This isn’t a doom post because I really don’t think Democrats are doomed in the upcoming elections. A lot can and will happen between now and November. But a few punditry nuggets crossed the transom recently that once again made me ponder the eternal political mystery of the Republican Party’s Teflon vs. the Dems’ flypaper.
Literally nothing sticks to the Republican Party long term. Not global financial wipeouts, not incredibly destructive and costly wars based on false pretenses, not even attacks on the Capitol Building. Their ex-president, who is the biggest sore loser in the history of the world, says and does deranged shit constantly and is still the leader of the party. And yet his lunacy and loser stink don’t seem to blight the party’s prospects, nor do the antics of current GOP stars like the kooky Greene woman.
Contrast this with the fate of Democrats, where every utterance by a House rep, citizen protester or university scholar sticks to the party immediately and indelibly, even when repeatedly disavowed by the majority of party members, its elected leaders and its sitting president. This is true even when actual policies reflect the exact opposite of the slogans attributed to Dems. It’s crazy-making.
WaPo published a dumb both-sidesy op-ed screed by Matt Bai that illustrates how this works. Bai declares himself politically homeless, citing the authoritarianism of current and past elected Republicans, who he admits are terrible. Then he says: “But that doesn’t mean we have to feel jazzed about supporting a party that would grade our worthiness as people on a sliding scale of identity.”
Whom does he cite to justify that steaming load of horse shit? Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Anti-Racist.” Kendi is an academic, and as far as I know, isn’t an elected official or in any way affiliated with the Democratic Party, except perhaps as a registered voter. Bai mischaracterizes Kendi’s work, but even if Kendi really did advocate “vengeance under the guise of virtue” as Bai claims, Kendi isn’t the president or even a city council member.
It wouldn’t be so disturbing if Bai were alone in his stupidity, but he’s not. Anecdotally, I’ve seen the culture war garbage Republicans are pushing making inroads with people I know, and according to Politico, the DCCC is warning Democrats about it in advance of the elections:
Democrats’ own research shows that some battleground voters think the party is “preachy,” “judgmental” and “focused on culture wars,” according to documents obtained by POLITICO.
And the party’s House campaign arm had a stark warning for Democrats: Unless they more forcefully confront the GOP’s “alarmingly potent” culture war attacks, from critical race theory to defunding the police, they risk losing significant ground to Republicans in the midterms.
Note that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have been pushing back on the “defund the police” slogan for two straight years now. As far as I know, the only elected Democrat who has recently uttered the slogan is Cori Bush, who isn’t exactly a household name. Meanwhile, no one is asking Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy to explain Greene’s “Jewish space laser” lunacy, and her bizarro views don’t seem to stick to Republicans who aren’t fellow crazies, in which scenario it’s an asset anyway.
There was good news in the DCCC report too in that their research found that when candidates who are the targets of culture war bullshit push back against bogus claims, it can change perceptions. Val Demings showed how that’s done recently:
27 years of putting on a bulletproof vest to go to work as a law enforcement officer is not a “sudden interest” in combating violent crime. I reduced violent crime by 40% as Orlando’s Chief of Police while Marco Rubio was home asleep in his bed. https://t.co/H48ovDgvMD
— Val Demings (@valdemings) February 9, 2022
Anyhoo, there’s no real point to all of this. Just to say the adhesive ratio perpetually pisses me off, and I wish I understood it better. I know media coverage is part of it, but I don’t think that explains it all. It’s a mystery, at least to me.
Old Man Shadow
I think there are a lot of people who enjoy the privilege they have, who would not call it systemic racism or white supremacy, who do not necessarily like the extremism of the Republicans, but are put off by real attempts at equality and equity.
They do not like the overt bigotry of Trump, but do enjoy the fruits of soft bigotry and resent feeling racist or guilty for it.
And they would like the Democratic party more if it went back to ignoring Black and Latino and LGBTQ people and focused on preserving the “way of life” that they enjoy.
So they will stand with us on some elections or battles, but will quickly go back to the GOP if the GOP puts up a candidate who isn’t rabidly foaming at the mouth.
I have a long-term friend who is a perfect test case. She fancies herself an independent, above the fray, but never ever ever can find any fault with Republicans while she pounces on every Democratic foible. I have no idea how she votes, but I have verystrong suspicions.
Right, people who potentially vote Democratic are thoughtful people who care about issues, facts and behavioral norms. People who vote Republican are sheep who just stay with the flock and follow the leader no matter what. Simple enough.
@Old Man Shadow: I’m sure that’s a huge part of it.
ETA: The Politico piece cites data that finds GOP culture war bullshit also makes inroads with some Hispanic voters, who otherwise lean Dem. That’s worth addressing too because it’s a critical bloc.
One may always default to the Frank Wilhoit description of conservatism. Apt af. And fuck Matt Bai.
“The adhesive ratio” is yet another brilliant turn of phrase, Ms C.
The Moar You Know
This is a crap argument. Dem voters don’t care about that shit. Republicans do. It is a waste of time to try to get even one Republican on board. Republicans goddamn sure don’t make any effort to get Dems on board with anything. It’s a waste of time and effort and they know it.
Neither is Tucker Carlson. But let’s not pretend that either one of them is “just a registered voter”. I personally don’t give a shit how the right-wing outrage machine takes Kendi because if you handed them a million dollars in gold they’d bitch about how much it weighed, but don’t pretend he’s just some jerk off the street.
If you’re looking for Bai to be objective, you are pursuing a fool’s errand. He just desperately wants to “Make Republicans Respectable Again”.
Betty, I really think it’s mostly because of Fox News and right-wing talk radio that’s been around since the 1990’s. They constantly push, push, push this stuff into the ether, and a lot of it sticks because the regular press picks up on “people are saying” crap. It’s more about lazy journalism than anything. We don’t have anything equivalent to push their crazy stuff into the ether. James Carville coined the term “puke funnel” for it, and I think that describes it perfectly:
It’s a lot worse now than it was in 2002, when this article was written.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Old Man Shadow:
They’re as deeply offended by the idea that they’re white supremacist as they are by the idea that they’ve benefited from white privilege. “Privilege? I grew up in a trailer park and worked two jobs from the age of 15 to become the first member of my family to graduate from college!” That’s pretty close to a quote from some minor never trumper on Joy Reid’s old weekend show who turned a shade of red so close to purple I was worried for his health when another panelist mentioned white privilege.
The idea that they didn’t work for everything they have is very important to a lot people’s identity, and telling a certain kind of white man (especially) that he had any advantage over anyone else cuts them to the quick. I always say the under-discussed moment of the 47% tape was our normally very even-keeled Willard fairly hissing “I inherited nothing!” –son of a Detroit CEO and POTUS manqué, Cranbrook School, Harvard College, ‘nest egg’ of $500K in 2012 dollars as a newlywed, et cetera), though I suspect it was quite possible that by the time old George left this earth his first born White Horse son was richer than he was
@The Moar You Know: This has nothing to do with pursuing Republican votes.
I dunno. It’s a highly capitalist, minimal safety net country…and yet we Dems do okay as we push for more and more of the things that other Western democracies take for granted by now. It’s a country saturated in systemic racism…and yet we Dems do okay as we push harder for justice and equity.
Maybe the glass is half full? I mean, we’re going to keep trying to fill it either way…may as well see it as half full. =)
It’s not about any of these people, it’s about the low information voters who can be influenced by constantly hearing it in the background and from their friends and family.
Btw my take on the whole ‘both sides’ and constant double standards thing: just keep pointing it out. Point it out when the media does it, point it out when the GQP does it, call them on every last little bit of it, always. Be sure to put regular examples on your FB page (so your uncle Jim who only watches Fox News will see it). Tweet about it (so that others might see it and retweet it). It’ll open a few eyes.
Black people, along with other minorities and women, are regarded as collectives. White males as individuals. Because the modern Dem party is associated with the former, it too gets treated as a collective. (All of this only applies for negative attributes).
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
It’s not really a mystery. They are writing from the inside of an urban bubble. You would be surprised how many progressives actually think the Democratic party is THE party of progressives, with a few moderates spoiling things. These folks are shocked when I point out that more than half of Democrats identify as moderate. Where do these progressives and pundits live? Inside the same urban bubble. Do I know urban progressives whose social media feeds are full of ‘white people suck’ articles, some of which are productive and some go too far? Yes, I do. I also know that if I ever said, ‘Hey.. that article overgeneralizes and is kind of ugly. I don’t think that is a good response to justified anger over police shootings and both macro and micro aggressions against black people’, I would have a swarm of people bashing me for it. The same has also been true when I’ve seen people suggest that genitalia are a factor in who they are sexually attracted to. When Bai and all write articles like this, they are passive aggressively bashing the people in their social media feeds, while conveniently ignoring the fact that bubble they live in isn’t reflective of most of the country.
”When one’s entire life is steeped in white supremacy, equality feels like discrimination.”
ETA- explaining, not condoning…
Being a Republican is easy. It’s tax cuts, judges (abortion, second amendment), and Cleek’s law. That’s it.
Democrats are expected to get stuff done and clean up the mess that Republicans make. No one on their side cares about the mess as long as (see the above).
Still pondering why Putin didn’t do anything wrt Ukraine while Trump was President. Sure, invading during a pandemic has some downsides, but why did Putin wait? Maybe he expected Trump to win because the fix was in.
Goes back to I don’t understand some of the actions of the Right since the election. What did they expect would happen if Pence tossed out EV’s or tossed it to the House somehow? If they had been successful, were they expecting life was gonna be wine, roses, and song? I don’t even want to start thinking what would have happened but it’s reasonable to guess it would have been very, very, VERY bad. That’s kind of a bad downside, right? Why go there?
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:
The advice is bad because it’s contradictory. “Democrats talk too much about cultur war issues” and “Democrats must push back on culture war issues” doesn’t make any sense.
Aren’t they talking about social issues when they push back?
The most depressing part of that isn’t the “social issues” (whatever we’re supposed to be doing- I still have no idea). It’s how bad the analysis and advice is.
“Culture war issues” are wildly potent for Republicans so that means Democrats shouldn’t talk about them? So they can run on culture war and we can’t? Is it even a “war” if only Republicans are fighting it?
You can see how bad it is when you see the responses to it on social media. Everyone thinks it validates their priors. They just pull out different sections to “prove” they are right according to this report.
@Baud: Huh. Never really thought of it that way, but it makes sense.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: Interesting. I’m in a different bubble (progressive-leaning in a red zone), so now I wonder if I overestimate the wingnuttery around me. It’s possible!
If conservatives are gaining ground starting culture wars wouldn’t your conclusion be people don’t actually object to culture wars? Despite the 50000 op eds by pundits that they do?
I just hope Biden isn’t listening to them. I hope he has his own analysis. These people are not reliable reporters.
The reason is so simple you overlook the obvious – all neutral to left wing news/broadcast sites/stations report facts and general information. The thug party Pravda (aka propaganda fake news called fox) yells filth, lies, hyperbola and uses extreme and derogatory language that not just their brain dead viewers see – but the general media. They act as echo chambers so it appears that these slanders are valid simply because low life ass holes that work for the ass wipe murdoch are providing an accurate message.
No mystery here. Members of Our Liberal Media: register Democrat, live Republican. Both sides easily contained under one roof.
Agreed. Bai is trash on an individual level.
This is the traditional period where we begin the process of blaming the progressive wing of the Party for Party losses.
It just isn’t credible to me. I’ve seen it too many times. Just get it over with- announce progressives lost the midterms, because centrists and conservatives never, ever lose elections, only progressives.
It must be great to be a centrist in the Democratic Party. It comes with absolutely no responsibility or accountability.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:
I… would not be surprised. Then again I took a broader view of 2018 than a lot of people, and I remember the 2020 Dem primary
What is his description of conservatism?
Very much relatedly:
@Baud: When a white person does something terrible, they are just “having a bad day”, or at worst, an isolated bad apple (and the parents who supplied them with weapons and the public figures who encouraged them are never held responsible). When a person of color does something not even terrible, but just possibly objectionable, it’s the responsibility of the entire Black, Hispanic, Democratic, Progressive, whatever community.
@Old Man Shadow: I think there is a lot to what you say WRT the positions of comfortable suburban type voters. The tricky part or the GOP is that they have no policies or proposals to deal with actual problems that require practical solutions. The culture war rhetoric actually solves nothing and makes the civil space and governance increasingly impossible.
That’s where Dems need to focus.
This is a keen insight. Explains a lot.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
The US is not winning any contests on social mobility.
Maybe you should pick a different hill to die on.
@Kay: Yeah, I think blaming progressives is bullshit too, and your point about people using reports to confirm their priors is a good one. But I don’t think the notion that every Democrat has to answer for “defund the police” is just a media phenomenon. Republicans really do use it against wildly inappropriate targets, like ex-cop Val Demings. And maybe that and the media drumbeat combine to create subliminal framing. I don’t know.
I have a colleague at the local Health Department who’s a “Reformed Republican”, having finally reached his limit with TFG. At one point during the election (when all the Socialism(!) and New Green Deal talk was going on) he said “Why can’t AOC just shut the hell up? She’s not helping things!”
I really, really, really wish I was quicker with the comeback, because obviously this guy was still thinking like a Republican, with their message discipline and all that ails it. I *should* have said “Well, that’s the difference between the parties: Democrats believe in open discussion of ideas to further the causes of society, and Republicans, not so much. You DO think ideas should be discussed, evolved and improved upon, don’t you?”
Missing those “teachable moments” is going to be the death of us all…
@The Moar You Know: Comparing Kendi to Carlson is incredibly weird.
Ibram X. Kendi is an academic who is not driving Democratic policy, not a media darling, and does not appear to have the ear of Democratic policy makers. He’s not a jerk off the street, but he’s not a really influential figure and most democrats have no fucking clue who he is.
Tucker Carlson is a hugely popular (on the right) media figure with an explicit anti-democratic message who drives large parts of the Republican policy and messaging drive. He’s their chief propagandist at this point.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
huh? ETA: I’m genuinely curious: Where so you see a hill I vowed to die on in what I said?
That’s how racism works – Dems are the party of black people so Dems have to answer for everything black people do that white racists don’t like.
Here’s one for @Kay: and also regarding @Old Man Shadow: point:
San Francisco recalls school board members seen as too focused on racial justice
Seems as if the couple who instigated the recall are Republicans, but this part caught my eye mainly because I’m reading more about it:
Bolded part is mine, but I think about this in conjunction with the Asian American lawsuits against elite universities. How they essentially argue the same thing that white people do: blacks are unfairly taking “our” spots. Also the bolded part is the same bullshit that is/was used in regard to women in the military. “The only way to let women into X job is if they water down all the requirements!” Which is utter bullshit, but tropes are tropes.
Anyways, the rightwing bullshit is gaining traction even in our “hellscape libruhl cityes!!!!!”
@Bugboy: Good point, and I think the GOP’s homogeneity is a huge structural advantage.
That’s because the default setting of a lot of Americans is stupid and lacking self-awareness, or what those in the trade call American Exceptionalism. A big chunk of the voting population likes to think well of themselves, that they’re the best people, have the best children, are smarter than politicians, shouldn’t have to pay taxes, should get lots of services, should not have to get vaccinated because they’re demigods, look good driving that monster pickup, etc. Democrats make them feel bad about themselves, while Republicans reinforce the fantasies they tell themselves. They will only vote for Democrats when Republicans really screw up and they don’t want to be identified with them, i.e., failure is an orphan. That only lasts long enough for them to forget the pain, which, by association, is pain associated with their own screw ups. Then they vote GOP again.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
You are in rural Florida. I think it is impossible to overestimate the wingnuttery of that. I live in St. Louis. There are a super active core of progressives in this city who aren’t just completely oblivious about the extreme Trump love of rural Missouri, but are also actively hostile to the mostly moderate surburanites on the outer edges of the city (and the moderates in the city). In turn, the suburbanites and other moderates think both the progressives and the Trumpers are crazy. I don’t what to do about it. The Trumpers really are crazy. We need both the progressives and the moderates to get along and figure out how to move forward. Yet, that only ever seems to happen when the Trumpers are acting so extreme no one can ignore it.
I think this gets to the way we treat identity more generally. Being treated as an individual is a privilege reserved for the privileged class. If you aren’t part of that privileged group, everything you do is treated as a reflection on your group. So if a Black (or LGBTQ, Jewish, etc.) person does something wrong, other Black people are assumed to be OK with it unless they specifically come out and say they disapprove. Even then, we’re allowed to be skeptical. But if a White person does something wrong, nobody assumes it reflects in any way on other Whites.
This attitude extends to politics, and the way the media treats it shows they see Democrats as being a monolith and Republicans as individuals. All the crimes of Trump were never held against the rest of the party, even though the party was doing everything it could to enable him. But if one Democrat puts a foot out of line, the media will demand everyone else in the party denounce them or be treated as collaborators.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Remember TFG presented himself as a self-made man, who just got a small loan from his father to get started, when in fact his father passed along an empire which TFG squandered.
The two party system makes culture-warring, rather than policy making, a successful strategy. If Democrats want to turn this around, they need to break from the electoral establishment. Republicans already have. See Jan 6th.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@VOR: “a small loan, of a million dollars”… and even that was fifteen different kinds of lie
always struck me as darkly funny that trump, who might have served as a model for the millionaire slobs Rodney Dangerfield played, came from slightly “older” money than central-casting toff Mitt Romney
what does that mean?
Since Bill Clinton, at least (and I’m guessing going back to Reagan), it seems like the vast majority of journalists and media outlets have characterized the Republicans, no matter what they do, as:
serious, disciplined, reliable, realistic, principled, economically and fiscally sound, strong Daddy defenders of the Constitution.
Democrats, on the other hand, are:
goofy, unrealistic, feckless, undisciplined, weak, profligate, wishy-washy, economically and fiscally unsound, weak Mommies that no one respects and the rest of the world pushes around.
No matter how much evidence accumulates that these characterizations are bullshit, and usually the reverse, the media reverts to them as the default. January 6 was just a bunch of random people “having a bad day”, while the evacuation of over 100,000 people from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, ending a trillion dollar war started by GW Bush, is a complete and utter failure for the Democrats. Time and again, Democrats have to clean up the economic and political disasters Republicans create, but it’s the Republicans who are responsible and the Democrats who are do-nothing.
@Bugboy: so it’s your fault :) Good we have someone to blame rather than just progressives
@Steeplejack: The greatest manifestation of white privilege is the privilege of being seen as an individual actor rather than as a part of your group. When white people hear “privilege”, they think of money, but it has absolutely nothing to do with money. I always tell them this if we talk about it, that it has to do with being seen by everyone as an individual rather than as a part of your group. It has to do with how everyone hears a good story and automatically thinks “white person” unless the story says otherwise, because in our culture “white person” is the default for all good things. It’s about how the press treats white male voters as the “default, regular, ordinary” voter around whom all politics must circle.
Well put. Infuriating but apt.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: Thanks for pointing this out. Most of the mediagentsia simply talks to itself. It’s like the elite bashing on the right by people like Ted Cruz. Went to the Ivies, lives in a many thousand SF house in the burbs, certainly knows an elite when he sees one.
@Leto: When a school board member calls Asian-Americans “house n******”, it does not endear her to them.
People who reflexively vote R want one thing. People who vote D balance multiple competing interests and weigh their wants against the parts of society that are visible to them.
These are are completely different thought patterns and may reflect divergent neural processes. We might as well be a separate species on most days.
EG: R voter sees black people, reacts “Scary black people are scaring me! Danger!”
D voter sees black people, reacts “Black people live in scary dangerous environment! Help!”
(This is a dangerous oversimplification, also known as a rhetorical device. I know, I know.)
I don’t think I’ve ever met an “independent” who was the reverse of this, whereas those who are as you describe are, of course, a dime a dozen.
Frankly, our political system is such that in order to be an “independent,” you already need to have accepted so many excuses for Republicans and so many bald-faced lies about Democrats that you’re most of the way to being a Republican anyway. So in that sense it’s not surprising.
@Baud: Also, the idea that the Republicans don’t grade you on a sliding scale is ridiculous. Their scale is all about the color of one’s skin, ie the Paperbag Test
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Since you were indulging in a bit of class war, the dying-on-a-hill analogy seemed appropriate.
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
@Roger Moore: lot of good points there. Another example of that is violence perpetrated by Muslims versus violence perpetrated by Christians. We know how that plays out.
The Moar You Know
@The Dangerman: if Donald Trump gave you his word that he’d do (or not do) something, and you really needed him to carry through on that because the consequences of him changing his mind could really fuck up your life, would you trust him?
Putin wouldn’t either.
Wilhoit’s Law (I believe he first posted this on Crooked Timber)
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
@PJ: absolutely. Restricting access to your school because “we’ll have to lower standards” doesn’t make it look any less racist either.
Mai Naem mobile
I am sure Matt Bai used somebody whose name is Ibrahm X Kendl(whisper – blackity blackity black muslim who must be 6° separation to Lewis Farrakhan/Malcolm X) to make his point for absolutely no reason. I’m sure there’s no lefty Democrat Party registered academic with a name like Matthew Whitman who makes the same point.
I read this piece of happy horseshit earlier today. And it pissed me off. But it also reminded me of something really critical, which is that a lot of people essentially see parties as something akin to social clubs, and they don’t really want to join if they don’t like the other members. That’s why the fact that Kendi is not a Dem party operative doesn’t really matter to people who think like that, and honestly it feels like splitting hairs and is not persuasive. Their self-concept makes them feel compromised if they have any points of alignment with thinkers like Kendi.
This is why the fact that Democratic policies are popular but Democrats are not is so salient. And that goes beyond elected Democrats. It really matters to a lot of people that they see a place for themselves in the party, and some people have a hard time with that if they see others in it who they find distasteful.
Honestly, it’s part of what makes me hate Ford F-150s and golf: I see those as Republican douchebag things.
@VOR: True, but the fathers were very different people. Hell, I could see myself voting for George Romney.
Bai is clearly outraged by CRT. Not the real CRT but the boogie man version which is essentially: a view of Racism that includes Systemic and interpersonal forms that we may or may not even be aware of, and the urgent need for all of us to fight those things. Kendi isn’t an elected official but he is one of the leading popular proponents of Anti-Racism and alot of his ideas and scholarship have heavily influenced Dem framings and priorities like Black maternal health, Racial disparities in wealth and other issues that were mostly ignored for many years. The Dem Party focussing on these things is a good thing. But like so many White People (even on our side or Independents) Bai sounds like he feels threatened or resentful of the fact that Dems are increasingly focussing on trying to dismantle the systems that harm Black people, women, LGBTQ (especially Trans) people etc. It’s the old: I’m no bigot but why does everything have to be about those people? bullshit attitude of subtle White Supremacy. If I had a nickel for every person I’ve known for whom this is essentially their reasoning for why the refuse to support Dems…it’s a VERY common attitude. It’s extra gross because these groups really are in fact under legislative and physical attack as we speak and I for one and very proud that the Dem Party rightfully prioritizes coming to their defense. But a lot of Independents and even Dems hate this. It’s a whole lot of White Fragility and it’s not limited to only White voters. Proximity to Whiteness is a thing and Latinx, Asian-Americans and even Black voters can find White Supremacy appealing if the focus is on Transgender people or the Undocumented etc.
I think one good way the Dem Party can try to thread this needle is through using the Race-Class Narrative that Heather McGhee and Anat Shenker-Osario push which is basically that these culture war attacks are a divide and conquer tactic aimed at distracting voters of privilege from the fact that they are also screwing THEM over and that uniting into a multi-racial coalition is the only way to beat the Nazis. This framing has shown fairly effective in studies, but White Supremacy is a hell of a drug and is not limited to the GOP, so it’s a really huge mountain to climb for Dem success.
TLDR: The Dem Party is the party of Black People, and the more it leans into that it always risks turning off some who would otherwise be in our coalition.
What’s infuriating is that “don’t talk about culture wars, talk about bread and butter issues that everyone can relate to instead” is exactly what the Democratic Party’s been doing for my entire life. Obama’s priority was getting the economy back on track, followed by the ACA. Biden’s priority has been fighting Covid, and passing infrastructure bills. Ditto the failed presidential campaigns in between them. Nobody is running on Gay Transgender Marriage For All and Critical Race Theory. And yet nobody recognizes this, and the drumbeat “Democrats need to stop talking about culture war issues!” just keeps getting louder.
We keep being told that we need to start doing what we have in fact been doing for decades. Well, if that’s not working, what the fuck more do you want?
Well then every Democrat can push back against it. But it’s still fighting a culture war. It’s not NOT fighting a culture war, right?
I can tell the economy is actually good (despite media opnion) because that’s when we get back to culture wars.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Very good observation.
It’s “Democratic activists are the Left of the average voter”
Republican activists are to the Right of the average voter, so why isn’t this a problem for the Republican Party? If “activists” determine what the Party is, both Parties are not “average”.
Yep. People get very defensive when it comes to their children’s education, which, in their view, is a zero sum game.
I am only superficially aware of what was going on with the San Francisco school board, but it was interesting to see that not one district in the city voted against recall. Whatever the school board was doing, it was not popular.
Go find me a single Democratic voter off the street who knows who the fuck Ibram X. Kendi is.
Now go find me a single Republican voter off the street who doesn’t know who the fuck Tucker Carlson is.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:
RE: wingnuttery overestimation, I live in Palm Beach County, purportedly one of the bluest counties in Florida, yet nearly everyone I bump into is at least TFG-curious. Maybe it’s my line of work (mosquito control with a largely blue collar work force), but there is no bottom to that pit.
I thought about you this AM. I got an invite from a law school to go to a forum on why young Ohio lawyers won’t return to the rural areas where they grew up to practice. There’s a shortage.
Suzanne must attend! :)
Republicans don’t have activists. They have concerned moms.
You might want to go back and re-read that comment.
@PJ: Whoa, for real? Damn!
I read an article about the SF result earlier that wasn’t as detailed as the one @Leto excerpted above. It also noted one of the officials took Abraham Lincoln’s name off a school.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Again, their friends, who vote for Democrats, are constantly talking about culture war issues. They are pretending to tell politicians what to do while actually telling their friends and friends friends, in a passive aggressive way, to shut up. The politics and the personal are way too entwined. I’m starting to think that we should be LOUDLY talking about how Democrats disagree about a LOT of stuff, but we work together because we are REAL Americans… basically, the opposite of that advice.
The Super Bowl halftime show really triggered some people.
The Moar You Know
@Leto: no population votes more consistently for Dems than “Asians” (which is an awful term because they are by no means a homogenous group) – 82% last election.
That being said, if you try to bring black students into an Asian-predominant school (or a Hispanic one, for that matter) prepare to get recalled.
The left has got its own racial issues. It’s not “right wing framing”. It’s racism. We should not deny it, but we do.
And they could do it because of the Reagan-era demise of the Fairness Doctrine. Might be just as important as Voting legislation, considering the long-term impact on American Democracy.
@Suzanne: I’m a Democrat. I’ve played golf for 60 years. When “centrists” like Bai whine about “identity” they really mean, “I’m a member of the elite. Discussing social and economic injustice therefore makes me uncomfortable, so Democrats should cut it out. Also, they should throw a little more racism out there for the white proles. They dig that stuff.”
IMO it’s pretty clear a majority of white people in this country will happily embrace authoritarian government if it means they can perceive themselves as being superior as a matter of birth.
@Motivated Seller: Even if the Fairness Doctrine were still in effect, it only ever applied to the airwaves, not cable or the internet.
Polls are bad so there will be a lot of explanations and blaming for why that is, and most of it will return to the old rutted road of Democrats are too…something.
Just remember it is never, ever the fault of Right-leaning centrists in the Democratic Party. They always have it exactly right. Fingers On The Pulse of the Public, always. The Real Americans!
Mike in NC
Matt Bai is a worthless shithead. Nixon deliberately turned the GOP into a white supremacist party with his infamous Southern Strategy. No mystery there.
@Suzanne: Great points, even though I feel somewhat personally attacked since my husband until recently drove an F-250 (legit hauling capacity needs!) and we both play golf (badly). ;-)
The January 6th people are Republican activists.
Yet. Still. Once a day I can read some boring fucking take on how Democratic activists are to the Left of the average voter. Of course they are. Why would anyone think they wouldn’t be?
Plus, we already had this exact same discussion in the 1990s. Can’t we just cut and paste those takes?
The thing to understand is that the Democrats are a diverse coalition. Rather than just settling on a set of priorities, the different parts of the coalition are constantly disagreeing, and each part is pushing for its priorities to be elevated. When AOC (or any other Democrat) is on TV pushing for their specific interests, it’s part of that constant jockeying. It’s messy that this happens out in public rather than behind closed doors, but that’s the way it works.
@Leto: Anti-Blackness appeals to pretty much every group in America. Asian-Americans are no exception and have some real problems with it in their communities too. They buy into alot of the pro-police fear mongering about “Urban” settings and the same assumption that Black people just don’t work hard enough bullshit that pretty much every immigrant group has adopted in the US. Same goes for the Latinx community. That shit is hardly limited to White People, and it can be a real obstacle to building multi-racial coalitions.
I can see the outrage at the Council person having used a racist epithet and the desire to recall them for that, but honestly I don’t think any of the rest of it was off-the-mark. The Model Minority is absolutely racist in nature, but a lot of Asian-Americans understandably are happy to reap the benefits it brings with it.
Dacia Mitchell, the former co-host of the This Week In Blackness podcast, moved with her family to Arcadia (where I teach tennis lessons) and eventually moved back to Oakland after only a year. She said that the amount of Anti-Blackness she encountered dealing with her daughter’s mostly-Asian-American school (administrators and students) was some of the worst she’s ever seen. To paraphrase, she said “That city is White Supremacist as FUCK, and not a healthy place for anyone to raise a Black child.”
The Moar You Know
@PJ: the reason why, from a radio nerd: Airwaves are legally public property, therefore the government gets a rather large say in what gets carried over them. Cable/telephone/fiber are privately owned, and the government gets very little if any say in what content they carry at all.
The “Fairness Doctrine” was only possible because the legal status of airwaves as public property made it possible. To try and apply it to anything else would fail, and frankly, nobody would like the results. Donald Trump would never have been able to have been tossed off Twitter, for starters.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Betty, related to the culture war issue, we are seeing it writ large in the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill that is about to pass here in Florida. As the father of a queer daughter just coming into herself, that terrifies me.
Unfortunately, you can substitute most prejudices in there and the sentence still works just as well. The individually targeted group feels attacked, but large numbers of people in every other demographic are fine with it. Which is part of why conservative messaging works so well and why it’s so hard for Democrats to rally against it.
@Betty Cracker: the article does mention that the school board was removing names with connections to slavery, racism, “issues” even if the connections were spurious at best. It didn’t give specific names, just a general thing.
@The Moar You Know: No they’re not a homogenous group, just like “Whites/Blacks/Hispanics” aren’t a homogenous group. And yeah, we deny our racism quite a bit. You’d think that the ability to recognize universal oppression would be a bit more of a thing, but it’s def not.
You got it right. We need to talk more about the culture war being waged by rich folks trying to divide us as Americans.
It might help the “we non-billionaires all in this together” narrative if woke white folks talked about how they fight their own ingrained and lingering racism everyday and how white privilege has helped them in their own lives. Virtue signalling gets old when it is not backed up by self-awareness.
@Chris: Absolutely. And all the isms/phobias are just branches of the same tree. Just pick your scapegoat! That’s essentially American politics for most of our history.
But since we were talking about Kendi and CRT, I focussed on Anti-Blackness.
Because Republicans don’t have the same kind of loose coalition that we do, and I also think that temperamentally they are not the same as us.
I, for example, am not a “joiner”. I don’t like “joining” things. I don’t like identifying myself as a member of a group like a political party or a church or a school or whatever. I define myself — my self-concept — is as someone who is interested in things or who is good at things or engages in certain activities. But not as a member of a group. I encounter a lot of people like me on the left. Far fewer on the right. That is a group of people who are acculturated to being a member of a group, even if they have problems with it. They are more content within authority structures and hierarchies and therefore this dynamic is not as real for them.
Like it or not, plenty of people who are notionally in our alignment are turned off by others in the coalition, and because their self-concept isn’t as DEMOCRAT, they will turn away from the party.
I’ve been lucky beyond belief in every aspect of my life and circumstances rather than my own merits were by far the major reasons for my good fortune. That’s one reason I’m a Democrat. When people get a break, any break, good things happen not just to them, but around them.
@Suzanne: Good points.
I know someone who’s basically like that. Being an independent is a state of mind for her, a kind of statement that she’s willing to vote for the candidate rather than the party. She’s constantly looking for a sane Republican she can point to as a sign that they really do exist. But in practice she is constantly calling out Republican insanity for what it is and votes Democratic. My dad used to be like that until he admitted he just wasn’t going to find a sane Republican and registered as a Democrat so he could have a say in the party.
New Deal democrat
Probably too late into the thread to point this out, but after the Supreme Court invalidates Roe v. Wade, all bets are off.
The first time in over 200 years that a right that Americans believed they had – and had for 50 years – and that perhaps 20% of them have made use of at some point, is taken away.
I repeat: the day that happens, all bets are off.
@JMG: I maintain that media hate Democrats because Black people wield power and influence. I think it’s that simple.
My belief is that since, in any given election, between 3/5’s to 2/3’s, nationally, of white men vote Republican, and white men are considered the very serious people of society, who are fit to do any job regardless of qualifications, Republicans are given the mantle of seriousness white men automatically have and therefore are beyond serious rebuke.
To rebuke Republicans would be to rebuke the assumption white men are automatically fit to run society. Most businesses, institutions, etc. are run by white men and they can’t have that assumption questioned.
@topclimber: Agreed. But the problem is that even talking about the work we do on ourselves or the privilege we have, gets quickly dismissed as virtue-signaling or as an attempt to shame others. No matter how much it isn’t.
A large part of Whiteness is the default setting that makes us think we don’t need to take active measures to have greater understanding, solidarity and love for marginalized groups. And to get very defensive when any suggests that we should.
Hahaha, I thought about you this morning! There was a piece in the WaPo about investor groups buying up houses as rentals and driving up prices (pricing out first-time homebuyers and really anybody who is not rich), and some of the zip codes experiencing this the most are in OH. Had visuals and everything!
Can I talk about how much I love a good infographic?!
I don’t mind if we tack center to win the midterms, but the people who advise this then have to win.
They can’t lose and just come back in two years and say it again, for the next 30 years, like they have for the last 30.
The whole appeal of centrism, the selling point, is it’s practical and transactional and “gets stuff done”. So that has to happen. Also no complaining that voters are transactional and want an immediate return on their investment because centrism tells them that’s the exchange they’ve entered into. If our whole pitch is we will “solve” inflation, then they have to solve inflation. If there’s no big idea or guiding principle in your campaign then you’re left with a list of narrow promises to solve and you’ve entered into a transaction with voters. If they don’t get what they want they’ll bail, because you never really had them. They just wanted X for Y.
@Leto: There’s a long history to Lowell High School’s admission problems. Asian’s and Asian Americans tend to see strict high academic standards as the way up the economic ladder. This being SF, the Asian population is much larger than the black, 34% to 5%. Wikipedia has a run down on all the changes and lawsuits going back to 1983.
@Bostondreams: We’re in the exact same boat. It’s scary as hell what’s happening here. DeSantis did some public event about tourism yesterday with a placard on the lectern that read “Vacation to Freedom.” It’s a sick joke on many levels. This state is feeling more like an authoritarian hellhole by the day.
Hey, all. Quick notes:
Hypomania *SUCKS*. Now, I recognize it.
I was rude. I was like a bull in the china shop. Pretend the bull *loves* fine china; he ain’t getting out without heavy breakage.
I love people. I was in a perpetual china shop. Hypomanic, yes, I’m not feeling like some monster (which is a great improvement), but I *am* entirely responsible, and for anything I did rudely or wrongly, I do humbly apologize.
I would like to make sure Watergirl checks her e-mail, if she hasn’t received one with a short title. I have no right to demand she read it, of course! But I would like her to know I wanted to apologize to her, about a private matter, and give her my thanks. Maybe too *profuse*, but heartfelt.
Final bit of cuteness that I found in myself unexpectedly: “And Bull-ies sure do like to build china shops around bulls.” Hope it brings a smile.
PS: probably taking a break. It’s like the bar where you humiliated yourself during a bender. Maybe they didn’t care once you paid for the damages, but it’s still *embarrassing* to remember “damn. *I* did *that*.” Sometimes, you need a break before you can go back.
@The Dangerman: If Putin re-invades Ukraine, his timing is meant to badly damage Biden (among other goals). As the GOP has gone soft on Russia, it is more destabilizing for the US if a Dem president has to decide on retaliation. Whatever Joe does will be torn to bits by the blob and that will be like mana from heaven for disloyal Republicans* to regurgitate and amplify on Fox et al.
*At this point, virtually all of them. The old ‘partisanship ends at the water’s edge’ is yet another norm the GOP pissed all over once the blah guy got elected in 2008.
@New Deal democrat:
I bet most white women will continue to vote Republican.
20% isn’t a majority. It’s a lot of people, but still small enough that not everyone personally knows someone in this group. If something doesn’t personally affect them, people are hard pressed to deeply care enough to actually change what they are doing.
A bit over 20% of the U.S. population contracted COVID. It has not created any kind of civic solidarity that jeopardizes anti-vax anti-mask assholes political power.
That’s the reason why a revolution of the proletariat will never happen in this country. A majority of working class whites will always vote white before they vote working class.
The New Deal was able to happen because FDR had no interest in elevating non-whites above second class citizenship.
@Roger Moore: “The thing to understand…”
“I” know that, and “you” know that, the problem is my colleague at the Health Department (along with millions of other GOP refugees who could potentially vote Democrat) don’t know that…
I’ve had long discussions with my colleague about the term “socialism”. Central and South American immigrants see that word and think “Pinochet”. AOC says that word and she is thinking “Social Security, Medicare, Fire Departments, Schools, etc., etc., etc.”. We can all agree there are many socialized aspects to our form of government, but the visceral reaction to Republican messaging cancels out any legitimate exchange of ideas.
@Betty Cracker: The Lincoln bit jarred me at first, but I think this is the historical bit behind it.
YES THANK UUUUU.
As noble and wonderful as most people here are, invoking the language of generational struggle and civic responsibility and commitment to something greater than oneself…. is a total loser for a lot of voters. Honestly, it is for me, too. I don’t have time for that. Yes, I’m privileged. But it also sounds like the realm of people who can afford to lose for a while. Shit’s on fire. Bills need paying. Results matter. And you need the votes of a lot of people who expect their vote to be earned.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@JMG: I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t been gay and bullied, I’d have become a Republican. I come from a family of them. Basically, the mantra has been that the hard working family members became affluent despite humble origins and the rest are examples of failure. As a lesbian woman, though, I’ve seen that it isn’t that simple. Its given me a perspective and a level of empathy I would not have had. Plus, it drove me to the cities, because I’ve been safer there. Living in cities has taken me out of the white, white suburbs, which also chipped away at the white supremacist narratives I grew up with. In cities, you also do rely on government more.. from the sewer systems to snow removal to park management. Again, I have a different perspective than my outlying suburban family.
Similarly, my sister, who really is a progressive liberal (and a very anti abortion rights one because she is very very religious) recently said to me that she lost a great deal of respect for Biden for the bloody withdrawal from Afghanistan. Said it multiple times truly. I think it is unlikely that she regains that lost respect. So another anecdotal example of the subject of this post…. when a Democrat does something that is unpopular there’s almost never any ability to recover.
Without reading further, I posit that Republicans get so many free passes because our media are largely for profit entities and those for profit owners are themselves predisposed to be Republicans because they are from the monied business class.
My anecdotal proof is that I’ve noticed a very recent trend on MSNBC programming (not Hayes, or Maddow, and others) to parrot the” woe is them” Dem electoral prospects next fall.
We Democrats have to work way way harder for our votes and too often eke out victories that by any sane measure should have been absolute blowouts.
And women have a lot more power than they do in Republican politics.
One of the key things about the culture wars is that they’re weirdly asymmetric. A lot of the culture war stuff is about excluding some group that has previously been excluded. That could be an ethnic minority, a religious minority, LGBTQ+ people, or what have you.
Within the Democratic party, this produces a very split reaction. Including Group X is obviously wildly popular with members of Group X, and there’s often a small set of people who see inclusion as their bag who are also very happy about it. But most Democrats aren’t members of Group X. They’re still happy with the idea of including more people, but it just isn’t a big deal to them because it doesn’t affect them directly.
In the Republican party, inclusion is a big deal for a huge swath of the party. They’re Republicans precisely because they want to restrict things to the people who already have them. Stirring up hate against Group X for having the temerity to demand equal rights is easy. There may be some members of Group X who are Republicans and who like the idea of more representation for their group, but they understand they need to keep quiet to avoid being cast out.
The net result is that Democrats tend to want to keep culture war stuff on the low down. Yeah, it’s great to keep expanding the circle of people who are considered to count as real people, but it isn’t the thing that’s going to excite the party as a whole. OTOH, the Republicans really want to beat the drum on this because they know it’s a reliable way of riling up the base.
The funny thing is that enough Americans fall into the category of liking inclusion but not being super excited about it when it doesn’t affect them personally that it has kept marching forward. The inclusive side has kept winning the culture war even though it hasn’t made a big deal about it, and the exclusive side has kept losing despite being constantly on the war path.
@WhatsMyNym: understandable, but it also returns to the original thesis of: people in power don’t want to relinquish it. Doesn’t matter who’s in power. Also it ties into the reasoning behind their lawsuits. Aaaaand to the fact that a lot of racism in America is: as long as I’m above black people, it’s all good. Basically, racism sucks.
You’re fine. There’s a lot of “weirdos” here. Say what you want.
@Leto: I think the Chinese Americans in SF are very familiar with racism.
@Betty Cracker: My BF and I are headed to Sarasota in just over a month for a small conference within a global human rights org I support. With a side trip to see two gay couples we know on the Atlantic coast.
I am planning to talk with the organizers about Florida swirling down the human rights drain. I’m personally rather sensitive to the anti LGBT garbage going on, though voter suppression, failing to condemn Nazis and all sorts of other bad crap is going on.
Each year we’ve met we’ve included a visit to see a performance of the West Coast Black Theater Troupe. Sarasota itself doesn’t seem like too wingnutty a place.
At a minimum I’d like the organizers of the conference to let the Westin know that current FL politics are a threat to our further engagement. And pointedly ask them to reach out to the FL Chamber, since they fund the g.d. Republicans. Let the money-wing of the GOP know that there’s a financial cost to being blatantly prejudiced.
Why t.f. should my partner and I continue to spend out gay tourism dollars in a state that is poised to pass a ‘we hate gays’ law in 2022? We can hit the beaches of warm and welcoming Puerto Rico in just a few hours more flying time. (It really is our favorite US beach destination already!)
eta: One of the couples we’re visiting is contemplating emigrating from the US entirely. BF and I aren’t ready for that, but we live in MN & part-time in CO where the bubble still feels more safe.
@Old Man Shadow:
Or, will hide behind Frank Luntz-approved language…see the new Governor of Virginia.
@Kay: OT I heard on the radio today that Jane Timken has hired Kellyanne Conway for her Senate campaign. That should be interesting.
@Betty Cracker: except when they line up like lemmings to die from a virus….
It’s a mistake to see White supremacy as primarily a matter of Whites being allowed to perceive themselves as superior. It’s a matter of institutional preference for Whites over minorities. How many White people haven’t missed out on something sometime in their lives that went to a minority? White supremacy tells them they could have had it by keeping Those People down.
No lies told.
Honestly, it really illuminated a lot for me. Namely, how I totally am in a bubble. I loved the hell out of all of that music, including when it came out. That music was the soundtrack of my high school and college years (my college roommate and I have been texting since it happened). Like, everybody on my women’s wing of my college dorm looooooved that music. And we were mostly white and Latina, as you would expect at a state university an hour north of the border. Like, I honestly thought most white people loved hip-hop by now, or at least considered it valid even if it isn’t their thing.
Ella in New Mexico
I’m firmly convinced that it’s because Democrats are seen and responded to as the Good Mommy’s of the political world. We’re supposed to be forever patient, all knowing, perfect models of high moral principles and conduct, and in general fix everything in life’s problem list.
And if we fall short, folks can lash out, have temper tantrums, behave very badly and blame us for their misery. You know, because Mommy’s cause all of our psychic injury in life.
The Strict Daddy Party, meanwhile, will literally beat you then kick your ass out of the house to go find your own way if you contradict them. And they’ll rave at how strong and smart R’s are.
See also: tire rims and anthrax.
You write about this through the lenses of politics and logic. When there is no logic and the two-bit ratfuck soulless criminals masquerading as humans are leading the Republican Party headlong into full-frontal fascism, it’s gonna look, sound and feel like this. TFG actually could shoot somebody in broad daylight in the middle of Fifth Ave, and the FTFNY and WSJ would continue the opinion page both-siderism and bashing of non-fascists unabated without missing a deadline.
I don’t even like hip-hop all that much, but that was good music.
@RaflW: we need to hurt every company that does business in fascist American states. Disney is hearing from me as well as a shareholder, I’ll remind them that they will lose ESG investment status if they don’t start flexing more muscle against DeSantis
Not just the U.S.
@Leto: Race may be part of it, but it’s not the only part. With regards to schools, a lot is based on the notion of a meritocracy – that in public education, at least, there is a fair system in place that puts the more advanced students in the more academically rigorous schools (from where they can advance to the more prestigious universities and obtain access to better jobs, and, ideally, the networks of power and money that run the country.) Notwithstanding that the systems of public education in this country have advantaged white people over every other group for as long as we have had public education, many, many parents buy into the notion that their child succeeds or fails in the system based on their child’s innate abilities and personal efforts.
So when you get to the high school stage, these parents are very invested (sometimes literally invested, in terms of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on tutoring for their children) in the idea that test scores and grades are a fair assessment of a child’s worthiness to attend the most rigorous high schools, and that if their child has among the highest test scores and grades, they have earned a spot in one of those schools – they merit it more than other kids.
So when you tell these parents that enrollment at the best high school will now be based on a lottery, because black and brown children have been excluded from that school due to systemic racism, they are angry – what happened to the meritocracy? What good are these test scores or grades if they don’t get their child into elite schools?
Towards the end of his term, De Blasio floated getting rid of the testing requirements for the elite NYC high schools. The idea was extremely unpopular, and Erik Adams affirmed that the testing system would remain in place. If removing academic requirements for the best schools won’t play in “liberal” New York City or San Francisco, I don’t think it’s going to play in Peoria, either.
What needs to happen is a dismantling of the notion of a meritocracy, along with, obviously, improving all of our public schools. That’s going to be a long project. ETA: But hopefully not as long as the dismantling of racism project.
Even more fundamentally, pursuant to the iron law of humanity, some portion of minorities and women, being human beings, are assholes. In the olden days, a white male could reach into his bag of racism and sexism to deal with assholes, often effectively. Nowadays, he has to learn to deal with asshole behavior in non-racist, non-sexist ways lest he be cancelled. It’s like when society tells us (and we tell ourselves) that we can’t deal with right-wing assholes by engaging in broadside attacks on their race or religion. It’s a huge loss of privilege for white men to have to deal with the assholes of the world the way everyone else does. Resentment is inevitable.
@Kay: “Progressives” have to win to prove the validity of their approach every bit as much “Centrists” do. And they have to win in purple districts and states to prove the value of their approach, at least to me.
But I think the differences between liberal and moderate Democratic officeholders tends to be exaggerated. If you look at the Democratic House and Senate Caucuses, I think you’d find that 80 to 90% share similar positions on almost all policy positions. Depending on the district or state they have to win, their presentation may vary, as it should.
To the main theme of the blogpost:
The Democratic base is principally women, POCs, LGBTQ etc. The Republican base is white men.
Whenever there’s conflict, wether in the office, the home, the town council or our national politics and press, who is called on to de-conflict the situation? Is it white men? Ever?
Nope. It is also why Hillary Clinton is always the stand-in for ‘Democrats’ even as Joe Biden, moderate nice ol white guy that he is, is president. So much in this country (though we don’t have an exclusive on these problems) boils down to misogyny and racism, with a soupçon of homophobia/transphobia to boot.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I thought Republicans had largely lost the culture wars?
I read that too. I’m worried about Gibbons!
I feel I was promised Josh Mandel, not “generic rich Republican”.
There is an in-group which is protected by the law without being bound by it, and an out-group, which is bound by the law without being protected by it.
@New Deal democrat:
This take seems hopelessly optimistic and naive to me. Abortion is a woman thing and women are already treated like second class citizens so another right taken away won’t get more than a passing sentence on the news. Media talks about abortion from a distance as if it impacts other people and uses right wing framing when they do so it rarely gets treated as a health issue that impacts not just women but families and communities. White women will continue to vote whiteness first and thus Republican. 20% isn’t enough people to get attention. It may sound like a lot but it’s not enough. Plus, it’s likely that various states will keep it legal so it’s an out for people to say that abortion isn’t banned in the US.
Oh, I agree. But that test is only applied to progressives. A centrist loss is always just portrayed as a loss for Democrats, generically, with the assumption being “any” Democrat would have lost.
“Centrist” is an approach and an ideology, like any other.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
The only people I’ve seen whine about it are dorks like Charlie Kirk. My co-workers thought the Half-Time show was awesome. Did see on an r/NFL reddit thread that some thought the “End Racism” thing was a tad corny though, even if they agreed with the message
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
“How Trump’s rampage reveals the failure of liberal gun control policies.”
@sab: Timken knew she had to do something after J.D Vance got M.T. Greene to campaign with him.
More seriously, I read in Politico that Trump has now got it in for Ohio Senate candidate Matt Dolan. State Senator Dolan claims he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, and would vote for him in 2022 too, but he’s not running a “MAGA” campaign. Trump has noticed and is publically trashing Dolan.
I’m always told this but “similiar positions on all policy issues” doesn’t mean anything. Sinema ‘supports’ voting rights. She just doesn’t do anything about it.
Manchin ‘supports’ rescinding some of the Trump tax cuts. If he runs out the clock on actually rescinding them does it matter at all if he “supports” that?
@Kay: I don’t know. Centrists and progressives generally compete in vastly different areas. I think they are hard to compare. The more interesting thing to look at is which Dem wins tough races rather than who loses them.
@Kay: Me too. I am very worried about Gibbons.
There are more centrists in Congress than Manchin and Sinema. Those two are particularly odious.
Open thread, so. Received an email this morning that I would receive my COVID tests in today’s mail and sure enough.
Not sure when I will use them. I’ve battled winter head and allergies for the last few months, and I know I need to have the house ductwork cleaned–everything I’ve felt that makes me wonder about the virus has been ear-nose-throat related and treatable with OTC meds. For all I know, I already had it.
Still masking when I go shopping etc. Most folks I see here in Lake County IL are masked, and stores still have signs posted asking folks to mask. My local hardware store, however, seems to have gone pretty much mask-free, which is why I will be going elsewhere for the foreseeable future unless I go curbside. I like to support local stores, but I still have limits.
Maybe Democratic principles would be more popular if all those folks spent more time DEFENDING them instead of AGREEING WITH REPUBLICANS that they’re bad and worth disavowing.
We’re going to see it again shortly: “centrist” Dems running ads against progressive challengers handwringing about “being too extreme for MERIKANS”, followed a few months later by the GOP running the exact same talking points against the “centrist”.
There’s a sizable segment of the party that would prefer permanent fascism over momentarily admitting that the hippies were right about anything at all.
And often it’s a matter of priorities. An elected Democrat can “support” something and never put it in a bill or make it a priority or take any risk at all promoting it. It’s fine- they prioritize something else- but they’re not “90%” together.
You see it when they start jettisoning things from these bills. What goes first, what goes last. That’s a real thing! They can’t cut out 90% of their legislative agenda leaving only climate change and tell me they didn’t make choices. They did. Who makes those choices matters.
@Kay: Of course definitions are arbitrary, but I tend to think of Centrism as an electoral strategy. I guess there are people who take it as an ideology, but I think that’s more the pundits than the practical politicians.
And while it is true that some moderates will blame progressives when they lose, there is a large cohort of people on the left who blame moderates for the Democrats’ electoral failings. A lot of these people are not Democrats, though.
@The Moar You Know: If the Fairness Doctrine had been preserved, there would have been no Rush Limbaugh, his clones and Sinclair radio pumping poison for the last 40 years.
This was a major component of right-wing radicalization, especially in rural communities where driving distances are long and there are few radio stations.
Coming late to a great thread and great comments.
I think that recovery from the pandemic and stimulating the economy is more important than culture wars. However, we do need to deal with right wing hysteria and their ongoing flirtation with white supremacy and cultural erasure of people, culture and ideas that frighten them. And where are the pundits who also should be fighting this, but who instead blandly ask “what are the Democrats going to do, and really shouldn’t they just capitulate?”
Critical Race Theory is not being taught in elementary, middle or high schools, and very few people anywhere are shouting or even murmuring “defund the police.” For conservatives, this is just another way of racist white people to tell black and Hispanic people to shut up and keep quiet about the outrages that they have to deal with on a daily basis.
The Republicans are trying to kill you. The Democrats best message is still that paraphrase from The Terminator, “Come with us if you want to live.”
More than that, they actively oppose them. Sinemanchin might say they support these things, but the level of obstruction they’ve put into ensuring that they never pass, and the way it’s been done in the most lengthy, dragged-out, and public way so as to do the maximum amount of damage to Democrats possible… pretty much belies that. This isn’t just people who are theoretically okay with Democratic action items but just don’t personally care enough to put in the work. It’s people actively working to kneecap the Democrats.
But lets don’t blow smoke up their ass with “90% agreement”. That doesn’t mean anything. I “agree” the ditch across from my office shouldn’t be full of trash. Yet I have not gotten over there and picked it up.
They prioritized infrastructure over BBB. It wasn’t hard to see. They literally put it first.
Obama had competing priorities too. There was a whole school of thought that he spent too much political heft on health care and should have done more on the economy prior to the 2010 midterms. They made decisions. All I’m asking is they refrain from reflexively blaming the Left side of the Party every time polls dip. I can feel it starting already.
@Kay: the reason we cant run positively on our side of culture war issues is that we represent minorities in our coalition. In some cases pretty tiny minorities like trans folks or militant black folks that frankly freak the fuck out of even moderate dems. Thats just structural electoral math. When you stick up for the little guy you get smashed in the face a lot. Sometimes you get those people hurt worse by fighting for them.
I’m ready to electorally retreat on the culture issues. Go ahead and lie. There is practically speaking nothing to accomplish. Culture wars must be won in culture, via Finlandization, not through politics and legislation. We always win there in the long run, even if the run seems too long. Political positions we are now ashamed of like don’t ask don’t tell or Obama saying marriage was between a man and a woman were functional lies that didnt actually retard the ultimate cultural win.
I feel faintly terrible saying this, my own sister is trans. I want to fight for her in every arena because she needs it and deserves it. Reality is reality though. I think its plausible to say we’ve made legislative movement in our direction almost impossible for at least a decade. I think that may be largely because of our moral clarity. America can’t handle moral clarity. You have to win elections, period. We need to find the weasely, smarmy, conflicted language that allows the mushy middle to feel comfortable in the party. Leftist edgelords will definitionally never be happy with a Democratic party that can win elections.
Matt Bai is just another dudebro. it sucks that he got to post that steaming pile of Goldilocks white grievance shit at the Washington Post, but considering Theissen takes up residence there twice a week it’s not surprising. It’s always gloom and doom for Democrats, always has been.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
New Deal democrat
@gene108: “I bet most white women will continue to vote Republican.”
@Yarrow: “This take seems hopelessly optimistic and naive to me. ”
I stand by my statement. Psychological studies show that people react much more strongly when something is taken away from them, than when something is anticipated being given to them.
The reaction will be strong, and utterly visceral. We will revisit this next summer.
I completely agree. I think it was malicious- designed to do damage to Joe Biden and the Democratic Party and try to ensure they don’t hold Congress.
I can’t fucking stand either one of them (although I think Manchin is sleazier and also a genuinely dumb person) so it’s been somewhat inspiring to me. I would like to beat them. I would enjoy that.
And a significant % of higher-income whites will, too. They’ll vote white AND they’ll vote with the billionaires in hopes of not falling down the income ladder.
We ought to point it out everywhere and every time that we can: what Republicans call “socialism”, the rest of the world calls “basic government services”
I’m not going to attack all “centrists” for BBB when it came down to two Senators. We don’t like it when all progressives are tarred because of conduct only a handful engaged in.
Everyone always blames someone else. I would love to enforce a solidarity rule, but that’s not doable.
Whenever a Democratic president gives a right-leaning independent or non-insane Republican voter a reason to revert back to that right-lean…they do. Regardless of how bad the Republican alternative is, regardless of whatever disaster a Republican president has just foisted on the nation once again.
See also, ‘beer summit’
Enhanced Voting Techniques
It’s been observed that Liberal policies are quite popular, so basically media trolling for page hits. The media dork you are quoting is doing a post mortem on an election that hasn’t happened.
@Kay: Gibbons. JFC. He’s taken over the 7-8 Jeopardy/Wheel slot here in Columbus. That guy has to be spending a ton of money.
Yes. America’s caste system depends upon these arrangements staying put.
The Moar You Know
@New Deal democrat: pre-Roe, it was left to the states. And there are going to be at least 15 states that will allow it to be available. So not all Americans will lose this right. Not immediately.
The next hurdle for the GOP, and the Holy Cause that will keep the BabyBucks flowing in to that party, will be the effort to ban it nationally.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
From what I can tell, he’s not a generic rich Republican, at least from his ads. He plays to all the right-wing culture war flashpoints. All voters should vote on Election Day, athletes should stand for the flag, etc.
It’s so laughably, ridiculously transparent I don’t know how anyone takes these ads seriously; they’re almost like bad parodies
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
@The Moar You Know:
Not all, but many will
I just saw that Matt Bai article in the Post and my first thought was who the hell wants to read that? What a waste of valuable space in the paper.
In case no one has mentioned it, this heading by BC has rotating-tag written all over it.
Good article as well and appreciated. Even with bleak or discouraging news politically, I continue coming to BJ and always feel better after reading the writings. At the least, better informed and/or guided off the margins of anger.
Not Americans, but I heard a story about a white man who spent a year in Japan working for a multinational country. He said any white person who wants to understand some of what black people’s lives in America are like should move to a country like Japan, where white people are often shunned. He said people in restaurants would literally get up and move to a different table when his family sat down, and that people would cross the street to avoid him. I think this was sometime in the 1990’s or early 2000’s, so things might have changed some, but I thought it was instructive. My husband also told me that Vietnamese are racist against white people, at least that was his experience. I think we all have some of that no matter who we are or what race we are.
And yeah, that highlighted sentence in Leto’s excerpt struck me as highly racist.
fully agree, but also cleeks law. so two
@Kay: Putting Infrastructure over the BBB bill was a pragmatic decision, not an ideological one. Democrats could get one through the Senate but not the other. Biden and Pelosi wanted to get this good legislation on the board.
On it’s merits, the Infrastructure bill had strong support in the Progressive Caucus. Caucus members Porter, Raskin, Neguse and Escobar were quick to talk up the bill after passage, and recited it’s benefits to the nation as well as to their district. They were the only ones I checked, but I expect the other 84 Progressive Caucus members who voted for the bill did so too. And Senate candidates Demings and Ryan, and Senators Cortez-Masto, Kelly, Warnock and Hassan are campaigning on it.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
The key, I think, is to peel off enough of the white “I worked for everything I have” and who are immediately defensive (thus, immediately lost) voters whenever the idea of privilege is brought forth.
We have to find a compelling way to communicate how the politicians they support are making it harder for people like them while at the same time identifying an equally compelling pushback when Republicans inevitably dust off the “they think you didn’t work hard, that you only got ahead b/c of white privilege” line they use to keep the side-eyes from bolting.
West of the Rockies
Bai is one of those writers who says a few things a low-info Dem would agree with: Trump was bad, there are you many shootings, etc. But 75% of his effort goes into ill-informed whining about Democrats (and how extra-super cool he is for being an independent.
My silly and probably nonsensical take is that there are basically two kinds of people: fact people and story people.
For fact people, facts are very important. The positions they hold have to be reasonably well supported by evidence, and they will modify their assessments based on information, since they care about having a reasonably realistic picture of what is going on.
For story people, whatever story they have latched onto is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter if it is true or not, the like the story and will protect it at all costs, because if the story falls apart, they have nothing. They will accept any claims that support the preferred story and ignore any that do not, because their measure of truth is “does this claim tell me what I want to hear.”
Which isn’t to say that fact people don’t enjoy a good story, but that anything of major significance has to be supported by actual evidence – reality takes precedence over a fun story, and there is the sense that just pretending real hard is not a good way to solve a problem.
I think part of the problem with the current GOP is most of the reality based people have simply left – the GOP spent the last 20 years going all in on the cultist route, and now have a fan base that simply does not care about anything not coming from outside the compound. The Tea-bagger and Q-Anon years have demonstrated these people spend a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money pursuing their favored stories. It wouldn’t be quite fair to describe them as “low information” it’s just that they are completely uncaring whether this information is accurate or makes any sense at all, as long as it is something they like the sound of.
And perhaps worryingly for anyone in the GOP hoping to steer the minions away from the all-you-can-drink kool-aid buffet, the trumpalos seem very clear on what they do like and what they don’t in a story and will cheerfully turn on anyone who disappoints their narrative sensibilities. In a very real way, it seems like they’ve taken over story time and don’t really need the people supposedly leading them to do much more than keep them stirred up, because like Ren Hoek, they really like being really angry and having someone to hate.
And for the truly low-info voter, the GOP does ride pretty hard on the whole if you want to be patriotic and generically good, vote for us – they hows or whys of that are unclear, but if you got to many GOP senate and congressional websites, they keep the batshit crazy stuff on the downlow, and figure the empty platitudes very prominently. For example, Marsha Blackburn is a foaming idiot, but if you just hit her website for a quick bit of pre-voting “research” that might not be the impression you come away with – one thing the last few years have really emphasized is that many people have an unrealistically high opinion of their ability to find and evaluate information online.
I have no idea what can be done about any of this in the short term – what can you really do about people who enthusiastically seek out and embrace lies? Cutting into the supply would help, but that won’t happen before the next election, and I think there is a fair chunk of a whole generation who essentially have a case of terminal brainworms – people willing to accept tales of NASA having pedophile colonies on Mars aren’t going to come off that ledge on their own, and people willing to tolerate and exploit such people aren’t going to do anything to get them off that ledge and are likely perfectly happy to encourage others to follow their example.
It was a pragmatic decision made because some Democratic senators had decided to make BBB an ideological issue. If Manchin and Sinema had been willing to negotiate BBB in good faith, the two bills could have been passed together.
Oops – that should be “not coming from inside the compound.” Sorry.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): Gibbons has to win a Republican primary, and the Ohio Republican party seems fairly radicalized. Dolan is the only candidate running a more traditional Republican campaign, but so far he is polling in single digits.
A few years ago you might expect a Republican to pivot towards the center once they get the nomination. Given how savage the radicals in their party are, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gibbons, Mandel or Timkin finish like they started. If they do it will help Tim Ryan.
The distinction between fact and story people is a good one. One thing that absolutely drives me up the wall, though, is how many of the stories told by the Right are either embellished or completely fabricated. It isn’t that hard to find genuine, factual stories to support Right wing talking points. In a country as big as this one there’s always going to be some man bites dog story you can use to contradict the overall tenor of the facts. But most of the time the Right can’t be bothered to find those stories. Instead, they find some story that kind of, sort of fits and then exaggerate it into the perfect version or just make something up out of whole cloth.
What’s even more maddening is that the people who have bought the story won’t change their minds if you prove it’s false. They have their beliefs, and they’re going to stick with them no matter what.
@New Deal democrat:
Even white women are not a monolith. Married vs Single, College educated vs Non-college, younger vs older, make a great deal of difference in terms of potential Democratic Party votes.
This may also work to the advantage of Democrats. Tax credits and stimulus relief that are available now will make a huge difference to millions of middle class and low income people. The Republicans openly say that they want to take these benefits away. They openly say that middle class, working class people, lower income people are lazy scum and don’t deserve any government help. What they have should be taken away.
The Democrats should be able to win this.
@Roger Moore: Well, yeah. But I’m just talking about the decision to decouple the two bills, and pass the one that could be passed last fall.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): He is a generic rich Republican. He says he is from the working class suburb of Parma, but he went to St. Ignatius (not public school), Kenyon College ( which is not exactly cheap) and has an MBA from Case Western (not exactly cheap.)
Rotating tag nomination
@Geminid: Without decoupling we would have neither. BBB attacks the Trump rich people tax cuts, and we were never going to get that.
RE: Putting Infrastructure over the BBB bill was a pragmatic decision, not an ideological one.
You’re right, but this is where we are. Before the Infrastructure bill passed, the usual suspects among reporters and pundits were declaring that the Biden administration was a total failure because he couldn’t get his promised legislation passed. They were mocking his failure to get bipartisan support for his agenda.
This was false and simplistic nonsense, but getting the bill passed knocked the wind out of these false narratives.
@Kay: It was the *VOLUME*, friend :-). Suddenly I could write literally *thousands* of words a day, and I had some 30 years of pent up writing ready to get out.
I’m embarrassed for not noticing, if nothing else. I could have asked to set up a mailing list of interested parties.
I hope I caused no harm, no hard feelings, but “real” men take responsibility. For me, saying “I was wrong, here’s why” is so *easy* and free of fear… I’m so happy to be able to do that. So, good thing for me, tiny modest brag, and, I hope, the apology is sufficient to repair any damage to “the community”. Or prove I’m weird (joke)!
@Kristine: FYI, you can nominate rotating tags by yourself. It’s not a power that only front pagers have.
Also, it’s fun when you totally forget that you nominated a tag that you like. I totally don’t remember nominating the comment about hoarding linguine!
There’s frankly no other explanation that fits the facts. The most charitable interpretation is that they really are as dumb as they look, and think that kneecapping the Democratic Party serves the greater cause of fostering bipartisanship and preventing any one faction from having too much power in Washington and all the rest of that shit “moderates” claim will make America great. But it still ads up to the same result.
@Sure Lurkalot: Thanks.
@Salty Sam: Thanks.
Unless you’re all conspiring to lie. :)
@Brachiator: Aside from knocking the wind out of false narratives, that Infrastructure bill is going to do a lot of people good. The political benefits to Democrats will be great if they exploit them, and Democratic politicians are running on these accomplishments. And to get the that money flowing this year we had to pass the bill by November.
Trump has made a point of attacking the thirteen Republican Representatives who voted for the infrastructure bill. As a political matter, this is typically stupid on Trumps part. That horse is out of the barn, and most of the thirteen are not in safe seats. But even Trump knows that the Infrastructure bill was good for Democrats, and that’s why he’s upset about it.
@Kay: I hate both of them so much. I don’t want to just defeat them. I want them destroyed
All this discussion about what the parties stand for mainly centers white people and reduces other demographics to overly broad lazy generalizations. Not just the media but even in liberal/leftie spaces like this one do it.
I grew up in Potomac and Chevy Chase MD. I’ve lived in Georgetown and Dupont as well. I grew up with these people and have lived with them a while. I went to high school with these people.
The sad thing is that Tucker and Bai aren’t really wrong about what those people are like. If anything they are understating it. “No More White Men” is a thing you will hear about anything from jobs, to politics, to dating. Daring to say you’d prefer someone who’s a woman can get you mauled as anti trans or anti gay. I’ve heard multiple times that shipping jobs to other countries is good because it takes jobs from racist white men and gives them to the good people of XYZ, and yes the pain to lower class whites is part of the point and you do get to gloat that they had all their white advantages but could make so they suck even though they didn’t ship their jobs away. And oh boy do they point and laugh and mock Christians, lower class whites, and rural people.
They are sadistic sociopaths from highly educated schools and they are all social liberals. Not having those views or questioning them will land you in a world of shit as well. On economics though they don’t care about the poor. More female CEOs and more diverse board members but keep that inequality alive because IT’S OUR TURN. But we are a meritocracy, and the non elite educated get what they deserve.
But to put it bluntly, these places aren’t Real America. But they are the bubbles journalists live in. I still live in the area but not as goofy of an area and I still work in the sort of elite firm circles but a much more laid back one. So I’m not stuck with the sharks but I know they exist and I know that some of them are far nastier than even Bai talks about. And these people do run a lot of corporate, consulting, NGO, public policy, and other type jobs that truly decide things. And if you’re in that bubble 24/7 you can easily come away with the concept that everyone is god damn deranged sociopathic narcissistic moron. Or you know, you can walk the fuck a few blocks to where Real American’s are and NOBODY GOD DAMN ACTS LIKE THAT OR SAYS SHIT LIKE THAT.
But these people don’t care. Because the upper class, the elite class, the shot callers, they are those cartoonish assholes, and that’s who’s opinion and respect they want. Rather than step a little bit down the class ladder to the middle middle class or lower middle class (the horror, the horror) and nobody would ever behave like that. You’d get thrown out of the bar or restaurant fast.
When I see these slap fights, both siderism, fights over CRT, it reminds of high school. It’s the same stupid petty nonsense and idiocy I lived with growing up. I saw abolish white men in the 90s as a white girls club which was promptly countered by a Ron Jermey appreciation club.
That’s why the press sucks. It’s the same stupid slap fights with the same idiots, and nobody ever learned shit.
/me ends rant
@Kristine: many thanks!
Dems could make some hay of this kind of thing, methinks.
Hey, am I the only person who Wonders about people who will choose corrupt, incompetent and cruel, because the alternative seems to them to be ‘preachy and judgmental’?
Yep. The Democrats should press their advantage here.
The Democrats should identify the infrastructure projects or needs in the districts of the 13 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill. The Democrats should remind the voters there, “Trump opposed this needed project. Trump opposed the jobs this project will bring to your community.”
So, I’ve been banging this drum a while now, and I talk to my dad about it quite a bit (he’s to my left).
The reason everything is wired for the GOP is because the GOP is the home to the historic cultural authority. White Christians have shaped every aspect of this country from day one. Actually for 160 years before then.
Democrats don’t put a lot of value in culture. At least not any more. Mainly because the key to building a big tent party is to de-emphasize culture, because culture is the primary point of friction between black and white, muslim and christian and so on, after rights are accounted for. The main thesis for Dems is that culture doesn’t matter, rights matter. Black rights, Muslim rights, trans rights, disability rights, and so on. Culture happens outside of politics. This has been the trend since the realignment in the 60s, and its only picked up steam.
The reason it’s picked up steam is that for the GOP, culture is politics. They’ve invested more and more in it, with Trump really being the pinnacle. Bush could at least talk about privatizing Social Security and various small government type issues, but Trump had no interest in any of that. That whole facade of issues was ripped away and all that remained was culture war. The GOP is antivax because of culture war. They dispute the 2020 election because of culture war. It’s all culture war, all the time. But they’re fighting that from the historic high ground. The GOP *looks* like the cultural authority of 20 years ago, and 100 years ago, and 400 years ago. The Dems don’t. The Dems look like insurgents. AOC doesn’t look like what a cultural leader historically looked like. Nor does Stacey Abrams. Nor does Hakeem Jeffries. Nor does Pete Buttigieg. And yet the Dems, rather than throwing them the usual political scraps while still retaining most of the historic White Christian cultural authority that even the Dems held, are stepping aside and letting these people speak, and lead.
And of course the media was part of that cultural authority – how could they not be. You can’t talk about systemic racism and not recognize that it will apply to ALL systems, including career pipelines, and institutions with long and deep rooted cultural currents of their own. The reason we think of media outlets the way we do, as liberal or conservative, or business minded or political minded, is because they too are cultural entities, and of course they grew out of the same cultural dominance. Their leadership is also overwhelmingly white and Christian, or at least quite comfortable with white christian ways of thinking, traditions, expectations and so on, and they report accordingly.
I don’t see how we defuse this. I don’t see how the right comes to terms with being the minority. They have never had to deal with that and nobody is making it clear they need to. They’ll continue to push into violence and won’t yield until they’re put down.
@Ksmiami: I’m curious: have you checked out StrikePac’s work product? I remember you saying you had donated to them, and I wonder what you think.
@Brachiator: Also, emphasize that Dump never had an infrastructure bill.
@schrodingers_cat: White people are a big demographic. Other minorities not so much, so analyzing their subsets doesn’t make sense. For example, Indian Americans in my area are people who work in or own retail ( convenience stores, liquor store) , or doctors (my husband’s doctor is son of an international corporation’s high level executive) or professors of STEM subjects.
Ditto hispanics. Ditto Chinese-Americans.
They are small groups and they are all over the board politically except for abhorring white supremacy
ETA: we rwally need to convince them that white supremacy is a core Republican value. I fervently believe that, but I do not know how to convince others.
@JoyceH: Ask any of our black or indigenous commenters if choosing ‘corrupt, incompetent and cruel’ is a new position for white voters to take.
You and DougJ oughta take your show on the road!
I have said this before and I will say it again. White men are the default, and the Republican party is considered the default because a majority of white men vote Republican. They also control the media and hence the narrative.
It is the party of the powers that be. The party of the privilege that doesn’t want to see their privilege diluted.
Many of the so called progressives like BS from Vt and EW from MA are not progressives at all but populists. I don’t trust people who dish out easy solutions to complex problems, “leaders” that lie and demagogue.
@Brachiator: But the Democratic candidate won’t be running against Trump, they’ll be running against the Representatives who voted for the bill. But I think all Republican Reps voted against the ARP and that and other issues ard worth pushing.
It could be that some deft third party advertising on infrastructure might shake a few Trumpists loose from the Republican, but generally, new infrastructure projects are seen as positive things. And local media loves to report on ground breaking and ribbon cutting events.
@sab: They don’t need convincing Indian-Americans along with other South Asian American vote D at rates approaching 80%.
@schrodingers_cat: So very true.
@sab: This. When talking about ‘latinos’, Cubans and Puerto Ricans and Mexicans are three wildly different populations. But none carry enough electoral heft to focus down on. And white christians and black christians and latino christians are themselves wildly different populations, but only one of them is worth talking about because one of them is 45% of the country.
The Taiwanese in my area are predominantly Republican because Jimmy Carter was responsible for the One China policy. That’s it. That’s the whole reason. As if every Republican since him didn’t fully support the same policy. You an only go so far in trying to break down various groups. For the purpose of electoral demographics, it’s pretty much White Christians and Everybody Else. The subsets of the ‘everybody else’ that align with the GOP may have an impact in certain congressional districts but not nationally, so for the sake of national politics you might as well lump me (white atheist) in with black baptists, because we’re going to vote almost exactly the same way while probably having some meaningful policy disagreements. Because policy doesn’t matter right now and its wishful thinking to try and report as though it does.
Plenty of Latinos define as White and the Latino populations relation to the African American population is not always good. Just as White Nationalists often like Asians, especially Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese. Plenty of Asians also do not like African Americans and can be just as racist as the White Nationalists towards them.
So saying “they are a White Nationalist party” may not really be a deal breaker. For many, it’s a selling point.
A lot of groups are just Democrats know because “that’s what you do if you are well off and well educated” not because of social values or the New Deal.
@schrodingers_cat: I did not know that. That is a generational change in my lifetime. My high school Indian American friends were all Republicans. But OTOH my husband’s former doctor who now runs the hospital says that he used to be Republican but now he cannot be.
@schrodingers_cat: I think it’s fair to say that historically you could lump white men, because for older generations that’s statistically true, but the important shift is that over time the GOP has become increasingly purist around Christian culture and whites have been increasingly abandoning the church. That’s why Dems are doing well with young white men. It’s not that they’re young, it’s that they’re not Christians. Christian is a key variable now.
Biden is a white Christian, but he doesn’t defend white christian cultural demands. That’s why the ‘preachy, judgmental, focused on culture war’ comments. It’s not that the Dems are doing that, it’s that the GOP are doing that from the historical norm and Dems are ignoring it.
@Geminid: Democrats will have to vigilant as to the 200 Republican Representatives who voted no on infrastructure taking credit for projects in the districts. This has to be done on a local basis, but it wouldn’t hurt to have some guidance from the national party, maybe a playbook. My idea is billboards showing that not only did the Congressman vote against the district’s needs, but he’s trying to fool his constituents about it. A cheapskate and a liar.
They stole a number of elections and a SCOTUS seat – how much outrage did you hear from even the media? Not much, it’s just a way to chat and do some both sides shit. I think they still aren’t quite confident enough – but it’s gaining. The next time I bet there will be someone like Green in charge who will absolutely go to the mat and not give a shit because she like many others are only interested in chaos.
Here’s the middle of a thread on PJ O’Rourke. It’s an interesting analysis of how his humor became somewhat the default. 25 parts, all fascinating (I recommend the whole thread):
@eversor: Agreed, but I personally feel a lot of ” white supemacy” is more northern European than white. So hispanics, however white, don’t fit into it at all. Nor do Italians, or Arabs, or Spaniards or Portuguese or even possibly French. Problem is electorally they do not realize it.
Aren’t Asian Americans a big demographic? Even if you then try to break this group down by loose geographic origin, you still have huge groups with a range of values and interests.
The same is true of Hispanics. Huge range of values and interests. Lumping all Caribbean blacks or Asians with African Americans and Asian Americans diminishes these people.
I don’t think you have to convince nonwhite people that white supremacy threatens their existence. And even though they may see it as a core Republican value, they may still have other values that align with the GOP, just as some gay people or women may downplay GOP homophobia and sexism.
Democrats have to offer more than just fear of Republicans.
@Geminid: Great idea. Jackals need to be alert locally
ETA Especially in red districts.
I think this is something that has to be done one person at a time. Different people will have their eyes opened for different reasons. I’ve told the story here before that several of my Chinese-American coworkers’ eyes were opened when the Teabaggers* started voting to keep Bristol Palin on Dancing With The Stars no matter how badly she did.
*That’s the term one of them used. When I mentioned to her that she might want to be careful because there was a sexual connotation to the term she might not want to imply, she became even more vehement about using it.
@Roger Moore: Thanks. I really need to correct my typing on tablet.
@Brachiator: And many of these groups are quite socially conservative. They are not just pretending to be conservative to curry favor with the cranks of the Republican party.
That’s why before 9/11 Muslim Americans were a Republican leaning demographic.
That may be the case but for a huge swath of the country it’s about being against Muslims and Africans. I remember here in DC when Mayor Barry railed against Asians as dirty, setting up liquor stores and prostitutes to hurt the black community, and steal jobs from good Real American Blacks. Swaths of the Asian community tolerate White Nationalists because they feel they keep down the groups that are threats to them and don’t really have anything against them accept the obnoxious model minority hot women deal, which they will take in a second for their seat at the table.
There’s also the issue that the Irish and Italians sort of became “white” be being against “African Americans”. That’s a history lesson other groups learned really well. Historically groups have risen in the US by punching down at other groups to join the in group.
I disagree with the last point. Maybe those subgroups don’t have enough electoral weight to justify focusing the major points of the campaign around them, but a smart campaign needs to know about this stuff when creating ads, e.g. for ethnic media. Part of the way the Trump campaign was able to do better than expected with Latino voters was by focusing on them as smaller groups and targeting based on what that smaller group would care about. For example, their messages about Socialism resonated very strongly with immigrants from places like Venezuela, where that term has a very different connotation from what it has in Mexico. And, of course, campaigns for lower offices need to focus on the specific Latino group in their area rather than some generic idea of what Latinos want.
This is one of those issues that crops up in Texas. Latinos tend to be very socially conservative over gender and family roles and truly do align with the religious right. Also even in DC saying Latinx may work in the upper class but go into a working class Hispanic area and start spouting that and you’ll get a nasty reaction.
Lots of Irish and Italians joined the police force. So being against African Americans became sort of their job description.
@Soprano2: This is such a sublime comment – thank you for posting it.
@Brachiator:What is an Asian American? My nephews are half Chinese. Schrodinger’s Cat is Indian-American. And India is a big place. My step-daughter is Syrian-American. My niece-in-law is Japanese-American. I have friends from Guam. Vietnamese- Americans are a big old demographic in my city, as are the newer Nepali/ Bhutanese.
@Roger Moore: Indeed there is a persistent effort aimed at Indian Americans from the BJP to turn them against the Democratic party. BJP threw in its lot with the Orange One last election. But so far they haven’t had much success in getting Indian Americans to ditch the Democratic party.
But they have successfully made inroads with many younger Indian Americans with tenuous ties to India.
@Leto: I don’t know much about the San Francisco school board, but their focus on school names (not just a few schools, and not just Confederate generals) in the midst of a pandemic did seem displaced.
We all have to learn what to target and what to ignore. In a city near me in northern Illinois, a sportscaster made a (positive) reference to the Negro league in baseball and stuttered a little so it could be taken as him saying the “N” word. This is someone who has no history or evidence of racism other than that one stammer, and yet a number of local groups like the NAACP came out and wanted him fired or disciplined even after he had apologized profusely. The NAACP should have bigger fish to fry than that. By the same token, renaming George Washington school in San Francisco doesn’t appear to be where the focus of systemic racism should be. All offenses aren’t of equal magnitude.
“Republicans vote no and take the dough” – NP
Biden is Catholic and lots of evangelical Christians don’t think that counts.
The problem I have with labeling the GOP as “white supremacist” is that think it isn’t specific enough. And I don’t think it accurately represents their self-concept, which is why many of them object so hard. They genuinely don’t think it’s accurate. I think it’s a specific “Scots-Irish” Evangelical Protestant, working-class, patriarchal/complementarian vision of life that they are looking to restore.
I said before that I think one of the things that drove them absolutely batshit about POTUS Obama is that some of us white people (like me, more urban, educated, not religious)…. we thought Obama is fucking cool AF. Like, I think of the Obamas as just incredibly aspirational. They’re brilliant, beautiful, talented, top-quality people in every way. Like, of the “who would you rather have a beer with?” test…. HOT DAMN WOULD I LOVE TO HAVE A MICROBREW WITH THE OBAMAS. And they know that we never thought of any of them like that. My rejection of their way of life (religious, less educated, more rural, different tastes and folkways) is pretty evident. I think that stings a lot, especially because they experience it in their own families and communities…. The kids who leave the church or leave the town and don’t come back.
Oy, Gibbons. Nonstop t.v. ads here and endorsement from Rand Paul. Mandel still leads the polls, though, so it could still be a real battle.
Pinochet was a right wing despot with “free market” economic advisers, anti-socialist, so confused by reference to him
@Brachiator: Are they a big demographic? Maybe in CA. Absolutely not in most of the Midwest.
TFG will have something to say about that. He thinks she’s a LOSER.
@debbie: I am so glad he has more sense than to call attention to himself on his home turf.
That seems weird to me. I would think the younger generation with tenuous ties to the old country would care more about issues here in America.
ETA: I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that this isn’t what I would naively expect.
@The Moar You Know: Wireless services use public airwaves, Satellite TV services use public airwaves and cable/telephone/fiber use public rights of way and also use (in ancillary ways) public airwaves.
@eversor: The heavily Hispanic Texas 28th Congressional District will be an interesting test in this regard. The Democratic primary pits a very liberal challenger, Jessica Cisneros, against Henry Cuellar, probably the most conservative member of the House Democratic Caucus. The 28th thought to about D+8, but there are a group of very serious Republican candidates. They hope Cisneros wins the primary because they think she’ll be easy to beat. They may or may not be right about this. The district runs from Laredo to San Antonio.
Texas’ Primary Day is March 1st, and early voting began two days ago.
First generation people are more likely to explore their cultural identity outside the context of being immersed in all the complexities of the culture.
@Baud: I liked all of it except 50cent. Guy just smells like misogyny and lazy materialist greed.
I am clearly not the target demographic for hip hop. I’ve only heard what happens to run on a tv ad or in a guest appearance on SNL. I’ve heard all of the participating artists over the years, but hearing them altogether in a single performance confirmed the strength of whatever the West Coast genre is called.
Must say, though, hearing Fight the Power would have been icing on the cake!
(And I already know why they weren’t included, so don’t bother with the schooling or tsktsking.)
I give him some leeway because it was his birthday.
@Soprano2: I agree–this is an excellent way to explain white “privilege”.
@debbie: I want the Timkens to spend a lot of the money they got when they sold their factories to China on her pointless political adventure.
I know Portman endorsed her. I think I know Ohio and we will never nominate, much less elect, a Republican woman senator. Or any woman senator.
I don’t think they’ll vote for anyone other than who they think Trump would want (assuming he doesn’t endorse anyone).
@Suzanne: I do agree with you about the Obamas. They still make me proud to be American. My black grandchildren actually cried when Hillary lost, not because she lost, but because the Obamas’ legacy was rejected. I cried because Hillary lost and I love her.
@Kathleen: to the far Right white supremacists, “tyranny” consists entirely of Black people having political power.
The constant arguments here about the left and the right, the “moderates” and the “progressives” and I wonder— where do Black people fit into this? Black folks are and have been the one most reliable Dem voting demographic but it really feels like a lot of white Dems are ready to trade away Black folks’ rights for “left” or “moderate” economics.
@debbie: I saw a poll that showed Mandel 15%, Gibbons 14%, Timkin 13%, Moreno (who dropped out) 9% folloeed by Vance and Dolan. This was an “internal” poll, part of a 78 page campaign strategy presentation by Vance’s strategist that was given to Politico. It made me think that this strategist was already hunting his next job.
Vance thought his endorsement from Margery Taylor Greene might energize his campaign. They even campaigned together in southern Ohio ten days ago. Then she spouted off about “Nancy Pelosi’s Gazpacho police.” Now I’m not sure Vance is going to have her back.
@Bugboy: “Central and South American immigrants see that word and think “Pinochet.” So they approve of Pinochet?
It makes more sense if you think of it as having nothing to do with politicians and everything to do with reacting to cultural change. Every electoral cycle the conservatives find some leading edge cultural phenomenon to rail against — the civil rights movement, hippies, women’s lib… all the way up to gay marriage, transgender rights, and the teaching of a factually correct curriculum in our schools. They will be helped along by the idiots on “our side” who overreach or break with the basically principles of civil liberties and equal rights.
It will never end as long as there are reactionaries amongst us.
The only thing is to keep pushing forward, not giving in. Sure as shit you don’t listen to the consulting class, those guys are losers.
I can’t fucking stand either one of them (although I think Manchin is sleazier and also a genuinely dumb person) so it’s been somewhat inspiring to me. I would like to beat them. I would enjoy that.
Kay, I would pay a thousand dollars to see you do that. I would be glad to hold their arms while you are giving them a righteous smack down; and would be honored to share a jail cell with you! Go big or go home!
Depending on the ethnic group you might see growing populations in the Midwest (Chicago, for example) and expansion in some Southern cities.
@debbie: Republicans will never vote for an important position (unlike Lt Governor) if it is a woman. Mary Taylor only won Auditor because her opponent was a black woman ( who was way more qualified than little miss doctor pension expert tax accountant.)
@Roger Moore: Its easy to sell the glories of the great Hindu past to those who have little knowledge about India’s complex history and politics.
I have seen Tiktok videos with kids born in this country who assert that the caste system was a British creation. Where does one even begin to address this level of ignorance?
@Geminid: Last poll I saw was Gibbons at 20%, Mandel at 17% and everyone else single digits.
@Roger Moore: “When I mentioned to her that she might want to be careful because there was a sexual connotation to the term [Teabagger] she might not want to imply, she became even more vehement about using it.” Damn right!
That illustrates a major problem with the Democratic candidates — they back away and apologize if any RWNJ is offended. The Democrats should have ladled on the ridicule about the Teabaggers and been vehement about using the term !
@debbie: Trump and DeWine do not like each other. DeWine won’t go anti-Trump, but everyone knows they hate each other.
Mary Taylor ran as a Trumpist against DeWine in the primary and got clobbered.
Does that make them against it or for it?
The graph here seems to make more sense. Mandel’s ahead, but Trump thinks he’s a loon, so I’m not sure how this will turn out.
@The Moar You Know: Racism within Democratic party voters is strong but not like in the GOP. Our neighborhood is Black, Asian second generation and first generation – east and SE Asian – plus middle eastern and white. There is zero strife and lots of neighbors helping and enjoying each other. I’m sure there is racism but it’s more a desire for fairness. The racism emerges when it feels that one group is not being treated with respect. Unfortunately there are few neighborhoods like ours but about a third of Seattle is like this.
That poll’s referenced by RealClearPolitics, but here, they compare the numbers with those from December.
@schrodingers_cat: That level of ignorance is sad, not just because so not accurate, but also because India has such a complicated and rich history. If that was your history how could you ignore it?
My family came from Scotland, 5 million people but interesting history.
If you check my second link, Gibbons does seem to be inching upwards. Sad!
K Conway has done some math and has concluded that Gibbons will win. Conway getting hired is a sign of that and not of magic about to be performed by Conway.
We worry about Gibbons because that (rich GOPer winning statewide office) is what just happened (in VA). Doesn’t mean worrying about that is right or wrong, it just means that it’s a natural thing to be worried about a bad fact pattern that just happened somewhere else.
@sab: Mandel fading, and Gibbons, coming on strong! He probably is the Republicans’ strongest candidate. Having no political record may be a plus these days. It seemed to help Youngkin in my state.
Now that Gibbons is ahead, I’m hoping that the rest start tearing him down with attack ads. Don’t let that crab climb out of the pot!
Is Morgan Harper making an impression on the Democratic side?
Not with me. She tried to unseat Joyce Beatty, and that is unforgivable.
OT: are the front pagers on strike again?
@Dan B: My sister had a temp teaching job thirty years ago in Ann Arbor. Her kid, age six, got hassled a lot by the volunteer lunch ladies. I told her she needed to tell them that he wasn’t white, he was asian american ( white mom, chinese dad.) She said how would that help? I said this wasn’t California. This is the Midwest and we don’t do nuance. You are white or not white. That is all there is.
She tried it with the lunch ladies and it worked like a charm.
I am sure the modern world is more complicated.
Good luck! I hope you find some stability.
@Bostondreams: Your fear about Don’t Say Gay is justified. The bullies, including school staff, will use it to torment LGBTQ people. Just threatening to expel people for being themselves will be enough to inflict fear. At the same time the internet will make invisibility impossible unless we end up with a President De Santis. In which case Peter Thiel will discover that he’s bought a lot of Leopards. And they like to bite.
There’s discussion among LGBTQ people of emigrating to Spain or other friendlier locations.
@Kay: Democrats can talk about how the Republicans are banning books, and people should be allowed to let their kids read whatever they want. Frame it as an individual right that Republicans are taking away.
@Geminid: Morgan Harper? Who he?
No, I don’t think anyone on our side even notices her, and what with the crab bucket none of them are crossing over.
@mrmoshpotato: thanks to all three of you for replying to mrmosh as I was away at school. Can confirm that they gave you the straight skinny, and I should have spelt it out but, had to leave for class. I hope we all agree Matt Bai is a dingus?
I don’t know squat about the details of Scottish history. But from pop culture you would think that Highlanders are an entirely different people from those who live elsewhere. Fron BBC comedy clips I get the impression that Glasgow and Edinburgh are different universes.
@debbie: Well, first impressions are lasting. Hopefully Harper’s candidacy won’t hurt Ryan in this election. She might even help. When Republicans accuse Ryan of being a socialist, he can say no, I just crushed a socialist.
Rich and complicated history is just what a lot of people want to avoid. They don’t really want history; they want mythology. Everything should be simple, with obvious lessons and clear-cut heroes and villains. Most importantly, the history should show their country is the greatest ever, or at least it was until it was betrayed by the terrible villain. Now a new group of heroes are trying to restore it to its past golden age, and they, too, can join the heroes by becoming a member of their political movement.
@Suzanne: A significant amount of country music is about how rural people are so much better than those “sissy city intellectuals”. They are really butthurt about feeling they are looked down on by city dwellers. Of course, it’s OK in their minds to look down on us.
My experience is the opposite – Naturalized American co-workers from India seem Republican-curious and dismissive of Dem pols whereas the younger generation born here to Indian immigrants seem more solidly Democratic.
@Brachiator: They are both lowlands. Highlanders are kind of like Sicilians compared to the rest of Italy.
But Scottish history was a lot of reasonable people behaving badly because either English or French (or both) kings and interests were leaning on them heavily to behave badly. So they did. To the major detriment of their people. Which is why Australia, Canada and USA have lots of Scots, and almost everyone in Scotland has an Irish surname (repopulating the place with immigrants.)
@gene108: I mostly agree. My cousin had an abortion and told me, the gay activist. I was the only family member who she told. LGBTQ people came out to family, friends, and colleagues. AIDS forced even more. So 5% of the population were known by a majority of the population but the 20% who had an abortion were known by a minority. Political power requires majorities. It also requires taking risks that people will be offended.
@debbie: How much clout does Kellyanne have? I know narcissists from very unpleasant personal experience, and she has none. However loyal she was, he does not care.
ETA Not that I was trading with a narcissist. I just saw one, up close and personal with people I liked and admired, and it was very ugly.
@Dan B: That is my family experience. Lots of abortions. Nobody told anyone, except a pro-abortion matriarch who controlled the pursestrings and leaked details out at her convenience.
If you need an abortion and don’t have the money, you need to ask someone for it.
@RaflW: Good! And good luck with the human rights group.
We live in a bubble – second highest percentage of LGBTQ people after San Francisco, well established organizations (thanks to a guy we knew pretty well who made a fortune at Microsoft).
I think about emigrating to Canada but feel we should stay and fight back. Fun prospects for our golden years. //
I don’t think she’s lost standing with the GOP, but I suppose Timkens could drag her down.
@Anyway: Do you work with techbros by any chance?
So, basically, we get to watch junior-high tier drama from people smart enough to operate a word processor but too stupid to process words?
Those folks sound like the mirror-universe version of some of the right-wing dements and mutants I’ve lived around.
Also…Ron Jeremy fanclub? Yowza.
@Martin: Sad, but insightful. I really don’t think this country is gonna wake up until there are pogroms or someone sets off a nuke in a major city.
I mean, storming the capitol to install Combover Ceausescu got headlines for what, three months before the mediots got bored?
@Dan B: Canada is often over-rated. I love the place, but they are just normal people not walking on clouds,
I have Canadian relatives. Pretty much like us.
Also too, twelve years of Steven Harper as PM. Does a sensible country do that? Seriously!?
@Baud: They lack the understanding what the caste system is. To them it is a theoretical construct. And they are usually upper caste so they will make up excuses for it, blame the British for giving them a bad name.
Just like racism and white people, actually racism is okay but being accused of being racist is bad.
Now replace race with caste, and white with upper caste in the example above.
Our big problem, culturally, is that people STILL haven’t realized that whiteness can be granted – or revoked – on a whim.
Interesting. A lot of older country music was about how great the rural life was, but it was clearly written from the POV of people who had been forced to move to the city lamenting what they had lost. The more honest songs touched on the poverty that had forced them to move, but somehow this was never treated as a serious moral problem with country life.
@debbie: But is she actually competent? Lincoln Project three years ago thought not.
I would link but I don’t know how. Check Stuart Stevens.
@Subsole: Yikes. That is so true. I am white by any definition.
I think of my asian-american nephews as white, because they are my nephews. They think otherwise.
Some of my grand-children look white. Others look African American. We let them define themselves.
The one identifying as white might have some surprises if she marries white and has kids and doesn’t tell their dad.
@BlueGuitarist: I’m just a bug doctor, Jim, not a political scientist! (Lil’ Star Trek humor for ya) I was reaching for a name that Latin American immigrants think of when they hear the word “socialism”, and Pinochet was all I could think of. I know, poor example, but they got a bad taste for that word from somewhere, who do you think they got it from? Chavez?
@sab: Conway probably was hired with the hope that she can help deliver Trump’s endorsement. Trump campaign alumni are on campaign payrolls all over the country for this reason, often in competing campaigns. Between them and “friends” like Sean Hannity, Peter Thiel and Club for Growth boss David McIntosh, Trump doesn’t know who to trust. And the guy who brags about his control over the party is afraid of backing a primary loser.
@Baud: ‘The left’ could help itself on that front by not incessantly dumping shit all over the people trying to help them…Loudly. In public. All. the. time.
I mean, to take the smallest example, look at the whole deal the other day about Kasky. Kid was mad Joe Biden didn’t appoint some special representative on gun violence via EO. Fine idea. I’m all for it.
But I guarantee you ‘the left’ ( and likely Kam, too) would be screeching about it as ‘not good enough’ or a cynical ploy or done under duress or too late or insincere or some other utterly bullshit excuse for why they don’t have to acknowledge getting what they requested.
Because ‘the left’ (whatever the fcuk that even is anymore…) doesn’t believe in a goddamned thing but punishing us for listening to black folks instead of some breadtube podcasters.
@Professor Bigfoot: I agree. I also believe that many factions within the Party (or so they claim), the Right and the mainstream media want to destroy the Democratic party and one way is to create discord between white and Black Democrats.
@Geminid: That is my hope. Promises she cannot deliver. Also too, I don’t think she is competent. She has been at this since forever, and only got noticed with Trump. Who is famous for ” bad hires.”
I would donate a sock full of quarters to the cause.
The crowning irony of course, is that nobody in the city has time to spend thinking of these puds.
I mean, it’s so absurd!
“You liberals are always lookin’ down on us!”
“Dude, I’d have to give a damn that you exist before I could look down on you.”
I am quite literally WASP. English ancestors, German, Czech. The only questionable element is some Polish blood.
I am the conservative ideal. White,and not just any white. North Euro white. Straight, male, middle class.
Yet, if I stand up for minorities or even acknowledge that America has issues – or if I simply fail to agree vociferously enough with the cultural shibboleths conservatives value, I becone a self-hating white man. A simp. A dupe. A race-traitor. And my whiteness can ve safely disregarded.
Because whiteness is not really an ethnicity – it’s an excuse.
Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say its function as an excuse has subsumed any function it had as a cultural signifier.
Getman is a culture. Ukrainian is a culture. French is a culture. White is just a very, very subtle way of saying “not brown”. It’s a construct.
OK, 306 comments. I’ve jumped to the bottom without reading any of them and I’m gonna guess at least 225 of them are fighting over whether “Defund the police” is a crappy slogan.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
What I think they need to realize (I had to go through this myself when I became an adult, I just did it faster than these guys) is that: yes, they may well have had to “work for what they have”. They just didn’t have to work as hard as some others. Some of us have to put in a fair bit of sweat to get to point M, somewhere in the middle. Some can backslide a long way to get to M because they were born on point R. But just because I had to work from, say, H up to M doesn’t mean the other guys didn’t have to work way harder to get from point A to M—or from somewhere well before the start of the alphabet!
(Note that those born at point S or beyond fail upwards, in our screwed-up society.)
How many people know Al Gore never said he invented the internet, but spoke of passing legislation to help its development.
She’s not. She funded I don’t know how many school board races and was mocked for losing 42 of them. Very costly.
@sab: The interest in Canada is related to the idea that a GOP sweep of the US might give us a Christianist government that would make demonizing LGBTQ people a priority, annulling marriages, removing kids, closing gay bars and websites, etc. Canada would be safer than here. We probably don’t have the money to immigrate but we might since my partner and I bought real estate cheap that has dramatically increased in value. My house is near a transit line and my partner’s is a 1/4 acre lot 3 miles from downtown. But Vancouver is very pricey as well.
@Subsole: Well said. The whole hatred of Race Traitors has a long history in America. I think Ibram X. Kendi even said that in his opinion racists have shown almost as much hatred of white people who stand up for Black people, as they have for Black people. Lynchings of white Abolitionists and Civil Rights workers were not uncommon.
Yes you can, but you must mention Tufte. Mandatory for architects and graphic designers, among others.
AM in NC
@gene108: sounds about right.
I encourage you to read Isabel Wilkerson’s seminal treatise “Caste”. Although they’re many hypotheses as to the “why” this occurs, Ms. Wilkerson’s masterpiece has for me, provided the clearest reasoning yet on this destructive mindset.
GOP and Dem flypaper.
Please, everyone already knows the answer. The GOP is organized and regimented. Top to bottom and side to side they are set up to push messages and reinforce those messages. Gingritch weekly talking points and language clues haven’t gone away. The systematic formation of think tanks to produce position papers made to order gives substance to their nonsense. They made sure that anyone wanting an interview or background on any particular subject has a list of indoctrinated and conservative-friendly on-call people who can show up in an hour or two. Think Cato and AEI. All of which explains why the right gets waaay more exposure than Progressives.
But then we get to the dedicated mouthpieces. FOX, OAN and others are dedicated to the right. Go to any bar or burger place and if there is a TV on it is more than likely to be tuned to FOX. A steady drip of poison that excuses excesses on the right and exaggerates the flaws on the left.
And then there is the constant flow of talking points. The Jan6 folks hadn’t been run out of the Capital building before there were claims it was all a “false flag” operation by, variously, the FBI and/or BLM. Or claims it was all Pelosi’s fault or that they guys wearing the MAGA hats and beating on police were just lost tourists looking for the gift shop.
Why doesn’t anything stick to the GOP? Simple, as soon as it looks like they might get blamed the right-wing noise machine floods all the channels with BS so nobody can blame anyone. Well sure … something happened but … we will never know what ‘really’ happened … who did what … and who might be to blame and … both sides …
Why does everything stick to the liberals? Also simple. Any flaw, real or imagined, is repeated a dozen times every hour when the story first breaks. It will get mentioned on NPR and The News Hour because the always-on-call AEI guest has memorized the talking point and remembers to wedge it into the conversation.
The script preparers on FOX are well paid to never forget to include the talking points even years after the fact. After the initial heat is off these same points go into rotation. Any mention of e-mail, no matter how inconsequential, will cause HRC’s e-mails to get a mention. Biden’s crack pipes, and his ‘dementia’, and his ‘massive failure in Afghanistan’ and ‘weakness’ is are all already in rotation. And will be for years.