And why it might not.
"The fact that Democrats responded with visceral dislike to a song that expressed the complicated populist views of an actual working-class person shows how unwelcoming the party has become to actual working-class people," No Mr Texeira, my frustration with working class people has nothing to do with their music. It has to do with the fact I don't dare put a Joe Biden bumper sticker on my car because the odds are very high some working class person who hates democrats will vandalize my Jeep. To say that kind of thing makes me feel unwelcome in their party is an understatement.
Charlie writes: "I think it’s safe to say that the politics in Wisconsin right now are… complicated."
Hard disagree. With the reporting that you and others have done, the politics in Wisconsin seem incredibly simple to me. One side has gone off the deep end of completely being done with the concept of majority rule democracy. Unless the other side is cozying up to dictators, banning books, and attacking minority populations, it seems pretty clear and simple to me.
The events of the past week, the sheer lunacy of the current GOP reminded me once again that it is the badly broken primary process that has lead the GOP to its current state of affairs. Honorable, thoughtful, responsible candidates don’t feed the passions of the 10% of voters who bother to participate in primary elections. The extreme right has exploited that sad fact to push radical, ignorant nut-cases to the forefront of the party. And those who know better by and large fear offending this core of insanity, lest they face a primary challenge. A rare few have been willing to face down the rabid crowd. Only by continued failure in general elections will those who see themselves as non-insane conservatives end the insanity.
As for challenges to Biden, I’m so tired of the bullshit polling. As Kareem Abdul Jabbar pointed out today, pretty much president of recent memory, including Reagan and Obama, were at a similar point in terms of “popularity or approval” in those meaningless polls. I go back to the same point, yet again. Polling is a cheap and easy way to generate a headline, but as history has shown over and again, polling seldom asks the right questions and often misses the point. We can dwell on Biden’s age because its an easy story, but as was pointed a couple days ago in the Bulwark, if you look at performance in terms of legislative accomplishments, his masterful state of the union, outsmarting the GOP congress on debt ceiling negotiations, and his recent speeches, these tell us far more about Biden’s capabilities that a poll that frankly doesn’t tell us much. Do we think people who are 80 are old. Yes. Does that essentially bias any question regarding assumptions about any individual’s capabilities at that age? YES.
Pardon my cynicism on what is otherwise a beautiful, sunny, warm Friday morning where I am, but after reading this column -- well-written and well-thought out, as usual -- I realize that my deeper feelings can be described with just one word: hopeless.
As a Wisconsinite, I've felt hopeless since 2011, when Scott Walker and the Republicans came to power and flipped the core power structure of the state (including the House and Senate). Nothing has been the same since, especially for us public sector workers, who literally are paying for it every single day, via Act 10 and state budget gamesmanship. I feel hopeless that the GOP here will ever play fair, respect the will of others, and seek to govern in good faith for all taxpayers and not just the ones who choose them. (Rational thinking leads us to believe that at some point they will feel shame, accept the possibility of consequences for their choices, and end their ham-handed attempts to game the system in whatever way possible. That, too, is hopeless, as long as tribalism rules, doubling down on mistakes and previous efforts is the only acceptable approach, and We The People are essentially powerless to effect change and make a difference.)
Rinse and repeat on a national level with the GOP generally, and more specifically for 2024 when the only choices are between a known thug, lawbreaker, extreme narcissist, and likely demented thinker and a supposedly too old incumbent President who, on balance, has done a good job in policy decisions and restoring sanity and decorum to the office but appears terminally unpopular (albeit for some very dubious reasons), enough so that the thug may well get a return engagement and revenge tour for at least four more years.
For my part, all I want is fundamental fairness and basic respect to make a return. If the Republicans win elections fair and square, so be it. If the Democrats do, that's fine. Whatever the collective voice of the people is, I'll live with it. Just. Make. It. Fair. Stop f.....g with our elections, end the hopelessness of the majority, and allow us to feel like a small handful of power brokers aren't holding the rest of us hostage on a trip over a deep cliff that few of us want and none of us are better off for in the end.
Good, cleansing rant ended, I wish you all a fine weekend and a more hopeful future.
Even I knew Jan. 6th was going to be violent and I am just a run of the mill political junkie that doesn't have any criminal law enforcement background.
The FBI et al. simply dropped the ball. They had/have a bias as it perpertained to Trump supporters and allowed that to guide them. I still believe they haven't wreckoned with the level of crazy that exists on 4chan, 8chan, GAB, Parlor, the LARPing world in general. There is a shit ton of stupid in this country and a whole lot of them have guns.
The reason there are no challengers to Biden is because he's the incumbent and if Biden wants to run, he has a record of achievement to run on, and a primary challenge would be bad for the party. The only way Biden is not the nominee is if he opts not to run. For better or worse, it appears he is opting to run. I wish he wouldn't, but there will be no serious challenge to his nomination; it's all up to Biden. He thinks he's up for it, apparently. Let's hope he's not fooling himself, because if he is, catastrophe looms.
I think a lot of the criticism from the left over Rich Men North of Richmond is that it is incoherent, with such themes as the government needs to stay out of our lives while lamenting that the government has abandoned the people. How is one to respond adequately to contradictory complaints? I know my impulse is to mock, so, I guess that means I'm part of the problem.
Enough with Ruy Teixeria!! He’s now bashing Democrats for disliking a horrible song? JVL summed up that song perfectly: “The “Rich Men North of Richmond” policy agenda is utterly incoherent. Anthony says government spends too much money, but also isn’t helping people enough. Miners (who earn 20 percent above the average national wage) are somehow in trouble. Skinny people are dying in the streets from drugs and suicide. But fat welfare queens are bringing home the bacon. The entire thing is an evasion of personal responsibility and an exercise in special pleading: The government should spend more money on the people I like and less money on the people I do not like. And also: Everything that’s wrong in my life is someone else’s fault. Finally: Oliver Anthony seems unaware that the places he romanticizes are actually the ones sucking the most off the government teat and contributing the least to our economy. We are indeed a nation of makers and takers. And the takers are Oliver Anthony and his friends.”
If someone can kindly point me to the policy document where Biden says “fuck the working class! I’m only here for those who have a college degree” I would really appreciate it.
The amount of pundits who are apparently living through their first presidential election cycle is pretty wild to me.
"Why is no one from the mainstream of the Democratic party challenging their own president who has long been the representative of the mainstream of the Democratic party and has also delivered a bunch of wins on mainstream Democratic policy objectives?" asks a person whose paycheck is presumably based on their ability to provide smart political analysis.
When I was in HS, I believed that folks got into politics because they wanted to help. But for the life of me, I can't see who the various GOPers think they are helping, except themselves (and that is to keep a job).
Off topic: The statesman Bill Richardson was laid to rest yesterday. I appreciate the respect we show here for some R's who have demonstrated integrity (Pence, Romney), and I would like to show the same respect for a man who devoted his life to public service and who was genuinely patriotic. RIP and thank you Bill Richardson.
Donald Trump is criminally corrupt and promising to launch a "Reign of Terror" when he is elected...
But, yeah, Joe Biden is old...
I have never cast a vote based on polling.
I have never cast a vote based on an opinion column.
I have certainly never based any vote on a song.
Trump doesn’t get that they are going to introduce all of these videos at his trial. The videos cannot be cross examined and are a great way of putting him on the stand (his words) without actually putting him on the stand.
This is true ... earlier this week I had a conversation with a young trans individual who asked me about how receptive a certain foreign country is to others from abroad. Trusting me and my response, I was told that the person involved felt the need to have an exit strategy for 2024 if Trump were to win again. It would essentially amount to abandoning a lifetime of family, friends, and personal comforts, but the thought of being here for the Trump revenge tour and GOP empowerment at the highest level is seen to have such a consequential impact that a segment of our population literally feels scared for their lives.
It was a sobering moment for me personally, to see this out in the open instead of just reading or hearing impersonally about the topic. It is real people feeling real desperation at the prospect of what the GOP potentially has in store for some among us if they are given the power to do so. I shudder at what this nation is becoming, right in front of our eyes, as we allow extremism to fester and grow into something more ugly and destructive than any of us will have the power to control if the trend continues.
Democrats still support platforms that would help working people in the workplace and in the complex modern world of health care and drug pricing. It is a general frame that Democrats don't appeal to working-class people which fails to overlook substantive changes that came out of the Inflation Reduction Act so that working people can have a more equitable piece of the pie when it comes to the environment, internet availability, and once again, drug pricing. The state of the American middle class and education is indeed sad, but that doesn't give a pass for the right wing to perpetuate anti-intellectualism for votes. Observations that say the Democrats aren't appealing to "working class" people sometimes overlook the initiatives Democrats have engaged in while practicing a soft bigotry of low expectations regarding "middle America."