Showing posts from November, 2020

Lefty McSocialist and Jesus McGunguy

We have a very real and pervasive problem with guilt - by association in our politics. It was the main driver of down ticket Democratic losses in 2020 (IMHO), and it more than likely cost Joe Biden Florida. And it needs to be reckoned with . It sort of… breaks things that if a particular politician meets with, agrees with, looks like, or even dares to belong to the same party as another politician, that they can be saddled with that entirely different person’s entirely different positions. Not only will any tenuous association be made into campaign ads, but it actually beggars belief that it… works.  The fact that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Joe Biden both have a “D” after their name does not make them the same person. And it’s crystal clear that drawing an imaginary connection between two such disparate points can lead to problems, particularly when (what should be) local races get nationalized. If you’re a moderate politician running in a moderate to conservative district in, say, O

Sunlight is a disinfectant, but it also makes weeds grow.

I'm finding myself a little excited by the idea that conservatives might all leave legitimate social media platforms for their own, separate, safe space . And it’s not only the improvement in the overall decency of social media that would result, or relief from the last three months of dealing with an onslaught of Trumpian trolls and bots. Any history of conservatism is a history of non - credible ideas gaining credibility and then never really losing it. Whether it’s being anti - civil rights, pro - tax cuts for the wealthy, or science denial, the pattern is the same. The fringe becomes the extreme becomes the mainstream, and from there, it can't be dislodged. The “liberal media” myth is no different. So it was only a matter of time before conservatives started accusing user - driven social media sites of “bias” and “censorship” once they tried to get a handle on misleading and dangerous information on their sites.  The big bonus of this - which will take years to play out - i

The next two years of hell.

There are now great gobs of evidence that not only is the Trump administration actively ignoring the pandemic , but that they are perfectly happy leaving as big a mess as possible on every level for the incoming Biden administration to clean up. If we make it through the next two months though, I don’t really see how the next two years are anything but shameless, wall - to - wall sabotage. No one’s crystal ball is crystal clear of course: Democrats, through executive order , reconciliation (maybe?), or filibuster reform (maybe?) attempt to take some basic recovery measures after close to 300k deaths from a pandemic, 10% unemployment, a recession, and a 3 trillion dollar budget deficit. To do that, they will have to (gasp!) tax AND spend. Republicans - regardless of the Senate’s composition - will oppose any and all bills proposed by Democrats and strike the same posture they did from 2010 - 2016. No Republican support for anything; details be damned. Legislative victories are politica

Stray 2020 Election Thoughts # 2

1.) Super duper credit to whomever said this - if it's not clear by the header image, these posts are mostly therapy, so I'm not linking anything: "A significant portion of Americans aren't racist, but for a significant portion of Americans, racism isn't a problem." This is - I think - the challenge of our times. It's not that there are actual a lot of actual robe - wearing Klansmen and Neo-Nazis out there (aside from the newly elected congressboy from the NC-11, who is awful). It's that for millions of us, "racism" isn't really something that enters into people's minds. They're not racist, their friends aren't racist, and "institutional racism" sounds like something from their boring high school history course that MLK already fixed once upon a time. It's an utterly blinkered and privileged point of view, but "don't be a racist" just bounces right off of it. And "why would you vote for a racis

Stray 2020 Election Thoughts # 1

  Where to begin? 1.) I still hold it as the mark of good political punditry to admit mistakes. I wrote a piece a few months ago boggling at the GOP tactic of shouting "socialism and communism" at every turn. I honestly had no idea to whom this was appealing to.  It was appealing to Cubans in South Florida.  The repetition of the lie was more than enough to win Florida for Trump. Just the hint - no matter how dishonest - that there was a similarity between Biden and Castro is enough. Just look at the voting numbers in Central Florida and it's fairly clear - it was South Florida that didn't turn out or turned out for Trump in terms of raw vote totals. I totally missed that, and the slander should NOT have been as disregarded as just absurd hyperbole. 2.) It's truly stunning how just about every argument upholding the goofy and undemocratic Electoral College is wrong. Take your pick - but the big noticeable one last night though was the fact seconds after the polls