KEVIN'S LIST: Seven possible ways to lose votes!


One way in particular: Michael Wolff wrote three best-selling books about the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

In this morning's New York Times, Wolff writes a guest essay about the newly-emerged Candidate Trump-All-Over-Again. Wolff's essay carries this headline:

The Chaos Inside Donald Trump’s Mind

Wolff pictures chaos—and "disorder." At one point, he offers this snapshot:

WOLFF (11/17/22): Having written three books in less than four years about Mr. Trump, with near constant input from his closest aides and friends, as well as hours of rambling from him, I have come to two primary conclusions: that there is almost never any true plan, strategy or forethought in Trump world and that everyone around him lives in the prison of his monologues, which allow for no interruptions or reality checks and overrule any plans others have tried to make. His fixations, misunderstandings and contempt for better minds that might correct him reign.

[One] aide recently described the constant churning within Trump world, as grievances and resentments are rehashed and blame assigned, as the workings of Mr. Trump’s “blender brain.”

Chaos suits him, allowing him again and again to turn what ought to be humiliating and defeating disorder into potent conflict...

Again, we'd like to see (carefully selected) medical specialists offer their thoughts about this apparent mental disorder—especially since the person Wolff describes could, within the realm of possibility, become the Republican nominee for president once again.

It's possible that Candidate Trump could win nomination again! Along the way, Wolff alludes in passing to a second point of concern:

WOLFF: Joe Biden will turn 80 this month, clearly frail and with obvious mental lapses. This is, admittedly, a weak hand...

"[T]he Democrats yet have a critical advantage." Wolff opines—"the professionalism needed to administer a modern presidential campaign." That said, we continue to face an uncertain near future on both sides of the presidential aisle—and there was Senate candidate Herschel Walker, orating at astounding length yesterday about the important differences between werewolves and vampires.

Walker could still end up in the Senate. This is the state into which we've fallen over the past several decades. 

Here within our floundering nation, this is the breakdown we've chosen! Within our history of the era, we'd start the chronology in 1992, with the mainstream press corps' long-running, undiscussed wars against both Clintons and Gore.

We'd start the chronology there, rather than with the most extreme version of this rolling disorder. That (even) more extreme disorder arrived on the scene in 2015 with the first emergence of Candidate Trump, who had already established himself as our reigning "king of the birthers."

As time passed, the king of the birthers became the King Arthur of QAnon. In the face of this sprawling mental disorder, voting in this month's House elections currently stood as shown as of 9 o'clock this morning:

Votes cast in House elections (to date):
For Republican candidates: 53.3 million (51.2%)
For Democratic candidates: 49.2 million (47.3 %)

Many votes remain to be counted, especially in California. But in the face of the lunacy of these most recent years, our blue tribe's party will have received, at best, something like half the national vote!

In the next presidential election, the GOP may nominate someone who isn't visibly disordered in the manner of Candidate Trump. The Democrats may nominate someone who, at age 81, may in fact seem to totter around on occasion.

To the extent that we currently live in a "nation" at all, our nation's public discourse, and our national politics, have long been a visible mess. It was in that context that Kevin Drum published his recent list.

Drum listed seven things we liberals are perceived to do—perceived behaviors which may tend to annoy some voters. We were especially struck by two items on this list:

Drum: "Things centrist voters don't like about us"
1) They think we're too lax on crime.
2) They think we're constantly making up stupid new rules.
3) They think we want to let in too many illegal immigrants.
4) They think we want to spend money endlessly and drive up the debt.
5) They were appalled by the looting and rioting during the BLM protests of 2020 and think Democrats should have denounced it more vigorously.
6) They think wokeness is ridiculous. They want us to stop talking like academics from another galaxy.
7) They do not like being called racist.

Is it possible that we blue tribers sometimes behave in ways which keep our team from winning more votes? Is it possible that we sometimes behave in ways which drive voters into the other tribe's camp?

Even more importantly, is it possible that we sometimes do such things—and that we do them somewhat dumbly? Is it possible that our judgment is sometimes quite poor—on the merits as well as on the possible politics?

As we looked at Kevin's list, we were struck by two of its points. We were struck by points 6 and 7, which are somewhat intertwined.

 When we wonder why it is that Republican candidates in this year's elections got 53.2 million votes (and counting), it seems to us that we should consider those last two points. We'd especially look at point 7.

Having said that, let us also say this:

Within our tribe, we have a long-standing, instant explanation for those 53 million votes. The people who cast those votes are racists, and misogynists, and quite a few more "ists" besides!

Rather plainly, that's the way our tribe is inclined to speak. It seems to us that we need to consider this part of our tribal culture.

Thee woods are lovely, dark and deep, but how sharp are we blue tribals? We're known to be deeply self-impressed. That said, are we actually all that sharp?

"Bing Bong! The warlock is dead," our tribe has been saying this week. We've also been exulting about what the democracy-loving American people have supposedly said.

In our view, we're way out over our skis when we make these claims. Also, we do perhaps have a tribal tendency to be less than sharp, along with quite unwise.

Tomorrow: "The American people have said..."


  1. Okay, dear Bob, so you found some NYT dembot hate-mongering against the Commander and his candidacy.

    Tsk. Alright. So, grass is still green, and the sky is still blue. It's all so reassuring.

    1. Bob makes a good point, as he usually does. With all of the absolute lunacy we've seen from Trump and the Republican party in recent years, how in the world are our elections this close? Things have gone off the rails. I blame Mao and Church Lady.

    2. How was it so close between Nixon and JFK? You may like Somerby but you don’t seem to understand what you read.


    3. Yeah, one was an experienced professional politician, and the other just a rich spoiled boy.

      But then, as Noam Chomsky once observed, political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.

      ...and thank you, dear dembot, for sharing your concern about our perceived lack of understanding. It's touching.

  2. Here is the more important reason why Trump should not be elected president again:

    1. These are the main points Trump made as he announced his desire to be Grifter in Chief once again:

      Trump claimed that he was the first president to go decades and decades without a war
      (hmmmmm, Trump was only pres for 4 yrs, during which wars continued)

      Trump claimed the socialist Green New Deal was ruining our country with it's many crippling regulations
      (hmmmm, the Green New Deal has not passed and is not socialist)

      Trump claimed he will finally fix not allowing men to participate in women's sports
      (hmmmm that was his entire education platform)

      Trump claimed he would refuse to say the word "nuclear"
      (hmmmm he then immediately said the word "nuclear" right after)

      Trump claimed Biden had previously made the US military follow leftist ideology and that he had removed that when he was pres, and that Biden had brought it back the first day Biden was pres
      (hmmmmm the US military under Biden continues to be run by a top down hierarchical structure, although they are helping defeat fascist Putin)

      Trump knows he will be indicted and convicted, since he stole top secret docs, so I guess he just phoned in his announcement because it made no sense, and he sounded like a deranged 3 year old.

  3. "Again, we'd like to see (carefully selected) medical specialists offer their thoughts about this apparent mental disorder"

    Somerby quotes Wolff's description of the way Trump's staff kowtow to his chaotic, unplanned decision-making, then he suggests that it is Trump who is mentally disordered. Why would the adults surrounding Trump be so servile that they allow the government to be run in such a fashion?

    The story of Trump is not about a single mentally ill man who created chaos. It is about an entire party that went along with Trump's nonsense, never exerting their own authority as they allowed Trump to run roughshod over our nation's government. The president does not have the authority Trump exerted, to terrorize his own people into submission, unless those surrounding Trump were willing to cede it to him. And that is what they did, just as the Republican Party became a Trump cult and machine. At that point, one cannot blame Trump wholly for what happened during his last presidency. The rest of the Republicans surrounding him bear equal blame.

    Somerby, as usual, wants to blame the press. Yet the various people who know Trump for what he is had the 25th Amendment and didn't use it. That is on them, not the mental health profession.

    1. Somerby and Drum's blame the victim stance is nothing new.

      Here is the Ghost of Somerby/Drum Past:

      the famous 1859 NY Times editorial racistsplaining that it is actually abolitionists that are causing slavery to endure

      These morons never learn, but via leftism and wokeism we diminish those that get fooled by clowns like Somerby and Drum - those 2 sad lost souls with no moral compass.

  4. "WOLFF: Joe Biden will turn 80 this month, clearly frail and with obvious mental lapses. This is, admittedly, a weak hand."

    Donald Trump is 76, clearly showing signs of dementia, with his own obvious mental lapses. Unlike Biden, Trump is in poor physical health too, with problems he has never disclosed to the American people. He is overweight, eats poorly, never sleeps, has no physical energy (cannot walk without a golf cart), clings to Melania's hand when walking, and is looking pudgier and pastier since leaving office. His daily fits of anger cannot be good for his blood pressure.

    But Republicans (and Wolff) have the nerve to claim that Biden is too old for the job! Biden is still fit. Trump has never been fit, even when younger.

  5. "Walker could still end up in the Senate. This is the state into which we've fallen over the past several decades. "

    Today, Somerby threatens us with Herschel Walker's election. Somerby doesn't mention that Warnock was ahead going into this runoff. He also doesn't mention that Warnock won his last runoff too. Somerby offers no reason why Walker should win -- except anything is possible.

    Who claims to be liberal while rooting for the other team to win this runoff? Why does Somerby never urge Democrats to support Warnock instead of Walker?

    Somerby says that next time, Republicans may nominate candidates who are not visibly disordered. Earth-to-Somerby, that happened this time too, and yet Democrats beat them. Not all Republican candidates were nutcases. Voters frequently chose Democrats over Republicans, especially where those Democrats had something more to offer than just "I'm not a Republican." Katie Porter won her race. So did AOC and many other Dems. Bennet won handily in CO. Dems won in AZ and NV. Somerby today pretends that Dems can only win against MAGA Extremists but that is factually incorrect.

    Apparently, no victory would satisfy Somerby. He would write his same pro-centrist essay no matter what the results of the election had been. I agree with the various people who have said that centrist=Republican and that Democrats do better when we stick to our Democratic platform, not yield to the right-ward drift toward extremism, as Somerby advocates yet again today. Somerby has been banging this drum for a long time. It didn't take Trump to wind him up. No Democrats wants to hang up their hat and become David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan, not even Bari Weiss. We would be ashamed to be Bill Maher. Somerby should be preaching this message to the fed up Republicans directly, hoping to peel off a few votes now that dear leader has shown himself to be the biggest loser.

  6. "Democrats may nominate someone who, at age 81, may in fact seem to totter around on occasion."

    This is how Somerby puts his thumb on the scales. Biden won't be 81 until Nov 20, but why not make him sound older by advancing his age a year before his actual birthday?

    1. How can Biden seem to totter around when he hasn't reached 81 yet?

      I'll bet Somerby totters around a bit too, at age 77. We've all seen Trump totter around -- he can't walk up or down ramps and needs Melania's help to get up airplane stairs. He needed a golf cart by himself to get the same distance that other world leaders were easily walking. Trump is as tottery as Biden, before the same age. Biden still rides a bike for exercise. Trump doesn't exercise at all. If tottering were a presidential qualification, Biden would still have Trump beat.

    2. Biden is not just turning 81 this month, he is just turning 80. Somerby has not just stretched by 4 days but has inflated Biden's age by a whole year.

      Was this deliberate? Somerby can look up Biden's age as easily as anyone else. It works in favor of Somerby's premise. He was at the least negligent about facts and at worst, deliberately added that year to make Biden sound more ancient. Given Somerby's previous dishonesties, I vote for deliberate.

  7. "As we looked at Kevin's list, we were struck by two of its points. We were struck by points 6 and 7, which are somewhat intertwined."

    Somerby cannot point to a single Democratic candidate who ran on a platform of calling Centrists, much less Republicans racists (or misogynists or sexists or homophobes or any other bigotry).

    All Democrats support civil rights. The same is not true of all Republicans -- 37 Republicans (and no Democrats) voted against the Respect for Marriage Act (cloture motion). It is mostly Republicans opposing women's right to bodily autonomy. It is Republicans who have engaged in racial gerrymandering. The right is not the party of civil rights. That is why racial and other minorities tend to be Democrats. The Democratic party is NOT going to abandon civil rights as an issue and that means that the actual bigots, whether Democrats or Centrists or Republicans, need to stop whining about being called out on their own bigotry. Bigotry is not OK among Democrats.

    Somerby today makes a plea to abandon that plank. No, that is not going to happen. If someone doesn't like hearing anyone talk about wokeness (which refers to awareness of racial history) or doesn't want to have to evaluate their own privilege, they should join a different party, and good riddance. That includes Somerby, who apparently made his decision a decade ago, when he started defending the South against what he considers to be unfair condescension over issues of race. He will feel better when he is honest with himself and others -- then he can support those confederate statues in the public square without apology.

    Democrats win elections because of the support of a traditional coalition that includes stigmatized minority groups, support for women's issues, and a commitment to fighting injustice and ensuring equality of opportunity. That isn't going to change because, unlike Republicans, Democrats will not sacrifice its values to win at any cost. And Democrats win elections because of that commitment, not in spite of it (as Somerby suggests today).

    1. I have called Somerby a racist and sexist, but I am not running for any office. Somerby has written so many racist and sexist things here in the past 10 years that there is no doubt where he stands. He is an embarrassment to liberals -- he should come out of the closet and join the Republicans -- the party of proud bigotry.

    2. anon 11:33 - TDH has never written anything racist or sexist. wqhat's the matter with you?November 17, 2022 at 12:48 PM

      TDH has never written anything that was racist or sexist. You may always call TDH that but you never back it up - it's ludicrous. Note Drum's no. 7 - you are what he is talking about.

    3. @12:48 Of course he has. I've quoted some of them when they happened.

      Such as when he kept denying that the black woman appointed to the Supreme Court couldn't be qualified.

    4. Let me rephrase that -- he kept saying that Ketanji Brown Jackson couldn't be qualified.

    5. @12:48 PM,
      Meh. Had dear Bob never written anything racist, he wouldn't be able to call himself liberal.

      We seem to remember a whole bunch of claptrap about "black students", racial gaps, and shit like that. And if judging people by the color of their skin is not racist, then what is?

    6. Yes, this is the conservative tactic of redefining whatever terms the left uses.

      Somerby has never discussed how to narrow the academic performance gaps between black and white students on the NAEP. He only wants to make sure we realize that there are gaps and that they are intransigent. And then he always concludes by saying that no one gives a damn about those beautiful black kids, as if racism were the fault of liberals.

      In the last few years, Somerby has routinely taken the side of parents who oppose desegregating NYCs special high schools, and the middle schools that feed into them. He occasionally mentions the desegregation battles in Boston and their lack of success. He has never actually grappled with the problem of residential segregation in cities, just claiming that there are not enough white kids to make a dent in the problem. So, put him on the side of maintaining segregation in NYC.

      In terms of sexism, Somerby has never met a female journalist, author, lawyer, expert or professor who he liked. These are his his daily targets. There was the time he claimed that an Asian female lawyer was exaggerating when she talked about the attacks on elderly Asian people in NYC Chinese neighborhoods. There have been quite a few times that Somerby has claimed there is no gender pay gap, despite the Dept of Labor claiming one exists. Most recently, he blamed Kamala Harris for promoting a bogus claim to that effect.

      And then there are the women Somerby calls grifters, such as Stormy Daniels, when she brought suit to remove the NDA. Somerby said she was extorting Trump, when it was Trump's lawyers who approached Daniels and strong-armed her into signing it. And there was the time Somerby defended Brock Turner, who was convicted by a jury of assaulting Chanel Miller, saying that Chanel Miller shouldn't have drank at that party if she didnt' want to be raped. And his defense of Roy Moore, who was accused of harrassing and assaulting several 14 year olds. Somerby said that if the mama approved of Moore "dating" their daughters, what was wrong with such an age gap? He also insisted that if the girls were instead 17-18, then it was OK for the 32 year old district attorney to be following them around, interrupting their school days and otherwise stalking them.

      But Somerby's recent insistence that the new Supreme Court nominee was not qualified is the clearest example of his racism and sexism. It didn't matter to Somerby what her credentials were or who considered her qualified, he was adamant she could not be and was only being named because of her gender and color.

      It is racist and sexist to assume that someone who is female or black (or any other minority) is only being appointed because of their minority status -- not their qualifications.

    7. anon 1:54 and 3:32 (a/k/a Corby) - you are both completely wrong (though there is a double negative in there 1:54). He never said Katanji Jackson wasn't qualified. It was clear that he was fine with her nomination. He took issue with some who were saying that Jackson was the "most qualified" SCOTUS nominee ever. He didn't say she wasn't qualified at all as you wrongly assert, distorting what he said. You go on and on about how the other side "lies" and yet you do the same thing.

    8. Tsk. Dear Bob was wrong, of course: Katanji Jackson is indeed the smartest liberal out there. The smartest and most beautiful of them all.

      ...too bad (though not surprising) that even she doesn't know what womyn is...

    9. AC/MA -- Corby left the building.

      Yes, he did say she was not qualified. The way you commenters revise his statements to make them plausible is cute, but Somerby is responsible for what he writes, not what you revise his statements into. As several of us pointed out at the time, she had the highest evaluations and checked all the boxes for someone qualified for the SC. She clerked for Breyer, she had top grades at top schools and an exemplary judicial career. Her ABA ratings were higher than the recent Republican appointees. "Higher than" the other sitting justices means "most qualified."

      Racists like Somerby and Republicans cannot conceive of a non-white candidate being the best qualified because they tacitly consider being white as part of the qualifications for the job. "Being smart" is not a qualification for the job -- there is also legal expertise involved and judicial experience.

    10. Those who objected said, "Yes, she is highly qualified but surely there is some white applicant who is more qualified." If you cannot see why that is a racist statement, you just might be a racist yourself.

    11. anons above - she certainly is quite qualified. Whether she is the "most" qualified is a totally subjective. There have been a lot of very smart appointees. I would agree that TDH's judgment on making an issue out of claims she was the "most qualified" is questionable I think it's ridiculous to assert that TDH was being "racist" or that or that he is a "racist." You are proving Drum's point, off the rails calling everyone "racists." Whether anyone actually said 'surely a more qualified white could have been found' or anything like that (I'm not aware anyone did) - TDH never said anything of the kind. You guys paraphrase and distort without any regard for being objective.

    12. No, these things are not "totally subjective." There are measures of performance for judges, such as their rate of being overturned upon appeal.

      If this were the only bit of evidence that Somerby is racist, you might have a point, but he has said many things over the years. I have provided evidence at the time and I am not going to go back and do that now. But calling out racism is a potent way of changing behavior. If it were not, Republicans wouldn't be complaining about it.

      You say Somerby said nothing of the kind. Do a search on the name Ketanji and see exactly what he said, before you start calling others here liars.

      3/28/22 -- Somerby quotes innocuous questions by Lindsay Graham, then objects when Laura Coates called her performance phenomenally talented and Graham's questioning "shocking." Somerby did not excerpt the portion that Coates found upsetting, then claimed he had said nothing "shocking." Here Somerby has disputed the characterization of the candidate's performance, since he found nothing wrong with what Graham asked (or said).

      4-13-22: Somerby says: "As we've noted, we had a different reaction to the treatment of Judge Jackson. On balance, we didn't think the questioning was especially "shocking." Beyond that, we were disappointed by the extent to which Jackson repeatedly chose to evade some perfectly straightforward questions."

      Here is where Somerby is tone-deaf about the questions and motives of Lindsay Graham in his questioning. He sides with the Republicans and against long-time black civil rights icons in how the questions were intended and received. Somerby uses the mocking term "double Harvard" to make fun of Brown-Jackson's education, as if there were something wrong with having gotten two degrees from a top university, including her law degree.

      4-14-22 Somerby objects to positive remarks made by Laura Coates, saying "Forget the unabashed cheerleading..." Somerby again objects to the positive remarks about Brown-Jackson, asking "Justice Thurgood Marshall was nominated and confirmed in 1967. Was Judge Jackson really more qualified than he was? Was she more qualified than Justice Earl Warren, who was governor of California when he was nominated and confirmed in 1953?

      For that matter, was she more qualified than Justice Sotomayor? If so, in what way? Only a tribe caught in a type of moral panic would want to invest itself in such pointless invidious claims."

      He then attributes the lack of votes for her by Republicans to tit-for-tat over Trump's nominees, not unwillingness to support a black candidate. He has no way of knowing which accounts for the lack of votes by Republicans, which is obvious.

      4-15-22 Somerby attempts to deny that Harvard is a white institution, to undercut the praise given to Brown-Jackson for her success in law school. Somerby quotes some current states for minority enrollment, overlooking that Brown-Jackson attended in a less enlightened time period. He notes the problem, saying "Briefly, let's be fair. Harvard College wasn't non-white to that extent when Judge Jackson studied there in the class of 1992. " But he lets his criticism of the praise for Brown-Jackson stand, even though he has discredited his own stats.

      Somerby then objects to using the entire history of the judgeship to consider the % of female black representation, because there were no black women then, he says. But that is exactly the point.

      Ask yourself why he is working so hard to deny the least praise to Brown-Jackson during this hearing? Who works that hard to disqualify someone who is manifestly qualified?

    13. Cont.

      3-23-22 Somerby joins Tucker Carlson, excerpting large amounts from his show, as he calls for the release of Brown-Jackson's LSAT scores. Then he equates Carlson's stupidity with the other cable news stations who have been praising the candidate, as if there were overinflated praise for Brown-Jackson, and not recognition of her achievements on the left.

      This is racist because Somerby's overall intent is to suggest that Brown-Jackson is not as well-qualified as her supporters, including President Biden, were claiming. Because Somerby has no basis for undermining that praise other than such specious objections, his motive for investing the effort to tear her down must be attributed to racism. He had no factual basis for doing it.

      There is more -- you can look it up yourself. Type Ketanji into the Daily Howler search engine and go past the few articles I have already discussed. There is a lot more, because Somerby wouldn't let this go, day after day after day -- he just had to keep kicking at her reputation because something irritated him big time about the way people were saying nice things about her qualifications and her work.

    14. To deny Somerby could reasonably be labeled racist is to put your head in the sand - something Somerby also likes to do.

      America continues to be the most racist society in history, there is massive inequality between Whites and Blacks on income, wealth, education, jobs, health, justice, you know name it, on and on, and yet Somerby always insists there is nothing to see here, move along he says, everything is as good as its going to get.

      Somerby is a goddam racist.

    15. anon 6:30 - ok, not totally subjective ; just substantially subjective. He's not a racist.That's where so many are going off the rails - it's Orwellian.

    16. anon 8:05 - So America s the "most racist society in history?" Moreso, I suppose than the Union of south Africa and Nazi Germany, then. So with all this inequality, how does this get rectified? I don't think calling people racists who aren't is the answer.

    17. Not even substantially. In CO, a panel evaluates judge performance to help voters decide who to retain. They evaluate them on knowledge of the law, courtroom decorum, continuing education, communication skills, administrative performance, integrity, interactions with attorneys, service to the legal profession and public, etc. This applies to all CO judges, including CO Supreme Court. Not subjective at all, but surprising you would think so, being an attorney yourself.

    18. anon 10:06 - There are obviously objective criteria for evaluating judges, and for determining who is qualified to be appointed or elected a judge. These Colorado standards apparently measure a prospective judge's qualifications, not whether a prospective judge is the "most qualified" candidate ever, but even there, there is subjectivity involved. There are many things that make a good judge, one primary thing being to set aside one's prejudices in making a decision,.which isn't easy to do. The issue (somewhat irrelevant thing to be arguing about I would say) was TDH's taking issue with those saying that Jackson was the "most" qualified person ever nominated for SCOTUS. As to whether someone is the "most" qualified, subjectivity certainly enters into it, it's a matter of opinion. If the issue is whether she was "qualified" as opposed to whether she was the "most qualified", then I think it's reasonable to opine that she was and is qualified. I certainly think it was a valid appointment. What TDH also addressed was the controversy as to whether Jackson was treated in an outrageously unfair (racist?) manner by some Republican senators. TDH took issue with some of these claims. I didn't watch the hearings, but TDH may well have been correct that some of the outrage was unjustified.

  8. "Is it possible that we blue tribers sometimes behave in ways which keep our team from winning more votes?"

    Do we really want to win Republican votes at the cost of our principles as Democrats? I say no. There are enough other votes to win without becoming Republicans.

    It seems odd for Somerby to urge us that if we become more like Republicans we will win more, after Democrats just won the majority in the Senate AGAIN and would have won the House had it not been for Republican gerrymandering. If we do what Somerby suggests and abandon our support for minorities and women, we are no better than Republicans, no different from them, and then what have we gained? Nothing that we care about.

    Our nation runs on a two-party system. The party not in power still has the ability to achieve its goals (via cooperation) and make progress, even if not the leadership. This isn't an all-or-nothing system. We do not have to become Republicans in order to make progress.

  9. "Within our tribe, we have a long-standing, instant explanation for those 53 million votes. The people who cast those votes are racists, and misogynists, and quite a few more "ists" besides!"

    No, some of them are just dumb as rocks. Others are greedy and want lower taxes (or no taxes). Some are following a tradition in their families of voting for a particular party.

    But ALL Republicans share the characteristic that they are OK with the racial bigotry, misogyny, anti-semitism, religiosity, homophobia and transphobia, and tolerance for political violence, put on display by their party. They are all OK with Trump's bad behavior. They are all OK with supporting Russia's attack on Ukraine, and with selling out to the Saudis. Because this is what their party is.

    Somerby wants to say that some Republicans are good people. I disagree. Good decent people do not support what the Republican party stands for and does. Somerby whines that we shouldn't say mean things about Republicans. I think THEY shouldn't do mean things, if they don't want to be called out on their own actions.

    1. 37 House members, all Republicans, oppose the Respect for Marriage Act. 14 Republicans joined Democrats to support the cloture motion on the bill.

      This is who Republicans are. They tell us that themselves, by their actions.

      Now they are telling us they are going to persecute Joe Biden because his son abused drugs. They are going to put Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Oversight Committee so she can say outrageous things about our nation's president. This is who Republicans are too.

      Somerby thinks the best way for Democrats to fight our political battles is with one arm tied behind our backs, ignoring the obvious ugliness of the right. He hasn't given any reason for the suggestion except that racists and bigots don't like being called on their racism and bigotry. But are we going to convince racists and bigots to vote for a party that fights racism and bigotry? Not likely. So, Somerby's suggestion would only dilute the progress toward goals of reducing racism and bigotry in our society. That makes no sense at all.

    2. Somerby's stance has been debunked decades ago.

      Somerby and his ilk - neoliberals like Clinton, turned their back on the working class, and Dems got wiped out by that nonsense stance.

      No right winger is ever going to vote for Dems, we have to motivate our voters, and we have only recently started doing that by becoming more progressive, more woke, more left - and it has been working, as opposed to Somerby's take which is to blame the victim and bow down to right wing authoritarianism.

      Somerby and Drum are facing a legacy that is utterly inconsequential; they assume they deserve more, a higher status. They are wrong. Two bitter old white men struggling to face death, externalizing blame to the blameless.

  10. "We were struck by points 6 and 7, which are somewhat intertwined."

    Democrats may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principles, and moral principle does play a role for the Democrat of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of
    Democratic behavior; so is the drive for power. Moreover, much of their behavior is not rationally calculated to be of benefit to the people whom they claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative action is good for black people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative action discriminates against them.

    1. I do not believe you are correct in suggesting that it is the tone of voice that prevents Republicans from embracing affirmative action.

    2. Democrats do not take such an approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs. Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black people, because the activists’ hostile attitude toward the white majority tends to intensify race hatred.

    3. Republicans are satisfying emotional needs too. Except hurting black people IS their real goal. That's why they cannot conceive that liberals might actually want to help black people. Race hatred by Republicans is not intensified by any activist's hostile attitude -- their hatred couldn't be worse than it is already. Further, why should they be left alone to hate for fear of making things worse. If race hatred by Republicans gets worse, they will be prosecuted and shunned by good people. Because a civil society does not single out people to hate because of their race.

      You can troll here as much as you want, but you are only making a fool of yourself and annoying the weak souls here who might have been tempted to vote Republican.

    4. 1:48

      If our society had no social problems at all, Democrats would have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.

    5. That sounds pretty silly. Do you think Democrats only focus on solving problems? They also build and do important projects to improve communities, maintain the planet, enhance life and help improve people's prosperity and well-being. For example, Democrats routinely fund arts projects that make daily life better. That is not addressing a problem or complaint. It is enriching society for those who love theater, music, art.

      What defines Democrats is not complaining about problems but working toward common (shared) goals to make life better for all.

      A lot of what Democrats do is also cleaning up the messes left by Republicans, such as ending and dealing with the aftermath of Republican wars, creating an effective program for dealing with covid, and keeping the economy stable (as in 2008-9). There was a lot of mess created by Trump that Biden has had to clean up. And he still passed an infrastructure bill to repair bridges and highways and provide internet to rural areas.

      Republicans are the destroyers -- now they are aiming to take away Medicare and Social Security. Democrats instituted and defended the ACA. Republicans seem to like social problems so much that they work extra hard to create them.

    6. @3:34 PM
      Meh. Actually, they invent "problems" (wimmin trapped inside men's bodies, anyone?) precisely because there are very real, very serious, critical problems.

      To create distractions.

    7. This is another example of an unfalsifiable assertion, as described by mh.

      People who have various problems tend to consider them serious. The idea of someone like you standing aside and judging whose problems are real and whose are not, strikes me as kind of obscene, especially given your obvious lack of empathy for anyone not yourself (with the problems you no doubt consider serious because they are yours).

      The more I consider this situation, the more obvious it seems to me that the Republicans (and their conservative trolls) are just massively stupid. I would feel sorry for you, but I am not sure whether your intelligence problem is real or just a distraction from more important problems, such as global climate change.

      It is hard to feel sorry for stupid people because the nature of their stupidity prevents them from realizing how truly stupid they are. Thus, they tend not to suffer as much as the people who they inflict their stupidity upon.

      Someone who mocks the persecution of transgender people (which includes murder at the extreme), is not a nice person. You will get your comeuppance, Mao, when you become too old and feeble to make your evening soup or pet your own cat, and no one cares because you were such a jerk to them during your younger life.

    8. Poor Cesillyia got suckered by 11:47, laughably swooning at their words, only to find out they were copy pasting from the Unabomber.

      Best not to respond to such sad folks.

  11. When 6 of Drum’s 7 rules are “they think we…”, that cries out for some critical analysis, wouldn’t you think? Are they correct in their thinking, or is that a trivial point not worth examining?

    You might as well add that they think we are pedophiles and “groomers” (per MT Greene), or “perverts” (per Kari Lake). Is that also why we lose?

  12. Drum’s list is a perfect Catch-22.

    If a Democrat speaks up for racial justice, that means she is being “woke” and calling Republicans racists.

    If a Democrat refrains from talking about social justice issues, but proposes new regulations to combat climate change or proposes new government programs or regulations to help working people, she violates Drum’s rule #2…or “they think” she does.

    If a Democrat wants to increase legal immigration due to labor shortages, or accept more humanitarian refugees from crisis areas like Afghanistan, she violates rule number 3, or “they think” she does.

    If a Democrat proposes lenience in drug possession cases, she violates rule #1, or they think she does.

    If a Democrat reins in the debt, while Republicans enlarge it, she violates rule #4.

    If a Democrat pays for spending by raising taxes, she is “endlessly spending money”, or “they think” she does.

    And on and on..

    1. mh, you sound like a lawyer advocating for a client, who is naturally biased, not like a judge who is supposed to be neutral.and objective. There are fair responses to your points. An example of how you slant things, \you claim that "when a dem speaks up for 'social justice' that means she is being 'woke' and calling republicans racists." Don't you read the comments here, like the one above that claims all republicans are ok with racial bigotry, antisemitism, etc (apparently even the black or Jewish ones)? I'm a democrat, but at this point, I have to acknowledge that dems, or so-called liberals, have departed from rationality in many respects, something that you and the commenters here can't seem to accept as true or sweep under the rug.

    2. Don't judge all Democrats by commenters here. First, not everyone claiming to be a Democrat actually is one. Second, you have no way of knowing how genuine anyone's remarks here are.

      I don't think your individual judgment, AC/MA, is the right standard to use for deciding whether any "so-called" liberals have departed from rationality. For one thing, how do you (or we) know you are the least bit rational? It doesn't show in what you write here. Given that there is no way to prove your own rationality, why should we accepted anything you say as true, and why shouldn't we sweep it under the rug?

      This whole idea that Republicans can assess the rationality of liberal behavior strikes me as ridiculous.

      And once again, Somerby has lost track of the FACT that Drum is talking about centrist reactions to liberals, not Republican reactions, which we all know are never sincere.

      I agree with mh that there is no way to speak up for social justice without being called a SJW and mocked by the right, while the centrists say "can you be a bit nicer to the bigots?"

      No one here thinks you are actually a Democrat or a lawyer, AC/MA.

    3. anon 4:27, you're entitled to your opinion.. Anyone can judge whether I'm rational, by what I say here. You haven't pointed out one thing that I've said that is irrational. Have you been chosen to speak on behalf of everyone that no one thinks I'm a democrat or a lawyer? I am the one who knows. I may not be right about everything, but I can assure you that I'm both a registered democrat who never voted for a republican candidate for president and am a lawyer, both for decades. Reasoning isn't your strong suit.

    4. Ac, the commenters here are not Democratic candidates or officeholders. That is an important distinction. Would you say that Ryan in Ohio was busy running around Ohio calling the voters there racists or misogynists? He still lost, despite being rather a “centrist.” Do you not see that Drum’s list essentially implies that centrists don’t like Democrats? Cause Democrats believe in regulations, spending on social programs (paid for with a taxes!), police and prison reform, all listed as things “they think” are extreme or whatever Drum means.

    5. MH, as I said, I'm a Democrat. If I lived in Ohio I'd have voted for Ryan. I think both sides have gone crazy (not everyone on each side). Look at anon 8:34, he's a lunatic.

    6. The idea that everyone has gone crazy is Somerby’s pitch. It isn’t true. Somerby has also been pushing the idea that some people are insane, which you repeat. There is no 8:34. Too bad Somerby’s idea about respecting others didn’t sink in, but hard to respect those you call crazy. It is as if you reserve sanity for only those you agree with.

  13. There is no evidence that anything on Drum's list has cost Democrats votes.

  14. The commenters at Kevin Drum's blog are not in favor of his suggestions either. They spent a lot of time discussing Democratic positions on immigration and then agreed that wokeness and stuff like that are not a problem for Democrats.

  15. This is why no one considers the Republicans a class act:

    “When Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her retirement from congressional leadership on Thursday, the House chamber was packed with Democratic lawmakers in anticipation of the announcement from an icon of American politics,” NBC News reports.

    “The Republican side of the chamber was largely empty. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is eyeing the speaker’s job after his party captured the majority, was nowhere to be seen.”

    Asked why he skipped her speech, McCarthy said: “I had meetings. But normally the others would do it during votes. I wish she could have done that — could have been there.”

    1. And this is why no one considers Herschel Walker a class act:

      "Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) said Republican Herschel Walker “crossed a line” ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff when he escalated his personal attacks against his rival by accusing the Democrat of being a negligent father to his two young children, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

      Said Warnock: “I know that politics is ugly. People play all kinds of games, unfortunately. But Herschel Walker and his allies have crossed a line where my family is concerned.”

      He added: “I want to set the record straight: My children live with me. I am present with my children in every way that a father should be, from breakfast in the morning to bedtime prayers at night. I can’t continue to let him lie about our family.”

  16. Drum once wrote a post attacking progressive Democrats (and Sanders, I suppose) for wanting to enact “Medicare for All.” Drum characterized it as an outrage or insult to “centrists”, presumably because of the imagined cost.

    Did centrists object to the ACA initially? I would argue that they did, although Drum sings its praises regularly.

    1. mh, does this mean that you and the anonymices are planning to troll Jabberwocky or not?

    2. I read and occasionally comment there when Drum makes a stats mistake. Usually other commenters beat me to whatever I was going to say. Unlike Somerby, Drum reads his comments. He also updates his posts based on them when warranted.

    3. Drum moderates his comments, unlike Somerby. It keeps out the riffraff and permits more discussion. Several folks who used to comment here have been commenting there for years. If Somerby would stop lying about being liberal, I would leave too.

      Love the way you got suckered by the Unabomber quotes, by the way.

    4. It’s a “no” then due to moderation.

      I’m not surprised that’s what it would take.

    5. I already told you that I comment there. Your hostility gets in the way of seeing what people are saying.

    6. I read that you comment on Drum’s blog. I took your saying that Drum moderates his site as definitively stating that you can’t treat Drum as you treat Somerby.


      (You’re a mensch, Bob.)

      My first response here was to mh. I don’t get the unabomber thing, other than an anonymouse saying I had agreed with a Unabomber quote before I had even posted on this thread.


    7. 8:47: “Trolling” Drum? You mean by disagreeing with him about his list, the way many of his commenters do? I mentioned Drum’s position on Medicare for All because it is relevant to his views about “centrists” that…wait for it… Somerby is referring to here.

  17. From Daily Kos:

    I have already stated that the purpose of Democrats is simply and obviously to communicate with people, and if we interrogate our sources of knowledge as to the object of such communication, it must be admitted that the response is vague. Perhaps the object will best be defined as the reinforcement of human ability by power and intelligence for the operation of individual desire and ambition. It will be seen very readily that the essence of Democrats is wanting in the second division, namely, the orthodox intention, so that it belongs really to another category, though the classification may be accepted for the moment to prevent dispute in a somewhat complex inquiry.