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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:31 PM
Number of posts: 3,498

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I believe next to defeating Trump. the most important thing a candidate can do in be an influencer."

Likewise, the most important thing a President can do is be an "influencer"-- especially in the modern era of social networks. Let me define this a little more strictly than is done on social networks. I mean more than just having a large collection of followers.

From history, TR (progressive era) and FDR (New Deal and liberalism) were influencers by my definition-- Americans changed their world outlook because of them. Unfortunately, Reagan (modern conservatism) was an influencer too-- Reagan made antipathy toward the government and aggressive self-interest popular and they remain so. Trump is an influencer too, not so much policy-wise but his crass ugly behavior is redefining what is an acceptable public demeanor. History seems to suggest that one needs to win the Presidency to really influence the body politic, but perhaps that is becoming somewhat less true in the era of social networks.

If a candidate can actually change hearts and minds about everyone in the country being in this place we call America together, he or she will have succeeded regardless of whether they win the nomination. Can he/she promote the positive role of the government, civil/equal and other rights (health, freedom from poverty, opportunity, college education, clean environment) for all? This counts for a lot. Such a person might be the next FDR, but even if he or she is not, perhaps his/her actions will help bring about the next FDR by having shifted public opinion so that the political environment is permissive.

To the extent that our candidates can get people to think about and maybe change their minds about these key ideas, they are doing a great service independently of whether they ultimately win the nomination. I find it encouraging that many if not most of our candidates are trying to become "influencers' before they reach the Presidency. A good example of what i mean is Beto O' Rourke going to gun shows to discuss an assault weapons ban with the attendees, and then making such discussions public-- that's the kind of thing that may eventually change minds.

Democrats should run on "National unity and good [better] jobs"

From an opinion piece in the NY Times by Thomas Friedman
(Ignore the tabloid title and look for the key ideas inside)

I think the following is a winning message for a general election and a very good summary of how Democrats can craft a strong economic message that appeals to everyone but Republicans who hate the government:

"That doesn’t mean a Democratic candidate should stand for nothing, just keep it simple: Focus on building national unity and good jobs. I say national unity because many Americans are terrified and troubled by how bitterly divided, and therefore paralyzed, the country has become. There is an opening for a unifier.

And I say good jobs because when the wealth of the top 1 percent equals that of the bottom 90 percent, we do have to redivide the pie. I favor raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to subsidize universal pre-K education and to reduce the burden of student loans. Let’s give kids a head start and college grads a fresh start.

[But] The winning message is to double down on redividing the pie in ways that give everyone an opportunity for a slice while also growing the pie sustainably. Democrats should focus on how we create sustainable wealth and good jobs, which is the American public-private partnership model: Government enriches the soil and entrepreneurs grow the companies.

It has always been what’s made us rich, and we’ve drifted away from it: investing in quality education and basic scientific research; promulgating the right laws and regulations to incentivize risk-taking and prevent recklessness and monopolies that can cripple free markets; encouraging legal immigration of both high-energy and high-I.Q. foreigners; and building the world’s best enabling infrastructure — ports, roads, bandwidth and basic social safety nets."

The "Corrupter": the most descriptive way to refer to Trump

He corrupts the morals and ideals of America by his rhetoric for political expediency. He moral bankruptcy exacerbates political divisions between the Right and Left. The love or leave it rhetoric gone racist is just the latest example. He has corrupted the Republican party something I never thought possible given their history of dog whistles and cynicism.

A Presidential Obstruction Select Committee?

Perhaps the House should create a "Presidential Obstruction Select Committee" similar to the Watergate Select Committee 45 years ago, before proceeding with impeachment hearings. The focus will be on acts of the Chief Executive to obstruct investigations by the Special Prosecutor and Congress. The key difference in the structure was that the Watergate Select Committee was in the Senate and this would be in the House, but the House can create such committees as they did with Benghazi. Thoughts?

Approve a bill making it illegal for a campaign NOT to report potential foreign interference

The House should propose and approve a bill making it illegal for a campaign NOT to report knowledge of potential foreign interference to the FBI and Federal Election Commission. Make it a felony. Close the obvious loophole that prevented Trump and his campaign from being charged with "collusion". This is needed to prevent repeats and highlight the seriousness of what happened. Would be interesting to see if the Senate went along. Trump would be placed in an embossing position if he vetoed such a bill.

Which candidates have been focusing on jobs, especially in the rust belt

that pay well and that can confer a sense of pride. People in the rust belt see those slipping away. Not easily solved, and certainly haven't been hearing too much focus on these yet. What ideas are out there? Retraining, sure that's a good idea-- but people want to know that there will be an employer for the new job they have been trained for. This may be key issue that determines who wins the general election.

The coming Democratic primary is sure to be divisive

Why? Past history-- every contested primary since at least 1992 has been (well 2000 was somewhat milder-- Bill Bradley did not get much traction). On DU, just look at the attacks in 2004, 2008, 2016 and continuing sniping about Bernie Sanders even now two years later. The second reason is the sheer number of expected candidates will create a huge division among Democratic voters about whom to choose. It's not going to be a picnic, as the inevitable attacks begin, bolstered by outside forces interested in sowing division.

What needs to happen? Democratic voters need to hold their tribalistic urges in check, so that later there can be a unified front against Trump no matter who the eventual nominee. Everyone should begin the what if game right now with each of the candidates running (as they declare). What if so an so actually wins the nomination? How will I feel and what will I do to help him or her win?

Jim Carrey "Would Love" To See Kamala Harris & Beto O'Rourke Win The Presidential Race

Deadline Deadline 6 hours ago

Jim Carrey is using his artistry and political platform on Twitter to not only alert people to “the demon that’s controlling us” he said at Vulture Festival in Los Angeles on Sunday, but also he wants people to know he “would love” to see Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris in the presidential race, although he has no issues with Hilary Clinton.

“I don’t think she would be a bad president,” said the star of Showtime’s Kidding. “I believe she knows what she’s doing, but the fact that so many people are conflicted about her, whether that’s right or wrong, is a problem and will lose votes, will lose swing votes…I would love to see Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris. I think she’s fantastic, and he’s a really incredible guy.”

Carrey then got a huge cheer from the festival audience when he added, “I would love in this decade to be able to vote for somebody who is not the lesser of evils.”

Carrey thinks Harris and O'Rourke are two strong candidates for President. I agree. Both would be incredibly good candidates. As to potential problems with Harris, I think he's wrong and that she can be a terrific unifying candidate.

Big midterm lesson: Democrats will need an inspiring candidate to beat Trump in 2020

Big midterm lesson: Democrats will need an inspiring candidate to beat Trump in 2020
Matthew Rosza
Salon, 11/12/18

Here's the thing about President Donald Trump's supporters: They aren't a majority, and they aren't growing in number, but they are passionate and loyal. Most important of all, they show up on Election Day. The midterm elections are simply the latest occasion when this was demonstrated. True, Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, but they didn't do so by the overwhelming margin that many had hoped to see -- and they actually lost seats in the Senate. Turnout in the 2018 midterms was the highest in any similar election since 1966, but that wasn't just Democrats eager to repudiate Trump. Republicans also turned out in unusually high numbers, considering that their party is currently in control of the White House. (Normally, the party that's out of power sees higher turnout in midterm elections). Trump convinced his voters that they needed to go to the polls to protect him, and they did so.
It isn't that Trump is exceedingly popular, but rather that the people who support him will clearly stick with their man no matter what and make a point of showing that loyalty where it counts the most. For Democrats to effectively counter this, they have to make sure that their presidential nominee in 2020 — who will, inevitably, play a crucial role in determining the fate of the down-ballot Democrats running for Senate and House seats, as well as for governorships and state legislatures — is able to inspire turnout on an equally impressive scale.
That said, Democrats can pick a nominee who has the best of what Biden can offer without being Biden himself. They need a nominee who, like Trump, appears to be a blunt truth-teller who speaks his mind and heart. (That isn't true of Trump, of course, but it is widely perceived as being true). The candidate must be able to advocate for progressive policies on issues like health care, environmental protection, the economy and protecting minorities in a way that enthuses the Democratic base without alienating independents and moderates. He or she must be able to appeal to the voters in the so-called flyover states, either because they hail from them -- like Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota or Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana -- or because they appeal to them naturally, like Biden himself.
Finally, the candidate must hold Trump's feet to the fire on the issues where he is weakest — such as his unethical conduct in office, his inflammatory rhetoric, his policies that persecute the poor and various racial and religious minority groups — without making it seem like all they have to offer is the benefit of not being Trump.

This is a balanced article, explains why it will be necessary to have someone who inspires folks. I think it's obvious that inspirational ability should extend from as much of the very diverse Democratic base as possible to even people with differing political opinions.

Beto may be the next President of the United States

He has risen to national prominence in this election where he was the decided underdog. and has the change, hope and unifying message like Obama. Most importantly, he inspires people-- which is what this country needs now.
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