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Hometown: Olympia, WA
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Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Tue Nov 29, 2016, 04:13 PM (1 replies)

"Rural Democrats: Party Ignored Us, Suffered the Consequences" - Rollcall

Democrats in rural America have a blunt message for the rest of their party: We saw the electoral disaster coming — and it’s your fault.

Strategists and party officials say their warnings about the party’s lackluster outreach to rural voters went unheeded by Democratic leaders for years, culminating in this month’s shock defeat to Donald Trump. A presidential candidate who actually performed poorly in many cities and suburbs nonetheless scored an upset victory because of a surge in support from small towns and rural areas.

To these old Democratic political hands — many of whom hail from well outside the cities where most party professionals live — the outcome would have been preventable if the party had developed and sustained an effort to win over these voters. Instead, they say a Democratic Party that focused on only the urban and suburban vote either ignored rural America entirely or badly mishandled the outreach it did undertake.
“The Democratic Party ceded rural America to the Republicans quite some time ago,” said Vickie Rock, a member of the Nevada State Democratic Central Committee from rural Humboldt County. “They invested nothing, they built no bench. They don’t even send out signs anymore, which is a staple of rural politics.

“All Trump had to do was peel off a small percentage of urban votes, and he was going to win,” Rock said. “Because he already had, in his back pocket, rural America.”
“When they do show up, it’s 22-year-old kids from the Ivy League,” Sadler said. “And they’re telling you what do, as opposed to stopping and listening.”

To these strategists, the Democratic Party has become captive by a set of city-dwelling political professionals who personally don’t understand the important differences of urban versus rural campaigns. It’s a blindness that led them to dismiss the results of successive midterm elections, electoral wipeouts that many Democrats believed was mostly a consequence of the party’s urban base failing to turn out.

“The brilliant ones at top know better,” said Nancy Larson, a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. “And they come down and say, ‘This is what you do, this is what you say, this is what you have your candidates do, and don’t stray from this.’”

Larson added: “They talk about the messages that worked in very urban areas, where you have a million people or more. But they don’t know how to talk about ordinary people.”

- See more at: http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/rural-democrats-ignored-suffer-consequences#sthash.KfkOCH8w.mXqb27cT.dpuf
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Tue Nov 29, 2016, 02:18 PM (10 replies)

How the Global Left Destroyed Itself (or, All Sex Is Not Rape)

From Yves at nakedcapitalism

I recall several dinner debates in which I really did not understand just how out my depth that I was. At one, a gender studies major declared at a table of twenty women that “all sex was rape” owing to the act of penentration being a simulacrum with violation. When I pointed out that perhaps it was more a case of personal power and volition, as well as who was “on top”, I was unsure if she going to run me through with her fork or take me out the back and roger me senseless.

I was saved from penetration of some kind, by another more savvy girl who suggested that during sex the vagina may, in fact, be engulfing the penis, and so the violation may be the reverse!

Take it from me, dear reader, that the place was in an advanced state of politico-sexual meltdown.

Amusement aside there was something else transpiring that was going to, and has, had a very dramatic impact upon global politics. The post-structural revolution has led directly to the rise of the identity politics that today dominates Left-wing policy-making in Western nations and, concomitantly, the decline of class-based politics.


Which brings us back to today. And we wonder how it is that an abuse-spouting guy like Donald Trump can succeed Barack Obama. Trump is a member of the very same “trickle down” capitalist class that ripped the income from US households. But he is smart enough, smarter than the Left at least, to know that the decades long rage of the middle and working classes is a formidable political force and has tapped it spectacularly to rise to power.

And, he has done more. He has also recognised that the Left’s obsession with post-structural identity politics has totally paralysed it. It is so traumatised and pre-occupied by his mis-use of the language of power – the “racist”, “sexist” and “xenophobic” comments – that it is further wedging itself from its natural constituents every day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very doubtful that Trump will succeed with his proposed policies but he has at least mentioned the elephant in the room, making the American worker visible again.

Returning to that innocent Aussie boy and his wild romp at Smith College, I might ask what he would have made of all of this. None of the above should be taken as a repudiation of the experience of racism or sexism. Indeed, the one thing I took away from Smith College over my lifetime was an understanding at just how scarred by slavery are the generations of African Americans that lived it and today inherit its memory (as well as other persecuted). I felt terribly inadequate before that pain then and I remain so today.

But, if the global Left is to have any meaning in the future of the world, and I would argue that the global Right will destroy us all if it doesn’t, then it must get beyond post-structural paralysis and go back to the future of fighting not just for social justice issues but for equity based upon class. Empowerment is not just about language, it’s about capital, who’s got it, who hasn’t and what role government plays between them.

All sex is not rape, but most poverty is.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Tue Nov 29, 2016, 01:46 PM (21 replies)

My county is a microcosm of the reasons we failed

Due to a strong local economy and good (albeit working class) union jobs, Our county was once a reliable blue county - we voted for Carter and Mondale - even as the rest of Washington State voted for Reagan.

Today, our unemployment rate is twice and our median income is about 2/3 that of King County, roughly one hour away. The statewide tax system and our schools are an embarrassment, for the same core reason; inequality. Our tax system is the most regressive in the country, disproportionately impacting the working poor to the benefit of urban and suburban higher income earners.

Our elected officials are dominated by urban/suburban Democrats who do everything they can to attract businesses by keeping that inequality intact. So much so that our government is now under court order to fully fund education because the situation has become so dire for rural schools that the state is failing in its "primary duty" to provide for education.

It sucks here. Heroin, meth, generational poverty, crime. What's the solutions provided by our state government? Fundraisers for elected officals in the homes of Howard Shultz and Jeff Bezos.

Social programs are okay, but they are no substitute for gainful employment.

It sucks here because state and federal governments don't really care that it sucks here, except as a validation of their own purity; "those toothless uneducated hicks don't vote for us".

True enough, they don't any more. My county commissioners are now 100% Republicans, the first of which in my memory was elected in 2010. Prior to 2010 the county didn't really have a Republican party at all - or at least not one which needed meeting space larger than a phone booth.

Clinton premised her entire campaign on three themes:
1) I'm serious. You can tell by the way me and Lloyd Blankfein are on a first name basis, and the fact that all the superdelegates committed to me two years ago.
2) I'm the candidate of all the virtuous people. Not those white working class deplorables.
3) Trump Scary!

That last isn't a very compelling reason - the lives of the voters in question are already scary enough.

One last thing; If you're going to go all out on wedge identity politics, make sure that you're not alienating the functional majority.
Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Wed Nov 23, 2016, 07:12 PM (0 replies)

Bernie Sanders Schools Clueless News Anchor On Why Hillary Clinton Lost

This is a test to see if we have learned anything in the last month about our actions of the last five months.

Posted by lumberjack_jeff | Wed Nov 23, 2016, 05:55 PM (21 replies)
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