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    November 2020
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Hot Takes

Hillary did not run a flawed campaign and she wasn’t unlikeable

Hispanics in Florida are not assimilating into American culture

If a bunch of people spread lies and do outrageous things for four years and face ZERO consequences during that time, then the horrible things that happen on their watch look like random universal events that can’t be helped.

The founders really screwed us.

The next four years are going to be full of shrieking austerity hawks that will impoverish us for a generation. (Just you wait and see. The severe austerity that’s coming our way will make Greece and Ireland in 2010 look like a paradise.)

Nothing will change until we stop obsessing about the old guys in diners and stop asking cult members what they think about ANYTHING. We have seen how they think. They may not be stupid, racists but they don’t seem to have developed a way to test truth. And giving them more attention gives others too lazy to figure it out or too afraid to buck their community the comfort of numbers. Just because there are a lot of them doesn’t make them right. It only means they are willing to drag down the rest of us with them for reasons they don’t completely understand and no one with authority is willing or capable of disabusing.

I don’t think my vote has been counted in Allegheny county yet. So, there’s that. Personally? I’d be ok if my vote wasn’t critical right now.

Something is either severely wrong with the polls or something is severely wrong with the count. This election makes no sense at all.

Wait, yes, it does. It may all come down to who was the governor in your state at the time of the election. If your governor took Covid seriously, usually a responsible Democrat that history will vindicate, the vote is painfully close. If you lived in a state like Florida where the governor let you spread germs and run with scissors, you went with Trump. Maybe it was a clever calculation on Republicans’ side but it’s going to cost those states enormously and by the time the realize how badly they’ve been screwed, it will be too late. Timing is everything.

I’m still wearing my damn mask.


One more thing and I really hope Democrats take this to heart, assuming they have hearts:

Emotion will win every time. When you go to analyze your results, you will say it’s because some people have college degrees and some don’t, some people are racists and some aren’t, some people are generational conservatives, some aren’t.

This is all metadata. You need to get some sociologists and cultural anthropologists on your side to work with you, like therapy, to pry away your commitment to rationality.

That’s not how the human species works. Ok, maybe it works in other countries but they don’t have to deal with the electoral college.

People will respond to emotion. If you give them a feeling that makes their hearts beat in time with yours, that’s going to get you votes.

Yes, Donald Trump is a criminal sociopathic lunkhead. But he whips up anger better than anyone around. That’s why the Republicans keep him around. He says outrageous things and makes anger acceptable.

I like Joe Biden. I like Kamala Harris. But this is the year of the Covid Economy. And the advisors that decided to play it safe thinking that they could slide by with “return to normal” as a message, really missed the mark.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m relieved that Joe and Kamala look like they’re going to pull through.

But I would have been much happier if the party had gotten behind Elizabeth Warren and rammed a populist and daring economic message. For one thing, she was a pretty fearless campaigner and her ability to generate outrage might have been just the thing to shake things up.

Yes, it would have been scary. Yes, it would have been risky. But Joe and Kamala played it way too safe and couldn’t lay a comparable emotional message.

What this country needs is more children of the working class running it. Warren, Katie Porter, Julian Castro, those are people who know what it’s like to be poor and know how important it is to protect your family from economic shocks.

In the last couple of weeks, Trump got away with demonizing a governor in PA who has been doing the right thing, walking into a headwind trying to keep our Covid numbers down. The impact to the economy here has been no different than it’s been in any other state. But because the attacks on him by right wing media and Trump’s multiple stops here has been relentless, the blame has been heaped on the Democrats for everything that’s wrong. And voters took it out on the governor’s party at the polls.

I didn’t say it was your fault. I said we’re going to blame you.

Oh, but look at Michigan. Didn’t those voters hate Whitmer? Yeah. And it could have gone very badly for her if it weren’t for the fact that she almost got kidnapped and executed. I think she benefitted from a sympathy vote from people who thought the right had gone too far. But Ron DeSantis came out of this smelling like a rose because he is letting Floridians do whatever they want. The state is going to pay for that when the rest of us look on with horror in a few months at what Covid is going to do to the state. We’ll be avoiding it like the plague in the middle of resort season. But the voters like feeling their Cheerios and are not going to let some governor tell them what to do even if it kills them.

The left wing punditry will say that makes no sense and if the voters would just think it through they would realize it and gosh, we have to live with these idiots for four more years and they’re going to ruin the country because they don’t know how to vote.

I wonder how many of them have ever had to scrape by with no money in the bank and no university professor parents to carefully guide them with support and connections. Why is it that so many of our punditry on the left consists of prestige university graduates from well off families?

I fall into the Warren/Porter/Castro coalition and know exactly how difficult it is to have nothing and what it takes to achieve something without a safety net. It is really hard. It makes me have real empathy for the people who have to do that when they’re in the wrong social class without college educated parents or a support system. Our party has a tendency to squash those voices and the punditry goes along with it, which makes me all the more convinced that we play it way too safe and brainy.

They got this wrong because they don’t know anyone who is struggling. They don’t know how easy to appeal to people who live paycheck to paycheck. They stupidly assumed that if they nominated a woman of color as VP, that would turn out all the other women of color who are barely holding it together during this pandemic.

When did anyone on the left offer anyone in the country anything other than cool, cerebral calm this year? I respond to that as well as a majority of Americans. But to those who voted against that, you will never get them to vote for you until you can appeal to their gut. And right now, all they are is angry. Not only are they angry, but no one has given them a reason to not cut the lines to the people in the water who are trying to keep from going under. If you’re in the leaky lifeboat and you’ve got a spot, all you think about is the now and how you can hang onto it. Altruism is not on your menu. Trump feeds that feeling.

This whole campaign has been about the economy. It is always about the economy. And if you’re trying to appeal to people by saying “hold on, once we get this Covid thing under control, we’ll get the economy back” without offering them some giddily exuberant alternative that will make their lives appreciatively better with a bold, outrageous statement maker at your helm, you will always be fighting from a defensive posture.


19 Responses

  1. Not “executed”, murdered. Those yahoos had no legitimate authority.

    • Would you say Daniel Pearl was executed or murdered?

      • Murdered. Terrorists do not have legitimate authority, whether they are foreign or domestic.

        Of course, whether governments should use the death penalty at all is another can of worms, which I do not feel like opening now.

  2. I don’t think my vote has been counted in Allegheny county yet. So, there’s that.

    Why do you think this? Just a feeling, or do you think the PA vote site would show counted? If the latter none of my families have been counted yet

    • The status of my ballot still says “vote recorded”. It’s been saying that for three weeks. Maybe that’s the last status that the state gives you regardless. But I thought it would say “counted” if it had actually been counted.

    • What is your ballot status?

      • The same for the 3 of us that I can check.

        This is why we really need to work on this system. First of all vote recorded when the couldn’t even start counting until Election day is terribly misleading… How did they know I didn’t leave out the secrecy envelope or fill in the form in red. But I guess even more important would be to get the votes counted as they are received. There is no reason to wait… sadly we will still have a R leaning legislature so there will be no changes not approved by Trump

  3. A few things, as I sit here hoping that there is not some horrible glitch or rigging in the PA vote, so that we lose at the end, as we have seen too often.

    Winning the presidency is so important, existential to this county. But having McConnell control the Senate is miserable. He’s already opining about how he is going to force Biden to appoint only centrists to his cabinet. Democrats never do that; maybe once in forty years they stop somebody; e.g., John Tower or Ronnie Jackson. But Republicans play it so that if they control anything, they use that for all it is worth. The courts, the post office, either branch of Congress. I do not know how this country can function with a system where the small rural states control the Senate and the Electoral vote. I can think of only one Democratic Senator from a Red state, and that is Tester. How do we ever take over the Senate for more than two years or so again, so that we can actually pass meaningful legislation?

    The media is ready for their “Democrats in office” perspective, which is, that they must not go too far, they must compromise, talk to the Republican officials and voters, go very carefully. The “Republicans in office” perspective, is that they got a mandate to impose their agenda, so let’s see what they have in store for the rest of the country.

    The Republicans will try to do to Biden what they effectively did to Obama after the 2010 shellacking midterms. Stop him from passing anything important, confine him to some international issues, hammer at him every chance they have, take the presidency in 2024, when Democrats will be blamed for the struggling economy and everything else, and where it seems as if the average American, at least in states which have too great an effect on the Electoral College, will always buy the Republicans’ framing, which is that we must stop socialism at all costs. There is no socialism here, it can never win, but it and Communism have been the hobgoblins which have continued to win many elections for Republicans since around 1920.

    That, and cheating. So I hope that something can be done about the systematic ways in which Republicans continue to game the system, suppress votes, hide votes, make it very difficult to vote, get ballots thrown out and voters purged. We have had a minority controlling this country since 2000.

    i don’t think that Warren had any chance of being elected. Not in a country in which Florida Cubans voted for a fascist because they were afraid that Biden would be a socialist, or controlled by socialists. Warren would have lost as badly as McGovern, in my view. I agree with many of her positions regarding distribution of wealth and opportunity, but this country has never come close to electing someone like that, unless one wants to say, FDR, who was from a wealthy family, had great charisma and other gifts, and who came along when the country was terrified,,even the bankers. Since then, we have had Republicans, and then their media empire, intimidating or forcing Democrats to govern from corporate perspectives. Both Clintons had good ideas, and wanted to be more liberal economically, so the Republicans hated them and tried to destroy them. That’s not changing any time soon, unless the economy absolutely collapses, which it surely would have under Trump, and might be forestalled to some extent under Biden.

    Biden winning is literally infinitely better than the alternative, and we will hope for the best. But unless we can dramatically change the framing of issues, plus somehow deal with the awful electoral and Congressional systems we have, it will be very difficult to make more than the kind of cosmetic changes we got under Obama. It certainly does not mean that we should not try, though. One of the most important aspects of a Biden victory will be giving heart and encouragement to all the people who worked so hard in various ways to achieve it. A loss here, and they are still of course counting votes, would have absolutely demoralized everyone, a point of no return. Meanwhile, the election is still not decided, and of course there is the Supreme Court lurking out there.

    • All four of The Squad were re-elected. That includes AOC.
      I don’t have to agree with everything AOC says but Mark my words, when she’s old enough, she’s going to run for president and it will be amazing one way or the other.

      • Oh, I imagine she will, but it worries me. i am wondering if the Squad is going to make trouble for Nancy Pelosi this term, with Democrats holding a bare House majority. That we do not need, not with Republicans holding the Senate. President Biden needs all the help he can get with legislation.

        • As much as I will be relieved when Trump leaves rhe White House, as a country, we can’t keep ping ponging between capitalism on steroids and meth or capitalism just on steroids.
          It’s killing us. Seriously.
          We are a first world nation with a 3rd world safety net. We can’t go on like this.
          And climate change is real.
          We need people like AOC to push the Overton window so that we can get back to sensible policy again from the crazy so far to the right side that it’s not funny.

        • Do you get what I’m saying? You don’t need to be a socialist. You just need to be open to new ways of doing things.

          • I definitely get what you’re saying. I was born into poverty. I know all too well what it means to have NO safety net. It is traumatizing. Even if you manage to escape ( fewer and fewer do ), it is something you NEVER forget. People who have not experienced poverty do not understand it, even people who have empathy. We must have real change in this country, change that really lifts people up economically and does not leave them to fend for themselves like they are in some Social Darwinist nightmare. We are better than that and we must DO better! Poverty is a death sentence. Covid-19 has made that very clear.

          • Perfect. 😘

    • If Biden wins, his DOJ can investigate the business dealings of Senator and Mrs. McTurtle VERY carefully. Perhaps merely reminding Senator McTurtle that this CAN be done would suffice. 😈

      • I like the way you think, IBW. You’ve learned something about menacing in the last 4 years.

    • It looks like Arizona is about to have two Democratic senators and it’s a red state.

      • Wooooot!!!
        I think it should have been Gabrielle. But I’m so glad her husband is picking up where she left off.
        I’m so proud of both of them.

        • Yes, and as much as I desire getting rid of Trump, I’m more excited about Kelly winning.

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