Jump to content
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

Political polarization: is it symmetrical?


Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

This is a great essay by Matt Yglesias.

https://www.slowboring.com/p/is-asymmetrical-polarization-real

(Tell me if it's paywalled and I'll quote it.)

I wanted to post it in an existing thread because that way I could just post the link without feeling like I should comment a bunch on it, but I don't see a thread that's apt, so I'll start this new one.

On the one hand, I think it's generally pretty accepted that the country has moved politically to the left in recent decades (and centuries). Common views on race, gay rights, and so on held today, even by conservatives, would have been super far left a few decades ago. Both parties have moved to the left on many (probably most, though not all) issues. If both parties have generally moved left, that means Republicans have moved toward the center while Democrats have moved away from the center. From that angle, it seems that Democrats are the ones becoming more polarized.

But that goes against the other commonly held view that it's the Republicans who've recently become more radicalized, what with QAnon and Trump and Charlottesville and other assorted craziness. Oh, and trying to overthrow the government. These are not centrist phenomena.

So what gives? Read the essay.

If you consider "center" to be a point in time or an actual thing you can define then I would agree - I'm not sure the former makes sense and I'm not sure the latter can be done.  I get your point but I'm not sure if moving away from a target (in this case the "center" politically) can be called polarization if not everyone agreed to the original target to begin with.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Yankee23Fan said:

Maybe.

I think it's driven by fear.  We are still in the midst of a hyper-speed change to society and cultural norms driven by technological advancements that will ultimately make life better in the macro sense, but they are micro-level problems and collateral damage that are inherent in any cultural shift of any significance.  Progress leaves people behind.  It always has.  Good governments and good people adapt quickly to it or revolutions and invasions force the adaptation.  Those that cling to the past ultimately get eviscerated and take others with them. 

As for the primacy of faith and family being a conservative bedrock..... meh.  I don't buy it. Maybe I did once.  But no longer. It's hard to see the various Christians in my life live a certain way Monday through Saturday and then put on a good show on Sunday.  I'm sure I'm guilty of it too.  Maybe if the American evangelical movement as a whole treated everyone the same on Monday that they talk about on Sunday I'd be willing to agree with you.  But we are fighting that impulse on a daily basis and it's tiring.  

As always, I dig your comments, but when has hypocrisy ever derailed revolutionary impulses in deed or thought? Simple bad acting while pledging fealty to lofty ideals does not disqualify the overriding tenets of faith and family (those lofty, generally conservative ideals) from being the impetuses of one's political engagement with the world.

if you're saying that people are acting out of a false consciousness, i.e., that they're not truly motivated by religious ends but rather a fear they don't recognize, then that's another thing entirely, and not something I'm fit to comment on. (I generally do not ascribe false consciousness and unrealized motive to actions. That's the only way in which I can make sense of the world. It may be a potentially limiting way of looking at things, I'll admit.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Yankee23Fan said:

I can't open it and my end-rounds.... eh, not in the mood.

Here you go.

Quote

Is asymmetrical polarization real?
Since the mid-aughts, both parties have mostly shifted left
Matthew Yglesias
Feb 17

If you’d asked me about political polarization five or maybe even three years ago, I would have hastily broken in to say that you have to keep in mind this is “asymmetrical polarization” we are looking at.

This is something that clearly popped out of Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal’s quantitative work on measuring congressional ideology with a system called DW-NOMINATE. The popularization of both DW-NOMINATE and the asymmetrical polarization framework was an important part of the Bush/Obama-era blogosphere (see this 2012 David Roberts post from Grist) which did a lot to bring cutting-edge political science research to a bigger audience. The basic idea here is that from Truman to Obama, Democrats only became slightly more liberal, and that was mostly just a function of purging southern conservatives from their ranks.

Republicans, by contrast, became far more right-wing.

chart

I still think this may have been a good description of the past of American politics, but I no longer think it does well to characterize current dynamics — and people who sympathize more with the Democratic Party owe it to themselves to be a little more self-critical about how well such a flattering finding holds up.

As I wrote in “Republicans’ Unhinged Moderation,” if you want to argue that the GOP is both crazier than the Democratic Party and also acting crazier than it did in the recent past, then I agree. But this increasingly loopy version of the Republican Party is also mostly more moderate on policy than the Bush-era incarnation, while the Democrats have become far more progressive.

Understanding this correctly strikes me as important both because it’s good to have true beliefs about the world but also because it poses certain political questions in a different light. Most notably, it seems to me that given how unhinged today’s Republicans are, it’s very important to beat them in elections — and a good way to do that would be to scale back on the asymmetrical movement leftward on policy.

There’s more to life than DW-NOMINATE

If you go back to the 110th Congress, DW-NOMINATE says that Ben Nelson was the most conservative Democratic senator, joined by Claire McCaskill, Evan Bayh, Blanche Lincoln, Jim Webb, Tom Carper, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, and Joe Lieberman in the top 10.

That’s the kind of mix of “mostly corresponds with what people say plus one counterintuitive finding about Tom Carper” that you like to see from quantitative social science. It also turns out that if you ask progressive activists about Tom Carper, they have a lot of complaints. The most left-wing senators were Bernie Sanders, Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, and Sherrod Brown.

But if you look at DW-NOMINATE scores for the 116th Congress, it says that on a scale where #1 is the most left-wing House member, Rashida Tlaib is #192. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is #208, Ilhan Omar is #184, and Ayanna Pressley is #175. It’s not that the algorithm doesn’t match our knowledge that these four members are a distinctive group of members of Congress — you can see on a graphical view that in a two-dimensional space, they cluster together in the middle of the Democratic caucus on the main ideological dimension but off as outliers on some hard-to-interpret second dimension.¹

chart

I believe I was a relatively early adopter among journalists in referring to DW-NOMINATE scores to assess politicians’ ideological position,² and I’m not a hater of this work.

But the fact that it gives the “wrong” answer about the widely-noticed emergence of a new bloc of leftist lawmakers is a pretty good sign that we shouldn’t solely rely on DW-NOMINATE to support our claims about polarization. Or at a minimum, if you want to do that then I’d also like to hear you saying the Squad is a dynamic new group of moderate Democrats and Kamala Harris is more left-wing than Bernie Sanders.

graphic

I don’t mean to further belabor the point — I’ve just come to think this is a clear case of a situation where we need to let qualitative judgment supersede what the scaling algorithm is telling us, rather than blindly accept the conclusion that Harris is a leftist, AOC is moderate, and the GOP has continued moving right faster than the Democrats have moved left.

The Overton Window is shifting left

I would say that far and away the best description of the past 15 years or so in American politics is that the Overton Window has gone to the left.

That’s most famously true on LGBTQ issues, where Barack Obama’s 2008-vintage position on marriage equality is now almost unimaginably right-wing, and the current debates about accommodating trans athletes were just not on the agenda. Even though people didn’t pay a ton of attention to it at the time, Obama abandoned his longstanding support for cutting Social Security benefits as part of a comprehensive deficit-reduction deal in June of 2016, and instead, he adopted the position that the program should become more generous. Hillary Clinton had already adopted that position earlier in the primary, and Donald Trump ran and won with a Social Security platform (no changes) that was to the left of Obama’s old position but to the right of his new one.

There’s been a similar move on Medicare, where Obama used to argue with Paul Ryan about whether the program needed small cuts (the left view) or huge cuts and privatization (the right view). Now, the debate ranges from no changes to Medicare for All, with Trump again positioned to Obama’s left.

Of course, it’s obviously not the case that every issue looks like that.

On guns, the parties are becoming more polarized in a straightforward sense — the NRA-endorsed, pro-gun Democrats are a thing of the past, but there are also no more moderate, suburban GOP members who’d support an assault weapons ban. On immigration, the restrictionist views that had long dominated the bulk of the Republican congressional caucus came to dominate the White House under Trump. Trump also adopted the trade policy positions that traditionally had been associated with congressional Democrats (but not the Obama or Clinton administrations), which prompted speculation that Democrats might become a free-trade party. Instead, Trump’s trade policies were mostly supported by Democrats in Congress, and the Biden administration does not seem inclined to make a clean break with them.

By contrast, it’s hard to come up with an issue where the Democrats have moved right since the Bush years. I’d maybe say taxes, where Obama campaigned on raising taxes for families earning over $250,000 a year (i.e., about $300,000 in today’s dollars) while Biden sets the threshold higher at $400,000. On the other hand, in terms of share of GDP raised, the Biden tax plan would be the largest tax increase since 1968. The fact that it’s also structured to be super-progressive arguably makes it more left-wing rather than less. At a minimum, the context of Biden’s proposed tax increases is that they’re all designed to finance new social programs while Obama and Bill Clinton were proposing them as part of deficit reduction packages.

More to the point, when liberals freak out about the GOP these days, they’re mostly not talking about policy at all. It’s not like Trump invaded a medium-sized country on false pretenses, ran a global network of secret torture prisons, or was caught running a huge illegal surveillance program.

Republicans are a lot nuttier

As I covered in “Republicans’ Unhinged Moderation,” the flipside of all this is that today’s Republicans seem dangerous and authoritarian.

It’s not just that Trump did bad tweets or failed to comport himself with dignity. Over the weekend, Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for Texas in light of the freezing weather and the ensuing chaos in the state. Up until a few years ago, that would have been totally unremarkable. But Trump dragged his feet on delivering emergency aid to California during their wildfire emergencies, seemingly on the grounds that California is a safe blue state, so why should he care about them? It happens to be the case that Kevin McCarthy, the Republicans’ House leader, is also from California and was able to intervene.

Trump installed a series of political hacks to serve as Director of National Intelligence. He put his unqualified son-in-law in charge of important areas of national policy. He used his hotels and clubs to openly profit from the presidency. He doled out pardons to political allies outside the Office of the Pardon Attorney process. He refused to release duly appropriated aid money for Ukraine unless the Ukrainian government would help him with his re-election campaign. And after he lost the election, he and many other Republican Party leaders told people the election had been illegally stolen and encouraged a mob to gather, which eventually stormed the Capitol building.

The part of this that created a literal threat to the lives of congressional Republicans did provoke a fair amount of intra-party criticism, but ultimately the vast majority of his party opted for impunity. When Trump’s misconduct didn’t affect them personally, they mostly supported it.

Chris Hayes’ headline “The Republican Party is Radicalizing Against Democracy” is pretty dramatic, but I don’t think he’s wrong. And it’s not just Trump and the plot to steal the election. We saw in North Carolina in 2016 and then again in Wisconsin in 2018 that after losing statewide elections, Republicans responded by having lame-duck governors and heavily gerrymandered state legislatures change the rules to reassign power away from the winnable governors’ races and toward legislatures, where lines have been drawn so that Democrats need 55% of the vote to score a bare majority.

It seems to me that we are closer than is generally recognized to Republicans having one decent election where they get 50% of the vote and then entrenching permanent minority rule. But that, in some ways, only makes the Democrats’ leftward drift more puzzling.

Democrats should try harder to win

Biden won the 2020 primary rather easily as the most moderate candidate in the race. Nonetheless, he was very much a part of the overall leftward trajectory of the party.

On the nexus of fiscal policy and entitlement spending, I think he moved left for good reason — the real problem was Obama sticking with fiscal priorities that were more appropriate for the circumstances of the 1990s than for the 21st century era of low-interest rates. But on some other issues, I’m not sure. Throughout his career as a senator, Biden was always a supporter of the Hyde Amendment ban on federal funding of abortion services. Obama, a more modern Democrat who represented a blue state, was not. But as president, he ended up embracing the Hyde Amendment to get the Affordable Care Act through Congress.

Biden changed his Hyde Amendment view during the 2020 primary campaign — by most accounts in the face of a revolt from his own staff — thus adopting a position that is much less popular than his old one.

I think feminist groups are absolutely correct on this, and Medicaid and hypothetical future government health programs should fund abortion services. But whether Biden takes that position or not, it’s nowhere near happening legislatively. And it’s very unpopular. Also, the Republican Party is radicalizing against democracy, so I think Democrats should try really hard to win elections and put themselves in a position to redress the gerrymandering, ballot access issues, and Senate malapportionment that have left us on the brink of catastrophe. That means adopting popular positions rather than unpopular ones and broadening the tent rather than narrowing it.

Here’s a part of Democrats’ 2008 platform on immigration:

Quote

We cannot continue to allow people to enter the United States undetected, undocumented, and unchecked. The American people are a welcoming and generous people, but those who enter our country's borders illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of the law. We need to secure our borders, and support additional personnel, infrastructure, and technology on the border and at our ports of entry. We need additional Customs and Border Protection agents equipped with better technology and real-time intelligence. We need to dismantle human smuggling organizations, combating the crime associated with this trade. We also need to do more to promote economic development in migrant-sending nations, to reduce incentives to come to the United States illegally. And we need to crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It's a problem when we only enforce our laws against the immigrants themselves, with raids that are ineffective, tear apart families, and leave people detained without adequate access to counsel. We realize that employers need a method to verify whether their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States, and we will ensure that our system is accurate, fair to legal workers, safeguards people's privacy, and cannot be used to discriminate against workers.

Given the budget changes over the past 12 years, I seriously don’t think there’s a particularly strong case for increasing the CBP budget. But this paragraph is not really a policy statement at all. It's a statement that — sandwiched in the middle of a policy agenda that features a path to citizenship for the undocumented — tries to tell the people who worry about illegal immigration that Democrats are listening to them and hear their concerns.

Obama, in his book “The Audacity of Hope,” likewise took a strong position in favor of a path to citizenship and then took some time out to pander to people who disagree with him. He explained that “in the past, immigration occurred on America’s terms,” whereas:

Quote

Today it seems those terms no longer apply. Immigrants are entering as a result of a porous border rather than any systematic government policy; Mexico’s proximity, as well as the desperate poverty of so many of its people, suggests the possibility that border crossing cannot even be slowed, much less stopped. Satellites, calling cards, and wire transfers as well as the sheer size of the burgeoning Latino market, make it easier for today’s immigrant to maintain linguistic and cultural ties to the land of his or her birth (the Spanish-language Univision now boasts the highest-rated newscast in Chicago). Native-born Americans suspect that it is they, and not the immigrant, who are being forced to adapt. In this way, the immigration debate comes to signify not a loss of jobs but a loss of sovereignty, just one more example — like September 11, avian flu, computer viruses, and factories moving to China — that America seems unable to control its own destiny.

This is like 80% bull####, but it worked! I think in his post-presidency, Obama has gotten a bit precious in his description of how he managed to win Iowa and Ohio twice and why those states have shifted right subsequently. It’s not just that he showed up and listened respectfully or that the media climate was different. He pandered to the actual views of the voters there — bending over backward to flatter his audience that their xenophobic fears were reasonable. Freaking out about Hispanic immigration? Never fear, says Obama, you’re nothing like the deranged bigots who freaked out when your grandparents came over from Poland.

It’s politics!

Make polarization asymmetrical again

There is more to life than just pandering and trying to be popular.

Most of all, when it comes to addressing the intersecting short-term public health and economic crises, the most important thing is to do stuff that works. A speedy vaccine rollout and a speedy return to full employment are the best politics there is, regardless of how the specific elements poll.

Then beyond that, there is an urgent practical need to find ways to adopt anti-gerrymandering legislation, to admit new states, and to at least hedge against the possibility of a rogue Supreme Court undermining democratic governance.

But if you’re not directly addressing the urgent crises or advancing American democracy, then yeah, I really do kinda think you should only do popular stuff. There’s an old saying that “to defend everything is to defend nothing.” I often feel like today’s progressives want to say that every issue is the subject of transcendent moral urgency. And in some sense that’s true — these are all vitally important life or death issues. But if you treat every issue as transcendently important, then you’re really treating nothing as actually important.

By contrast, I think Republican Party anti-democratic radicalization is a real thing and super important. It’s important to beat them in a few elections in a row so their component interest groups get sad and try to force some more discipline on elected officials to make the party more electable. And it’s important to level the playing field so that Republicans need 50%+1 to win, not 47%. Everything else kind of takes a back seat.

That’s not to say you can’t do anything. There’s tons of useful clean energy stuff that’s popular. There are ways to make health care cheaper that are popular. DREAMer stuff is popular. Raising the minimum wage is popular. Trimming your sails and avoiding unpopular stuff isn’t about giving up on making progress, it’s about focusing your efforts on actually making progress where it’s politically possible. It’s about trying to make sure that the polarization really is asymmetrical and that the other guys are left holding the bag of unpopular positions. Liberals find Trump so abhorrent that they generally refuse to recognize that the Trump-era GOP decisively pivoted to the center to ameliorate huge electoral vulnerabilities on several key issues.

Democrats probably don’t need to do anything as drastic as abandoning long-held conservative orthodoxy on Social Security, Medicare, trade, and marriage equality. They probably don’t even need to pander to immigrant-hating racists as much as Obama did. But you can pander a little! Kamala Harris could make fun of the San Francisco School Board. Catherine Cortez Masto could say that children and grandchildren of immigrants don’t believe America is as rotten and racist as leftists say. Joe Biden could do an event with police chiefs and talk about the state and local funding in his COVID-19 relief bill.

________
1. There’s a period in American history where vote counts have a clear two-dimensional quality that also has a clear ideological interpretation — there’s a left-wing conflict over economic policy that’s somewhat separate from the conflict over race and civil rights issues.

2. Traditionally journalists would look at scorecards given by groups like the American Conservative Union (right) and Americans for Democratic Action (left) but since these are based on scoring just a handful of votes, DW-Nominate lets you make more fine-grained measurements.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Yankee23Fan said:

As for the primacy of faith and family being a conservative bedrock..... meh.  I don't buy it. Maybe I did once.  But no longer. It's hard to see the various Christians in my life live a certain way Monday through Saturday and then put on a good show on Sunday.  I'm sure I'm guilty of it too.  Maybe if the American evangelical movement as a whole treated everyone the same on Monday that they talk about on Sunday I'd be willing to agree with you.  But we are fighting that impulse on a daily basis and it's tiring.  

Conservatives have moved to the left regarding their beliefs on family. There was a time when conservatives practically shunned those who were divorced, or who were gay or transgender. Now, those things are tolerated if not embraced.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rockaction said:

As always, I dig your comments, but when has hypocrisy ever derailed revolutionary impulses in deed or thought? Simple bad acting while pledging fealty to lofty ideals does not disqualify the overriding tenets of faith and family (those lofty, generally conservative ideals) from being the impetuses of one's political engagement with the world.

if you're saying that people are acting out of a false consciousness, i.e., that they're not truly motivated by religious ends but rather a fear they don't recognize, then that's another thing entirely, and not something I'm fit to comment on. (I generally do not ascribe false consciousness and unrealized motive to actions. That's the only way in which I can make sense of the world. It may be a potentially limiting way of looking at things, I'll admit.)

I might be saying that (your second paragraph). I'll have to think on it.  My push back is on faith and family being conservative ideals.  I think they were conveniently used though not dogmatically applied.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

If that rhetoric is appealing then why is it not winning?  Even if exclusively among democrats?   Sure you'll point to a few exceptions that hold office or sell products via hosting political opinion shows, but those are just proving Tim's rule.  (Of course I find none of these example actually extreme (at least in most common usage - again exception prove the rule), even if to the masses they sound extreme and are bad marketing.)  

This is always a valid question but I think it's comes down to perception.  Because person A of the GOP is obsessed with person B of the Dems, they MUST be representative of what ALL Dems think, otherwise, why would they be obsessed?  It seems to be a vicious circle.  That HAS to be representative of what the Dems stand for otherwise the obsession is just weird and bizarre.  Of course this applies the other way too.  I don't, for a second, think Trump is representative of what the GOP was prior to his being elected.  Is it moving in that direction?  Yes...with every person who jumps ship from the GOP, it becomes more Trump-like, but I don't think for a second that those jumping ship are eagerly waiting for the Dems to swoop them up.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2021 at 1:36 PM, Sea Duck said:

Conservatives have moved to the left regarding their beliefs on family. There was a time when conservatives practically shunned those who were divorced, or who were gay or transgender. Now, those things are tolerated if not embraced.

fair point, but did they move left, or did the center (tolerance) move right?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, joffer said:
On 2/17/2021 at 11:36 AM, Sea Duck said:

Conservatives have moved to the left regarding their beliefs on family. There was a time when conservatives practically shunned those who were divorced, or who were gay or transgender. Now, those things are tolerated if not embraced.

fair point, but did they move left, or did the center (tolerance) move right?

Seems like both sides have moved leftward on social issues. Today's average conservatives have social views similar to the average liberal of ~60 years ago, while today's liberals have social views similar to Caligula.

  • Laughing 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, joffer said:

fair point, but did they move left, or did the center (tolerance) move right?

Depends on the matter at hand. The pragmatic middle isn't represented regardless though. Cause that isn't who we as a country are anymore. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2021 at 10:09 AM, Maurile Tremblay said:

This is a great essay by Matt Yglesias.

https://www.slowboring.com/p/is-asymmetrical-polarization-real

Edit: Quoted here.

I wanted to post it in an existing thread because that way I could just post the link without feeling like I should comment a bunch on it, but I don't see a thread that's apt, so I'll start this new one.

On the one hand, I think it's generally pretty accepted that the country has moved politically to the left in recent decades (and centuries). Common views on race, gay rights, and so on held today, even by conservatives, would have been super far left a few decades ago. Both parties have moved to the left on many (probably most, though not all) issues. If both parties have generally moved left, that means Republicans have moved toward the center while Democrats have moved away from the center. From that angle, it seems that Democrats are the ones driving greater polarization.

But that goes against the other commonly held view that it's the Republicans who've recently become more radicalized, what with QAnon and Trump and Charlottesville and other assorted craziness. Oh, and trying to overthrow the government. These are not centrist phenomena.

So what gives? Read the essay.

Commonly held in Liberal circles maybe.  Qanon and Charlottesville constitute very low numbers and are insignificant in my opinion.  There are far more numbers of radicalized people on the Left in Antifa and BLM. You just need to look at the size of the protests to see that reality.

The Trump phenomenon is a bit more complex and hard to define. Some of his policies do not even fit within the traditional definition of the Right.  In the 80’s and 90’s America First and protectionism would be viewed as hard Left.  Trump belongs to Populism more than the Right IMO.

I’ve always said that Trump’s rise was a response to the sharp left turn the country had taken - mostly in the areas of media and higher education. That phenomenon is not changing anytime soon, and more recently there is the new concern about Big Tech being too far Left.  Those things are the source of polarization in today’s America. Until some level of ideological diversity exists in those institutions the polarization problem in America isn’t going to get better.

  • Like 2
  • Laughing 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Say what? You must be kidding.

I disagree with you, Leroy. Protectionism would be a left-wing thing back then. America First wouldn't be in terms of foreign policy, but I don't think ekbeats is talking about foreign policy, he's talking about trade. Free trade was the mantle of the right back then. The left was against it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, rockaction said:

I disagree with you, Leroy. Protectionism would be a left-wing thing back then. America First wouldn't be in terms of foreign policy, but I don't think ekbeats is talking about foreign policy, he's talking about trade. Free trade was the mantle of the right back then. The left was against it.

Clinton voted for nafta, right?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Clinton voted for nafta, right?

Yeah, but I'm thinking '70s and '80s, not nineties. Clinton would be perceived as dyed-in-the-wool Republican today given his foreign policy, welfare policies, and trade legislation. He's also an aberration. Notice Joe hasn't rolled back almost any of the tariffs or trade policy we adopted under Trump. That's telling.

Edited by rockaction
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, rockaction said:

Yeah, but I'm thinking '70s and '80s, not nineties. Clinton would be perceived as dyed-in-the-wool Republican today given his foreign policy, welfare policies, and trade legislation.

Ok, just wanted to get the timelines right. Just read about how racist the "democrat party" is/was. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Ok, just wanted to get the timelines right. Just read about how racist the "democrat party" is/was. 

ekbeats did say '90s, I guess. I missed that. Clinton did diverge from his own party, though, IIRC. Republicans voted for NAFTA at a 132-43 clip, while Democrats opposed at a 102-156 vote. It's pretty telling. Organized labor was generally against the agreement.

Interesting factoid: When Trump got into office and criticized NAFTA, support for it among Republicans dropped ten percentage points, while its popularity soared about 40 percentage points with Democrats.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry guys - should have been more specific.   Was thinking of the Reagan and Bush years do up until 92.  Yes Clinton did change that dynamic with NAFTA.  My Union Father in law reminds me of it all the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, rockaction said:

Yeah, but I'm thinking '70s and '80s, not nineties. Clinton would be perceived as dyed-in-the-wool Republican today given his foreign policy, welfare policies, and trade legislation. He's also an aberration. Notice Joe hasn't rolled back almost any of the tariffs or trade policy we adopted under Trump. That's telling.

Genuine question....what do you think it tells us?  If there's one set of talking points that makes little to no sense in terms of trump vs biden, it's the "biden in bed with china" fear mongering.  I have some views on this, but those 30 second talking points by many here (not you) are pretty inconsistent and illogical.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, ekbeats said:

Commonly held in Liberal circles maybe.  Qanon and Charlottesville constitute very low numbers and are insignificant in my opinion.  There are far more numbers of radicalized people on the Left in Antifa and BLM. You just need to look at the size of the protests to see that reality.

The Trump phenomenon is a bit more complex and hard to define. Some of his policies do not even fit within the traditional definition of the Right.  In the 80’s and 90’s America First and protectionism would be viewed as hard Left.  Trump belongs to Populism more than the Right IMO.

I’ve always said that Trump’s rise was a response to the sharp left turn the country had taken - mostly in the areas of media and higher education. That phenomenon is not changing anytime soon, and more recently there is the new concern about Big Tech being too far Left.  Those things are the source of polarization in today’s America. Until some level of ideological diversity exists in those institutions the polarization problem in America isn’t going to get better.

The numbers on violence over the past 10 years or so suggest this is wrong.   And we saw it with the Michigan plot with their governor and again on January 6th.  Steps quite a bit past what the left has done.  More info here

Yes...the size of those protests (key word in talking about the protests vs the rioting) was much bigger this summer.  Do you think that may be because the cause was a bit more justified than the lies about the election?  Vs how radical the side is?  Those protests brought together a lot of different people because of years of injustices.

The fact that Qanon has believers in congress spouting the lies suggest this is wrong.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Genuine question....what do you think it tells us?  If there's one set of talking points that makes little to no sense in terms of trump vs biden, it's the "biden in bed with china" fear mongering.  I have some views on this, but those 30 second talking points by many here (not you) are pretty inconsistent and illogical.  

It tells us that the Democratic Party still owes a lot to organized labor and isn't about to relinquish a voting block like that. One would think that now the Republican Party has made inroads to these traditionally Democratic voters -- especially those people in the "Rust Belt" --  that it would behoove Democrats to adopt trade policies that purport to benefit their once near-monolithic bloc of labor-first voters rather than supporting free trade agreements that are perceived as harmful to labor. That's really all. As for the Biden in bed with China charge, you've got it 180'd: The charge of "Biden is in bed with China" is not inconsistent at all. It means that Republicans are charging him for the cheap Chinese exports from cheap Chinese labor that come at a perceived cost to American manufacturing and American labor. It's a nod by Trump to the working class again and the Republican Party is following suit. That Biden hasn't reversed the policy is no matter. They're just trying to paint him with a broad brush. It's politicking, nothing else. 

What the non-reversal of Trump's tariffs and policies really shows me, at a macro level, is how important those voters still are and that they still have a say in international economic policy. That's what it shows me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

The numbers on violence over the past 10 years or so suggest this is wrong.   And we saw it with the Michigan plot with their governor and again on January 6th.  Steps quite a bit past what the left has done.  More info here

Yes...the size of those protests (key word in talking about the protests vs the rioting) was much bigger this summer.  Do you think that may be because the cause was a bit more justified than the lies about the election?  Vs how radical the side is?  Those protests brought together a lot of different people because of years of injustices.

The fact that Qanon has believers in congress spouting the lies suggest this is wrong.

 

So when one dude commits violence and property damage it’s “rioting” but when the other side does it it’s a “protest”?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ekbeats said:

So when one dude commits violence and property damage it’s “rioting” but when the other side does it it’s a “protest”?

No...nowhere did anything in my comment state that.

The bolded (differentiating between the protests and the riots) was to understand that the number rioting was also much smaller than those protesting.  Do you agree with that?  Just as the number that went into the Capitol was smaller than those there to protest earlier.

Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, rockaction said:

It tells us that the Democratic Party still owes a lot to organized labor and isn't about to relinquish a voting block like that. One would think that now the Republican Party has made inroads to these traditionally Democratic voters -- especially those people in the "Rust Belt" --  that it would behoove Democrats to adopt trade policies that purport to benefit their once near-monolithic bloc of labor-first voters rather than supporting free trade agreements that are perceived as harmful to labor. That's really all. As for the Biden in bed with China charge, you've got it 180'd: The charge of "Biden is in bed with China" is not inconsistent at all. It means that Republicans are charging him for the cheap Chinese exports from cheap Chinese labor that come at a perceived cost to American manufacturing and American labor. It's a nod by Trump to the working class again and the Republican Party is following suit. That Biden hasn't reversed the policy is no matter. They're just trying to paint him with a broad brush. It's politicking, nothing else. 

What the non-reversal of Trump's tariffs and policies really shows me, at a macro level, is how important those voters still are and that they still have a say in international economic policy. That's what it shows me.

Interesting...thanks.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Interesting...thanks.

Thanks for asking. Gave me a chance to flesh it out a bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rockaction said:

that it would behoove Democrats to adopt trade policies that purport to benefit their once near-monolithic bloc of labor-first voters rather than supporting free trade agreements that are perceived as harmful to labor.

A few points: 1) that monolithic bloc of labor first voters has been broken, particularly as it relates to white people without a college education. 2) There are more non-organized labor voters than there are voters affiliated with organized labor.  Perhaps the Democrats plan is to sway those voters to their side that were once GOP voters (read: suburban professionals) who have rejected Trump.

Interesting times.

FWIW, Biden's lack of movement on rescinding the tariffs on China is blunder.  He should be walking them back slowly and trying to gain modest concessions from China.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

A few points: 1) that monolithic bloc of labor first voters has been broken, particularly as it relates to white people without a college education. 2) There are more non-organized labor voters than there are voters affiliated with organized labor.  Perhaps the Democrats plan is to sway those voters to their side that were once GOP voters (read: suburban professionals) who have rejected Trump.

Interesting times.

FWIW, Biden's lack of movement on rescinding the tariffs on China is blunder.  He should be walking them back slowly and trying to gain modest concessions from China.

I totally agree with points one and two. I was generalizing. The split along identity and education lines is now very apparent, and laborers are not altogether organized. As for the Democrats' plan, if they're courting suburban voters to leave the GOP (which they are) then keeping tariffs on China is a serious blunder.

Regarding labor, the Democrats still are somewhat beholden to the SEIU. That's really the labor force that still votes in Democratic waves, hence me singling out manufacturing. It's all a very fragile fault line to traverse for both parties and should be interesting to see how it shakes out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sho nuff said:

No...nowhere did anything in my comment state that.

The bolded (differentiating between the protests and the riots) was to understand that the number rioting was also much smaller than those protesting.  Do you agree with that?  Just as the number that went into the Capitol was smaller than those there to protest earlier.

Yeah I agree with that.  Do you agree that the property damage and violence in 2020 was worse on the Left?

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, ekbeats said:

Yeah I agree with that.  Do you agree that the property damage and violence in 2020 was worse on the Left?

Yes...with the caveat that quite a bit of damage caused by opportunists (not sure how political some of the biggest agitators really were) vs “the left”. But certainly plenty of the left still in there as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting bit on 60 Minutes last night about Qanon.  Made it sound like it was more widespread than I thought.  Will have to look at it in more detail.  It's so bizarre that people believe some of that stuff.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ekbeats said:

Interesting bit on 60 Minutes last night about Qanon.  Made it sound like it was more widespread than I thought.  Will have to look at it in more detail.  It's so bizarre that people believe some of that stuff.

Just the Wiki page itself is something.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ekbeats said:

Interesting bit on 60 Minutes last night about Qanon.  Made it sound like it was more widespread than I thought.  Will have to look at it in more detail.  It's so bizarre that people believe some of that stuff.

Not really interesting, but completely expected.  It would be more interesting if they would look into Antifa and other leftwing conspiracists the same way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

Not really interesting, but completely expected.  It would be more interesting if they would look into Antifa and other leftwing conspiracists the same way.

How do you investigate an idea?  I mean, all those ideas that burned down neighborhoods, murdered and assaulted citizens and looted businesses were just ideas.

  • Laughing 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Just the Wiki page itself is something.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon

"Although American in origin, there is now a considerable QAnon movement outside of the United States, including in the United Kingdom and France since 2020, with a 'particularly strong and growing' movement in Germany and Japan. Japanese QAnon adherents are also known as 'JAnon' (Japanese: Jアノン)."

My goodness.

That Wikipedia page is about 20 times as long as it was when I last looked at it maybe a year ago.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ekbeats said:

Interesting bit on 60 Minutes last night about Qanon.  Made it sound like it was more widespread than I thought.  Will have to look at it in more detail.  It's so bizarre that people believe some of that stuff.

I'll have to watch 60 min for this thanks.  It wouldn't surprise me if it is, Social media is such a breeding ground for this.  A lot of my friends from school are all caught up in this, never would have guessed.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

This interview with David Shor is worth your time:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/03/david-shor-2020-democrats-autopsy-hispanic-vote-midterms-trump-gop.html

It's packed full of good insights.

On (white) Democrats contributing to increased ideological polarization (driving conservative blacks and Hispanics to vote Republican):

"Over the last four years, white liberals have become a larger and larger share of the Democratic Party. There’s a narrative on the left that the Democrats’ growing reliance on college-educated whites is pulling the party to the right (Matt Karp had an essay on this recently). But I think that’s wrong. Highly educated people tend to have more ideologically coherent and extreme views than working-class ones. We see this in issue polling and ideological self-identification. College-educated voters are way less likely to identify as moderate. So as Democrats have traded non-college-educated voters for college-educated ones, white liberals’ share of voice and clout in the Democratic Party has gone up. And since white voters are sorting on ideology more than nonwhite voters, we’ve ended up in a situation where white liberals are more left wing than Black and Hispanic Democrats on pretty much every issue: taxes, health care, policing, and even on racial issues or various measures of 'racial resentment.' So as white liberals increasingly define the party’s image and messaging, that’s going to turn off nonwhite conservative Democrats and push them against us."

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

This interview with David Shor is worth your time:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/03/david-shor-2020-democrats-autopsy-hispanic-vote-midterms-trump-gop.html

It's packed full of good insights.

On (white) Democrats contributing to increased ideological polarization (driving conservative blacks and Hispanics to vote Republican):

"Over the last four years, white liberals have become a larger and larger share of the Democratic Party. There’s a narrative on the left that the Democrats’ growing reliance on college-educated whites is pulling the party to the right (Matt Karp had an essay on this recently). But I think that’s wrong. Highly educated people tend to have more ideologically coherent and extreme views than working-class ones. We see this in issue polling and ideological self-identification. College-educated voters are way less likely to identify as moderate. So as Democrats have traded non-college-educated voters for college-educated ones, white liberals’ share of voice and clout in the Democratic Party has gone up. And since white voters are sorting on ideology more than nonwhite voters, we’ve ended up in a situation where white liberals are more left wing than Black and Hispanic Democrats on pretty much every issue: taxes, health care, policing, and even on racial issues or various measures of “racial resentment.” So as white liberals increasingly define the party’s image and messaging, that’s going to turn off nonwhite conservative Democrats and push them against us."

Had a similar thought along these lines in 2018 when I was watching the politics of this state (had been here just a year at that point).  There was zero nuance in the messaging towards hispanics here.  They were definitely seen as a monolith and said at that time it was a mistake.  It didn't get much better between 2018 and 2020 either.  It's my assertion that if they make that adjustment and stop with the generalizations, they can make significant gains in this state.  They have to do that work though and stop mailing it in.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Good read.

Quote

But historically, Democrats have won nonwhite conservatives, often by very large margins. What happened in 2020 is that nonwhite conservatives voted for Republicans at higher rates; they started voting more like white conservatives.

This would be fantastic news IMO.  The political thing I worry about most right now is winding up with a two party system where one party is the "white" party and the other party is the "nonwhite" party.  Ideological polarization is one thing, but racial polarization is super worse and totally unhealthy for any kind of functionally liberal society.  If the conservative party can attract a decent number of black and hispanic folks (and other minority groups of course) maybe that helps them tone down the whole white nationalism thing in the interest of coalition building.

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/4/2021 at 1:31 PM, IvanKaramazov said:

This would be fantastic news IMO.  The political thing I worry about most right now is winding up with a two party system where one party is the "white" party and the other party is the "nonwhite" party.  Ideological polarization is one thing, but racial polarization is super worse and totally unhealthy for any kind of functionally liberal society.  If the conservative party can attract a decent number of black and hispanic folks (and other minority groups of course) maybe that helps them tone down the whole white nationalism thing in the interest of coalition building.

This is a bit of a chicken or the egg problem, but I think most of us are rooting for this scenario vs the alternatives.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/4/2021 at 12:31 PM, IvanKaramazov said:

Good read.

This would be fantastic news IMO.  The political thing I worry about most right now is winding up with a two party system where one party is the "white" party and the other party is the "nonwhite" party.  Ideological polarization is one thing, but racial polarization is super worse and totally unhealthy for any kind of functionally liberal society.  If the conservative party can attract a decent number of black and hispanic folks (and other minority groups of course) maybe that helps them tone down the whole white nationalism thing in the interest of coalition building.

Along these lines, I'm kind of hoping that education polarization eventually leads the GOP to cool it with the voter suppression stuff. College-educated folks are way more likely to vote, especially in low-turnout elections like midterms/runoffs/etc., and it's in those elections that Democrats have been most successful recently. At what point do Republicans decide that it's a good idea to make voting easier for low-propensity folks? If that point exists, we're far away from it right now (see new restrictions proposed in GA), but this is my hope at least. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, caustic said:

At what point do Republicans decide that it's a good idea to make voting easier for low-propensity folks?

They'll push for opening up avenues for "their" voters to be able to get to the polls, while simultaneously pushing for closing down avenues where "their opponents" vote.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Sabertooth said:

Only one side tried to murder our Congress.  I'd say no, it isn't symmetrical.  

My have missed the time the radical Bernie Sanders supporter shot up a baseball field of congressman. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Philo Beddoe said:

My have missed the time the radical Bernie Sanders supporter shot up a baseball field of congressman. 

I'll see your whataboutism and raise a Tim McVeigh.  

Edited by Sabertooth
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/17/2021 at 10:58 AM, timschochet said:

the phrase “defund the Police” rather than “police reform”

Sometimes they truly mean defund the police.

Seattle’s new Regional Homeless Authority (RHA) head want to defund the police. LINK

“I want to be clear that we're calling for defunding the police and not reforming because there is no evidence those reforms will end the threat to Black lives,” he said. “The path to reducing the most harm in Black communities is synonymous with defunding the police. We cannot equivocate." 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/4/2021 at 12:31 PM, IvanKaramazov said:

Good read.

This would be fantastic news IMO.  The political thing I worry about most right now is winding up with a two party system where one party is the "white" party and the other party is the "nonwhite" party.  Ideological polarization is one thing, but racial polarization is super worse and totally unhealthy for any kind of functionally liberal society.  If the conservative party can attract a decent number of black and hispanic folks (and other minority groups of course) maybe that helps them tone down the whole white nationalism thing in the interest of coalition building.

 

I wish for this along with you but don't share a very optimistic hope for the way things are going.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...