Democrats May Be About To Flip Montana’s At-Large House Seat

There's a Special Election in Montana tomorrow, and the Democratic candidate is performing far above expectations.

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National Republicans are apparently concerned that the polling in the Special Election that will take place in Montana tomorrow to replace former Congressman Ryan Zinke, who is now President Trump’s Secretary of the Interior, is closer than it should be:

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Republican Greg Gianforte’s closing motivational speech to voters ahead of Thursday’s special House election in Montana is the same thing GOP strategists are whispering in private: “This race is closer than it should be.”

It’s a recurring nightmare of a pattern for Republicans around the country, as traditional GOP strongholds prove more difficult and expensive for the party to hold than it ever anticipated when President Donald Trump plucked House members like Ryan Zinke, the former Montana Republican now running the Interior Department, for his Cabinet. Gianforte is still favored to keep the seat red, but a state Trump carried by 20 percentage points last year became a battleground in the past few months.

Democrat Rob Quist, a folk singer and first-time candidate, has raised more than $6 million for his campaign, including $1 million in the past week alone as energized Democratic donors pour online cash into political causes this year. Quist hopes that enthusiasm also contributes to an outsize turnout — as it did in special elections in Kansas and Georgia earlier this year — for the oddly scheduled Thursday election, happening just before a holiday weekend.

“I remember talking to people when it first started who said this was a slam dunk, Gianforte’s it. And it’s not there anymore,” said Jim Larson, the Montana Democratic Party chairman. “It is a lot closer than people ever thought it would be.”

Gianforte, a technology executive, has led consistently in polls for the special election, but Quist has narrowed that lead to single digits in recent weeks, according to private surveys. “Gianforte has an edge, but it’s not going to be a slam dunk,” said one national GOP strategist.

Republicans have called on Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. to calm their nerves about turnout and prevent Democrats from having the only energized voting bloc in the special election. Both have rallied voters with Gianforte, and Pence recorded a get-out-the-vote robocall. Gianforte, who said little about Donald Trump when Gianforte ran for governor and lost in 2016, has cast himself as a willing and eager partner of the president this time around.

On Tuesday, surrounded by Trump stickers — and some Trump hat-wearing supporters — Gianforte said he was eager “to work with Donald Trump to drain the swamp and make America great again,” invoking two of the president’s campaign slogans. Pence’s robocall may give another boost to Republican turnout efforts.

But the environment has changed since Trump’s presidential win last fall. One senior Republican strategist warned that, based on the party’s performance in special elections so far, if Republicans “cannot come up with better candidates and better campaigns, this cycle is going to be even worse than anybody ever thought it could be.”

“The fact that we’re talking about Montana — a super red seat — is amazing,” said John Lapp, who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 cycle. “It’s also amazing how much money Republicans have to pour into these seats to defend them. It’s still a steep climb in Montana, but we know that the reaction there means that there’s a tremendous amount of Democratic energy across the country, a tremendous amount of fundraising that will then feed into races that are much fairer fights.”

To be fair, I’m not sure I’d agree with the assertion that Montana is a “super red seat.” Yes, it’s true that a Republican has served as Republicans At-Large Congressman since the 1996 midterm election. However, it’s also true that one of the state’s two Senators, Jon Tester, is a Democrat and that Democrats have won the Governor’s mansion in back-to-back elections going back to 2004, although that basically consists of Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock winning an election and then easily winning re-election. Additionally, Bill Clinton managed to eke out a narrow victory in the state in the 1992 Presidential Election. Given that, while I wouldn’t call Montana a ‘purple’ state in the sense that it is a toss-up in Presidential years, especially since 1992 is the only time the state has gone to a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson’s landslide in 1964. Nonetheless, the examples of Tester, Schweitzer, and Bullock show that it is possible for Democrats to win on a statewide basis in the state.

As for this Special Election, there’s actually been a limited amount of polling in this race so it’s hard to tell what to think. For the most part, the polls that have been conducted in the race have been done either by Gravis Marketing, which FiveThirtyEight has rated as a B- in its Pollster Rankings and Google Consumer Surveys, an online survey that has a B rating in the same Pollster Ranking. Those polls have generally shown the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte leading Democrat Rob Quist by a narrow margin, a result which is somewhat surprising given that the Cook Political Report has given the Montana At-Large District an R+11 District, which generally means that this should be an easy win for a Republican candidate. Moreover, the most recent poll from Google has Quist leading Gianforte by 14 points, a larger margin than either candidate has had in any poll so far in this race. Additionally, it should be noted that there is a Libertarian Party candidate in the race named Mark Wicks who has been polling anywhere from as high as 11% to as low as 5%. If those numbers hold up, then it would mean that it would be possible for either Giancorte or Quist to win the seat without actually getting a majority since Montana does not have runoff elections if no candidate gets to 50%.

As with the Special Election in Georgia, there could be any number of reasons why the Democratic candidate is performing better than expected in the polls. While Donald Trump did win the state overwhelmingly last November, the fact that his national job approval is at historic lows could be energizing Democrats and anti-Trump voters who identify as independents or even Republicans to back a candidate who is standing against the Trump Administration’s agenda. It’s also possible that the public reaction to things such as the Republican health care plan is helping Quist’s chances here. Finally, one can’t discount the personal factor in elections such as this that are likely to depend largely on turnout. The fact that this election is taking place at an odd time of year, and on a Thursday rather than the typical Tuesday, is likely to mean that the winning candidate will be the one who is best able to get their supporters to the polls. In any case, the outcome here will likely be seen as a signal for the mood of the electorate in these first 125 days of the Trump Administration.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2017, Congress, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Pearce says:

    In any case, the outcome here will likely be seen as a signal for the mood of the electorate in these first 125 days of the Trump Administration.

    He’s doing so well without protest demonstrations and “dear white people” wokeness? I hope someone’s taking notes….

  2. Yank says:

    @James Pearce: This is silly. Montana demographically is different from California and New York.

    It would be a mistake for Democrats to ignore identity politics. Contrary to what Bernie Sanders and his supporters think, they aren’t the base. The base is women of color, so ignoring issues that are important to them is good way not to win elections.

  3. Pch101 says:

    If you ask Pearce for his advice and make a point of not following it, then you’ll probably be on the right track.

  4. reid says:

    Good lord, don’t tell me “drain the swamp” still works? By now it should be a liability. I hope the Democrats point out repeatedly what a joke it and their GOP competition are for even saying it. There is so much ammunition available now….

  5. Mr. Prosser says:

    @reid: Drain the swamp probably does resonate here in the mountain west but one of the points that seems to resonate against Gianforte is a very western issue. He’s a rich guy who moves in and then tries to shut out the locals. http://billingsgazette.com/news/government-and-politics/governor-candidate-gianforte-sued-state-in-over-access-to-river/article_951b0234-304c-5570-b90e-83e92fb8c976.html

  6. michael reynolds says:

    @Yank:
    If women of color are the base we are fwcked. The African-American population is 13%, the Latino population is 17%, half are women of color, which means you think our base is 15%.

    Oh, but it gets worse. Because the black base is geographically concentrated in such a way that they punch below their weight, even when they turn out big. Latino voters are also geographically constrained and have low turn-out. So your 15% is actually more like 10%.

    Democrats have gotten into their heads that all we have to do is wait on demographics. This is stupid. The last prediction I saw was that we’d become majority minority in 2044. But even that isn’t true, because in 2044 that minority who becomes majority will be 1 day old, 18 years away from voting. We’ll have flying cars and Google chips in our brains before we have a minority majority voter base.

    We cannot – absolutely cannot – win without white voters. In fact white voters still make up the majority of Democrats. Whites are 57% of Democrats, Blacks 21, Latinos 12, Asians 2. So do the math. Overall in 2016, 70% of people who actually voted were white.

    So Pearce is not wrong here. Identity politics, enforced by social justice warriors, with intellectual foundations supplied by academia, has been a massive failure. Huge failure. Enormous, crushing failure. We have lost state legislatures. We’ve lost governors. We lost the House and the Senate. We lost the presidency to a fwcking orangutan.

    Identity politics does not work. Period. It just doesn’t.

    Furthermore, identity politics validates white identity politics. You cannot say that everyone should be primarily identified as a member of a racial group, and then scream when whites do the same. It is logically untenable to be racialist (not racist) and anti-racialist simultaneously.

    The Left has driven way off the road with this. We have been playing the enemy’s game. Our game is not racialism, it is the unity of working people, the unity of interest of the 99%. Because guess what? 99% is a way bigger number than 15%. Or 10%. Black people don’t only have race issues, they have jobs and housing and schooling issues, same as everyone. And we have been trying since forever to get the white working class to understand that they are in the same boat with the black working class, and along come the SJW’s to demonize the 70% of voters who are white, which of course helps the white ruling class retain power.

  7. James Pearce says:

    @Yank:

    This is silly. Montana demographically is different from California and New York.

    It’s not silly to ask why Democrats struggle to get elected dog catcher in places that are “demographically different” from their coastal strongholds. It’s a very pertinent question.

    It would be a mistake for Democrats to ignore identity politics.

    I disagree. The Dem’s embrace of identity politics has been a boon…for Republicans. Forget demographics. Go universal.

    @Pch101: How’s your “protest to delegitimize the president” project going? Still more of a weekend thing?

  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    OT…
    More on Don-the-Con’s $2T budget fraud.
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/23/trump-budget-scam-215183
    http://www.salon.com/2017/05/24/the-double-count-trump-budget-includes-2-trillion-accounting-gimmick/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-budget-numbers-error_us_5924a930e4b0ec129d3054e7?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/politics/budget-cuts-deficit.html?_r=0
    There is an op-ed in the WaPo by Lawrence Summers that I cannot get to because I do not subscribe. He calls this:

    the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them

    Except this isn’t an error. Don-the-Con is a flim-flam artist. This is fraud. A scam. They were hoping no one would notice and just see rosy numbers.
    Yup…sure does pay to have a businessman for the so-called President.
    Anyone who voted for this man…anyone who thinks he is capable of captaining the ship thru a serious crisis of any kind… needs to seek professional help.

  9. JohnMcC says:

    @Mr. Prosser: Thanks for the link. Perhaps you are living in the region? I’d love to hear more about how access to federal lands and such-like influence voting patterns. I instantly thought of the present administration’s proposal to allow re-thinking federal ‘monuments’ that have been designated by executive orders when I saw the headline about Montana’s election. Didn’t access become quite an issue in the last election? There’s something niggling away in the memory but not coming closer…..

  10. Yank says:

    @michael reynolds: And if they ignore black voters, the Democrats are fucked. One reason Clinton lost was because of the drop in AA voters in places like Michigan.

    And I am not saying Democrats should drop white voters. But, the ones they need aren’t the WWC that some liberals have a fetish for, but college educated whites in the suburbs. Trump massively underperformed with those voters during the elections and across the board they are more progressive then rural WWC voters. North Carolina is a good example of how sticking to identity politics is a smart play. Trump won that state, but Democrats won the governorship in part do the bathroom issue.

  11. Yank says:

    I disagree. The Dem’s embrace of identity politics has been a boon…for Republicans. Forget demographics. Go universal.

    Do you realize this means the Democrats would have to move to the right? People forget Clinton did this in1990s, which lead to triangulation, which everyone on the left hates.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @Yank:
    On the contrary, it means moving left on economic issues.

  13. Ben Wolf says:

    @Yank: Working class politics are left-wing politics. That’s why the Tea Party and Donald Trump used the rhetoric of the old liberal firebrands to denounce a “crooked”, “rigged” and “corrupt” system, to attack banks and big business. It was all bullshit because they didn’t mean a word, but that pro-labor rhetoric worked. And it worked for Sanders too, catapulting him from someone nobody heard of to a household name in less than a year.

    I don’t have a link any more, but after the election a reporter in West Virginia asked a disabled coal miner why he voted for Trump when Clinton had promised millions of dollars in aid. His response was “I don’t want a handout, I want to work.” That’s the key to persuading the white working class because the feeling of earning a dignified living is central to their identities. If 75% of Trump voters are racists and sexists, that leaves 15 million who are potentially open to persuasion on a pro-worker platform.

  14. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Trump has record-low approval ratings and is being investigated on several fronts.

    None of that is happening because of people like you.

  15. Pch101 says:

    @Yank:

    It would be a mistake for Democrats to ignore identity politics.

    The Republicans are masters of identity politics. White identity.

  16. Yank says:

    @michael reynolds: Actually it doesn’t. For example, Clinton moved to the right on both economics (remember welfare reform?) and social policies to win back these type of voters after the New Deal coalition fell apart in 80s.

    Liberals are making a mistake by assuming that these type voters are conservative on social issues, but economically liberal, by in large they aren’t.

  17. Yank says:

    I don’t have a link any more, but after the election a reporter in West Virginia asked a disabled coal miner why he voted for Trump when Clinton had promised millions of dollars in aid. His response was “I don’t want a handout, I want to work.” That’s the key to persuading the white working class because the feeling of earning a dignified living is central to their identities. If 75% of Trump voters are racists and sexists, that leaves 15 million who are potentially open to persuasion on a pro-worker platform.

    Which is impossible for Democrats to do on the national level in those areas because of their stance on coal and climate change.

    Clinton didn’t offer a handout. She, like Sanders, wanted to pledge billions to revitalized the area and create more renewable energy jobs, which is actually far more realistic then Trump’s promise of bringing back coal. And yet, they rejected because of their culturally identification and history with coal.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @Yank:

    The WWC may be more socially conservative, but they are not all anti-choice, racists or bigots. A lot are, don’t get me wrong. A lot. But another big bunch are not. Or are at least mostly indifferent.

    We won on SSM. The whole country accepts it now, even Republicans. A country that can go from overwhelmingly anti-SSM to strongly pro-SSM in about a decade is not a country committed to social conservatism.

    The better off people are economically the less they tend to give a rat’s ass about who pees in which bathroom. As the father of a transgender child I am intimately involved in that issue, but you simply cannot tell an unemployed machinist in Youngstown that you care more about trans issues than you do about his job, and not expect to be dismissed out of hand. There is no conflict between ‘jobs’ and ‘bathrooms.’ Rather the contrary – when people think life is going well, we get to advance our social agenda. When people are scared, they look to protect themselves and worry less about minority interests.

  19. Yank says:

    @michael reynolds: No doubt. There are WWC, especially the ones that Obama won that can be won over again with the right candidate. But you don’t have to abandon identity politics to do so, I mean President Obama didn’t.

    I just don’t want to see the party overreact to Clinton’s defeat (which IMO, was more do to Clinton’s flaws as a candidate then some true policy issue that the party has. I mean give Biden the same platform and he wins this election in a landslide) and move to the right to try to win over voters in areas that have been trending red for 20-30 years now.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @Yank:
    Look, I’m about as far left as it is possible to be on social issues. I am Democratic voter and a donor. And yet SJWs are so indescribably obnoxious, and their ideas are so blatantly absurd, that I can’t stand them.

    Now, if I can’t stand them, and I’m way off to the left, you could reasonably intuit that people to my right – 90% of the country – can stand them even less.

    How much failure do you want to see before reconsidering tactics and strategy? We are LOSING. Before identity politics and SJWs came to define us we elected the nation’s first black president. After the rise of identity politics and SJWs we elected a malignant troll.

    There is no logical argument supporting identity politics as a political strategy. On the contrary, there is a mountain of evidence showing it to be ineffective at best and counter-productive at worst.

  21. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    None of that is happening because of people like you.

    Yeah, it’s true. I take no credit for Trump’s record low ratings and multiple investigations. And neither should you.

    I take our low-rated, scandal-plagued president as testament to the complete and utter failure of the social justice warrior approach, but you think it marks your success?

    @Yank:

    Which is impossible for Democrats to do on the national level in those areas because of their stance on coal and climate change.

    It may be “impossible” but it’s necessary.

  22. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    ” Gianforte, who said little about Donald Trump when Gianforte ran for governor and lost in 2016, has cast himself as a willing and eager partner of the president this time around.”

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Gianforte were 180 degrees out of phase on his Trump positioning?

  23. Yank says:

    @michael reynolds: They aren’t losing because of “identity politics”. They are losing because their down the ballot organization is in poor shape and when you compound that to the fact that they are coming off of eight years of control of the WH, this is what you get.

    And you can’t really drop identity politics since all politics at some level is identity politics as Yglesias from Vox explains.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/23/13685988/democrats-identity-politics

  24. Yank says:

    It may be “impossible” but it’s necessary.

    It actually is not necessary since those aren’t the regions they need to win to regain poor.

  25. Pch101 says:

    Anyone who earnestly believes that identity politics were invented and are monopolized by minorities is a fool.

    This country was born in identity politics — surely, even the dimmest among you have heard of slavery and the 3/5ths compromise.

    For an example of this mindset, refer to the “cornerstone speech” given by the Confederate vice president in 1861.

    (A)ll of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system.

    This mentality is deeply rooted in American politics, and there is no way that a political party that tries to actively reach out to minority voters can simultaneously appeal to that element. Those people want minorities to suffer, so much so that they are willing to endure some pain themselves if it allows them to lash out at others.

    That’s why the GOP will talk about inclusion in policy circles, but steer away from it on the campaign trial. Some white voters will be alienated by ANY effort to help minority voters, and politicians know this. You either reach those voters by telling them what they want to hear or you don’t.

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    Anyone who earnestly believes that identity politics were invented and are monopolized by minorities is a fool.

    This country was born in identity politics — surely, even the dimmest among you have heard of slavery and the 3/5ths compromise.

    True, but politically irrelevant.

    The political idea of identity politics – that we can put together a coalition capable of gaining power – out of the 13% and the 17% is obviously nonsense. Again, 70% of votes are cast by whites, and 57% of Democrats are white. White people have the power. If minorities want power they have to, in effect, take it from white people.

    But as a matter of simple math, minorities do not have the numbers. They can not hold power without relying on white votes. How do Democrats attract white votes? Here’s a clue: it’s not by telling them they are all demons, or by sneering at their imperfect liberalism, or attacking them for any small deviation from the party line.

    Rally after rally, speech after speech, Hillary went down the call-out list of every possible group with one glaring exception. You cannot give a speech calling out to black, Latino, Asian, gay and trans and leave out the people who are 70% of the fwcking vote and nearly 6 in 10 of your own voters.

    We are either racialists or we are not. If we are then we have no basis for rejecting the notion of white pride. You cannot be ‘proud’ to be black, and not be ‘proud’ to be white. Jesus, isn’t this obvious? Do you think 70% of voters are just going to nod along while everyone else gets a shout-out but them? That goes beyond racialism to racism. And it is political suicide.

  27. the Q says:

    “Identity politics, enforced by social justice warriors, with intellectual foundations supplied by academia, has been a massive failure…….

    Overall in 2016, 70% of people who actually voted were white……

    We have lost state legislatures. We’ve lost governors. We lost the House and the Senate. We lost the presidency to a fwcking orangutan.”

    At least somebody finally gets it!!!!!!!! Mr. Reynolds should have thrown in SCOTUS as well.

    I have maintained this all along and have been flamed roasted on here for saying the same thing.

    The Dems need to start class warfare NOW. Cutting $1.7 trillion in social spending for tax cuts and military bloat is such a Koch high fastball even the neo libs shouldn’t screw this one up.

    The GOP mantra of tax cuts for the rich, increased defense spending, business deregulation is now on its third iteration in the last 4 decades.

    When will the clueless masses see the sheer folly in duplicating this policy over and over again? It fails, the Dems clean up the mess, then get voted out (Gore, HRC) because we don’t articulate bread and butter issues anymore.

    Why couldn’t Obama call the CEO of Ford or Carrier and brow beat them? Instead he passionately stumped for the TPP calling it “family friendly”. And why couldn’t the Dems rectify the obvious flaws in Obamacare before the GOP blew it up?

    And why not deport murderers and rapists? Will anybody other than La Raza or MeCha actually defend the sanctuary policy of protecting these criminals?

    Can we finally this century destroy the GOP once and for all? Its easy kids. My generation did it.

    Those clueless bastarrds were banished from the federal gov’t pretty much my entire adult life as a truly minority party because the Dems weren’t the feckless corporatists of today as the middle class thrived till the Reaganauts destroyed it.

  28. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s a very basic math issue.

    If you reach out to some minority voters, then you are bound to lose some white voters.

    If you attack minority voters, then you will gain some white voters at the expense of minorities.

    If you ignore minority voters, then you will not appeal to them, nor will you win over the diehard white voters who want to see them attacked.

    It’s that simple. That’s why Democrats have no choice but to maximize turnout and to win over slightly less than one-half of the independents. About 40% of the electorate is completely out of reach.

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    If you attack minority voters, then you will gain some white voters at the expense of minorities.

    Those are your only choices? ‘Reach out’ or ‘attack?’ How about subtly shift priorities? How about make an honest economic case to both white and non-white?

    Incidentally, your logic fails. If 70% of voters are white, and 30% are minority, and we have to choose either A or B but not A + B, then the obvious choice is to chase the larger voting bloc. If this is zero-sum then minorities can safely be ignored – they will still vote, though in smaller numbers, for the lesser of two evils. Since we will always be the lesser of two evils, we can simply assume a certain number of trapped minority voters and go chase whites. You can maximize the turn-out of the 30% till the cows come home, and white voters still hold all the power.

    We need to get back to the idea that an unemployed black carpenter and an unemployed white machinist have nearly identical needs. We cannot win a 30% vs. 70% game. We can win a 99% vs. 1% game.

  30. James Pearce says:

    @Yank: @Pch101: To be fair, Yglesias doesn’t seem to be too big on the idea that “identity politics” should mean “outreach to minority groups but nothing else” either…

    Indeed, throughout the article, Yglesias seems to argue for “a return of the kind of cross-ethnic, class-based coalition that Democrats have traditionally counted on” and hey, I’m on board with that. This racialized “politics” that can only exist in certain places for certain people….count me out.

    @Pch101:

    Those people want minorities to suffer

    You know…you talk about this stuff like you’re an expert, but it’s such a cartoon. Racism is evil, yes, but it’s also very, very banal. “Those people” don’t want minorities to suffer anymore than you want the white working class to suffer…..

    Okay…bad example.

  31. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    How about make an honest economic case to both white and non-white?

    You’re quite naive. Alliances between minorities and poor whites are invariably short-lived because the siren song of racial superiority appeals to a certain element of this country. It’s always been this way, and it probably always will be.

  32. Pch101 says:

    This brings to mind a quote from Martin Luther King:
    _______

    First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

    Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

  33. the Q says:

    Identity politics is Black LIves Matter grabbing the microphone from Bernie when he had the temerity to utter “All Lives Matter” while shutting down the speech in a hail of invective.

    Identity politics is siding with the illegal who was deported 14 times and having the taxpayer pay his/her attorney fees to keep him/her in country while telling the laid off Midwest white worker to move to Arizona and become a copy machine technician.

    The tremendous social strides we made in the 50s – 70s on race, women’s issues and youth issues were made possible by the lifting of all middle class boats due to an economy which hammered finance capital, favored workers and redistributed income.

    What you boomers seem to be saying is those polices won’t work on the selfish, inward looking greedy dipscthitz currently voting and maybe you’re right.

    The boomers, Gen X don’t want to tax the rich, because they want to BECOME the rich. Veblen come to life a hundred years later.

  34. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    Fine rhetoric. Where’s your math? Show me the voters you think you can attract with identity politics without alienating an equal number of whites. You take the position that it is zero-sum, which means you’ve entirely refuted the political utility of identity politics.

    You know, you took the same high-ground, damn-the-politics approach when we were debating Syrian immigration. I warned you the result would be a backlash, and might result in the rise of neo-Nazis in Europe and even a President Trump. Well, we’ve got both. And guess what? He will not be calling for a new wave of refugees. And he’s going to kill some people with his destructive policies, cause others a lot of pain and grief, and degrade this country.

    The game of politics is not about virtue. It is about power. If you have no power you cannot help the people you want to help. Remaining indifferent to the politics, remaining indifferent to the outcome, is directly damaging the people you want to help. But it’s a swell way to signal your moral superiority.

    I’m sure the immigrant families being broken up by Trump’s thugs, and the black men who will be shot down without so much as a Justice department glance, and the women who will be sterile after back-alley abortions, and the cancer patients who will die for lack of care are terribly impressed with your rectitude, but frankly I think they’d rather have a government that at least acknowledges their existence. And they won’t get that from Democrats so long as Democrats stay self-righteous and stupid.

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:
    Incidentally, on this MLK was simply wrong. After MLK African-Americans pursued a more radical path (Malcolm, H. Rap, Panthers) which lost them middle class support and black people have barely advanced an inch since.

    Any notion that you get anywhere in this country without the support of the white middle class is fantasy.

  36. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If you’re going to argue in earnest that you understand the plight of minorities better than Martin Luther King, then there’s no point in continuing.

  37. MBunge says:

    @Yank: Clinton moved to the right on both economics (remember welfare reform?) and social policies to win back these type of voters after the New Deal coalition fell apart in 80s.

    Bill Clinton won less than 50% of the vote both times he ran for President and led the Democratic Party to its worst electoral defeat in roughly two generations, a defeat it took them 10 years and the disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush to recover from. They then preceded to fall to their lowest number of House seats in 50 years under Barack Obama and see Donald Trump win the White House.

    This is not rocket science. It’s basic math and historical evidence.

    Mike

  38. Ben Wolf says:

    1) No one promised to guarantee employment at an equivalent wage to the miners who were told they would be losing their jobs. This can be done easily in the form of a green New Deal to revitalize Appalachia and the Rust Belt via renewable energy. People would flock to it.

    2) Martin Luther King was a socialist and was organizing the Poor People’s Campaign, uniting minorities and whites in demand for economic justice, when he was murdered.

  39. Andre Kenji says:

    1-) An important point of “identity politics” is that White people may vote for Conservative Politicians because they fear minorities. Minorities don’t care about White people. Minorities care about jobs, that’s why lower turnout among minorities is correlated with Democrats losing White voters.

    There is no George Wallace among minorities precisely because of that.

    2-) The mythical Pro-Choice and Moderate suburban voter did not save Democrats in 2016 e and they are not going to save Democrats. Bland economic message combined with a social-liberal message is a political loser.

    3-) Hillary did not connect with Male voters and my impression is that Left of Center Female politicians are not used with doing that. Some of the most prominent Female politicians come from the right. The most prominent Female politician in France comes from the far-right, the most prominent Female politician in Europe comes from the Right.

  40. Mr. Prosser says:

    @JohnMcC: Access and use is the big debate in this region. As a resident (fourth generation) of Western Slope of Colorado the fight for who gets water and how much, who gets grazing allotments on federal lands, who gets extraction rights and where is always top priority. I refer you to one of the big fights in CO that began in 1960: http://law.justia.com/cases/colorado/supreme-court/2002/00sc527-0.html. These days it’s not only resources but recreation and tourism and where modes of transportation (OHV’s vs. horses, bicycles and feet) come in to play. You may be thinking of the Bear’s Ears Nat’l Monument designation that happened just before President Obama left office. Those designations raise a lot of controversy and the reactions vary from simple protests to the seizing of property by the likes of Bundy family in Nevada and Oregon. You want identity politics it’s out here big time and complicated.

  41. the Q says:

    “Martin Luther King was a socialist and was organizing the Poor People’s Campaign, uniting minorities and whites in demand for economic justice, when he was murdered”

    King was doomed the minute he came out against LBJ’s Vietnam war.

    Desegregating the south, voters rights, civil rights, economic justice….all allowed.

    Coming out against the war…he was dead in 8 months. He was really messing with the true power structure on that issue and KABANG!!!!! Dead Negro.

  42. Kylopod says:

    @the Q:

    Identity politics is Black LIves Matter grabbing the microphone from Bernie when he had the temerity to utter “All Lives Matter” while shutting down the speech in a hail of invective.

    I think you’re confusing Bernie with Martin O’Malley, who was the one who said “all lives matter” in response to BLM activists. Bernie, in contrast, when asked “Do black lives matter, or do all lives matter?” at the first presidential debate, had this to say:

    “Black lives matter. And the reason those words matter is the African American community knows that on any given day some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car, and then three days later she’s going to end up dead in jail, or their kids are going to get shot. We need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom, and we need major, major reforms in a broken criminal justice system in which we have more people in jail than China. And, I intended to tackle that issue. To make sure that our people have education and jobs rather than jail cells.”

  43. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    You’re quite naive.

    No, we just know better.

    If you’re going to argue in earnest that you understand the plight of minorities better than Martin Luther King

    Your quote comes from a time when they were talking about “the Negro’s great stumbling block.” Take this in the spirit in which it was given: Read another book.

    A full 50 years of history has transpired since MLK spoke those inspiring words, some of it you have even experienced. Perhaps we can discuss something more contemporary, like whether Miley Cyrus is appropriating black culture to further her career.

    @Kylopod:

    some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car, and then three days later she’s going to end up dead in jail

    I would concur that Sandra Bland was “innocent” and horribly mistreated during her arrest and detention, but her death was a personal tragedy for her and her family, not a political cause celebre.

  44. Yank says:

    @MBunge: What does this have to with my point? Clinton won the highest share of WWC since Kennedy in1992. He did so by move the party to the right on economics and social issues.

    Hell, he lost seats in the house because he actually tried to do some things leftward things like raising taxes.

  45. Yank says:

    @Pch101: Yeah, Democrats tried this with the Great Society in the 1960s. Unlike FDR, who had to cut deals with Southern Democrats, that cut people of color out when it came to the New Deal. Johnson made his programs all inclusive.

    And yet two years later in the mid-terms, WWC voters left the Democratic party. Some of the left do not want to here it, but racial resentment plays a big role in all of this.

  46. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    If you ever end up knowing one-tenth as much as you think you do, you’ll know twice as much as you do now.

  47. Pch101 says:

    @Yank:

    Some people simply refuse to acknowledge that racism is a problem. At best, they think that it’s ancient history.

  48. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @the Q: Glad to see you having a lucid moment for a change. A good and thoughtful (and thought provoking) comment. Thank you.

  49. Ben Wolf says:

    @Pch101: King didn’t think racial justice and economic justice were separable. History vindicates his view as it’s pretty well established that anti-minority and anti-immigrant discrimination tend to increase in times of economic hardship and decrease in times of prosperity.

  50. Ben Wolf says:
  51. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    Some people simply refuse to acknowledge that racism is a problem.

    And some people are just insufferable on the subject.

  52. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yup. Basically, the loss in jobs in the rust belt was because of robotics, and the generation of expert systems/robots now in development will do the same for white collar workers as the last generation did to blue collar workers.

    Some sort of economic solution other than “the rich get richer, the poor get poorer” is needed. Maybe a guaranteed annual income (even many fiscal conservatives like Milton Friedman have said that’s a workable solution), maybe a reduction of the working week, but something will be needed. Our ability to produce material goods is increasing quickly, but we’re losing our ability to distribute it even remotely evenly, and that is a recipe for disaster. If the Democrats can work towards solving this they’ll gain a lot of votes, and all across the country.

    Lot’s of people who feel secure in their employment are going to find that computers will soon be able to do their jobs, whether in finance, medical diagnosis, and engineering/software development itself – better and cheaper than any human can.

  53. gVOR08 says:

    @Ben Wolf: Getting testy about the AHCA and the CBO score, aren’t they.

    If I were a GOP and the CBO score came out on the eve of my election, I’d probably be pretty upset too.

  54. Neil Hudelson says:

    I abhor violence, and dearly hope the journalist is ok.

    That said.

    AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    The night before the election?! Hollywood will never, ever, ever capture the of the last *check’s calendar* oh Jesus, the last 23 months of politics.

  55. gVOR08 says:

    @george: Dr. K has a post up on his blog about the wages of transportation and warehouse workers. They’ve dropped by a third since the early seventies. Why? Truck drivers don’t face Chinese imports. Automation has affected warehousing, but despite constant news coverage, there are no robot trucks yet. So why the drop? Dr. K attributes it to weakening unions.

    Ds used to strongly back unions, they’ve backed away. Driven, one assumes, by the need to raise money from wealthy individuals and corporations. The last few years have shown campaigns can rely more on crowd sourcing, And there are enlightened rich people. Ds need to get behind unions again. Obama should have pushed for card check. And campaign finance controls.

  56. gVOR08 says:

    @Ben Wolf: Apparently the local FOX station had a crew in the room. They have a statement out that supports the reporters version, not Gianforte’s. If anything, they describe it as worse than the reporter described it. Behind me Brian Williams is mentioning that 2/3 of the vote is by mail, and already in. In any case Montana seems like Trump base country, where assaulting a reporter is a good thing.

  57. Hal_10000 says:

    Good Lord, they have audio of the body slam. It’s bad. It’s very bad. Gianforte may still win because Montana does a lot of write-in voting. But he’s going to be under a lot of pressure to resign.

  58. Jim Brown 32 says:

    You know, I wish white people would admire Dr King from afar and respect his contributions to advancing the plight of black people—and refrain from commentary about him. Because they usually get it wrong.

    There is not much to be extrapolated from King’s tactics then that can be applied today. And King, as brilliant as he was, wouldn’t have chosen the same vehicles to affect change that he chose in the 60s. Hell, he probably would have just become President today. In many ways, Obama is the 21st Century King. If you’re ever in an older black persons house, especially in the South, you’ll see a King/Obama picture.

    Look, from a philosophical standpoint, go ahead–digest King, internalize his messages—you’ll be a better person for it. But recognize…his tactics were for HIS times–not OUR times. We can’t use those social change tactics any more than a General today can use MacArthur’s tactics in WWII against the Taliban or ISIS.

    The Black vote isn’t (and never was) the base so get that out of your heads–we are an even less reliable voting block now that Obama and Michelle are gone. Black Gen Xers and younger have no such enduring loyalty to the Democratic party like older generations. I can’t tell you how loud the whispers were during the campaign from fellow African Americans who were furious at the Clintons for the doubling down on the war on drugs to placate Rural WWC people whose jobs they sent to Mexico with NAFTA. The factories left and were replaced with prisons.

    Frankly, most of us don’t give a flying fwck about who is racist and who isn’t–outside of the political junkies. You know what we care about? If people are actively impeding our efforts to educate our children, have safe neighborhoods, acquire wealth, and buy property. Otherwise, ole Cletus can call me a n!&&er till the cows come home in the privacy of his trailer or under his breath. That doesn’t have a damn thing to do with me. If he wants to express he sentiments to my face, I can handle that the same way I would insults of any other category. They’ll get the same caliber of a$$ whooping.

    Here is a novel idea, leave us out of the campaign pandering. Pander away to the white vote, whatever economic message you need to craft to build a wining coalition at all 3 levels of Government. Do it. Then after the election, how about you follow your democratic values of equal opportunity and figure out how to increase the black participation across the cultural key career spectrum. Why the hell are only 2% of Medical Doctors Black? Lawyers, Engineers, Scientists,etc — ALL RIDICULOUSLY LOW PERCENTAGES OF BLACK INCLUSION!!!!!! From my perspective, why should I believe Democrats are working for the betterment of my community? Oh, I get it–the Republicans are worse. Yeah, Dems can squeezed about all the juice they can out of that one. Black Boomers are the only black demographic with unquestioned loyalty to the DNC. Everyone else is about what are you doing for me…

    If Dems ever get their heads out of the SJWs a$$es and work to increase black participation across key cultural occupations–We’ll get the message and show up and vote our asses off for you. The Black Community is small–its not monolithic–but it is small. Believe me–the word will get around the the Democratic party is FOR the black man and women. Hell most of voting for Democrats now–are doing it as a protest vote against Republicans.

    The Democratic platform is an abstraction from where most Blacks live at today. How about actually going about righting the wrongs of Jim Crow and Slavery? That means putting Black families in a position to catch up to where many of us would have been had our Great-Great-Greats been allowed to participate in the main economy. To do that…you can’t only focus on raising the floor–you also have to raise the ceilings.

  59. Ratufa says:

    @Pch101:

    Some people simply refuse to acknowledge that racism is a problem. At best, they think that it’s ancient history.

    And some people are so focused on racism that they reject the importance of non-racial factors, such as the economy and a candidate’s economic proposals, on how (or if) people of all races vote. See your response to Michael’s comment about making “an honest economic case to both white and non-white” for an example.

    P.S. Yes, I acknowledge that racism is a problem.

  60. Pch101 says:

    @Ratufa:

    And some people are so focused on racism that they reject the importance of non-racial factors, such as the economy and a candidate’s economic proposals, on how (or if) people of all races vote.

    Thanks for that lovely strawman.

  61. JohnMcC says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Excellent. A simple thumbs-up isn’t enough.

    And thought I’d mention that my favorite jersey number for the incomparable Jim Brown is #44.

  62. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    a) Of course that’s not what I’m arguing and,

    b) Try the same line on @Jim Brown 32 and,

    c) Having lost the argument – in fact having essentially beaten yourself in the argument – you go off on a wave of smug self-satisfaction.

  63. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Did you doze through the Obamacare drama?

    Obama didn’t say, “I’m gonna give healthcare to darkies!”, but that’s what the right wing heard and that’s why they opposed it.

    There is a certain segment of working class white voters who want social programs for themselves IF they believe that minorities will be excluded from them.

    If that program is inclusive, then they will oppose it because they do not want it to be inclusive. Wake up.

    As for “Jim Brown”, I suspect that he is as black as a block of Swiss cheese. As for myself, I’m only half-white, so at least I know where I’m coming from.

  64. Yank says:

    There is a certain segment of working class white voters who want social programs for themselves IF they believe that minorities will be excluded from them.

    If that program is inclusive, then they will oppose it because they do not want it to be inclusive. Wake up.

    Exactly.

    There is already evidence of this when it comes to welfare in the US. States with a higher percentage of African Americans residents pay less when it comes to welfare. A large segment of white people are less likely to back social welfare programs if they know that it benefits minorities as well.

    It is an uncomfortable truth that some on the left are in complete denial about.

  65. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Pch101: Half white = Ain’t white.

    I get it. I can’t be black because my views don’t come across as “black”. That proves it–you are white.

  66. Pch101 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    “Jim Brown” has all the characteristics of a FUD generator, an online character that was crafted to peddle an agenda. It has nothing to do with whether I agree with it, but with the manner of presentation.

  67. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    As for myself, I’m only half-white

    You have a black parent and a white one, and you think that makes you “half” white? Are you sure?

  68. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    You refute your own argument, offer zero practical response to the numbers, and conclude by insinuating that you know the race of a commenter because he disagrees with your SJW articles of faith.

    You are a perfect spokesman for the SJW mentality. It’s all about you. All about your feelings, your opinions, your absolute certainties. Fly your virtue flag high and fwck the people you’re failing.

    BTW, if you want proof on @Jim Brown 32, I’d suggest this. . .

    I get it. I can’t be black because my views don’t come across as “black”. That proves it–you are white.

    . . .is kinda convincing. If Jim is pretending to be black, he’s doing a subtle job of it.

    Let me ask you something. You have a choice of two surgeons to operate on your daughter. One is a contributor to the ACLU and supports BLM and thinks Pelosi is a god, but he’s a lousy doctor, so there’s a decent chance he’ll kill your kid. The other is a flaming, racist aszhole, but he has a 99.9% success rate.

    Who is going to operate on your daughter?

    It is absolutely true and absolutely important that this is largely a racist country, that the GOP is a racist party, and that we have not yet begun to reckon with what the USA has done (and continues to do) to African-Americans and Native Americans. True and Important.

    You know what else is true? If you are 22 years old, raising a kid on your own, working as a waitress, taking three buses back and forth to work, and you have a kitchen counter scattered with dunning notices – the pink ones, the scary ones – you are going to care a hell of a lot less about what some random white dick thinks of you, and a whole hell of a lot more about whether or not you can hold onto your job.

    Out in the real world of shabby apartment blocks and bus stops and aszhole bosses, (where I used to live, but thankfully no longer do), what matters goes like this: Do I have food for my kids? Should I pay the light bill or the gas bill? Can I get the pediatrician not to insist on a co-pay? How am I going to afford to have this root canal done, and how long can I stand the pain and still make it to work?

    Yes, black people should be afraid of thug cops. That is a legitimate fear. But while it may be the top worry for a well-off black professional who doesn’t want to get pulled over every time he drives his BMW, I am confident that on a day-in, day-out basis, the average working class African-American, Latino, Asian, or white person, is far more afraid of a cut-off notice from the power company, or a Christmas where they have to present their kids with nothing.

    So if you or I or anyone wants to actually help people living that life, if we want to help people keep their lights on, help them get work or health care, we must have the power to actually do something. We need more votes than the other guys, especially if we want it to stick this time and not be reversed on the next swing of the pendulum.

    So, while I agree completely that white racism makes it damned hard to get WWC voters to make common cause with minorities, it is nevertheless what has to happen if we are actually going to solve the country’s problems long term.

  69. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    “Jim Brown” has all the characteristics of a FUD generator, an online character that was crafted to peddle an agenda.

    Jim has always struck me as an independent thinker who, like myself, doesn’t need to be told what to think.

    And you have always struck me as a guy unwilling to acknowledge the basic humanity of your interlocutors. That trend continues.

  70. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    When did you become a thinker? I must have missed that.

  71. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You should become familiar with the Southern Strategy. It is rooted in what I am describing.

    There is a certain base of white working class voters who cannot be won over unless you throw minorities under the bus. That’s reality, so stop shooting the messenger.

    That does not mean that Democrats should go out of their way to alienate white voters as a matter of course, but some alienation is inevitable when minority outreach is also part of the platform. This has been particularly part of Southern politics since the Reconstruction era — it was populism for white people.

  72. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    When did you become a thinker? I must have missed that.

    If you position yourself as a know it all and dispense nothing but insults, yeah…you’re gonna miss some shit.

    Also:

    You should become familiar with the Southern Strategy.

    You should consider that some people have already completed their education.

  73. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:
    Are you seriously lecturing me on the Southern Strategy? I’ve talked about it right here at least 50 times. But an exaggerated notion of their own knowledge and a baseless assumption of other people’s ignorance is part and parcel of the SJW.

    What you fail to grasp is that identity politics validates the southern strategy. It validates the racialist intellectual underpinnings of racism. Identity politics says an African-American is only black, that his life, his attitudes, his feelings, his day-in-day out is solely about being black. They can’t also be poor, or be working class, or be well-off and have interests along those lines. Nope, it’s all just blackness. Identity politics reduces black Americans to convenient totems.

    13% of the American population is not sitting around thinking, “OMG, racism exists!” They know racism exists, they know it threatens them, they’ve known it since they were three years old, but they also know they have bills to pay and a job to do and kids to wrangle. You know: just as if they were actual human beings and not just convenient symbols for SJWs to bang on about.

    You also fail to see the position of people like you in the history of civil rights. It was exactly this intolerance of anyone not 100% ‘pure’ that led to Chicago 1968, the election of Richard Nixon, the continuation of the Vietnam war, and the electoral victory of the Southern Strategy. Hubert Humphrey – despised by white college kid fanatics, the SJWs of their day – was a civil rights hero. Humphrey is the guy who stood up in 1948 and demanded that Democrats support civil rights. 20 years before sanctimonious little shits destroyed him and handed victory to the southern strategy.

    What matters in political life, or life in general, is not what you feel. Honestly, fwck your feelings. What matters is what you do and what you accomplish. If your politics is not about doing, it’s just narcissism. If you aren’t actually making life better for people who need help, you’re just a noise. And if what you are doing is subtracting rather than adding votes to gain the power to act, you’re just an unpaid employee of Donald Trump.

  74. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Identity politics were invented by the right, and they remain its greatest practitioners.

    Do you know why we have ethnic and gay pride movements? Because this society spent centuries trying to make those people feel ashamed. Wake up.

  75. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    Dude, you’ve got nothing. You’ve lost this argument about a half dozen different ways. You’re arrogant, smug, ignorant, close-minded and only about half as smart as you think you are. The very profile of a Social Justice Warrior. I have yet to meet any of your ilk capable of even minimal intellectual honesty. You’re as programmed as a Foxbot.

  76. @michael reynolds: So you just don’t care about communities of color, and want to stick to an outdated strategy. We get it.

  77. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    Do you know why we have ethnic and gay pride movements?

    Look…..if anyone was confused on this subject, why do you think your condescension would help them?

    @Sara Anderson:

    We get it.

    To the contrary….your previous sentence demonstrates that you don’t.

  78. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    You can’t be helped. It would be a waste of time to try, and you frankly aren’t worth it.

  79. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Pch101: You want to know my agenda? I actually happen to respect many of the commenters here and I want to open the door to a perspective of thinking in the black communitiy they might not otherwise get anywhere else. For the most part, most politically inclined white people only know the perspective of the Black SJW. Newsflash: That’s only one of several major factions of thought.

    Seriously, and this is no joke–if Republicans would only quit the overt rascist dog whistles, they could pull a large pool of nascent black conservative (little c) voters who could never vote Democrat because of their social stances. The black community is still highly religious and church-going. They believe the Gov’t should help those that need it unlike their Conservative (Big C) counterparts. Hell, my parents voted for Bush—TWICE. They are fiscally liberal but socially conservative.

    There are many, many black people who are have no problem with cutting social services. You want to know why? Cause they are out there busting their asses to make $1 out of 50 cents but they make too much to qualify for a Program–and too little to not be ruined should an unplanned emergency expense happen. And they live right next door to people who will and do–work under the table and/or forgo additional work so they can keep benefits coming.

    I want people that comment here or lurk know what’s whispered in my social circles, in the barbershops, and at barbeques– because I get the feeling that many, white Democrats, take the “Black vote” for granted. Thinking that the same ole, tired SJW platform is going to yield the same results. That might have been the case before–but Obama changed the game. Obama was status quo when it came to raising the floor of the Black community. His efforts were really on raising the ceiling.

    There is a glass ceiling between working middle class and the upper middle class for the community. Build a platform around that breaking that ceiling—and you get the next generation of Black voters that support you for the next 50 years. Social Justice is a thing of the 20th century. This century it’s about economic justice—because you ain’t $hit in this Country if you don’t have wealth and disposable income.

  80. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    It would be a waste of time to try, and you frankly aren’t worth it.

    And that’s why you lose.

    You don’t have the generosity of spirit to assume the best in others. You don’t have the patience to guide them when they falter. You don’t have the endurance to outlast the string of tiny defeats you will need to endure before you can find a victory. You can’t tolerate disagreement or withstand a challenge. You don’t have the intellectual integrity to admit error, or to advance to a more sophisticated position.

    You’re right…you can’t help me or anyone else.

  81. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Instead of wanting to be a winner, try being one.

    You are a white guy who wants to lecture people of color about what it’s like to be a minority. That only makes you look too dim to grasp how ignorant and patronizing you are.

  82. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    You are a white guy

    Well that part is true. The rest…..¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

    You want the last word though? Get it.

  83. Grewgills says:

    @michael reynolds: @James Pearce:
    I know hippie punching is fun, but it isn’t productive. If we are going to support a socially and economically progressive party we are going to have some earnest and naive kids that think they know the answers to all the world’s ills. That was true when the cause was abolition, suffrage, and civil rights. It remains true today. Giving in to the right wing narrative of who is fighting for social and economic justice helps them, not us. Social Justice Warrior is just another pejorative label stuck on people fighting for the same progressive causes you say you support. With that label comes the image of that earnest (or not) naive kid that can be annoying in their surety and tars the rest of us fighting for those causes. We can’t remain a real progressive party without attracting them, just as the GOP can’t remain a socially conservative populist party without attracting racists. Buying in to their frame helps them, not us.

    PS If history is any guide, having middle aged moderate liberals screaming that you are going too far and will alienate the middle (read themselves) is a sign that you are headed in the correct direction.

  84. Pch101 says:

    “SJW” is a useful term. When I see it being used in earnest, I can scroll right past the remaining content with complete confidence that I’m not missing anything of value.

  85. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills:

    Social Justice Warrior is just another pejorative label stuck on people fighting for the same progressive causes you say you support.

    To be clear: While SJWs claim to fight for progressive causes, what really animates that movement is aggressive superficiality and tribal grievances.

    I’m not fighting to make white actors apologize for being cast in a movie. I’m not fighting to cancel controversial speakers at the local university. I’m not fighting against the tyranny of the pink toy aisle, or to prevent white people from wearing dreadlocks, or to preserve the racial purity of hip hop music.

    To put it bluntly, we’re not fighting the same fight. In fact, my fight –the fight for racial and gender equality– is being actively undermined by the superficial naivete of the whole social justice movement.

    You say having middle aged moderate liberals screaming means you’re going in the right direction. And yet….

    Donald Trump is in the White House. White nationalists are enjoying a political moment they haven’t had since George Wallace’s day. The progressive left has almost no political power.

    And you say we’re moving in the right direction?

  86. Grewgills says:
  87. Pch101 says:

    @Grewgills:

    Pearce is a resentnik who believes that racism doesn’t exist because Kobe Bryant earns more than he does.

    Not worth it.

  88. Grewgills says:

    @Pch101:
    I don’t believe that. He has admitted all of the particulars of institutional racism and the privilege frame. He understands the problem (at least part and in at least broad strokes) and he (at least nominally) wants to change it for the better. He simply cannot accept that since his life hasn’t been easy and not all other white folks lives have been easy that they have privilege over similarly situated minorities. He can’t see past the superficiality of being upset that yet another movie about Asians, Africans, Native Americans, has all white leads, to the underlying racism in the system. He is blind to his privilege because he doesn’t feel privileged and he is angry at anyone who points out his privilege, thus his pique at SJWs. He is apparently blind to how SJWs of the past were viewed both by society at large and by ‘moderates’ of their time. People fighting for progressive change always face this type of criticism from people like James when ‘moderates’ are made to feel uncomfortable.

  89. Pch101 says:

    @Grewgills:

    He has admitted all of the particulars of institutional racism and the privilege frame. He understands the problem (at least part and in at least broad strokes) and he (at least nominally) wants to change it for the better.

    When did he do that? On the contrary, he thinks that he is in a position to school minorities about what is to be a minority.

    He has absolutely no interest in what minorities have to say about the experience of being a minority. Furthermore, he rejects the notion that such an experience is even possible. It would be comical if it wasn’t so patently absurd.

  90. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills: @Pch101:

    I don’t believe that.

    You know why Grewgills doesn’t believe that I’m the worst, Pch? Because despite having multiple discussions on this topic, marked by intense disagreement, there has never been any bad faith between us. We are attempting a conversation, the goal of which is not only to be heard but also to influence the other’s thinking. And as this process, this conversation unfolded, Grewgills was able to, as if by magic, discern that we actually agree on the big stuff and our quibbles, intense as they may be, are about the details.

    Good faith, dude. Which you really struggle to practice, Pch. (And hey, it does take some practice.) Grew, good buddy, as always, I thank you for being more able and willing to display it.

    Truth is, you guys may never move me towards buying the concept of “white privilege” as much as you do. As I said above, I know better. It’s an academic theory that doesn’t describe reality; it distorts it.

  91. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    I know that you would like to be regarded as some sort of bold insightful iconoclast, but you’re just an ass.