JohnTMay has raised an interesting point on the topic of Nancy Pelosi; I started writing a comment response that has turned into a post. This is one of the topics that gets us chasing our own tails on BMG, in some not-very-productive ways. I want to widen the discussion.
People whom I respect have brought up different arguments about why she is unpopular. (I find the ones criticizing San Francisco’s quality-of-life issues to be particularly unconvincing — sorry Paul.) Correlation is not causation — that logical error is epidemic in political discussions. She is a participant and name-figure in a broken political system — a breakage for which she is emphatically not responsible. But in any event, she’s not drastically worse off than Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell in approval ratings.
The simplest reasons, and (Occam’s razor) the ones I therefore find convincing, are these:
1. She’s liberal;
2. She’s a woman;
3. She’s effective;
4. Reasons 1 through 3 are greater than the sum of their parts.
From a recent Atlantic article on Pelosi:
Gender scholars would not be surprised. For a 2010 paper in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the Yale researchers Victoria Brescoll and Tyler Okimoto showed study participants the fictional biographies of two state senators, identical except that one was named John Burr and the other Ann Burr. (I referred to this study in an October 2016 article for this magazine called “Fear of a Female President.”) When quotations were added that described the state senators as “ambitious” and possessing “a strong will to power,” John Burr became more popular. But the changes provoked “moral outrage” toward Ann Burr, whom both men and women became less willing to support.
(This will come as no surprise to basically any professional woman I’ve ever spoken to.)
Human beings come and go. I don’t have any particular brief for or against Pelosi right now — except that as far as legislative leadership is concerned, she’s got receipts, as the kids say: The Affordable Care Act; the cap-and-trade bill (which failed in the Senate); on and on. Remember that she was the only Democratic Speaker in the Gingrich/Fox News era. Mostly, she got it done while she could; but nothing’s permanent.
But it’s not really about her in particular.
What it is about, is women in positions of leadership. We just saw a female candidate for President get absolutely bombarded with all manner of sexist double-standards. HRC was not perfect, nor is Pelosi. But what they were, is real, actual people, not hypothetical “perfect” candidates, much less “perfect female” candidates. If you say you support women being in positions of power .. well, we’ve got a real, living, breathing one in Pelosi, and she’s got her merits and faults.
So I only ask that you compare her to real-life, actual alternatives. Tim Ryan, eg. bombed his audition for leadership. Seth Moulton talks big about changing leadership but I don’t see any actual new policy or messaging ideas emanating from him.
Any real-life alternative candidate for Minority Leader/Speaker will be one of the following:
- ideologically heterodox; too far-left/centrist
- from the “wrong” kind of district;
- the “wrong” ethnicity;
- too old/too young;
- oratorically dull or maladroit; (or maybe, “too slick”)
- the “wrong” gender;
For example: If you installed Katherine Clark (say) as Minority Leader, do you think the right-wing wouldn’t demonize her? Would she be popular in PA-18? If Elizabeth Warren runs for President, do you think she’ll face the same kind of prejudices? (Hasn’t she already?)
If we support women in leadership, we will have to fight this battle. We will have to confront the widely-held prejudice against women in leadership, and we must win. Again, not necessarily for Pelosi or any particular woman, but for women in general — real ones that exist, not political-fantasy figures.
Are we ready for that?
She’s liberal and a woman…..but how many times do I have to point out that the working class in this nation has not seen a real raise in pay for decades and that the majority of the gains since the great recession have all gone to the wealthy class?
That’s the anger that Trump tied into. He’s blaming the Mexicans and the Chinese and Obama. Democrats in power blame the working class’s supposed lack of education and skills.
Neither is correct. The working class is getting hammered by a system that was put in place by the status quo Republicans and Democrats.
…are we currently emailing Michele Bachmann and urging her to run for the US Senate seat in Minnesota, we are contributing to the re-election campaign of Jodi Ernest for US Senator? If not, why not?
Look, I like Pelosi. I like her stand on many issues, but it’s time to move on from the past.
Pelosi’s problem is that she is the leader of the status-quo in the Democratic Party and voters are not energized by it, for good reasons.
I’m sympathetic to that but I think that the viable other candidates actually represent a much worse status quo. Tim Ryan, for example.
Maybe someone liked Pramila Jayapal can increase her profile. I’d like that. She’s not from the mainstream.
I should add to my other comment. Jayapal is technically part of Dem leadership with a caucus whip position. That’s a good sign.
And that working class, amongst others, voted in the Trump administration with a GOP congress who, together, have intensified that accrual of wealth to the wealthy class a thousandfold…
If they were sincere in their economic anxiety their anger at the Trump administration and the GOP congress</b ought to be intensified to apocalyptic levels and not at all directed at any Democrat…
You’re describing what you think angry people do that is distinctly at odds with what they have actually done…
Now what? The working class has now been screwed by both parties.
Which party will learn from this, make significant changes, and make bold changes?
Discarding people because they’ve “been in office too long” is not the answer. Tip O’Neill had served in Congress for 25 years when he was first elected Speaker. He was a great friend of the working-class.
Bold changes? Yes, absolutely required. Jettison leaders of either gender BECAUSE they’ve served “too long”? Wrong. Dead wrong.
If our bench is weak, then it seems to me that we should strengthen our bench. We don’t do that by firing our veterans. Seth Moulton exemplifies a perhaps promising (at least to some) rookie bonus-baby who has so far not played up to expectations. I do not support him over Ms. Pelosi.
In the Senate, I’d prefer Ms. Warren as majority leader over Mr. Schumer (who is a disaster). I’d prefer that Ms. Warren not run for President. She already is today’s “lion of the senate” — I’d like to see the Senate recognize that leadership.
Nor did I say that was the reason she ought to move on.
She’s been in a leadership position that a great deal of working class voters fail to appreciate and have grown inpatient after decades of getting hammered by the wealthy “ownership” class that she is part of.
I don’t support Moulton or his “New Dem” ilk. I agree, Schumer is a disaster (unless one is a member of the ownership class, then he e is a well paid servant).
I agree that Senator Warren ought to stay in the senate and not run for the presidency.
I honestly do not know who should be the speaker of the house should Democrats gain control. I just look at our “starting lineup” (to go along with your sports analogy), the scoreboard, and see a need to change the batting order.
Your words on the other thread you started were “I think it’s just that she’s been in office a long time”. Here, you referenced that by writing “it’s time to move on from the past.”.
A good manager doesn’t walk out to mound and yank a pitcher until somebody else is warmed up in the bullpen. It doesn’t do any good to change the batting order unless there’s a better one.
Since you honestly don’t know who would be better (and neither do I!), perhaps that’s an indication that you might dial back your attacks on Ms. Pelosi.
Impatience and frustration with the way things are is legitimate and real. I share those same feelings.
I think the arc of the GOP since the Tea Party — and especially since the 2016 campaign — demonstrates that throwing a temper tantrum does not improve our government.
When was the last time Pelosi pitched a winning game? Anytime this decade? Terry knew when to pull Pedro, it’s why he was a better manager than Little. Pelosi earned another term as minority leader in a fair fight with Tim Ryan. That said, she hasn’t earned her speakership until there is a majority again. If Lamb is any indicator, it may be a majority that is built on Democrats who promised to vote for someone else.
When was the last time this decade that Ms. Pelosi was on the mound? The GOP took control in 2011, after the 2010 mid-terms.
Here are some batters that Ms. Pelosi struck out the last time she was on the mound:
– Comprehensive energy legislation
– Tax incentives for clean renewable energy
– Competes act (promoted high-tech jobs, expanded STEM, boosted research and innovation)
– Economic Recovery and Stimulus Package
– Largest expansion of college aid in six decades
– New GI bill
– Head Start reauthorization
– Minimum wage increase, first in 10 years
– Economic Rescue Legislation
– Alternative Minimum Tax reform
– Mental Health Parity
– Landmark Lobby and Ethics Reform
– Enacted 911 commission recommendations
– Largest investment in veterans health care in the 77 year history of the VA.
Let’s please not make Ms. Pelosi a scapegoat for a nationwide plunge into right-wing ignorance, lies, and bigotry.
The GOP has practiced a successful disinformation campaign this decade. They have filled our citizenry with outright lies from their bought-and-paid for propaganda network. They have pandered to our worst instincts by relentless promoting lies, misogyny, and racism.
America may finally be waking up again from its hangover from its night of GOP-fueled hard-liquor debauchery.
We should not blame Ms. Pelosi for our nationwide morning-after headache, as we come to see just how badly the GOP has abused us this decade.
This is an all Democratic blog. This should be a safe place to criticize the failure of our leaders to deliver the results we expect of them. Not being ‘on the mound’ is something entirely within her realm of control. When Frist and Hastert lost their majorities, they quit and were replaced by leaders capable of getting the majority back. The Republicans operate far more efficiently and effectively than the Democrats do, and that is part of the reason they are able to convert opportunities that break their way.
When they do fail, they’ll get criticized. Stop assuming you get to define what failure is: I’m not going to buy into your definition of failure… which definition seems to be entirely beholden to the ‘standards’ set by the GOP.
This is also a reality-based blog.
Expecting a minority leader to change the behavior of a government in the thrall of ignorant right-wing lies is a prescription for failure.
The “failure” I see is the wholesale jettisoning of the basic core values of America:
– Respect for facts
– Respect for the rule of law
Offering a candidate you prefer as minority leader is fair game and welcome.
Personal and misguided attacks are not.
How is it personal to say she did a good job as Speaker, but she has failed at winning back the majority 6 years running? That is also reality based. Reality is, in most occupations, when the leader of an organization fails to deliver results, they resign or are fired.
Legions of fans call for the heads of pitchers and quarterbacks because, for year after year, they don’t win championships while playing for lacklust (or worse) teams. Such scapegoating isn’t helpful.
Sonny Jurgensen was a great QB. He never won a championship or superbowl, because he led teams (in both Philadelphia and Washington) that were not competitive.
The above link has a great quote from Vince Lombardi (one of the greatest coaches in the game):
There are a host of reasons why the Democratic Party has failed to regain a majority in Congress since 2010. I think blaming Nancy Pelosi for that is not constructive.
Quarterbacks and pitchers are replaced if there are better candidates available. Politicians should be replaced the same way. Drew Bledsoe wasn’t the problem.
O’Neil kept very close ties to the neighborhood. Always stopped at my grampas store, we actually shared the same local barber when I was a kid, he bought all his suits at the Congress men’s shop (another old North Cambridge institution), ate at Franks and Vernas and spent his Sunday mornings at St Johns. His only ‘scandal’ was taking an $800 set of golf clubs from a donor that he quickly sent back. The man could dine with Presidents one week and with his priest the next. His favorite golfing partners were Jerry Ford and Frank (our barber).
These days the typical member of Congress comes into Washington a millionaire and steps out a multimillionaire. O’Neil lost his first election for school committee and then ran again asking for every vote. He worked his way up to be a state rep, the first Democratic speaker in 45 years in the Massachusetts House, and then eventually Speaker of the US house. He spent very little time fundraising and a lot of time helping his constituents or working to preserve a populist coalition committed to preserving the New Deal from Reagan axe cutters. He tolerated a big tent in social issues in exchange for a strong tent on bread and butter economics. His model of governance lead to a 40 year majority rather than a four year one.
Oh and in his day if you lost a midterm you picked a new leader.
No. Pretty clearly, the working class has been screwed solely by the Republican party all on on its own. Your argument, such as it is, runs along the lines that the Democrats have failed to fix what the Republicans broke.
But you’re changing up your story, like you always do…. You said people were mad at Nancy Pelosi for the economic things she has or hasn’t done. Well, I gave but one example of an entirely different group proactively doing far worse economics –in fact, speaking directly to your statement of wealth inequality — and your argument is… ‘meh.’
That is pretty clearly a double standard… Which suggests, to me, that you truly feel that Pelosi ought be punished in proportion to the amount of estrogen she has, where others, though far more culpable, escape similar punishment…
I strongly recommend you read Winner-Take-All Politics. How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class By Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson and endorsed by Senator Elizabeth Warren,
After that, pick up “Rigged” Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer by Dean Baker.
Both books are filled with history and data implicating both parties. Sure, more Republicans than Democrats, but Democrats do play pivotal roles, just as Bill Clinton did with NAFTA (and more) and how Obama bailed out the banks but not the homeowners.
Well, no, Sorry I will not respond to that tone of discussion.
Well again, no. I will say again that Pelosi and the party that she leads has failed to deliver to the bulk of working class Americans and that and only that is why she ought to step down.
Sorry, but the “tone of the discussion” is, in fact, quite civil.
You are, in fact, changing your argument mid-stream. There is nothing discourteous about pointing that out.
The GOP has controlled congress since taking power in the 2010 mid-terms. Our complaints about government policy and legislation since then are rightly focused on the GOP.
Ms. Pelosi is not the villain in this piece. Our ire is rightly directed at the GOP. In particular, at working-class Americans who re-elect GOP Representatives time and again, even while being plundered by the resulting government.
The message is simple: Don’t like the way the GOP is treating you? Stop voting for the GOP candidates.
That message has not succeeded at delivering a Democratic white house or Democratic majority. At what point do we look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we need to do differently? GOP is always evil, but it does not always have to outfox us.
..or helped to raise wages for working class Americans in over four decades!
By the way, Fun Fact: Nancy Pelosi has a $196 million net worth on a $193,000 senator’s salary.
How does that happen in the same universe where working class Americans can’t have health care, a stable retirement, and live a comfortable life while working more and more each year?
….The president of the United States stands to make 400,000 a year but Donald Trump wants none of it.”As far as salary is concerned, I won’t take even one dollar,” Trump said in September 2015. “I am totally giving up my salary if I become president.”
Trump reiterated this pledge as president-elect more than a year later on Nov. 13, 2016, when he told 60 Minutes he still wouldn’t take the salary.”I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year,” Trump said.
Contrast that to a period when the government was in “shutdown mode”Since the federal government is shut down, federal employees like members of the military or postal carriers are being asked to work without pay.But one group of people won’t lose their taxpayer-funded paychecks during the shutdown: The nation’s 538 U.S. senators and representatives.
But here’s the odd thing: some of the Capitol’s richest denizens, the ones you’d think would be first to say “no thanks” to a paycheck to avoid any political embarrassment, still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. And since I’m sure you’re wondering, yes they too seem to be split between Democrats and Republicans. No party, it seems, has a monopoly on obliviousness.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Friday that she opposes federal pay cuts for a very specific reason: They would undermine the “dignity” of employment with the federal government.
The Hill reports on the California Democrat’s comments, which were made within the context of across-the-board cuts that would take place with sequestration: “I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.
Salaries should not be political footballs for people to get all holier-than-thou with. We don’t want to get used to the idea that only people who can afford to do it for free should serve.
“We screw you far less than the GOP” is no longer a great selling line for voters. NAFTA, Glass Steagall Repeal, a majority of elected party members backing the Iraq War, a majority of elected members backing creditor friendly bankrupty ‘reform’-these were not Republicans responsible. I have no idea why Elizabeth Warren is held in such high esteem by the same individuals who regularly attack other progressives on this blog who point out the many ways the party has let down labor, let down the progressive community, let down minorities, and let down its members. Warren makes the exact same critique, and she is not wrong. We cannot pretend that being the lesser of two evils is sufficient enough to win elections. It was not for our last nominee, it will not be for our next nominee. Being ‘not Trump’ is not enough. We have to be authentically awesome on the issues that matter to voters.
This is just buying into the framing that there is no difference between the two parties. Stop doing that.
“We’re trying to undo what they did.” Is much closer to the truth. That we haven’t succeeded in undoing the GOP’s dirty deeds is not the moral equivalent of screwing anything or any one. Stop pretending it is. .
Saying the Democratic Party could do a far better job adopting more progressive populist values and messaging those values to voters is vastly different than arguing both parties are the same. I have never argued that on this blog. What I have argued is a lot of voters are confused about what our party thinks and it leads to them falling for that framing. Blaming the voters for their confusion is not a recipe for winning campaigns. We have to break through this framing with better framing.
I just gave you, upthread, a long list of the things we Democrats did the last time we were in the majority.
I’ve not said that our message should be “we screw you less than the GOP.
Our message is loud, clear, and consistent. Ms. Warren expresses that message eloquently, and it is a huge part of why she is so well-regarded.
That is our message. Along with that message is its companion piece that clearly labels the GOP for what it is.
I therefore advocate:
1. Tell the voters why we’re better
2. Tell the voters why the GOP is worse
We have to be better. We do not have to be perfect.
Fair wages – wages that can support a family with one parent working 40 hours a week with four weeks vacation. A guaranteed secure retirement at 65. Health care as a right. Try those. Anything else is chicken spit.
I invite you to offer some examples of other nations that fit this criteria.
You want a list of nations that see health care as a right?
In addition, you expect us to believe that the USA can only do what other nations have already done?
There was a time, right here in the USA when one parent working 40 hours a week could typically support a family.
I’m 63 years old and I recall those days.
Why can’t we do it again?
Your list is succinct:
1. Fair wages – wages that can support a family with one parent working 40 hours a week with four weeks vacation.
2. A guaranteed secure retirement at 65.
3. Health care as a right.
I’d like to see examples — even one or two — of nations that meet your criteria.
Your answer is not responsive to my question.
Any Western European country, increasingly Latin American countries. The Philippines has single payer and better family friendly leave policies (although it has an atrocious record on gay eights, women’s rights, and human rights).
Western Europe is not nirvana. I don’t know anything about the Philippines.
I am under the distinct impression that neither Germany nor Austria meets the first item (“Fair wages – wages that can support a family with one parent working 40 hours a week with four weeks vacation”), especially for a woman and especially near major cities.
Housing is difficult or impossible to get in many or most major German cities.
I’m also under the distinct impression that retirement in those two countries is not very different from the SS and Medicare benefits offered here. It is certainly not “guaranteed” for those who have not lived and worked a lifetime there regardless of passport.
Medical insurance for German citizens who move back to Germany after an extended period in the US is very expensive and difficult to obtain, at least for those who return to Germany for post doc appointments.
I want us to deal with real data and real facts.
For example, from (I compared Boston and Berlin):
Rents may be lower — but apartments are nearly impossible to find.
On the wages side, consider sites like this (emphasis mine):
That same site has some information about retirement and health insurance (emphasis mine):
I haven’t found a wage comparison between Berlin and Boston, but I’m pretty sure that wages are higher in Boston.
Let me just recap the taxes above:
health insurance: 9.5
That’s a total of 20.8%, and that’s BEFORE income taxes.
That same site estimates income taxes at about 36% of gross income.
The data does not support the rosy picture you paint of western Europe. Which is perhaps a contributor to the amount of social unrest we see in that region.
I think your four reasons are correct and then accelerated because she is actively made a target by the GOP, much more so than Dems target Ryan and McConnell (and that should change).
I have frustrations with Pelosi, including recently, like how she has endorsed the anti-choice and anti-ACA Dan Lipinski in a Dem primary (tomorrow!) against a very well-funded woman opponent in a safe Dem district. Or voting for the FISA bill. This answer also killed me last year.
You are absolutely right about any replacement. I always want to do better but I can’t think of who that person in the House could be. If it was me, I’d give Barbara Lee the power, but she’s probably not viable. Tim Ryan ain’t it.
I think Pelosi is the best for the job, but she can use public pressure and better elected Democrats to do a better job. The Lambs of the world winning in heavily red districts is fine as long as they vote right, but we have to ensure that wing of the party is not ascendant. Lamb should not be a model for national Dems, but some people, like Moulton, want that to happen.
What is the leadership pipeline, though? Right now leadership is Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn. They are 77, 78, 77.
Schumer, on the other hand, really sucks and should be replaced. He can’t get his caucus to do some of the simplest things. His AIPAC speech last week was also scary. Senate leadership should be in the hands of one of the 7-8 Dems who has the basic political intelligence to know that voting against most of Trump’s nominees is smart and that a “deal” with McConnell is no deal at all.
Charley on the MTA says
Thanks for this – agree with most, and I just want to stress how *our* list of particulars vs Pelosi is likely to be quite different from a median PA-18 voter’s.
Though it is instructive that Lamb ran on a strongly left wing economic platform endorsing a minimum wage increase, endorsing Social Security expansion, endorsing universal college access, protecting Medicaid, and most importantly fighting for labor. His moderate tone on immigration, guns, and abortion would not work (nor should it) in Massachusetts. But the economic agenda he won in is definitely one a Democrat can run on and win anytime, anywhere. Focusing on the economy is how we win back the voters we lost on cultural issues, without substantially moving to the right on culture.
I think we continue to look at politics through an outdated left/right prism on an x axis from liberal to conservative. It is increasingly fracturing along an insider/outsider Y axis as well. People hate conventional politicians in both parties. Ryan and McConnell are even more unpopular with voters than Pelosi or Schumer are.
Conor Lamb was not an Acela Corridor/DLC idea of a moderate. Aka a free trader, Wall Street social progressive. Aka Jon Ossoff. He ran instead as a proud economic populist, closer to Warren or Bernie on Social Security than Mike Bloomberg. Closer to Trump or Sherrod Brown on tariffs and trade. He was also lukewarm on guns and abortion, which frankly anyone has to be to be competitive in these Midwest/Rust Belt districts. It’s the economy stupid. Saying you
oppose the unpopular leadership in both parties is just icing on that cake to the anti-establishment voters we have to court.
Indeed that is true. No clearer is that demonstrated with the evangelical support for Trump.
I’m not sure how we get off that axis, frankly. My self described conservative coworker tells me that “liberals want to give free stuff to lazy people”. There are so many like him. He thinks he’s conservative while all he is is an exploited working class citizen. He sees Democrats rubbing elbows with the rich and Republicans rubbing elbows with the rich….and sees them as the same with the only difference being his previous comment.
Well, I think you’ve laid out the issue.
Here’s your example:
That sentiment is, well, factually wrong and laden with prejudice. Who is giving “free stuff” at the moment? When was the last time any Democrat (liberal or otherwise) handed out the kind of loot that the GOP just gave the already uber-wealthy?
Who does “he” (why am I not surprised it’s a man) think are “lazy”, and why?
If this guy really doesn’t see any difference between the parties, then why does he vote to empower they Republicans that have already lied to him and stolen his money and will only do more of the same?
How many times do we need to watch your coworker ignore the facts in favor of his own prejudice before we admit that it truly IS prejudice and ignorance that he is exhibiting?
I think it’s far more important that we talk about what and who we are FOR, rather than what and who we are against.
A voter who thinks that people left unemployed or crushed by today’s gig economy — especially female and minority people — are “lazy” is not going to help us so long as he remains attached to those biases.
We’ve been around this a gazillion times already. I don’t know what the two of you mean by “court” in the phrase “anti-establishment voters we have to court.”.
It’s easy to be anti-establishment. It’s very much harder for those voters to say what they want — and yet I think that is surely the crucial distinction.
A voter who wants an economy that lifts ALL the people is a voter we want — and I argue we already do that. A voter who says “liberals want to give free stuff to lazy people” sounds to me like voter who is not yet ready to respond to our call.
I think we have obligation to be sure that our message of inclusion and support is broadcast far and wide. I think we have obligation to welcome every person who responds to that message into our fold.
When that “self described conservative coworker” is ready, he will come to us. If and when he does, we must welcome him. Part of that welcoming will be to gently help him recognize and overcome his mistaken ideas about “lazy” people.
We don’t have a “gig” economy. We have an economy that is rigged in favor of the ownership class. In order to gain the trust of people like my coworker and the millions more who voted for Trump, we need to be bold and attack the ownership class, even if that means offending the donors.
Nancy Pelosi and her husband made their vast fortune by virtue of their status in the ownership class.
As Upton Sinclair wrote : “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
The antidote to scapegoating and mindless ignorant rage is not more scapegoating and more rage. Your angry ranting against Ms. Pelosi and her husband provides zero help in answering questions like what policies you object to and who will do better. Your comment reminds me of those who advocated for the Reign of Terror.
There are valid criticisms of Ms. Pelosi to be made, and many of them are offered here (see the comment by pogo just downthread).
We don’t need to gain the trust of “people like [your] coworker and the millions more who voted for Trump”.
We need to instead sway enough people to win elections. First in 2018, next in 2020. While we do that, we need to change our culture to marginalize and exclude those who embrace and celebrate the ignorant rage that motivates too many supporters of Mr. Trump.
A lynch mob is not a symbol of a healthy and functioning democracy. I view the mobs that surged through Charlottesville as big red flashing light to warn us of the cancerous poison that Donald Trump and his ilk are spreading through our land.
We do not halt that cancer by courting those who spread it.
Charley on the MTA says
“our comment reminds me of those who advocated for the Reign of Terror.”
Eaaaase up please.
History does show us, though, what happens when we collectively attempt to legitimize scapegoating and rage as policy and stances.
For the past two years, I’ve been labelled a “wall street sellout”. Here we have anger directed at “the ownership class”.
I agree, in retrospect, that “reign of terror” is a overstatement, and I apologize.
Still, I think we must be willing to impose limits on our rhetoric, because I am convinced that history teaches us that awful things happen when we succumb to these base passions.
The very term, “passions,” long viewed as ‘supercharged excitement’ (and therefore viewed as a good thing) has, in fact, an original meaning closer to “violent and uncontrolled emotions in response to suffering” Or, put another way, if you’re not in control of your emotions, somebody else is in control of you. “Passion” is, in fact, the very truest form of anti-intellectualism and, therefore, was the first building block of the ‘reign of terror.’
How can that lead to anything other than awful things?
One of the first questions you might ask your “self described conservative coworker” is “Where do you get your news?”
If the answer is “Fox”, “Breitbart”, or “the web”, then you might redirect the conversation towards propaganda and how it is used by the right wing.
I became embarrassed about Pelosi when she was horrible on the Daily Show. Jon Stewart was tossing softballs about issues with Obamacare and she was stumped. It was demoralizing that she was representing “my side”. She sticks to stupid talking points like the tax cuts are “crumbs” that just feeds into the counter narrative so well. In that regard, she is the GOP’s best weapon. BUT what I really object to is her biggest qualification for the job as Majority Leader or Speaker: She raises a lot of money. Now know that is a key part of the job and Paul Ryan does it well also. But while I disagree with Ryan’s policies, at least he has more going for him that raising money. We need to stop deciding on who our best leaders are based solely on who can raise the most money. You wonder why out system is broken? It’s because we keep selecting people based on how much money they raise. For so many reasons Pelosi has got to go and my main reason is we can’t be the party we want to be, without electing people that represent our values.
I think you have the cart and the horse in the wrong order. Raising money comes with party leadership. Party leadership does not come with raising money.
The main qualification for leadership, either party or House Speaker, is that the Representative is from a longstanding safe district. Think about the shock when Eric Cantor was primary’d successfully.
Because Pelosi is from a safe district, she (or, indeed, anyone from a similarly safe district) has more leadership mojo and therefore a higher public profile and concomitantly more time and incentive to fundraise on behalf others and will, therefore, raise a lot of money.
I really think y’all gotta spend more time in the Midwest and other parts of the country that aren’t doing as well as Kendall Square. The cultural populism and economic populism are linked that way. Bezos and Cook donate to Dems and will join celebrity Democrats in boycotting a state like Indiana at the drop of the hat to protest an unjust LGBT law (as they should).
Did they do that when it became a right to work state? Did they do that when WI and the birthplace of American labor in Michigan became a right to work state? Local and national Democrats were AWOL when Walker and Snyder wrecked those states. AWOL when Brownback wrecked his. It took moderate GOP in Kansas to fight back. Do they have the boots on the ground to take advantage of special elections and shifts in states? Are they mobilizing black voters or taking them for granted? Mobilizing unionized whites or taking them for granted?
We will never win over Christian conservatives or white nationalists, those are the truly deplorable bigots. But there are a lot of voters who liked what they heard from Bernie and pulled the ballot for Trump. There were a lot of black voters who didn’t hear anything from any candidate and stayed home. Seems to me like working like hell to figure out how to appeal to these people, as Doug Jones and Conor Lamb did, is the way to go. Not sniping over whether Pelosi or Moulton is the leader to bring back a majority. Neither one of them is, it’ll take an anti-Trump wave and an inclusive populist revolution coming from the left to beat back the far right.
Please, as I recall Dems were very active against Walker and Snyder, but I’m not sure there are enough of them to count in Kansas. I continue to have no sympathy for those who like Bernie, but voted for Trump or black voters who stayed home. They reaped what they sowed, though I wish the rest of us didn’t have to live with the consequences of their ignorance or apathy.
Really? Obama was AWOL on both of those fights. The GOP always sends a President to a right to life rally, but Obama was nowhere to be found when teachers in Wisconsin begged him to help. Neither was any other prominent member of the Dem leadership. Every major Republican tried to ‘save’ Teri Schiavo, but not a single major national Democratic leader tried to stop right to work laws in either of those states.
The Wisconsin Democrats thrice nominated pro business ‘moderate’ Democrats who distanced themselves from unions and got crushed by Walker. The national party was nowhere to be found when Michigan went from an all Democratic to an all Republican state, giving Trump the infrastructure he needed to flip both states.
Read Ratf*****d and you will see how blindsided Democrats were by the GOP strategy of coordinated assault on state legislatures to gerrymander the House.
Once again the ‘argument’ boils down to ‘punish the Dems because the GOP enjoys raping rodents.’
Or, put another way, Stockholm Syndrome is a thing.
I am not a bad Patriots fan if I think that trading our future to San Francisco for peanuts is not a recipe for winning future Super Bowls. Holding on to leaders, no matter how successful they were in the past, who are no longer capable of winning games or elections is not what effective sports teams or political parties do. The Patriots used to understand this and are now letting sentiment and nostalgia blind them to the reality of time. So are the Democrats. Constantly keeping the same leaders in place for decades no matter how many elections they fail to win.
Why Bezos supports LGBT and not workers? The agenda of the super rich is to destroy the expectations of the middle class. It’s no co-incidence that they attack middle class family values. Can’t have a house and car? Here’s microapartments and bike lanes. Can’t support a family on your salary? Be gay.
Please don’t repeat the discredited canard that gender preference or orientation is a choice.
What makes you think there is a difference between “LGBT” and “workers”?
Why do you think ‘family’ and ‘be gay’ are exclusive of each other?
Charley on the MTA says
Didn’t see that on TDS, but I don’t doubt your impression.
To say that raising money is “solely” why she’s leader, without looking at her legislative accomplishments, is really an oversight. As I say, she’s got receipts.
Any legislative accomplishments this decade? She earned her four years as speaker and made a historic run. She should have fallen on her sword like every other leader who’s ever lost a midterm like that in 2010. Eight years of her leadership has gotten us no closer to a majority. Hard to argue a Speaker Hoyer would have been allowed to stick around as minority leader if he had the same track record.
As soon as any of the attackers of Ms. Pelosi offer an alternative candidate, I’m all ears.
Until such an offering is put forward, I think the attacks are misplaced.
In particular, I reject the viciously personal attacks such as:
– Too old
– “Ownership class”
– Too female (I know, it’s phrased differently, but it’s the same message)
I think we need to do much better than “What have you done for me lately”.
Nancy Pelosi didn’t lose the 2010 midterm. The Democratic Party lost that election. We lost that election in no small part to the lies, misogyny, and racism of a GOP that was explicitly pandering to the extreme right.
It’s time to look forward, not backward. Offer a candidate for us to support, rather than attacking anyone and everyone who has held office more than a few terms.
I already offered Linda Sanchez who is thinking of a challenge. Closer to unions, closer to Latino organizers, and from a blue collar blue district. A perfect foil for the racist Trump and an authentic messenger for populist economics. Keith Ellison would do a great job at building the party from the grassroots up. Joe Kennedy is an interesting candidate, so is Katherine Clark. Any of them would be fresh faces that would be closer to where the party is going than where it’s been.
I’d like to then spend rather more time discussing Linda Sanchez, Joe Kennedy, and Katherine Clark.
Since Ms. Pelosi is in the mix, in my view it will be more constructive to do issues-based contrast-and-compare discussions with among these candidates.
I read recently the Pelosi had planned to step aside when HRC became President, but was then reluctant to risk having no women in leadership. Right now I’m in the camp of let’s see what 2018 brings. If we take the House, let her be Speaker again, but if we don’t maybe it’s time to try someone else.
To be clear, the voters that matter (her Democratic house colleagues) choose to stick with her and ultimately will make that choice again if the Democrats retake the House, Lamb and Moulton notwithstanding. I would gamble that she pledges to be a Speaker for one more term if the Democrats retake the majority and sets up a smooth succession to avoid a fight.
Let me also be clear that there is absolutely zero reason to keep her if we lose what should be the easiest midterm in political history. Not only should she go in that scenario, but the entire House leadership and the party leadership.
I think this whole ‘Pelosi problem’ is complete and wholesale fabrication. If Zombie Sam Rayburn came back and straightened out the House we’d be, instead, talking about ‘Pocahontas’ or some ditto-head would be bad-mouthing Kirsten Gillibrand or Kamala Harris… Whichever female ranks next is going to be a target. It’s inevitable.
And you’re going to enable that by panicking about how poorly that target’ll play in Peoria. That, too, is inevitable.
Plus Sam Rayburn did alternate the Speakership with the GOP as partisan fortunes swung.
That was essentially my point, Christopher, as James and others repeatedly say that, upon being reduced to minority status any/all party leadership should step down. Rayburn didn’t, going from Speaker to Minority Leader back to Speaker. (More than once… IIRC)
My point was that even if we got back somebody who pointedly didn’t cave upon setback, we’d very quickly begin to discuss the ‘flaws’ of the next progressive in line… likely a female, with the goal of seeing them ultimately cave (Ref. Franken, Al) So the manufacture of Pelosi as goat is just so much pure air. Again.
After these last few weeks, it seems pretty clear to me that, as of today (and notwithstanding accomplishments from 8-10 years ago), ML Pelosi is far more interested in securing the election of a sufficient number of Democrats who will re-elect her as ML than she is in securing the election of a sufficient number of Democrats to elect a speaker, whether it would be Speaker Pelosi or anyone else..
How else to explain her decision to throw money and support to Lipinski– who just narrowly survived a primary thanks at least in part to that support?
Do we really need another Democrat who is (1) opposed to gun regulation; (2) anti-choice; (3) opposed to LGBT rights; (4) in favor of “protecting” America from the scourge of immigrants who are not white; (5) in favor of privatized public education; and (6) in favor of cutting social spending, cutting taxes on the wealthy, and eliminating government regulations? From a district that will not elect a Republican? The ONLY “benefit” that this guy had to the Democrats is that he will vote to maintain the status quo on everything.
With leadership like that, who needs Republicans?
Not to put too fine a point on it, the Lipinski thing is not a seat that is in peril. The guy who the Democrat will be running against is an actual (not metaphorical) Nazi.
I think that whole episode demonstrated a failure of the party. Lipinski actively damages progress for Democrats, and yes, as you say, it’s a very safe seat. The party machine, nationally and in IL backed him, and even anti-choice groups sent hundreds of volunteers to doorknock for him. Very little was mobilized for Newman except more progressive activists, even though it is abundantly clear that having her win would better serve the interests the Democrats are supposed to support. This race was very close and absolutely winnable if some of those with power played differently.
Similar things are afoot in NY to protect the odious Cuomo from a challenge. Gillibrand’s quick endorsement of him is probably the first misstep she’s made since Trump entered.
When the party moves aggressively to protect people like this, it’s yet another sign of why the party is losing power.
Cuomo too? You’re standards are way too tea partyish for my taste – that’s all there is to it!:(
Here here CMD. Ironic that the same people who constantly complained about Sanders or Falchuk not being registered Democrats are the first to attack anyone with the audacity to primary a lousy one. This blog is ridiculously out of touch with what is actually going on with the grassroots resistance to Trump inside and outside of the party.
Considering how blogs like this got started to crash the gates from the DLC gatekeepers back in the day, it’s sad how far they have fallen to defend the same old leadership that loses elections and fails to stand up for basic Democratic principles.
Which blog are you reading? There’s been pretty consistent support here for primarying when appropriate. BTW, you know you often come across as if you think you’re the only one with true insight as to what is going on? I wish you wouldn’t. The rest of us live in the world and have a pretty good take on politics too.
Here is a sample of what I saw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Yut2jE5-aQ
The top ranking Dem will always have a target on his/her back. I recall that Newt Gingrich was the face of the GOP back in the day and we targeted him too.
Gingrich also resigned after losing just six seats in the 1998 midterms, despite becoming the first Republican leader in over 50 years. He did not stick around another 8 years.
Hmmmm. Maybe Pelosi does need to go. Here’s her statement on the death of Pete Peterson.
“His prophetic voice on the unsustainable trajectory of debt was invaluable for generations of policymakers on both sides of the aisle.”
Peterson did Koch-level damage to our politics over the past 40 years. He’s literally one of the main reasons we can’t have nice things.
Peterson was the main architect of the movement to destroy Social Security. After what Pelosi said about him today, how can any one on a supposedly progressive blog defend her?
This is a slam dunk for John T May’s point of view.
I agree with this assessment.
Conservatives also believe in rainbows, puppy dogs and unicorns.
Fred, why would you downgrade a comment which attacked Pete Peterson? FDR must be spinning in his grave.
So,all of a sudden conservatives magically care about Social Security ?
What’s your point? Conservatives want to end social security and all social programs. That’s awful. What’s also awful is believing the ideas of Pete Peterson. He intentionally infected the common thinking of budgets and deficits with lies in order to push forward an agenda that would end social programs. Conservatives ate it up more but so did Democrats. Now we think that federal deficits are bad or unsustainable. That is incorrect economics and it has led us to underfunding social programs across the board – literally thousands and thousands of people have died because of it. This type of thinking should be expelled from the Democratic party.
Pete Peterson was an awful man who did incredible damage and should be remembered with appropriate scorn.
Also, it’s just too perfect of a story but Pete Peterson was expelled from MIT for plagiarizing a paper. The paper was written by Roy Cohn.
And when people die you try to find something nice to say unless they were a terrorist or something. Nancy Pelosi reveals herself to be a decent human being – story at 11!
Why? He did far more damage than most terrorists could dream of.
Our deference to rich people in suits as different or much better than the worst kinds of criminals is disappointing.
She praised his horrible vision of policy as something good and something we should embrace. She didn’t need to. She didn’t need to say anything at all. Her words show her worldview and it is a very problematic one for the leader of a the Democratic party.
She calls Peterson a friend, and why not as they were colleagues. Your comparison to the damage terrorists do is way off base, and exactly the problem we have demonizing and dehumanizing the political opposition. This isn’t about deference; it’s about decency and frankly says a lot more about you than it does about either Peterson or Pelosi.
I think what happens in the Oval Office, or the Halls of Congress, or the Board Rooms of major companies is often just as much violence as what can happen in the street.
There is nothing decent about ordering drone strikes, or slashing Medicaid because you want rich people to pay less in taxes, or raising the price of a life-saving drug simply because you want a higher bonus.
We should treat the modern GOP and the ideas they support as the dangers they are, not simply as friends we disagree with. If you want to inflict massive damage to people or the environment or deny people basic human rights, you should receive a response worthy of your action.
Decency can eat my ass.
You’ve accused Pete Peterson of causing at least as much harm as such incidents as the OKC bombing or 9/11, when people were actually killed in the most violent possible way. I refuse to play politics that way.
Oh yeah, his efforts definitely killed more people than those events. Just slower. More like chronic poverty or care denials. Medical bankruptcy, too. And can’t forget suicide coming from those things.
While the rest of the industrialized world moved to universal health care and actually caring for their citizens, Peterson used his wealth and influence to ensure we didn’t move in the same direction. He’s of course not the only one, but he is a pivotal figure.
I don’t know why all of the perpetrators and enablers of such things can’t be condemned even if that condemnation takes different forms. I won’t shed a tear for Peterson and I hope that the influence of his work wanes in the very near future.
I choose to view politics as an exercise in the use of power and application of pain, not a polite game. I think we’d be better off if our elected leaders felt the pain they cause or at least knew the consequences of their actions.
I have begun to worry for your sanity.
I’m totally serious: You’ve gone beyond turning the perfect against the good into twisting the facts, squashing all nuance and constructing calumnies, all to make the imperfect into active evil. And this, in a second-order attempt to impugn and delegitimize Nancy Pelosi.
I, personally, disagree with Peterson on the issue of deficit spending, but that doesn’t give me license to think he’s the bastard offspring of Joe Stalin and Pol Pot.
Don’t you get dizzy? Have your loved ones been looking at you with concern lately? ‘Cause there is no way such thinking is free of secondary symptoms that should be obvious.
Peterson and the Concord Coalition HAVE NOT perpetrate a ‘starve the beast’ attitude in which balanced budgets were coupled with tax slashing which is what you are railing against: they actually and actively called for balanced budgets with tax reform that involved loophole closure, and appropriate revenue increases. They call the entirely Republican approach of slashing taxes while balancing the budget ‘fiscal irresponsibility’ as often as they did for the ‘other sides’ purported ‘tax and spend’ profligacy.
I’d love to live in your world in which policy decisions do not impact people’s lives, but alas.
An exercise in the use of power and the application of pain? I had no idea that Voldemort was a BMGer!:(
That’s what Trent Lott thought., Christopher.
Meh. Nancy Pelosi said something nice about a man who was definitely influential and possible wrong,.. therefore she’s disqualified. Sounds like you just don’t want people who are influential to be at odds with your version of how the world should work. Good luck with that.
BTW, Peterson started the “Concord Coalition” in ’92 with co-founders Sen Warren Rudman (who was equally ‘praised’ for his advocacy of ‘fiscal responsibility’ by President Obama upon Rudman’s death in ’12) and Sen Paul Tsongas, ( who was likewise ‘praised’ by Bill Clinton upon his death in ’97).
Clinton did actually take the advice of the Concord Coalition (and others) and actually balanced the federal budget (in part by raising taxes) sending the economy into the stratosphere… after which point the Republicans de-regulated energy, accounting/banking and the telecommunications industry… and pointedly refused to break up MicroSoft in 2001 (at that time one of the largest, and most predatory, companies in the world) and embarked upon a ever-more absurd series of tax-cuts and refunds, sending, as John T May remind you, most of the gains from the Clinton economy into the hands of the wealthiest Americans…
… the Republicans are the ‘reason we can’t have nice things.’ not Pete Peterson or the Concord Coalition…
That balancing the budget caused the economy to grow under Clinton is almost adorable in its wrongheadedness. Really funny, petr. Also funny that you put the blame for banking deregulation on Republicans. Here’s Bill Clinton’s statement upon signing Gramm-Leach-Bliley into law.
If Nancy Pelosi, or anyone else, publicly embraces a worldview that is both incorrect on the facts and dangerous in its application they should be criticized. And right now, Pelosi is the only D potentially lined up to lead some action of deciding what to do with government dollars.
Rudman and Tsongas were wrong on the economics too. Balanced budgets at the federal level are pointless and generally destructive. The Concord Coalition is bad. Their view of fiscal responsibility should be treated like a disease. Maybe all these guys actually did get a disease back when we were on the gold standard.
Obama was also wrong. The dumb deficit worries that Democrats have internalized (the GOP has internalized and externalized them except when it comes to defense spending or tax cuts) through the decades long campaign of Peterson and his ilk are the things that prevented the ACA from being markedly better and made the stimulus to small, and a whole host of other things from the left side of the aisle.
I never said Pelosi was disqualified, but if we want to achieve progressive goals, her views for the direction of the House need to be considered. Her recent work ain’t looking great. Calling Trump a threat and then voting to expand surveillance powers with the FISA bill, backing an anti-choice, anti-ACA, and anti-LGBT congressman against a viable challenger, embracing idiotic views about deficits, and not doing great holding the caucus together on some bad votes recently.
Dear Mr or Mrs Doubleman,
During a recent hearing of the House Select Committee for Childish Psychology, members of the sub-Committee on Coming to Grips with Reality and Object Permanence reviewed your application to substitute your own version of reality for the one under which the rest of us labor. The committee unanimously supports the necessity of denying your application on the grounds that the world does not owe you anything and that the sooner you learn this simple fact the better for all concerned.
A full report of the sub-Committee will be made available to the entire House for debate under HR3.14159, titled “The Not In Front of the Children Act.”
Thank your for your time and attention to the very important matter of reality as it is. We hope you can make the adjustments necessary for a full and rewarding citizenship.
lol. He didn’t sign the deregulation bill?
There was a good economy under Clinton and a balanced budget. Thinking that the latter caused the former is some wild [stuff]. I’d love to see you explain it. And please show your work. 🙂
I share your hostile characterization of Mr. Peterson. I agree that his worldview was dangerously wrong and wrong-headed, and has caused enormous grief for the world in general, America more specifically, my own family and friends in particular.
Mr. Peterson was, nevertheless, revered by a great many “conservatives” (I put scare quotes around that because the GOP hasn’t been about being “conservative” in decades) going all the way back to the Nixon years. The GOP was wrong then and wrong now. The economics of Mr. Peterson were no more misguided (although in a different way) than the equally absurd “Laffer curve” and “supply-side economics” that dominated GOP economic policy during the Reagan era.
A sad reality of our culture is that we have been under-educating our children since the Reagan era. Our electorate by and large lacks the ability to even hear, never mind understand, the compelling case for how head-slappingly wrong “intellectuals” like Mr. Peterson were. Remember, after all, that Mr. Reagan’s original “star wars” anti-missile program required violating the most basic conservation-of-energy laws. The GOP (and too much of the media) loved it anyway.
I nevertheless sharply reject your attacks on the administration of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Both administrations knew the basic economics of this full well. Have you forgotten that Robert Reich was Secretary of Labor under Mr. Clinton? Do you really think that Mr. Obama ignored Thomas Krugman?
In my view, your attacks improperly demean their targets. I find your attacks arrogant to the point of insulting. You ignore the political reality of the times, the facts about how the economy performed under both administrations, and the facts about what would have happened if the GOP had won the presidential elections of 1992, 1996, 2008, and 2012,
Most bizarrely, you blame these Democrats for what actually IS happening under the administration of Donald Trump.
The firefighters were called to the same factory four times, and four times they successfully saved the building that the GOP arsonists set afire. The fifth time, the fire was so far along — and the hail of rocks and bricks from GOP bystanders at the scene so intense — that the firefighters were prevented from extinguishing the blaze.
You blame the firefighters. I do not.
Clinton listened more to Rubin and Summers than Reich. That’s also part of the reason why Reich left. He wasn’t listened to on the economy. And Clinton also listened to those others when they made threats about what would happen if Brooksley Born got her way and we actually regulated derivatives. With Obama, he certainly listened to Geithner more than Krugman (who was not in the administration).
Here’s a simple question to test your understanding of the economics. Can the US government run out of money?
I’m still laughing about the idea that a balanced budget CAUSED an economic boom. That is really funny stuff. I’d love for someone to explain how that worked.
It wasn’t so much the balanced budget as the stimulus package, but as I tire of repeating the Clinton years were among the most economically successful in at least the course of my lifetime.
We agree!!! The Clinton Years were the best for most people economically in the last 50 years. That’s true. I never claimed otherwise.
Balancing the budget, however, can’t grow the economy. It necessarily has the effect of removing a surplus from the private sector. It actually slowed down growth, but growth was so strong that it didn’t really matter. And there was good spending in areas that supported broad growth. Thinking that balancing the budget can cause the growth defies logic.
My other big issue with Clinton’s economic program is when they deregulated the financial sector putting us upon the path for failure in 2008. No doubt that policies under Bush and bad oversight accelerated the problems, but the architecture was created under Clinton.
It’s much worse than that.
Balancing the budget — and even more so, reducing the national debt — is in fact a massive wealth transfer from the 99% to the 0.1%.
The budget is “balanced” by reducing government goods and services. Those by construction and design, benefit the masses.
The beneficiaries are T-Bill holders, primarily, and the uber wealthy more generally.
Moderate inflation is actually good for anyone who carries debt and bad for anyone who holds the debt. That’s why banks and credit companies want the Fed to keep inflation at or near 0%.
Deflation is the most likely consequence of actually balancing the budget. Deflation is a disaster for the 99%.
You’re blaming all this on Bill Clinton, and it started twenty years earlier.
Ronald Reagan famously attacked the “exploding” federal deficit of Jimmy Carter. Mr. Reagan went on to create a federal deficit that absolutely dwarfed anything that happened.
But that’s ok if you’re a Republican. That’s why the subsequent tax increase signed off by Mr. Reagan was among the largest in history up to that time. It still only slowed the growth in the deficit.
If there was an “architecture” at all (and I submit there was never anything but pure greed), it was created by Ronald Reagan and the supply-siders of 1980.
Of course Reagan deserves a ton of blame. The whole Neoliberal movement from the 70s to now is to blame, and Clinton was a major part of that. Clinton signed the law that deregulated the financial system that allowed bad actors to cause the Great Recession of 2008. Do you really disagree that he signed the law?
Nobody here claimed that a balanced budget caused an economic boom.
Of course the US government cannot run out of money.
petr did above.
If we can’t run out of money then why do leaders from both sides (including Obama) speak and craft policy as if it can? I think it is largely because of Peterson’s decades long campaign. It’s why we refuse to entertain program expansions or why we artificially limit the “price tag” on bills (at least the Dems do), and certainly why the first question with any attempt at a progressive policy is met with “how do we pay for this?” That last question is usually most fervently asked by Democrats of progressive policies and helps nip them in the bud.
We could provide single payer health care, or free college tuition, or forgive all student loan debt, or just give every American $1,000 in cash if we wanted to and all without raising a single cent in additional taxes. Actually, we could do all those things without raising new taxes – although we might cause bad inflation. Yet we still believe this pernicious lie that to be responsible we need to have tax revenue accounted for before we spend on anything.
At one time, yes even during the Clinton administration, Democrats and Republicans would actually, you know, legislate.
Gramm, Leach, Bliley, f’rinstance, began as a Republican effort to gut Glass-Steagall. Democrats tried to stop them in this effort and when they could not do so, had to “settle” for negotiating into the legislation what they felt were appropriate safeguards… Which safeguards ended up in the bill that President Clinton signed. Most of these safeguards were later relaxed greatly, if not abandoned wholesale, by the administration of George W Bush which, however much we may recall it fondly now, set for itself viciously low standards of government administration and consistently failed to meet even that… The Trump administration is just a fourth rate version of that third rate governance…
In another instance, the Republicans actually forced a balanced budget act through in ’97, and Clinton not only signed it, but honored it and actually balanced the budget. After which, the Bush administration and the Republicans forced through tax cuts leading to revenue shortfalls and that, in concert with the previously mentioned laxity of regulation enforcement, a pork laden Medicaid part D and two wars (one of choice), led to the near total collapse of the economy…
… But I guess hating on Clinton for all that is so much simpler.
Thanks for your perceptive analysis, SomervilleTom, but I think you meant to say Paul Krugman when you say : ” Do you really think that Mr. Obama ignored …”
Indeed I did.
I just want to recommend reading the entire Atlantic article linked above.
Pete Peterson was the number one enemy of Social Security. He didn’t advocate reforming Social Security. He wanted to cut it. He refused to consider raising taxes to fund Social Security. He wanted to cut it.
Nancy Pelosi’s “decency” is of the same order as Trent Lott’s “decent” treatment of old Strom Thurmond. It is truly appalling, and she should be drummed out of her leadership role the same way Trent Lott was drummed out of his leadership role.
Peterson was not just a person with a different opinion. He spent a ton of money to drown out the voices of people who want to keep Social Security, or to keep it solvent
by raising taxes on the wealthy . His money wormed it way throughout the political system and throughout the media..
Ignorance and stupidity should not excuse the commenters on this thread for not knowing this, although I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Unlike those commenters, Nancy Pelosi is neither stupid nor ignorant. She knows exactly what she is doing..
Call me part of the purity police if you want, but I think that Social Security is more important than the affection of multi-millionaires for billionaires.
That is incredibly incredibly unfair, Bob.
Peterson did similar work against Medicare and Medicaid. It wasn’t just Social Security. He deserves the credit!
It’s impossible to know how many died because of the meager funding those programs received due to his incredibly powerful influence. The numbers easily reach magnitudes we would expect from large wars.
Trent Lott wasn’t eulogizing someone and sounded like he was affirmatively endorsing deliberately racist policies. Pete Peterson never flew any planes into the twin towers. We MUST be able to work with and respect, those with opposing views even as we fight tooth and nail against their ideas and to implement our own. Our system depends on it.
As I’ve said, Peterson has caused massive damage. He didn’t need a plane because he had millions of dollars to infect the discourse over a few decades. You’re giving a pass to that kind of behavior as fundamentally different than acute physical violence. I get the argument, and I don’t really disagree with it, but I hope you accept the kind of damage activity like this can do. I think activities that cause incredible harm are all bad and should be condemned, regardless of whether it’s someone with a bomb or someone with a big checkbook.
If we’re behaving like Pelosi is re: Pete Peterson we’re absolutely not fighting “tooth and nail” against their ideas.
Serious question – do you respect Donald Trump?
I think we have to beat them. Our lives depend on it.
Now Christopher, you’re just being dishonest. Pelosi WAS affirmatively endorsing Peterson’s policies. Read her statement, everyone. There’s nothing in it except an endorsement of his policies. Maybe an implied grief that the money spigot might be turned off. But not a thing about Peterson as a person.
No, I did read the statement, and she was showing respect for someone who fought for what he believed in and seemed genuinely interested in doing what he thought was right. The more accurate measure would be a comparison of voting records.
Maybe she’s just pining for the fjords.
Housekeeping memo to the editors: With 115 comments and counting this is a diary that makes me wish the platform still had a way to indicate which comments are new since the last time a user checked.
Charley on the MTA says
I’ve been looking for a plugin that works with the theme, and I haven’t found one.
You called that one, Charley.
Charley on the MTA says
*why do I bother* [drinks]
I’m shutting this thread down. Create some new content, people.