Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, December 30, 2016


Coping with 2017

by Tom Sullivan

The coming year(s) appears daunting for the American left. Overconfident Democrats gave up a Supreme Court appointment without a fight. Donald Trump appears no better prepared for the presidency than he was before November 8. Republicans dominate state governments. North Carolina just saw a legislative coup reported around the world.

In the aftermath, progressives should eschew the lure of zero-sum politics. In what could be a pretty dry period for the left, already we risk retreating into issue silos and fighting over scraps. Candidates for chair of the DNC want to bring back Dean's 50 state plan. But that worries some among the Democrats' multicultural coalition. To hell with the red states. Attention paid there means me and mine get ignored. But as I already argued, recovering lost ground isn't about disadvantaging members of the coalition, nor about Democrats advocating affirmative action for racists. It's about the math.

Jamelle Bouie offers a sober assessment of the problem:

Trump has a strong core of voters who, as we saw during both the primaries and the general election, refuse to abandon a figure who speaks for their resentments, their anger, and their frustration. But Democrats don’t need that core. They don’t even need the typical Trump voter (i.e., a Republican). All they need is the marginal Trump voter. The person who flipped from one side to the other. Who cast a ballot for Barack Obama, then turned around to vote for Trump. Who disliked both candidates but went with “change” instead of continuity.
Swing states that went red in November aren't necessarily all that red. In North Carolina, 2.2 million voters (46%) chose Hillary Clinton for president. 2.1 million (45%) chose former ACLU attorney Deborah Ross for U.S. Senate. We should be careful where we aim the broad brush with the red paint. There are a lot of supporters in those "red" states, and they've had their share of being ignored by Democrats' shortsighted bi-coastal presidential strategy.

Michael Tomasky repeats how narrowly Trump won: "Just 1.35 million voters, out of more than 170 million in two countries, threw the world into chaos." But he insists he's not trying to downplay the "seismic nature" of the outcome. He offers a New Year's resolution:
But here is American liberalism’s biggest short-term job, what should be its 2017 New Year’s Resolution, and some of you aren’t going to like it: See to it that multiculturalism includes white people. And not urban white people or Jewish white people or gay white people or white people who live in hipster neighborhoods and wear ironic eyewear. Suburban, gray-haired, church-going white people.
Tomasky notes that Mark Lilla took a lot of heat for his New York Times op-ed calling for the end of identity liberalism. A lot of friends will feel threatened by that, but Tomasky observes that focus led to one of Hillary Clinton's many missteps in 2016:
But Lilla’s money paragraph said something liberals need to think about. Clinton, he wrote, had tended to call out explicitly to “African American, Latino, LGBT and women voters at every stop, the noting that “if you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded.”
You bet they will. But Tomasky's shout-out to suburban whites still fails to address the urban-rural divide. In terms of controlling the U.S. House, Senate, and state legislatures, that's where Democrats have to gain ground. Les Leopold cautions that the popularity of "white working class" as shorthand for red states is another dog whistle, and obscures a key fact:
Rural America, also, is not lily white. Hispanics and African Americans make up a total of 17.5% of rural and small town America.
Alana Semuels writes for The Atlantic that breaking through out where Democrats are a minority in more ways than one will be more than a messaging challenge:
Elkhart is a case study in how Democrats lost the 2016 elections despite the economic resurgence the country experienced under Obama. It shows how, in an increasingly polarized country, an improving economy is not enough to get Republicans to vote for Democrats, in part because they don’t give Democrats any credit for fixing the economy. Gallup, for instance, found that while just 16 percent of Republicans said they thought the economy was getting better in the week leading up to the election, 49 percent said they thought it was getting better in the week after the election. And in a Pew poll in 2015, one in three Republicans said the economy wasn’t recovering at all, while just 7 percent of Democrats said that. This bias is true for Democrats, too, of course. Before the election, according to the Gallup poll, 35 percent thought the economy was getting worse, while after the election, 47 percent of Democrats thought that.
In a polarized country, Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth tells Semuels, “What we want to be true influences what we believe to be true.” To counteract that, Tomasky would like to see rich liberals investing in an institution devoted to promulgating facts in a world of fake news. The goal would not be to persuade everyone, and certainly not the Trump core Bouie describes, but even a little help is some help:
The point would not be to persuade conservatives; half of Trump voters said in the same poll that they still think Obama comes from Kenya, so they’re unpersuadable. But if 8 percent of the middle 30 percent of voters can be reached, that will be enough to swing elections and public opinion.
In this environment, we may have to glean votes where we can find them.

It's Holiday Fundraiser time. If you'd like to contribute, you can do so below or use the snail mail address at the top of the left column. Thank you!

Happy Hollandaise everyone.

cheers --- digby