Opinion | The Obama Theory of Trump – by David Axelrod – The New York Times

“It was so obvious, I’m embarrassed I missed it.

Like most of the other talking heads on TV, I was haughtily dismissive of Donald Trump’s candidacy. “It’s apparently open mike day in the Republican campaign for president,” I tweeted last June, after Mr. Trump barged into a relatively placid Republican race with a rambling, riotous speech.

Even as he climbed to the top of polls, I confidently predicted that the outrageous Mr. Trump, as transfixing and ubiquitous as he was, was merely a summer fling. He would fade in the fall, when Republican voters got serious about making a long-term commitment.

Seven months later, Mr. Trump has broken just about every rule of conventional campaigning. Short on policy prescriptions and long on provocation, he has serially — and joyfully — insulted Mexicans, women, Muslims, P.O.W.s, people with disabilities and virtually all of his opponents. Yet a week before caucusing begins in Iowa, he still reigns supreme atop the Republican field.

What seemed impossible is now more than plausible: Donald J. Trump, the self-reverential deal maker, could pull off a hostile takeover of the Grand Old Party.”

Opinion | Let Trump Destroy Trump – by David Axelrod – The New York Times

“. . .  Plenty of attention has been paid to the historic shift in suburban areas Mr. Trump narrowly carried in 2016 but that broke decisively with his party last fall. That revolt was led by college-educated white women, who overwhelmingly turned against Republican candidates.

But what should be of even greater concern to Mr. Trump is the potential erosion among the non-college-educated white women he is counting on as a core constituency. Those women gave Mr. Trump a 27-point margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Yet in a recent Fox News poll, Mr. Trump was beating former Vice President Joe Biden by just four points in that group.”

“. . .  But while Mr. Trump’s thermonuclear politics may rally both his base and Democrats who slumbered in 2016, it is the paralyzing disorder and anxiety his bilious behavior creates that is a distressing turnoff to voters at the margins who will make the difference.

To win, the Democrats will have to turn Mr. Trump’s negative energy against him without embodying it themselves.”

Opinion | ‘Steve Bullock Is the Most Important Person on the Planet’ – By David Leonhardt – The New York Times

David Leonhardt

By 

Opinion Columnist

CreditCreditCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

 

I love David Leonhardt. Whenever I feel I should work much harder at researching and writing an article, I discover I can just repost David Leonhardt, such as his piece today:
“Steve Bullock is the most important person on the planet,” Robert Frank, the economist and author, recently wrote to me in an email.

Bullock is the populist Democratic governor of Montana who’s running a lackluster campaign for president. But he’s so popular in Montana, despite its deep conservatism, that he is the only Democrat with any reasonable chance of beating the state’s incumbent Republican senator, Steve Daines, next year. That’s why Frank thinks Bullock is the most important person on the planet.

“The window of opportunity for effective action on the climate crisis is rapidly closing,” Frank wrote. “Absent robust measures to curb greenhouse gases, climate scientists forecast steadily more frequent and intense storms, droughts, flooding, and wildfires. Alone among major political parties worldwide, Republicans have refused even to admit the existence of climate change, much less enact meaningful legislation for dealing with it.” And seemingly the only way the United States will take meaningful climate action in the next couple years is if the Democrats control both Congress and the White House.”

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DL: Taking back the Senate is as impportant as winning the White House. That is why Beto O’Rourke is a misguided egotist. He could and should challenge John Cornyn in Texas for his Senate seat.

Opinion | How White Democrats Moved Left – by David Brooks – The New York Times

“. . . .  To say that white educated Democrats have moved left is true, but it’s not the essential truth. The bigger truth is that this segment is now more likely to see politics through a racial lens. Racial equity has become the prism through which many in this group see a range of other issues.

 

For example, immigration is now seen through the lens of race, in a way that simply wasn’t true two decades ago. As Zach Goldberg noted in an essay in Tablet Magazine, between 1965 and 2000, the percentage of white liberals who wanted higher immigration levels never deviated far from 10 percent. During the Obama administration, the number rose to the range of 20 to 30 percent. Now, more than 50 percent of white progressives want to see higher immigration levels.

 

Many progressives see barriers to immigration as akin to unjust racial barriers. Many want to dismantle the border enforcement agencies and eliminate criminal sanctions against undocumented crossings precisely because they are seen as structures of oppression that white people impose on brown people.”

David Lindsay:  The commentors take Brooks apart for the usual issues, and ignore the main idea he confronts and the question he raises. It is important to understand why so many progressives are quiet about closing our open borders, since this is the issue that will probably give the next election to Trump if they don’t recongnize it’s potency with voters.

Opinion | Trump Wants Immigrants to ‘Go Back.’ Native Americans Don’t. – By Deb Haaland – The New York Times

By Deb Haaland

Ms. Haaland is a Democratic representative from New Mexico.

Bears Ears National Monument.CreditMark Holm for The New York Times

“Last week President Trump told four of my colleagues to “go back” to where they came from — even though all are American citizens, and only one is an immigrant. But Mr. Trump has somewhere to “go back” to as well: He is a second-generation American. For Native Americans like myself, his comments are perplexing, and wrongheaded.

If anyone can say “go back,” it’s Native Americans. My Pueblo ancestors, despite being targeted at every juncture — despite facing famine and drought — still inhabit this country today. But indigenous people aren’t asking anyone to go back to where they came from.

When I heard the chilling, hate-filled chants coming from the president’s rally the other night, I thought about my fight in a committee hearing, earlier that day, to protect my ancestral homeland of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. The Bureau of Land Management plans to sell leases in the area for fossil fuel extraction.

In the late 1200s, my Pueblo ancestors migrated to the Rio Grande Valley from the areas of Chaco Canyon, Bears Ears, Mesa Verde, Grand Staircase Escalante and other places. I want to protect these sacred sites for future generations and against this administration’s policies that put profits over people. This administration has put a premium on leasing federal land to oil companies and neglects to consider the impacts that drilling has on sacred cultural sites.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comments
I join the chorus of your new fans here, I love your oe-ed, and welcome your voice. I have a concern to share though. You sound as if you are for open borders, and unlimited immigration. I hope and expect that is not true, because I think it would be wrong for this country and our neighbors. Overpopulation is causing climate damage, and unlimited population growth will destroy our beautiful, blue planet for human habitation. If Democratic leaders, including you, are not clear about controlling illegal immigration, you will be handing Trump, who was apparently Drumpf in Germany, four more years, which would be bad for the Pueblos, the environment, and the world that we strive to protect. In my Christian religion, some of us pray that we may learn to do good works, and practice stewardship towards the enviroment.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs at InconvenientNews.net.

‘American Carnage’ Shows How War Between Republicans Led to Their Peace With Trump – The New York Times

CreditSonny Figueroa/The New York Times

“Over the weekend we learned that President Trump — who has taken credit for an economic turnaround that began under Barack Obama and a hot streak by the Boston Red Sox — insists that he predicted the meteoric rise of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez long before anyone else did. He says that he called her “Evita,” comparing her to Eva Perón, Argentina’s populist first lady, ahead of Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise victory in the Democratic primary of 2018.

On Sunday, The Guardian disrupted the publisher’s carefully scheduled rollout of Tim Alberta’s “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump” by leading with this morsel from Alberta’s reporting. Before the end of the day, the online furor had run its course — from amplification and distrust to playful irony and political mudslinging. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out Perón quotes about helping the poor; conservatives gleefully used her tweets to bring up how Argentina under the Peróns became a haven for Nazi war criminals.

It’s a sign of the times that Alberta’s doorstop volume was at first reduced to a sound bite from the president, who has an uncanny gift for making everything about him. But “American Carnage” isn’t just another drop in the deluge of Trump books; in fact, it isn’t really a Trump book at all. Instead it’s a fascinating look at a Republican Party that initially scoffed at the incursion of a philandering reality-TV star with zero political experience and now readily accommodates him.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT

Excellent review, thank you. It is a sad story for us former republicans. The overall picture told by this book has already been reported, but this book adds interesing detail, and tragic clarity.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs about the environment and the world at InconvenientNews.net.

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This comment got slammed by a commenter named JP, who said no one else ever promotes themselves in the comments, and that my promotion was inappropriate, even revolting.
I went back to the comment, since I replied, tell me more, and the JP comment was removed, apparently for being hateful and only negative.
I studied my comment above, and realized that it was so short, that the blurb after was as long. When I write a very short comment, I will not put a blurb, or make it very short.

Opinion | Racism Comes Out of the Closet – by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“In 1981 Lee Atwater, the famed Republican political operative, explained to an interviewer how his party had learned to exploit racial antagonism using dog whistles. “You start out in 1954 by saying ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’” But by the late 1960s, “that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, ‘forced busing,’ ‘states’ rights,’ and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.” ”

David Lindsay

While I love Paul Krugman, I was not going to post this op-ed, as not new enough. Then I came across the following comment, which changed my mind. I wish to report that last week I tried to post another comment that endorsed SwingLeft, and Facebook blocked my post repleatedly, saying I was participating in some sin, like fake hate. Facebook appears to be trying, but also to be incompetent.
Here is the today comment to the Krugman piece below on overt racism by Donald Trump and the GOP.
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Richard Wilson
Boston,MAJuly 15
This is one of the best analyses I’ve read in quite a long time. This is NOT a Trump problem, this is a Republican party problem.

Every decent American must get involved in supporting a Democratic candidate across the nation. We must flip the Senate, hold the House, and of course boot Trump out of office.

Donations, volunteering, texting, phone banks all good ways to help candidates. Groups like SwingLeft and Sister District Project are excellent resources. We cannot stay on the sidelines and allow these corrupt races to cement their hold on power. It’s likely 2020 or bust.

43 Replies 1017 Recommended

Opinion | Get It Together- Democrats – By David Leonhardt – The New York Times

After an effective 2018, the party is struggling.

David Leonhardt

By David Leonhardt

Opinion Columnist

The dome of the Capitol is reflected in a puddle in Washington last December.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

“The Democratic Party is having a rough summer so far:

  • Congressional Democrats have a weak, confusing message about Robert Mueller’s findings.

  • Congressional Republicans outfoxed Democrats on a border funding bill.

  • Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, needlessly criticized a group of young House progressives — and those progressives responded by accusing her, without evidence, of racism. (President Trump’s ugly remarks yesterday were a reminder of what actual racism looks like.)

  • Several top-tier Democratic presidential candidates have staked out unpopular positions on immigration and Medicare.

  • A few candidates who could have helped the party in other ways are instead running quixotic presidential campaigns. For example, Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana could have run for Senate, and the billionaire Tom Steyer could have financed voter registration drives.

  • An otherwise impressive Senate candidate who’s hoping to unseat Mitch McConnell — Amy McGrath, in Kentucky — started her campaign with an embarrassing flip-flop about how she would have voted on Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

I don’t want to exaggerate the impact of these events. Trump’s approval rating has moved up only about two percentage points in recent weeks, according to the polling from Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight. Between 42 and 45 percent of Americans approve of his performance.”

Opinion | Scaling Wokeback Mountain – by Maureen Dowd – The New York Times

Bravo, Maureen Dowd. You go girl. She writes:

“Message: Pelosi is past her prime.

Except she’s not.

And then there’s the real instigator, Saikat Chakrabarti, A.O.C.’s 33-year-old chief of staff, who co-founded Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, both of which recruited progressives — including A.O.C. — to run against moderates in Democratic primaries. The former Silicon Valley Bernie Bro assumed he could apply Facebook’s mantra, “Move fast and break things,” to one of the oldest institutions in the country.

But Congress is not a place where you achieve radical progress — certainly not in divided government. It’s a place where you work at it and work at it and don’t get everything you want.

The progressives act as though anyone who dares disagree with them is bad. Not wrong, but bad, guilty of some human failing, some impurity that is a moral evil that justifies their venom.”

Opinion | The Democrats’ Leftward Move – By David Leonhardt – The New York Times

Too much? Or just enough?

David Leonhardt

By David Leonhardt

Opinion Columnist

Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Kamala Harris raised their hands when asked if their health care plans would abolish private insurance as Joe Biden looked on during a 2020 Democratic primary debate last week. Ms. Harris later moderated her position.CreditDrew Angerer/Getty Images

“After the Democratic debates last week, two of my more conservative colleagues — David Brooks and Bret Stephens — criticized the party for moving too far to the left for its own good. Many liberals reacted to the columns with either anger or disdain, saying that the Democrats don’t need to win over center-right elites in order to win the White House in 2020.

My own view falls somewhere in between that of my colleagues and their critics. On basic economic issues, I think Democrats have plenty of room to adopt a more progressive agenda. Substantively, that’s a smart agenda for an economy suffering from severe inequality and climate change. Politically, it fits with the populist, progressive views that most Americans hold on economic matters. Higher taxes on the rich, to take one example, are extremely popular.

But just because the Democrats have room to move to the left on some issues doesn’t mean they’re wise to move to the left on all of them. And I think the arguments — both substantively and politically — are much weaker for some of the policies Democrats are now pushing.

Free college for all ends up helping a lot of affluent families who don’t need help (as Pete Buttigieg has done a nice job of explaining). Trying to abolish private health insurance will lead to an epic political fight that will crowd out every other issue, including climate change. And abandoning the party’s traditional support for rigorous immigration enforcement would encourage more illegal immigration. (Here is a longer version of my thoughts about the Democrats’ strange new vagueness on immigration policy.)

I recognize that many progressives are to my left on at least one of these issues, and I respect their substantive arguments. But the political case strikes me as much weaker, especially on immigration and health care. Most Americans aren’t in favor of a more open immigration policy or the banning of private health insurance. And I’m skeptical that these issues are potent enough among occasional voters to inspire a turnout surge. The politics of free college are arguably better, but some polls suggest that it too is unpopular.

So I wonder: Are any of these priorities worth increasing the chances of President Trump’s re-election?”

David Lindsay:  I support all of the above.