HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » bloom » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,624

Journal Archives

"Bernie Sanders Isn't a Socialist" - Krugman

I agree with Krugman.

Republicans have a long, disreputable history of conflating any attempt to improve American lives with the evils of “socialism.” When Medicare was first proposed, Ronald Reagan called it “socialized medicine,” and he declared that it would destroy our freedom. These days, if you call for something like universal child care, conservatives accuse you of wanting to turn America into the Soviet Union.

It’s a smarmy, dishonest political strategy, but it’s hard to deny that it has sometimes been effective. And now the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination — not an overwhelming front-runner, but clearly the person most likely at the moment to come out on top — is someone who plays right into that strategy, by declaring that he is indeed a socialist.

The thing is, Bernie Sanders isn’t actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn’t want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark. He’s basically what Europeans would call a social democrat — and social democracies like Denmark are, in fact, quite nice places to live, with societies that are, if anything, freer than our own.

So why does Sanders call himself a socialist? I’d say that it’s mainly about personal branding, with a dash of glee at shocking the bourgeoisie. And this self-indulgence did no harm as long as he was just a senator from a very liberal state.


"Pete Buttigieg is the embodiment of white privilege - and black voters know it"

One of my favorite church deacons at a ministry I attended in Boynton Beach, Florida, decided one Sunday that he would run for mayor. “Deac”, as we all affectionately referred to him, had already served many years as vice-mayor and city commissioner, so it was no surprise when he won the mayorship.

Deac was best known for singing old gospel songs with the growl of a blues singer and the whoop of a baptist preacher. To me, he was far more a beloved, black church dignitary than he was a politician. Nevertheless, my church deacon is more qualified to serve as president of the United States than former mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Political pundits and media outlets are scrambling to try to understand how it is that Buttigieg could have 0% support among black primary voters. I would offer the following:

First, ask any black person across the south and they’ll likely say the same thing: Buttigieg has less experience in office than our local church deacons - yet he is being propped up to be the next president , above equally educated and far more qualified politicians such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker....


"Joe Biden called a voter a 'lying, dog-faced pony soldier'. His time is up"


He probably thought it was funny. It's not.

Why does Tulsi Gabbard care so much about Rush Limbaugh?

Seems informative. Sounds like they are buds.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">To Rush Limbaugh: I and my family send our love and best wishes to you and your loved ones at this difficult moment in your life. May your hearts and minds be filled with and strengthened by God's love.</p>— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) <a href="https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1224532731775741952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 4, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

'J.K. Rowling Returns to Twitter and Calls Out Fake Propaganda'

She hints at early warning signs of a rising totalitarian regime

...Arendt's final section describes the mechanics of the rise of totalitarian governments. These elements include turning the “classes into masses”, the creation of propaganda, and the use of terror — all which we are seeing play out through online cancel culture and the harassment of feminists.

A feminist Oxford professor has even recently had to be issued bodyguards to attend her lectures after death threats against her were found by the university to be credible. The threats were made by trans activists after Professor Selena Todd, a historian focusing on working-class women, stated that some demands by trans activists harm the rights of women.

Todd is not the only one to receive death threats. In response to her latest tweet, multiple commenters posted pictures of guns, telling her to shut up. The “or else” is implied.

J.K.’s call out of the propaganda used against her (and, indeed, against all genuine feminists) should be taken seriously — not just because libel is illegal or because lying may be morally wrong, but because the very belief of the lie itself is a symptom of a very sick society, and a warning of greater evils to come.


"Why Democrats Still Have to Appeal to the Center, but Republicans Don't"

Democrats are ... restrained by diversity and democracy. Republicans are not....

Appealing to Democrats requires appealing to a lot of different kinds of people with different interests. Republicans are overwhelmingly dependent on white voters. Democrats are a coalition of liberal whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and mixed-race voters. Republicans are overwhelmingly dependent on Christian voters. Democrats are a coalition of liberal and nonwhite Christians, Jews, Muslims, New Agers, agnostics, Buddhists and so on. Three-quarters of Republicans identify as conservative, while only half of Democrats call themselves liberals — and for Democrats, that’s a historically high level.

As a result, winning the Democratic primary means winning liberal whites in New Hampshire and traditionalist blacks in South Carolina. It means talking to Irish Catholics in Boston and atheists in San Francisco. It means inspiring liberals without arousing the fears of moderates. It’s important preparation for the difficult, pluralistic work of governing, in which the needs and concerns of many different groups must be balanced against one another....


Being the party that is inclusive means being able to be open to more viewpoints.

For example - saying that "Women = Adult human female" is not transphobic - regardless of how many people demand that to be true (and demand that there be no discussion). People can recognize biology and recognize that trans people deserve respect. I agree with J.K.Rowlings. A lot of people do. Democrats would do well to not insist that Rowlings be cancelled or some other such. You would be alienating people who are on your side.

Which candidates play the 'victim' and how does it work for them (or not)?

Frank Bruni wrote about how Trump plays the victim and whines - and how he even admits that he is the biggest whiner. And uses whining to get what he wants.

So I got to thinking about the Democrats. These ploys for sympathy. I think the women mostly avoid it - as it would make them look weak. And they don't want to seem weak (and also they get blasted for it in the media). I wonder if a lot of voters do look for some victim aspect to sympathize or empathize with.

Some women identify with the women candidates and recognize that women have been victimized as a group - even if we don't make that obvious. Some of us do. It's interesting when feminists ignore that - that identify with other victim aspects of other candidates (esp. Sanders).

So basically - I think men can get away with playing the victim and women have to at least be more subtle about it.

What do you think?

"Unity Requires Recognizing That Warren Is Telling the Truth" (The Nation - Elie Mystal)

"At the same time, tolerance must allow that Sanders isn’t lying."

As a campaign issue, the literal “he said/she said” fight between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t matter much. Warren says that Bernie said a woman couldn’t win the election, Sanders says he didn’t say that. In the context of the most important presidential election of my lifetime, I couldn’t give a flying expletive who said what to whom. It has no bearing on whom I’m going to vote for in the primary, or why.

However, as a personal issue, I have no doubt that Elizabeth Warren is telling the truth. I know in my soul that she heard what she says she heard. I know it, not because I am in any position to vouch for Warren’s character (though, full disclosure, I know her from my days in law school). I know it, not because I have access to the Federalist Society’s Ouija board that allows them to divine the original intent of any conversation. I know it because I’m a black person, an “other,” and I’ve been living in a white man’s world for 41 years and counting.

People say hurtful things all the time. Often, they don’t mean it. Language is an imperfect tool for communicating thoughts. But when you are an “other,” when you are a minority or part of a disadvantaged group that has historically been shut out from power, and when the person saying it is a member of an advantaged group, you notice the hurts. You notice them because you always have to assess where the hurtful comment lands on the spectrum between merely inelegant to actively dangerous. Did the person misspeak? Or did the person just accidentally reveal deep antipathy for your kind of people? Or was it something in between?


It looks to me like too many are ready to throw Warren under the bus over this.

I agree with the Times 100%

I had come to the same conclusion recently.

Bernie is too extreme - and too old.

Biden is too much status quo - and too old.

Buttigieg might be ready someday - he could get some role in the next Democratic administration.

Warren and Klobuchar both have strong credentials. They both are in their prime. It comes down to if you want to vote for someone for more rapid fixing of problems - or for the one with a more gradual approach.

I think we should have learned from Obama and Trump - that the more that can be fixed - the sooner the better. Because you can't assume the next president will continue on with the whatever you have started.
Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 Next »