Thursday, July 28, 2016

This is not an Election Simply Between Liberals and Conservatives

This has been noted by a number of pundits watching the Dem convention the last few days.

Some progressives seem a little nervous about it.

"A genuine problem the Dems now have is that their coalition is too big & unwieldy. Basically, anyone who hates Trump."

Chris Hayes seemed to think it was too much. But logically there are more voters who hate Trump than are true progressives.

I guess the concern of the Left in a coalition that includes everyone from Sarah Silverman Democrats-Bernie supporters who have come to Hillary

and Bloomberg Republicans is that ultimately the Democrats will betray the Bernie supporters for the Bloomberg Republicans.

This does not logically follow. This was LBJ's blueprint and having lots of conservatives and GOPers vote for him in 1964 didn't stop him from having the most liberal Presidency in history-civil rights and the Great Society

The last time liberal politicians had the luxury of trying to appeal to moderate Republicans while remaining steadfastly to the left on policy was in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson won over many voters who found Barry Goldwater beyond the pale. If the gambit on display Wednesday night works, we could see a seismic realignment of American politics.

Ezra Klein

"What we just witnessed in Cleveland and Philadelphia defies our normal political vocabulary. We are used to speaking of American politics as split between the two major parties. It’s Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives, left versus right."

"But not this election. The conventions showed that this is something different. This campaign is not merely a choice between the Democratic and Republican parties, but between a normal political party and an abnormal one."

"The Democratic Party’s convention was a normal political party’s convention. The party nominated Hillary Clinton, a longtime party member with deep experience in government. Clinton was endorsed by Bernie Sanders, the runner-up in the primary. Barack Obama, the sitting president, spoke in favor of Clinton. Various Democratic luminaries gave speeches endorsing Clinton by name. The assembled speakers criticized the other party’s nominee, arguing that he would be a bad president and should be defeated at the polls."

"The Republican Party’s convention was not a normal political party’s convention. The party nominated Donald Trump, a new member with literally no experience in government. Ted Cruz, the runner-up in the primary, gave a primetime speech in which he refused to endorse Trump, and instead told Americans to "vote your conscience."

"The Republican Party’s two living presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, declined to endorse Trump or attend the convention. The party’s previous two presidential nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain, declined to endorse Trump or attend the convention. The assembled speakers — including Chris Christie, a prospective attorney general — argued that the other party’s nominee was a criminal who should be thrown in jail."

"America’s main political cleavage is between the Democratic and Republican parties. That split has meant different things at different times, but in recent decades it primarily tracks an ideological disagreement: Democrats are the party of liberal policies; Republicans are the party of conservative policies."

"But in this year’s presidential election, the difference is more fundamental than that: The Democratic Party is a normal political party that has nominated a normal presidential candidate, and the Republican Party has become an abnormal political party that has nominated an abnormal presidential candidate."

Michael Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York City, put it simply in a speech endorsing Clinton. "Together, let's elect a sane, competent person," he said. That is what an endorsement sounds like when the choice shifts from left versus right to normal versus abnormal."

This is something Greg Sargent mentioned this morning:

"The GOP’s nomination of Trump, some Democrats believe, has created a unique opportunity for the Democrats to lay claim to the mantle of sober, responsible, sane, and mature governing party in a manner that could transform our politics to an unforeseen degree in coming years. This morning, there are indications that some conservatives agree with this, too."

This is part of Obama's aspiration to be the Democratic Reagan. Hillary is his George H.W. Bush. You can't really be a transformational President unless you are able to elect your successor as Reagan did.

It seems to be working:

Cheney's press secretary

How can it be that I am standing at my kitchen counter sobbing because of the messages being driven at the DNC? Where has the GOP gone?"

"This Democratic convention has been an unmitigated disaster for the GOP. Very well produced. Unifying. Patriotic. Bravo. #DNCinPHL"

Jennifer Rubin:

"Hillary Clinton, in accepting the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, had to be better than she’s ever been — more assertive, engaging, magnanimous and visionary. She was introduced by a gauzy, highly polished video detailing her life with special attention to her efforts for New York following Sept. 11. Her welcome was exuberant, leaving Hillary looking genuinely touched. There was joy in the arena, an emotion almost entirely missing at the Republicans’ snarly confab."

"This was the moment when Clinton needed voters to say, “Sure, I could see her as president.” Like her candidacy as a whole, she was good enough. She spoke calmly and deliberately, as if she was trying to soak up every moment. The speech itself was positive and at times jocular. Her voice quality is never fabulous, but it was indeed better than usual."

Keep in mind this is what conservatives are saying about Hillary and the DNC. Telling.

Rubin, as a woman, goes there:

She LOOKS very good -- suit, hair, makeup (sorry guys, this matters) and that is what people SEE."

She RTs this comment approvingly:

This speech is competent and boring, both of which are pretty good qualities for a president."

Jennifer G-with the Jewish brackets around her name as is common on Twitter now to rebuke the alt Right:

I'll take boring over crazy any day.

I know Tom Brown considers boring a virtue in a politician anyway.


  1. Have you seen Tim Kaine laugh when he's been accused of being boring? Followed by him saying "Boring is a growing demographic!" =)

  2. Yeah, Yglesias pointed out that most Americans are boring so this might be a feature not a bug. LOL

  3. BTW, if Trump is exciting, I'll take boring any day. Also, I haven't yet seen all of her speech (my tenant asked if she could watch something else... two weeks straight of politics, so I gave her a break), but I thought she was doing fine. It wasn't as smooth as Bill's but she was doing fine. And I liked Tim Kaine's speech, so I doubt I'll find it truly boring.