Bernie's definitely gonna have to run
This very long article by Franklin Foer is worth a read, but i'm very skeptical of the framing. It seems to very much want to pit the "identity politics" of Cory Booker against the economic populism of Elizabeth Warren.
One thing the article does is kind of twist around the findings of a study of a bellwether county in the suburbs of Detroit called Macomb.
Once upon a time, Macomb was a testament to the force of the New Deal, a vision of middle-class life made possible by the fruits of American industry. The county rewarded Democrats for this prosperity in overwhelming numbers. John F. Kennedy carried it with 63 percent of the vote. But over the years, Macomb grew distant from the party, and then furious with it. The state's party organization asked Greenberg to figure out the roots of voters' estrangement.
Clinton's pandering to their racism won him the county, and the Democrats kept it after that. But then Trump won it back.
Not only did Trump reclaim Macomb for the Republicans--trouncing Clinton by 12 percentage points there--but he turned the Democratic establishment back to Greenberg's central question about working-class whites: Did racism put many of them beyond reach? When Greenberg traveled to Michigan in February, to conduct his first focus groups in Macomb in nearly a decade, he was genuinely unsure of what he might find. Trump's naked appeals to racism were far more intense than anything he had ever witnessed. The scenes from Trump's rallies created a plausible impression that the president had activated long-suppressed feelings of hatred. To probe their disaffection, Greenberg pulled together voters who, for the most part, had defected from Obama to Trump, who had gone from voting for the first African American president to siding with his racist successor.
The way that the county's residents have (over generations, granted) managed to shift their racism from one target to another suggests that the racism is the symptom, not the cause. As Foer notes in only parenthetical passing, the county was in economic decline thanks to neoliberal policies, including Clinton's NAFTA (not "foreign competition") and the tax cuts he promised, coupled with his dismantling of the social services that would have cushioned the fall. And that makes people looking for answers susceptible when offered scapegoats by demagogues like Trump (and Fox news, talk radio, etc.). Maybe a 60 year old woman can get bitter because she's working a cash register in a county where people used to have good paying manufacturing jobs, not because she had some inherent views about a "natural order".
The other thing the article does is make me like the prospect of Warren running even less. One little tidbit i wasn't aware of:
Interviewing Sanders requires some fortification--and my exchange ended when he peremptorily dismissed me from his office for asking a question about his political relationship with Elizabeth Warren. (Sanders had expected Warren to endorse him in the 2016 primary, and her failure to do so sent him into a funk.)
Warren's failure to endorse Bernie has grated on me. I don't know how Foer knows that Sanders "expected" Warren to endorse him (i haven't heard that elsewhere), but if she did let him down in more than just a general way that's going to be hard for me to get over.
And then there's this:
Nor is Warren's driving obsession wealth redistribution. That's important politically, because many Americans simply don't begrudge wealth, and "inequality" as a clarion call hasn't stuck. (Indeed, Democrats have begun to shift away from inequality as a label for what ails America's economy and culture. Some fear that white voters who are predisposed to racial resentments hear the word as code for a desire to transfer wealth from whites to blacks.)
Blech to multiple items in the above quote. Blech to Dems shying away from talking about inequality. Double blech for doing so as a way to pander to whites (similar to Bill Clinton on welfare). Blech to the bland concept of "fairness". Double blech to "I believe in markets!". Blech blech blech.
min: I wasn't going to vote for Warren anyway. She's been a disappointment, in general. I hold out hope that Bernie is training disciples to take his place because i agree with Sarah Jones' article (linked 2 posts down) that a movement cannot rely entirely on single person to keep it going. We're dead if Bernie is the only thing making this work.
By fnord12 | June 20, 2017, 9:53 AM | Liberal Outrage