Gary Peters on health care: “I put it all an the line to make (the ACA) happen, so don’t question my motivations here.”

Michigan Senator Gary Peters held a town hall meeting today at Eastern Michigan University. As it was just announced yesterday evening, attendance was relatively sparse. I’d say there were maybe about 125 people in the audience, most of whom, judging by how people introduced themselves when posing questions to the Senator, were from Ann Arbor. Thankfully, a friend on Twitter told me about the event early this morning, and I was able to shuffle things around and attend. Before we get to the details of what was said, though, I’d like to say a bit about my perception of Peters going into the event.

Fairly or unfairly, my sense is that a lot of us on the left perceive Peters to be ineffective, as he’s not one known for taking bold public stands. He’s not actively fact-checking every Trump tweet like Chuck Schumer, or aggressively going after the big banks like Elizabeth Warren, or visiting the administration’s makeshift child prisons along the southern border like Jeff Merkley. And, given the seriousness of the threat our democracy is facing right now, as the Trumpist cult, pushing an agenda of nationalism, authoritarianism and corporatism, gains even more of a foothold, I can certainly understand the concern. We want to put people in office who stand up and fight, and who, in doing so, inspire participation in the Democratic process. We want compelling leaders who can articulate bold, visionary ideas, and get people fired up and ready to go. And I think it’s fair to say that a good number of progressives do not see Peters as that kind of leader.

So, when I went into this morning’s town hall, that was pretty much how I’d framed things in my mind. I was asking myself, “Is there still a place in the Democratic Party for solid, hard-working policy wonks who are more interested in incremental, bipartisan improvement than in bold (albeit perhaps not immediately attainable) initiatives and fiery tweets?” And, from my perspective, that’s pretty much what this town hall was about at its most basic level. While the Senator took questions about everything from the detention of child immigrants to health care reform, the underlying narrative, at least in my eyes, remained consistent throughout, with Peters telling the crowd what was realistically possible given the fact that the Democrats hold no levers of power, and a significant portion of the audience responding that, unless the Democrats adopt a different, more aggressively progressive platform, they’re never going to retake the House, Senate or White House. And nowhere was this more apparent than in the discussion around health care. Here, to give you a sense of of what I’m talking about, are two videos.

“My commitment for making sure that everyone has access to health care, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, that it’s affordable, has never wavered,” said Peters in response to a gentleman in the audience who, after saying that the Affordable Care Act was a failure, demanded the Senator pursue Medicare for All. “I put it all on the line to make it happen, so don’t question my motivations here. I’m with you. I’m with you all the way. But please understand, when we say ‘the Affordable Care Act is terrible,’ as this gentleman says, that gives further fuel to the Republicans, who say, ‘See, Democrats don’t even like the Affordable Care Act.'”

Personally, I can see both sides of the argument, and I think it’s a good argument for us to be having. No one in the audience was suggesting, as people had during the initial, highly contentious ACA debates, that the government should play less of a role in health care. No one was yelling about the evils of socialism. Everyone was in a agreement that we had to do more, it was just a matter of how we got there. Peters argued that, for the time being, we had to focus on shoring up the ACA, fixing the problems that exist, and making sure that the Republicans fail in their attempts to kill the legislation by attacking its various components. [Most recently, the Republicans have started their assault on the preexisting condition protections afforded by the legislation.] Stopping the assault on the ACA, Peters argued, will save lives today. And, he went on to say, we can’t lose sight of that, as much as we might want to make big, bold moves. Our focus, he said, has to be on ensuring that the hundreds of thousands of Americans who finally received health insurance under the ACA, don’t lose it. With that said, however, Peters noted that he is up for pushing things further forward when opportunities arise. As an example of this, Peters said that he, along with Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, has thrown his support behind legislation that would reduce the eligibility age for Medicare to 55. [This received a big round of applause.]

Again, I can see both sides of this, and I believed Peters when he said that, as a Congressman, when he voted for the ACA, he did so thinking that the vote would end his political career, as he represented a relatively conservative district. And I take him for his word when he says that he eventually wants to see us get to a single-payer system, in which every American has coverage. With that said, though, I also appreciate that the idea of practical incrementalism, especially right now, in the face of crisis, seems wrongheaded to some. They look at the polling showing the popularity of single-payer health care, even among conservatives, and they say that we should go all in, stop defending Obamacare, and go for broke. But, as Peters kept reminding us, until we have a majority in either the House or Senate, it’s all for naught. [One man in the audience demanded that Peters propose legislation on the floor, even if he knew that it would fail to pass. Peters informed him that, as a single Senator, in the minority party, this is not something that he could do. If Senators could do that, Peters told the man, Bernie Sanders would be bringing bills to the floor every day.]

OK, to further explore this tension that I’m talking about, here’s one more clip. This one is about the proposed assault weapons ban, which Peters has not yet signed on in support of. While saying that he might choose to support the bill in the future, Peters said that, right now, he’s focused on universal background checks, which he thinks we can not only get through Congress, but will have a much bigger impact.

There was quite a bit more, but I think that’s all I’m going to share in the way of video, although I do have some pretty good clips of Peters talking about everything from his support of recreational marijuana to the detention of young immigrants at our southern border. [“This is America. This is not who we are. This country should never ever hurt children willingly, like we’re doing now.”] For the time being, though, I was hoping that we could put the individual policies aside and talk about the Democratic Party at a higher level, the potential benefits of embracing a more populist progressive vision, and the possible consequences that might come with the establishment of such purity tests. [Having seen all the moderates forced from the Republican Party, I’m not anxious to follow in the footsteps.] Again, I’m somewhat torn, and I’d appreciate your thoughts on this as I continue to mull it over. I think, at this stage in the game, debate is good. I like it that our Democratic legislators are feeling pressure from the left. I like it that people are engaged, and demanding more. At the same time, though, I realize that, at some point, we need to close ranks and present a unified front in order to retake power and save this country of ours before Trumpism destroys it.

Oh, here’s another big takeaway. I don’t think that anyone, over the hour and a half, mentioned Donald Trump by name, the corruption of his administration, or Russian election interference. And my guess is that, in the whole scheme of things, these subjects, which I follow so closely, won’t really factor into the results we see come November. If the Democrats are to retake either the House or the Senate, it’ll likely have more to do with health care than the Mueller investigation. Of course, I do think that we should keep referencing back to the underlying corruption every chance we get.

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  1. Jean Henry
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    If you are trying to talk about why Dems aren’t getting control of the house and relate that to messaging rather than gerrymandering, you are ignoring the problem. I’m all for a more progressive platform, but it’s nkt going to make us more viable except to the base, which, as the base. Is not the problem. They vote. We do need to generate massive turn out. And there is plenty to legitimately critique about the Dem party (especially their ineffectual attempts to raise adequate revenue or spend it wisely) and their platform (boring and without vision) BUT all that bellyaching disincentivzes people to make it to the polls. And the deck is stacked against us. We have to get out the vote like our life depends on it. I’m not sure it matters who is in Peters seat until we fix redistricting so the vast majority of the popular vote actually gets us more seats in the State Congress.

    It’s kind of a liberal progressive fantasy that all we need is a better message not a strategy to get more damn votes in the right places. The GOP care mostly about winning. Which is why they do. It’s also why they are truly shitty at governance, even by their standards. .
    Nothing about Flint???

  2. Posted June 16, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    As we’re no longer producing old, white voters at the same rate, there are only so many things the Republicans can do to stay in power. They’ve got gerrymandering. They’ve got disinformation. They’ve got voter suppression. They’ve got money. And, increasingly, they’ve got the courts. I don’t think any of that, however, changes what I said in the post, which is that people on the progressive left want fighters more that they want pragmatists. You can tell them that they’re wrong, and that we only lose races because of gerrymandering, but it doesn’t really change the fact that this internal division exists within the party.

  3. Jim Monsoon
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know that we need every democrat to abandon practicality in order to race left — like the tea partiers and freedom caucus on the right, but we desperately need some leadership.

  4. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Mark– The bulk of the country is not Left Progressive. They are moderates, who can be swayed. But people resist change. Ann Arbor can’t figure out how to create affordable housing even though they all say they want affordable housing. They also dont want any multi-unit apartment buildings in the neighborhoods, or sprawl and they hate tall buildings downtown. And they love park and green spaces. And they want sustainable buildings.

    Apparently the problem is greedy developers and landlords not them.

    Politics is a set of choices. Often hard choices. Many people who call themselves liberal actually resist change, but then will fight try hard against a deer cull. And they want to talk about race and inequity only when it’s not in their community, because they are Liberal so they dont think they have that problem. If they do it’s the fault of the GOP or those greedy developers or capitalism itself. It is for sure not anything they are party to…

    So to what Jim said, we need leadership. And not self-gratifying populist bullshit. Obama was a leader who was both a populist and a leader. He deserved all the criticism he received. The ;eft should be critiquing their leaders, but we need to understand that criticism is NOT a platform. And platforms have to be workable and appeal to more than our bubble. We, on the progressive left, are really really bad at properly critiquing liberal progressive ideas. That’s why we need the left and the right to be functional too.

    And I really beg you Mark to look at the numbers and Gerrymandering in more depth. Along with assuring GOP majorities, gerrymandering packs districts on the left, so liberal progressives beat out moderates. And they are then beholden to their base not to compromise. WHICH is exactly what your asking Peters not to do, right? And that will win elections in packed districts but its not going to win seats in competitive ones, much less solidly GOP ones. The majority of this state is moderate working class. And all you have to do is get outside of Washtenaw County to take that in.

    What you want is not what the rest of the state wants. You might eventually be able to get a liberal progressive in office in a competitive district, even a bunch of them because of Trump, but when it comes to governance, they may find that they represent a much broader spectrum of voters than you are allowing for. They may find that what liberal progressives want isn’t possible. That’s true even in packed districts. Again, look at Ann Arbor.

    I think this piece was naive at best. You are criticizing Peters for being honest about what is required to govern. You didn’t listen to what he said except from the perspective that his way of thinking leads to loss, You didn’t consider that your way of thinking leads to loss too. See gerrymandering. You should interview Peters.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Better yet cover a Peters downhill in a more conservative area, and listen to what that audience asks of him relative to ypsi/Ann Arbor activists.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Townhall not downhill*

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    My criticism of you was too harsh, Mark. I see that you tried to be balanced. I guess I just didn’t buy it. My bad there. I find it frustrating that progressives don’t understand compromise or governance. Politicians are not Santa Claus. And policy making in a democracy is really really hard. We need wonks.

    Being a wonk isn’t what leads to compromise solutions.
    The democratic process leads to compromise solutions.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    There is also the risks of populist leaders (more than losing) which goes unaddressed here. Populism is a powerful tool that is easily manipulated. See our president.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Peters lost me at the end when he talked about his respect for people on the other side of the aisle. The time for that ended when they stole the Supreme Court seat.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    “Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

    “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    “Force is all conquering, but it’s victories are short lived.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln

    “But it doesn’t take a thousand men to open a door, my lord.”

    “It might to keep it open.”
    ― Ursula K. Le Guin

  11. Demetrius
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The Democratic party now has fewer elected officials – at the national and state level – than any time since the 1920s.

    Unfortunately, those who continue advocating for the “moderate,” milquetoast, incrementalist approach are merely doubling down on on a strategy that is already a proven failure … and Gary Peters pretty much the poster-child of this approach.

    If Democrats want to return to being a “national” party that is competitive in Washington D.C., and in all 50 state capitals (and on county commissions, and city councils, etc., nationwide), the party needs a thorough housecleaning … new leaders, bolder ideas, a sharper message, and much less (nor more) compromise.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The GOP sacrifice its values to win.
    The left sacrifices winning for its values.
    I think the middle path of bold goals and a actual political and policy strategy to get there that sent about ‘messaging’ sounds pretty good.

    Divisive politics is very understandable, but it doesn’t work. We can win without cowtowing to Trumpism. We can win because most of the people don’t agree with most of what Trump does. We can win because even though most of America doesn’t believe everything we believe, they agree and can deal with most of what we believe. Thats a form of tolerance not concession. We can win if we can manage to honor their beliefs with tolerance too. Not every belief system needs to be encoded in law. Most shouldn’t be. Certainly not in a country as big a diverse as ours. I think most Americans understand that.

    After observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Demetrius– what I support is in no way “milque toast,” but it also honors the viewpoints of those who don’t agree with me, or aren’t ready for the kind of change I support. The democratic process is a function of compromise. What the GOP have done to win is anti-democratic and dangerous to our society. I can’t believe we haven’t learned that yet. Do you have any data on how many people in the country, much less by district, actually agree with your agenda? Its available look it up.

    Anf for God’s sake, stop blaming Dom failures on messaging rather than gerrymandering. Look at the popular vote.

    I agree we need a more positive and forward looking message full of ideas. And we need to run on that. I dont believe we need to ‘clean house’ with an ideological purge.

    It amazes me how toxic geographic and social self-segregation has become to our ability to understand one another. The left have become idiots of their own making. And I agree with what they want. They are just simply not communicating with most of the country nor do they have any idea what those people believe and don’t believe, much less how they can be moved. It’s all fairy tales and horror stories in the news. I hear so much fear expressed of Trump supporters. Someone from Ypsi fexpressed the same to me just yesterday in front of a business owner with home they work regularly who is a Trumpo supporter. They had no idea. Why? Because people are afraid to tell people on the ;left what they believe. We can’t implement change this way.

    It has occurred to me that most ‘no compromise’ progressives and radicals have never actually tried to implement change in an institution or a community or even in a divided households. If they have, they have not done so by common consensus v command control tactics. Many lessons to be learned in trying to actually implement change v yelling about how its necessary.

  14. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    ” What the GOP have done to win is anti-democratic and dangerous to our society. ”

    A Sanders administration as envisioned by his campaign was wholly anti-democratic. “Progressives” wanted an autocrat as badly as Republican voters.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    EXACTLY. But the left was never clever enough to implement gerrymandering. Or manipulate voter registration to their benefit. Strategy that is anti-democratic is unique to the right.

    The only the unique to the left seems to be very educated people who nonetheless can not understand numbers and how they work. Economics is even further beyond their grasp. Its really upsetting. That particular trope about the left is sadly true. Anyone who works with non-profits will tell you the same. Anyone familiar with local politics will also tell you that an incapacity to understand budgets, supply & demand, revenue and then, to compound or mask, to ascribe moralistic value to even talking about issues of economic impact is epidemic on the left/liberal/progressive spectrum. This deficit is evident among young and old. And there is no greater evidence of privilege than educated people that don’t feel considering ec0nomic impact matters. I dont care what group you belong to. We are economic idiots. Its super frustrating.
    Messaging won’t over come that, but a diverse party with enough subject area experts/policy wonks to whom we are willing to listen and with whom we are willing to work might help…

    PS while you may be a ;subject area expert’ on how the economic system impacts you (and that information is essential), that doesn’t mean you understand how economies work. It’s cool to advocate for your interests alongside others who will advocate for theirs. It’s not cool to think you everything you need to know about economic impact by looking at it through the lens of your own experience.

  16. Demetrius
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Around 40 years ago, the Democratic Party began distancing itself from its base of union members, blue-collar workers, educators, environmentalists, peace activists, etc., in favor of a more business (and donor)-friendly “New Democrat,” DLC, Clintonism (Republican lite).

    Despite earnest attempts by candidates including Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, Bill Bradley, Howard Dean, Bernie Sanders, and others, to steer the party back to its roots, it continued drifting ever rightward …

    The result – as I mentioned above – is that there are now fewer elected Democrats nationwide than at any time in nearly 100 years.

    And yet, we’re still forced to endure lectures by the party faithful who remain 100% convinced the best way forward is to double-down on these same failed policies … arguing that what will revive the party is “more compromise,” and trying harder to “honor the viewpoints of others.” In other words … continuing to elect any lackluster politicians who has a “D’ after their name, regardless of whether or not they actually support (or fight for) genuinely progressive policies … or how, when all is said and done, they frequently roll over and vote to confirm the most odious cabinet and Supreme Court nominees imaginable.

    Given that this also seems to be the prevailing orientation of much of the party establishment, I fear the Democrats will have to lose a few more election cycles, and suffer more agonizing defeats, before they finally “hit bottom,” and recognize the need for a thorough leadership turnover (yes – including a purge of the many “Democrats in Name Only), and a genuine return to their traditional role as the party of the poor and working class.

    The question is whether the nation (our democracy, or national ideals, the rule of law) can withstand several more years of virtually unchecked Trumpublican rule. At the rate we’re going, I’m not so sure …

  17. Posted June 17, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for participating. This is exactly the kind of conversation I was hoping this post would generate. Lots to think about.

    And thank you, Demetrius, for summarizing the take on Peters that I was trying to articulate in my post.

    The Democratic party now has fewer elected officials – at the national and state level – than any time since the 1920s.

    Unfortunately, those who continue advocating for the “moderate,” milquetoast, incrementalist approach are merely doubling down on on a strategy that is already a proven failure … and Gary Peters pretty much the poster-child of this approach.

    If Democrats want to return to being a “national” party that is competitive in Washington D.C., and in all 50 state capitals (and on county commissions, and city councils, etc., nationwide), the party needs a thorough housecleaning … new leaders, bolder ideas, a sharper message, and much less (nor more) compromise.

    As I noted in the post, I really don’t know where I fall on the continuum. I’d like to think that the Democratic Party is big enough for both radical visionaries and incrementalists wonks, so long as they’re all moving in the same direction. I think that big tents are good. And I think that compromise is good. At the same time, though, I don’t think we’re at a place in American history where we can afford to be timid. Nor, however, do I think it’s a time when we can risk internal divisions that might threaten to splinter the resistance. At any rate, I value this conversation and look forward to watching as it evolves.

  18. John Brown
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Peters rides a Harley. Get a Volt dumbass.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    It’d almost criminal to take those numbers and not look at how redistricting impacts them in order to project a problem that you’d like to see: that the Dom party isn’t progressive enough.

    You guys really need to get out more. Its a five mile drive to go talk to some people who aren’t liberal progressives.

    Again I support everything you guys do outside of protectionism as far as I can tell. But I’m not so stupid as to believe those ideas have equal purchase with most of the registered Dems in this country much less the many many independent voters out there.

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius–Around 50 years ago the Dom party became more progressive on civil rights after a history of open racism, and then many white blue collar workers abandoned the party to vote for Reagan who was a Union buster. Reagan was to labor what Trump is the the GOP. They went to Reagan because they wanted to fuck integrated labor up and move it backwards, because they were nostalgic for a racist past, and I dont think they knew they’d lose it. Populism is dangerous. Reagan ran as a populist even though he was establishment all the way. Clinton was middle of the road because that’s what the Dom party voters demanded of him.

    This weird nostalgia with rose colored glasses for the Dom party past is as bizarre as the rest of your ‘strategy’ for winning elections. It’s a compelling narrative and many on the left especially young people and boomers believe it. I’m guessing few lived in the South in the 70’s and even fewer were actually involved in the labor movement in 1980.

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Dem not Dom. Autocorrect has a filthy mind.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    PS I’m not party faithful. I dont like any of the parties much and stay out of party politics even while I’m engaged intensely in local politics. I’ll involve myself in GOTV activities in critical elections, but my positions are not about party fealty. They are about winning elections and moving the country forward while respecting the democratic (small d) process.

    It really says something that anyone with a position that asks for greater understanding of the process and winning strategies, even with extremely progressive personal views, is seen as a shill for the party.

    Why would the party faithful want anything to do with progressives who constantly deride it though? It’s really amazing they tolerate you guys at all.

  23. Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Whatever happens, I hope, given how things played out in 2016, no one even considers voting for a third party candidate on the left like Jill Stein.

  24. Sad
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    And seeing what happened in 2016 I hope no one votes for Gretchen Whitmer in August!

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Mark iOS a shill for the Dom party too apparently…

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted June 17, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know how to uninstall autocorrect?

  27. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    This kind of bullshit is why I am only committing to non-partisan causes from now on. I’d rather work on strengthening our democracy than advocating for any political position. I think everyone has gone crazy re politics. The only hope is the balance offered by a more resilient democracy and focus on non-partisan solutions.

    I do believe the pendulum will swing towards a more progressive America. And people out ahead of that swing are essential to the process. They may be right about solutions but they aren’t necessarily right about what America wants… yet. And pushing change too fast can and usually does backfire. Progressives will always be impatient. I get that.

    But feeling a need to attack a Representative because he tells you what is and isn’t possible politically right now v what you want to hear is not a good sign. Not a good sign at all.

  28. Jcp2
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    A tech piece from the fake news msm to help out.

  29. Eel
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Not every politician should be an exciting flamboyant social media superstar. Nothing good will cone of it. We’ll be no better than the Republicans, fielding candidates like Joe Arpaio and Roy Moore.

  30. Iron lung
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I think that Democratic voters understand economics as well or as poorly as Republican voters, but I don’t think that either group understands how government and government programs are financed.

    That was wholly evident during the Sanders campaign and through the creation of the tax reform bill.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    IL– I intentionally qualified ‘well educated Dems’ re innumeracy/economic understanding. Ann Arbor is the most highly degreed city in the country and most of its citizenry can not understand or willfully won’t understand basic economic principles. They all seem to think the money for everything they want lies somewhere… lining the pockets of the rich I guess, who they are sure are not themselves… Even in a city which must not run at a deficit, for which the budget numbers are easily accessed and not so large as to be beyond understanding. The local press willfully distorts numbers for projects. Everything seems to feed a false narrative. I am stunned that so many people with so much access to information and school training can willfully ignore the impact of their positions on the historically and presently disenfranchised and the working class, whom they claim to care so much about. I came to believe it was evidence of privilege, but then Ypsi residents fall for the exact same narratives and economic magical thinking, even in a city that is always just one step away from receivership.

    JCP2:Thank you. Maybe something decent will come of this.

  32. John Brown
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    A2 residents almost always vote to tax themselves when given the choice. Apparently they get that you have to pay for stuff you want, and they show a strong preference for butter over guns. I wish the rest of the country had similar fiscal literacy. The upcoming Water Plant rebuild will no doubt get paid for.

    If the Bernie or bust crew didn’t learn their lesson in 2016, then we are screwed. In our system you often have no sane choice but to vote against the greater evil. Yes there’s room in the Dem party for all, and to win, as long as everyone gets on board with the mantra “idealistic in the primaries, pragmatic in the general”. That’s what tended to work. Don’t listen to sketchy people on the internet who say otherwise.

  33. Lynne
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Sad, I think she is a good candidate and fuck asshole sexists if they can’t get behind her in November if she wins. I haven’t entirely decided whom I am going to vote for in August but fwiw, you just made me MORE likely to vote for Whitmer. Ultimately it depends on who might be most likely to beat Thandedar as I like the other two candidates but loathe him.

  34. Demetrius
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand the idea of conflating wanting to have a more equitable and just society with “innumeracy” or a lack of economic understanding.

    America is still a tremendously prosperous nation. We have more than enough wealth to make sure everyone is able to earn a decent wage (or otherwise be provided for), receive quality healthcare, have access to quality education, clean drinking water, healthy food, live in a safe neighborhood, etc. … and STILL have plenty left over to maintain a healthy profit motive (bolster ingenuity and innovation) and to reward entrepreneurship.

    As a nation, we make millions of individual and collective choices each year that either foster the greater good – or reinforce and strengthen inequality. $Trillions spent on overseas military adventures vs. investing in infrastructure here at home. $Billions spent on mindless entertainment (video games and cellphone apps) vs. supporting quality public education in every district. $Hundreds of millions of (public) dollars spent to subsidize gaudy sports arenas vs. keeping promises to seniors who’ve worked their whole lives for the promise of a pension …

    Branding those of us who want a fairer, better deal for everyone as unrealistic or “innumerate” basically amounts to telling people to sit down, shut up, and accept the status quo. After all, “that’s the way the world works,” and expecting our politicians to actually FIGHT for us, rather than lecture us about what’s “realistic” or “possible,” in order to maintain the facade of compromise and bi-partisanship is simply foolish, right?

  35. Iron lung
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I think that ignoring how governmemt is funded and how government programs are financed is foolish if one would like to see an expansion of government programs.

  36. Sad
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Lynne. I would just prefer Abdul El-Sayed. I’m ready for a change.

    It will be interesting to see which faction wins.

  37. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Democrats have become overly dependent upon get-out-the-vote operations in areas where without “pushed” turnout, they lose many races. The sabatoge of some of the biggest of such operations was a critical aspect in throwing those key swing states to Trump in 2016.

    The ideal solution to that would be activated urban and youth voters who wouldn’t require the pushing by GOTV operations. The question is, how do you activate those populations, and is it even possible in our culture.

    There are other, less idealistic, strategies as well.

    Are we going to be seeing Jean Henry and Mark Marnard declaring their candidacy for office?

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    John Brown– Ann Arbor municipal area has the 8th greatest economic segregation in the country. the question is not taxation but what it’s spent on. Hint: not affordable housing, not the education gap. There are comparably sized conservative run places who dont have nice parks or even sidewalks but that have jobs that offer greater economic mobility, better economic integration and lower housing costs.

    And then there’s Aura Rosser…

    Local politics is very different from national politics. Look at outcomes, not how they self-identify.

  39. John Brown
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Sad, Yes to Abdul! I’ve known Abdul since he was a small child of an immigrant father who married my good buddies sister. Their family is truly the American experience, and better for it. Abdul has integrity in spades and if we want a more ambitious progressive Dem party then we have to vote for it in the primary. If the progressive wing comes up short, then vote for Gretchen in the general and maybe she can appoint Abdul to Dept of Health & Human Services. If Abdul wins the primary, then guess what Clinton-crats, the party is leaving you behind and you better get on board too because the alternative is pretty shitty.

    Just make sure you spread the word high and low that Shri is a disruptor and not a legit candidate. Unfortunately a huge amount of confusion between the two brown guys cost Abdul a lot of support early on.

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    iRobert– I hate politics. I hate the parties. but I understand all are necessary. I prefer to be Diogenes in this scenario thanks.

    Also please look at gerrymandering and its impact on election outcomes. Look at the popular vote in MI and the number of seats won by each party.

    The way commenters on this post are willfully ignoring the strategic advantage the GOP secured in MI under our noses a decade ago, speaks to the intensity of the cognitive bias at work. It also speaks to our vulnerability to being played for another decade’s plus political advantage again.

  41. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    SAD– I certainly hope you will vote for Whitmer should she be the Dom candidate for governor in November. I’m sure you mi-represented your position in an attempt to be pithy, right?

  42. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius– “Branding those of us who want a fairer, better deal for everyone as unrealistic or “innumerate” basically amounts to telling people to sit down, shut up, and accept the status quo.”
    I also want a more fair and better deal for everyone. You keep insisting I can’t because I suggest it’s necessary to know how to implement change within budgetary limits and within the very slow process called democracy and within the system we occupy (for better or worse0 called capitalism.

    I have never questioned your intentions and I would like it if you would stop saying I’m for the status quo. Its bullshit evasion and you know it.

    As to why I suggest the left shows innumeracy, I have vast experience in local politics to draw on as well as what I observed in the enthusiasm for Bernie’s campaign. Hillary;s plans were too complicated and she bothered to have them tie out economically. And so because her plans were workable, you said they weren’t visionary. That’s a logical inconsistency that insists ignorance and enthusiasm is better than having workable plans for progressive change.

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I still can’t believe that Bernie, someone who said the same thing for 30 years, ran for President without having developed a plan for implementation. Its not that what he was broadly advocating for is not possible. It’s just that in their specificity they were unworkable. He totally could have sought out the advice of many on the ground advocates for progress in the various policy areas that were part of his campaign. And he didn’t. For 30 fucking years he spouted anger and invective without bothering to imagine how he might implement that very necessary change. Its really quite stunning. I hope the new crop of progressive candidates is better prepared and informed and seeks out the advice of ‘wonks’ where they are not.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    True progressive vision is about imagining a way forward not bitching about the status quo and throwing out ideas you haven’t worked out.

  45. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to sound nasty, Jean, as I suppose you are used to talking to people with less experience and knowledge than your own regarding political processes and campaign strategy. However, I’m not one of those people. Among many other things, I’ve been watching gerrymandering closely for 35 years, and little regarding it has escaped my notice. It was clear since the mid-90s what the Republicans were strategizing with regard to it, and it was clear it was going to work, considering how brain-dead everyone in the Democratic Party has always been about it.

    So, I essentially agree with you as to how dramatically the GOP has used it to their advantage in canpturing and controlling legislative bodies on all levels.

  46. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    P.S., Jean

    If you ran for Mayor or Ann Arbor, you’d have my vote.

  47. John Brown
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    JH, Believe me we aren’t ignoring Gerrymandering. My household busted our butts getting all those signatures so that Voters Not Politicians can be on the ballot this fall. Despite the best attempts by the dirty tricksters to stop it. Door to door canvassing will be happening in support up through the election. Between legal weed and gerrymandering, turnout should be high and bode well for Dems – even brown ones with non standard anglican names if they can win the primary.

  48. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Also, Jean, Bernie Sanders was asked to run for the nomination as part of the larger strategy. He was one of many who were considered for that ‘role’ essentially. The two-candidate state-to-state ‘horserace’ was a deliberate strategy, not the product of just some random senator deciding he wanted to run for President after 30 years.

  49. John Brown
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    JH, yes you are correct that A2 is a prime example of gentrification and income inequality. And yes Aura Rosser incident was typical of mentally ill citizen killed by police that could have been Anywhere, USA. Both good reasons to vote for Abdul. No candidate at any point in my life has spoken more frankly about the need to address social justice issues. Let me know if you want a yard sign.

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I Robert: ” Bernie Sanders was asked to run for the nomination as part of the larger strategy. He was one of many who were considered for that ‘role’ essentially. The two-candidate state-to-state ‘horserace’ was a deliberate strategy, not the product of just some random senator deciding he wanted to run for President after 30 years.” — This is fascinating. Source? I have so many questions. But they all pretty much come down to this: My question remains how can anyone who says the same consistent message for 30 years not have a plan for implementation? That is only magnified when you tell me that this was some organized resistance to HRC and the Dom Party?
    How did they 9whoever they are) have no workable policy plan in place? How did they collectively decide to center the issue of income inequality then point to Europeaan Social Democracies as the model without ever looking at those models long enough to see they fund their social programs through massive globalist wealth generation that creates not just a viable social safety net but also the greatest income inequality in Europe?
    How did this group come together and choose sexism strategist and game store owner Weaver to manage the campaign? And was the choice of Tad Devine, architect fo the Super Delegate system in the 80’s as chief strategist intentional? What about the bait and switch in the Dem party camping list hacking where they managed to blame it on the party? What about the campaign against the mainstream media that offered the only critique of Sanders?

    Just how cynical was the Sanders campaign management. And who is running this group plan to undermine HRC and the Dom party and faith in our electoral policy.

    Was the turn from happy visions of a positive future to negative populist attack on the basic foundations of our democracy, the entire 4th estate,as well as sexist assault on HRC intentional as means to divert from actual discussions of policy issues for which they were unprepared?

    If it was organized as a broader campaign, why did Bernie not campaigning the primary for progressive candidates in critical states? Yousay you understand how gerrymandering impacts elections, so you know most races are determined in the primary. So why did Bernie fail to support down ticket candidates. What strategy were they running on?

    Or was the plan merely to be disruptive to the Dem party apparatus? If so, why should we not blame the progressive wing of the party for Clinton’s loss? And why should anyone trust people so poorly prepared to assume power with its future?

  51. Sad
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Who has time to waste talking about Bernie and Hilary?

    The election to think about is August.

    The choice is the same old tired Dem shit or something new.

    I want to move forward with Abdul El-Sayed.

  52. Chris Hedges Proxi
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

  53. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I think that when Mr. Sanders is threatening to run again, it is always an appropriate time to be talking about the flaws in his past campaign.

  54. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    “something new” turned out to be a bunch of half baked ideals with no real strategy to implement or sustain them.

    I am all for”something new” if people are willing to put some thought into those ideas. I fear, though, that “progressive” democrats are just too lazy to get around to it.

  55. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    “True progressive vision is about imagining a way forward not bitching about the status quo and throwing out ideas you haven’t worked out.”


  56. John Brown
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Il2, Abdul is the least lazy and most earnest Citizen I have met in my entire fucking life. We would be fools as a people not to put him to work on our behalf.

  57. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Good to know I will investigate.

  58. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Jean, you misunderstood what I was saying. It’s probably mostly my fault, because I was vague.

    Your understanding would benefit from getting involved in the most cynical aspects of politics, though of course you would hate the experience. Emotionally and psychologically, you would not benefit at all. In fact I think you would practically self destruct. I don’t know you, but you do express yourself very openly and extensively. You seem to speak primarily in abstractions, which suggests you have read a great deal, but have had much less in direct experience.

    I would never encourage a person to seek the situations and positions which would provide them the most intensive and rapid learning experience in politics. No, these days I try instead to encourage people to do things that are good for them. Politics is very bad for you, Jean. I think you know that.

  59. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Who has time to waste talking about Bernie and Hilary?“ SAD— iRibert Just suggested that Bernie’s campaign was not just about him and his personal failings and capacities but the concerted effort of the progressive Wing of the party to mount a serious opposition to hrc. If so then it’s worth exploring his campaign more in That light.

    It’s cool to make a personal choice when voting about what candidate most closely aligned with ones beliefs. I think that’s ideal actualy, but it’s not strategy. It’s the opposite of strategy, which is what we are talking about here, right?

    It seems you are not alone along proteessives in imagining that your personal beliefs are the same thing as political strategy. That these choices reflect a belief system explains why many are so antagonistic and derisive towards anyone who has a different strategic approach to the same ends.

  60. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Lots of inaccuracies in that Chris Hedges piece including the timing of the hiring of Devine and Weaver. And a misrepresentation of the Brazille book ‘revelations’ and general hyperbolizing. A whole lot of speculation about there. That guy ised to be a solid reporter. What happened to him?

  61. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Jean: “iRibert Just suggested that Bernie’s campaign was not just about him and his personal failings and capacities but the concerted effort of the progressive Wing of the party to mount a serious opposition to hrc.”

    That is not what I was suggesting. Would you do me the favor of reading through what I said again and telling me if you see other interpretations? I’m curious.

    I swear I’m not just being a jackass, as it might seem. I am sincerely trying to get a better understanding of how you think. It might help me communicate more effectively.

  62. Jean Henry
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    You know, let’s not worry about any of this. The President Just announced a ‘separate but eqyal’ Branch of the military. The Space Force.
    Never fear, Space Force is here.
    How could we ever have questioned his leadership.

    I’m sure HW, who assured us that Trump would shrink US military might and spending, suddenly thinks this is a great idea…

  63. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    My understanding of politics comes from 30+ years of varying aspects of involvement, and from the people who I’ve met through that involvement and from whom I can still get the inside story on things.

    That is the same way I’ve become somewhat knowledable, over the past decade, on the interplay and overlap between what people generally think of as the mutually exclusive worlds of big business, formal politics and organized criminal activity/syndicates.

  64. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to get into anything which would require a lot of time or thoughtful writing. But I also want to express myself authentically. This is a problem.

    I would much rather go back to making short lame comments, like I was last week.

  65. iRobert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ll try to be more productive and thoughtful at another tune. Right now, I just want to get some sleep.

  66. Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

  67. iRobert
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Yeah, a Space Force. It’ll be like the Air Force, only hundreds of times more expensive.

  68. Jean Henry
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I Robert– I apologize for my confusion.
    Here is what you wrote: “Bernie Sanders was asked to run for the nomination as part of the larger strategy. He was one of many who were considered for that ‘role’ essentially. The two-candidate state-to-state ‘horserace’ was a deliberate strategy, not the product of just some random senator deciding he wanted to run for President after 30 years.”

    And her his how I interpreted it (after first just copy/pasting what you said): ” iRobert Just suggested that Bernie’s campaign was not just about him and his personal failings and capacities but the concerted effort of the progressive Wing of the party to mount a serious opposition to HRC.”

    How exactly did I get it SO wrong??? If the progressive DNC resistance is nationally coordinated, I think that most of my questions stand.

    I’m not some political neo-phyte , iRobert. I have been politically active since I was a kid. I dont like party politics though and steer clear. Usually the parties and politicians come to the activists and advocates to find out what’s up. What they do with our hard work is often upsetting.

    I’m not naive about politics. I chose to stand aside from the party when Clinton ran. I didn’t like him. I voted for him but I found the cheerleading behind him disturbing. I like his wife a lot more.

  69. Jean Henry
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    PS no one believes that big business and politics are ‘mutually exclusive worlds.’ See Occupy. And since Trump I think they’ve all figured out the organized crime bit.

    I left my rural Bible Belt hometown to go to an exclusive east coast boarding school that feeds the Ivy League and so the finance industry. I know a lot of people in that world. I also turned away hard from anything having to do with it. What I found then is that self-segregation in any group, even a powerful one, is extraordinarily limiting to one’s thinking, perspective and life. In the case of the powerful, it leads to a distance from impacts that helps create terrible unintentional results.

    Now I see that people on the left are self-segregating and the same results are happening in Ann Arbor which now has unbelievably high economic self segregation. And then I see Ypsi activists following the same pattern of rhetoric that got a2 there. The central issue to political failures to serve the greater good come from self-distancing behaviors. And those can happen at all levels with many mechanisms and justifications..

    Does that sound too philosophical and far removed from political realities to you? I assure you it comes from a breadth of experience and observation. No one group, no matter how well intentioned or even grassroots, has all the answers. The real risk is when they are certain they do.

  70. Amy Virginia
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I am the Twitter friend that told Mark about the Gary Peters mtg. I didn’t attend, but plan to attend his mtg in Southfield in July. I purposely only read Mark’s comments about Peters here so I would only be responding to his thoughts.

    I am female, 52, barely and X generation or Baby Boomer, and a lifelong Democrat and volunteer. I agree with Mark that we would love to see our Govt reps be bold like Dems in very safe districts like Pelosi or Adam Schiff…but I am happy with Peters for NOW. Peters is a VERY well educated Pontiac native, with a variety of experience in govt and normal life. I want HIGHLY educated in Government. I always look for advanced degrees in candidates (MA’s, PhD’s, Law) because it shows that before they were in Politics they, as every day people, they were interested in knowledge. Knowledge is Power.

    At least until the midterms are decided I feel Democrats should whole heartedly support Democrats we already have in office, and work hard to re election more in our Michigan Govt offices and of course Federal too.

    I agree 100% w/Peters that before we scream at him about single payer we MUST keep ACA alive and make it better. Have you all forgotten how many decades it took to get the ACA? I do…My husband and I were self employed for 15 yrs and we did without MANY things so we could buy a horrible major medical only health insur. just in case we got horribly I’ll. We still paid out of pocket for regular illness care etc…and forget about dental care. We CHOSE to be self employed, so we knew the costs, but now if you want to be an entrepreneur you don’t have to worry as much about losing everything because you get sick!

    We lived in Washtenaw Cty for those years of self employment, but when my husband sold his business and got a job in Oakland Cty, we couldn’t afford both the gas and the higher rents in Ypsiand Ann Arbor so we moved to GOP controlled Michigan 11th District. In 2016 we volunteered twice a week for four months for Dr Anil Kumar, who ran gainst Dave Trott. We knocked on doors the entire time(we also volunteered for HRC for two months) and it was such an eye opener to what Michigan outside of the Washtenaw Cty bubble. Kumar is Indian American and the racism we encountered was shocking (the Sexism towards HRC was too) and this was BEFORE Trump won. What was even more shocking was the lack of knowledge about truth and critical thinking. Sorry I have to write this part: Michigan is too Racists to elect and Indian American for Governor. Especially one that says “Progressive” all the time. I refuse to use the word progressive because it is poison to many that could be swayed to vote Democrat. We as people need to be progressive and NOT look to the Govt FIRST to make changes, we as people, like the LGBTQ movement, need to make changes without much govt help. Kumar didnt beat Trott but his numbers where the best of any Dem in years and I believe he paved the way for Trott to NOT run again, and the many great Democratic Candidates that are currently running in the Mich11 primary. HOPE

    Debbie Dingell was once a Republican, and works with Republicans…you may not like that, but she is a sure thing…That said..I encourage all of you in secure districts to go volunteer in a district that is trying to flip, in STATE offices and Federal.

    I don’t just talk. In 2004 I volunteered for in TOLEDO because I knew Michigan would vote for Kerry… This year I live in Pontiac and not in Trotts district, but I will be volunteering for the Michigan 11 again.

    At least until the midterms are over I HOPE you will support Democrats AND volunteer in the gerrymandered districts outside the Washtenaw Cty bubble, even if they aren’t progressive enough for you right NOW. BE PATIENT.

    Get out of Washtenaw and see, like Gary Peters does, what we are REALLY up against in Michigan. I will go to Peters meeting in Southfield in July and I plan on asking him “How has your Masters Degree in Philosophy helped you in your work in Government?” And a few other things, but I won’t yell at him, it is rough out there in the REST of our state.

  71. site admin
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Remember how exciting and crazy the health care town hall meetings were during the Obama administration?

  72. John Brown
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Amy, I’m about the same age, but I come from Gratiot Co, which is now Colbeck territory. I grew up navigating deplorables. Many of those people aren’t even ideologues, they are just wanting to be part of a tribe that’s consistent with their rough & tough badass Americana identity. Whereas, “Dems are pussys” might as well be the party motto if you were to ask the typical outstate Harley rider (Peters excepted). Kowtowing on Progressivism just confirms that those “pussy dems” won’t even fight for what they really believe in. Progressivism can be the solution to this. It means we have to stand up and fight for something really different and totally commit because its right and we believe it and we have to communicate to that to those outstate folks. I’ve totally sold Abdul El Sayed to my racist homophobic sexist prison guard “friend” based mostly on the fact that he’s a perfect example of an American risking everything to fight for what he really believes. We all need to be doing that instead of moving towards the right. I mean death threats have not deterred Abdul. That earns respect from folks not super beholding to ideology.

  73. wobblie
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Peters and Stabenow both voted to spend $719 Billion Dollars next year on the military.
    IL–How we going to pay for it?

    The Elephant in the room. Just pretend it does not exist. Going on 17 years of war. Of course our culture is degenerating–separate children from parents, as if we have not been doing similar acts in the countries we wage war. Everything we do to the “others” will come home.

  74. John Brown
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie, absolutely right. The lost opportunities for all that money is a real shame. And the never ending war is also feeding the domestic gun culture, gun industry, and militia problems. Creating a never ending supply of PTSD victims who associate Muslims with their trauma and who find an easy home in the ever expanding civilian tactical arms business is a really bad idea.

  75. Iron Lung
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I do not think it unreasonable to ask that people who propose either new programs or expansions of current programs offer a means to pay for them.

    That could include reducing monies for one program, agency or department and reallocating it elsewhere.

    The trouble is that “reducing the defense budget” doesn’t come without political costs. States like Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and California, for example, will not be happy. I think that also needs to be considered.

    It was telling that Sanders himself did not concretely offer reallocating funds from defense to fund his programs, instead offering either simply stupid ideas or non-ideas. Perhaps he also considered the possible fallout from those states? I don’t know. I can only speculate.

  76. Jean Henry
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I feel super validated by Amy’s testimony. Thank you.

    Please note she is not saying that she is ‘for the status quo.’ she is simply looking at what’s at stake and what’s required for the Dems to win in the midterms in the rest of MI. The reason to get outside of the Washtenaw County bubble is simply to understand that some of the humans out there who have voted Dem in the past and are even registered Dem are not ready for radical progressive change. They are put off by the very attitude you all present here.

    Just as you are put off by mine. But I’m not worried about winning you all over to voting Dem. I think third party voters have learned their lesson. I wish people on the left had more respect for the democratic process. I dont give a shit if they have respect for the Democratic Party or not.

  77. wobblie
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Some folks have courage, others are simply careerist

  78. wobblie
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Matt Tabbi on the civil war in the Democratic Party

  79. John Brown
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    IL, a new New Deal is badly needed on the infrastructure front. Shifting $200B of current military spending and assets to domestic engineering projects would be a major net plus economically nationally. Yes, there are many places economically dependent on military that will resist. I just hope we can tame the military industrial complex and culture before it consumes us all.

  80. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    “Yes, there are many places economically dependent on military that will resist.”

    This is the part that “progressives” don’t want to talk about. Until they come up with a way to sell a $200B reduction in defense spending to states which depend on military spending, they are bound to lose. I have spent a lot of time in rural North Carolina. It will be a seriously hard sell.

    “Progressives” just assume that people will be completely enthused by what they have to offer, which is flat wrong. For a poor family in North Carolina, a livelihood from defense spending is worth more than “free college” or government health care.

    It’s just a reality, buzzwords (“military industrial complex”) or not.

  81. John Brown
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Il, Yep. Gonna take some disruption to make people migrate from military jobs to infrastructure jobs. We did it successfully at least once before. It’s not impossible.

  82. Sad
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Abdul El-Sayed has interacted with many different people. He has lived in New York City and Whitmore Lake.

    I thought all you classist elites would be impressed by his prestigious degrees?

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