365 Comments

Sweet mother of God. Is the Democratic party deliberately trying to lose big in the mid-terms? There was a small article in the Denver Post in the last 10 days about some debt relief for farmers, not one word anywhere else. What does it take to get the Dem's to wake up. Hammering on abortion access is not going to get the job done.

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As a Pennsylvanian, I watched the debate. There’s no good way to spin this: it was bad for Fetterman. Really bad. He should have dropped out after the stroke. Oz is going to win and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. PA only has one decent senator (Toomey) and now we’re about to have none.

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"Working people haven’t seen a real pay increase in years." Actually wages are going up after Covid because there are not enough workers. But, regardless what can Washington do about wages? Are they going raise the minimum wage? That's not the problem. Most people are getting more than the minimum wage. What you and Republicans are trying to sell to voters is a planned economy where the government tells companies how much they can charge for goods and services and how much should their workers.

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Really rough. However it’s Mr. Fetterman’s speech; not his thoughts that are jumbled. He did his Party and all Pennsylvanians a disservice by masking his health issues during the primaries. Nonetheless, Mr. Fetterman beats any and all trumpists as they endanger our democracy.

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I am a Democrat. Ask me my top 3 issues this election and my answer is the economy,

global warming and a tossup between women’s rights and protecting democracy. The economy being first does not equate to a vote for Republicans. A good follow up question will clarify who earns my vote.

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Bernie and the hateful progressives are killing the Democratic Party in Wisconsin and nationwide. Here in Wisconsin I lost all respect for Baldwin and party leadership after they put their thumb on scale for Barnes and progressives. It was a self inflicted wound and a big f*** you to Democratic voters. Now he’s dragging down the whole ticket. So upset with my party. They continue to fracture their own coalitions. We have “our Wisconsin Revolution “ showing up at party meetings. Ugh.

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Politicususa is reporting that Fetterman has raised $2 million plus AFTER the debate. Perhaps the voters are seeing something that Charlie isn't. Just saying.

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I think on Fetterman, at this point, it could only help. I don't think Oz gained anything. And Fetterman might have lost people who he already lost anyway. And then there's a very small group who see him fighting by doing this, who might stick it out for him.

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I don't live in Pennsylvania but I do live in Arizona and we have similar choices. It's unfortunate to be on this situation but we must vote for the candidates that will do the least damage. Snake oil salesman or stroke victim? Crazy lady or scardy cat? I can't go with the crazy lady and I hope folks in Pennsylvania aren't in the market for snake oil.

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I am going to repeat myself. The DNC should disband and put James Carville in charge of the message and the money TODAY -- while there is still time to salvage something out of the midterms.

His first act should be to take Ms. Jayapal out behind the proverbial "wood shed" and tell her to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

When it comes to the Democrat's so-called Progressive Caucus -- I must ask "with friends like this, what Democratic candidate for House or Senate needs enemies"?

Not just the stupid Ukraine letter, or "Build Back Better" fiasco. It's the general "tone deafness" and projected sense of "self-importance" that actually hurts centrist Democratic candidates.

I write this as an Independent, former Republican, former Republican congressional candidate -- who just voted an almost straight Democratic ballot in California.

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This trend all started when the progressives gang banged Debbie Wasserman Schultz out as chair of the DNC because of emails stolen and released by WikiLeaks (Russia/Putin)... because she actually BELIEVED that Sanders would be a weaker nominee than Clinton.

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If not for the merry band of "progressives" in Democratic caucus in Congress -- we would not be in this mess!!!!!

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Agree. My congressman is a personable fellow but he voted with the Orange man 96% of the time - so in his job, not so nice. That’s where voters go wrong. They vote for an incumbent that seems really nice but fail to assess how they vote.

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And who they'll vote for as Speaker or Majority Leader. These are all more important considerations that his/her personality.

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Oct 26, 2022·edited Oct 27, 2022

I've been trying to wrap my head around the structural or systemic issues that make the Ds so bad at politics at this moment (or seem bad, more on that later). A lot of it has to do with the primary system, same as Rs, you have to play to your base and the general election is lock because so many races are really not very competitive in a general election. The D base isn't as crazed as the R base, thank God, but it's not the median voter either. Another element is that political skills atrophy----they don't have to be great, so they aren't. That said, those factors arguably affect the Rs even more.

Another issue is that Ds don't just have to be good at politics, they have to be great. If we were in a fully-functional representative democracy, the Ds would be doing great. Oversimplified, but Ds essentially have to win 55% or more of the national vote to win the presidency or House, and even more in the Senate because it's so skewed population wise. Rs can win with 45%. That is a huge, huge factor. It's obviously easier to build a coalition that unites 45% of the population than 55%.

Thirdly, Rs seem to have a much more practical, efficient class of billionaire supporters, perhaps because they have very specific, concrete demands (lower taxes, less regulations); in some sense, the collective action problem favors the Rs. It seems like a lot of the hard legwork is done not by the R party itself, but various "grassroots" organizations funded by billionaires like the Kochs. It's not glamorous, but it's necessary, and they're dogged and determined. For whatever reason, wealthy D supporters just don't act in the same way. I don't know Warren Buffett's political leanings, but he says he should pay more in taxes, so he sounds like a D. But I'm not seeing reports on how he and Bill Gates and MacKenzie Bezos are systematically spending their billions on building D-supporting political networks across the states. Money talks. In the past couple of years big donor cash has flowed heavily to the more activist leftwing groups. The DLC, the face of New Democrat, moderate "triangulation" politics typified by Bill Clinton and which the Ds so desperately need today, closed in 2011 for lack of funds, which, I think, in some ways says it all about where the Ds find themselves today.

Fourth, the solidification of unpopular progressive dogmas relating to identity politics and gender issues in the cultural and media spheres that both unfairly defines the Ds, and the continual spreading and acceleration of the bleeding edge of these debates way past where the majority of people are comfortable going. And that does speak for a part of the D base. It's just one more fight, if you're a D politician, that you have to spend time and energy on fighting, on top of everything else. There's a ton of psychological pressure to just comply. And, as noted above, a lot of the money is in the hands of the groups/donors espousing these ideas. This also leads to selecting sub-optimal candidates. Case in point, Joe Biden's biggest mistake, picking Kamala Harris as his running mate. She's a lousy candidate who can't win, but she's now the heir apparent, and for ideological identity reasons she can't be shoved aside, probably, and doing so would be bloody and divisive, leaving Joe no real choice but to run again. He basically acknowledged he decided he had to pick a black female candidate, and she was perceived as the best of the available lot, so here we are. Ironically, Joe did this because he felt he owed Clyburn for black votes in S. Carolina, whereas black voters in S. Carolina chose Joe not for identity politics reasons, but because they correctly viewed him as the most electable candidate----unlike all the white progressives who preferred the unelectable Bernie or an identity "message" candidate.

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founding

Yes! Particularly the third point, about the money. The Republican billionaires have financed ALEC and the Federalist Society which have done untold damage. The Dems don't have anything like that.

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Oct 26, 2022·edited Oct 26, 2022

Except the way that the "cultural and media spheres" define the Ds isn't totally unfair. True, The Squad and the other crazies don't speak for the majority of Democratic voters, but they're actively encouraged in the cultural spheres where Democrats are most influential, and the rest of the party doesn't discipline them, so the media pretty much reports what it sees. Even though many individuals in the media are Democratic-leaning, the perennial "Democrats in Disarray" is too good an old chestnut to keep out of the fire for long, and drama is more important to them than facts, and certainly than truth. For all their many faults, the Republicans don't get enough credit for how well they kept their crazies under wraps for about fifty years, before they exploded out with Trump. Maybe it was inevitable and the pressure built up too much to control anymore, but the Dems don't even seem to try most of the time.

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You're right, I realized as I was writing that post that really it was two points that I should've broken out. Democratic politicians' leftism is definitely exaggerated, but it's also not entirely made up. Which is basically what I said, so I should have broken it into two points. But it was already pretty long and I was too lazy to go back and edit it properly :) Why the DLC and New Democrat centrism fell so out of favor, though, I don't really understand, other than maybe the pendulum nature of politics and misinterpretation of Ruy Teixeira's thesis about a lasting Democratic majority to the point of overconfidence.

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The progressive argument against running centrist Democrats is something like, “If you run a fake Republican against a real Republican, the Republican wins every time. That, of course, overlooks the fact that Republicans are no longer Republicans. The solution is to send the Bernie Bro types over to the MAGAs, with whom they have a fair amount in common on trade and isolationism, for example (and also socialism if it’s rebranded as national socialism and leaves out gender issues), leaving the Democrats to reclaim the territory ceded by Mitt Romney types a decade ago. Easy!:)

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Which speaks directly to the "horseshoe" interpretation of our current political spectrum. In my more pessimistic moments, I find it somewhat convincing. ;-)

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It's a good, thought-provoking post, though, well worth reading. I share your frustration, and agree about the overconfidence that came of reading Ruy Teixeira's analysis through the distorted lens of identity politics. That the Democrats are paying the price for that mistake, I suppose, was inevitable; it's going on a lot longer than it should, though, because they don't seem to learning from the mistake and correcting course.

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The day after his stroke John Fetterman should have put the good of the country and the state of Pennsylvania ahead of his own ambitions and dropped out of the race.

Connor Lamb would now be wiping the floor with dear Dr. Oz. He is a pragmatic centrist, from Western PA, has a good record in Congress -- gun owner, former Marine -- long family ties to PA.

If Mitch McConnell becomes the next Senate Majority leader, Fetterman's selfish decision to stay in the race knowing how ill he really was may be the pivotal Democratic error.

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I agree. Sadly. I am a life-long liberal democrat and cannot believe how incompetent the Democratic party is at the national level. I am starting to think that Yang and crew have the right idea about a third party. I am hopeful that the Utah senatorial election (where Ds are backing the independent) might lead the way. I stopped giving to the national D committees after the Hilary debacle. Ds have some inspirational leaders who could revitalize the party-- improve outreach to Hispanic voters, Asian voters, young voters, and improve messaging!!!! but with the current inability to reorganize at the national level I have no hope for them. Maybe Tip was right, all politics is local, and I will stick to reorganizing at the local level.

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I absolutely agree that we need a third party, just not Wang's third party. We need a Liz Cheney-Adam Kinzinger-Larry Hogan-Charlie Baker third party, and one that doesn't want to merely compete with the Republicans, but to REPLACE them.

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I am so saddened by the fact that the incompetence of the Democratic Party will likely lead to the loss/partial loss of democracy in the US (at least for some years). It is beyond belief how poorly they have listened to & responded to the the needs of the people in the country for a competent government

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