Oliver Willis speculates that the Trump administration may face a formidable opposition in the form of a “shadow government” led by President Obama. As evidence, he cites comments Obama made last week in Peru.
“I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance.”
But he added, “As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes.”
Looks like we didn’t get one up, so here we go: The Russians tried to re-create their Cold War propaganda machine on the internet this election season. A thing that helped to make “fake news” a thing. Since the US does not censor (mainly) the internet and since Americans still do not get how to […]
As a former public school teacher, I loved nothing more than having an administrator, with NO teaching experience, come into my classroom with a clipboard and a checklist to tell me how to do my job better. I mean—if it’s on the checklist, it must be easy to implement in a classroom with 25+ students […]
Josh Marshall argues that Medicare is ground zero for where we launch the battle over everything — the whole social safety net.
But the politics of Medicare are also highly relevant to this political moment.
It’s not an either/or. The policy and politics are entirely harnessed together. And preserving Medicare will yield political benefits which will allow Democrats to defeat other Trump/GOP initiatives that will do the country grievous harm.
Trump’s election has sprung into overdrive a debate we’ve been having in the world of politics for more than a year: Is Trumpism largely about economic distress tied to globalization and neo-liberal economics or is it mainly driven by a white racial backlash against minorities Trump supporters believe are cutting to the front of the line in the race for economic preferment and cultural centrality? I largely put myself in the second camp. But as I think most people realize, these are not mutually exclusive explanations. And whichever side of the equation you come down on, what the Democrats need are issues that cut across the regional/racial/class divide we saw in the 2016 election.
Medicare does that.
Trumpism is white racial backlash. Not economic distress. The answer to white racial backlash is not to agree with them and abandon minorities and social progress as some idiot privileged white liberal men here suggest. Rather we fight back with more diversity. And yes, we couple that with fighting income inequality and for a living wage so that we have the economic message that Bernie Sanders so desperately wants to the exclusion of all else. It’s both. Not either or.
Cassandra requested that I include the Del DMV’s funny photo today. I hope each of you, and all of you, have a happy Thanksgiving today. I hope everyone relaxes with and enjoys their family and friends. If you have any Trump or Stein/Johnson voters in your family, resist the totally natural and acceptable urge to smite them. Come here and share your horror stories, but hopefully those are few and far between.
I hate the term “identity politics.” It is a made up word by privileged white conservatives that privileged white liberals mindlessly parrot because Bernie Sanders mindlessly parroted the term because Bernie Sanders wants to solely focus all political discussion on an economic message to the exclusion of a rights message. But since the term is here to stay, when you see the term “identity politics,” read it to mean “a politics that combats efforts to deny people fundamental rights because of their identities.” Because that is what we Democrats and liberals and progressives do.
Remember, we Democrats, we liberals, and we Progressives are supposed to be fighting for the equality, rights and opportunities of ALL OUR CITIZENS. Not just the white ones. Not just the straight ones. Not just the male ones. And guess what, when one party, the Republican Party, actively commits to ending the rights and opportunities of African Americans, Latinos, Gays and Lesbians and women, then “Identity Politics” becomes the mission of our lives. It is a monstrous betrayal for privileged white liberals and progressives, some of whom read and write comments on this blog, to demand we abandon African Americans, women, Latinos, and gays and lesbians just because we lost the white working class vote in one fucking election, or just because some racist whites say so, or just because one Senator wants the party to focus solely on economics and not rights. To these traitors I say a hearty fuck you, and get the fuck out. Join your racist Republican white friends and relatives.
We, as Democrats, liberals and progressives, will do both. We will fight for an economic message that wins back the white working class and we will protect and advance the rights of minorities.
And with that, Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
The Pew Research Center conducted its quadrennial survey of post-election reactions and overall the mood of the electorate still looks more polarized and more pessimistic than ever. The bright spot was for Trump supporters, but there is certainly less of the post-election glow and desire for parties to work together to get stuff done. It is worthwhile to spin through this entire report — there is no doubt that voters are less enthusiastic about both candidates, and they don’t think much of either party,pollsters or the press.
A key finding here is the fact that Democrats want their leadership to fight the GOP.
I’ll be back next Monday, but in the meantime, I’ll be giving some serious thought to what I can and should be doing in the next 24 months. The challenges we now face demand some serious consideration, planning, and execution. This lazy dilettante blogger stuff is done.
El Som got a ball rolling with operation Carper, and I definitely want to figure out I can best help out that initiative. But there is a lot that needs doing. Whether we are talking about blog activities or off-blog activities, I’ll need your help to establish some real goals and start grinding out some progress in the direction of accomplishing those goals.
We have some tough times ahead of us and I need to figure out where to apply my energies and my meager talents. Peace.
Delawareans can no longer afford the risk of having Tom Carper in the United States Senate. He is, in his own way, as dangerous as Donald Trump because he does not represent the people of this state, but rather represents those who control the lives of ordinary people through undue influence.
We have long referred to Carper’s corporatist leanings, but we perhaps haven’t spelled them out so that people truly understood the extent of them, and the extent of the damage he has caused and can cause.
Today we begin.
The Personal Is the Political Is the Psychopathological: The Politics of Contemporary Psychopathological Double-Binds
November 7, Year of the Depends Adult Undergarment
KEEP YOUR ANSWERS BRIEF AND GENDER NEUTRAL
In David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest, students enrolled in the above-mentioned course were asked, as the midterm examination, to solve a Double-Bind. If on one hand you were a kleptomaniac, pathologically driven to steal everything you could, but on the other you were also a crippling agoraphobic, paralyzed by the fear of ever leaving your home, how could you satisfy these two totally opposing and overwhelming compulsions?
Great news friends, we live in a post-truth world. Honestly, I thought it would feel more freeing than this, but really I just feel like Mugatu (played expertly by Will Ferrell in Zoolander): “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I INVENTED THE PIANO KEY NECKTIE!!!” Donald Trump made a name for himself in the […]
E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes—What Democrats owe the country:
However attractive an old-fashioned let’s-pass-good-stuff strategy might seem, the alarming signals emanating from Trump Tower require more than politics as usual.
If Democrats do not issue very clear warnings and lay out very bright lines against the most odious and alarming aspects of Trumpism, they will be abdicating their central obligation as the party of opposition. This is not a time for ideological and factional positioning or for focusing on the 2018 elections.
Before they even get to infrastructure, Democrats and all other friends of freedom must make clear that if Trump abandons the basic norms of our democracy, all the roads in the world won’t pave over his transgressions.
Yes, time to honor those who most contributed to the progressive cause in Delaware in 2016. It was a real tough year, but there were some distinct bright lights, including longtime stalwarts and intriguing newcomers.
While I, of course, have some ideas, I fully expect many of those on the final list, and the order, to come directly from you.
The rules are simple. Make your suggestions, and explain why they deserve mention. Keep in mind that individuals or groups are welcome as are those who aren’t progressive, but somehow contributed to the progressive cause. For example, Christine O’Donnell won this award the year she took out Mike Castle.
I’m also hoping that this may serve as a catharsis to get us all feeling more optimistic about the future and to inspire us to redouble our efforts. After all, marching isn’t just important, but it’s a great way to lose weight.
Jeet Heer says outlandish campaign promises and lies helped Trump win. Should the truth-prone Democrats follow him down that rabbit hole?
It’s not news that Donald Trump is perhaps the biggest fabulist in American political history, someone who engages in a wide variety of untruths, ranging from tall tales and fibs to outright fabrications. Perhaps his slippery relationship with truth comes from being a real estate developer, a profession where fantastic hyperbole is accepted—if not required—in the negotiation room. Trump’s political promises can be viewed through a similar lens: If he has no real intent to make Mexico pay for the wall or ban all Muslim immigrants, these statements can be seen as a special type of deception: pie-in-the-sky salesmanship.
Trump says whatever it takes to get the deal done—to win. In this way, he’s merely an extreme version of your average Republican. And now the Democrats, who too often sprint to the moral high ground, are facing at least two years without any control in Washington. It’s time for them to start promising the moon too. […]
To fight Trump-style politics, Democrats will have to steal at least a page or two from Trump’s playbook by making more audacious promises, as Sanders did with his call for free college education for all and a $15 minimum wage—both of which Clinton balked at. While her plan might have been more fiscally responsible, Sanders better understood the power of raising expectations, especially during a populist wave and change year in American politics. To go the full Trump would be nihilistic, but Democrats need to stop worrying about the fine print and start forging their own unrealistic utopia.
Eric Levitz on the road ahead for Democrats:
Their story of what went wrong is simple: Trump, per Sanders, “tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media.” But instead of channeling that anger toward real, progressive solutions for the middle (and working) class’s legitimate problems, Trump directed it toward the most vulnerable people in our society, as right-wing populists always have.
Clinton failed to counter this appeal, because she refused to embrace populist, class politics. While she adopted an economically progressive platform, she didn’t center her campaign on an economically progressive message.
She lost the Midwest because she failed to energize younger voters and win a significant share of the white working class — precisely the demographics that responded most enthusiastically to Sanders’s message during the primary.
In an era of widespread distrust in America’s governing institutions — and widespread disdain for the financial industry — Democrats’ path to power cuts away from Wall Street and toward a populist grassroots movement. They don’t need to compromise on social liberalism. But they do need to reclaim their identity as the party of the working man and woman, and center their message on economic populism. […]
The upcoming DNC leadership election is expected to be cast as a struggle for control of the party’s future. For now, the party’s Sanders-Warren wing appears best positioned to win that civil war.