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Our grifter problem


As you are hopefully unaware of, a bunch of Twitter/YouTube grifters on the broad anti-anti-Trump “left” are ginning up a hate campaign against AOC because she won’t go along with their incredibly dumb campaign to “force a vote” on M4A, a tactic which (as AOC points out) has zero chance of making the enactment of M4A or any roughly equivalent program more likely on any time horizon. As Eric Levitz explains, this is very bad:

In 2016, Dore informed his audience that it should not “freak out about a Donald Trump presidency,” as the Republican’s election would be “even better for progressives in the short term, meaning in the two-year term, and in four years for sure” than Hillary Clinton’s election would be. No significant constituency on the American left — not trade unions, immigrant-rights groups, Black community institutions, nor health-care justice organizations — shared this assessment. Four years, three Trump-appointed Supreme Court justices, and one Joe Biden presidential nomination later, it is … less than clear that Dore’s judgment was superior to that of every organized left-wing group that is actually accountable to a constituency. And the podcast host’s discernment is further called into question by his promotion of conspiracy theories implicating the DNC in Seth Rich’s death and absolving the Assad regime of using chemical weapons against civilians.

Nevertheless, Dore is certain that he has a better sense of how to advance progressive policy goals than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does.


Ignoring the structural obstacles to single-payer’s passage, the fragility of public support for the policy, and the simple fact that people can share political values while earnestly disagreeing about the best way to advance them — all for the sake of declaring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez an enemy of America’s uninsured — is a sound strategy for ginning up interest in your rant-based YouTube show. But it is also a recipe for converting your politically naïve viewers into anti-political cynics and making the U.S. left as self-deluded and internally divided as corporate America wishes for it to be.

The idea that structural barriers can be easily overcome by individual politicians who just want it badly enough — like politics is a bad sports movie — is incredibly pernicious.

Anyway, the piece is worth reading, with a lot of analysis that is important to think through how to get to a universally insured American population.

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