Friday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. EddieInCA says:

    Watching and reading what’s unfolding in Washington, DC is just depressing.

    It’s a cycle that keeps repeating itself.

    Dems win power on a progressive agenda.
    Moderate Dems keep Dems from using power in passing the agenda.
    Republicans take back power.
    Moderate Dems blame progressives for GOP wins.

    It’s frankly, depressing.

    The country wants the minimum wage increase. Moderate Dems say no.
    The country wants more stimulus. Moderate Dems say no.

    Yet it’s the progressives causing problems for the party.

    Depressing.

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  2. Progressive Democrats need to accept two things

    First is that the filibuster will not be eliminated

    Second,because of this most of their wish list is not going to be adopted

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Twitter isn’t just nonsense, sometimes it’s entertaining nonsense, even educational nonsense. This tweet thread is a good example:

    Vincent Alexander
    @NonsenseIsland

    THREAD: Lots of us learned classical music from watching old cartoons, so I’m going to identify the pieces that frequently popped up.

    One of the most recognizable is Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” performed by those great piano virtuosos Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry.

    As one who grew up watching Looney Tunes, I knew I was getting an education in classical music, but some of the details have faded. For instance, I have clear memories of my 4 or 5 year old self walking around singing “Fiiiigaro, FigaroFigaroFigaro…”

    Vincent Alexander
    @NonsenseIsland

    ·
    Mar 1
    An aria of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” that shows up constantly in animation is “Largo al Factotum,” which introduces the Figaro character. Even the piece’s Wikipedia article credits the tune’s lasting legacy to its use in cartoons. Here are just a few iconic examples:

    Now I know why.

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  4. @EddieInCA:
    The numbers speak for themselves. What can Democrats do given political reality?

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  5. Joe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Mighty Mouse was essentially opera for kids. Cartoons are gateway arts.

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  6. CSK says:

    Those jolly japesters from QAnon get everywhere:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/04/americas-stonehenge-qanon-carving-mark-russo

    I’ve been to Mystery Hill a few times, the first occasion when I was in my mid-teens.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    LMFAO.

    Rex Chapman
    Horse racing
    @RexChapman

    One of these dogs has this game figured out…

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  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Qanon and Mystery Hill, conspiracy theory meets fable.

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  9. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That’s funny. Miniature dachshunds are usually a lot shrewder than those ones.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Another one from Rex:

    Rex ChapmanHorse racing@RexChapman
    They got more cats…
    Rolling on the floor laughing
    Loudly crying face
    Rolling on the floor laughing

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  11. Joe says:

    January 20, Donald Trump not inaugurated. March 5 and Donald Trump still not inaugurated. Where to go from here?

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: April Fool’s Day?

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  13. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    Yes, and the Three Percenters did not storm the Capitol yesterday in order to arrest and execute the traitorous Democrats and RINOs. What went amiss?

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  14. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The numbers speak for themselves. What can Democrats do given political reality?

    Numbers? What, like the fact that the vast majority of Americans favor a $15 minimum wage?

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  15. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    One reason for WB’s short cartoons was to promote their music catalogue. Hence the name “Looney Tunes,” along with the sister series “Merrie Melodies.”

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  16. @Kylopod

    The numbers I refer to are the 60 votes it will take for legislation to advance in the Senate. Democrats could change that if they had the votes but they don’t

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  17. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @EddieInCA: I don’t see it that way. Biden did NOT run on a progressive agenda. The fact that he won the nomination is proof of that. He is/was a terrible figurehead to nominate if the Democrats wanted to pursue the entire progressive agenda. Warren would have been pick–if she could have gotten the nomination.

    Joe is the candidate of: Lets go in some bold new directions–but ease into them. And Im not going to break institutions to do them. That is pretty much how this will unfold. But I can understand how this frustrates people that want bold changes, fast.

    Manchin and the rest of the Blue Dogs from these poorer states know they have a real problem at home if/when (I don’t know WVA so not sure) a $15 min wage limits the supply of workers smaller businesses can employ by (up to) half. While you and I understand that could mean they can’t afford the true cost of being in business–we won’t be getting those irate phone calls.

    Should Manchin expend a silver bullet and weather the fall out? Maybe. If I were him–I’d be asking serious questions of the scope of the casualties of [actual] small business and the plan to deal with the casualties.

    Jethro’s Pool cleaning went from 4 employees to 3. There isn’t an expanding number of pools in Coaltown, WV so the guy cut will need to wait for someone else to quit a competitor or for Jethro to take business from a competitor in order to bring the person back in. Or he can do something else–maybe. In the meantime–Jethro is supporting a clientele with 25% less people which could cause a problem with customer quality and employee workload. Perhaps Jethro hums along with no problems–great!

    However, should Jethro have to shrink his clientele in order to maintain quality (taking in less money)–THAT’s the guy that is going to call Manchin’s office and cuss him out. And while I’d love to be on the phone when Manchin tells Jethro that he reads this blog called OTB and Jim Brown 32 said that people like him should only do the amount of business they can afford at living wage prices–I don’t think that’s going to be enough to keep the heat off Manchin.

    Because Republicans are basically absent in actual policy vector discussions–Democrats really have to consider all sides of the equation. Its not fair but it is what it is. In a perfect world we would have data-driven discussion about the best method to set the price of labor across multiple economies of scale. We’d agree on a number–and Dem would work to take care of Jethro’s workers while Repubs would have their plan to ease the change for Jethro.

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  18. KM says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    What the rest of America needs to understand is there’s only so long you can screw people with the rules before they decide to say screw the rules. This last Administration has shown that there’s essentially no teeth to a lot of our institutions if you can brazenly ignore the outrage it generates. Why should Dems be bound by rules the GOP can’t be bothered to follow? Constitutional strictures for thee and not for me is increasingly becoming the norm.

    America has gotten used to telling progressives to sit down, shut up and take it even when they are in power. What happens when they say no? What happens when they decide to pull a Trump or god forbid start acting like QAnon? What happens when they refuse to accept their designed role of Adult and say screw it Might Makes Right Apparently? We don’t have a radical left in this country but we very well might in the next decade. We are either going to go fascist (alt-right) or end up swinging hard left because the right keep taking the middle ground away.

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  19. @KM:

    The election returns make clear that there’s much less support for the progressive agenda than progressives would like to admir

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  20. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The election returns make clear that there’s much less support for the progressive agenda than progressives would like to admir

    How’s that?

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  21. @Kylopod:

    Biden didn’t run on a progressive agenda and he didn’t win the General Election on such an agenda either.

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  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    @KM:
    @Doug Mataconis:
    @Kylopod:

    Not to forget the fact that there are 538 elected representatives of the people who will claim to represent their constituency and those claims are valid. My guess more Dem senators than Manchin and Sinema were relieved to see the parliamentarian remove the minimum wage from the Covid bill.

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  23. @Sleeping Dog:

    Yep

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  24. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Biden didn’t run on a progressive agenda and he didn’t win the General Election on such an agenda either.

    Oh, and Trump did? How does the fact that a moderate Dem beat a far-right Republican when those were the only two choices available prove anything about how much the public supports progressivism?

    And bear in mind that once Biden was the presumptive nominee, a lot of progressives made a pragmatic choice to throw their support behind him because they recognized it was the only path to preventing a second Trump term. Biden actively courted this crowd by embracing a number of positions well to the left of previous Democratic nominees, and in turn he got much firmer support from them than Hillary had four years earlier.

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  25. @Kylopod

    What the “the people” “want” isn’t the relevant question. The question is what can make it through the Senate

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  26. Kathy says:

    I finished watching “Blood of Zeus.”

    I won’t say “meh,” but I won’t got far above that either. They could have used more interaction between the mortal characters. At least they did rather well with the gods in Olympus.

    Far more interesting, I’m listening to a podcast* by Alan Alda called “Soldiers of Science.” It’s about doctors who were drafted for military service in the late 60s, who managed to serve their terms at the NIH rather than the front lines of Vietnam. Very interesting stuff.

    And, yes, one of those doctors was one Anthony Fauci. I was glad to learn he made a breakthrough in treating auto-immune conditions early in his career at the NIH.

    But the most interesting fact I learned so far (there appear to only be 4 episodes) is that cell receptors were discovered only in the 1960s. I thought that had been known much earlier.

    *the podcast is available in Audible, free with any subscription.

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  27. @Doug Mataconis:

    The election returns make clear that there’s much less support for the progressive agenda than progressives would like to admir

    Setting aside the “progressive agenda” issue for a second, I think we need to understand that the nature of our elections definitely does not produce clarity in terms of what the public actually wants. We have a profound representativeness deficit.

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  28. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    What the “the people” want isn’t the relevant question. The question is what can make it through the Senate

    But that’s not what you were arguing before when you said “The election returns make clear that there’s much less support for the progressive agenda than progressives would like to admit.” You’re just backpedaling now after I exposed the flaws in your reasoning.

    If you want to get into a discussion of how our electoral system is highly unrepresentative of the public will, as your fellow OTB blogger Steven Taylor has spent years writing about, that’s great. But don’t make vague, hand-wavy comments implying the electorate rejected progressivism then try to change the subject when called on it.

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  29. @Doug Mataconis:

    What the “the people” “want” isn’t the relevant question. The question is what can make it through the Senate

    These are clearly two different issues, but that underscores the representativeness problem.

    Democratic elections ought to do a better job of being a reflection of what the voters want (recognizing that no system does this perfectly).

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  30. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kylopod:

    How does the fact that a moderate Dem beat a far-right Republican when those were the only two choices available prove anything about how much the public supports progressivism?

    There were a dozen Democratic candidates in the primaries–including a few progressives. The people chose the moderate Democrat–indicating that they were not in favor of the progressives.

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  31. Gustopher says:

    From the glorious Wonkette:

    Dumbass motherfucker GOP Senator Marsha Blackburn went on Fox News to say she “started the Neanderthal caucus.” She said some other prattle about how Neanderthals were “hunter-gatherers” and “resilient” and “resourceful,” somehow tying that to her earlier opposition to a state income tax in Tennessee. As if that’s what anyone thinks when they hear the word “Neanderthal” in this context.

    Next time, call them “some dumbass motherfuckers.” Let Marsha Blackburn say she’s the chair of the “Dumb Motherfucker Caucus.” It’ll be one of the first true things she’s said this year.

    A few weeks ago, I was saying the White Supremacists would start praising their Neanderthal DNA (which largely separates them from the folks in Africa, although there are studies showing some Neanderthal DNA there, but less).

    I am so happy the Joe Biden is helping make this happen.

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  32. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The people chose the moderate Democrat–indicating that they were not in favor of the progressives.

    That phrase “the people” is doing a lot of work for you. The nomination process with primaries and caucuses sprawled over several months is itself a very messy system that is questionably representative of the will of the voters who participate in it. That said, I do agree that Democratic primary voters did genuinely choose Joe Biden over more progressive candidates. However, a significant reason for that is that a lot of Democrats who did not prefer Biden’s policy positions over those of progressives voted for him because they believed he was the best candidate for beating Trump. Jill Biden made this point explicit during the primaries:

    “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is. But you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”

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  33. @Kylopod:

    I was referring to the partisan and ideological divide in the Senate and the reality of politics in states such as Arizona and West Virginia. If progressives challenge Manchin in WV or Sinema in AZ beat them in a primary, which is unlikely in either case, they’d most likely end up with a Republican winning the General Election.

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  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: There used to be a party in the US that came to be called the “Know Nothings”. They eventually embraced it and became proud of it. (At least, that’s my recollection)

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  35. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There were a dozen Democratic candidates in the primaries–including a few progressives. The people chose the moderate Democrat–indicating that they were not in favor of the progressives.

    They also didn’t choose anyone from the Hickenlooper wing of the party. No one from that wing even had a significant boomlet.

    Biden was positioning himself as a moderate-progressive candidate.

    I’m wary of saying that the nomination selects the candidate who best represents the voters of the party — the progressives were split from day one — but the lack of any moderate Democrat having a boomlet when there were a number of them (Bennet, Ryan, Bullock…) suggests there was no one interested in their politics.

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  36. just nutha says:

    @Joe: At least they used to be. These days, they’re gateway Lenny Bruce and George Carlin.

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  37. @MarkedMan:

    The “Know Nothing” was based on the fact that people part of the movement were told they should say they knew nothing about the movements anti-immigrant views

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  38. @Gustopher:
    The purpose of a primary is select the cblndidate most likely to win the General Election

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  39. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If progressives challenge Manchin in WV or Sinema in AZ beat them in a primary, which is unlikely in either case, they’d most likely end up with a Republican winning the General Election.

    Even that calculus isn’t as simple as you are making it out to be. Mark Kelly so far has not adopted the overtly anti-progressive stance of Sinema, and he’s the one in McCain’s seat who faces reelection in 2022.

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  40. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    The Know Nothings were…a mixed bag, to be extremely generous to them. They were populist, xenophobic, anti-immigration (sound familiar?), anti-Irish, and anti-Catholic in general (they also hated German Catholics). The only true Americans were Protestants of northern European descent.

    On the other hand, they were anti-slavery and pro-women’s rights.

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  41. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: oh, I know about the Know Nothings.

    But a tiny bit of science (Black folks have less Neanderthal DNA) and a deeply held belief in White Supremacy is just going to to be great. Imagine the Tea Party with cave man outfits. Now merge that with Young Earth Creationists. The KKK will be doing Flintstones cosplay.

    Is that good? Well, it’s not as good as getting rid of the White Supremacists, but it’s pretty good.

    On Twitter, Paul Krugman referenced the Klu Klux Klan of the Cave Bear.

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  42. @Kylopod:

    I suspect that Kelly will end up voting with Sinema and other moderates though.

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  43. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Fun fact: The original name of the Know-Nothings was the Native American Party.

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  44. Kylopod says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I suspect that Kelly will end up voting with Sinema and other moderates though.

    In the last Congress Sinema had the second-most conservative voting record of any Senate Dem, just behind Manchin–she was even ahead of uber-red-state Dems like Jon Tester and Doug Jones.

    Nobody is expecting Kelly to vote like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. But there are choices available. We’ve seen many times that Senators don’t just act as vessels for whatever state they’re in–some make an active effort to try to push more toward the left or right (see Ohio’s Sherrod Brown for an example of the former in an increasingly red-leaning state).

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  45. Jon says:

    @Gustopher:

    Imagine the Tea Party with cave man outfits. Now merge that with Young Earth Creationists. The KKK will be doing Flintstones cosplay.

    On the bright side Neanderthals did not have guns, so perhaps the 2nd amendment conversations will now revolve around atlatls and hand axes.

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  46. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Yes, I know, because they considered themselves, as Protestants of northern European descent, to be the true Americans.

    Some present-day white supremacists feel that American citizenship should be limited to those who can prove pure English or German ancestry. (I suppose half-English, half-German might pass muster.) Three-quarters of me is acceptable from that standpoint, but the final quarter is Irish.

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  47. CSK says:

    On why Donald Trump is an “earth angel,” and no, I’m not talking about the Marin Berry and The Starlighters song:

    http://www.salon.com/2021/03/04/why-some-new-age-influencers-believe-trump-is-a-lightworker

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  48. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @CSK:
    Ayup. And my people came from too far north to qualify. OTOH, they thought Northern North Dakota was mild and temperate.

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  49. @Kylopod

    Because of the makeup of the Senate the two most important members of the Democratic Caucus are Manchin and Sinema. Lose one or both of them then there is no Democratic majority unless Scumer is able to somehow flip a Republican vote or two.

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  50. wr says:

    @CSK: In a nation of 350,000,000 people, we can’t be surprised that some of them are very, very stupid.

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  51. BTW: the following are two separate arguments that are being conflated to one degree or the other above:

    1. The dynamics of partisan control in the Senate at the moment
    2. The degree to which the elected government of the United States actually reflects what the population wants.

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  52. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    @Mu Yixiao:

    Paid maternity/paternity leave: 84% of Americans support
    Govt funding for Childcare: 75% of Americans support
    Raising the minimum wage: 67% of Americas support
    Medicare for all: 62% of American’s support
    Increasing taxes on the ultra rich: 77% of Americans support
    Expanding food assistance through SNAP Program: 67% of Americans support
    Closing loopholes that benefit the 1%: 72% of Americans support

    Yet none can pass….

    Depressing.

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  53. @Steven L. Taylor

    I don’t think anyone knows what
    “the people” “want”

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  54. @EddieInCA:

    Because that’s how the Senate works

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  55. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Do you have Scandinavian ancestry? Because I don’t know why that wouldn’t be acceptable to the German/English Only crowd. Perhaps Scandinavians fall under the German-For-All-Intents-and-Purposes rubric.

    In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer mentions that Hitler considered the Irish to be Aryans, unlike the English, in his view. The Irish were second-class Aryans, to be sure, but Aryans nonetheless.

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  56. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis: When things are polling above 65%, it’s a pretty clear indication of what “the people” “want”.

    Polls can be off, but seldom by that much, and a lot of the progressive agenda is polling that level or higher.

    (The questions of how much they want it compared to other things, and whether it would be good for them to get what they want, and whether some hippie punching would be more fun… those all still apply)

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  57. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Ah, that rings a bell. What I was remembering was that the term was originally used as an insult and eventually was embraced by the party itself. From Wiki:

    The name Know Nothing originated in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about his activities, he was supposed to reply, “I know nothing.” Outsiders derisively called them “Know Nothings”, and the name stuck. In 1855, the Know Nothings first entered politics under the American Party label.

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  58. @Doug Mataconis:

    I don’t think anyone knows what
    “the people” “want”

    You can most assuredly build systems that do a better job of coming closer to representing the population than the system we currently have.

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  59. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: At least as late as 2004, the OED included as one of its definitions of American “native of America of European descent.”

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  60. Mikey says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Because that’s how the Senate works

    If that be the Senate, then the Senate is a ass!

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  61. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer mentions that Hitler considered the Irish to be Aryans, unlike the English, in his view.

    The Nazis’ definition of “Aryan” was heavily politicized. They called the Japanese honorary Aryans. They were even on record declaring the Sioux to be Aryans (after an American-born Nazi official was discovered to have a Sioux grandmother).

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  62. @Gustopher:

    As you know the Senate is not elected on a national basis.

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  63. Kylopod says:

    Listening to Doug in this thread, I’m reminded of a quote from Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets: “I’m drowning here, and you’re describing the water.”

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  64. @Kylopod:

    You can either recognize political reality or ignore it. In the end reality will win.

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  65. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis: As you know, “the people” are the American people, not the Senators.

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  66. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: Less tersely snarky — we have a pretty good idea of what the American people want on a variety of issues. The Senate does not represent the American people.

    I think that’s a problem that undermines confidence in our democracy across the board — congress gets nothing (or nothing the people want) done, and so people stop believing that it is reflective of their interests. The filibuster magnifies this problem, so basically nothing ever gets done, and the consequences of electing people based on who tweets best, and who can say the most outrageous thing are minimal.

    To be fair, when congress produces outrageous statements, rather than legislation, why wouldn’t people vote based on the most outrageous statements?

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  67. @Gustopher:

    Wrong Senators are elected on a state-by-state basis. Some states are overwhelmingly .Democratic, others are overwhelmingly Republican, and many are so called “purple” states. The Senators who win individual elections reflect political reality in their individual states.

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  68. DrDaveT says:

    @Joe:

    March 5 and Donald Trump still not inaugurated. Where to go from here?

    Am I the only one here who read that and immediately flashed back to The Very Secret Diary of Aragorn, Son of Arathorn?

    Still not king.

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  69. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis: You seem to be using some very different definition of “the people” than everyone else here when you wrote

    I don’t think anyone knows what
    “the people” “want”

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  70. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis“Because that’s how the Senate works”:

    One could talk about Breonna Taylor being killed when armed police officers broke into her apartment in the night based on a faulty warrant and shot her by explaining “that’s how bullets work,” and it would be as equally true as this and would completely miss the point just as well.

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  71. Kurtz says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There were a dozen Democratic candidates in the primaries–including a few progressives. The people chose the moderate Democrat–indicating that they were not in favor of the progressives.

    That isn’t necessarily true. Beating Trump weighed on a lot of people during the primaries.

    All of you should go back and look at the discussions that took place here–a group of rational commenters–during the primaries.

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  72. @Gustopher:

    I would suggest that anyone who says they know what “the people” want is lying or engaging in a selfc-onformation fallacy

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  73. @wr:

    That is a ridiculous analogy

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  74. flat earth luddite says:

    @CSK:
    Guilty as charged. Great grandfather spent the better part of a decade as an iterant carpenter in North Dakota and etc. Last time I checked, several of the churches he built (with local help, I suspect) were still standing. I’ve visited Hatton ND. In winter. All I can say is “mild and temperate? Really? ”

    As far as I can tell, “Real Aryans” don’t include Scandahoovians. According to grandmother, it’s because somewhere along the lines we mingled with the Finns. I’ve known some of the brudershaft; happy that I don’t fit in with their view of “proper folk.”

    I still have a small stand that he built for my grandmother as a wedding gift. It sits in my office, with a picture of one of his buildings.

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  75. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Not to forget the fact that there are 538 elected representatives of the people who will claim to represent their constituency and those claims are valid. My guess more Dem senators than Manchin and Sinema were relieved to see the parliamentarian remove the minimum wage from the Covid bill.

    But, as noted by, well everybody, the $15 min wage polls at something like 70%. And has passed by referendum here in FL and other red states. The instructive question is not why Ds can’t pass it on their own. The proper question is why swing state and district GOPs aren’t falling over themselves to support it. Hypotheses for discussion:
    – McConnell is holding them to the tried and true “make Obama a one term prez” strategy.
    – Fear of being primaried on the right.
    – Corporate lobbyists.
    – Small business lobbyists. (I keed.)
    – The Billionaire Boys Club of Chuckles Koch et al.
    – ???

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  76. Jen says:

    @gVOR08:

    – Small business lobbyists. (I keed.)

    Not sure why the “I keed” here…this literally happens. NFIB (the National Federation of Independent Business) is THE big lobbying group of small businesses, and they are solidly opposed to a minimum wage increase. From their website:

    Small business owners know that more than doubling the federal minimum wage will lead to increased labor costs and tough choices. They must either increase the cost of their product or service or reduce labor costs elsewhere. The reduction in labor costs would be achieved through reduced jobs, reduced hours, or reduced benefits.

    NFIB opposes the Raise the Wage Act because 92 percent of NFIB members opposed an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2024 and annual increases in subsequent years in a recent member ballot.

    More at this link: https://www.nfib.com/content/analysis/no-category/minimum-wage-increase-to-15-00-per-hour/

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  77. @Doug Mataconis: It is imperfect, but not ridiculous.

    He is noting that outcomes and processes/causes are not the same thing.

    Again: it is 100% the case that the Senate works as it does and that Machin and Sinema have an awful lot of power given a variety of factors.

    However, that does not change the fact that national preferences are at odds with what the Senate will actually produce.

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  78. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    – Fear of being primaried on the right.

    We have a winner!

    Regardless of whom people voted for, some policies from the Progressive wing of the Democratic party are insanely popular. But those on Congress who vote for it will find themselves fending off someone more popular with the small remainder who don’t like the popular progressive policies.

    Some democracy, when political and policy decisions come down to appeasing a small set of radical voters.

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  79. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Besides the representativeness issues frequently mentioned here and how our system doesn’t do a good job reflecting the will of the voters, I think part of the problem is that terms like “progressive” have lost almost all meaning. Along with “liberal”, “conservative”, “socialist”, “traditional”, “capitalist”, “Republican”, “Democrat”, “Authoritarian” and a bunch of other buckets. They’ve become labels seen as good/bad in and of themselves, frequently more pejoratives than anything else. People support a lot of ideas that junkies like us would class as “progressive”, while adamantly claiming they aren’t themselves “progressives.”

    Kind of like Obamacare. Strip the name away and poll on the elements, and all but one had >50% support from day 1, sometimes significantly more. Which didn’t stop Obamacare as a whole from being under 50% support for years. Even today the individual pieces (generally) poll better than Obamacare as a whole.

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  80. CSK says:

    Latest conspiracy theory from the fevered brains of MAGA Nation:

    Andrew Cuomo was growing popular, so the Obama wing of the Democratic Party had to take him down because he was beginning to represent a threat to radical Communist Kamala Harris’s presidential aspirations.

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  81. Sleeping Dog says:

    @gVOR08:

    From a legislator’s point of view, it doesn’t matter what an issue is polling nationally, what he/she cares about is how it is polling in his/her district or state and with what groups of voters.

    For WV, I found one poll conducted by a $15/hr advocacy group that claims 63% of WV support a $15 minimum, but even that group admitted that among small business owners there is very little support and I suspect that’s who Manchin is listening to. A note about the poll, there was no information about who conducted it and what methodology was used.

    Moore-Capito supports a $10 fed minimum and Manchin an $11. Given that $15 isn’t enough in places like SF, LA and NYC, a better solution would be Fed minimum in the range of $10-12 with a cost of living adjustment based on MSMA.

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  82. gVOR08 says:

    @Jen: I say “I keed” because Republicans constantly pay lip service to small business, but they only do it because, “We did this for small businesses.” sounds a lot better than the truth, “We did this for ginormous multinational corporations.”

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  83. @Sleeping Dog:

    From a legislator’s point of view, it doesn’t matter what an issue is polling nationally, what he/she cares about is how it is polling in his/her district or state and with what groups of voters.

    They may not even care about that. They may only care about how a given move plays with the primary electorate.

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  84. Jen says:

    @gVOR08: Ah, gottcha. That said, NFIB is pretty powerful and legislators DO listen to them. And they are quite often in lock-step with their larger corporate brethren.

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  85. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yeah, I’m giving them more credit than they deserve.

    A thought on polling. It really doesn’t matter how well a proposal polls, but how committed to the proposal are the voters who agree with it. Gun control polls very well with upwards of 80% of the voters supporting some proposals, but at the ballot box, but gun control never happens. Why? There is a list of more important items that determine who a voter casts their ballot for. It would be great for candidate A if he/she supported GC, but you can’t get everything you want.

    My suspicion, is that for most voters, a $15 minimum would be nice, but…

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  86. just nutha says:

    @CSK: True, but wasn’t that Republican Irish as opposed to British Irish and also wasn’t it because the Irish Free State is constitutionally pacifist?

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  87. @Sleeping Dog: It is certainly true that general support in a given poll doesn’t necessarily mean deep support nor does it mean that an item is a high priority, so one should definitely be cautious about inferring too much.

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  88. Kathy says:

    About two weeks ago, the Bloomberg vaccine tracker estimated Mexico would need 3.5 years to vaccinate 75% of the population. Today the estimate is 5 years.

    People in my age group are supposed to be vaccinated in April, allegedly of 2021 and not 2121. I’ll believe it when I see the needle go into my arm.

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  89. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug Mataconis says:
    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:34

    @EddieInCA:

    Because that’s how the Senate doesn’t work

    Fixed that for you, Doug.

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  90. Some points on the minimum wage

    1. It should be set at the State level, and in some cases such as New York City vs the rest of New York State or Los Angeles vis California as a whole. What’s appropriate for New York isn’t appropriate for, say, Nprth and South Dakota.

    2. The it should be phased in year by year for stretch of three or four years.

    3. After it reaches its final level it should be indexed to inflation.

    4. It is time for restaurants to pay the full minimum wage; not a much lower amount that puts the expectation of the rest of take home pay on tips.

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  91. Joe says:

    @CSK:

    Hitler considered the Irish to be Aryans, unlike the English, in his view.

    Yeah, well, what about the Scots? Or the Welsh or the Cornish or the Manx for that matter?

    I am reminded of the end of Blazing Saddles, when Slim Pickens declares that the town will accept the [slur about African Americans] and the [slur about Chinese Americans], but we won’t take the Irish! . . . Aw, hell, we’ll take the Irish.

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  92. Kylopod says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    , I think part of the problem is that terms like “progressive” have lost almost all meaning. Along with “liberal”, “conservative”, “socialist”, “traditional”, “capitalist”, “Republican”, “Democrat”, “Authoritarian” and a bunch of other buckets.

    This isn’t even new; it goes back at least a half-century. That was when the right turned “liberal” into a dirty word, so that even Democratic politicians were running away from it. As a result, far fewer Americans identify as “liberal” than “conservative” in polls, and so pundits would then point to those polls as proof that “America is a center-right nation”–despite the fact that on issue after issue, polls showed Americans preferring the policies of Democrats over those of Republicans.

    This situation has, if anything, increased over time. Back in the ’80s and ’90s there were a range of issues where the conservative positions polled well. These included cultural-social issues (gay rights, prayer in public schools, flag burning) and criminal-justice issues (the drug war, mass incarceration, capital punishment). Since that time, those issues have either faded or the liberal positions have become more popular.

    On economic issues, though, the liberal positions have always been more popular. They were popular in 1984 when Reagan won his big landslide. It didn’t matter. People just loved the Gipper.

    Part of the way the GOP survives is by distracting large portions of the public with the above-mentioned non-economic issues. Part of it is based on the fact that the minority of voters who support the GOP position are more motivated to vote (that’s definitely true of guns and abortion). But the main reason is that the modern GOP is built almost squarely on pure, unadulterated lies. All politicians lie, but with the GOP it’s their entire edifice. If the voting public had an accurate understanding of what Republicans intend to do while in office, the party would cease to exist as a competitive political entity in national elections. Their continued existence depends on keeping large swaths of the public in complete ignorance of what they are actually voting for.

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  93. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    Yes, probably. Ireland was officially neutral during WWII.

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  94. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I would suggest that anyone who says they know what “the people” want is lying or engaging in a selfc-onformation fallacy

    If something polls over 65% through reputable polling firms, that’s a pretty good suggestion of what the people want, even with the recent trend in bad polling.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/30/two-thirds-of-americans-favor-raising-federal-minimum-wage-to-15-an-hour/

    That seems to be what the people want. Whether they have thought it through, whether it’s a good idea, etc… But, it’s not confirmation bias to say that the people want it.

    We can find lots of other things that poll at a similar level, from gun restrictions to taxes on the rich.

    They might want other things more, like really good burns on the libtards trying to give them what they want above, but they almost certainly want the above.

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  95. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    4. It is time for restaurants to pay the full minimum wage; not a much lower amount that puts the expectation of the rest of take home pay on tips.

    It may be easier to reform US politics top to bottom, than to fix the tip issue.

    Not only does it always prove to be contentious, but it gets complicated quickly. For instance, in a tip regime, servers are eager to work on busy days, because of the potential for more tips. Without tipping, they’d prefer relaxed days, because they get paid the same if they serve one table or ten.

    Also, tipping affects more than restaurants. You’ve got housekeeping personnel, dealers, hosts, and slot attendants in casinos, valet parking employees, hairstylists, and many more.

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  96. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    Hitler seems to have made Aryans or honorary Aryans out of anyone who was favorably disposed toward him, or at least not actively hostile. The Scots and the Welsh were enemies. So they weren’t Aryans.

    He never made himself clear about the Italians, though.

    That’s one of many great lines from Blazing Saddles.

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  97. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen:

    NFIB (the National Federation of Independent Business)

    I don’t know their provenance, but I do know that a number of organizations were effectively taken over by corporate interests or conservative lobbying groups decades ago. When I had my first small business I would get people from the National Chamber of Commerce knocking on my door from time to time, and they billed themselves as the Washington lobbyist group for local and small businesses. I had been running into a fair amount of hassles with record keeping requirements and so forth, so I was interested. I took their literature and started checking up… and quickly realized that while they got their dues from local and small businesses the only issues they actively lobbied on were those that were being promoted by large international firms and these sometimes directly disadvantaged the little guy. Another example from the same era was the Automobile “Club”, AAA. It appears that the board was slowly taken over by agenda conservatives or maybe just conservative lobbyists, but in any case their lobbying efforts increasing became more and more tied with the Koch agenda. They were mostly against things, especially funds to build out public transit or increased fuel efficiency in cars, or pollution controls. I haven’t been a member for years and years so don’t know if this is still true, but it was certainly true in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

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  98. Kathy says:

    Random thoughts on biology and medicine:

    1) I’d like to know if there is a correlation between people who experience discomfort after inoculation and those who experience upset stomach when taking antibiotics.

    2) Cholesterol is a most essential substance, as it is necessary to build and maintain the membranes of all human cells (and I assume other animal cells). But you don’t need to consume any, because your cells make their own cholesterol. However, when you do consume it, your cells notice this and stop making their own for a while.

    3) Can someone explain how several organs can migrate from their usual place through a torn muscle wall into a completely different place, and still continue to perform as though nothing had happened?

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  99. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “this again?”
    “It’s spa day.”

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  100. Monala says:

    @CSK: A few years ago I tutored a high school kid who had to read Willa Cather’s My Ántonia for English class (a book I also had to read in high school). Re-reading it, I recalled the discrimination against Antonia’s Eastern European family, but I didn’t recall and was surprised to see that her school friends, also from immigrant families, were discriminated against for being Scandinavian.

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  101. MarkedMan says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    terms like “progressive” have lost almost all meaning. Along with “liberal”, “conservative”, “socialist”, “traditional”, “capitalist”, “Republican”, “Democrat”, “Authoritarian” and a bunch of other buckets.

    For years I’ve made the argument on this site that “liberal”, “conservative” and “progressive” have no agreed upon meaning and never have. I have my own definitions but they are useful only to me, because no one else agrees with them. People are sure they know what defines a liberal or a conservative, but it is all based on where someone stands on specific issues and never on principles. Oh, they may talk about principles but the fact that a given conservative or liberal never honors them doesn’t change their designation one iota.

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  102. @Kathy:

    1) I’d like to know if there is a correlation between people who experience discomfort after inoculation and those who experience upset stomach when taking antibiotics.

    My very limited (N=2) observation is that my wife, who is typically more sensitive to medications, had zero side-effects after two Pfizer shots, while I am in my third day of flu-like achy (but each day has been better).

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  103. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It should be set at the State level, and in some cases such as New York City vs the rest of New York State or Los Angeles vis California as a whole.

    This has pros and cons, but on balance I think it hurts the poor states more than it helps. It continues the poverty and works in favor of the Jim Crow governance that pervades the poor states.

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  104. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I’m pretty sure that organs don’t know which side of a muscle wall they are on 😉

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  105. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    Some present-day white supremacists feel that American citizenship should be limited to those who can prove pure English or German ancestry.

    Hey, I’m all Norwegian. I’m purer Aryan than any of those mongrelized Brits and Germans. And I wish those half-breed neo-Nazis would quit trying to culturally appropriate my ancestral Norse religion.

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  106. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Interesting.

    Is an inverse correlation still a correlation?

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  107. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    Yes. German and Scandinavian immigrants were known as “squareheads.”

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  108. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    As I recall, the fist kidney transplants (and for all I know all latter ones), involved implanting the donor kidney in the recipient’s hip. As long as the kidney was hooked up right, it would work.

    But it seems weird.

    Of the three doctors I’ve seen for the hernia, all asked about digestive and elimination issues. So I suppose these are common.

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  109. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I would get people from the National Chamber of Commerce knocking on my door from time to time, and they billed themselves as the Washington lobbyist group for local and small businesses. I had been running into a fair amount of hassles with record keeping requirements and so forth, so I was interested. I took their literature and started checking up… and quickly realized that while they got their dues from local and small businesses the only issues they actively lobbied on were those that were being promoted by large international firms and these sometimes directly disadvantaged the little guy.

    I know quite a bit about this from my time as a legislative aide. Here’s the general setup:

    –Local Chambers of Commerce: members are actual local businesses. They occasionally dip into state legislative issues (usually by sending letters to legislators), but for the most part are the conduit for networking with other businesses in the community. Because these are SO community-based, they tend to reflect the politics of the area they are in.

    –State Chambers of Commerce: Dues are assessed based on a few factors, including the number of employees the company has. So, you have XYZ Corp., headquartered in Chicago, with 30K employees at the HQ and 150K employees across the country, they are going to be contributing far more in the way of dues than ABC Company, headquartered in Bloomington IL with 500 employees. State Chambers are far more active on state legislative issues, usually they have several staff members who are registered lobbyists, and will actually testify for/against legislation at the state level. They also get involved in National political issues, but mostly on the level of sending letters to the state’s national legislative delegation.

    –US Chamber of Commerce–this is the National, which has lobbyists registered to lobby the US House/US Senate, and meet with federal agencies, etc.

    For the most part, each level stays in its own lane, but when called upon to send letters or be active on an issue, they generally tap into their memberships.

    A business can be a member at the local, state, and federal level–but you’re paying 3X the dues. Some companies see this as a cost of doing business and know that if they are dues-paying members and see an issue come up that affects their business, they can tap into whichever Chamber they are a member of and it becomes another voice to lobby for/against a bill. (In the example above, XYZ Corp. sees a bill introduced in Springfield that affects them, guess what, both their in-house lobbyist AND the State CofC lobbyist will be speaking on it).

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  110. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Some present-day white supremacists feel that American citizenship should be limited to those who can prove pure English or German ancestry.

    It’s too bad, sin’t it, for them, that there’s no such thing as “pure” anything in human ethnicity. Not to mention every last person who has ever lived or ever will live, traces their ancestry ultimately to Africa.

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  111. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Yeah. I think they get around that conundrum–our common African ancestry–by claiming that different groups of humans evolved (or spontaneously generated) in different places around the globe, and that the pure whites from whom they are descended never went anywhere near Africa.
    Evolutionary biology is not their strong suit.

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  112. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Agreed. I often put liberal or conservative in “ ” because I’m using them in the way they are generally used but which is not really correct. The use of “progressive” was driven by Republicans demonizing “liberal”. It was just a synonym for “liberal”. But now it seems to mean extreme left. It used to mean Bull Moose party. I don’t know what it means now.

    “Populist” is a word I wish would be retired. The Prairie Populists and William Jennings Bryan genuinely wanted to help the common man economically. (Disclaimer, my parents were Farmers Union in their youth.) Now “populist” describes GOPs who pander to common prejudices to screw the common man economically. The confusion is, I think, understandable, in that historically most “populist” movements have been establishment efforts to divide and conquer the populi along racial, ethnic, or religious lines to oppress the economic interests of the common people. Like the GOPs are doing. I really wish we’d describe Yale Law Josh Hawley, for instance, as a faux populist.

    “Climate change” is at least generally understood more or less correctly. Both “global warming” and “climate change” have long been used by scientists, a bit loosely, but generally warming to mean warming and climate change to include other effects, like snow in Houston and the weakening of the Gulf Stream. But I see “conservatives” making some confused case that using “climate change” instead of “global warming” is some sort of plot by climate scientists and lefties. In fact, its wider usage was driven by Frank Luntz, the Republican messaging guru. He told GOPs to say “climate change” instead of “global warming” because it didn’t sound as scary.

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  113. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    I agree with everyone pointing out that confusion over what a label means is hardly new, and getting worse. I guess I was just trying to point out that in the discussion with Doug, it’s quite possible for it to be true that the “progressive” candidates lost out to Biden, while it is also true that “the people” do actually favor a whole lot of “progressive” ideas. They just don’t make the connection 🙂

    Semi-related example: to hear Democrats tell it, HR 1 is necessary to avoid an authoritarian takeover of the country by the minority. To hear Republicans tell it, HR 1 is itself an authoritarian power play by a minority that must be resisted to the full extent possible. Meanwhile 99% of the voters have no idea what HR 1 *actually contains*. My own reading of it, while FAR more sympathetic to the D position, is also willing to admit there are elements that deserve some re-thinking from a Constitutional point of view. Regardless though, the whole bill will get neatly labeled and categorized by the loudest, and in the end the actual contents and their popularity (let alone desirability) are almost wholly irrelevant.

    Which is depressing as hell on a Friday afternoon.

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  114. Kurtz says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I don’t think anyone knows what
    “the people” “want”

    This is facile.

    For one thing, issue polling is much different from predictive electoral polling.

    Secondly, people do want things: security, self-determination, food, shelter.

    Most importantly, holding hostage the things necessary to life–food, water, shelter, and personal security–is coercive on its face. That ain’t liberty or freedom. It doesn’t preserve choice; it hinders it. It doesn’t matter whether the hostage-takers are agents of the State, private entities or an alliance of the two.

    One more thing: if the inputs of a business result in a price too high to reach demand necessary for profit, the business won’t survive. The prices of those inputs are usually the result of an efficient market.

    But the labor market isn’t efficient. Just because someone may take a job that pays $7.25, doesnt mean that’s the true price for their labor. The people who take the job often don’t have a choice, because to not take the paycheck means losing access to basic necessities.

    If a business can’t afford the cost of non-labor inputs and a fair price for labor, then the business model is flawed. But the non-labor inputs almost always have a solid price floor, because the price of those inputs equal cost+profit. Below that floor, the inputs are not available, and the business can’t function.

    The only way to deal with that is to drive the price of labor down enough to keep an enterprise profitable. The constant threat of eviction and malnutrition has a funny way of doing that. ***This is preserving freedom of choice for a few by restricting freedom of choice for the many.***

    That conception of liberty is an oxymoron.

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  115. Eight Sehate Democrats and Angus 6otes against Bernie Sanlnders attempt to pass minimum wage increase via budget reconciliation in procedural vote.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/541826-senate-rejects-sanders-15-minimum-wage-hike

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  116. JohnMcC says:

    @Kurtz: Seems like a good moment to point out that if one is looking for a job through a state ’employment service’ — which one must do in order to receive unemployment compensation — turning down the chance to work for $7.25/hr will get one kicked off unemployment.

    Makes it difficult to rise above minimum wages. Which is the point of course.

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  117. Kurtz says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    I agree with everyone pointing out that confusion over what a label means is hardly new, and getting worse. I guess I was just trying to point out that in the discussion with Doug, it’s quite possible for it to be true that the “progressive” candidates lost out to Biden, while it is also true that “the people” do actually favor a whole lot of “progressive” ideas. They just don’t make the connection

    Right, it seems like the most salient issue for the primaries was which candidate had the best chance of beating Trump.

    I disagreed with the reasoning that someone like Sanders would drive moderates to Trump without pulling enough Trump voters back to offset those losses.

    My contention continues to be that Sanders would appeal to some rural whites in a way other Democrats would not. I have some evidentiary basis for it–polling and historical examples. But the support for a middle lane was also well-founded, at the very least intuitively. And it was likely the safer option.

    But the interpretation that Biden winning the primary means there wasn’t enough support for progressive legislation is deeply flawed.

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  118. Jax says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Hey Steven, we seem to be missing our British friend, JohnSF. Can you tell when the last time he commented was? If I remember correctly, I think they were going back into lockdown.

    I hate it when people just go incommunicado. 😐 And it feels weird to see if we can send him an email to see if he’s ok, we’re just random comment people from the internet…

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  119. Mimai says:

    Coming in late to this discussion, I see a lot of emphasis placed on polling, what the public wants, etc. I’d be curious to hear from the crowd what, if any, (relatively contemporary) issue polls highly but that you are opposed to having implemented.

    This is not an implicit commentary on the minimum wage per se. Rather, I ask this as a general thought exercise and to help me better understand my own thinking about the issues. Looking forward to your replies.

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  120. Mister Bluster says:

    @JohnMcC:..if one is looking for a job through a state ’employment service’ — which one must do in order to receive unemployment compensation — turning down the chance to work for $7.25/hr will get one kicked off unemployment.

    I can only speak for my experience with Unemployment Insurance in Illinois. The first time I drew benefits was 1973, $50/week and the last time I was “rocking” was 2011. Since I was a member of the IBEW I did not have to sign up with the Illinois Bureau of Employment Security. “Sitting on the bench at the hall” was all the work search I had to do. I also recall that my last job paid about $30/hr so I did not have to take less than that. This was 10 years ago so things might have changed.

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  121. EddieInCA says:

    @Mimai:

    Look at the second chart on this link. Of 16 major policies, only 4 are +R. One is even, and the other 11 are +D by huge amounts. That chart says it all. Republicans care about Abortion, Terrorism (from brown people, not white people), Immigration (again, brown people, not white people), and the federal deficit (only when a Dem is president).

    This chart underscores how screwed up the Senate is.

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/276932/several-issues-tie-important-2020-election.aspx

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  122. Mimai says:

    @EddieInCA: Thanks for the interesting link. The data speak to differential importance of various issues but not specifically to the issues themselves. For example, Ds may overwhelmingly prefer a $15 min wage but rate this a mildly important, whereas Rs may overwhelmingly prefer a $7.50 min wage but rate this is as very important. It’s not clear to me how best to think about this in terms of “what the public wants”?

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  123. @Jax: Looks like it was January 29th.

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  124. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I hope he’s okay.

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  125. Jax says:

    @CSK: Me too, he was an interesting point of view from across the pond.

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