I've been blogging at BMG since 2006 and am a seasoned progressive canvasser, communicator and field organizer. I'm a Cambridge native living in Chicago. I can be reached at jpconway88@gmail.com, on twitter or facebook.

Person #886: 323 Posts

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  1. Pogo didn't write that (0 Replies)

    It’s from the linked piece-which again-is a conservative Republican close to Truml calling for the President to ditch Ryan and work with the Democrats on Medicare for All. Trump won’t do it-but if he really cared about being popular and getting re-elected it’s exactly what he should do.

  2. What if 45 offers single payer and a real WPA? (1 Reply)

    Both political priorities of his in the recent past. I think that’s the approach the OP is discussing. I think the prospect is remote-the GOP remains hostage to its corporate masters even if it’s voters want a more populist economic program.

    At the least we should be using his disadvantaged voters feeling of betrayal as an entry point to giving us a second look rather than mercilessly mock them as redneck rubes.

    The three most important reasons the AHCA was defeated was broad popular distrust of the bill and its right wing authors, unified progressive opposition, and grassroots protests at town halls. So far-the resistance is working.

  3. *social conservatism (1 Reply)

    It’s defined differently for Base 1 and Base 2, with the former policing sexuality/religiosity and the latter policing race/borders.

  4. Great post (2 Replies)

    The polling on this shows we really have four distinct political bases in America.

    Base 1: Orthodox Republican: Economic and socially conservative
    Base 2: Populist Independents: economically liberal and socially conservative
    Base 3: Centrist Establishment: economically conservative and socially liberal
    Base 4: Orthodox Democrats: Economically and Socially liberal.

    The FDR coalition was broad: Base 2, 3, and 4. Reagan-Bush I was also broad: Base 1,2, and 3. Clinton/Obama was narrower Base 3/4. Bush II was also narrower with Base 1/3. Base 2 went for Perot in the Clinton years and stayed home for most of the Bush-Obama years. Trump found a way to bring them back but they are his least loyal.

    On economic questions-especially healthcare- they are social democrats-they would largely agree with this quote from Debs:

    I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.

    Trump ran on single payer as recently as February 2016 and won the GOP nomination. It’s worth opening to him and Bannon who also is quoted wanting a WPA program to see if they bite. The risk is they do and take the credit and still do all the bad stuff they are proposing. The reward is Democrats use this to drive a full wedge between the Bannon and Ryan wings and use the Bannon wing to advance domestic liberalism while using the Ryan wing to check the excesses of Trumpism. It’ll require deft and smart people to lead this effort.

    Or just propose single payer anyway and see if Burned out Trump voters are receptive to it in this anti-elitist anti corporate climate. I’d wager they are.

  5. Can't you picture him having fun debating Trump? (1 Reply)

    I certainly can. A longtime friend of the Clintons who sounds like Bernie on economics and is from a Rust Belt swing state. He’s an underrated presidential candidate IMHO.

  6. Sausage making is about more than polls (0 Replies)

    The biggest reason VT single payer failed is not because of political will but economics-current health care costs are just too damn high for the government to nationalize it. I say bring the costs down via incremental steps that are even more popular-midlife Medicare for example-and ending hospital and pharma consolidations. Really dust off the old anti trust laws and break that industry up into smaller pieces. Once the cartels are broken it then becomes easier for the government to become the sole provider.

    So long as the insurance and pharma lobby’s have massive amounts of money and power they will be able to bribe their way to stopping single payer. They even killed the public option in it’s tracks and infamously turned Medicare Part D into a guaranteed income program for big business by actually making it illegal to negotiate prices down.

    Midlife Medicare will extend the constituency from seniors to boomers/older x’ers and strengthen citizen lobbies like AARP. It’ll also drastically reduce the cost of private insurance on the exchange making an eventual transition to Medicare for All that much easier.

    Id sell it as replacing fines with health care you don’t have to pay for. Who wouldn’t make that trade?

  7. Midlife Medicare is a good next step (1 Reply)

    Expanding Medicare to cover 50-60 year olds is a great next policy step. For one thing, you’d get Republicans like Lance to support it since their voter base is now skewed towards older, whiter people. Trump could be persuaded to go along with this by his voters, the AARP would be for it. Second, it addresses a real public health need and existing gap in coverage. Studies are showing death rates increasing for non-Hispanic middle aged white males in this age cohort.

    It will help those too young to retire but too old to transition to an info economy job (think those coal miners, laid off auto workers or our own John T May). Third, by moving those folks onto public healthcare it will drastically decrease the cost of private health care on the exchange. Politically popular and it would have immediate policy outcomes.

  8. It was never about socialized medicine (0 Replies)

    ACA had to be what it was to pass-but to a lot of folks it looked like a complex mess that forced them to buy insurance they didn’t want or couldn’t afford. Now-that people have used it to get more affordable insurance they don’t want to give it up.

    But I think we have a golden opportunity to build it out. When Beedmax editorialists are arguing for replacing Obamacare with Medicare for All we should cheer them on. Rep. Lance on NPR actually said he wanted to see “repairs to ACA that make it cover more people”. Great-public option time in my book.

  9. Thank you Charley (1 Reply)

    You eloquently make the argument I’ve been making here for years about the direction of our party and for months about Trump voters. But this is a forward looking vision that can bring us together-well done. Go on the offense!

  10. And there's a lot of you! (1 Reply)

    #1 occupation listed on federal taxes in 47 states including MA and IL. Lot of folks who will be screwed by automation in ten years to which Trump doesn’t have a plan. A lot of folks already screwed by the judge he choose to put on the bench.

  11. Confused by this post (1 Reply)

    I actually think the Gorsuch nomination has been one of the finest displays of Democratic solidarity and spine in recent years. Schumer has surpassed my expectations with his willingness to fight this tooth and nail. It looks like red state Senators like Casey, Brown, and McClaskill are pledging to vote no which will put real pressure on Donnelly, Tester, and Heitkamp. Bennett got reamed by the left just for introducing the guy at the hearing, one of those weird Senate traditions like the candy desk, and will be a probable no.

    Franken, Kloubuchar, Whitehouse and Durbin all asked great questions. The frozen trucker case is a great optic to really hit home at how Javert like Gorsuch is when it comes to the law. It hasn’t been personal-his judicial philosophy is fine for a classroom-but it can hurt real people when practiced in the courtroom. I think that point has been driven home. This is not a swamp draining judge, and Whitehouse really hit him on the superpacs backing him.

    I mean we can’t stop the nomination since we don’t have the votes, that’s asking Democrats to do the impossible. There are zero Republicans with the principles needed to veto this. Even Graham-who laudibly voted for Kagan and Sotomayor-has his hands bloodied by the Garland Gambit. But if every Democrat votes no and we nuke the filibuster that is a symbolic win that fires up the base. Then hold every pro-owner ruling against them in 2018.

  12. 2 points (1 Reply)

    1) It is foreign policy

    This is why it’s a bigger deal than the other platform changes since Trump
    has wide latitude to set it unlike social policy which runs into the courts or domestic policy which runs into Congress. So far, fingers crossed, he hasn’t done as much damage since the courts block the ban and his own party will
    Knife him in AHCA. He has already altered our relationship with Europe in profoundly problematic ways that help Russia at our expense.

    2) Natural born citizen/Emoulents Clause/Treaty Power

    These clauses affirm the idea that the President should only have loyalty to this country and no other power. No foreign influence from gifts and presumably business interests-which Trumo gets and continues to profit from-and he shouldn’t conduct major foreign policy shifts without Congressional obligation. His statements on NATO, destruction of the State Department, call to Taiwan and hostility to long standing allies are all new directions that alter the substance of long standing treaty bound relationships from the Executibe.

  13. Recommend not endorsing (1 Reply)

    I think you are underappreciating that this was a major foreign policy shift leading to the US essentially abandoning the Truman Doctrine and hallowing out the effectiveness of NATO. There is now no detterence to Russian aggression short of nuclear war. They have no reason to believe we’d go to war to defend Estonia which erodes the entire foundation of the organization. One hopes we go to war to defend Poland if the Ukraine is being made into are the 21st century Sudetenland by virtue of Trumps appeasement. Oh and his is the equivalent of Hitler bribing Chamberlain with overvalued real estate transactions and tactical help to keep him in power-to paraphrase Biden-that’s a big fuckin deal.

    It may not be a big deal to Trump voters or even a majority of Americans but it’s still grounds for impeachment and a major violation of several federal laws and constitutional article subsections. Mark Bail can fill in the details on this since he’s really well informed.

  14. Yeah Red State Democrats always say that (0 Replies)

    And they always lose anyway. I would argue truly purple state Democrats would be wise to fight since the base will come out and have their back. This seems to be what Sen. McClaskill, Sen. Casey and Sen. Brown are doing. Heitkamp and Manchin are likely DOA no matter what they do. I’d spend more
    money fighting to dethrone Ted Cruz or Jeff Flake then defend votes that are only with us half the time anyway.

  15. Touché (0 Replies)

    Really opened myself up to that one ;)

  16. Lol-big fan (0 Replies)

    The best thing to come out of Libertyville since Adlai.

    This ones a great campaign song IMO:


  17. And Thatcher has the real conservative corollary (0 Replies)

    When she said ‘there is no such thing as society’.

    I think both sides underestimate the power of society and how a multi tiered society with many little pontoons and mediating institutions functions best. We have lost a lot of those middlemen-so we are left with a federal government some perceive to be distant and foreboding and others depend on as their sole lifeline. States should take on a lot more responsibilities, I agree with conservatives there, since they are governments closer to the people. This state has a golden opportunity to be a progressive innovator in state governance-but chooses not to. I actually feel that the federal government should teach them how to fish instead of giving them fish in the form of block grants they can turn down or waste on right wing ideological crusades.

    No responsible Governor should’ve turned down ACA funding. But too many did-and that’s one of the real reasons nobody talks about for why costs didn’t go down. Well of course they don’t when not every state was able to attain better rates of insured or reduce costs through a wider Medicaid pool. So I would revive Nixon’s New Federalism with a caveat that states can innovate within the federal governments parameters. We don’t care how you educate all your children or insure all your citizens-but you gotta do it. There are just certain responsibilities they have no choice to refuse.

  18. It's like a Trump voter (0 Replies)

    Not all Trump voters are racist, but all Trump voters voted for a racist. Not all Confederate flag wavers are racist, but they are all waving a very racist flag and should be made aware of that fact.

  19. That's what I am trying to change (0 Replies)

    It was only after the flag became a lightening rod again following Dylann Roof that I learned how much a one-fingered salute it was to the Civil Rights movement and thus solidified my view that it has no place in any modern official context.

    I don’t fault you for this-but I am saying we should officially teach why this flag is wrong, why the South was wrong, and be very explicit and reality based in discussing exactly what the Confederacy was. It was an institution born of treason to preserve white supremacy. The flag has always stood first and foremost for white supremacy.

    I see you agreeing with me here and then disagreeing with me elsewhere, so which is it? I am not arguing to ban it-I am saying we should make the symbolism of the Confederacy as anathema to mainstream America as the swastika and nostalgia for the Confederacy as anathema to mainstream America as nostalgia for the Nazi’s.

    And just like every German schoolchild understands the crimes of the Nazis every American schoolchild should understand the crimes of the Confederacy. I would agree with the idea that the Holocaust is a uniquely terrible genocide and is dissimilar in many regards than American chattel slavery-but American chattel slavery is just as much a form of genocide. Let’s say they are separate but equal in their magnitude.

    And the slave’s side of the narrative should be paramount and used to discredit the masters side-which far too often is the side our culture takes. Gone with the Wind is just Birth of a Nation in color. And we should know why these narratives are wrong-as objectively wrong as denying the Holocaust or climate change or evolution. There is no controversy to teach. The flag and what it stood for is wrong. And it’s certainly something no locality should be celebrating or endorsing in any way shape or form.