dollar.


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