Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

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Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-02-21 11:42am

From NPR

The wife of Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, who killed himself last year amid allegations of sexual assault, has lost a bid to succeed her late husband. The special election returned the seat to Linda Belcher, whom Dan Johnson had unseated.

State Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Ky., addresses the public from his church regarding sexual assault allegations in Louisville, Ky., in December. A day later, Johnson killed himself.
Timothy D. Easley/AP

Belcher — the Democrat who lost to Johnson in a Trump wave that swept Republicans into office statewide in 2016 — easily won the special election for Kentucky's 49th District. She garnered 68 percent of the vote to Rebecca Johnson's roughly 32 percent, member station WFPL reports.

Johnson's wife announced a day after his death that she would seek the state House seat.

According to The Hill, "The Kentucky district is the 18th formerly Republican-held district to fall into Democratic hands in a special election since Trump won election, a growing trend Democrats see as proof of their party's momentum heading into the midterm elections. In 2018 alone, Democrats have won Republican-held state legislative districts in Missouri, Wisconsin and Florida."

As we reported in December, Dan Johnson, 57, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on a bridge over the Salt River in Mount Washington. His suicide followed a report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting outlining a number of accusations against him, the most serious of which was the alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in the basement of the church where he served as pastor.

The day before Johnson took his own life, he spoke from the pulpit at his Heart of Fire Church in the Fern Creek neighborhood of Louisville to denounce the allegations, calling them "fake news." He blamed NPR by name, although the network neither investigated the initial story nor aired or published it.

The Associated Press notes: "Rebecca Johnson denied the allegations against Dan Johnson, claiming he was a victim of "an assault from the left." But the allegations were backed up by an on-the-record interview from the victim, plus pages of police documents that were published by [KyCIR] after months of reporting."
SO yeah, another one bites the dust
To be fair, it isn't quite the same big deal as overturning Roy Moore, I mean this guy KILLED HIMSELF and his wife tried to step in at the 11th hour as it were. But It is a super heavy GOP seat, and I'll take any victory we can.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-02-21 12:26pm

Shit, primaries are starting soon down here. I've got my head out of my ass for Senate elections, but I've got to do my research for all the other bullshit. Probably going to have to suppress my gag reflex and vote straight (D) on House elections.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-21 03:38pm

Just a note that this is a state legislative office and not a federal one, so it doesn't affect the balance of power outside Kentucky, except as a weathervane.

And the way the wind is blowing seems to be that active Democrats running against "red dog" Republicans are winning even in deep-red districts. whether or not this translates into victories against Republicans who aren't specifically and personally carrying the baggage of a massive sex scandal is an open question.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-02-21 03:54pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-02-21 03:38pm
Just a note that this is a state legislative office and not a federal one, so it doesn't affect the balance of power outside Kentucky, except as a weathervane.
That is until Federal election districts get redrawn. While I'm not crazy about Democrats having their hand at gerrymandering, it's pretty much the lesser of two evils at this point. Doubly-so since in mostly conservative states, Democrats are going to lean politically to the center rather than liberal. So, you can get a modicum of non-bias.

The problem in a political shithole like Texas is that the Republicans in charge are rabidly conservative and view Democrats (among other people) as worth not treating as people. The more that get kicked out on their ass out the better as Conservative leaning Democrats are a much better group than partisan hacks who view entire sections of their electorate as sub-human.
And the way the wind is blowing seems to be that active Democrats running against "red dog" Republicans are winning even in deep-red districts. whether or not this translates into victories against Republicans who aren't specifically and personally carrying the baggage of a massive sex scandal is an open question.
In this case at least, while he was embroiled in scum and villainy, the guy up and died rather than being being on the ballot.

Whether or not this means people are "fed up" with the GOP, you can at least push the narrative of "Hey, guys. We CAN win, so vote you fuckers. VOTE!"

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-02-21 04:15pm

Its not just places with high-profile sex scandals, though. Dems have been flipping state/local level seats since Trump came into office, and they scored in the governors' races of Virginia and New Jersey as well. Republicans have held onto some seats in special elections, but I can't recall a single account of a blue state flipping red since 2016. There is very much a pattern here.

Will it hold through November? Who knows? We have to play defense on a lot of seats this year. There's certainly no excuse for becoming complacent, because as we've seen again and again the last couple years, its not over until its over. But there is some grounds for optimism.

And as TheFeniX noted, state level races are important, not only for their effects on the states in question, but for determining how districts are redrawn. While the ongoing court challenges provide one avenue for attacking Republican gerrymandering (and thus their control of the House beyond what their actual level of support should permit), its always good to have a second avenue of attack.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Rogue 9 » 2018-02-21 11:54pm

Is the 49th that heavily Republican? It's just outside the Louisville metro area, which is one of the more liberal areas of the state, and as noted the seat was held by a Democrat before the 2016 election, who took it back in the special. Looking at it on the map, I see that it's gerrymandered to Hell and gone to cut out Shepherdsville, but other than that I can't tell much except that looking at the line of its legislators, they sure seem to love electing the wives of deceased representatives. Linda Belcher herself succeeded her husband after his death in 2008, and is now starting her third non-consecutive stint in the statehouse.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-22 01:46am

For the record I don't want to dismiss state offices as unimportant. I do want to make sure nobody's confusing this for a national-level political office.

As I said, elections like this are a valuable weathervane, and right now the wind seems to be blowing Bluewards.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-02-22 01:06pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-02-22 01:46am
For the record I don't want to dismiss state offices as unimportant. I do want to make sure nobody's confusing this for a national-level political office.

As I said, elections like this are a valuable weathervane, and right now the wind seems to be blowing Bluewards.
Sorry, I should have stated better that I knew what you meant. But a lot of state/local bullshit can transfer to the Federal side. After-all, if you feel like you can't win in your home-town and you don't bother voting there, what are the chances you would bother to vote in Federal Elections? Adding to this, if your state makes it difficult you you to vote in one election, that likely applies to all elections you could possibly vote it.

As voters feel they CAN win and make a difference, this will hopefully transfer to increased voter turn-outs and we won't have another 2016 where the lowest common-denominator lead to such a joke of an election.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-03-01 02:31pm

Continuing the trend, two more GOP seats flip in special elections: The Hill

Democratic candidates on Tuesday won two special elections for state legislative seats in the Northeast, another indication for the party that a blue wave is forming ahead of November's midterm elections.

In New Hampshire, Laconia voters elected substance abuse counselor Philip Spagnuolo (D) over Republican Les Cartier, a former state employee, in a district President Trump carried by a 13-point margin in 2016.

The district opened up when the incumbent, state Rep. Donald Flanders (R), died in September.

In Connecticut, Democrat Philip Young defeated Republican Bill Cabral to win a Stratford-based district that has been in Republican hands for decades, even though Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried a narrow plurality there in 2016.
Sure they are only state seats, but hey, every bit helps.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-01 02:34pm

The last year has been a slow-motion blue wave election. Just hope it doesn't run out of steam by November.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-03-13 02:21pm

So another Special Election is tomorrow in Pennsylvania. Again it is for a state position not a house seat... but it is yet another special election in a GOP heavy district that could be upset with a democratic victory:

Tuesday's neck-and-neck special election in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional districts carries a lot of weight for both parties — despite the fact that it won't even exist in its current iteration come November.

Republicans have gone all-in to try and save underperforming state Rep. Rick Saccone. The GOP nominee got an 11th-hour rescue-mission visit Saturday from President Trump, who carried the district by about 20 points in the 2016 presidential election. GOP-allied groups have poured in more than $10 million to help Saccone, who's underwhelmed in fundraising. If that's not enough to save him, it would be an embarrassing and alarming loss for Republicans eight months from the midterm elections.

Meanwhile, even Republicans privately concede that Democratic nominee Connor Lamb — a charismatic, young former Marine and prosecutor — is the superior recruit. He's brought in far more money than the GOP candidate in this traditionally solidly red district near Pittsburgh. Lamb has raised $3 million in the race, while Democratic outside groups stayed mostly on the sidelines. They have put in only about $1.7 million, allowing Lamb to run a more independent race.

Lamb has cut a moderate profile with a populist tinge. He has said he would oppose Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader and has also wooed steel workers, coal miners and union activists in this blue-collar districts. He's had a somewhat similar economic message to Trump when he campaigned and won here.

This special election was triggered by the resignation of former Rep. Tim Murphy, who stepped down after it was revealed that the anti-abortion rights congressman had an extramarital affair and pressured his mistress to terminate a possible pregnancy.

Due to court-ordered redistricting, the district as it's drawn now will cease to exist come Election Day 2018, and neither Saccone nor Lamb will even live in the rejiggered seat. So the fact that Republicans are spending so heavily to save what's essentially a phantom district underscores what is on the line: They don't want a loss in such a GOP stronghold to spur even more panic among their ranks that Trump is dragging them down.

Meanwhile, Democrats are salivating for an upset that will further galvanize their energetic base hoping for a blue wave in November. To this point, since Trump has been president, Republicans have underperformed in GOP-held House special elections, but still won all five of them.

Polls close at 8 p.m. ET. Here are four questions to ponder in the meantime:

1. Will this be a canary in the coal mine for the GOP?

A few months ago, when a rash of retirements seemed like the latest alarm bells for Republicans, GOP strategists urged caution. Some pointed to this Pennsylvania race — where Saccone was still heavily favored — as the possible canary in the coal mine to watch for Republicans. This race, they said, could be a much bigger sign of danger ahead for the GOP.

f Lamb does win on Tuesday night, it could send even more GOP members of Congress heading for the exits, adding to what's already a record number of retirements.

The ominous signs have been there for some time for Republicans. Since Trump's election, 39 state legislative races have flipped from red to blue. Democrats notched big wins last November in both the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races.

And special House elections last year across the board showed a major shift toward Democrats, even if they didn't notch a victory in a GOP-held race yet. Republicans have far underperformed in special elections in Kansas, Montana and South Carolina — all solidly GOP territory.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by FireNexus » 2018-03-13 02:27pm

Crossroads Inc. wrote:
2018-03-13 02:21pm
So another Special Election is tomorrow in Pennsylvania. Again it is for a state position not a house seat... but it is yet another special election in a GOP heavy district that could be upset with a democratic victory:
That’s a federal House seat. Though for a district that will not exist come November.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-03-13 02:28pm

My mistake then, I read that and brain obviously didn’t get the message
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-03-15 11:50am

GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!
Lamb Wins!in a district that went for Trump by more than 20points now has a Democrat representative.

Just five months ago, almost no one in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District knew Conor Lamb's name.

But since quitting his job as a federal prosecutor to run for a vacant House seat, the 33-year-old has spent a lot of time introducing himself to people.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says that's exactly what he had to do — particularly as a Democrat in Trump country.

"You gotta show up and talk to people. Conor's been to every fish fry, every VFW, every American Legion, senior center, doors," Fitzgerald told NPR's Scott Detrow. "He's been relating to people. And that's really what it takes for Democrats to get away from just urban areas and get out into the smaller towns and compete."

And compete he did.

Lamb is the apparent winner of the contest for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, according to an analysis by public radio station WESA. The race has not been officially called, but a review of the votes indicates that Lamb has an insurmountable lead over Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone.

Lamb's victory would be a huge win for Democrats, and a major blow to President Trump.

Trump won this district by 20 points in 2016, and Republican Tim Murphy — who resigned in October after a report that he had encouraged a woman with whom he had an affair to get an abortion — won his last eight elections easily.

But Lamb seems to have overcome that Republican advantage in this largely white, working-class district by touting his bio — a Marine Corps veteran, former prosecutor, Catholic; and his more conservative positions — on guns, abortion, crime.

He graduated from Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School in 2002, earned both his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a prosecutor in the Marine Corps — first in Okinawa, Japan, and then for the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.

After leaving active duty in 2013 and joining the Reserves, Lamb was appointed an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh. There, his bio says, he "led prosecutions against drug dealers and violent criminals and helped establish the Justice Department's Pittsburgh office as a national leader in the fight against the heroin epidemic, working to build partnerships between law enforcement and community members in places that have been hit hardest by the crisis."

Lamb stepped down from the U.S. Attorney's Office last fall, shortly after Murphy resigned his seat.

Pennsylvania Special Election Too Close To Call
POLITICS
Pennsylvania Special Election Too Close To Call
Though this is his first run for office, Lamb comes from a family that has been active in state and local politics. His uncle is Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb; and his grandfather Thomas Lamb was a state representative, the Democratic majority leader in the state Senate in the 1970s and secretary of legislative affairs for Gov. Robert Casey.

Unlike his Republican opponent — who billed himself as "Trump before Trump was Trump" — Lamb stayed away from making the race about the president or partisan politics.

"The biggest issues facing the 18th Congressional District aren't partisan," his campaign website reads. "Heroin kills both Democrats and Republicans. Health care is too expensive. The roads and bridges we all use are crumbling. But the people we send to Washington aren't solving these problems. I'm running for Congress because it's time for that to change."

On the campaign trail, Lamb highlighted his work fighting the opioid crisis — which has hit the region hard — as well as his support for unions. In a district with 86,000 union households, union endorsement was key to his success.

At a rally Sunday night, United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts came out hard for Lamb, calling him "a God-fearing, union-supporting, gun-owning, job-protecting, pension-defending, Social Security-believing, health care-creating and sending-drug-dealers-to-jail Democrat."

If certified as the winner, Lamb will serve out the rest of the year in the House, representing PA-18. But the district as it is now will cease to exist at the end of the year because of court-ordered redistricting in Pennsylvania. So if Lamb wants to stay in the House after 2018, he will have to run again — in a district that is likely to look different from the one he just won.

Samantha Fields is the producer of the NPR Politics Podcast.


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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-03-15 12:02pm

Yeah a Dem victory, but Conor Lamb guy ran on a platform of being tough on crime and drugs and pro gun, supports Trump's tariffs on metal imports. He's also a practicing Catholic and former Marine Corps officer as the article notes. So the dems also better not think winning a district like this, which is about to be massively redrawn to the point it won't exist anymore (he's expected to run in the 17th district for relection, he won the 18th) is some open door to throw up anyone they want in other campaigns. And his opponent from the Republicans was just terrible but nobody from the R side really wanted to run with the redistricting upcoming.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Esquire » 2018-03-15 12:07pm

Yeah. Basically, a perfectly normal early-2000s-era Republican ran as a Democrat, because [the last few years]. I really, really hope the candidate selection committee understands this.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-15 04:47pm

On the other hand, the guy is also reportedly pro-Obamacare and critical of the Republican tax plan. So he's not just an R in Democratic clothing.

There would be two wrong messages to take from this. One is that we can win anywhere, so it doesn't matter who we run or what we do.

The other would be that we can only win by nominating conservative Democrats, which would just further alienate the progressives.

The correct lesson is more: "We need to look at who/what is viable in each district/state, and then work as hard as we can to get them in office."
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-16 08:10am

Esquire wrote:
2018-03-15 12:07pm
Yeah. Basically, a perfectly normal early-2000s-era Republican ran as a Democrat, because [the last few years]. I really, really hope the candidate selection committee understands this.
Honestly, I can live with that.

We've all been hoping, or should have been hoping, that what would happen is that the sane-ish Republicans would 'calve' away from the Republican Party as it has now devolved. Would move away from the party of obstructionism, of casual racism, of willful destruction of the poor and of anti-science. This is the fastest possible outcome that leads to America not constantly being besieged by terrible Republican political figures.

The "catch" is that we still have to deal with kinda-conservative people. Their opinions have not changed. Blue-collar Catholics who think taxing the poor to fund corporate tax cuts is wrong and that Donald Trump is a terrible and virtue-less president who should be chucked out of office may still be 'tough on crime' and anti-abortion. People like that do have a right to political representation. They are not neo-Nazis, they are not frothing lunatics. They may be wrong on lots of issues but their votes still matter. Which is exactly why providing them with more wholesome candidates who aren't out to destroy America and hand it over to fascists and plutocrats is so important.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Esquire » 2018-03-16 10:58am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-16 08:10am
Esquire wrote:
2018-03-15 12:07pm
Yeah. Basically, a perfectly normal early-2000s-era Republican ran as a Democrat, because [the last few years]. I really, really hope the candidate selection committee understands this.
Honestly, I can live with that.
Sorry, I didn't meant to imply I can't. I love that the... I don't know, Coalition of the Sane and Vaguely Well-Intentioned we've all been predicting would come together appears to actually be doing so, at long last.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-16 11:52am

S'okay.

I'm just so used to idiotic purity-test crap that I get a bit PTSD'd sometimes.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Esquire » 2018-03-16 12:12pm

Mmm [nods]. I totally get that, about every third time I read something supposed to be politically persuasive I just want to smack the writer for being stupidly ineffective and needlessly counter-productive, regardless of which side they're on or whether I agree with their position. It's just poor propagandists' craftsmanship when you end up alienating everyone who doesn't already agree with 100% of what you've got to say in the opening paragraph.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 02:13pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-16 08:10am
Esquire wrote:
2018-03-15 12:07pm
Yeah. Basically, a perfectly normal early-2000s-era Republican ran as a Democrat, because [the last few years]. I really, really hope the candidate selection committee understands this.
Honestly, I can live with that.

We've all been hoping, or should have been hoping, that what would happen is that the sane-ish Republicans would 'calve' away from the Republican Party as it has now devolved. Would move away from the party of obstructionism, of casual racism, of willful destruction of the poor and of anti-science. This is the fastest possible outcome that leads to America not constantly being besieged by terrible Republican political figures.

The "catch" is that we still have to deal with kinda-conservative people. Their opinions have not changed. Blue-collar Catholics who think taxing the poor to fund corporate tax cuts is wrong and that Donald Trump is a terrible and virtue-less president who should be chucked out of office may still be 'tough on crime' and anti-abortion. People like that do have a right to political representation. They are not neo-Nazis, they are not frothing lunatics. They may be wrong on lots of issues but their votes still matter. Which is exactly why providing them with more wholesome candidates who aren't out to destroy America and hand it over to fascists and plutocrats is so important.
Agreed.

The best outcome, I think, would be for those people to jump ship to the Democrats until the Republican Party is reduced by defections and demographic shifts to political irrelevancy. At that point, the Dems would likely split, into a Center Right Party and a genuine Progressive/Socialist party. Then, hopefully, we would have two sane parties, at least for a while (I suppose things would eventually polarize again, because they always do).

Edit: This is the basic strategic thinking behind my position of "Vote progressive in the primaries, vote Democrat in the general election."
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-03-16 06:34pm

On the other hand, fill the Democrats with centrist, center-right, and "sane right" candidates, and people from the leftist/progressive end will start to seep out...

Remember how part of Hillary's loss was because she could not inspire enough people to vote for her?

There's already a perception, and it is rooted in reality, that the current Democratic leadership has very little interest in moving the Party anywhere leftward. Sure, they aren't actively trying to shit on Obamacare, LGBT rights, Muslims, or undocumented immigrants, but they sure seem to be willing to throw us all under the bus when it's convenient. OR at the very least, that is the impression they are leaving with the progressives.

If these "sane Republicans" are having difficulties within their own party, then they should work to reform their own damn party. Not invade the Democrats and move the Overton window even further rightward on their side. If you want to reinforce these perceptions, then this is one definite way to do it, and I'm not speaking of "purity policing" here. Screw that, I hate that shit. I'm talking about destroying your party's own message in some baked hypothetical that it will just somehow even out in the end. Obama tried the play-it-safe-centrism approach and he is still regularly called a pinko commie, even from people who aren't anywhere dedicated to the far Right but will never vote for a candidate with a (D).

If it can somehow even out in the end then I'm going to ask for a lot of proof of this divination. Why can't there be more Republican candidates like Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski, instead? Those two were very against the Trumpcare bill (although last I remember, Murkowski folded on the tax cuts, part of which gutted the individual mandate ... sigh). Why can't we even have a McCain but with a functional political spine? This responsibility should lie with the Republicans, and if the Democrats want to take it on ... well, I can't really have optimistic hopes for a future where even more centrism plagues the Party's image.

Now...

Me, personally, though? I'm glad this guy won, since it seems like he isn't actively interested in fucking over the disadvantaged, but I'm not going to like the guy. I'll still vote for Democrats in general, more out of self-preservation than actually liking any chucklefuck centrist, but if you want to avoid another disaster like Hillary's campaign...
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And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
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Soontir C'boath
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-03-16 07:42pm

Me, personally, though? I'm glad this guy won, since it seems like he isn't actively interested in fucking over the disadvantaged, but I'm not going to like the guy. I'll still vote for Democrats in general, more out of self-preservation than actually liking any chucklefuck centrist, but if you want to avoid another disaster like Hillary's campaign...
Well...
The Root wrote: Doug Jones and the Democratic Party Just Screwed Black Voters ... Again

There is a saying that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

My grandmother, a slight woman whose values still trickle down through four generations, and who radiated love and wisdom as if she were our family’s own self-contained solar system, once showed me the scars on her legs from being bitten by a police dog and instructed me to “trust a white man as far as you can throw him.”

While that ancient African proverb now seems like a bit of reverse racism, Alabama’s black voters, in all their egalitarian forgiveness and goodwill, ignored it this past December when they cast their ballots for Doug Jones, sending him to the Senate chambers to represent them.

Sure, he was a white man, they reasoned, but he wasn’t like the others. Even with his problematic campaign, he was one of the good ones. He would remember what black voters did for him. How could he not recognize that the only reason he is now referred to as “Sen. Doug Jones from the state of Alabama” is the black vote? After all, he’s a Democrat. How could he forget who put him there?

In return, Doug Jones and the Democratic Party, once again, have thrown black people to the wolves.

Politico magazine reports that on Wednesday, the Senate passed a bank-deregulation bill that rolls back many of the regulations imposed on banks and lenders. The bill passed with the support of the Trump administration, Republican senators and 17 Democratic senators—most of whom are considered to be moderate or conservative Dems. The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.

For more than a decade I have been trying to push the idea that blackness has evolved past its murky racial and cultural definition. As a college macroeconomics instructor, I taught a class, Race as an Economic Construct, that advocated examining race through the lens of data and numbers. (The science of economics is not limited to the production and distribution of goods, services and wealth.)

One of the easiest ways to illustrate this point is with the history of black homeownership. Homeownership is the biggest builder of wealth in America and is still affected by the history of segregation, Jim Crow and redlining. It fuels every indicator of discrimination in this country and is one of the best examples of the manifestation of white supremacy.

Housing discrimination relegated African Americans to homogeneous, poor black communities with underfunded, segregated schools. Poorer schools create the education gap. The education gap creates employment disparities. Underemployment creates poverty and the phenomenon called “black-on-black crime.” Poverty leads to the inability to acquire affordable housing, which relegates black people to low-income communities, which leads to underfunded schools, which leads to more crime and so on. It is a vicious circle.

It is all about homeownership.

We have always known this. The Root has routinely reported on the difficulties black people encounter when buying a home. A recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting, along with Reveal News, uncovered how U.S. banks systematically prevent blacks and Hispanics from becoming homeowners.

JPMorgan Chase paid $55 million in January to settle charges that it discriminated against black and Latino borrowers. In 2011, Bank of America handed over $335 million for making its minority customers pay more than its white customers for the same loans. A federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleges that the bank has discriminated against Philadelphia’s black and Latino borrowers since 2004.

It is an indisputable fact that many banks treat their black customers unequally. The only reason we know this is that banks are required to report demographic data on most mortgage loans. That data is publicly available to anyone who wants to look at it.

Among other things, the legislation passed by the Senate on Wednesday strips away for some banks the requirement to report the race, ethnicity and gender of their mortgage customers. Under the new proposal, only the largest banks will have to report demographic data, which means that it will be impossible to find out if the other banks discriminate. If the law passes, these banks will be able to deny black customers without fear of repercussion or lawsuits.

The Democratic Party could have singled out that provision to the public and made a fuss. They could have called it racist (because it is racist), which would have made the legislation lose support. They could easily have refused to vote for this bill unless that specific provision was stripped away.

Sen. Doug Jones from the state of Alabama voted for it.

This is the Democratic Party.

Let’s be clear: The Democratic Party is only a viable party because of the black vote. In the 2016 election, 88 percent of blacks voted for the Democratic candidate, while only 37 percent of whites voted for Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls by USA Today. Even before the most recent election, according to Pew Research, only 40 percent of whites identified as Democrats.

If not for black voters, there would not be a Democratic Party. Without the black vote, Dems would lose every election at the local, state and national levels. The Democratic Party’s leadership knows this. The Republican Party knows this.

Yet Democratic politicians repeatedly refuse to stand up for the issues that affect black people the most. They continue to confirm President Donald Trump’s federal court appointees, who will hear cases of police brutality and voter-ID-law discrimination, despite the fact that he has failed to nominate a single African-American or Latino judge to the federal bench.

They ignored the suggestion that they filibuster every bill until the Senate and House look at gun control legislation to curb the violence that affects black communities disproportionately. They caved on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals vote during the recent government shutdown. (We often forget how immigration laws disproportionately affect African and Caribbean immigrants.)

What is the solution?

As usual, all politics is local. Imagine if—at the local level, which affects us the most—black candidates ran on non-Democratic platforms touting issues that are supported by black voters. In Georgia, there might be the “Keisha” Party, which works on stopping freeways from catching on fire and collapsing. Chicago might have a “Top Gang Thugs” Party.

What if we supported valid third-party candidates who aren’t beholden to an agenda beholden to Democratic apologists? What if we—even in one single election—wrote in our own choices? What if we stopped participating in this antiquated, binary system of choices?

This would force the national Democratic Party to engage with and pay attention to black voters and black issues. It would also stop Democrat politicians from appearing in black churches and barbershops only during voting season, and pretending that black voters don’t exist in the intervening periods.

Of course, there is the argument that if black voters didn’t support the Democratic Party, Republicans would take over. Answering that question requires me to switch to all caps. Please hold on.

HOW THE HELL ARE WE WINNING NOW?

Republicans already control 32 state legislatures, 33 governorships, the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives and the presidency. They are already in control.

Even with that mostly white, Republican control, the Democratic Party refuses to stand by the side of the people most responsible for the party’s existence. Democratic politicians slither away whenever they are challenged, and compromise at every instance of Republican obstinance (not you, Auntie Maxine; we’re still riding with you).

And when it comes to Doug Jones, even though he received 93 percent of the black male vote and a whopping 98 percent of the black female vote, he has not demonstrated that he intends to do anything for black Alabama voters. Jones has supported Trump’s position on 60 percent of the issues since black voters sent him to the Senate.

Yet black voters will overwhelmingly vote Democrat in the upcoming midterm elections, after which we will sit back and wait for the Democratic Party to take over both branches of the legislature and begin hearings to impeach Trump and his anti-black agenda.

I’m betting it will never happen—not because I am a cynic, but because I know history. I am exhausted from being punished for the good deeds of black people. I have learned what happens when I place my trust in Democrats or good white men.

My grandmother taught me that.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to clarify that the largest banks will still be required to report their demographic data.
Is it a purity test to ask Doug Jones to be a Democrat where the black vote propelled him to victory? Or is that really too much to ask for?

Filling up the Democratic Party with Republicans makes it a Republican party... I mean shit, at this point, I'll give up and register as a Republican. At least I'll be honest about where we're headed towards.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 08:23pm

Considering that your source is an article which heavily implies that black people made a mistake by not automatically assuming that all white men are bad and their enemy, and claims that Doug Jones represents the entire Democratic Party, I'm going to take it with an ocean of salt.

To be clear: I don't blame people for being angry about spineless or overly-compromised conservative Democrats. I'm angry, and I'm a straight white middle class white guy. I'm sure I'd be a hell of a lot angrier if I were a black man. And I absolutely support primary challenges against Democrats who aren't prepared to take a stand against Trumpian policies. But I will vote Democrat in the primaries, and defend doing so, for a very simple reason:

Let me put it this way: You have a choice between a party who's more conservative members back Trump (according to your source) 60% of the time, in which 17 out of more than 40 of Senators backed the bank deregulation bill... and a party which will back Trump almost in lockstep. Which do you choose? Its not an ideal choice- but neither is having to choose between cutting off a limb and dying. Given the choice, I'll make the limited sacrifice to avoid total defeat.

As to the article's advocacy of local single issue third parties- that is a road to political chaos and impotency for the Left. In a democratic or semi-democratic system, especially one like America's, you need to get, if not a majority, at least a large minority in strategic areas in order to win. That means that you need a fairly big tend. Local level politics does matter, in building the foundation for that big tent party, but backing single-issue or local third parties designed for ideological purity or addressing only narrow concerns is a road to irrelevancy. Frankly, there is nothing Trump (and the Kremlin) would love more than for the Left to adopt such an approach- which is why they both tried so very hard to puff up "Bernie or Bust" and the Greens during the last election (to great effect).

Now, if you happen to live somewhere where there's a viable third party/independent candidate running (like in Bernie's Senate seat), fine. But I think that if you have any interest in maintaining any semblance of civil rights or rule of law in America, or any degree of global stability, and if you face the reality of the situation squarely, then the only logical choice in a general election is to vote for the candidate in each race who has the best chance of defeating the Republicans. And more than nine times out of ten, that candidate will be a Democrat.

Your article claims that this doesn't matter, because the Republicans are winning anyway. But WHY are they winning? In part, because of this very same internal divisiveness and shortsightedness among the ranks of their opponents. This sounds a great deal to me like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At least in the Democratic Party, there are significant blocks which are genuinely progressive, that you can work with and try to build up- unless they all quit and run off to a hundred different third parties, which will never accomplish anything other than to hand America to fascism.

As to your saying that you'll register as a Republican- well, that is exactly where this kind of "both sides" thinking ultimately leads. "Both sides are bad (even though one is much, much worse), so why not vote for the ones who are "honest" about being fascists?" A lot of people thought that way in 2016. And now we're paying the price (along with the rest of the world, to varying degrees).

If that is the kind of "integrity" that you value, that is your choice as a voter (at least until Trump finishes consolidating his power and suspends elections*)- but do not complain when I call you a Quisling for it. Because whatever your motives, however legitimate your grievances... the end result is that you will have made yourself a willing tool for an aspiring fascist strong man.


*If you think this is hyperbolic, Trump has made comments repeatedly in the last week or so about wanting to become President for life. Yeah, he'll wave it off as a "joke"... but considering his general fanboyism towards strong men, and all of the other ways he's tried to emulate them, I'm not buying it.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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