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    “Explain that thinking, Vit.”

    Because you need to turn right, not left.


    No, I don’t think the Dems have to “turn right”. They need to get candidates that appeal to swing voters. Ellison is not the guy to do that, for two big reasons which we all know. A black muslim ain’t going to bring over the rust belt back to the blue team.


    Democrats need to do a whole lot more than win over the “rust belt” states to take Congress back. They need to find ways to re-connect with voters in the swing districts on issues like guns and and the economy. And they need to connect to voters who up until now haven’t bothered to vote at all.

    To win back the presidency in 2020 or 2024 is a whole different ball game than Congress, though. A lot will depend on how Trump does and how the economy does by 2020. If things don’t go well in the next four years, and the Dems come up with a good candidate, they should be able to win fairly easily without a radical makeover in the party (given how close Clinton got to winning despite huge negatives). But that won’t bring Congress back.


    “the Dems come up with a good candidate, they should be able to win fairly easily without a radical makeover in the party”.

    Not sure about that. First, they need to rid themselves of everything Clinton. Second, Bernie is not the answer.

    So the road is going to be very tough. Not unobtainable, but tough. They need new blood, and who will it be?


    The last 15 minutes or so of that, along with a few bits sprinkled throughout, contain some commentary from Obama’s former digital director.

    In the last portion, some of the youth movement, motivations, etc… related to Sanders and politics is why I’m linking this. Skip the Bernie shit, if you want.

    We are in an establishment referendum time. It’s aligned with clear, global trends too. The US is not the only nation going through this right now.

    The economic paradigm put into place after the New Deal just hasn’t worked. Neo-conservative, Neo-liberal, just call it neo-economics.

    I no longer trust the current establishment team to get it done. They haven’t, and are increasingly misaligned with where people are headed politically. My current employment puts me in the middle of a ton of 20 and 30 somethings. They absolutely do not see this the way we do, nor do they value the party, but they do want to vote, and they do want material and significant economic change.

    A lot of those people went to the mat for Sanders, and for them, it was about the ideas. Going forward, they still really like and will listen to Sanders, but it’s really about the ideas. About them. Can’t blame any of that, and I’m not about to deny it either.

    Democrats are down something like 1K seats overall, and general poverty has increased under Obama, with over half the nation not able to get it done with anywhere near a reasonable life work balance, if they can get it done at all.

    40 percent of all workers are paid below $15, and the younger generations have entered into a system with worse upward mobility, higher cost and risk exposure, lower wages, and it’s not working for them as it did us.

    In a general sense, I hardly believe we can return to the same team that got us here. And, in terms of money in politics, we now understand it’s not entirely necessary to depend on the big money, and there is a movement to compete and or challenge the big money with people money.

    Put simply, we can’t address income inequality when we are running on the same money and politics that are driving income inequality!

    Party performance over the last 30 years for labor and the middle class simply has not been good enough.

    I’m floored at “black muslim” statments and will just proceed without further comment. Ahem.

    People like Ellison, and he’s a nice bridge between current establishment and a lot of new blood that is going to have to come into the party. Sanders is playing a similar role, in that he has massive outside party appeal, and currently enjoys roughly have the party base appeal.

    That general appeal exceeds the entire Democratic base of support, by the way.

    It’s smart politics to do this.

    The only real failure mode on it happens to be if Trump somehow does very significantly improve things for labor and the middle class economically. Nobody really expects that to happen.

    Running the old team this coming mid-term is very likely to generate about as much excitement as we’ve typically seen, and that does not bode well for party growth and or ability to check the worst of the GOP. It speaks nothing to effective opposition as it will be mere opposition and compromise at best.

    In my own sphere of people, experiences, etc… more people are doing worse every year than better, and that’s been consistent throughout Obama.

    People see “RECOVERY” stamped everywhere, but in their own lives, they do not see that, and it’s a serious, growing, and now majority problem.

    I’m done. Tossing in with the up and coming people. That’s where the future is going, and I’ve seen no real indication “New Democrats” and or “Third Way” Democrats will improve on performance so far.

    Had that performance been any better, the door for both the Sanders movement and Trump would not have been opened as we would not be facing an establishment referendum time. A change time.

    As for appeal to the rust belt… Let’s just say they need a message. Trump gave ’em one, Sanders gave ’em one. Clinton did not, staying the course, with some polish and flourish applied at best. Hell, she didn’t even really campaign much there as “the data” said it was a lock.

    Never entertaining THAT shit again. Big mistake, but I digress.

    Those people need to hear an economic message aimed right at them. Ellison is positioned to help the party do just that. Now, he’s not the guy to pitch it in the rust belt, but he is the guy who is going to empower whoever does, and when they do, he’s the guy to maximize it too.

    I encourage you to give that a watch. Again, ignore the Sanders shit. It’s fine, and not really material to my argument here. Pay close attention to the younger approach to politics. Good stuff in there, stuff I believe in.


    As for Congress, that work needs to be going on right now. Rather than disengage, it’s time to double down and continue right into a high motivation mid-term time.

    Ellison gets this, BTW. So does Sanders.

    Good people will bubble up out of all that, and some wins in the mid-terms is exactly the sort of thing needed to position for a nice win back in the next Presidential election.

    Unless everyone is very seriously wrong, Trump will come crawling into that election, and a ton more of just our sort of people will age in too. Advantage Dems, if they get that ball rolling now and really internalize what this loss means, why, and address it.

    Edit: Another data point. In my other advocacy work, I’ve got younger trends. People are messaging me with contact info. Cold. “How can I get involved?”

    That shit never happens. Ever.

    Of course, I route them to the Sanders delegate, or other organizer looking to get the party cranking up for change. Ellison matters here too.

    It’s simple, Sanders called for him. If he’s in, that’s a signal the party is open for new business. If he’s not, then those people are gonna go and do something else, meaning Dems will be fighting them and lose more likely than not.


    Paul, Hillary is history. She’s not going to run again, and I don’t see her having much influence in the future. I don’t think the Clintons were that much a part of the DNC, anyway. Bill will always be a voice as a respected former president, but I think he will be eclipsed in that role by Obama, anyway, going forward. Hillary was never hugely popular, and I think Democrats will want to forget her as soon as they can.

    I don’t really see Bernie having a big role, either though, despite the conventional wisdom that he is now going to be influential. Two years ago, he wasn’t even a member of the Democratic party. I’m not sure he still is today.

    Given how incredibly close this last election was – and Clinton winning the popular vote by a big margin – I don’t see that the Democrats have that much work to do just to win the presidency again if everything else is more or less the same as it was in 2016. Elections are always between people, not just between parties or ideas or issues. Had a stronger candidate run instead of Clinton in 2016, it seems almost certain that candidate would have beaten Trump.

    As I said above, though, 2020 – if Trump runs again – will come down to how well he does and how the economy is doing more than anything else. He “has the ball” to so speak; if he “fumbles,” can Democrats recover and score? If he doesn’t “fumble” – if the economy is strong in 2020 and if he hasn’t done half of the terrible things that are now being predicted – he should win re-election easily especially if no strong Democratic candidate emerges to challenge him. It’s Trump’s election to lose – incumbents always have that advantage running for re-election.


    Andrew, that is what I said. Please re-read my post. I said rid the dems of Hillary and Bernie. Not sure I understood your response to that. Unless you are saying this is already done. Which I’m not sure of…


    Bernie is a duly elected independent Senator from Vermont.

    He joined the Democrats formally to run for POTUS. He’s not left formally, though he did assert his indie status. That’s appropriate for Vermont, as well as the 40 some percent of us who are independent today. Republicans and Democrats both float around 30 percent, for comparison.

    The party has him doing official business. He’s a Dem in that sense. Also I’m pretty sure these things do not need to be exclusive.

    Dems won’t get rid of him right now. They’ve got no real reason. The support associated with Sanders and the movement ideas he put out there exceeds the Dem party base too, as it includes roughly half of party base.

    A whole lot of that trends young as well. Aging in.

    Party future right there. That’s really hard to ignore.

    The other dynamic to consider is party membership and value trends older. I have no sense if it’s shifting or constant.

    What I mean by that is at any given time there are 20 year olds, at any given time there are 30 year olds, etc…

    The changes coming trend young, and are advancing through the age brackets, centered on younger people impacted in 2008.

    Party membership and value do not trend young, and may be shifting as well, the difference being there is no back fill at present.

    One of the goals Sanders and the Democrats have is to improve on that so the party benefits from the demographics coming up. Nobody knows how effective all that is, and with that up and coming generation not valuing the two major parties in the same way or degree that we do, threats of third parties, or other sorts of constructs are a worry, from a party standpoint.

    My own feelings are mixed on it. I do value parties, and I’ve been to the mat for Dems a lot, most of my life. A whole lot is good. I’m happy in those respects.

    As a progressive, maybe I’ve come of age during Obama, but I see the distinct lack of meaningful power and leverage associated with progressives and it’s a problem. The kind of problem where it seems possible to influence legislation, or blunt a sharp edge or two, but not really possible to put a progressive idea out there to stand and pass / fail.

    Money has a big impact on that.

    There, frankly, are no incentives associated with big money, corporations, media, etc… to speak to labor and middle class issues.

    One artifact of this is that young trend also sees many things as class politics, not identity type politics, which have been a bedrock of current economic policy and strategy. In my own mind, I’ve arrived at a similar shift over the last say, 6-8 years.

    I feel this needs recognition, and Sanders, Ellison and others, maybe Nina Turner who appears to be willing to run for OH Governor. are all very well positioned to do it.

    During this whole thing, I’ve bumped into a lot of people who object to Democrats as a party. They like the social progress, and identity politics rocks there. It’s a win. On the economic front, it’s almost as if they’ve gone past identity near completely.

    To them, a big party failing is that it works hard economically for those where, in their general words here, “there is some excuse.”

    Say black, single mom, whatever.

    And to them, that’s offensive and weak. The offensive part simply boils down to their generally more permissive and well developed views on race, gender, etc… A great many of them are simply past it, willing to live and let live. In that same vein, to them, so many people working either a few jobs, or one, but working a lot to get very little in terms of their ability to participate in the economy speaks generally to policy, class and greed.

    Sanders lit them up, because he’s been there in his own politics for a considerable time.

    Seeing that resonance has given me a lot to think about, and I find it very difficult to argue with them.

    It is class politics.

    And once we get there, a whole bunch of other things drop into place:

    –Socialism isn’t a dirty word to most of these people. Given how they live lean economic lives today, the idea of common good efforts is very high value. To them, freeing up a few bucks really matters. So many of them just don’t have much. By percentage and value perception, socialism is compelling on a number of fronts.

    They are connected too. They see other nations, peoples, systems, and ask direct questions. “Why can’t we do that?” As they should be doing, by the way. Good on them!

    –Redistribution isn’t a dirty word either. To them, particularly given how 2008 played out, why not redistribute in the other direction. They see “trickle down” and it’s obvious as a failure. They see the big banks and very large sums of money to bail out and notably no inflationary effects, in fact, few effects at all for the banks! Yet, people can’t get the same thing?

    There is a libertarian streak in them too. Basic income and direct democracy comes up an awful lot.

    Another one that comes up is just how hard should we be working? Can’t blame ’em on this either. The line is we are supposed to benefit from automation, and we very clearly have, yet those gains were not shared. If productivity is so damn high (which it is and will grow), why not work less, live leaner, greener, more rich lives?

    Fair questions. I’ve wondered about that myself. And as I see so damn many people stitching together two maybe three jobs, or working a ton of gigs, basically on a full time hustle to make it, the motivations and politics about all that aren’t a big leap at all.

    In this, Sanders does not go near far enough for them, but I also get the sense they see significant value in just changing the dialog. Take more socialism. If that’s a success, things improve, the dialog from there is a very nice problem to have. Pragmatic, rational.

    One of the big party struggles coming up now is just what a step away from a strong, primary identity politics message will mean. A great many in the party, not impacted by Sanders or this mess in general, let’s say “hold the line” types, express grave concern. To them, identity politics is all that holds the coalition together, and without it, or a step away from it, party support could fracture, making things much worse.

    An answer I see bubbling up out there is we just don’t do that. Instead, run it all on top of the class message. This is subtle, but significant. Broad support for class politics is out there, rising, and could be a majority if framed right.

    Specific identities can reinforce that while minimizing the playing of groups off one another. BLM will be anxious over what they may see as a shift in their priority, lost in the noise. But ordinary white labor may see common cause as higher value and be willing to lend their support on that basis.

    All that said, this divide has existed for some time now. It’s been bubbling up throughout Obama, and I could feel it distinctly as of a few years ago myself. I don’t see it going away as much as I see a shift in how things are done and what the priorities are.

    No matter what comes of all this, Ellison, old party guard, new party guard, etc… Progressive minded people are now coming to understand money better and to them, it means straight up power and leverage needs to be a part of the equation.

    Most progressives have been reluctant to go there. But, the ongoing growth in poverty and all that pain they associate with basic economic issues just won’t go away, until there is meaningful work done on those issues.

    I’ve been asked point blank about a lot of this. “Why are you a Democrat?” and when I go through why and what that means to me, it’s not all that effective. Too many things are true for them that were not true for me.

    And this legal corruption business. There exists a ton of confusion about that, and it centers on what is legal and what is ethical. Just because it’s legal, an example being the Clinton Victory Fund, doesn’t mean it’s OK. The party line is, “We need to compete with and win against Republicans.”

    Well, now look at where things are. Don’t think they see a billion large spent to actualize a huge loss. Overall confidence in doing that shit again isn’t very high, and it isn’t going to be growing either.

    Sanders hit it out of the park here. That campaign on people money got noticed. It’s now plausible to be thinking about ways to fund better politics directly, and that suits many independents, again trending younger, just fine. Ellison will be working this model, seeking to incorporate it into the party dynamics, make it more open to people powered efforts, not shutting them out, locking things down.

    I very strongly believe it all has merit.

    To me personally, I see it this way too: We can’t just ditch the party establishment as it exists today. We need the numbers, and our competition is seeking power all the time. To just step off that cliff is a no go for what most people will see as obvious reasons.

    The trick then is to insure the party is open to it’s Progressive faction doing things on people money. Various efforts will get put out there, challenges made, elections won and lost.

    Take something like the Progressive Caucus today. It wants to be for labor and the middle class. However, except for the likes of Bernie Sanders, it’s running on and accountable to the same big money that drives income inequality. The product of that is a limited ability to perform as an effective and positive force in policy discussions. Opposition is limited too.

    Money drives most of those issues and basic conflicts of interest in play today. Those conflicts drive the poor party performance in general too. Doing something like meaningful redistribution isn’t gonna happen on that funding model. Who will donate to see future margins decrease and or costs / taxes increase?

    However, if people efforts are successful, that caucus could be grown to include a lot of people who do not have those limitations. Those people can take more aggressive positions and there is no donor phone call to be made, and their base of support would be directly incentivizing them to get after favorable policy.

    This puts people into the discussion where they’ve not been before.

    Say that Brand New Congress effort goes somewhere and they win some seats. Maybe they win quite a few. Who knows? That group may well elect indies, some Republicans, some Democrats. Being on people money, they can caucus or they can act as a bloc or faction, changing the dynamics in Congress considerably.

    Think Tea Party without the corporate money backing it as we saw with the GOP. For progressives, and the ideas they want to see happen, this is very compelling politics and Ellison with Sanders are in a position to open those doors and or help the party benefit from all of it.

    Just know there are dynamics in play here not being talked about on the media much. Makes perfect sense. Conflict of interest to most of them, while it’s resonant with new media all over the place.

    This year the media didn’t have a solid grip on the overall narratives to the degree they have in the past. I see this as a very good thing overall. Media consolidation has been a net loss over all, and a big mistake Bill Clinton has owned up to on a few occasions too.

    Big issues, net neutrality, clarity and overall journalism as opposed to murky, access reporting, access to media, citizen journalism, etc… all get low coverage. Know what else gets low coverage?

    Reporting and opinion written from the labor point of view. As I’ve put here many, many times, that’s easy to see once a person steps away from the US big media and looks around some at overseas and up and coming new media of various kinds.

    Changing that dynamic, or at the very least, insuring something else is competing with the non-coverage we get today is a net good I’m in very full support of.

    Progressives and their indie, like minded, common economic cause friends could use a little direct power and leverage in the system. There are a lot of gaps where people are falling into that just don’t have meaningful answers.

    Perhaps directly funding better politics is a meaningful answer. A ton of people intend to find out, and that, at the core, is what this Sanders / Ellison proxy fight is about.

    Does the party incorporate those things into the coalition, or does it reject them outright?

    And if rejected, what does that mean for electoral politics over the next 8 years?


    Paul, my point of contention with what you said earlier is that it will be “tough” for Democrats going forward (for the presidency, not Congress, which is a different story). I don’t think it will be tough at all if Trump has a bad four years and/or the economy tanks on his watch. If he has an even OK four years and/or the economy is still doing well in 2020, it probably doesn’t much matter what the Democrats do between now and then.

    I don’t think it will be tough for Hillary to be forgotten. Bernie may be a different story. He could drive Democrats to go “full Mondale” and nominate someone completely unelectable in 2020 and make it easy for Trump to get re-elected, even if he doesn’t have a good four years – that’s my biggest fear.

    But presidential elections are always contests of personal ambition along with everything else. The Dem candidates for 2020 are already out there; who will be both ambitious enough to run and also able to win over the primary voters? The fact that you can’t yet think of who the “new blood” might be doesn’t mean a good candidate might not emerge relatively quickly. I don’t think many people seriously thought Obama would rise so quickly after his attention-getting 2004 speech at Kerry’s DNC convention, especially if Hillary were running in 2008. And Democrats certainly felt similarly discouraged after Bush won re-election so narrowly in 2004.


    I like Sanders. But his supporters arrogance has made the name toxic. Sanders deserves better.


    I always loved listening to Bernie on the Thom Hartmann show – it was my favorite segment of the week, the one I specifically tuned in for Friday at 9AM. I loved his passion. But I never supported him as president. I just didn’t think he would have made a good president, at least compared to Hillary, and I still don’t think he would have done as well as Clinton in the general.


    Andrew, thanks for your clarification. I probably could have been more precise in my post.


    It is interesting to consider how the economy changed during the first term of recent presidents – from the time they were elected until they ran for re-election.

    Trump will be the first president since 1988 to take office without a recession. Consider how the economy has changed for recent presidents during the first four years:

    Obama: economy got better
    Bush II: economy got better (circa 2004 I mean, not 2008)
    Clinton: economy got better
    Bush I: worse
    Reagan: better
    Carter: worse

    Look at how Bush I and Carter fared for re-election.

    Today’s economy lacks strong economic growth even if it is steady – and the unemployment level is low while the stock market is reaching record highs. What are the chances the economy will be better in the fall of 2020? It’s possible, but it seems more likely it will slow down by then – or at least be worse than it is now. Gas prices have been low for a few years and so have interest rates, which have probably done a great deal to spur the growth we’ve had.

    Will Republicans go on a tax cutting + big spending binge that will drive up deficits by 2020 but have the economy seeming to thrive as in 2004? Historically, voters have shown they don’t care about deficits if the economy seems good to them. $2 Trillion deficits may elicit a shrug if the DOW is at 30,000 and unemployment is at 4%.

    Anyway – to me, all of this stuff is going to be far more consequential to Democrats’ presidential hopes in 2020 than whether they choose Keith Elison for DNC or try to make big changes in the party. It’s much more important to be prepared to win with a good candidate in 2020 when the Republicans stumble.


    Charlie Cook has put out new raw vote data. Here it is for the states that Trump flipped (Maine being only a partial flip): Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

    The conclusion is that in these states, Democratic turnout was way down compared to 2012, much more than Republican turnout was up. The poster child here is Wisconsin, which Trump won by 23,000 votes. Democratic turnout was 238,000 votes less than it was in 2012 while Republican turnout was down by 3,000 votes. In other words, Republicans didn’t beat the Democrats in Wisconsin, Democrats committed suicide. In six of the seven states, Democratic turnout was down. Only in Florida was it up, but up by less than Republican turnout.

    The data don’t show why Democratic turnout was down. Was it millennials sulking that they couldn’t have their beloved Bernie? Was it FBI Director James Comey’s letter than made Democrats who didn’t really like Clinton much stay home? People will be analyzing the data for years to come, but one conclusion that is inescapable now is that Democrats lost because for whatever reason, they didn’t bother to vote, at least not in the numbers they did in 2012

    Thanks, Bernie Bros. Your ass-hatness allowed the monster to be elected. Enjoy your shit sandwich.

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