Bullshit Brigade: State and Local Election Day Edition [UPDATE-1]

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. Update(s) will appear at bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

It’s election day across the country with lots of local and state elections still underway. The race receiving the most national attention is Virginia’s gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin.

A lot of people are getting themselves worked up right now over what recent polling suggested would be a tight race. I can’t and won’t look; I don’t need more anxiety over the continued Trump effect on governance. Vote count may not be settled tonight if the race is very tight — take a deep breath and look away for a while.

Here, have some fresh bullshit to occupy your wattage.

~ 3 ~

We need deprogramming so badly in this country when hundreds of people are readily motivated by conspiracy theories to show up and participate in pop-up events over a couple days.

Especially events which are based on the belief a person dead for more than two decades will appear.

These people actually believe John-John is walking the earth and will run as Trump’s VP in 2024. There’s even a real person who they believe is JFK Jr.; I don’t know why the Kennedy family hasn’t sued this person already to prevent any grifting done in their deceased family member’s name.

These folks are completely out of touch with reality. What can they be made to do with a gentle nudge to their wacky irrational beliefs?

~ 2 ~

It’s not just the Average Josephine showing up on location to see the second coming of a dead Kennedy scion. It’s members of the media who’ve been permitted into White House pressers tweeting conspiracy theories without any skepticism whatsoever.

Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson shouldn’t be granted a press pass to federal offices anywhere because she’s got serious issues. This tweet, which was removed as it violated Twitter’s terms of service related to misleading health information, reveals a stunning lack of journalistic acumen. She regurgitated nonsense which had been debunked six months ago without any effort on her part to check it for credibility.

~ 1 ~

“Critical Race Theory” = dogwhistle to white nationalists who won’t admit on camera they are racist fucks who vote for racist fucks.

Critical race theory isn’t being taught in K-12 public education. At best depending on the state and school district, K-12 students may hear that enslavement of humans is bad and the root cause of the American Civil War. On the worst end of the K-12 education spectrum students may hear bullshit claims that enslaved people were happy being treated like animals without agency and autonomy.

The only people widely teaching critical race theory outside universities are the GOP and talking heads who support them. Instead of explaining to the public the true history of enslaved people in America and the economic impact of slavery as taught in university-level coursework, they tell the public CRT is inverse racism.

As if long-oppressed minority groups have the ability to teach inverse racism when racism by a dominant white class is their lived experience. Rejecting white’s racism while teaching factual history is merely the continuation of America’s decolonization.

Sadly, that brings us back to the race in Virginia, where the nasty old closeted white supremacist above who can’t and won’t explain CRT has voted for the racist GOP gubernatorial candidate.

A racist gubernatorial candidate who may have won his seat as of 8:25 p.m. EDT while I was writing the last of this post, damn it.

~ 0 ~

Here’s the final piece of bullshit I want to call out RTFN: Do NOT blame progressives for McAuliffe’s loss. Progressives have been busy trying to get Biden’s agenda passed. They are NOT to blame for the piss-ignorant intransigence of West Virginia’s corrupt Joe Manchin and Arizona’s kawaii con artist Kyrsten Sinema.

Old machine Democrats need to look long and hard in the mirror — this includes McAuliffe who went on national TV this weekend instead of pounding the pavement and knocking on doors during that time slot. Hell, why didn’t he attend a Black church in a key district instead of going on that useless Press the Meat with GOP’s buddy Chuck Todd? So many stupid mistakes like that, running a race like it’s 2006.

What other bullshit did you see today which might need deprogramming? Do tell.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 02-NOV-2021 11:50 PM —

Here’s some not-bullshit, a palate cleanser:

Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu won the mayor’s race in Boston. She’s the first Asian American mayor for the city; she’s also a progressive Democrat who is tight with Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Hamilton County clerk of courts Aftab Pureval won the mayor’s race in Cincinnati, becoming the city’s first Asian American mayor. He defeated an older centrist Democrat David Mann to win.

Michigan state house representative (MI-15) Abdullah Hammoud won the Dearborn mayor’s race, becoming the first Lebanese American in the city with the largest Lebanese American population in the U.S.; Hammoud is Arab and Muslim.

Former Obama senate intern Justin Bibb won the Cleveland mayor’s race, replacing term-limited Frank Jackson. Both are Democrats; Bibb is the first new mayor since 2005 and at 34 the second youngest mayor ever.

All four of these new mayors are persons of color and more progressive than the incumbent and opposing candidates. All of these races make the case it’s not progressives who lost the VA governorship.

But wait, there’s more:

Former chief deputy attorney general of New York Alvin Bragg has won the race for Manhattan District Attorney, becoming Manhattan’s first Black DA. He will inherit the Trump org-related investigations and prosecutions from Cy Vance.

I may need a celebratory nightcap for that one! As it’s after midnight here and many votes are still being counted in races west of here, I’ll check back in the morning.

116 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Really, REALLY angry about the automatic blame game by the old machine Dems who are stuck in the last generation and haven’t caught on that Democratic voters have moved on and to the left. Stop watching faux centrists Manchin and Sinema for your cues, morons; your kidnappers aren’t the ones who vote in your state/district.

    EDIT: Jesus Christ, for once in your lives stop asking white men about what went wrong in Virginia. Find women of color and ask them. They will be right and they will tell you what not to fuck up in 2022.

    • Peterr says:

      See also Charlottesville, where the incumbent mayor has had enough. From POLITICO:

      Nikuyah Walker, Charlottesville’s first Black female mayor, is throwing in the towel.

      She came to power five months after the infamous rally of August 2017, when white supremacist groups bearing tiki torches descended on Charlottesville to protest the removal of Confederate statues.

      Today, the state’s troubled history with race has been an undercurrent in the hotly contested campaign for Virginia governor, and by extension, the local elections in Charlottesville, too. On Friday a group of anti-Trump Republican protesters, bearing tiki torches in a reference to the 2017 rally, showed up at Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s Charlottesville campaign stop — drawing widespread condemnation.

      But Walker isn’t running in Tuesday’s election, when this liberal college town of 50,000 votes on two new council members — as well as the next governor. (After the election, the city council will select the next mayor.) Walker believes that Charlottesville isn’t ready for the change the city said it wanted four years ago. And when it comes to those she deems too slow to change, she doesn’t mince words. . . .

      A really good piece, which includes a lengthy interview with Walker.

      But don’t read it if you are trying to get your blood pressure down, Rayne.

      • Rayne says:

        Just saw the home of the lone Black city council member in Connersville, IN was firebombed and being investigated as a hate crime.

        There’s a race war going on whether nice white people who think they aren’t racist want to believe it or not. Trump set it off and he and his fascist minions will continue to stoke it.

        • Peterr says:

          I was talking with a couple of local African-American clergy colleagues last week, and we came to roughly the same conclusion. Around metro KC, there have been a number of ugly racist incidents at different high schools that have hit the press, one after another. Our speculation is that these kinds of things have been happening all along, but the kids of color are tired of putting up with it and have learned how to make the teachers and administrators nervous: you put it on social media, talk to reporters, and ask “WTF makes anyone think that there is any context in which any of this is acceptable?”

          Sadly, some of those nice white people react by clutching their pearls and offering excuses. “It was only a joke!” or “Why are you always making it about race? That’s what’s racist!” or . . .


          And the most obvious voices making those excuses? Some of the most white-bread pastors of large evangelical churches in the area.

          “MLK was right about the biggest obstacle,” I said as we lamented these voices, and I got a big “Amen.”

        • Rayne says:

          I think that’s partially correct, that with the rise of smartphones and real-time uploads and publication on the internet that students can turn the tables on the surveillance state. The murder of George Floyd is a perfect example – a young person with a smartphone captured the entire murder and shared it immediately. But murders like that have been happening all along, the numbers of Black men killed by police haven’t changed much even with the pandemic. Without the smartphone video of Floyd’s murder there wouldn’t have been a months’ long nationwide protest against repeated extrajudicial executions of Black Americans by police.

          There is an uptick in hate crimes, though. It’s not just Black Americans suffering from incitement of racial animosity though they have been targets. Last year’s volume of reported hate crimes was the highest recorded since 2008 — the same year we elected a Black president. Which means there’s a lot more for smartphone users to document and share.

        • Peterr says:

          Yeah, but we were talking about racist incidents at area high schools, not crimes. (God knows there are enough crimes rooted in racism around KC, but that’s a subject for a different day.) All of us have been around for decades, and can’t recall a string of events like this — ordinary run-of-the-mill problems specific to one particular school hitting the press one after the other, not everybody reacting to the same big event like George Floyd’s murder — hitting the media day after day after day.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m seeing analysis which indicates stupid white women who fell for CRT and anti-vaxx propaganda voted for Youngkin. I don’t know how we fix that when it looks like mass psychosis manipulating target demographics. (And don’t start with me about the “you’re making it about race” because it IS about race and you’re too privileged to see that it is and too unwilling to face the problem among white people you know.)

      But this did not help. It’s likely a wound which was never addressed openly and resolved:

      How do you turn out and vote for McAuliffe if you’re not convinced he has your back if you’re a person of color?

      One more time: CRT = dogwhistle call summoning racists. Angry white moms at school board meetings ranting about CRT = racists.

      Anti-vaxxer: signifier for the identity of the amorphous pre-dominantly white group which is pro-Trump, racist, and authoritarian. Fascist.

      EDIT: ~smdh~

      • Theodora30 says:

        It looks like it was white suburban swing voters, voters who had voted for Biden, who got conned by CRT and other right wing culture war lies. The mainstream media deserves the lion’s share of the blame for tat. They have constantly repeated the right’s lies about public schools teaching CRT, usually without pointing out that CRT is not taught there.
        As Eric Boehlert recently wrote in Pressrun.media, polls showed that the public was paying attention to reporting about the BBB bill but that most had very little idea about what was actually in the bill. ABC’s Terry Moran actually had the nerve to blame that on Biden! Apparently Terry doesn’t understand that it is his job to make sure voters have the information they needs to make well-informed decisions — in fact our founders gave his profession explicit protection in our constitution so they could do exactly that, not so they could entertain the public with stories about disagreements. Unfortunately for our democracy Moran and his colleagues find process and conflict too seductive to ignore and substance too boring to bother reporting — that or they can’t report on substance and maintain their faux balance narrative.


      • Rayne says:

        They are, by far. They’re also younger on the whole and they can communicate at the level with the voters they need most in ways the old school Dems can’t. Sadly, the progressives are attacked for not being as cis-het/white/Christian as the GOP which can sometimes drown out their efforts. White Dems need to do a better job of getting their backs.

        • Summertime Blues says:

          There’s nothing new here. Republicans are successful in races because they have targeted and consistent massaging, stay disciplined and pass many of the items in their party platform. As a result there is a higher level of enthusiasm. Old school Corporate Democrats aren’t going to be successful. Beyond that both Mancin and Sinema should be primaried hard from the left on their opposition to truly popular policies. If there isn’t a political cost there is no reason for them to stop fronting for the best paying political donors rather than supporting the party platform. They’re not stupid, even though they’re contrarians they’ll never pass the smell test as Republicans, their political careers will be over if they try to switch parties. It’s time for brass knuckled politics rather than being seen as weak and ineffective.

        • Rayne says:

          If there’s nothing new, why are you repeating what you think is conventional wisdom? What are you doing to change what you believe is the status quo?

          Weak and effective is just bitching about a problem and doing nothing about it, or shrugging one’s shoulders in 135 words.

        • Summertime Blues says:

          Supporting Beto O’Rourke is the most effective way to make an impact politically in Texas. Greg Abbott and company have done everything they can to stack the deck. Act Blue is doing better targeting of campaign funding than the DNC. Both are acting outside of the more conventional political framework of big donors and focusing on grassroots engagement. Beyond that everyone should exercise the right to vote. Impacting national politics is problematic as it’s driven by large donors and special interests. Its not a matter of indifference, but where individuals can make a difference. One can also express opinions in online forums to start a conversation about the issues on a national level and try to put a spotlight on some on the underlying issues and provoke some conversation.

          The problem isn’t with the Democratic platform. Until the party leadership is willing to play hardball we’ll have the same dynamic and outcomes. Yes, it’s a razor thing majority but until party leadership is willing to put it on the line nothing is going to change because there’s no political cost to sabotaging the party platform. It’s frustrating but not an issue and individual can impact.

        • Rayne says:

          One can also express opinions in online forums to start a conversation about the issues on a national level and try to put a spotlight on some on the underlying issues and provoke some conversation.

          You’re going to have to step up your game if you think this is the forum for that rather simplistic approach. Seriously.

          You’re going to have to step up your entire game, because you don’t seem to realize the DNC, DSCC, DCCC, and more all use Act Blue as a service provider. (I do wish DSCC wasn’t paying Google Ads for their ActBlue page placement – not now.)

          And as for supporting Beto: He hasn’t even formally announced yet. Hard to support a candidate who isn’t a candidate. Maybe it’s time to support progressive groups supporting voters’ rights in Texas to make sure people can get to the polls and vote until Beto flips the switch.

      • Sonso says:

        Let’s have a hypothetical: is there anyone who is disappointed with the Democrats (look at most MT-Wheel posters) who would vote for Youngkin? That would be adolescent petulance on the level of a Trumpkin. So, we have to now hypothesize that there are people who are so ignorant or stupid, and they can’t pick between these two, admittedly weak, choices. So what message is going to effectively penetrate a brain that can’t pick between a cordon bleu meal and a plate of broken glass (Tip of the hat to David Sedaris)?

    • Rugger9 says:

      I would agree with you, and First Draft has a pretty good take (it’s the racism, stupid) and no amount of messaging is really going to change that in opposition to a well-oiled RWNM funded by billionaires spending a small part of their obscene tax breaks. Even if McAuliffe had pressed the flesh, it wouldn’t have made a difference in comparison to his debate line amplified by the RWNM that parents shouldn’t have a say in what schools teach.

      CRT is this year’s version of ANTIFA and Sharia Law being practiced in the cities and HRC’s emails, yet another blatant lie by the GQP that the horse-race courtier press (Chuck Todd is one of the worst offenders here) refused to call a lie because bothsides, I guess. Next year it will be something different.

      We’ve all seen the video of the VA voter that couldn’t explain what CRT was but by golly he was agin’ it and that was the only issue that counted. Nowhere did the courtier press even mention that CRT is taught in precisely ZERO K-12 public schools, not anywhere, which would have provided some needed context. However, the screeching from Faux News and their ilk will make it very hard for the racists to be changed, look how many waited in Dealey Plaza for JFK Jr. to magically appear decades after he died (did they recover the body? I forget) to become Individual-1’s 2024 Veep. Too bad for DeSantis, Haley or the other wannabe Crown Princes(ses).

      So, after all of this, how do we reach these deplorables and get them to see the light? Do we go after Faux, OANN, Newsmax and sanction them for lying without violating the First Amendment (btw, I don’t think that can be done)? Do we block the Russian bots and arrest Q for incitement of riots? Realize that any precedent established that way will be used against the progressives, but since there is no doubt the GQP will do it, they should own it. Note how often the GQP likes to howl about the Ds (especially the Southern ones) were so chummy with the KKK, etc. leaving out the fact that the GQP is the racist party now.

  2. Peterr says:

    Re Press the Meat . . . I’ll actually give McAuliffe the benefit of the doubt on that one. That’s basically free media two days before the election for a non-trivial portion of the voters in Prince William, Fairfax, Alexandria, Loudoun, Arlington, and other parts of northern VA for whom Chuck Todd is part of their Sunday morning worship. In this case, he was pounding their pavement — and they view it as THEIR pavement — virtually.

    That said, McAulliffe’s efforts to make this national on the Democratic side is about the stupidest thing I ever saw. Believing that passing (or not passing) the various infrastructure bills in Congress would make someone vote (or not vote) for a Democrat running to be governor of VA is insulting to any voter in the state, and it made my stomach cramp up every time I heard him say it over the last two weeks.

    • Rayne says:

      The people in Prince William, Fairfax, Alexandria, Loudoun, Arlington, and other parts of northern VA who watch Press the Meat are the same kind of people who watch it elsewhere in the country, and they likely had their minds made up already. The demographic which was desperately needed was the Black voter; my impression was that he pissed away the good will acquired with Obama and Stacey Abrams’ appearances on his behalf.

      I’d listened to a podcast interview with McAuliffe and he came across as an unserious babbling huckster which is really pathetic for someone of his age and stature with the Democratic Party and within two weeks of the election. If I were a Virginian I’d vote for him but I’d be holding my nose.

      • Peterr says:

        I disagree. To the folks in those parts of northern VA who watch Press the Meat, they view it as their local cable access show, where the local host talks to their local pol about what’s going on in their local burg (which is a better burg than any other burg, of course). They are the Villagers, and they watch the show in a much different way than non-Villagers do.

        I haven’t heard much about the breakdown of the VA voters by race, and don’t know if they stayed home or not. What I have heard is a lot about white GOP women who couldn’t hold their noses and vote for Trump in 2020 because he said the quiet parts out loud, but who had no trouble in 2021 going back to the GOP because Youngkin kept the quiet parts quiet.

        Mostly. That whole anti-Beloved slap at 1993 Nobel laureate Toni Morrison and every African American in the state of Virginia should have been the thing to re-energize McAuliffe’s campaign. But it wasn’t.

    • Leoghann says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more about McAuliffe’s absolute folly in nationalizing his gubernatorial candidacy. But I also have wondered ever since he announced–WHY? If Virginia Democrats have developed such a vital, active party, couldn’t they come up with one or two younger, up-and-coming candidates? McAuliffe already did that one. If he wants to stay in politics, he should be moving onward and upward or mentoring, not turning the clock back eight years.

      One thing more, and as a Boomer, I can say this. McAuliffe was running against a man 20 years younger. We Boomers have had our time, and if a politician is still worried about getting their “turn,” they really need to suck it up and discuss with their therapist why they failed. The supposed national leaders of the Democratic Party are eighty fucking years old. We need not ask why we’re having trouble with young suburbanites. The Q Party isn’t doing any better with Trump and McConnell, but why not let them finish destroying what used to be the Republican Party, while we move on?

      • bmaz says:

        Not just minority voters (though that was clearly a huger problem), but also the youth. The reports I have seen and heard are that there was little to zero energy in the youth sector. Not sure it has to be a young candidate to get that (for instance Bernie) but there was little for Terry Mac.

      • RWood says:

        The younger voters I talk to are simply unenthused with voting for people who get nothing done. The candidates they are offered don’t even have plans to solve the major problems that they feel are important. All they get are more wishy-washy “incremental change” bullshit that, even if it does make it to vote, will be watered down to nothing worth backing, so they stay home.

        They also see a party that refuses to fight. Backing a candidate that fights and loses is one thing, but backing one that doesn’t fight at all? Why bother?

        The lack of a trump indictment is another topic they see as proof of dem weakness. I have to agree with them.

        • madwand says:

          Exactly and quoting a certain millennial familiar to me about the Democrats “Fuck em. They take power, they do nothing, then they lose!”

        • Rayne says:

          “refuses to fight” — LOL How much of that opinion is based on what they see in commercial media? Because if these younger voters you spoke with were following AOC they know progressives are fighting and that the problem is a 2-senator bottleneck.

          Virginia’s gubernatorial race is a perfect example of the problem with commercial media. The entirety of DC and National political coverage was aimed at this one race while simultaneously fucking up the coverage. Look at who won races I’ve already noted; a DSA slate won in Connecticut. Change is happening but it’s not being communicated by commercial media which is mired in old school horse race election coverage.

        • bg says:

          I think the most terrifying thing is that by obstructing everything the Rs prove the Ds can’t govern and get things done. As much as I hate to say it, the Ds just don’t have game, except the progressives who fight like hell. I am despairing. We did not elect any of the anti-mask anti-vax candidates to our school board, but NAIOP funded a slate of business friendly school board and they all won over the union-endorsed candidates. It is awful. Not sure exactly what their agenda is, but I’m sure they want to disempower the union. Which they have done.

        • Rayne says:

          Really need to stop looking around for some monolithic Dem when you’re talking about local school boards. Why wasn’t the union more organized about getting its candidates elected? Is that a Democratic Party problem or a local and union problem?

          Those are rhetorical questions about a local situation which people in your area need to analyze and address before the next race.

        • RWood says:

          “Refuse to fight” can mean several things.

          When they see a MAGA slogan hit the news with no counter to it from the left, that to them is refusing to fight.

          “Lock her up.”
          “Stop the steal.”
          “Let’s go Brandon.”

          What are the democratic equivalents? No, not the “explanation” or the “fact-checking”, I mean the actual counter slogan to those that the GOP throw out there.

          There arent any. To the young voters, that’s a refusal to fight. Nobody is going to pick that kid for their team who just stands there and does nothing. They have to play, and that means offense AND defense. All the kids see from the dems is defense.

          The GOP have a playbook that’s well documented. File the outrageous lawsuit that doesn’t have a chance of winning, go overboard with a state law, outright lie about their opponents. It’s offense 24/7. And they do it knowing that the dems will do nothing on the same level to counter them. They own the news cycle every day.

          They TALK about it though! We’ve been hearing about the SDNY and all the lawsuits just waiting to happen the second trump left office for years. It’s been 10 months now. Nothing.

          The dems are just standing on the court and doing nothing. They don’t WANT to be in a war, so they pretend it isn’t happening. That the situation today is the same as what it was 20 years ago when they first came to office.

          It’s not.

          I fully expect Pelosi to appear soon and announce that they are staying the course and changing nothing. And that’s why the dems will continue to lose.

        • Rayne says:

          I have to say whoever these younger voters are you’re talking to are not like the two I raised. They can smell bullshit and see through sloganeering in the age of memes.

          At this point having let you vent your pent up spleen I’m going to point to Terri Kanefield’s thread from last night:

          What are you going to do to help change direction? Are you going out on your knees whining about “the dems (sic)” or on your feet fighting? Those are rhetorical questions. I don’t need more of your words here when the world needs action.

        • RWood says:

          Once again, missing the target.

          Your kids (and mine) are not who they should be aiming at. They should instead be targeting the gullible, misinformed, persuadable. The ones that DO NOT see through the BS. The dems need a physops campaign of their own to reach those people, but they refuse to do it.

          Why? Because their votes count just as much as your kids and mine do.

          Love how you assume I’m not doing anything, I’m doing plenty. The problem is that all I’m getting in return are deaf ears and no change. Again, the dems need a physops campaign of their own to reach those people, but they refuse to do it. They keep targeting voters they already have.

          Oh, and there’s this from WaPo, less than an hour since my last comment:

          11:57 a.m.
          McConnell points to election results as reason to halt social spending bill; Pelosi, Schumer signal they’ll plow ahead

        • Rayne says:

          Not missing anything except your continued whining as you literally amplify fucked up messaging centering that corrupt turtlehead.

          This is what’s happening while you’re pushing McConnell’s message for him with commercial media’s help:

          In short, Nancy said get fucked, Mitch.

        • RWood says:

          Great. Just needs some tweaks.

          First, erase her comment and replace it with the last three words of yours.

          Then make and distribute 70 Million hats that say “Get Fucked Mitch” on them.

          Then you might have the beginning of a psyops counter-campaign that reaches the people she needs to reach. THAT’S a democratic equivalent.

          A tweet to her followers? Seriously? Who did she reach with that? Not the 18-29-year-old demo, who only made up 10% of Virginia’s vote, that’s for sure.

          And that headline was from WaPo, not me, so not sure how I’m the one “elevating” it. And I’m not saying this to push your buttons here. I’m simply pointing out what I and many many others see in the hopes it will maybe change some things.

        • Rayne says:

          Look, I’m done being lectured by somebody who’s doing dick-doodley-squat except complaining, especially when your own state is a massive problem even bigger than Virginia. Go spend some time reading up on amplification of propaganda. Hasta.

        • Stephen Calhoun says:

          What are the democratic equivalents? Most common answer on MSNBC, “My new book!”

          My informed intuition is that Qanon/satan-believing evangelicals/racists/anti-vaxxers/stop-the-steal cultists/civil war II enthusiasts, are all unreachable.

          McAuliffe, his strategy, and his gaff lost a very close election in a state that has showcased a pattern of turning out incumbents. However, the tabs on the exit polling and detailed data about who sat home in comparison to 2020 will tell the decisive turnout tale about motivation. imo

        • P J Evans says:

          I suspect the farther right you look, the fewer people who read books that aren’t “Christian”. They’ll read FB posts, even when they contradict lived experience. And they’ll tell you that “the government wouldn’t let them say it if it wasn’t true” when you talk about the lies on TV and radio.

        • RWood says:

          “My informed intuition is that Qanon/satan-believing evangelicals/racists/anti-vaxxers/stop-the-steal cultists/civil war II enthusiasts, are all unreachable.”

          You are absolutely right, Stephen. The question to ask is how did they get that way?

          A psychological warfare operation is designed to accomplish one goal; convince a group of people to believe something that you wish them to believe. That’s pretty much it. They will then act on that belief with little prompting, especially if done so by a charismatic leader.

          There are two ways to go about it: you can convince them, or you can fool them.

          The GOP are doing the second while the Dems do a poor job of the first.

          If presented with the two options to accomplish the mission the savvy psyops warrior will ALWAYS pick the second. It’s just that much easier and if done properly the campaign will snowball on its own. People will go from believing someone wasn’t born where they say they were all the way up to traveling hundreds of miles to meet a guy that died two decades ago in the hopes he’ll be the next vice president. Once that level of programming is reached it is very hard to shut it down.

          The only way to defeat such a campaign is to equal its methods. To do so you first need to recognize that it is indeed happening, and then be willing to take the steps necessary to counter it on its own level.

          The Dems are refusing to even recognize that it’s happening, this after five years of it being in their face. The GOP however, has embraced these tactics and used them well.

          I don’t know who is on the team charged with defeating the GOP, but I would bet good money that not one of them is an ex-military psyops leader. I have seen not one tactic from that playbook (from the dem side) since this all began. I suspect that group is instead made up of “seasoned campaign operators”, each of them with an impressive resume and a rolodex that tests their phones memory capacity. They may even have a playbook that has a few wins attached to it, but not one of them is the right person for the fight they are in now. If they don’t know what’s at Building H-3350, they are not the person for the job.

          I imagine we’ll see some exit polling numbers surgically dissected and then lists made of what went wrong, and that’s fine, but I fully expect them to go right back to what they’ve been doing for the last several years soon after.

        • Sonso says:

          You, I think, are pointing at a very important layer of the onion of American politics. The racist divide is dominantly expressed in an urban/rural divide, although, like a brain tumor, there are many tentacles of racism in urban America. However, the latter has sufficient numbers of targeted persons to overwhelm the retrograde notions of the bigots. So, IMHO, this elections points to the further dis-integration of the nation, and is a Warning Sign (of things to come…Talking Heads).

  3. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    Bad news in the Minneapolis election, all the proposals to get the police back under some form of civilian control lost.

    And yes thanks for calling out the reflexive instinct of the same dems who have been failing in leadership positions for the past 20 years to blame progressives. Any other political party would have replaced the leadership long ago, but somehow they keep clinging on and bleeding the party’s electoral hopes dry.

    The NJ candidate ran a much more offense-oriented campaign and did much better.

    • Prairie Cynic says:

      Speaking from next door to Mpls, I think the “defund the police” proposal failed because a) it wasn’t clear about what it really meant, which b) let the opposition spread confusion and fear. With carjacking and shootings out of control, and general breakdown of order in the city, fear won out.

      On the other hand, the “strong mayor” proposal passed, which (it is thought) will make the police more responsive to the needs of the community, since their organization will now have a more clearly defined chain of command.

      Time will tell.

      • bmaz says:

        It failed because it was asinine. One of the dumbest slogan and political ploys in history. Add social welfare people into the equation? Sure but those kind of service agents will never go into hot situations without real police, nor should they.

        • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

          It was never the intention to replace armed agents of the state with social workers for hot situations, there was a lot of misinformation around the proposal. The cops here are basically already on a slow strike and showing up after the fact to take a report.

          People like George Floyd wouldn’t have armed white supremacists sent to them is the sort of change this proposal would have made.

        • bmaz says:

          I understand that. Still extremely ill fated and ill painted. Real change is needed, and the way this one was painted was very much not helpful.

    • Rayne says:

      That was pretty egregious bullshit, blaming feminism for the problems toxic masculinity created and for the rise of technology-based entertainment. He’s clearly got a problem with his own identity which we shouldn’t have to solve when when some of us simply want our full rights as humans.

      • Peterr says:

        He is speaking the language of folks in deep rural Missouri.

        Simple — and silly — example: There is a non-trivial number of Manly Men in southern Missouri who refuse to get a vaccine because they are Tough and so can fight off any pesky little virus that comes along. If a friend comes down with (or dies) of COVID, that’s simply proof that the friend was not Manly Enough.

        Writ large, these folks honestly believe that most of the problems of the world are the result of men not being manly enough, women being too forward, and Those People not knowing their place.

  4. Eureka says:

    Well you’ll love my anecdote in re (other ways) some dems aren’t thinking hard enough.

    PA is one of four states electing statewide judges today, and the only one with a superior/supreme on the ballot besides intermediate/appellate offices. Adding in the local/county-level races, today was about judges, judges, school boards, other local LE/offices, and more judges.

    So, judges. And we all know how much this mattered for 2020 (the initial rat-fuck attempts started in state, not fed, court), can only imagine the implications for 2022, 2024.

    Besides inter-party/multi-candidate contests, we had retention votes for several judges: Yes/No for ten more years. If no, the seat would go to open election (~mostly next year). All of the state-level retention judges are GOPers. So besides considering them as individuals on their merits and maturity, I also considered whether it was better to retain a given judge versus have one of LenLeo’s baby radicals take over the seat (and lock it down) for the next two presidentials [and then some — it’s not like House/Senate seats (state & fed, depending) and other races (SoS, etc.) will go quietly unmolested in this Era].

    All of this set up to say: when I discussed this with party reps, they had not even thought of this issue, much less of organizing a plan around it (tho they thought it was a great tactical approach to play it that way) (and it never occurred to me that they hadn’t thought of dealing with this). [As it stands, retention votes usually end up in the ‘yes’ column — lots of reasons, mainly due to passivity, lack of info, lack of opponentcy — they are labeled on the ballots here as nonpartisan, too, so even if folks wanted to use party-affiliation as a heuristic, it would require research. DYI. I’d take the bet that I probably spent a lot more time on this than average voter.]

    Refreshed tabs and *literally* “Just Now” an appellate race was called for the GOP…

    • Rayne says:

      The local party needs to print and deliver to their voters a voter’s guide of all the candidates endorsed by the party – including the non-partisan seats. We found when we did this that the non-partisan votes improved by as much as 11% in the precincts to which our voter guides were delivered. If Democratic voters don’t know who to vote for, they may not vote for those races.

      It’s also good for getting voters more engaged to have invitational forums where the non-partisan candidates can speak and answer questions, qualifying for local party endorsement with both participation and with completion of a survey as to where they stand on issues.

      • Eureka says:

        Yes, exactly — take steps like those. In fact, I discovered all of this in a “Hey, on second thought –” on the way out the polls. We’d chatted a bit before and I’d declined their flyer/guide having done my research, but picked up the convo afterwards out of curiosity as to how they’d handled all those seats. No mention at all, only to retain a local D. And I’m sure a lot of folks just skip voting for those choices, with the active-vote bias being “Yes” because incumbent / different nature of that part of the ballot.

        Also really weird — I just realized when you mentioned delivery (tho not necess via mail) that we got zero election mailers this year. That has never happened before, never. [Besides COVID, we very rarely get door-to-door anymore because “in the system” since the Obama canvassers (etc.), super microtargeted around here.] So ? if it’s in some DeJoy Dumpster or no one’s wasting postage on sure bets (from one pov) or longshots (from the other) anymore. So weird.

      • bg says:

        Our D party will not endorse in contested races in most cases, def not in primaries, though our Sr. Senator did endorse it seems. I don’t know if upsurge party members could do this, but it is a thought.

        • Rayne says:

          Not endorsement of partisan races. Endorsement *only* in non-partisan races. Judgeships here are non-partisan and we know which ones are Democrats but the general voting public who aren’t active in the party do not. Give the public a chance to hear them if they’re in non-partisan races for seats like dog catcher, parks commissioner, whatever, and then make the endorsement after reviewing both forums and their feedback on questionnaires. The questionnaire is a must for screening because n00bs running for the first time may not have prepared for questions from the public, and in some cases may be Trojan horse candidates trying to use party endorsement to win but intending to operate as a GOP/Libertarian once elected. Get them on written record and review carefully.

          The voter guides delivered to front doors also helped turnout as well as increased Democratic votes by several percent compared to previous elections, but the non-partisan portion of the ballot was where we saw the most improvement.

      • P J Evans says:

        It’s all but impossible to find information on local candidates, other than mayor/DA, here in L.A. – the League of Women Voters will cover some of the judges, but that’s about it.

    • Eureka says:

      I’m up waiting on these dribs and drabs but also news on my friend’s election. Never had such a decades-long close pal go for it and it’s been a long, optimistic day.

      Oh great. Started a positive feel-good note (we must take them when possible) and here’s Youngkin live…

      Anyway, there’s still promise for the future —

    • Eureka says:

      GOP is sweeping state-level judicial offices so far — Supreme Court (Ds retain majority, but longer-term implications), Superior Court (was R seat), and one of two Commonwealth Court . This is not (a) good (sign) for the future. [And nothing yet on the retention elections.]

      Once again in Pennsylvania, the only “campaigning” to be seen (in this case, for all of these judicial seats) was misleading GOP attack ads against the female* in the top race — Maria McLaughlin for Supreme Court — “disgraceful” ads for which her opponent was cited by the PA Bar and rewarded by voters with a win.

      Also speaks to some of the bigger-picture planning- and practice-shift I was getting at in first comment. Dems need strategy if there are to ever be more dems.

      *Hello Katie McGinty, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and those before and after, I remember …

  5. Eureka says:

    Meanwhile in NJ, Gov. Phil Murphy seeks to become the first reelected dem incumbent in 44 years. Thus far it’s a statistical tie; while Wasserman suggests that the incoming appears to favor Murphy, he’s only a hair’s breadth past equivocal at this point, citing too much uncertainty.

    Speaking of archetypal attack ads, from those shared over our border (common airwaves with So. Jersey), the main dark money approach seemed to be to recapitulate using dear, sweet Andy Kim (correct, he is not on the ballot) as a local foil. Barrages of ads, clustered at times not otherwise sensical to passing Biden’s BBB plan, demanding folks to tell Andy Kim they want nothing of “Nancy Pelosi’s socialist drug plan” [barely altered from 2020]. Of course I’m like ooh, what’s that? Never heard of it, sounds good for a civilized nation, a drug plan.

    But the point is to activate generalized gotv-terror by stoking contra- female, Asian, non-white, “socialist”, grab-bag antipathy through such ostensibly non-topical reminders.


    • harpie says:

      …another almost sleepless election night…
      can’t see that changing in my lifetime, at this point…

      • harpie says:

        Maybe should be just be content IF it does NOT change for the worse…
        … which is a definite possibility.

        • Eureka says:


          Yes, well…the whole ten-year horizon wrt the judges (above) got me thinking about the future. The now is bad enough that I’d rather gamble that a decade on is better (don’t see us getting this straightened out within a year, though all things are possible) — and if it’s not, then it’s a done deal (sensu longer/harder slog) anyway.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Any way to dig into election funding? We know that foreign funding is illegal, but we also have all sorts of dark money groups where we have plenty of evidence showing connections to Vlad and his friends, so can this onion be peeled?

      • Eureka says:

        As always, the question of the hour. That the intercontinental talking points are so aligned _almost_ makes the point moot (as American dollars would support the foreign enterprise) — but I’d like to know, and have opportunity to shut the shit down (they always make mistakes, even if more effort’s required to track and trace their labyrinths).

        • bmaz says:

          I would rather it had not, but alas. She is not what the national zeitgeist portrays. Incredibly bright and can, which she no longer does, be very personable. But has always been a complete climber, even if her current ladder seems bizarre. As she has climbed said ladder over the years, she and her inner circle have shrunk, and very hard to even talk to at this point.

      • madwand says:

        Just read it good post, but I’ve been getting that feeling for a time now, Sinema is a climber, probably no accident when she was interviewed a few months ago about Biden’s agenda and John Cornyn was at her side but edited out by reframing in most publications. So who knows where she will end up next.

  6. Bay State Librul says:

    Sparrow, who has run for President every year since1992, and by the way, has lost every election. has come up with some precious gems like
    “Socialist dream of a more just and equitable future. Conservatives long for the traditional past. There is no political movement that endorses the present.
    Warning to Dems – pass those bills now!
    Warning to DOJ – indict Trump now, fuck Bannon now. the coup is on going.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        I found Sparrow one day when he landed in my bird feeder (mail box) as a columnist for The Sun Magazine.
        The Sun Magazine, with their lineup of monthly interviews, essays, memoirs, true stories and poetry has kept me sane (?) over the last twenty years.
        I called my fantasy football team “The Sunbeams” in honor of their last pages which feature snippets from Thomas Merton, Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, and a whole slew of wild and crazy thinkers.
        As an aside, my team, after eight weekends, is 3-4-1

        • Eureka says:

          BSL, The Sun! It’s been some years — thank you for reminding me of an old friend with whom I need to get reacquainted.


      • Silly but True says:

        Sparrow is the professional moniker of eccentric NY performance artist, poet, and opinioneer — and perpetual US Presidential candidate — Michael Gorelick. He’s essentially a modern beatnik who’s managed some fame through social media.

        His wife, Violet Snow, wrote about the couple’s journey and reason for changing names:

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Here’s the final piece of bullshit I want to call out RTFN: Do NOT blame progressives for McAuliffe’s loss. Progressives have been busy trying to get Biden’s agenda passed. They are NOT to blame for the piss-ignorant intransigence of West Virginia’s corrupt Joe Manchin and Arizona’s kawaii con artist Kyrsten Sinema.

    Thank you. It is about the fifty GOP Senators who refuse to vote for legislation that would massively support their voters. It is about the media, which is dying for the clickbait income from mindless, ginned up controversies built on lies, which still refuses to call them lies. That is not being objective, it is defacto support for the rightwing. It is about an establishment that refuses to sufficiently back its progressives – often fighting them – and use their energy to get out the damn vote.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Did any of the courtier press corner the GQP Senators (and House members) to explain why as the self-proclaimed “party of the working man” they refuse to vote for any proposal like family leave, etc. that helped working people? I never saw it but maybe one of our lurkers has. Sinemanchin only has power because the GQP is a lockstep cult in a 50-50 Senate. I’m sure that observation will make Susan Collins furrow her brow in grave concern…

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Cincinnati mayoral victory is a big deal in conservative Hamilton County. And, yes, please media, stop asking comfortable white men and barbie doll blonds about what went wrong with this election cycle and how to do it better in 2022. Their appeal is more limited than the comfortable white producers and news readers imagine – it’s mostly that they look like them. But they and their views are not the answer. Ask the AOCs, the Bibbs, the Wus, the Purevals, and the Hammouds.

    • P J Evans says:

      And FFS stop asking conservative voters for advice. (Too many turn out to be GOP party officials.) They can’t speak for anyone but themselves.

  9. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne.
    Virginia voter. Here is my take on the reason Republicans won in Virginia.
    In Northern Virginia (1) a political FRENZY about Critical Race Theory; (2) a teen who committed sexual assault in a Virginia school bathroom; (3) GOP efforts to band Toni Morrison’s book Beloved and (4) the disagreement about masks and the vaccine mandate. Youngkin jumped on all four. He pulled enough votes in Northern Virginia and the Virginia Beach area to win.

    McAuliffe ran against the former occupant of the White House. Youngkin ran for state school/health issues engaging parents.



  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    “Youngkin offered the GOP across the country a template…” Yadda, yadda yadda. He offered closet racism, a millionaires’ row version of America, lies about his views and vicious neoliberal policies. He was just positive about it, with more success than the French generals in WWI, who offered attitude – “de l’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace” – instead of strategy and tactics.

    Among other things, Democrats need a two-prong strategy, which should guide their staffing. They need to relentlessly call out the GOP’s lies, their failed strategy of “whatever Trump says,” their willingness to let their constituents die rather than responsibly govern. They need to sell comparable upbeat, here’s what we will do for you energy, so well-demonstrated by Wu, Pureval, Hammoud and Bibb. A left and right punch instead of sticking their chin out.

    • Peterr says:

      Dems also need to jettison the 90s-era campaign strategy of triangulation that McAuliffe idolized back then and seemed wedded to during this campaign.

    • Peterr says:

      Dems need to speak like Amanda Gordon, not Terry McAuliffe. From back in January 2020:

      First, Gorman was unapologetically herself: young, African-American, articulate, and proud of all three. She did not cast herself as Maya Angelou or Robert Frost, two earlier inaugural poets. She spoke with the rhythms of rap that are the language of her generation and her community, embracing the whole heritage of Africans on this continent, and conscious of her power in this moment.

      Second, Gorman was unflinchingly honest. She spoke of the ugliness of our history at times, at the tragedies we have been through, and the reality of what is going on right now. There were no pious platitudes to paper over the pain that far too many have had to deal with for far too long.

      Most of all, Gorman was unimaginably hopeful. If she owned and possessed the four centuries of pain poured out on the Africans brought to this country in chains and their descendants who lived through slavery, official Jim Crow, and unofficial oppression, she also owned and possessed the strength that carried them through it all, forcing this country to slowly and painfully look at its past, decide to change, and actually make those changes begin to come to be.

      Gorman’s concluding words might well be spoken to all the Dems who are in the dumps about yesterday’s results, and all the Dems planning for next year’s races:

      But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
      it can never be permanently defeated.
      In this truth, in this faith we trust
      for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

      This is the era of just redemption.
      We feared it at its inception.
      We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,
      but within it, we found the power
      to author a new chapter,
      to offer hope and laughter
      to ourselves so while once we asked,
      how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
      Now we assert:
      how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

      We will not march back to what was,
      but move to what shall be
      a country that is bruised, but whole,
      benevolent, but bold,
      fierce, and free.
      We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation
      because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
      Our blunders become their burdens.
      But one thing is certain,
      if we merge mercy with might and might with right,
      then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

      Faced by a party determined to march back to what was (or what they imagine once was, in their rose-colored glasses of nostalgia), Dems have to move to what shall be.

      I know Amanda has announced her presidential candidacy for the 2036 race, but perhaps there might be some other race she’d like to enter before then. God knows we need more like her before 2036 rolls around.

    • Rayne says:

      First, operative words: “are considering” — the negotiations are ongoing and fluid.

      Framing is part of the problem. Are we willing to ‘buy’ drug price reductions even if limited for the entire country with tax breaks for much smaller number of wealthy individuals? What if those drugs included insulin at +$1000/month when 10% of the population (+34 million) is diabetic, while the number of people who’d get tax credits is much smaller AND could be revoked at a future date in a different bill with greater success?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Framing is a major problem, because that’s all most people see and probably all the media will cover. It will haunt Dems because the GOP will abuse its appearance, avoid its reality, and claim credit for benefits Republicans did not support.

        If the trade-off were per your hypothetical, it might be a good deal. As you say, the devil is in the detail. It would still have to be sold as such. If it has to be only eleven drugs, an odd choice open to ridicule, they should be the most expensive and commonly prescribed drugs. And fuck a four year delay, it’s indefensible. As we’ve seen, manufacturers will relentlessly jack up prices ahead of the deadline, with a net benefit to them for years.

  11. harpie says:

    [All via nycsouthpaw with a gritting teeth emoji]:

    1:38 AM · Nov 3, 2021 https://twitter.com/DecisionDeskHQ/status/1455771339801993217

    New Jersey Gubernatorial Election
    Murphy (D): 49.63% (1,170,102 votes)
    Ciattarelli (R): 49.62% (1,169,845votes)
    Estimated 87% in

    2:35 AM · Nov 3, 2021

    In #NJGov, Murphy’s on track to exceed the 1,203,110 votes he won in 2017 – good enough that year for a 13-point landslide.
    GOP turnout is up, that’s the story in VA and NJ.

    8:35 AM · Nov 3, 2021

    New Jersey Gubernatorial Election
    Murphy (D): 49.66% (1,178,445 votes)
    Ciattarelli (R): 49.60% (1,177,038 votes)
    Estimated >90% in

      • Eureka says:

        Other outlets are/were taking their time here: AP declared Murphy the winner just over hours ago (but Ciattarelli hasn’t yet conceded per the live updates I’m following).

        As to unclenching: scotch is the all-natural, holistic solution — or perhaps a fine pickled wine! #WholesomeBruxismGuards

  12. Frank Probst says:

    I’m a bit surprised that no one is talking about whether or not tearing down racist Confederate statues in Virginia led to increased white supremacist turnout. This was a demographic that was already set to have high voter turnout, and I think CRT just whipped them into even more of a frenzy.

    • Jenny says:

      The Fear Frenzy because beneath all ignorance and hate is fear. Frightened people fearful by what they don’t know or understand.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s an excellent question, but after the protests last year do you really think statues commemorating seditious white supremacists should have stayed up because of one election? The problem is that McAuliffe’s campaign wasn’t ready to address racism openly and head on in a state which is only 60% non-Hispanic white.

      • Rugger9 says:

        The statue issue might have been dressed up as “CRT” this time but I have zero doubt that the 2022 midterm cycle will be dealing with amped-up GQP types and the Ds have to counter.

        As noted elseweb, this is a clear signal to Ds that some things will need to change in their attitude toward elections, but as I noted above, the racism question has to be attacked head on. I do not know exactly how given our current communications framework, but the grip on messaging that the RWNM has remains a key part of the poutrages du jour getting traction without pushback.

        I don’t think the resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine is feasible given the ownership issue (i.e. the huge proportion of outlets that Sinclair media owns), nor do I see that it is possible to resurrect the market ownership rules in an internet environment that easily bypasses any local constraints. So, some ideas would be useful.

        In the mean time, turnout and excitement are key, and in the case of McAuliffe, we were looking at a party hack retread who spent his campaign in trying to triangulate instead of inspiring his voters. Turnout was actually higher than in the prior Governor’s race, but the swings were very unfavorable (see the First Draft article for some ones that stood out) and the youthful vote really didn’t go to the polls this time for the Ds.

        Bottom line, better progressive candidates and better messaging wins. Also, Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy (Hee-ya!!!) needs to be back in the playbook. One never knows when the GQP will find themselves in a bind due to some legal issue. Messaging also needs to include the clear fact now that apathy and complacency means GQP wins and we as a nation simply cannot afford too many more.

        • Jenny says:

          Spot on. Democrats lack messaging, CLEAR messaging.
          GOP stoke fear using attack messaging that resonates with individuals who have no sense of the self, looking for a fight.

        • Rayne says:

          You have no idea how many times I have thought of the 50-State Strategy in the last week. I will never forgive Tim Kaine and Debbie Wasserman Schultz for failing to use proven strategy to build the party’s reach.

        • bmaz says:

          And even more so, the Obama brain trust, such as it may have been, that decided to undo what was built and got them elected.

      • Frank Probst says:

        I thought the statues–along with the Confederate flags–should have come down a long time ago, and I don’t think they should have stayed up if it would have benefited the Dems in this election. I’m just wondering if there was an effect, and if so, how big it was.

        Pollsters can’t ask people, “Are you a white supremacist?” So you’re stuck with asking about critical race theory. I suspect that if they had asked a bunch of questions about those statues and flags and “Southern heritage”, they would have picked up a much clearer picture of what happened.

  13. gmoke says:

    Just as the Critical Race Theory was breaking into general public consciousness sometime ago, I had a Facebook interchange with a friend who was already talking about a little kid coming home and asking Mommy whether they were a bad person because they were “white.” This whole thing has been a propaganda effort from the very beginning and, I suspect, more well organized than we’d like to imagine.

    Sadly, Trevor Noah interviewed Rep Dan Crenshaw this week and he told that little kid story with the idea that CRT is all over k-12 everywhere and Noah did not push back one iota.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Speaking of bullshit, how about Joe Lieberman? I had thought Joltin’ Joe and left and gone away. But no, the 79-year old multi-millionaire, darling of a once Connecticut-based insurance industry, former Senator and mentor to a young Barack Obama, and former Democratic candidate for Vice President has a book to sell. So he’s making the rounds, like you do. Its title: “The Centrist Solution: How We Made Government Work and Can Make It Work Again.” In plainer English, it has the same title as a book by Al Franken, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.”

    You may recall Joe lost his last Senate primary as a Democrat and promptly ran as an independent – against the guy who beat him – and won. Not on his own, mind. Establishment Dems – who never allow progressives to primary a made politician, but are happy to support the reverse – helped him to victory over the progressive who is now Connecticut’s governor, Ned Lamont.

    In the Halloween spirit, I would say that Joe has returned from the dead to support Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, as they obstruct Joe Biden’s agenda. Except that that’s been Joe’s full-time job, since he left the Senate in 2014, as co-chair of infamous, well-financed, neoliberal dark money group, No Labels, frequent home to and generous supporter of conservadems.

    This is familiar territory for Joe. As a Senator, he helped Obama pass the ACA – but only after stripping out its public health insurance option. “I did oppose the public option because to me, it was an attempt to get the foot in the door for national health insurance, which I thought would compromise the quality of health care in America.” In plainer English, it would have been bad for Joe’s friends in the health insurance and drugs industries. As if millions of people not having affordable medical insurance or health care was somehow a boon to Americans, their economy, or “the quality of health care in America.” But bullshit is Joe’s specialty.


    • Eureka says:

      And speaking of triangulation and where that apex is located — in the neoliberal ether — “centrism” is hands-down the fumiest of gaslit concepts that we have to shatter and call by its names. Will Bunch had some pointed words about this recently, on how those (dems) called “centrists” are really fringe radicals working to sabotage even broadly popular (if we truly rather than by sleight wish to consider “the center” as a place) programs.

      As the press repeats this false frame, this category taken to mean ‘reasonableness’ but which is anything but, they hide the people, their motives, their acts, and long-games in its singularity (Wherefore art thou, Agency?). With RG Joe apparently still a good booking (what _striking_ timing to release a so-titled book), there’ll be a lot of legos to dump out on the floor and appraise.

      • P J Evans says:

        Lieberman and his associates need to be reminded, frequently, that most voters want the stuff Biden is proposing, so anyone claiming they’re representing voters needs to move a lot farther to the left.

        • Eureka says:

          You’re right and this is our central (pun & not) problem: Lieberman et al. don’t talk with voters, but _to_ (potential) voters, through interlocutors who’ll never challenge his & ilk’s moar-centrism-or-else narrative.

          Even if we had more MSM who’d take on these points, folks like him can still niche-pick ‘respectable’ outlets who’ll play along (I smell some steaming morning joe) …

        • Rayne says:

          You know, the timing of Lieberman’s book is curious. Ned Lamont’s up for re-election next year and the same pundits who’ve been annoying me about VA are clucking about the CT race, warning Lamont not to go too far left.

          It’s almost as if it was an organized strategy.

          Equally curious is the Working Families Party member who was re-elected to the Hartford Board of Education along with three new Democratic members who I believe ran as a slate, might be DSA-affiliated. Kind of wonder if the so-called centrists could see this coming and are getting panicky.

          EDIT: LOL, there was a group of former GOP who ran under a different centrist slate and they lost to the Dems and WFP incumbent. Yeah, sure, don’t go too far to the left. sksjsjskssksk

        • Eureka says:

          Oh, good points — fleshes the sketch towards why they’ve launched RG Joe now.

          Your CT-centric rundown here reminds me of some tweets I saw collecting a bunch* of new DSA/similar electeds and I noticed a ton peppered throughout the NE/ New England/ ~Upper Mid-Atlantic… places that are pretty similar for having a certain old-fashioned working-class(-adjacent, either in space or generationally) sensibility, etc. A damp (post-)industrial town thing that overlaps with general Rustbeltness / if you know you know kind of thing.

          Anyway these are in lots of cases/places the same type that the GOP’s fascist body is gong after.

          I envision a map showing left-dem wins overlain with dots for high-frequency Trumper astroturf events nearly overlapping or in adjacent, slightly more rural hinterlands (if not in twin-cities type of thing).

          And it’s the vacuous, unsatisfying neoliberalism that’s either driving people to these poles or making them susceptible to the guttural, race-maj-clinging rhetoric.

          So what’s up here, really?

          *I’ll see if I can relocate these: I figure you have most in your new post but I specifically recall something from Ithaca (NY) and other such places… brb…

          ETA: lol, username checks out (here and attached):

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