Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


marylandblue's Journal
marylandblue's Journal
June 24, 2019

Warren's approach is to have one big theme - wealth inequality.

She has an ambitious set of proposals to start off, like FDR's New Deal. FDR did not get everything he asked for, and not all of right away, but he got a lot of things, so he's looked at as a huge success.

April 26, 2019

It's okay, if Warren wins, she is not picking Sanders.

Her best choice is a white male, preferably from the Midwest.

April 3, 2019

Wow: No wonder I like Pete, he's thinking exactly what I'm thinking.

In today's New Yorker, he picked up on an idea I have been thinking about this since Trump's victory, and apparently, so has he. I'm quite a geek, so abstract ideas really grab me. The quote that grabbed me is below.


"Well, I think his [Obama's] Presidency was very constrained. In a tactical sense, of course, it was constrained by the partisan makeup of the Congress, and, I would also argue, by, in many cases, bad faith on the part of the Senate and House Republicans, who, it turned out, were not very interested in compromise or in working together... But I think there was an even bigger kind of global constraint that affected that Presidency, which was that it was still part of a forty-some-year era that you might call a Reagan consensus, when a conservative or neoliberal economic worldview really dictated how both Republicans and Democrats were supposed to behave. So for some of the same reasons that, you know, a Republican President like Nixon was doing a lot of pretty progressive things on domestic policy that would have still placed him a little bit on the right side of the spectrum, as it was in America at the time, the seventies. You know, Democratic Presidents in my lifetime, Clinton and Obama both, I think, have been operating in a fundamentally conservative framework, and it’s something we should remember when we think about the shortcomings of the things that didn’t happen that we wish would."

The idea he is talking about is from a political science book called "The Politics that Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton" by Steve Skowronek.

It's all about how the Presidency goes through cycles where a "reconstructive" (i.e. transformative) President brings in new ideas and a new political coalition that set the assumptions for the next 20-40 years and that President's party dominates the politics of that era. Towards the end of that era, things start to fall apart for the old coalition, and then a new reconstructive President, usually from the other party takes over. Reconstructive Presidents were Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR and Reagan.

We are still living under the Reagan regime, the conservative/neoliberal assumptions Pete refers to. If this cycle continues in the way it usually has, then Trump is a "disjunctive" President, the one who tries to hold the old coalition together, but can't. Generally, disjunctive Presidents precede reconstructive ones. So Pete explains, based on this theory, why Obama had so much trouble getting things through Congress, what 2016 meant, and by implication, what he's trying to do for 2020. He is trying to be a truly transformative President, 2020 is the once in a generation chance to be one, so he's decided to seize the moment despite his young age. It also explains what he is trying to do - something like build a new coalition of social progressives, labor, millenials and economic progressives.

It's a really a very hopeful theory for our side. We've been living under the Reagan regime so long, it's constrained what we think is possible, and the end of a regime is usually a dark and difficult time. But the transformative Presidents that have followed have included some of our greatest.

Also I think it explains why someone with a non-traditional resume like Pete's can win. Jackson, Lincoln and Reagan had non-traditional resumes. FDR had a more traditional resume, but he was also a very unusual person - handicapped, a wealthy patrician populist, and the first President to master radio.

Geek that I am, it excites me and encourages me that Pete is using this to form his strategy.

Read more about this theory here and how it may apply to Trump here:

And a longer version here:


And a sort of midterm report on Trump here:

March 30, 2019

When diversion is the purpose.

Some people like to divert attention. It really doesn't matter why or how. It only matters that they do it. They do it so much they become diversionary experts.

There are a lot of ways to divert attention. Some are fallacies. Some are not. Some diversionary tactics have a name. Some don't.

At any one time, there is one topic. It's simple. But diversion is complicated. There are infinite number of methods and an infinite number of other topics to choose from. So it's hard to pin down exactly what kind of diversion it is. There is no point to pinning it down anyway, because the point of the diversion is to avoid the real topic. For the diverter, talking about the type of diversion works just as well as any diversion. Anything so long as the real topic is avoided. Even arguing about what the real topic actually is can be a diversion.

If the diverter senses the diversion is not working, he doesn't return to the topic. He simply abandons the whole line of thought and goes somewhere else.

It helps if the diverter is shameless. Then there is no limit to what he can say. The bounds of normal human conversation are no constraint. He can create ever more distracting diversions if he needs to.

So next time you see a diverter diverting, just don't go there. It's not a fallacy, it's not a lie, it doesn't matter what was said before. It's just a diversion. Don't let yourself be diverted. Stay on topic.

I'm speaking of Trump, of course. But he isn't the only one.

March 22, 2019

I'm switching to Buttigieg because he is a game changer.

After Trump, I am firmly convinced that there is no disqualifying characteristic anymore. Trump showed that. All these holier than thou evangelicals don't really care about your sex life. They never did and they never will.

If the oldest, dumbest, most morally corrupt, least experienced, craziest candidate ever, a fat cat New Yorker no less, can win the rust belt, then why not a young mayor actually from the rest belt?

Buttigieg won 82% of the vote in a rust belt city that's 60% white. I think that's proof he has wide appeal.

Sure, they will cynically use his orientation against him. But it won't work with him. Because he answers so calmly, so clearly, and, when needed, with a sharp barb. Only a few politicians in America have shown they can do this. Buttigieg is the only one of them running for President.

My position has the advantage of being testable. If he isn't shooting to the top after 1 or 2 debates, then he isn't the one.

March 13, 2019

Trump's vulgarity is a feature not a bug

...President Trump’s crude performance last week at an annual gathering of conservatives — he physically embraced the American flag, called the Mueller probe “bullshit” and referred to Rep. Adam Schiff as “shifty” — was an affront to the decorum we expect from presidents, and plenty of critics pointed this out. Trump was “not merely undignified as a leader; he is committed to stripping away the dignity possessed by others,” Michael Gerson wrote in The Washington Post. One Twitter commenter described the speech as “an undignified mess of slop,” and another labeled Trump “the most undignified President in history.”...

...In fact, demagogues like Trump are almost always undignified. That is a feature, not a bug, of their politics. When Hillary Clinton infamously described his supporters as a “basket of deplorables,” Trump swiftly converted the comment into a badge of honor. It turned out that he wanted his followers to trumpet themselves as “Les Deplorables” — because that was already his argument. While their critics think demagogues hurt themselves politically by violating the standards of polite society, they’re doing the opposite: They’re doubling down on an unorthodox but potent politics.

In other words, we must understand why Trump’s CPAC performance was rational from his perspective before we can begin to understand how to deal with it. And that means taking Trump, his supporters and his “undignified” performances seriously.

A textbook demagogue meets four tests. First, he identifies as a man of the masses, usually by attacking elites. Second, he creates great waves of passion. Third, he uses that passion for political benefit. Fourth, he tests or breaks established rules of governance. Taken together, this approach enables the demagogue to create a state within a state — a massive cult — that follows him alone...

March 11, 2019

Don't forget about state legislatures special elections, we are losing them this year

Republicans have flipped 4 seats from blue to red in special elections. Last year we flipped a net 8 seats from red to blue and in 2017 we flipped a net of 13. Don't let the Presidential primary distract you, from those special elections. They count too, and are part of the keeping the momentum going through 2020. If you have money or time, please check out to see where and when the next special elections are


March 9, 2019

I don't care about negative attacks on candidates, I only care how they respond

Everyone of our candidates is going to be attacked for something sooner or later. If there is nothing to attack, they'll make something up, and the media will run with it. It's a given. I don't care. At all.

That sounds pretty callous and immoral, but it's the only way in our post-fact Trump world. Facts don't matter when Trump's lies are treated as truth. If the facts don't matter anymore (and obviously they don't), then I at least want someone who shares my values. Which means ignoring their real or imagined faults so we don't have another great candidate taken down by a trivial non-scandal scandal.

But their response to whatever "scandal" gets cooked up does matter. Because that's how Trump did it. He manipulated the media and shamelessly turned it around to make Clinton look like the crook. And he'll do that again. Countering that attack is worth everything.

AOC is the Democrat who responds best to attacks. She always has a snappy comeback to whatever they say about her. Unfortunately, she is too young. But I hope the older generation is learning from her. I'll be watching them when the attacks come, and whoever gives a good answer or turns it all back on their accuser is the candidate to beat Trump.

Please think about this when choosing a candidate. Whatever their other merits, they must be able to parry the inevitable attack. Shrug off whatever stupid nickname Trump comes up with. Defang the Russian troll farms. That's how we will win.

Edited to add: Think about this way. Take whatever negative information you have already heard about a candidate, put it into a Trump tweet then imagine the news covering it for days and saying it's really damaging information. How will that candidate respond and how effective will that response be.

February 22, 2019

Official Why I like Sherrod Brown thread.

I haven't seen anything posted on Brown here, so Brown fans, lets talk about why he should run and hope he listens to us.

Good things about Brown
- One of the most progressive voting records in the Senate.
-Working class appeal.
-Midwest appeal.
-No nonsense.
-Thoughtful yet passionate.
-Wears rumpled suits, just like me.
-Says we don't have to choose between supporting minorities and supporting the working class.
-Flat out called Trump a racist.

Please add your own.

Profile Information

Member since: Tue Nov 8, 2016, 03:02 PM
Number of posts: 12,344
Latest Discussions»marylandblue's Journal