Whither the Democratic Party?

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Jennifer
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Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Jennifer »

Okay, so I was one of many who figured the aftermath of the election would be "The GOP needs to take a good long look at itself, figure out where it went wrong and work out a plan to move forward." Instead, it's the Democrats who need to do this.

So where do the Dems go from here? The Dem/lefty postmortems I've seen basically fall into two categories: the Michael Moore-types who say the problem is that the Dems have ignored the economic concerns of Rust Belters and other "middle class in decline" groups, and need to become more of a true lefty/"progressive" party; and those who seem to think the problem is primarily "identity politics": Trump's a racist and racists voted for him. But, of course, there's a lot of evidence against that latter argument -- yeah, Trump does have heavy support from racists, but he also got votes from people who presumably voted for Obama before.

I think the "economy Democrats" have a better chance of getting their shit together and maybe winning in 2020 than do the "we only lost due to racism or sexism" Democrats, myself.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by fyodor »

I think Trump may have only gotten a very tiny bit of support from former Obama voters. I think it was more Obama voters not showing up or voting (gasp!) third party.

That said, while I think Trump's "racism" (I prefer "xenophobia", but that's me) attracted voters in the primaries, I think in the general election it was just something that Republican voters were just willing to overlook to get not-Hillary. IOW, a bug not a feature for most, but just not a very serious one.

I'm probably on my own to think Clinton was really a perfect storm of awful and that there's probably little chance of the Dems repeating that mistake.

Ideally you always want a candidate who looks lefty to lefties and centrist to centrists. Preferably who comes from the south and is popular enough in their home state to win it and maybe a neighboring state or two.

In lieu of that, you take what you can get. And don't forget, while the party elites have their thumbs all over the scales, the riff raff do vote in the primaries, and they'll vote for whoever they like for whatever myriad, mostly irrational, reasons that determine that.... (I.e., people often talk about the Dems (and the Repubs) like they're this monolithic thing that makes up its mind as one, but it's hardly like that at all, even if there was an element of that at play re Clinton's inevitability and party elite support).
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Jennifer
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Jennifer »

fyodor wrote:I think Trump may have only gotten a very tiny bit of support from former Obama voters. I think it was more Obama voters not showing up or voting (gasp!) third party.
True; I should've specified "with states that went for Obama, but now went for Trump, it's not because those states now have majority-bigot voting populations."

Of course, I think the "Identity politics" Democrats are on the wrong track regarding "What should we do differently next time" -- especially since, if you take them at their word, there's nothing they can do except wait another 20 or so years for demographic changes to make not-white voters the majority.

I think the "economy Democrats" -- the Sanders fans and Michael Moore-types -- might be on the right track, though. I understand that saying "the middle and working classes are in decline" is a very controversial position on this forum, but among the larger American populace (especially in the Rust Belt and similar places), it's considered close to self-evident.

During the first Bill Clinton presidential campaign, the Republicans were the ones running on "culture war! Coastal elites!" while the Democrats had the slogan "It's the economy, stupid." The Democrats' message won. If a similar dichotomy forms within today's post-Trump Democratic party -- "it's identity politics" vs. "It's the economy, stupid!" -- I think the "economy" message again has a better chance of winning.
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Jennifer
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Jennifer »

Jennifer wrote: I think the "Identity politics" Democrats are on the wrong track regarding "What should we do differently next time" -- especially since, if you take them at their word, there's nothing they can do except wait another 20 or so years for demographic changes to make not-white voters the majority.
Hmm, maybe not. When I wrote that I didn't consider the "voter suppression" angle:
...We’ll likely never know how many people were kept from the polls by restrictions like voter-ID laws, cuts to early voting, and barriers to voter registration. But at the very least this should have been a question that many more people were looking into. For example, 27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID. Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives, according to Daniel Nichanian of the University of Chicago.

I documented stories of voters in Wisconsin—including a 99-year-old man—who made two trips to the polls and one to the DMV on Election Day just to be able to vote, while others decided not to vote at all because they were denied IDs. When Margie Mueller, an 85-year-old woman from Plymouth, Wisconsin, wasn’t allowed to vote with her expired driver’s license, her husband, Alvin, decided not to vote either. They were both Democrats. “The damn Republicans,” he said, “don’t want Latinos and old people to vote.” ....
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Hugh Akston »

Arise, zombie thread!

Interesting article about the schism in Team Blue, and why they managed to do so poorly against a party led by Donald Trump.
Over the course of our conversations this summer, the congresswoman returned time and again to a baseline observation of her party. It was something she had detected since arriving in Washington in January 2019 as part of a five dozen-member freshman class of Democrats. The key distinction within their ranks, she argued, wasn’t between moderates and progressives, but between politicians who represent competitive districts and those who do not.
This was a central thesis of Slotkin’s argument. It has long been perceived that Democrats, in the post-9/11 era, are the party of inclusion and big-tent politics. But Slotkin has begun to question that notion. She fears that Democrats have created a barrier to entry, largely along cultural lines, that makes the party fundamentally unwelcoming to anyone with supposedly retrograde views of the world around them. This is not merely about race and racism. The schisms go far deeper, to matters of faith and conscience, economic freedom and individual liberty. Indeed, for the heavy losses Trump sustained among affluent college-educated whites, he nearly won a second term because of his gains with Black and brown voters. That these Americans were willing to support Trump, often in spite of his rhetoric, reveals an uncomfortable truth for the left. There are millions of voters—working-class whites and working-class minorities—whose stances on social controversies put them out of touch with the Democratic Party. It’s a truth they might be willing to overlook, if only the party could do the same.
With a few hundred ears now perked up, the Virginia Democrat proceeded to slam her progressive colleagues for flirting with two fads—“defund the police” and democratic socialism—that she said cost the party multiple seats and threatened to doom those who did survive in their future campaigns.

“When we want to talk about funding social services, and ensuring good engagement in community policing, let’s talk about what we are for,” Spanberger beseeched her colleagues. “We need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. Because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of it.”
But she does recognize the imperative for deal-making next year will be greater than ever—which is why she’ll be agitating for a new speaker.

“I will not be voting for Nancy Pelosi,” Slotkin told me. “I have no idea if people are gonna run against her, or who might run against her. And I will of course have this conversation directly with her. But I believe we need new leadership. I would love to see more Midwesterners, because if you look across the leadership. … I respect these people, but it’s New York and California.”
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Warren »

Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 12:24 Interesting article about the schism in Team Blue, and why they managed to do so poorly against a party led by Donald Trump.
Too long, don't read. Hugh clipped most of what's worth reading. I waded through about two-thirds before packing it in. We already lived through the election-night drama, there was no need to relive it.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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Warren wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 17:04
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 12:24 Interesting article about the schism in Team Blue, and why they managed to do so poorly against a party led by Donald Trump.
Too long, don't read. Hugh clipped most of what's worth reading. I waded through about two-thirds before packing it in. We already lived through the election-night drama, there was no need to relive it.
Yeah, sorry. I should have mentioned that the second act is a real drag.

tl;dr if Team Blue wants to do better than governing half a country every other election cycle, they need to focus less on Twitter progressives and coastal enclaves and focus more on bread-and-butter issues in competitive districts.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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That's crazy talk, hugh. Why do you hate correct pronoun usage?
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Shem »

Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:19
Warren wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 17:04
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 12:24 Interesting article about the schism in Team Blue, and why they managed to do so poorly against a party led by Donald Trump.
Too long, don't read. Hugh clipped most of what's worth reading. I waded through about two-thirds before packing it in. We already lived through the election-night drama, there was no need to relive it.
Yeah, sorry. I should have mentioned that the second act is a real drag.

tl;dr if Team Blue wants to do better than governing half a country every other election cycle, they need to focus less on Twitter progressives and coastal enclaves and focus more on bread-and-butter issues in competitive districts.
I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by thoreau »

Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
+1
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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thoreau wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 23:09
Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
+1
But it's empirically impossible to draw congressional districts in which the majority of voters aren't morons.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46 I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 23:59 But it's empirically impossible to draw congressional districts in which the majority of voters aren't morons.
Question for both Shem and DAR: I thought the states had full control of drawing electoral boundaries, so long as the populations of the districts were reasonably equal. Under those circumstances, how can Congress legislate against gerrymandering?
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Aresen wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 00:28
Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46 I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 23:59 But it's empirically impossible to draw congressional districts in which the majority of voters aren't morons.
Question for both Shem and DAR: I thought the states had full control of drawing electoral boundaries, so long as the populations of the districts were reasonably equal. Under those circumstances, how can Congress legislate against gerrymandering?
I don't know much about districting law, but I think that's basically correct. OTOH, Congress, like the Supreme Court could regulate the districting process to, e.g., protect voting rights.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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Aresen wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 00:28
Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46 I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 23:59 But it's empirically impossible to draw congressional districts in which the majority of voters aren't morons.
Question for both Shem and DAR: I thought the states had full control of drawing electoral boundaries, so long as the populations of the districts were reasonably equal. Under those circumstances, how can Congress legislate against gerrymandering?
Article 1 Section 4 is pretty explicit that while the states make the decisions on how to choose reps, the Congress "may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators." If Congress decided "the 'manner of holding elections' for the House" includes drawing the districts in a non-partisan manner, I find it hard to imagine the Supreme Court would decide to stomp their way in. State-level legislatures are a different thing, of course. That would probably require something like what they did with drinking laws or speed limits on highways.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Shem wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 00:47
Aresen wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 00:28
Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46 I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 23:59 But it's empirically impossible to draw congressional districts in which the majority of voters aren't morons.
Question for both Shem and DAR: I thought the states had full control of drawing electoral boundaries, so long as the populations of the districts were reasonably equal. Under those circumstances, how can Congress legislate against gerrymandering?
Article 1 Section 4 is pretty explicit that while the states make the decisions on how to choose reps, the Congress "may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators." If Congress decided "the 'manner of holding elections' for the House" includes drawing the districts in a non-partisan manner, I find it hard to imagine the Supreme Court would decide to stomp their way in. State-level legislatures are a different thing, of course. That would probably require something like what they did with drinking laws or speed limits on highways.
Yes, I'm familiar with the Constitution. But you can't stop there. You have to look at the case law interpreting those clauses, and I'm not going to bother.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 01:15
Shem wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 00:47
Aresen wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 00:28
Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46 I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 23:59 But it's empirically impossible to draw congressional districts in which the majority of voters aren't morons.
Question for both Shem and DAR: I thought the states had full control of drawing electoral boundaries, so long as the populations of the districts were reasonably equal. Under those circumstances, how can Congress legislate against gerrymandering?
Article 1 Section 4 is pretty explicit that while the states make the decisions on how to choose reps, the Congress "may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators." If Congress decided "the 'manner of holding elections' for the House" includes drawing the districts in a non-partisan manner, I find it hard to imagine the Supreme Court would decide to stomp their way in. State-level legislatures are a different thing, of course. That would probably require something like what they did with drinking laws or speed limits on highways.
Yes, I'm familiar with the Constitution. But you can't stop there. You have to look at the case law interpreting those clauses, and I'm not going to bother.
I'm not either, except to note that you know as well as I do how deeply they hate involving themselves in intrabranch disputes.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Hugh Akston »

Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:19
Warren wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 17:04
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 12:24 Interesting article about the schism in Team Blue, and why they managed to do so poorly against a party led by Donald Trump.
Too long, don't read. Hugh clipped most of what's worth reading. I waded through about two-thirds before packing it in. We already lived through the election-night drama, there was no need to relive it.
Yeah, sorry. I should have mentioned that the second act is a real drag.

tl;dr if Team Blue wants to do better than governing half a country every other election cycle, they need to focus less on Twitter progressives and coastal enclaves and focus more on bread-and-butter issues in competitive districts.
I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
Yeah but neither Team has any incentive to make districts more competitive. Even if polarization does ruin both brands in the long run, you don't get elected by thinking more than two years into the future.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Shem »

Hugh Akston wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 11:31
Shem wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:46
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 22:19
Warren wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 17:04
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Nov 2020, 12:24 Interesting article about the schism in Team Blue, and why they managed to do so poorly against a party led by Donald Trump.
Too long, don't read. Hugh clipped most of what's worth reading. I waded through about two-thirds before packing it in. We already lived through the election-night drama, there was no need to relive it.
Yeah, sorry. I should have mentioned that the second act is a real drag.

tl;dr if Team Blue wants to do better than governing half a country every other election cycle, they need to focus less on Twitter progressives and coastal enclaves and focus more on bread-and-butter issues in competitive districts.
I actually think a better starting point would be "passing laws that prevent the gerrymandering that allow people like the Squad and the Q morons to be able to generate a critical mass in the House" would be a better start. When the only challenging election a candidate faces in a year is the primary where they're appealing to a tiny slice of their most fervent voters, there's not many moderating influences to be had.
Yeah but neither Team has any incentive to make districts more competitive.
The Democrats just did it in Virginia. After having done it in a couple other states where they could have really ran up the score.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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If it weren't for the magnitude of the horror of DJT, the past year for donkeys would have been catastrophic. I get that those things - the behavior or donkeys and the presence of Trump - may be inseparable, but man I can't believe the series of ruinous messages coming from the left in a time when they could have been The Not Crazy Party Who Wants Healthcare.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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A couple observations:
The key distinction within their ranks, she argued, wasn’t between moderates and progressives, but between politicians who represent competitive districts and those who do not.
I think that's probably true, but the two kind of go together. Where the Democrats have a lock on a district, the Overton window moves way to the left, and while that may be fine for the district, it means they're that much more out of touch with the nation as a whole. This is why the district elects AOC and the nation elects Joe Biden.
It has long been perceived that Democrats, in the post-9/11 era, are the party of inclusion and big-tent politics. But Slotkin has begun to question that notion. She fears that Democrats have created a barrier to entry, largely along cultural lines, that makes the party fundamentally unwelcoming to anyone with supposedly retrograde views of the world around them. This is not merely about race and racism. The schisms go far deeper, to matters of faith and conscience, economic freedom and individual liberty.
Yup. It's an article of faith among Democrats and leftists, at least here in Blue Central, that they are the kinder, gentler, inclusive party, which is completely at odds with how they actually talk about anyone who disagrees with them. And many people have noted that both parties have gotten a lot less inclusive in recent years: there used to be such things as "liberal Republicans" and "conservative Democrats", but those creatures seem to be critically endangered if not extinct.
“We need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. Because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of it.”
...
“I would love to see more Midwesterners, because if you look across the leadership. … I respect these people, but it’s New York and California.”
A whole lot of coastal leftists live in a bubble while completely denying they live in a bubble. I think rightists at least know that leftists are out there - they run popular culture and the news media, by and large, so you can't really ignore them. But big-city coastal leftists don't really deal with anyone but other coastal leftists, so of course all good and right-thinking people think that capitalism kills, socialism is great, etc. So when the existence of other people is shoved in their faces, ala Donald Trump, it's unthinkable. And I think that a lot of them would be just fine with it being just New York and California. And honestly this probably explains some of the animus towards the Electoral College; without it, you pretty much would only have to listen to the Northeast and the West Coast, and you wouldn't have to even think about those people out there in flyover states who don't count.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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What's also shocking is the number of people who right now think the problem is The Squad isn't running the party.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote: 23 Nov 2020, 12:04 What's also shocking is the number of people who right now think the problem is The Squad isn't running the party.
Is it though? I'd be shocked if anyone that is well-disposed to The Squad didn't think that was the problem.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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Certainly the Kultur War aspect of current politics plays into the hands of establishment Democrats. There's a subset of Democrats (or at least Democrat-leaning types) who want the party to go all Democratic Socialism, defund the police, nationalize all education, etc., but while they may kick up a fuss during primary season, the party knows that ultimately they will fall into line and vote for whatever establishment candidate ends up getting the nomination, because if they don't vote, or vote for a third party, it means that a Literally Hitler Republican will win.
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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"saying 'socialism' where normies can hear it is wrapping a bunch of barbed wire around a bat, handing the bat to the GOP, and standing with your head in the strike zone."
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Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

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I'm not sure it's the Party responding that way so much as it is a handful of people saying it very loudly without evidence and everyone else just looking the other way.
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