Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Not that Super of a Tuesday, but hey...

Hope you're digging out from whatever's hitting you. A few random thoughts from 80 degrees by the ocean.

1. One of the items I read while hanging out was a summary from Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (I can't paste the link on this flipping iPad) on the following of Donald Drumpf Trump, and why he's attracting so much support. And it's a reason Democrats better pay attention to.
Every four years, some Democrat who's been a lifelong friend of labor runs for president. And every four years, that Democrat gets thrown over by national labor bosses in favor of some party lifer with his signature on a half-dozen job-exporting free-trade agreements.

It's called "transactional politics", and the operating idea is that workers should back the winner, rather than the most union-friendly candidate.

This year, national leaders of several prominent unions went with Hillary Clinton - who, among other things, supported her husband's efforts to pass NAFTA - over Bernie Sanders. Pissed, the rank and file in many locals revolted. In New Hampshire, for instance, a Service Employees International Union local backed Sanders despite the national union's endorsement of Clinton, as did an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers chapter.

Trump is already positioning himself to take advantage of the political opportunity afforded him by "transactional politics." He regularly hammers the NAFTA deal in his speeches, applying to it his favorite word "disaster." And he just regularly drags Hillary Clinton into his hypothetical tales of job-saving, talking about how she could never convince Detroit carmakers out of moving a factory to Mexico.
And can't you see that as a line of attack in a state like Wisconsin? And if Dems stick with Third Way, free trade BS that was a proven failure 20 years ago in the industrial Midwest, this could really hurt Dems in this area, especially down ticket (the area that Dems have really been hurt in over the past 6 years).

2. Watching some Super Tuesday numbers come in- the GOP is as screwed up as ever, and Dems in SEC-land love the machine politics of Clinton-world. But the real tale will come from Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. Bernie led in the exit poll in the first 2, and you'd have to think Minnesota would be a good place, given the state's progressive tradition (although it being a caucus makes it a bit tougher- party officials who rely on those "transactional politics" make up a larger share of the votes in that outdated system). If Sanders wins those, or even 2 of the 3, this thing is a race, especially given the states ahead (more blue-collar, more progressive clean government tradition).

3. My wife and others have had CNN on quite a bit the last few days as we chill at night. Not that I didn't know this, but Dear God, US political coverage is total crap. Just vapid, horse-race bullshit without any connection to policy and the effects on people's lives (although I'm not minding some of the CNN pundit group tonight, as they're basically ripping the idiocy of the GOP Establihsment and how far out of touch right-wing oligarchs really are).

By the way, no matter what media tries to tell you, there is a whole lot more of this race to go. More than 1/2 of the states in the country haven't voted, and most of those states have a lot more people in them than the ones who have already gone. Including our state of Wisconsin, so stay in the game, ignore the Acela corridor fools who don't know much, and change the game.

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