Friday, November 13, 2020

Center-Right Country? Nope



In his misguided column today, Charlie Cook asked why Democrats couldn't ride the blue wave. It might help if he contemplated the difference between an anti-red (or, in this case, anti-Trump) wave and a blue wave. The Democrats offered nothing other than "Yeah, we suck but Trump is really dangerous and sucks more than we do." Cook noted that even while Señor Trumpanzee "became only the fourth elected incumbent in the last century to lose, not one of the 166 Republicans seeking reelection to the House of Representatives has lost. Meanwhile, at least nine of the 220 Democratic incumbents running to retain their current seats lost, with five more in races that have not yet been called. The overall House outcome looks likely to be a net gain for Republicans of about eight seats."
So, what happened to the Democratic wave, if there ever was one?

It is difficult for me to fathom that so many polls, conducted by dozens of pollsters from both parties using different methodologies, could all be wrong, and in the same direction.

In my judgment, there was a blue wave building, a pretty big one, then something happened, like a fish getting spooked before taking a bite out of a lure. Too many of the most experienced political operatives in both parties could see it coming. My guess is that while a majority, albeit a small one, wanted to unseat Trump, they got skittish about giving Democrats unified control. Was the electorate willing to put Biden in the driver’s seat, but not give him the full tank of gas and a credit card that a Democrat-controlled Congress would provide?

Did the label of “socialist” finally give enough swing voters cause for hesitation? What about charges that Democrats were going to push Medicare-for-all, or pack the Court? What about questions of exactly what would be in a Green New Deal and what would it do to jobs during a fragile economy? Was there a fear that Democrats would or could not keep law and order, given the “Defund the Police” movement?

This argument got some reinforcement when Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and Democracy Corps, a group he founded decades ago with James Carville, conducted a 2,000-person phone sample in 16 battleground states from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4. Greenberg’s argument, based on that study, was: “The big story is Donald Trump led an incendiary, race-laden working-class revolt against the elites, fueled by attacks on defunding the police, ads with Black urban violence and his demand for law and order that cost Democrats dearly in rural areas, with older voters and white working-class men, some GOP defectors, some suburban voters, and ... an unprecedented rush of white working-class voters in the blue wall states. Trump pushed his white working-class men’s vote up 7 points at the end to match the support he got in 2016 and pushed up his rural vote 14 points to exceed it.”
Cook's conclusion is both incorrect and exactly what you would expect from him: "This is a center-right country, one that may have been ready to abandon the Trump experiment, but the more they thought about it, were not so sure about going all in for Democrats." The losses in the Democratic Party were all center-right Democrats who oppose "socialism!!!" and Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal, not to mention Defund the Police and all the other crap Cook and conservative commentators are squawking about. The losers were Blue Dogs and New Dems-- many in overwhelmingly Republican districts that should never have flipped in 2018 in the first place; they're back where they belong now.

In his USAToday OpEd this week, Bernie wrote that "corporate Democrats are attacking so-called far-left policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal for election defeats in the House and the Senate. They are dead wrong... [S]upporting universal health care during a pandemic and enacting major investments in renewable energy as we face the existential threat to our planet from climate change is not just good public policy. It also is good politics. According to an exit poll from Fox News, no bastion of socialism, 72% of voters favored the change “to a government-run health care plan” and 70% of voters supported “increasing government spending on green and renewable energy.”
The lesson is not to abandon popular policies like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, living wage jobs, criminal justice reform and universal child care, but to enact an agenda that speaks to the economic desperation being felt by the working class-- Black, white, Latino, Asian American and Native American. People are hurting, and they are crying out for help. We must respond.

...The American people are sick and tired of seeing billionaires and Wall Street become much richer, while veterans sleep out on the streets, our infrastructure crumbles and young people leave school deeply in debt.

They want a government that works for all, not just the few. That’s the right thing to do, that’s the moral thing to do and, for the Democratic Party, that is the way to win elections.
If only there was a school for would-be politicians to learn how to persuade people to think about policy and prioritize that when casting ballots. If there were such a school, Jonathan Tasini would be a dean. This morning his latest Working Life newsletter flew right in the face of Cook's nonsense: Tax Hikes In Arizona More Popular Than Biden. He wrote that though Biden narrowly (49.41% to 49.07%) won Arizona, by almost a 10-1 margin, voters were much more eager to hike taxes than vote for him. "For a damn good reason: to raise almost $1 billion to pay teachers and other education workers a bit more, not to mention reduce class size and give kids a decent place to try to learn. Surprise, not surprise. Turns out voters love teachers more than politicians… who knew? ... This is just another example of the point I made in yesterday’s post about Florida’s wildly popular ballot initiative to hike the state minimum wage to $15-an-hour by 2026: progressive ideas win if you get beyond the pointless debate about 'progressive versus centrist' and focus on talking to people about dollars-and-cents in their pocket books, or, community-wide, showing quite clearly the benefit of taxes… and, generally speaking, people do see a benefit in good schools and paying teachers a living wage."

Back in Arizona, Biden won by 11,434 votes. Proposition 208 won with a margin just shy of 113,000 votes, okaying a 3.5% surcharge only on the wealthiest taxpayers: individuals making $250,000 and up and couples earning $500,000 or more. Prop 207, to legalize marijuana won by an even bigger margin-- 1,953,997 (60%) to 1,300,856 (40%). You may be noticing that Prop 207 received more positive votes than either Trump or Biden. So when you hear some establishment relic like Charlie Cook pontificating about the U.S. being a center-right country... change the channel. Have you watched all 7 seasons of The Blacklist? I recommend it highly. In fact, the new season kicks off tonight!

Labels: , , ,


At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes perfect sense. We have a left to left center electorate who is asked to choose between two center-right and right parties, by corporately funded propagandist, since they're the only ones who "CAN WIN". Narrative being that the US is a big 'ol "corporate campus" that values your political education so much; they're willing to pay for it.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're rationalizing based on american voters THINKING. And you call yourself a pundit?

Look. It's pretty simple. millions more voted against biden than voted against $hillbillary. Might be because he's a bigger ocean of flaming pig shit than $he is... or it could be that they are reflexively nazis.

Millions more also voted against trump than they did in 2016. You can chalk ALL of them up as terrified of 4 more years of trump and all that would entail (all of which pelo$i would yawn at as $he refuses to impeach).

That's probably as much thought as you can possibly infer. American voters are dumber than shit. They vote 98.6% on fear and 1.4% on greed.

That's it.

Polling is shit because pollsters have yet to figure out how to adjust for apathy, stupidity, gullibility and the inability of american flora to vote their consciences.

Because both parties and all candidates are fascist to nazi in the spectrum, and most american voters are somewhere in the middle... they have to choose based not on reason but solely on emotion... fear... hate... greed.

not smart enough to form up as a center party.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But do people really believe in paying more taxes for schools? Than why did Prop 15 (the split role) in California fail? When it was EXACTLY that. It was close it is true but it was a once in decades opportunity. And it failed. Judging from how the propositions in California went the electorate is PINO (progressive in name only) and really center right in actuality.

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People in CA are mad that Gov Newsom won't let Disneyland reopen so that they can rush out and show Wisconsin how a state can REALLY come down with ridiculous numbers of extreme COVID-19 cases. Disappointment in the Dem supermajority is causing lots of residents to think that the GOP is a better option. You will see CA flip red in 2022.

Such ignorance is why Prop 15 failed. Californians don't want to be educated. They want to play all day.

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That ubiquitous banner up top, with all those 'liberals won' notes... discounting the items that are horse shit (ie: ACA is a fascist solution that expands profit motive to 30 million more americans), the trend line you are asked to discern ended in 1968.

Since 1968 a great many of those reforms have been hacked at by the nazis with the democraps doing great damage on their own only when they can win the odd election. Which ones will the biden/democrap admin start hacking on?

it's a good thing for you sheepdogs that you're barking at retarded plant life... or you'd be laughed out of the dialogue.


Post a Comment

<< Home