Republican Bidens and the Failure of the Democratic Party

NinjaCow64

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So miss me with "browbeating" and "negative consequences"... please describe to me specifically, what you want me to say or not say, so I can address that directly. @Farm Boy gets accused of being vague and enigmatic about the kind of criticism you're giving me here. What I'm offering, is to be very clear and direct with you in my responses but you have to actually take a position, rather than doing what you and other folks constantly accuse Farm Boy of... ie being vague and indirect.
It is my opinion that you are peddling a revisionist recent history of the Democratic and Republican parties and you are blaming Democrat voters for the failures of the Democratic Party machine.

Conventional wisdom was that overturning Roe was impossible. However, Republican voters didn't say... "Oh well they didn't get it done so I'm abandoning them." Republican voters kept voting Republican in the hopes that eventually, they would accomplish their goal. They stuck with it... for the long haul... decades and decades, again based solely on the promises and hopes that eventually, they would deliver, on the longshot, impossible promise, sometime in the future. That's what Democratic voters don't seem to be able to do, just based on the anecdotal comments on these threads.

Right, that was O'Donnell's point. Democratic politicians can't do what Republican politicians do... ie., set a seemingly impossible goal like say overturning Roe (or full acceptance of LGBTQ rights) and depend on their voters to keep voting for them, for decades, waiting patiently for the impossible to gradually be made possible. That's just not how the Democrats' voters are currently built. Democrats' voters don't get what they want, lose heart and #abandon... meanwhile the Republican voters stay committed to the long game... and slow and steady wins the race.
This is just not true. When the Republicans ran Republican Bidens (they did it twice, both with McCain and Romney) and both of them failed to resonate with Republicans and voters in general. Republicans DID lose heart and #abandon the party until someone who they actually thought would deliver them what they wanted, Trump, arrived.

People also commonly forget that Obama ran on a platform of Hope and Change. What he did in office was a sharp betrayal of what he promised voters, but Obama's success was a clear indication that Americans (Republican, Democrat and otherwise) did want change. Trump also ran on a campaign of change (admittedly a horrific vision of change). Trump, unlike Biden, delivered. Roe v. Wade is dead and a bunch of other progressive rulings are on the chopping block. LGBT rights are down the toilet. That might be more the work of state governments but Trump will claim those things as his wins.

Compare and contrast Biden, who has done nothing. You could argue that he is constrained by Congress/SCOTUS/what have you but Trump in the same situation would have rattled the cage. He would have made it look like he was doing something, even if the so-called Deep State was hindering him at every turn. Meanwhile Biden is finding it hard to convince people that he even cares about the issues that most Democrats believe in, let alone is well enough to run the country.

Biden has not even tried to hide his disdain for ideas that most Democrats, hell most Americans, believe in. When Roe v. Wade was being overturned he kept blurting out that he was pro-life. Whenever a Red State overturns LGBT laws he does the government equivalent of posting "Concerning" on twitter. He's unabashedly pro-Israel, even when there is a genocide ongoing that is deeply unpopular with the American public.

I genuinely don't think Biden would have won if it weren't for Covid.

If the Democrats are to survive then they need a firebrand on the level of Trump and Obama that actually seems to want to implement the policies Americans and Democrats care about. One that, even if stopped, made it looked like they even tried. The Democrats don't have many people who meet this standard and I'm not sure that the DNC would let them win even if they did.

TL;DR the Democrat Party is in a hell of its own making and its all their fault.
 
Compare and contrast Biden, who has done nothing.

It isn't nothing in totality but it's too close to nothing, certainly.

If the Democrats are to survive then they need a firebrand on the level of Trump and Obama that actually seems to want to implement the policies Americans and Democrats care about. One that, even if stopped, made it looked like they even tried. The Democrats don't have many people who meet this standard and I'm not sure that the DNC would let them win even if they did.

Problem is, we had this in Bernie, who IIRC Sommerswerd at least supported in 2020, but the bulk of Democratic primary voters said "nope, we want Biden." Which is to agree with this statement:

TL;DR the Democrat Party is in a hell of its own making and its all their fault.

So in that sense the Democrats are really the "liberal conservative" party now, with the Republicans an increasingly far-right reactionary, I think fairly called "fascist", formation. The larger structural problem is that right-wing propaganda is absolutely dominant in how Americans think and talk about political issues. This seems to be a problem common to all the English-speaking countries at the least.

I genuinely don't think Biden would have won if it weren't for Covid.

Almost certainly true.
 
Problem is, we had this in Bernie, who IIRC Sommerswerd at least supported in 2020, but the bulk of Democratic primary voters said "nope, we want Biden." Which is to agree with this statement:
True and this does contradict what I say somewhat. Unless you think that the DNC conspired to get him elected, which might be true but its also true that Biden was popular in the primaries - other than to say that the average primary voter does not reflect the median American or even the median Democrat very well.
 
So vote Trump or one of the minor candidates. Progressives have great ideas but can't catch fire with more than 10% of the population.

Of course, that's because there's a concerted effort by liberals/moderates/conservatives/media to suppress progressives, amirite? If only people would listen.

Btw I voted Bernie in the 2016 primary.
 
So vote Trump or one of the minor candidates. Progressives have great ideas but can't catch fire with more than 10% of the population.

Of course, that's because there's a concerted effort by liberals/moderates/conservatives/media to suppress progressives, amirite? If only people would listen.

Btw I voted Bernie in the 2016 primary.

Basically what I said. Liberals as such are only 15% here and I'm in the most liberal Anglosphere country.

Think progressives in USA woukd get an actual shock if they had proportional voting
MAGA types would outnumber them 2-1 possibly 4-1.

Most of the rest would be center left/right types. CFC types sub 1%.

You woukd get to vote for the Greens or equivalent though who might get 5-15% depending on the year. They don't really grow the left vote just siphon votes of the centre left party depending on the year.

And said centre left party would likely have to coalition with the "Greens" and what's left of the moderate GoP/right democrats.

MAGA would be left howling at the moon.
 
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So vote Trump or one of the minor candidates.
I’m not an American but if I was I would not vote Trump lmao he and his friends want to kill me. Nothing in that post is an endorsement of the guy. That and everything that Biden is bad on Trump is worse on.

I am planning to vote third-party and aggressively depreference my MP for their terrible record on Palestine, among other things.
 
I’m not an American but if I was I would not vote Trump lmao he and his friends want to kill me. Nothing in that post is an endorsement of the guy. That and everything that Biden is bad on Trump is worse on.

I am planning to vote third-party and aggressively depreference my MP for their terrible record on Palestine, among other things.

What's tge least worst option in Australia? Liberals there seem to be mini Truss.
 
The Greens.
 
Alright, a non-RD thread I don't have to feel bad for derailing. Let's have a go :)
Understand what?
To quote myself: "the reasons folks are declaring that they refuse to vote for Biden". You say you do, but I'm not sure I believe you.
"Browbeating"? "negative consequences"? I'm missing your point here. I've been very clear that I'm not trying to convince you or anyone else to vote for Biden. Your response to me comes off like you think I want something from you and you're warning me that I'm not taking the right tone/approach to sweet talk you. I've not the slightest interest in sweet talking you or convincing you to vote for Biden or anyone else. Vote for whoever you, want. I'll take no responsibility for your voting decisions. You (the royal you) can't blame your vote on "Sommers was mean to me on the internet" GTFOH with that implication. Once again, all I am interested in, is probing what I regard as the logical fallacies, contradictions, etc., in the reasons folks give for voting, or not voting a particular way.

So miss me with "browbeating" and "negative consequences"... please describe to me specifically, what you want me to say or not say, so I can address that directly. @Farm Boy gets accused of being vague and enigmatic about the kind of criticism you're giving me here. What I'm offering, is to be very clear and direct with you in my responses but you have to actually take a position, rather than doing what you and other folks constantly accuse Farm Boy of... ie being vague and indirect.
Look at your post here. Tell me, in what universe is "that's how we end up" is not an assignation of blame?

So no, I think I'm pretty accurate here. I have a position, and if you're failing to see it, maybe there's another reason. Maybe you're being too confrontational about it, or you're refusing to see the issues in the Democratic Party . . . or maybe you think it'd be a good thing if Democratic voters were more like Republican voters, is that it?

If all you're doing is simple moral posturing, if you truly have no care in changing peoples' minds, and you just want to say "look at me I'm so smart in pointing out what these progressive posters are getting wrong", that's exactly what I mean by "browbeating". It's not about you wanting something from me (or anyone - I'm a Brit, remember? I say this at least one a page of US politics posting). I don't think you're taking the right approach at all, but that's irrelevant. I'm not going to be able to fix that :D

What it is about is pointing out that blaming the voters for the party's failures is a losing tactic, and it will continue to do worse the longer you feel obliged to use it for. What you do with that information is entirely up to you.
Conventional wisdom was that overturning Roe was impossible. However, Republican voters didn't say... "Oh well they didn't get it done so I'm abandoning them." Republican voters kept voting Republican in the hopes that eventually, they would accomplish their goal. They stuck with it... for the long haul... decades and decades, again based solely on the promises and hopes that eventually, they would deliver, on the longshot, impossible promise, sometime in the future. That's what Democratic voters don't seem to be able to do, just based on the anecdotal comments on these threads.
Republican voters, in that regard, are not voting like people in a democratic institution should do. They're voting as though they were in a cult, and you for some reason think this is a good thing.

Beyond that,
you seem to think that the Democratic Party actually wants to do these things. I don't think it's a stretch to assert that they're cynically dangling these carrots in front of their progressives to get votes, while happily doing nothing about it when in power. Why wouldn't they? Every party does it. Say what you want, so long as you get in. Once you're in, it doesn't actually matter.

Too cynical? Perhaps.
Right, that was O'Donnell's point. Democratic politicians can't do what Republican politicians do... ie., set a seemingly impossible goal like say overturning Roe (or full acceptance of LGBTQ rights) and depend on their voters to keep voting for them, for decades, waiting patiently for the impossible to gradually be made possible. That's just not how the Democrats' voters are currently built. Democrats' voters don't get what they want, lose heart and #abandon... meanwhile the Republican voters stay committed to the long game... and slow and steady wins the race.
Except that Republican politicians don't get these miracle wins. They subvert, they stack courts, they play around the actual game of "voting and being elected on a position". They don't depend on their voters for jack, they do what they want to do in violation of (lowercase-d) democratic norms regardless. We have a ton of examples of this.

Your entire position is based on some kind of idealistic view of politics that seems long-dead. Why cling to it?
 
People also commonly forget that Obama ran on a platform of Hope and Change. What he did in office was a sharp betrayal of what he promised voters, but Obama's success was a clear indication that Americans (Republican, Democrat and otherwise) did want change. Trump also ran on a campaign of change (admittedly a horrific vision of change).
Right, the Democrats ignored multiple 'warning shots.' Obama jumped the line in 2008: At the 2004 Democratic Convention, the party was all but anointing him their candidate in 2016. Hilary Clinton was supposed to be next. The party establishment tried to push her on us for over a decade, and she could only win a primary that was stacked in her favor. (Can anyone name another 2016 Democratic Primary candidate besides Bernie Sanders without Googling it? I can't. :lol: )

TL;DR the Democrat Party is in a hell of its own making and its all their fault.
I pretty much agree, yeah. And it would be even worse if the Republicans had a 'firebrand', nationalist, reactionary, authoritarian candidate who wasn't a complete boob. I remember during the 2016 campaign, a conservative analyst said, "Somehow, both parties have nominated a candidate the other party can't lose to." There's history rhyming, again. I remember thinking in 2016 how unfortunate it was that the Democratic Party had super-delegates and the Republicans didn't. We were getting one establishment candidate and one insurgent, but they were the wrong ones. I can't claim with certainty that Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio would have won the nomination if the Republican Party had used super-delegates, and I can't claim for sure that Bernie Sanders would've won the nomination if the Democrats hadn't, but I sure am curious to see that alternate universe.

Problem is, we had this in Bernie, who IIRC Sommerswerd at least supported in 2020, but the bulk of Democratic primary voters said "nope, we want Biden."
I was disappointed with all of the 2016 Bernie supporters who were so quick to throw in the towel. For a brief moment after Trump's victory in 2016, some people were theorizing that Sanders might've done better against Trump than Clinton did, but by 2020, they'd given up, 'cause I didn't hear or read anybody saying that anymore.

So in that sense the Democrats are really the "liberal conservative" party now, with the Republicans an increasingly far-right reactionary, I think fairly called "fascist", formation.
I'm about 1/4 of the way into Max Boot's The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right (2018), and he says he calls himself a 'classical liberal' now, instead of a conservative. He hasn't yet come right out and called the GOP a Fascist Party, but he has quoted his own articles from 2016 in which he did call Trump a Fascist.

Think progressives in USA woukd get an actual shock if they had proportional voting
MAGA types would outnumber them 2-1 possibly 4-1.

Most of the rest would be center left/right types. CFC types sub 1%.

You woukd get to vote for the Greens or equivalent though who might get 5-15% depending on the year. They don't really grow the left vote just siphon votes of the centre left party depending on the year.

And said centre left party would likely have to coalition with the "Greens" and what's left of the moderate GoP/right democrats.
You're pretty much describing our Democratic Party, imo.

Except that Republican politicians don't get these miracle wins. They subvert, they stack courts, they play around the actual game of "voting and being elected on a position". They don't depend on their voters for jack, they do what they want to do in violation of (lowercase-d) democratic norms regardless. We have a ton of examples of this.
I go back and forth with myself on whether I want the Democrats to drop the little flags and play tackle football for a bit. I say "for a bit" because I don't really want our politics to go that way. What I want is to have two (or more) ethical parties, but that ship has sailed. For example, would I want the Democrats to 'stack' the Supreme Court? Again, what I want is in the rearview mirror. What I want is for Mitch McConnell to not have stolen Barack Obama's Court selection in 2016. I don't want the Democrats to stack the Supreme Court, or to gerrymander districts so the voters get the representation they would have if the system were working, but what I want is not always an option. I don't know for sure if we're there yet, but I'm starting to wonder at what point the Dems should stop taking the high road. It will be an embarrassment when it devolves that much, but sometimes punching back is the sensible thing to do.
 
Conventional wisdom was that overturning Roe was impossible. However, Republican voters didn't say... "Oh well they didn't get it done so I'm abandoning them." Republican voters kept voting Republican in the hopes that eventually, they would accomplish their goal. They stuck with it... for the long haul... decades and decades, again based solely on the promises and hopes that eventually, they would deliver, on the longshot, impossible promise, sometime in the future. That's what Democratic voters don't seem to be able to do, just based on the anecdotal comments on these threads.

What this elides is that the right wasn't just voting in hope, they were organizing and trying to enact a vision. They organized in the legal profession, they organized in the media, they've organized a kind of mirror of the think tanks (Heritage, AEI), they created machinery to manufacture cookie-cutter right-wing legislation that could simply be adopted by anyone in a state legislature (ALEC) and they even organized their own right-wing universities like Hillsdale College, Liberty University, or the economics departments at places like George Mason or U Chicago.

There is no equivalent to this project on the "progressive" side. Indeed, at this level what we see is largely projects that are trying to make the Democrats more right-wing. There is no concerted effort to try to push wider society to the left over time, to try to open up space and possibility to push the envelope further left in the realm of policy and electoral politics. The core of the Democratic Party turned on the left-wing equivalent of the NRA (an organization with a dues-paying mass membership that engages in political education on a large scale), the labor movement, either actively abetting its destruction or doing nothing to stop the Republicans from destroying it. Traumatized by a series of Republican victories in elections, the Democrats shrank away from a competing vision for the future and adopted all the major beats of the Republican worldview (which was supposed to lead to a Great Moderation and a Democratic thousand-year Reich but instead seems to have led to the GOP being taken over by Donald Trump).

Anyway to make a broader point if we only look at electoral politics in isolation then our analysis is going to be very distorted.
 
This is just not true. When the Republicans ran Republican Bidens (they did it twice, both with McCain and Romney) and both of them failed to resonate with Republicans and voters in general. Republicans DID lose heart and #abandon the party until someone who they actually thought would deliver them what they wanted, Trump, arrived.

People also commonly forget that Obama ran on a platform of Hope and Change. What he did in office was a sharp betrayal of what he promised voters, but Obama's success was a clear indication that Americans (Republican, Democrat and otherwise) did want change. Trump also ran on a campaign of change (admittedly a horrific vision of change). Trump, unlike Biden, delivered. Roe v. Wade is dead and a bunch of other progressive rulings are on the chopping block. LGBT rights are down the toilet. That might be more the work of state governments but Trump will claim those things as his wins.

The thing is that even within this period where the national candidate was Republican Bidens, under that national Presidential nominee the Republicans were doing horsehocky. Frequently. They were putting up votes to impeach Obama. They were putting up votes to overturn Obamacare. They were staging games of chicken with the national budget, even if it meant a government shutdown, to try to get their policy priorities passed. At the local level, they were putting up candidates who were winning elections, gaining control of state houses, and then using that control to pass policy priorities, even if those policy priorities ostensibly wouldn't pass Judicial Review.

Like yes this was a pessimistic era for the Republicans in the White House (to the extent that national Dems were gloating in 2016 about there never being a Republican president again), but this was a period that saw enormous successes for the party overall:

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This graph shows control of state houses over time (both Dem, both Rep, split between the two). By 2016, the Republicans had full control of 32 states. Dangerously close to the balance needed to start passing constitutional amendments.

When I say the Democrats do not do horsehocky, this is what I mean. However evil, despicable, underhanded and myopic/doomed the proposal was, the Republican party in congress and in the states was and remains laser focused on trying to effect their policy vision for the country. Every idiotic law that is immediately met with "well that will never get past SCOTUS" is still a law that was passed. Is still a law that takes effect until either an injunction/stay is placed on it or it is overturned. And the more courts the Republicans can control (by winning elections and appointing young, openly partisan judges), the longer those laws are allowed to stay in effect, the more likely they are to pass through SCOTUS review.

It is, as I've said, a lot easier to feel energized or optimistic about voting for a party when the pitch is: "we're in Congress fighting hard to get (abortion/the "border crisis"/"transgenderism"/whatever) abolished, but those crooked liberal judges keep illegally blocking it, vote for us so we can get these crooked judges out of there and these laws which we have already attempted to pass on multiple occasions through." As contrasted with "we've tried nothing and we're all out of ideas. Vote for us and maybe we'll pass some laws we've told you we care deeply about but never seem to want to try to actually pass." Doubly so when every word of that is laced with condescension.
 
blaming the voters for the party's failures
I don't have time for a full response, but when I do, it will start with this, and reference Zard's point--about how much taste there is in the American electorate for truly progressive policies. On one level the voters are the party. I know there's a party apparatus, and they try to steer things to a degree. But in the end you can only sell as much as American voters, especially primary voters, are buying.

I mean, in 2020, Biden hadn't been "anointed" by the party in the way that Hillary had in 2016 (and 2008). Bernie was in the race. And Warren. More progressive candidates had their shot. They were given exposure, on MSNBC, at least. Biden prevailed. America's left is center-left, i.e. the left edge of conservatism.

And so it can't be the Democratic party that conducts this multidimensional ideology-steering project, that Lex calls for, on the left. (As he notes, it wasn't the Republican party that did it on the right: it was think-tanks, talk-radio, etc.). And remember in this connection that Trump and his appeal to voters on the right was not a product of the Republican party.

True progressives have a huge uphill battle in the US.

x-post with schlaufuchs, but her analysis is crucial. So, if the parties are to be faulted, what the Ds are to be faulted for is focusing only on the presidency, to the exclusion of down-ballot races and concerns.

Edit that just represents further musings along the same line: There's that clip of all the Murdoch owned local TV stations anchors reading the exact same script on some national issue. Murdoch isn't part of the Republican party. Where's the left's equivalent of that kind of daily drumming into people's ears a particular ideological position? The left has academe, we're told*, but that reaches a third of the country for four years of their lives (and the message gets largely zoned out in career prep). Hollywood, the right will say, but it's always actually bound to shoot for the middle.

*further further musings: but for how long? The right has sized that up as a vulnerability of theirs and is targeting it now. Indiana just passed a law that professors in public universities, even those with tenure, can lose their jobs if their classes don't reflect "intellectual diversity." But when Sommer first brought up the O'Donnell segment that started all of this, my first point is that the two parties are fundamentally asymmetrical. And a second aspect of that asymmetricality is that the left just isn't as cut-throat as the right. Can't just go be, to even things up, because they just aren't. Just temperamentally are not.
 
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I want to address the point of ‘getting stuff done.’ The Democrats get a lot done, relatively speaking (I’ll come back to the relatively in a bit). We saw two massive spending bills passed under their watch in Biden’s early days, more student loan forgiveness in the last 4 years than the previous 40 years combined and quadrupled, an overall expansion of voting rights nationally even in the face of a party hellbent on the opposite, the legal mailing of abortion drugs, and pushes for free school lunches. Biden is Biden, and I think he is badly missing the point on abortion - his lack of conviction there sucks hard. But if you wind the clock back to Trump, he got almost nothing done as well. He got judges, but his Obamacare repeal floundered, his wall floundered, his signature legislative success was a tax break.

If you spend any time online in progressive circles, you see people going endlessly “why can’t Dems fight like GOP, we lose every time” but if you spend any time browsing conservative circles, they are awash in “why can’t GOP fight like Dems, we lose anytime” (see: the most recent spending bills, which Dems got way more policy wins on; they knocked down 33 or 34 anti-LGBTQ riders, got significant expansions to housing and WIC and more).

The thing is structurally the government is setup to get nothing done, which then gets voters angry and oscillating between parties and delivering split governments, which has the unfortunate result of ossifying the system even more.

But in the first two years of Biden’s presidency, Harris basically had to camp out in congress as a tie breaking vote so many things were going through. The GOP absolutely does not have that discipline at the federal level. Now, at the state level where they have basically gerrymandered and strongarmed their way into permanent rule, like Ohio, they get more done. But neither party can get much done at the federal level because the rules in which anything can be done are ridiculous and require astronomical barriers to meet. So relatively, Dems ‘get a lot done’ but like, lol at the US government ever getting a lot done.
 
The thing is structurally the government is setup to get nothing done

But neither party can get much done at the federal level because the rules in which anything can be done are ridiculous and require astronomical barriers to meet.

I've just recently come up with an idea on this. And maybe this thread is the place to drop it. Stay tuned.

I gotta go do some math. And math is hard.

But the core point here is solid. Our political system is designed precisely to prevent anything from getting done. So it massively favors conservatives.
 
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I agree. Democrats get plenty of harm done!
 
I am pro ending the fillibuster, but that very obviously could mean at some point a 2 year GOP legislative bloodbath. I think that will result in huge losses - one of my favorite bits of research is that when you tell Republican voters the GOP policy platform, they say that’s not possible to be that evil and you must be lying. But those huge losses would come after an Obamacare repeal or nationwide abortion ban or something. In a way, the intransigence of the government protects the GOP at the federal level. They’re rewarded for stonewalling and saying “next time we will get the law across the finish line” ad nauseam.
 
It's with the filibuster that my idea has to do.
 
I am not calling for a left mirror of the right's organization. That will never happen. The right organized in this way because a lot of very rich people got together and decided to invest in all of this stuff. Generally speaking rich people are not going to invest in a network of institutions whose message is that rich people need to either pay way higher taxes or fudge off and die.

The left's answer to this must lie in popular struggle. The labor movement is the best means that we have of spreading class consciousness and turning that awareness to useful political ends.

Also to @GoodEnoughForMe's point the American state was designed to really only be good at doing violence, mostly on behalf of the rich, and it shows.
 
I don't have time for a full response, but when I do, it will start with this, and reference Zard's point--about how much taste there is in the American electorate for truly progressive policies.
There's plenty of appetite for a change of foreign policy, in, say, a specific area in the Middle East. Polls show this.

There's plenty of appetite for codifying Roe vs. Wade.

Don't buy into nonsense spun by people who don't actually care a lot about progressive policies in the first place. Roe vs. Wade wasn't "truly progressive". It was a fairly low bar to settle for. As are other examples that spring to mind.
 
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