May 15 Open Thread: Future of Democratic Party at Stake Yet Again This Week

Filed in National, Open Thread by on May 15, 2018

It’s primary day in several states, including Pennsylvania, and the national punditocracy has made clear it will claim the results shall determine the future of the Democratic Party. It’s true that many districts have drawn multiple hopefuls, a byproduct of Republican vulnerability. When the opposition looks weak, lots of people are willing to take a chance.

You can’t blame pundits for looking for a clue about where the Democratic Party is going, because Democrats are just as split as Republicans were (16 dwarfs, remember?) before Trump took over the party. An ugly real-world sign of it is playing out in Minnesota, where Wellstone Action, the progressive activist outfit founded by the sons of late Sen. Paul Wellstone, is coming apart in acrimony and allegations of financial foolery. But the flashpoint appears to have been over singling out race and gender equality for action; the late senator, inconveniently for those who kicked Wellstone’s sons off the board, championed the rural poor, who in Minnesota are primarily white.

In pre-Trump times, the story about a Chinese bank investing $500 million in a Trump project in Indonesia would dominate headlines for weeks. If Obama did it, not only would it lead to immediate impeachment proceedings, it would be touted as proof he’s Muslim besides. But, as it’s not about Russians or porn stars, Trump will again get away with blatantly violating yet another campaign promise.

On the other hand, Trump isn’t even the biggest grifter in his administration. That honor goes to Scott Pruitt, who not only is openly corrupt, he invariably tells blatant lies about it.

I normally ignore whatever horror du jour Americans are committing overseas, but the massacre of 58 Palestinian protesters in Gaza yesterday deserves special attention for one big reason: The Israelis justified opening fire because the protesters were trying to cross the border en masse. Make no mistake, this is the policy Trump would like to follow at the Mexican border, and I consider an incident more likely now that Israel has done just that.

Mike Pence strikes me as dumb but sneaky. I don’t trust him, you don’t trust him, and guess who else doesn’t trust him: Donald Trump. The ever-paranoid prez fears that Pence is plotting to supplant him. For example, Trump wasn’t supposed to speak to the NRA — he decided to do it when he found out Pence was going to be the keynote speaker.

Speaking of dumb, but not nearly sneaky enough, ex-Rep. Blake Farentold, Mr. Duck Pajamas, landed a lobbying job in Texas just five weeks after ankling Congress. But that duck pajama photo is forever.

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  1. Jason330 says:


    “Imagine if Obama had ___”X”___.”

    “Imagine if Hillary had ___”X”___.”

    Where “X” is that day’s illegal, immoral, incompetent thing Trump did, really makes my head hurt.

  2. Alby says:

    I normally avoid it, too, but if I recall correctly spending two years in Indonesia was proof Obama was Muslim.

  3. RE Vanella says:

    Quote of the Day:

    “Convinced that there is little they can do, they do little.”
    -Tony Judt on Clintonian politicians, “Ill Fares the Land”

  4. RE Vanella says:

    Also, Israel is a disgusting apartheid state. We’re all complicit. I would ask Coons for a comment, but I’ve given up on that cat. His time will come.

  5. jason330 says:

    Via Huffington Post

    A Republican Georgia state senator running for governor announced the start of his “Deportation Bus Tour” on Tuesday, which he said will consist of rounding up illegal immigrants in a school bus labeled “Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molestors, and other criminals on board.” It misspells molesters.

    Short memories:

    To forgo a repeat of last year, when labor shortages triggered an estimated $140 million in agricultural losses, as crops rotted in the fields, officials in Georgia are now dispatching prisoners to the state’s farms to help harvest fruit and vegetables.

    The labor shortages, which also have affected the hotel and restaurant industries, are a consequence of Georgia’s immigration enforcement law, HB 87, which was passed last year. As State Rep. Matt Ramsey, one of the bill’s authors, said at the time, “Our goal is … to eliminate incentives for illegal aliens to cross into our state.”

    Although… maybe a steady supply of cheap prison labor was the endgame all along?

  6. Liberal Elite says:

    @j “Although… maybe a steady supply of cheap prison labor was the endgame all along?”

    Sounds familiar…. Oh yea… Slavery.

  7. bamboozer says:

    No previous president agreed to move the Israeli embassy because they all knew what would happen, and indeed violence and death have ensued. This is a gigantic cave to that pernicious evil we call the Evangelicals and their sick in the head “end times’. Could not agree that Israel has become a state that closely resembles the very same nations that have tormented the Jews in the past. And as we sadly all know Will Rogers immortal quote remains true to this day: “I am a member of no organized party, I am a Democrat”. And to some extent it still sucks.

  8. RE Vanella says:

    Just a gentle reminder, if you’re disappointed that so many Democrats will support torturer and evidence destroyer Bloody Gina Haspel, that’s a purity test, folks. You are immediately banned from Blue Delaware.

  9. RE Vanella says:

    If you’re upset Coons won’t denounce the Gaza massacre, same thing. Purity test.

    Actually if you apply any standard whatsoever you’re part of the problem. There are no standards!

  10. Liberal Elite says:

    @REV “that’s a purity test, folks.”
    So what? Who cares? Purity tests are only useful when there’s a better alternative. In this Haspel case, there is probably not. Anyone Trump would choose will be a disaster. By voting for confirmation, we’re just choosing the “flavor” of our disaster. We’re not endorsing her moral crimes.

    @REV “Actually if you apply any standard whatsoever you’re part of the problem. There are no standards!”

    And that’s coming from the man who wants to get rid of Tester because he fails a purity test. Ha!!

  11. Jason330 says:

    These days irony is hard to pull off.

  12. RE Vanella says:

    Wine mom’s politics are nearly there. I can tell. Same misplaced rambling but no belief. I don’t feel as much authenticity.

  13. Liberal Elite says:

    I can just picture REV as a chess player. He’s got two possible moves.

    Move A: 90% chance of draw, 10% lose. (choose this to play to draw)
    Move B: 10% chance of a win, 90% lose. (choose this to play to win).

    REV chooses B, of course, and then wonders why hard core progressives are doing so badly… Why they never can seem to actually win very much…

    And then he thinks that anyone else who’s actually willing to use game theory has “no beliefs” and “not much authenticity”.

    No… He rails against purity tests, but then he has no f’n clue why his big-tent ideas don’t have a very big tent, and ain’t getting larger. It’s just a losing move. But he’s a real authentic loser with real authentic beliefs… I’ll give him that.

  14. puck says:

    Democrats have been playing to draw my whole adult life, yet somehow we keep losing. At your odds Move B is overdue to win.

  15. Alby says:

    Democrats are still impressed by candidates with a military background. Because fuck yeah, that’s what I look for in a candidate, one who has proved he or she can swallow shit, because that’s they job they want — swallowing corporate shit for large sums of money.

    You don’t get it, LE: A draw is a loss. Not for you, you’re doing great in this economy. But not everybody is in your income bracket, and you, like so many other “liberals,” want everybody to have the chance to get to your level without acknowledging that for the top 20% to have what it has, the bottom 80% have to make do with what they have.

    A system that keeps 80% living hand to mouth so the 20% can relax is only a wee bit more sustainable than the 99-1 formula of conservatives.

    The other problem with your analogy is it presumes your strategy wins more often than ours. If your candidates were the right ones, why did so many of them lose to Republicans? Remember, the whole reason we’re supposed to make do with half a loaf is to woo Republicans. It’s not working, and pretending it is will just bring more losses.

    So keep on looking for military veterans with centrist credentials. I’m sure your keen understanding of game theory will serve you well.

  16. RE Vanella says:

    She nailed it.

  17. Liberal Elite says:

    @A “You don’t get it, LE: A draw is a loss.”

    Not necessarily. A draw is not letting the GOP stack the courts. A win is getting to stack the court ourselves. What we’re doing now is losing. What are you going to do about that??

    Frankly, I’d be very pleased with such a draw. But that has nothing to do with my income, nor anything else about me, really.

    Sorry… But my top priority is stopping the GOP (despite whatever personal financial cost that may entail). It’s a true moral calling. For me, that’s a draw worth working for.

    Sure, I’d love to stack the courts with progressives, but I just don’t see that as a feasible goal. I don’t see that trying to set that as our goal as significantly more important than stopping the GOP. And I don’t see that trying to set a hard win as our goal will make it more likely that we can stop the GOP.

    But I do respect your view that the odds may be off. What if it was this:

    Move A: 70% chance of draw, 30% lose. (choose this to play to draw)
    Move B: 30% chance of a win, 70% lose. (choose this to play to win).

    Then what do you play?

    The questions then comes down to: Who suffers and how if we draw? And who suffers and how if we lose?

    It’s really not the simple choice you guys pretend it to be.

  18. RE Vanella says:

    Random number generator.

  19. jason330 says:

    Can you even hear yourself, dummy?

    “Sorry… But my top priority is stopping the GOP (despite whatever personal financial cost that may entail). It’s a true moral calling. For me, that’s a draw worth working for.”

    The Democratic Party has been working for the draw since Bill Clinton. How is that working out as a GOP stopping strategy? How? Seriously. Think about it for a second before replying. Are you familiar with the political events of the past 25 years? If not please familiarize yourself with that GOP stopping narrative.

    Christallmighty! I can’t believe that it is 2018 and we are still explaining this. Liberal Elite, your approach is a proven loser. PROVEN. LOSER.

  20. Dave says:

    I used to have this argument over on Delaware Right or Politics, I forget which. It was with Rick (he apparently passed – RIP). He always said that if the right would just get a candidate who was conservative enough, people would have choice and they would vote for the real conservative versus the RINOs. Now it’s the same argument, but with DINOs and Real Democrats. I’m not convinced it matters any longer. A part of me thinks the die is cast, at least nationally. I even question whether I need to vote in the next election, except that I vowed to vote against Lopez, so I suppose I have to do that.

    I do know that if you play not to lose, the best you can do is draw because you certainly won’t win. But I haven’t yet heard a strategy I believe can win and unless that strategy is articulated in a comprehensible manner, the only two choices are draw or lose.

  21. Alby says:

    There’s a glaring flaw in your analysis. You keep claiming, without factual basis, that the kind of candidate you like wins and the kind I like loses. If the kind you like won, Democrats wouldn’t be so badly outnumbered at every level of government, because the kind you like is the kind we keep running.

    Remember John Kerry. Yeah, we picked him instead of Howard Dean, the godfather of this blog, so that the Republicans wouldn’t be able to call us cowards. They can’t slag him as a war wimp. Except of course they did.

    Barack Obama won, and not by being centrist — he ran as a reformer and governed as a centrist. And his time in office proved COMPROMISE WILL NOT WORK WITH THESE PEOPLE. They must be crushed, and you’re not going to crush them with a bunch of ex-Republicans.

    As for SCOTUS, Merrick Garland was offered as a centrist who was approved by all but the lunatic right. It didn’t matter. All these judgeships being filled by Trump were stonewalled during Obama’s term. Some of them have been held open for eight years. It’s too late to vote for people because they’ll vote with us on court appointments.

  22. RE Vanella says:

    ” … VI. As for horses, mules, wagons, &c., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit, discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor or industrious, usually neutral or friendly.”

    — William T. Sherman, Military Division of the Mississippi Special Field Order 120, November 9, 1864

  23. Jason330 says:

    Dave thinks there are a fixed number of voters fixed D’s fixed R’s and that’s that.

    49% of eligible voters don’t vote for a reason. They see no difference between R and D so they just she that it is pointless.

    I’m saying that some portion of that 49% is in play if you give them something to vote for.

  24. Dave says:

    I agree that some portion would be in play. I’m just not sure how much or what the winning strategy would be.

  25. RE Vanella says:

    It’s not a TV series where you just try to follow the plot. You don’t need to know.

  26. Dave says:

    Yeah, I guess keeping the voters in the dark will probably work. Good plan.

  27. RE Vanella says:

    No, dummy. You’re worried about strategy like it’s a dice roll. You’re the voter. Pick a side!

    Jesus fucking Christ you guys are dim.

  28. RE Vanella says:

    Who cares what you think the percentages are? Who picks their morality or politics that way?

    I think everyone should have health care. I think we should have public schools. I don’t think these thing because of their potential feasibility or which is more likely to pay off.

  29. RE Vanella says:

    Johnny Fontane: A month ago, he bought the movie rights to this book. A best seller – and the main character, it’s a guy just like me. I, uh, I wouldn’t even have to act, just be myself. [choking up] Oh, Godfather, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.

    [Don Corleone stands up and shakes Johnny.]

    Don Corleone: [shouting] YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN!

    [Don Corleone slaps Johnny.]

    Don Corleone: What’s the matter with you?! Is this how you turned out, a Hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman?! [mockingly] “Eheheh! What can I do? What can I do?” What is that nonsense? Ridiculous.

    [as Sonny walks in]

  30. Liberal Elite says:

    @REV “I think everyone should have health care.”

    But here’s what happens when the wrong side wins:

    Remember 1980? I was a political disaster. A good “tie” would have been useful to keep the rent seekers and scoundrels in check! And maybe the government would still be able to negotiate healthcare costs and drug prices…

    We have the most expensive and dysfunctional healthcare system in world by design. The designers just bought the politicians, and the fools who elected them were too busy being sold on racism (the Southern strategy) to notice their money going down the drain.

    Our healthcare disaster is truly a Reagan legacy.

    And It’s VERY hard to claw this back. It’s better to not lose in the first place.

    @REV “It’s not a TV series where you just try to follow the plot. You don’t need to know.”

    We need a viable strategy. Not a progressive cheering section.

  31. RE Vanella says:

    Oh, honey, you’re so confused.

  32. spktruth says:

    ItsTtrue the progressives (like Sanders) all women won on single payer health care, college tuitition issues etc. The center democrats are losing, because they are out of touch with their own constituents.

  33. RE Vanella says:

    She wants a “viable” strategy, based on nothing, with only hopes of playing to a nil nil draw. It’s some of the dumbest shit out there.