Wednesday Open Thread [6.29.2016]

Filed in National by on June 29, 2016

These polls are utterly disastrous for Trump and his Republican Party. The Wave is here.

IOWA–PRESIDENT–CNN/ORCClinton 45, Trump 41
OHIO–PRESIDENT–CNN/ORCClinton 46, Trump 37

FLORIDA–U.S. SENATE–Bay News 9/SurveyUSA–Rubio 43, Murphy 43
WISCONSIN–U.S. SENATE–PPPFeingold 50, Johnson 37
OHIO–U.S. SENATE–PPPPortman 40, Strickland 39
IOWA–U.S. SENATE–PPPGrassley 46, Judge 39
ARIZONA–U.S. SENATE–PPPMcCain 42, Kirkpatrick 40

Hillary Clinton and her allies “continue to dominate the presidential battleground-state airwaves, outspending Donald Trump and pro-Trump groups this month, $26 million to $0,” NBC News reports.

“For the week, it’s $7.5 million to $0 in the eight battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. And when you add future ad reservations, it’s $140 million to $0.”

Markos at Daily Kos says we should trust Elizabeth Warren to know where she will be most effective:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a smart person who has accomplished amazing things. She didn’t just create the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau—she did so despite stiff opposition from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner himself. That showed that she could play the inside game better than most, despite lacking much of a portfolio at the time (in essence, she chaired a Congressional oversight panel keeping tabs on Wall Street bailout money).

And yeah, she then followed that up by ousting a popular Republican senator when no other credible Democrat in a state overflowing with them was willing to challenge him.

Now there’s a debate over whether Warren would be most effective as a senator or vice president. I’ve been on both sides of that fence (senate vs VP), so I understand the validity of both positions. […]

Warren isn’t in this thing for personal aggrandizement. If she’s earned anything these last years, it’s trust of her sincerity and convictions. She’s held true to them, always fighting for what’s best even if at times she ends up being the reluctant warrior. Remember, we had to drag her kicking and screaming into the Senate race. Regardless, we know she can play the inside game and win, and she knows that as well. We know she can play the electoral Senate game and win, and she knows that as well.

It’s rare to have someone with that skill set. It gives her multiple hands, and she gets to decide which play gets her closest to her goals.

In short, she can 1) stay in the Senate as one of 100, and try to influence enough of her colleagues to make shit happen, then worry whether the House will follow suit, or 2) be the nation’s No. 2 elected official, be in the room when myriad decisions get made, and only have to worry about convincing one person.

Sean Trende: “While polling can give us a good take on where things stand today, I feel somewhat like a pilot flying without gauges when trying to figure out how things are likely to play out. Because just about all of the major analysts aren’t just against Trump – they loathe him – we’re basically situated like the British analysts were when looking at the Brexit election. Good arguments are quickly dismissed, while bad arguments slip through all too easily.”

“This increases the chances that we will miss things we might have otherwise seen, and will latch on to things that we shouldn’t. It just adds an awful lot of uncertainty to this election. That should make us all nervous.”

Harry Enten pointed this out during the Republican Primary, that all the analysts said Trump couldn’t win, but they were ignoring the polls that showed Trump leading throughout. So just pay attention to the polls and the cross tabs.

Harold Meyerson:

Unlike the UKIPs and the Trumpians, however, the left champions a range of policies – fiscal stimulus, worker rights, progressive taxation – that could actually address their nation’s plights. (Though Syzira, once it came to power in Greece, was blocked from implementing its program by creditor nations and banks.)

Moreover, these parties and tendencies – disproportionately of the young – are not merely racially and ethnically tolerant but racially and ethnically diverse. That’s why the appeals to nativism never stood a chance among Britain’s younger voters. That’s also why the most effective Democratic message to (largely white) young Sanders stalwarts, who can’t yet see themselves voting for Clinton, would be to have young immigrants, Latinos, blacks and Asians tell them just how a Trump presidency would impact — and in many cases ruin — their lives.

The far-right populism and talk of bigoted xenophobia from many non-big-city whites, who have been left behind by globalized capitalism, by the economic policies of Western governments and by the growing cosmopolitanism of urbanites and the young, has become a force in almost every Western democracy. It fuels Trump’s candidacy. Yet it probably lacks sufficient adherents to put him in the White House.

Nonetheless, the crash of 2008 and its rocky aftermath, like that of 1929 and its aftermath, has shaken the politics of the West. Brexit almost surely won’t be the last such shock.

Nate Cohn:

For decades, Republicans argued for lower taxes, fewer regulations and a smaller welfare state. Democrats took up the opposite view, and voters split along familiar lines.

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, it is clear that this election has the potential to reshape the allegiances of many white working-class voters who have traditionally sided with the Democrats, and many well-educated voters who have sided with the Republicans.

Mr. Trump on Tuesday laid out a radically different economic message than Republicans have advanced, and it holds considerable appeal to white working-class Democrats. He supported renegotiating or withdrawing fromNafta, cracking down on Chinese currency manipulation, and using United States steel for domestic infrastructure — which he promises to rebuild.

Along with his departures on immigration and the welfare state, Mr. Trump is moving away from the labor fights and culture wars that defined 20th-century politics, and toward the new divide over globalization and multiculturalism that might define 21st-century politics.

Yeah, but to support you also have to be a racist bigot.

Stuart Rothenberg:

Long-time Republican strategists and campaign consultants privately acknowledge they are so certain of Hillary Clinton’s victory – and so worried about its impact on Senate races and GOP control of the Senate – that they are already considering a controversial tactic that explicitly acknowledges Donald Trump’s defeat.

The tactic, used by congressional Republicans two decades ago, late in the 1996 campaign, involves running television ads that urge voters to elect a Republican Congress so that Clinton won’t have “a blank check” as president.

Chris Hayes has a great read on elites:

But I don’t want to downplay the sheer terrifying, barbaric power of atavistic ethnonationalist sentiment. That is the political equivalent of enriching uranium when you cultivate that. It is ungodly dangerous and morally odious for people to cultivate, despicable and contemptible.

My feeling about all this is you reserve your contempt for the people with power and not for the relatively powerless. The contempt is not for the voters here. The contempt is for the people who went about cultivating that sentiment.

I have enough contempt to go around. I despise racist voters and the cynical elites who play to them. Both must be destroyed.

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  1. Delaware Dem says:

    And before someone asks, the picture of the 1952 campaign button of the Republican Gubernatorial ticket of J.Caleb Boggs and John W. Rollins does not constitute an endorsement of them or their policies. I just found some pictures of some old Delaware political buttons and posters and will be posting them on the open threads.

  2. puck says:

    John Carney tele-town hall on gun violence tonight @7:30, livestream at

  3. cassandra_m says:

    the new divide over globalization and multiculturalism

    But this is a new proxy for economic destabilization and/or insecurity. This I think is worth paying attention to, rather than the fig leaf. Because at the end of the day, what has to be unravelled here is an economic and political system that privileges wealth over work — just like John Edwards pointed out oh so many years ago.

  4. puck says:

    One of the factors that caused unions to lose bargaining power was the low cost of offshoring jobs. Raising the cost of offshoring would give workers more leverage and raise wages, with or without unions.

  5. Dave says:

    “Warren isn’t in this thing for personal aggrandizement.”

    I believe that is true and because I think she is highly intelligent, I also would defer to her counsel on where she can best serve. As VP, she can still work both houses of Congress.

    “it is clear that this election has the potential to reshape the allegiances of many white working-class voters who have traditionally sided with the Democrats”

    Yep, because the right has effective demonized intellectualism and critical thinking with the label “elitism.” So any critical thinking regarding the issues and policies is immediately drown out by sloganeering. The right is primarily responsible for the former. Both the left and the right are responsible for the latter.

    @DD And while I am thinking about it. Your post is what I most look forward to every day. You manage to distill the most salient of sources for opinion and data into a readable, entertaining and informing post. I, for one, appreciate the effort that you make to do that.

    @El Som. Just in case you think I didn’t notice your efforts, I also want you to know that your bill summaries are valuable to me because I simply don’t have time to read all the bills. The summary provides a means for me focus on those for which I have an interest.

    Thanks to both of you.

  6. Delaware Dem says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Dave. I am glad you enjoy reading.

  7. anonymous says:

    @cassandra: Thanks for the 538 link. I tried explaining this a while back to some of our anti-immigrant commenters — that we don’t need manufacturing to come back (though it would help our balance of trade) as much as we need higher wages for service-industry, mostly non-union jobs. If there’s a way of raising those wages without unions, I haven’t heard of it. Sure, there are a few forward-thinking employers (e.g. Costco) who see the benefit of a living wage. But so long as Wall Street analysts keep rewarding companies for paring payroll and penalizing those that don’t, that view cannot prevail.

    This is one of the non-obvious ways that “Wall Street” — the financiers who make capital available to corporations — rig the game.

  8. anonymous says:

    @puck: How do you raise the cost of offshoring jobs? And why won’t you unionize?

  9. cassandra_m says:

    Elizabeth Warren is the surrogate he was supposed to be. His supporters have become Clinton’s. How Sanders overplayed his hand.

    Interesting. And I’ll note that I’ve seen a fair bit of vitriol pointed at Warren by “progressives” over the past day or two. It seems that appearing with Clinton is “selling out”.

  10. SussexAnon says:

    You raise the cost of offshoring jobs by making tariffs and limits on imports so high that it becomes cost effective to do the job in this country.

    You know, like our competitors do. China has high tariffs which has driven auto manufacturers to open factories there.

    In other words, get a trade policy that puts America first unlike the cluster fuck trade agreements we have had (NAFTA) and will soon have (TPP). If a trade agreement has “job retraining” in it for the American jobs we lose, run the fuck away from it. But, no, Ds and Rs will continue to sell us down the river with NO plan for the middle class.

  11. Dave says:

    Despite the responsibility incurred by our government for any trade agreement debacles, the American people bear a considerable responsibility for their own behavior which, at the very least, exacerbated our trade imbalance and promoted offshoring, especially of goods.

    When our buying choices do not consider the source of the goods, rather only the price, we declare our principles with our wallet. When a specific good is only available from another country or when the quality is superior to what is available in our own country, the rationale exist for buying an off shore good. However, when quality and availability is not an issue, there is no justification for not buying locally.

    If the American people were to acquire a modicum of nationalism, Oreos would still be produced in America. When did “Made In America” become passé? My family has a general rule that we buy American, when there is a clear choice, without consideration of price. Ditto with shopping locally for goods and locally produced goods. When I go to the farmers markets, I pay more for produce. It’s better quality, but it’s also an obligation.

  12. anonymous says:

    @Dave: I, too, buy locally on principle (the fact that I refuse to buy from Amazon makes it pretty much a necessity). But the number of people who even think about it is too small to move the needle on consumer demand.

    Consider the microbrew revolution. Everybody who thinks about what s/he drinks goes local, and I have noticed that affordability has nothing to do with it. I know young people on their first jobs who will spring for the higher quality. Yet microbrews are still only 11% of the market (though that’s 19% by revenue).

    They also illustrate your point. Those oceans of industrial bellywash are produced by a relative few factory workers, with most of the money going to shareholders. The microbreweries have spawned thousands of entrepreneurs (one became governor of Colorado) and, while small, are labor-intensive, so they employ more thousands in production. Nobody gets as rich as Adolph Coors but lots more people make a decent living.

    Unfortunately most people value low cost and convenience, not quality and price (the Betamax conundrum).