Home / General / On a Night of Hot Takes, Only One Take Can Be the Hottest

On a Night of Hot Takes, Only One Take Can Be the Hottest


Above: Beloved Democratic Politician Offers Closely Reasoned Defense of Fellow Leftist Icon George W. Bush

And here she is:

If Sam Nunn and John Breaux taught us anything, it’s that Dems can win in the South, as long as they offer full socialism. Zell/Webb 2020 — a real left alternative to Hillary Clinton’s tepid centrism! What else are we going to attack Republicans with, spitballs?

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  • Q.E.Dumbass

    Dems can win in the South, as long as they offer full socialism. Zell/Webb 2020 — a real left alternative to Hillary Clinton’s tepid centrism! What else are we going to attack Republicans with, spitballs?

    Andrew Cuomo/Bill Maher 2020.

    Or failing that, Sam Harris/Michael Tracey.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Michael Tracey/Rand Paul

      • N__B

        Rand / Paul / Ryan.

        • N__B

          Upon further reflection:

          “Ayn / Rand / Paul / Ryan / Gosling for president. You will be absorbed.”

          • sibusisodan

            I’m terrified that I came here to post exactly that name sequence. Why is Gosling the first Ryan that leaps to mind?

            • N__B

              He’s so dreamy.

          • farin

            I’ll just take the baby bird, thanks.

          • Polyslash!!!

            Now if only each of them could lose their primary…

            • Jordan


    • ForkyMcSpoon

      I’m definitely voting for Cuomo-Maher over Harris-Tracey. Lesser of two evils.

    • CP

      Sam Harris would be an interesting case study. The utter contempt for all things Christian shouldn’t play well in the South, but he might very well be able to sweep it all under the rug as long as he kept up a steady dose of “but Muslims are worse, and politically correct surrender advocates on the left are THE worst!”

      • Morbo

        Depends on what letter is next to his name.

    • Personally, I think the Trump/Nugent ticket is going to dominate in 2020.

  • Adam.379

    To the Alt-right the ideal candidate is Storm Thurmond circa 1970. To the Alt-left the ideal candidate is Storm Thurmond circa 1936

    • Ethel2Tilly

      That’s *Strom*, my good man. Strom.


      • cpinva

        “That’s *Strom*, my good man. Strom.”

        i’m not convinced those were typos. once, maybe, twice in a row, i think not.

    • rea

      Obviously, what we need is this guy:

      I am happy to report to you that the big-wheeling cocktail-party boys have gotten the word that their free whiskey and boat rides are over . . . that the farmer in the field, the worker in the factory, the businessman in his office, the housewife in her home, have decided that the money can be better spent to help our children’s education and our older citizens . . . and they have put a man in office to see that it is done. It shall be done. Let me say one more time . . . . no more liquor drinking in your governor’s mansion.
      I shall fulfill my duty in working hard to bring industry into our state, not only by maintaining an honest, sober and free-enterprise climate of government in which industry can have confidence . . but in going out and getting it . . . so that our people can have industrial jobs in Alabama and provide a better life for their children.
      I shall not forget my duty to our senior citizens . . . so that their lives can be lived in dignity and enrichment of the golden years, nor to our sick, both mental and physical . . . and they will know we have not forsaken them. I want the farmer to feel confident that in this State government he has a partner who will work with him in raising his income and increasing his markets. And I want the laboring man to know he has a friend who is sincerely striving to better his field of endeavor.
      I want to assure every child that this State government is not afraid to invest in their future through education, so that they will not be handicapped on every threshold of their lives.
      Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedomloving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation today . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever.

  • Bootsie

    So long as the Perfidious Donkey refuses to embrace FULL COMMUNISM, the proles of northern Georgia have simply no choice but to vote for Republicans.

    • AMK

      We might as well run self-described communists in a few of these red districts just to shut these people up. Partisanship is such that they won’t actually do that much worse than the generic Dem. If the GOP can run fascists and still get 99.9% of their voters, we can do the same for Marxists, just for kicks.

      • FlipYrWhig

        “The communist would totally have won if years of neoliberalism hadn’t tainted the Democratic brand! Also, he wasn’t really the right kind of communist.”

    • Forget it, Jake. It’s Georgia.

    • apogean


  • YRUasking

    I don’t think I understand this enough to even see how this is a hot take. what did Zell Miller change his mind about? Or did his voters change their mind to vote for him? Who’s saying Georgians can’t change their minds> The neoliberals? I mean, a twenty point swing is a twenty point swing, even if it’s not enough to /get the W.

    I can’t follow this stupid internecine conflict anymore, I don’t know who’s talking about tactics and who’s talking about strategy and who’s accusing who of trying to secretly pass off their preferred policy as a tactical decision.

    Is this what the SDS convention was like?

    • Lev

      My interpretation is that, because Zell Miller was a popular governor in the early 1990s with super high popularity, Democrats have no excuse for losing the race.

      It’s not worth expending the energy to figure it out.

      • EliHawk

        Well, to get further into the facts here:

        1) Since Sam Nunn ran unopposed for Senate in 1990, Zell Miller’s 2000 Senate campaign is probably the only Democrat running who did as good or better than Ossoff in the current boundaries of GA-06. Given he won Cobb 52-45, Fulton 66-31, and Dekalb 74-22, it’s a possibility.

        2) But! And here’s the key. The current GA-06 would have been one of his worst districts. Republicans put up a retread former Senator who hadn’t run for office since losing in 1986 at the end of his one term, which had been a fluke anyway (He beat Herman Talmadge in 1980 after Talmadge was caught essentially taking bribes). With no real GOP challenger, Zell own the state two to one, And even then, he was doing better in rural white areas below the fall line than he was in wealthy inner suburbs.

        3) In addition: He most assuredly lost the current GA-06 in 1990, when he ran on ‘free college,’ lost it again in 1994 after delivering ‘free college,’ and his hand picked successor lost in in 1998 while running to defend ‘free college.’ Of course, Dems won all three of those elections (solidly in 90 and 98, very narrowly in 94) with a coalition (Blacks + Yellow Dogs) that doesn’t exist anymore. Because, it turned out, delivering ‘free college’ isn’t a guarantee to getting the loyalties of rural white working class people: Especially when, as Zell tried to do and his successor Roy Barnes succeeded in doing, you get rid of the Confederate Battle Flag.

        • Yup. The Blue Dogs used to win Rural, not suburban districts, and West Virginia and Arkansas(Two states where Dems used to have the majority of the Congressional Delegation and every elected statewide office less than ten years ago) are precisely the states where these suburbs are less relevant.

          The formula to resurrecting the Democratic Party in the South is not going to be found in these suburbs.

  • miwayha

    Grew up in GA. I’m reasonably sure the free college program is a massive transfer from poor to rich people. GPA and SAT requirements affect eligibility, funding source is entirely from lottery tickets, which are disproportionately bought by poor people.*

    (At least this was true in 2005, when I graduate HS, and did not take advantage of said scholarship, although 100% of my upper-middle-class white friends did.)

    • EliHawk

      Yeah, it was a middle class entitlement built on the backs of poor people’s lottery purchases. But means testing is neoliberal, or something.

      • Derelict

        When I was at Georgia Tech, lots of middle-class offspring were attending using Zell grants.

    • Phil Perspective

      People here know that Zaid grew up/lives there, right? He’s lived in GA-06 in the past, if not presently. I’m curious if anyone knows the change in college enrollment among income groups after the Georgia scholarship program was implemented. But offering something like free college is better than jerking off to Bowles/Simpson, which is what Ossoff did.

      • miwayha

        Is offering free college to people whose parents can afford SAT tutors and paying for it by enticing poor people to gamble what little cash they have really better, though?

        • miwayha


          “When Georgia implemented the HOPE Scholarship in 1993, one of its goals was to increase retention of the state’s best students. The researchers found that the scholarship reduced the number of students leaving Georgia to attend college elsewhere by 560 students per year. Freshman SAT scores, a measure of student quality, increased by nearly 40 points statewide after HOPE was implemented, the study found.

          “Mustard emphasized that the study found that HOPE influences the choice of where to attend college, but doesn’t appear to significantly increase access to college.

          “It’s not so much inducing a lot of new college going,” Mustard said, “but rather moving people around.””

        • Is offering free college to people whose parents can afford SAT tutors and paying for it by enticing poor people to gamble what little cash they have really better, though?

          If it means a Dem wins that seat, then yes. Every fucking penny.

          • steve_143

            I’d rather not run on policy that exploits the poor.

            • You’d rather bitch about how Republicans won yet again?

              I’d rather run on policy that gets us a majority so as to preserve the ACA, than to watch it die because of principles. Yes, they are important, but our #1 enemy right now is the Republican party, if only because it considers us to be it’s #1 enemy.

              • TMIdiot

                You’re right, after all Donald Trump has not run into any problems caused by campaigning on promises which were not subjected to any calculation over whether they were actually possible, so why would the Dems?

          • miwayha

            This is actually a good point, and I agree with it!

            But, it’s a different point than “Zell Miller was a true leftist,” which is a stupid take.

        • manual

          Yes its better than destroying the social safety net.

        • cpinva

          “Is offering free college to people whose parents can afford SAT tutors and paying for it by enticing poor people to gamble what little cash they have really better, though?”

          parents who can afford these things, who most likely aren’t going to vote democratic anyway. and they’re perfectly fine with the wealth transfer from those people to them. after all, those people would just squander that money on huge T-bones, Colt .45 Malt Liquor and lottery tickets.

        • Procopius

          I’ve always thought those SAT tutors were just as much a rip-off as copper bracelets. Does anyone have any evidence that they are really effective? Does Georgia really “entice” people to play the lottery? There’s no advertising of the government lottery here in Thailand, but they have no trouble selling out every two weeks. We also have a parallel illegal lottery that they spend quite a lot trying to stamp out — unsuccessfully. There’s no “enticement” for that. In fact I’ve come to the conclusion that all anti-gambling laws and propaganda have as their only purpose the enrichment of individual police officers. I urge your attention to off-track betting in New York. On the other hand, allowing people to sell their services as SAT tutors at least provides jobs.

  • nobody

    Dems can win in the South.
    Edwards, Jon Bel
    Cooper, Roy

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      Not sure if this is supposed to be an unironic reason or hope or an expression of cynical fatalism (re: heightening the contradictions).

  • enlightenedbum

    I think the most frustrating thing about the leftier than thous is their ignorance of history they were alive for. I’m not even asking them to understand the longer arc of Democratic struggles after the backlash to the Civil Rights Act. I just want them to remember the last twenty years. Is that so fucking hard?

    • John Revolta

      They remember plenty!

      1. Hillary voted for War!
      2. Obama is Worse than Bush he Sold us Out!!
      3. Bernie wuz robbed he Woulda Won!!!
      4. Gore lost his Own State!!!!


      • John Revolta

        P.S. DROOOOOONNNNNNEZZZZZ!!!!!1111!1

      • econoclast

        They’re not old enough to remember any except 3.

      • liberal

        Uh, Hillary did vote for the war, and her hawkishness is horrible.

        • Taylor

          Be quiet, the grown-ups are talking.

        • cleek

          liberal/progressive != pacifist.
          never has, never will.

          • Procopius

            We’re not asking for pacifism. At least I’m not. But I’m asking for a realistic assessment of the likely effects of calling for war everywhere and aggressively provoking one ot the the large possessors of nuclear weapons as well as removing the few sources of stability in the Middle East. Hillary’s recommended policies as Secretary of State were all aligned with PNAC (Program for a New American Century™).

        • cpinva

          “Uh, Hillary did vote for the war, and her hawkishness is horrible.”

          technically, she didn’t “vote for war”, she voted (foolishly as it turns out) to give the then president the authorization to use “all necessary means, up to and including military action”. she herself has said it never occurred to her that the president of the US would just flat-out lie to Congress. but he did, and here we are. in her capacity of Secretary of State, she did advocate for military action in a couple of instances, but the ultimate decision rested with Obama, not her.

          aside from that, i find little tangible evidence supporting this claimed “Hawkishness” on her part. people making that claim have a tendency to: 1. fail to provide examples (yes, i know, that one weird vote)., and 2. just assume we all know this, that it’s simple common knowledge, and how dare you question me on this!

          yeah, sorry dude, doesn’t fly.

          • eclare

            One thing that is often overlooked in discussions of HRC’s alleged hawkishness is that her preference for intervention was heavily influenced by our failure to intervene in Rwanda. I’m not arguing in favor of any of her decisions or advocacy, but foreign policy is messy and nuanced, and there are plenty of instances where the “hawkish” policy is the morally correct one.

          • Procopius

            Libya. Syria. Coup in Ukraine.

      • I ran into someone doing the “Gore lost his own state” routine yesterday.

        • tsam

          It’s a valid argument since Tennessee is an utter socialist paradise.

        • Procopius

          Gore ran into the American Media Machine while it was on a chase. “It may not be good for America, but it’s sure good for CNN.”

    • corporatecake

      You see, many of them were young or not paying close attention or both. Knowing this stuff would require looking it up.

    • Is that so fucking hard?

      Most people can’t remember anything past the last right-or-left swipe on their iPhone, so yes.

    • BloodyGranuaile

      Honestly: Yes. I learned about the Civil Rights Act in school. Not in a huge amount of detail, but my American History classes went up through about the Vietnam War, because that was long enough ago that my teachers agreed it was “history” and not “a few years ago.” And I remember a lot from the Bush and Obama years since that’s when I got old enough to start reading newsmagazines on the regular, although I still missed quite a bit since I didn’t always understand what I was reading and who all the players were.

      The ’80s and ’90s, though, which are what our current political moment seems to be rehashing so much? 90% of what I know about it I’ve learned from reading LGM and other blogs where there are a lot of Democratic partisans who are older than me grousing about them.

  • McAllen

    This take in not endorsed by, nor does it reflect, the opinion of Totoro

  • Gwen

    See, even I’m not this dumb.

  • free_fries_

    I think the other top hot take tonight is brilliant suggestion that The One Cool Trick Dems Can Do to Win is replace Nancy Pelosi. Well, there was just a vote on this 5 months ago but sure!

    So we want to get someone to the right who the GOP won’t use as a bogeyman to motivate their voters? No problem – just keep in mind he’s probably not going to be for single payer and free college. Oh and the GOP bogeyman issue? Don’t worry they’ll find another female or a minority D Rep to use in their ads. And bonus we lose an extremely skilled parliamentarian as our Minority Leader.

    • Derelict

      I know far too many lefties and solid Democrats who don’t like Pelosi. The most common complaint I hear is that they find her “embarrassing.”

      And what are they embarrassed about? They can’t tell you. Maybe it’s that she has mentioned Democratic victories; perhaps it’s the fact that she was speaker when Dems had the majority and she is now minority leader. For many (like two of my in-laws) it’s the fact that she turns up on the news–why can’t she just stay off the news? It’s not like she’s a significant leader of one of the only two parties we have!!!

      I don’t get it, but Pelosi Derangement Syndrome is definitely a thing.

      • rea

        The only times a respectable woman is mentioned in the news is in connection with birth, wedding and funeral announcements.

        • Ahuitzotl

          in connection with birth, wedding and funeral announcements.

          Preferably at the same time, in the South

      • elm

        The “you have to vote for the bill to know what’s in it” line, while taken out of context, is embarrassing if you don’t know the context. She’s also had a few possible “senior moments” such as when she seemed to confuse Trump for Bush.

        So, depending on what media you consume, it would make sense to think she’s embarrassing. I’m sure her gender makes this more likely and certainly it plays a huge role in how the media cover her. But I’m not sure everyone who finds her embarrassing is sexist or deranged. Just poorly informed and easily manipulated.

        • cpinva

          “She’s also had a few possible “senior moments” such as when she seemed to confuse Trump for Bush.”

          not so sure that was a “senior moment”, since both of them are none too bright, and likely to cause substantial damage to the country, and the world, if not controlled.

      • liberal

        If we’re dealing in anecdata, I consider myself pretty left, and I don’t find Pelosi embarrassing at all. Never heard my folks say anything negative about her, either, and they’re solidly liberal/left.

        Her only negative is that AFAICT she’s not a great public speaker, but that’s not an essential component of her role.

    • So we want to get someone to the right who the GOP won’t use as a bogeyman to motivate their voters? No problem – just keep in mind he’s probably not going to be for single payer and free college.

      I’ve said this before half jokingly, but I think it is becoming truer every day. People think that rural America went for Trump because they love him. They don’t. The soul of rural America is Ted Nugent. Trump was just the best they could get. What Dem is going to be able to win against that?

      • apocalipstick

        I have students who worship Nugent. The idea that he gets to shoot zebras on his own ranch makes them rock-hard.

    • JMV Pyro

      On the one hand, it’s true that Republicans will use some kind of boogeyman to replace Pelosi. That’s as certain as the sun coming up.

      On the other, assuming a scenario where everything goes well the woman will be in her 80s by the time she can actually work her parliamentary skills to pass legislation again. It’s a similar problem to Sanders.

      • Rob in CT

        Her age is a legit concern, IMHO. Hoping that some other leader won’t be cast as the more horrible librul to ever librul by Republicans is batty, though. They always do that.

        • xq

          It takes work and time to do that. Schumer is pretty unknown right now.

          • humanoid.panda

            Right, I think the argument for “Pelosi should consider retiring” is not that her replacement will be beloved by all. It’s just that it takes a long time to build a demon figure.

            • free_fries_

              Let’s say Keith Ellison steps into the role. You really think it’s going to take the GOP long to cast him as a villain? That segment of GOP voters they’re targeting hears the M word and sees his photo and they’re there.

          • Rob in CT

            Fair enough.

          • Hogan

            “New York Jew” takes you a lot of the way, just like “San Francisco liberal.”

            • humanoid.panda

              Eh.. I feel like New York Jew is not nearly as powerful as attack as San Francisco liberal this day and age. More crucially, though, there is the factor of time: attacks on Pelosi in 2006 didn’t work that well, because she was relatively uknown and had never been in power before. Attacking Schumer now won’t work because nearly no one knows who he is, and he had never pushed for a controversial policy.

              • humanoid.panda

                Here’s the thing: you don’t have to wrestle with the issues now (wll, you have to, in the back office, so you have a workable plan). What you need to know is to tie GOP to everything bad in the American healthcare system, and promise that you will fix it.

                • humanoid.panda

                  Just to qualify that: I am talking about the midterms, when whatever we are running on is not going to become policy. I do expect every presidential candidate to have a health plan, and duke it out.

      • free_fries_

        I’m little biased bc I lived in her district for 8 years but I like her and think she’s done a good job for SF and for the country. Still if you (the general you) want to replace her, be my guest. You have 18 months to figure out who and start whipping the votes. Demanding she step down now as some were on Twitter is breathtakingly stupid.

        • nixnutz

          I remember back in 2000 the SF Bay Guardian refused to endorse her because she had supported the giveaway of the Presidio to George Lucas. Which honestly was a shitty deal but I thought it was pretty ridiculous not to endorse a powerful representative with a solid record over it.

          • free_fries_

            Ah I was there 2002-10. Still the SF Bay Guardian wouldn’t be the SF Bay Guardian without the hot contrarian take.

            She’s far from perfect but until the Far Left has a credible candidate to run against her she’s the best choice for CA 12th. From what I’ve seen so far, it doesn’t seem Stephen Jaffe will be the one to end her tenure.

    • nemdam

      Well it was just revealed that Pelosi was using private email, so I say it’s time to get rid of her.

      The idea that Pelosi is some uniquely hated figure, and that a replacement wouldn’t be just as polarizing, is exactly the kind of stupid hot take I was expecting after last night well before the results came in. Pelosi is like McConnell in that she keeps a low profile and focuses on legislating, her primary job. She’s only polarizing to political junkies who are already voting Republican.

      • free_fries_

        Agreed. If the GOP had run the same ads for this race but just said “The Democrats” instead of her, I’m not sure the tallies would have been all that different.

      • Nancy Pelosi favorability, via Gallup (Favorable/Unfavorable/Never heard of/No opinion):

        2017 Apr 5-9: 34/48/9/9
        2015 Nov 4-8: 34/46/12/7
        2014 Apr 24-30: 33/49/11/7

        Mitch McConnell:

        2017 Apr 5-9: 27/44/15/14
        2015 Oct 7-11: 18/41/23/17
        2015 Aug 5-9: 22/41/25/12

        So McConnell has lower favorables than Pelosi, but is also substantially less well-known. Pelosi is about as well-known as John Kerry but slightly less well-known than John McCain.

        Newt Gingrich is about as well-known as all of these but is substantially less popular than Pelosi (26/61!). Ted Cruz is close to Gingrich.

        In conclusion, Pelosi is relatively well-known for a political figure (the only figures that are pretty much universally known are recent presidential candidates). She is somewhat unpopular but not unusually so for a high-profile politician.

    • I don’t know if replacing Nancy Pelosi would change anything. But if you don’t mess with a winning team you surely need to change a losing team, it’s bizarre that electoral loss after electoral loss the Dem leadership stays the same.

      • mds

        it’s bizarre that electoral loss after electoral loss the Dem leadership stays the same.

        I know this is weird to people much more familiar with Westminster systems, but the House Minority Leader is not actually the head of the Democratic Party or any of its campaign apparatus. There are not automatic regular public debates between Speaker Ryan and Leader of the Loyal Opposition Pelosi. (It might actually help matters if there were, but it’s just not currently part of our system.) Democrats don’t turn out for Congressional elections in order to vote for Nancy Pelosi in particular, even if many Republicans seem to turn out to vote against her in particular nowadays. So why should she be replaced with, e.g., Tim Ryan, as long as she gets the majority of the votes of her caucus?

        • She might not be the leader of the party apparatus, but she has great control about the campaigns and the way that Democratic Representatives work and vote. You have to change leadership when you are losing.

          • Hogan

            she has great control about the campaigns

            No, she really doesn’t.

    • ozzy

      Elizabeth Warren would immediately step into the lineup. SHRILL!!

    • apocalipstick

      As if there is any Democrat the Republicans cannot demonize. Ask Max Cleland or John Kerry.

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    Because of this idiotic tweet and the references to “SPITBALLS?!”, I got to looking up Zell Miller on YouTube and found this old Conan clip:



  • Atrios

    I’m actually not sure why this is dumb. Zell was a popular (give them hell, Zell!) – among Democrats outside of the South! – progressive for the times 2 term governor who got spooked by the full metal racist backlash, after he he was a pioneer in going after the confederate flag. Certainly the post-backlash Zell was horrible, and he embraced full horrible republicanism when he ran for senate, but I don’t think it’s crazy to point to why he was a successful georgia politician in the 90s. He was pretty liberal on everything then, including the racial issues of the time.

    • miwayha

      I’m not sure how using poor people’s lottery ticket purchases to pay for the tuition of students whose parents could afford SAT tutors in college is progressive, but you do you.

    • steve_143

      Wow wee, he used lottery revenue to set up scholarships (used by the wealthy I’m sure) and after taking no position on the Confederate flag, called for it to be lowered as the Olympics approached. Clearly winning messages in 2017.

      • miwayha

        The purpose of the scholarships were to retain the best college students by persuading them to go in state, not to increase access generally.


        • steve_143

          So progressive! Hopefully Democrats look to the past – an anti-choice, anti-equality and anti-labor with pro-corporate leanings – as they go forward.

          • miwayha

            White Georgians are definitely the kinds of folks who love entitlements as long as they don’t go to Those People (i.e. lazy blacks and Mexicans).

      • EliHawk

        Um, no. In 1993, he pushed hard for the flag to be changed (and famously went hard at the legislature on it in his State of the State, still on C-Span), lecturing them about exactly why the flag was changed (Racism) and the Confederacy was wrong (treason). It’s compelling viewing, but it ran into a brick wall with the legislature (Still filled with Good Ol’ Boys, including the super-powerful Speaker Tom Murphy), so he ultimately backed off (it still nearly cost him reelection). The Flag didn’t change until Roy Barnes pulled some LBJ shit to get it done mostly in back room deals before being foisted on the state, something that got it done but also led to him losing reelection as all the rural whites who liked Hope Scholarships and voted for him in 98 turned hard Republican in 02.

        • steve_143

          “The first-term Democrat previously had steadfastly refused to take a stand on the issue. He made it clear that a primary reason for his change of heart is the state’s reputation. Atlanta will be the site of both the 1994 Super Bowl and the 1996 Olympics.

          “I want the world to see Georgia as a vibrant growing state, a state that is moving ahead,” he said, “and not as a state that is entrenched and holding fast to the symbols of a time when we resisted efforts to right the wrongs of our past.”

          Organizations that had been fighting to change the flag hailed Miller’s change of heart, even though the new design he endorsed–the state’s pre-1956 flag–also incorporates Confederate elements.

          “The flag is a compromise,” said Douglas Alexander, chairman of Georgians for the Flag–an organization pushing for return to the pre-1956 flag. “It has some Confederacy in it. . . . It has the Confederacy without such a divisive Confederate emblem.”

          The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People had been in favor of readopting the state’s original flag–the Georgia seal on a blue field. Miller endorsed a later design in which the seal and blue field cover the left third of the flag and the remainder is occupied by two horizontal red bands enclosing a band of white.

          That flag was a variation of the little-known official Confederate flag adopted in 1861. The more familiar Confederate emblem bearing the large blue star-studded “X” on a red field was used in battle to better distinguish the Confederate flag from the Union banner.”


    • D.N. Nation

      Jesus you’re embarrassing these days.

      A poor people tax to pay for in-state students to stay in-state and calling for the Cornfedrut flag to be lowered when it was a national point of shame. So lefty! Is this the type of progressivism that’s the toast at Crown Inn?

      • A poor people tax to pay for in-state students to stay in-state and calling for the Cornfedrut flag to be lowered when it was a national point of shame. So lefty! Is this the type of progressivism that’s the toast at Crown Inn?

        It’s the type of progressivism that wins in Georgia.

        • D.N. Nation

          Outside of John Lewis, you mean. (Yes, GA-5 is an island.)

          Anyway, isn’t the point that Ossoff should’ve been More Progressive®? Why then is the example someone who barely was, and relied on a coalition that often hardly was?

          It’s almost like these people are throwing shit at the wall and nothing more, because Ossoff didn’t immediately seek out the Sanders endorsement. This morning the complaint is about Ossoff’s *age* of all things. He’s too young! He looks too young! (Thanks, Matt Stoller.) Youth in politics: Bad For Progressivism, I…guess?

          • The problem is that Ossoff was the classic Bland Dem without any clear position on winning, a losing formula since the days of Nixon.

            • FlipYrWhig

              Roy Cooper and John Bel Edwards say hi, reminding you that both won, in the South, as bland Democrats who’d fix Republican fuckups.

            • D.N. Nation

              It’s funny that “defunding PPUSA is wrong and I’ll protect a woman’s right to choose” has now become not a clear position to so many on the supposed left. Nader complaining about “gonadal politics” was ahead of its time I guess.

        • miwayha

          It does in in GA, but it’s a dirty lie to call it progressive, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves.

    • elm

      Here are some of the reasons it’s dumb:

      1. It wasn’t a free college program. It wasn’t even close. It was a scholarship program for top-performing students designed to keep them in state rather than go out of state. Few, if any, students gained access to college through program who would not otherwise have had it. Florida, S. Carolina, and many other states have similar programs and no one says those states have ‘free college.’

      2. As noted above, Miller, despite his popularity statewide, did not perform particularly well in the counties that make up the GA-06.

      3. The coalition that elected Zell no longer exists as he was elected governor during the last gasps of the conservative southern Democrat. The reason he moved right was becaus he had to to get elected to the Senate.

      4. Who said Georgians can’t change their minds?

      • D.N. Nation

        If you want an example of “Georgians changing their minds” that doesn’t look like and have the current cultural clout of Julian Glover at the end of Indiana Jones 3, then you could always note that Cobb County – Cobb County! – voted for the Democratic presidential candidate all the way back in 2016.

        Of course, that was Hillary, so Zaid and the boyz don’t want to do that.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Ya know, described that way, Zell Miller sounds a lot like that guy who was governor of Arkansas around that same time, maybe the Democrats should find out what that guy is doing and run him instead of these neoliberal quislings they’ve been running since the 1990s.

    • ASV

      for the times

    • Scott Lemieux

      I mean, Miller was a decent governor and I certainly would have voted for him. But the problem is that it’s hard to make this case and then spend two years calling Hillary Clinton a worthless neolioberal who isn’t offering voters anything.

      • miwayha

        ding ding ding ding ding

      • D.N. Nation

        Shorter atrios:

        “Zell Miller is just misunderstood, also centrists are hippie punchers.”

  • Karen24

    Okay, guys, this was Newt Gingrich’s gerrymandered district. Remember that. Also remember something else, and this should be our Hot Take:

    The Dems came within five points of taking two of the reddest districts in the country in special elections five months after Trump took office, without a war, concrete evidence of a scandal, or major legislative defeat. That is unprecedented. Trump and the Republicans can and will still do their best to trash the country in private, but the fact that they’re doing it in private and not proudly should encourage us. Keep fighting!

    • efgoldman

      Who are you, and what have you done with Eeyore?
      [Luvs ya’ Karen. Welcome back!]

      • Karen24

        Thanks! I distrust underconfidence as much as overconfidence. My example has always been the religious right. They don’t give a fig for relgion; they want women subservient and church schools to be permitted to keep Them out, and they’re happy. They will do whatever they have to do to achieve those aims. We should mimic their model.

        • tsam

          But I have a gay feminist muslim abortion scheduled for 4th of July weekend as part of my plan to destroy America.

    • elm

      An optimistic Karen! Hopefully your optimism proves as well-founded as your pessimism was! Do we have to incorrectly mock you for it, though, for that to happen?

      • Karen24

        That’s probably necessary. I admit to liking ketchup and having no interest at all in baseball. Is that a good start?

        • Are you vegan?

          • Karen24

            No! Life without cheese and barbecue would not be worth living.

        • Colin Day

          What about vodka?

      • Karen24

        And I know we can still lose, and lose badly, but I prefer to lose after a fight than by giving in before it starts. Sure, the system is rigged and they have more money and people are mostly quite stupid and venal, but if a better world is important to us, we have to fight for it.

        • I wrestle with this every day. I love this country enough to have spent 11 years of my life in the military defending it, but that was yesterday. I look at the America of today and where it is hell-bent on heading, and I wonder if I shouldn’t be looking for another country that is more progressively aligned. Yes, I know that autocracy can take over any nation, and where a country is today is not where it will be 20 years from now. But global warming is turning the world to shit rather more quickly than most people think, and I’d rather spend my remaining days fighting for a country that is determined to build life boats and not one that is committed to drowning.

          • humanoid.panda

            Here is the thing
            1. There is no such thing as a “progressively aligned country.” It’s a silly liberal myth, based on the fact we try to pin down everything to Democrats/Republicans. So, for example, Sweden is indeed a social democratic haven. Still, the politics of immigrationa and assimilation there are about as bad as they are here on the political level, and much worse on the day-to-day level.
            2. The idea that there is a plethora of countries out there waiting for the liberal American refugees is..amusing.

            • Yeah, that’s the problem. Sweden, Denmark, etc., rank high on the Social Democracy and seem progressive thinking until you look at their immigration statistics. Good if your were born there, not so much otherwise. Guess I’m stuck.

              • lunaticllama

                And have you ever spent time talking about this issue (immigration) with the Danish or Swedish? It was for me, at least, shocking to hear such racist attitudes from people in these “cosmopolitan” liberal paradises.

                • No, but I have no illusions, either. The Danish people seem all nice and happy, but the country is also like 89% people who have at least one Danish parent. Countries where immigrants are actually welcomed are rare, if not non-existent.

            • ExpatJK

              #2 in particular I find hilarious. Having dealt with the immigration departments of 3 separate countries, the “but I’m MOVING!” idea never fails to induce hysterical laughter. I mean, if you are serious, go for it, but the key word is serious. There’s a lot involved in immigrating somewhere.

              #1 I also like, because it is more of the same silliness. I had a friend who was genuinely astonished to meet a Canadian who was right-wing. “But isn’t Canada a liberal country?”

          • Karen24

            1. Good for you on your service. All of us who have worked for the government in some capacity below the level of elected or appointed office applaud your persistence.

            2. I refuse to let these bastards decide what is patriotism. I love this country like I love my children, who disappointment at least 50 times a minute — it’s more frequent when they’re awake — but damned if I’m going to give up on them. I’m not going to let a bunch of treason-loving plutocrats and their fascist redneck freikorps decide who gets to be an American.

            • Except that the treason-loving plutocrats and the fascist redneck freikorps are winning. They own most of the state houses and are making progress in locking in permanent majorities that are starting to become even wave-proof. We can only hole ourselves up in the island cities for so long before the rural tide swallows them up.

              I dunno. Feeling discouraged as of late. Maybe things will change. Not feeling particularly optimistic.

              • postmodulator

                The main thought on my mind lately is that things went a lot better for the people who left Germany in 1932 than they did for the people who left in 1938.

                My wife and I are both in fairly sought-after professions. We could split. It’s an option.

                • Those have been my thoughts. Of course, the situation with the Jews was radically different, and I don’t see liberals being rounded up for work camps (yet). But while we are obsessing about the future of Obamacare (and rightly so), the Republicans are only a couple of states away from having the numbers to call a Constitutional Convention. Concern trolling, I know, but so was the concern that Trump could actually get elected until, you know, he was.

                • postmodulator

                  I’m not in a minority that’s likely to be targeted either, but authoritarians always have smart-ass intellectuals on their list somewhere. And I’m congenitally unable to shut up about this stuff.

              • BloodyGranuaile

                Things don’t change. People change them.

              • David Allan Poe

                I live in a small town that Trump won by 150 votes.

                Last week this town had an election to recall three city council members who had sponsored a resolution a few months ago proclaiming that the town was in favor of tolerance. This resolution was vigorously opposed by the right-wing here, who raised such a stink about it that two of the three sponsors actually voted against it. It failed.

                Their blood up, the right-wingers circulated a recall petition and got enough signatures to force a recall election, on the grounds that city council members, by submitting a resolution by the ordinary process, were “politicizing” the city council. Much was made of the fact that the original resolution, submitted by a local citizen to one of the council members, mentioned Trump (that reference was taken out in one of the first drafts).

                The whole process was stupid and embarrassing. The right-wingers told the most absurd lies, whined and complained, forced the city to spend sums of money it cannot afford to spend, and generally made a fucking nuisance of themselves for three months.

                The recall failed by almost three hundred votes. More people voted in the recall election than voted in the presidential election.

                All of us were extremely worried before the election, and are extremely relieved now. It is just an anecdote, but it is possible that the high-water mark has been reached.

                • tsam

                  How small of a town is this?

                • David Allan Poe

                  Around 5k total population in the city limits. Most of the really liberal types live outside the city limits as well and weren’t able to vote in the election.

                  About fourteen hundred voted in the presidential election. Close to nineteen hundred voted in this one.

                • tsam

                  Interesting. Thank you

  • LeeEsq
    • Cheap Wino

      It really is infuriating. Even the alt-right douchebags get the basic, elementary political pragmatism that the Berniebro/Green purity ponies so stupidly reject. I’m becoming more cantankerous about this and just want to slap them and tell them to get their shit together and quit being such a selfish little bitch. /rant

      • postmodulator

        More than voting for Trump — the alt-right and religious right went all-in on Trump. There’s no hanging back, there’s no, gee, to be fair I’m not crazy about Trump’s policy on X and he’s not so good at Y, there’s no “I like Trump except he’s friends with Jews,” there’s no “I like Trump but his personal life is an affront to good Christians everywhere.” He’s their guy, so he’s their guy. They’ll knock on doors, Tweet death threats at the enemy, claim Russia is our closest ally, pretend the economy turned around completely on 21 January.

        Now the problem is that we can’t do this. They can do this, because they’re authoritarians, nearly all of them. They want to put their boots on some necks, and have a correspondingly-larger boot on their own. We don’t. or very few of us do. It complicates things.

      • sergiol652

        Because they hate the Democratic Party more than they hate republicans

  • jpgray

    My hot take is… “Hey check us out, NotTrump Party over here! Raging case of the NotTrumps – catch it while you can!” is not going to do all the work for Dems.

    What is depressingly absent from Dem strategy and LGM analysis as I see them is any kind of recognition of the wild flailing after something, anything, that is fundamentally different by the electorates of third way rich western countries. Given a choice between “Good Ol’ Reliable Oatmeal – Now with Exotic Dates!” and “Never-Tried Mystery Meal – Maybe Poison?” increasingly people are reaching for the latter.

    A lot of people saw Obama’s ’08 election as evidence of the fundamental tolerance and probity of many US voters. I think this underestimates the extent to which it meant “Hey why not try this untested brilliant black guy? Give me something, ANYTHING, different from the same old maundering unhumans and our current malaise.”

    For a significant number of voters, the causes that led to an ’08 Obama vote probably led to a ’16 Trump vote. Obama-Obama-Trump as a voting pattern is obviously not evidence of sober issues-based thinking. Whether it’s ’08 Obama, Brexit, Bernie’s relative success, Trump’s prmary win, ’16 Trump, Corbyn’s relative success, clearly some are desperate for bomb-throwing, table-flipping, consensus-confounding choices that they can convince themselves will mean things will fundamentally change. Even if it just FEELS that way, and even if increasingly frantic experts show them over and over that the fundamental change will all be bad.

    Where is our message of fundamental change beyond NotTrump, for this group of voters? Vote Dem because _____?

    • Karen24

      I know we all want to complain, but Ossoff and Parnell did really well in very red districts. Bomb-throwing socialism is never going to fly in those areas. Those people are quite happy with their lives thankyouverymuch and a healthy dose of radicalism IS poison to them. What we have to do in those areas is be more normal. Look, Trump was only elected last November, barely, and nobody thought he could win. The people in Georgia 6 still have strong ties to the Republican Party even if they think Trump is a buffoon. They did as well as we could expect in world where Trump hasn’t blown up Maryland or actually appointed Putin to the Federal Reserve Board. Take what we can from this lesson and move on with confidence; figure out district by district what needs to be done there.

      • Thom

        “They did as well as we could expect in world where Trump hasn’t blown up Maryland or actually appointed Putin to the Federal Reserve Board.”

        I hope Trump does not read LGM. I admit it is unlikely, but it would explain some of the trolls.

        • Cheap Wino

          LGM would go waaay over Trump’s head. He would have to have Jared *explain* it to him. Regardless, you can be sure he does not read it because he’s far too lazy to put that kind of effort in. I doubt he reads past the first paragraph or two when he visits Breitbart for some nonsense click-bait article. #StupidestPresidentEver

    • D.N. Nation

      “Where is our message of fundamental change beyond NotTrump, for this group of voters? Vote Dem because _____?”

      Because funding PPUSA is important and because a woman has a right to choose.

      Those were big points in the Ossoff campaign. Ignored by national lefties, natch, but there you go.

      Please tell me you don’t think they’re not worthwhile.

      • jpgray

        I think they’re worthwhile. Most sane voters think they are worthwhile. It’s clear you can win an election of sane voters running on just plausible, competent sanity – or the status quo plus practical improvement. We often run these elections – they are now called “Democratic Primaries.”

        • humanoid.panda

          The thing is that you can run on hope and change (or making America great) in a presidential election. You can even swamp the midterms with an ideological campaign. But a guy running for Congress all by himself promising to upend the political system is going to look weird..

        • Rob in CT

          *bitter chuckle*

          Ain’t that the truth.

    • Harkov311

      I guess I’m still scratching my head as to why everyone suddenly decided that throwing bombs and eating the poison was a totally great idea which definitely won’t cause problems. I just don’t understand this mindset at all.

    • Rob in CT

      I think there’s a lot of truth to this, but I don’t think it applies to GA-6 very well.

      It applies to the O-O-T voters in the “rust belt” that flipped the 2016 election, yes. But GA-6 is a relatively well-off, relatively educated district that has leaned R for a long time now (including Tom Price winning it 2-to-1 the last time ’round).

      • jpgray

        Right. I’m using Ossof solely as evidence of NotTrump potentially not doing our work for us on its own, meaning we need to do well with the morbid anti-fact changemongers of the electorate in the next national election to tip things over.

        • Rob in CT

          So you’re basically with Yglesias on this?

          Ossoff falling short — while coming closer than Rob Quist — and Jeremy Corbyn’s surprisingly strong showing in the recent UK election suggest a possible synthesis of these views.

          Corbyn’s electoral map, in the end, turns out to look a lot like Hillary Clinton’s. He did well in the most diverse and most educated parts of the United Kingdom and worst among older voters. Whites with college degrees, in short, weren’t secretly dreaming of socialism. At the same time, running on a bold progressive policy agenda didn’t stop him from picking up support in exactly the kind of upscale precincts that the Democratic establishment has been trying to target. And it did succeed in doing what post-Obama Democrats have failed to do — engage young voters and encourage them to come to the polls.

          But perhaps most of all, running on a bold policy agenda helped focus voters’ minds on policy rather than on the (extremely long) list of controversial Corbyn statements and associations from past years. Pundits had long expected Corbyn to get crushed at the polls, and had Theresa May succeeded in running an election focused on the Falklands War, the Irish Republican Army, and unilateral nuclear disarmament, she would have won. But instead, the UK ended up with a campaign about promises to nationalize utilities, eliminate university tuition, and raise taxes.

          I’d very much like the above to be true. It would require, of course, that our media actually talk about policy. That probably requires, at a minimum, the Dem candidate(s) talk nonstop about policy and nothing else. Without, somehow, making everyone’s eyes glaze over (talk about policy without being too “wonkish”). And that’s where a Bernie style approach seems to work pretty well. Pick an issue or two, simplify it/dumb it down, and hammer it relentlessly such that it cannot be ignored. Gotta pick the right issue(s), of course…

          Also, Matt suggests that our issue isn’t that we don’t have ideas. Rather, we have too many variations on those ideas. We need to narrow down, pick something, and roll.

          The party has some time – but not that long – to decide.

          • humanoid.panda

            I think that if the AHCA and tax cuts pass, we have our issues: “fix healthcare, not corporate bottom lines.”

            • Rob in CT

              Fix it how, though? Do we go for full single payer nationalized health insurance or not? I’m ok with that. I’m also ok with more of a hybrid (ACA + public option) approach. We need to choose. And if chanting single payer brings out The Yout, then let’s go for it. Right, check. Next? What’s our answer on trade? We have ideas. We need to pick something and sell it (which means, of course, that we have to buy it ourselves, which is the tricky bit it seems). Economy/jobs. Education. Etc.

              It’s gotta be simple.
              It’s gotta be popular (with marginally attached D-leaners in particular).
              It’s also gotta have a snowball’s chance in hell of working if we get power.

              Should be easy. ;)

              • humanoid.panda

                Here’s the thing: you don’t have to wrestle with the issues now (wll, you have to, in the back office, so you have a workable plan). What you need to know is to tie GOP to everything bad in the American healthcare system, and promise that you will fix it.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  I think “the Republican Party is shady, greedy, and corrupt” is a much better foundation for a national election than a set of policy promises. Demonize Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.

                • Rob in CT

                  The GOP is greedy/shady/corrupt is part of the why “only we can fix it.”

                • FlipYrWhig

                  Right, and that’s part of why Democrats are going to need someone youthful and smiley as well as smart. That’s pretty much the only thing that’s worked for Team D since the widespread adoption of TV, except for when LBJ won.

              • AMK

                Trade is the easiest fucking issue in the world, where we really can learn something from Trump. Run around the heartland yelling”no bad trade deals!” then when we win do photo-ops to sign buy American executive orders and make other symbolic marginal changes. There is zero political or substantive downside for us with our other constituencies. The merits of the policy itself is irrelevant—if the voters we need could evaluate the merits of policy, they would already be our voters.

                • Rob in CT

                  Ah. Basically Obama ’08? (didn’t he mention something about renegotiating NAFTA?)

                • FlipYrWhig

                  But then trouble comes when you, like Obama, think you’ve succeeded in negotiating a not-bad trade deal, but big swathes of your party’s voters loudly disagree.

                • humanoid.panda

                  Trade deals might just not be politically viable anymore.

                • Hogan

                  Mister, we could use some men like Smoot and Hawley again.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Sanders may have initially reached people with issue stances, but IMNSHO he expanded his share chiefly by getting anyone-but-Hillary people on the bandwagon with his “authentic” style. I really don’t think talking about issues is the magic elixir here because I don’t think voters are voting on the basis of issues.

            • Rob in CT

              Well yes. There are people who are drawn to style over substance. We need some of them to win.

              The idea is not just to talk about issues. It’s to talk about them in a way that works for people not like us. Simplify, repeat. It will probably annoy us (it will definitely annoy me after a while) but we don’t matter. Our votes are baked in.

              I don’t know that this will work. But the idea, it seems to me, is to do everything possible to have the election be fought on favorable ground. For Democrats, particularly in the areas that fucked us in 2016, that’s usually policy/making people’s lives better (whereas the GOP has, in those areas, the identity politics edge).

              • FlipYrWhig

                If we are talking about people who are currently voting for Republicans, there is no way to talk about issues to such people in a way that will persuade them. They don’t think of politics as a space for solving public problems. They think of it as a way to spite liberals.

                If we are talking about people who are not currently voting at all, maybe, but I have my doubts — they aren’t voting now because they think politics is stupid and gross, not because nobody is promising to do cool things.

                • humanoid.panda

                  Well, that’s too simple a story.
                  1. Fact is that that this was a very high turnout election, almost the same turnout as 2016, and a whole bunch of people who voted Price in 2016 now voted Ossoff. That wasn’t much, but 2-4% shift can do a lot in many districts.
                  2. Another fact: there were plenty of people who voted Obama in 2012 who voted GOP this time. So, clearly, annoying liberals is not their top value. In reality, it’s some mixture of racism and “he can fix it.” We can appeal to the latter group, and even among the former there will be people for whom racism is not the only configureation.
                  3. Your scheme ignores pure swing voters. There are not that many of them, but they still exist..

                • FlipYrWhig

                  I would like to know whether people are actually swinging, that is actually and affirmatively changing their minds, or whether, instead, we’re dealing with people switching between voting and staying home. AFAICT the vast majority of Republican voters are nationalizing every election.

                • Rob in CT

                  I think at this point we have solid evidence of a Obama->Trump voter shift, not just variable turnout.

                  Think about how muddle-headed you’d have to be to do that. Then think about how to appeal to someone like that.

                  It makes my head hurt, honestly, but it’s what Dems have to do (in particular campaigns, anyway).

                • FlipYrWhig

                  I have to think Obama-Trump voters are mainly just thinking that it’d be cool to try Something Different ™, and what’s the worst that could happen? Ugh. LeBron for president!

                • personwhoreads

                  This is a useful read for anyone who wants to better understand Obama to Trump voters in the Rustbelt. http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Dcor_Macomb_FG-Memo_3.9.2017_v8-2.pdf

                • pseudalicious

                  That Roosevelt pdf is 1) instructive 2) depressing as fuck. Jesus, people are stupid. Even when they’re saying good things about Obama, it’s in the stupidest way possible.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Corbyn’s loss but relative success in another country proves that people here want bombs and craziness, but Ossoff’s loss but relative success yesterday proves that people here are sick of everything that guy stands for! :P

      Why do people think that anybody is waiting on a “message of fundamental change”? Or any message whatsoever? This is like waiting for Red Sox fans to stop saying that the Yankees suck.

      • jpgray

        Ossoff’s loss but relative success yesterday proves that people here are sick of everything that guy stands for!

        That sentiment is nowhere in my post? Ossoff’s loss shows NotTrump may not be enough. I then go on to ask, nationally, whether we have a message that appeals to swing voters, who increasingly appear to be loony changemongers based on the wildness of their recent swings worldwide.

        • D.N. Nation

          Ossoff didn’t talk about Trump much in the ads/debate, just FWIW.

          • Rob in CT

            Maybe he should have?

            • humanoid.panda

              The problem for Ossoff is IMO
              1. Trump did win that district, albeit narrowly.
              2. He got spooked by the ads connecting to anarchists and such..

            • D.N. Nation

              Right now we have that Ossoff shouldn’t have relied on Not Trump so much, and also that he should’ve relied on Not Trump more. Awesome.

              • humanoid.panda

                Well, yes. People on a liberal comments section like to argue about politics. The horror!

                (to my mind, the answer to NotTrump or policy is yes: attack Trump as a plutocrat who wants to kill children who have cancer.)

                • D.N. Nation

                  Ossoff in the debates: Karen Handel doesn’t care if women have breast cancer, and she doesn’t care if your kid dies when you can’t pay for healthcare. It was the sharpest point of his attack and she was unable to defend herself.

                  Sometimes ya just lose.

              • Rob in CT

                I was throwing out a question, for real. Not making an assertion disguised as a question.

                I really don’t know. To me, it looks like a GOP district that had a lot of attention focused on it resulted in high turnout which helped the GOP hang on despite a Dem surge.

                I don’t know if going harder on not-Trump would’ve helped, hurt, or had no effect. But since the approach that was taken didn’t work…

                • humanoid.panda

                  Truth is that once it became a high turnout race (almost 80% of 2016 turnout), Ossoff had a problem. The way midterms work, is that one side is motivated, and the other isn’t. The enormous spending/media focus on GA-6 upended that trend. Add to this the shooting, and you have an election that was probably 50/50 three weeks ago going 52/48.

    • humanoid.panda

      I don’t disagree that we need something more than “I am a solid technocrat” to win. But
      1. There is simply no proof that people in a place like Georgia-6, who are, generally speakling, the winners of globalization, are actually pining for a socialist message.
      2. In general, its kinda unrealistic for a candidate in a red district in a special election to become some kind of Obama-like figure.

      • postmodulator

        There is simply no proof that people in a place like Georgia-6, who are, generally speakling, the winners of globalization, are actually pining for a socialist message.

        And yet if you asked ten Handel voters, I bet eight of them would talk about hating globalization. The well-off portions of our electorate have no idea how they became well-off. (Hard work! No one ever gave them a thing!) It’s kind of a problem. We wonder why they vote against their own best interests, and the answer is partially that they don’t know they’re doing it.

        A friend of mine was griping after the election about how she voted for HRC despite knowing that she was voting against her own interests. I had to point out, the past eight years have been really good to you in basically every way, and to the extent you’ve had financial troubles they point directly back at Ohio being controlled by Republicans. Democratic governance actually does work for everyone, give or take the cops who actually commit murders. We’ve got it to where no one can see that.

        • FlipYrWhig

          if you asked ten Handel voters, I bet eight of them would talk about hating globalization.

          I don’t live near this district but I find this HIGHLY unlikely. I think if you asked 10 Handel voters, 10 would talk about how their friend saw a woman use an EBT card to pay for a cart full of soda, and she had her nails done all fancy.

          • postmodulator

            I really don’t think that’s true. Authoritarians sign up for the complete slate. It’s why we haven’t had a lot of luck with wedge issues.

    • BloodyGranuaile

      NotTrump is pretty powerful and is why I think Dems need to compete in all districts, but I absolutely agree that there’s a sort of fundamental unwillingness to validate the rage and despair that a lot of people in this country are feeling (maybe not in GA-06), and that’s something that needs to be dealt with as a real and powerful force that people aren’t going to be tut-tutted out of.

      I have a lot of respect for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and I think they are smart, hardworking people that I am considerably to the left of, but who would have been a pretty good President and who was a pretty good President, respectively. But I swear to god my absolute least favorite parts of the campaign were when they tried to “counter” Trump’s anger and apocalyptic rhetoric by saying shit like “America is already great” or pointing out how well the economy was doing by official metrics. It felt incredibly dismissive — “Don’t worry, things are actually OK.” Fuck you, no they’re not! Income inequality is at 1929 levels, everyone in the city has three jobs and everyone in the country has no jobs and an opioid addiction. Oh, and the Earth is melting.

      • FlipYrWhig

        “America is already great” BECAUSE OF ITS DIVERSITY. That’s what she was referring to.

        • humanoid.panda

          This x1,000. One could quibble with the Hillary’s message, argue she didn’t focus on economics, etc. But her choice to highlight civic, multi-ethnic, multi-religious nationalism as the core Democratic value was both righteous, and, in the long run, the politically prudent one. The alternative strategy of “hide the minorities in the basement and take care of them once election is over” is both stupid and immoral.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Thank you.

            • humanoid.panda

              The cardinal problem of American political thinking is short-termism. So, Obama wins in 2012 and its obvious that demographic transformation is wave of future and GOP is doomed. Trump squeeks in in 2016, and its obvious that demographic transformation is a croak, and that Democrats are doomed.

              • humanoid.panda

                ..and the problem is getting worse, as the entire political world rushes to twitter, the most short-term of all mediums.

        • BloodyGranuaile

          And sometimes that was communicated successfully, and sometimes it wasn’t. I watched the speeches; there were *definitely* times when I was watching some very well-off people assure me that things were chugging along fine in the right direction and being angry was uncouth.

          • FlipYrWhig

            I don’t see through your eyes but this seems… selective.

        • Matty

          Sure, but I’m basically with Bloody Granuaile here. “Stronger Together” is a good message about how America’s diversity is a strength that’s hard to take out of context. “America is already great,” in an media and especially social media environment like ours, was easy to use to portray HRC as fundamentally out of touch. This is, of course, anecdata, but I’ve heard a grip of Dems, including Dem elected officials say things like “Yeah, I saw that, and I knew we were in trouble.”

          It’s hard for a candidate from the incumbent party to run on “yeah, things are hard, we’ll help you.” I get that, and I’m not sure how you’d pitch that. But there’s probably a message you could find that doesn’t lend itself to “well, fuck them, if they think things are going so well.”

      • JKTH

        The Democrats were the incumbent party in the Presidential election. Were they supposed to say “Everything sucks but give us another four years and we’ll get it right this time”?

        • postmodulator

          They hadn’t had the House for six years or the Senate for two. Harry Truman could run against Congress. Why can’t we?

          • Rob in CT

            Worth a shot.

            Not just “we’ll do this if elected” but “the Republican congressional majority is the reason these things haven’t happened!”

            Especially since a particular weakness of our coalition is mid-term turnout…

            • postmodulator

              Now, to be fair, I recall George HW Bush taking this tack in 1992, and it didn’t work for him, But he was unfortunate enough to be presiding over the first cracks that appeared in America’s social contract. The middle-class layoff, as a phenomenon, really got cooking then. Voters felt Bush didn’t care, largely because he didn’t.

          • BloodyGranuaile

            I think it’s definitely extremely tough to scrape out a third term for your party, no matter what. And it would probably have been tough for either Obama or Clinton to be angrier, since it would have turned off everyone who’s kinda racist, kinda sexist, or making more money than their parents did, and that’s a lot of people.

            But there’s a reason my mom likes Clinton better than Warren and I like Warren better than Clinton, and that reason is basically that Warren is known for yelling at bankers that they ought to be in prison.

            I concur with postmodulator that there could have been a lot more blaming of Republicans.

    • ASV

      Just seven months ago, this exact district ran a field experiment on this idea. In the race between the non-Trump Republican and a Democrat, the Republican won by 20+ points. In the race between Trump and a Democrat, Trump won by less than 2 points. The key difference between the two winning candidates is that one was Trump and one was not, and the one that was Trump underperformed the one that was not (and other recent non-Trump Republicans) by quite a bit. So it seems like portraying a Republican candidate there as being as Trump-adjacent as possible, and the Democrat as being as anti-Trump as possible, actually might be a good idea.

      • ASV

        I don’t know if this true, but Weigel says there were zero ads linking Handel to Trump.

        • D.N. Nation

          I live in GA-5, and no, there were not.

          That was Jon’s choice, not ordered by some evil neoliberal cabal.

          • FlipYrWhig

            I thought the evil neoliberal cabal was supposed to be encouraging everyone to do nothing but “Trump = bad.” That evil neoliberal cabal really needs to start singing from the same hymnal.

            • Hogan

              That evil neoliberal cabal really needs to start singing from the same hymnal grimoire.

              • wjts

                That evil neoliberal cabal really needs to start singing from the same hymnal grimoire musical adaptation of The King In Yellow, Oh! Carcosa!.

                • Hogan

                  Where the bitter wind comes sweeping down the blasted plain.

                • wjts

                  And the cultist and the shoggoth should be friends.

            • D.N. Nation

              Nah, the evil neoliberal cabal FORCED Ossoff to run even though booga booga he didn’t even live in the district. That this is the exact same talking point that the Handel campaign used is mere coincidence. Corbyn woulda won.

          • nemdam

            Wait, is this for real? I mean there’s zero reason to doubt you, but all I heard in the hot takes is “Durr, Democrats need a message other than Trump is bad!”

            So you are saying that NEOLIBERAL ESTABLISHMENT Ossoff ran on a message other than “Trump is bad”? But the naysayers (Matt Yglesias) are all saying Democrats lost because they ran on the message Trump is bad? So last night actually provides evidence that running on a non-Trump message doesn’t automatically win?

            If this is true, the dumb hot takes from this race just got twice as dumb which I didn’t think was possible.

            • ASV

              Yes, it appears that both the neolib sellouts and the pure progressives may have been complete fucking idiots in this case.

            • FlipYrWhig

              AFAICT he ran on a message of how to provide better jobs in the district.

            • D.N. Nation

              “Wait, is this for real?”

              Yep. Cross my heart.

    • pseudalicious

      I’d be interested to see if and who Obama-Obama-Trump folks voted for down-ballot.

  • Harkov311

    As miwayha has already pointed out, anyone who thinks Zell Miller’s “free college” program was anything remotely like Bernie Sanders’ “free college” program didn’t bother to look up Miller’s program, or find out how it actually worked in practice. They’re also choosing to ignore that Yellow Dogs were still very much a thing in Georgia in the 90s, especially in local and state races.

    But as Scott has noted, there will always be someone to explain that if we just say the right magic words in the right order, we can make people who went from being conservative Democrats to conservative Republicans somehow become liberal.

    I’m reminded if this clip: https://youtu.be/Mtcg2vyiDyQ

    • nixnutz

      Bernie’s plan has the same fundamental problem though. Absent major reform of public school funding it would serve to reinforce economic and racial privilege. I still think it’s worth doing, it just makes me crazy how for seemingly half of Twitter it’s one of only two “leftist” policy proposals that have ever existed.

  • nemdam

    Given that Hillary lost the district by less than Ossoff, and any other Democratic candidate in like 30 years, the only logical conclusion is that Hillary was a great candidate.

    It’s weird how no one has produced this take. But don’t worry. After last night, Yglesias cited Jeremy Corbyn as an example of how Democrats can win.

    • ASV

      I’m trying to keep this in order but I’m not sure I have all the details right:

      Hillary – LOSS
      Thompson – LOSS charged to the DNC
      Quist – WIN
      Jezza – WIN
      Ossoff – FORFEIT ordered by Pelosi
      Anonymous SC-05 candidate – DRAW?

      • FlipYrWhig

        Someone who liked Bernie Sanders got elected to a state legislature seat in, like, Staten Island or something, amounting to what BernieFest attendees considered the biggest win in the history of bigwinning.

        • D.N. Nation

          I think that’s a fine get, though it shows just how NYC-insular these people are.

        • Mellano

          Here’s the rundown:

          – several Bernie delegates winning city elections;
          – Christine Pellegrino flipping a Trump-voting NYS legislature seat in Long Island;
          – a Trump-voting New Hampshire legislature seat flipping to a Democrat with a margin of 60 votes out of 1500; and
          – the incumbent Wisconsin Superintendent of Education winning re-election when his Republican challenger had offered to drop out of the primaries in exchange for being hired into a state job by the other Republican candidate.

          I mean, each of these are great, but don’t exactly add up to the article’s purported “revolution”.

          • postmodulator

            I don’t exactly want to get in the Bernie peoples’ corner, here, but do you know how the Religious Right began its takeover of the GOP?

      • nemdam

        You forgot

        Corbyn – WIN
        Macron – LOSS

        I don’t know who Jezza is. Probably a city council seat that Bernie once mentioned in passing.

        What’s funny is arguably the best performance is Parnell in SC, but he’s an ex-Goldman Sachs banker so let’s just all pretend he doesn’t exist.

        • wjts

          “Jezza” is Corbyn, following a UK nicknaming tradition where “Darren” becomes “Dazza”, “Gary” or “Gareth” becomes “Gazza”, “Barry” becomes “Bazza”, etc. Also, they call “elevators” “upsydownsies”.

          • postmodulator

            And botulism is called steak and kidney pie!

        • ASV

          Not sure how I could forget the point of the spear with which neoliberal Europe will stab the workers of the world, but now that I remember I believe the legislative elections actually make it a swept doubleheader for Macron.

          • nemdam

            He’s so centrist he had to invent a new party to run on his platform. And he wins both the President and the legislature in an overwhelming fashion. But somehow this isn’t evidence that centrism is the wave of the future or the antidote to the far right.

            Leftists live in a bubble.

    • Karen24

      I thought that as well, and also ASV’s reply to the preceding comment.

  • humanoid.panda

    Friends, will all due respect, Jiliani is a piker. This here how a pro does it:

    • nemdam

      SEE THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO RUN BERNIE EVERYWHERE AND WHY HE SHOULDN’T JOIN THE PARTY!!#[email protected]@#%[email protected]^^#$&$%%$

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Senator Greg Orman says hi.

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