All of this writing and data analysis is a lot of work! So after more than five years of posting, I've finally launched a Patreon to help pay the bills.

9/30/19

On this Sanders-Warren "truce"

D.D. Guttenplan, writing in The Nation, echoes what has become a recurring call for a "truce" between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. For Sanders supporters, this truce - as far as I can tell - can mean one of two things:
1) It is okay to argue that Sanders is preferable to Warren, even though this implies that she is the inferior candidate - but we should simply try to do so in a way that avoids unnecessarily alienating Warren supporters. Or,
2) Our priority is to avoid alienating Warren supporters. And since implying that she is the inferior candidate risks offending them, we should therefore avoid arguing that Sanders is the preferable candidate.

9/25/19

Data for Progress's climate finance problem

Data for Progress has developed a series of scorecards that aspire to "determine the thoroughness of each candidate's climate platform in addressing the features of the Green New Deal and allow for some basis in comparison". They do this by rating climate platforms in 48 different categories - for example looking at their plan for "electric vehicles," for setting an "economy-wide emissions target," and for promoting "sustainable farming".

But inexplicably, their scorecard does not rate candidates on a central question of any climate platform: funding levels for international climate adaptation and mitigation.

9/22/19

The Sanders climate plan can work. Warren's can't.


The differences are big, they're ideological - and they have consequences.

9/17/19

Warren voters should condemn the WFP's endorsement shenanigans

The Working Families Party has endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president. And it looks probable that she won with votes from only 22 to 40 percent of the rank-and-file, Matt Bruenig writes - votes that were overruled by an 82 to 100 percent majority among the leadership. But the WFP has refused to release the specific totals, making nonsensical claims that doing this would violate "the secret ballot" and lying about its access to these numbers.

Predictably, Sanders supporters aren't happy about this - but it seems to me that there are some simple reasons why Warren's supporters should also condemn the WFP's endorsement shenanigans.

9/15/19

The quiet death of "Bernie hasn't been vetted"

Bernie Sanders continues to dominate Donald Trump in head-to-head polling: he has now defeated Trump in 20 consecutive polls tracked by RealClearPolitics. And in fact, except for a single outlier - a Rasmussen poll the firm describes as "a virtual tie" - Sanders has defeated Trump in every head-to-head tracked by the aggregator this cycle.

This isn't a new trend; Sanders has been annihilating Trump in head-to-heads since 2015. But during the last election, pundits developed a standard explanation for why this wasn't a big deal: Sanders, we were told, "hadn't been vetted."

9/13/19

Everyone agrees: rich countries have to help poor countries with climate change

Ask any demographic group, and most people will agree - rich countries need to help poor countries with climate change. That's what YouGov / Economist found in its latest poll:


9/10/19

Who isn't paying attention to the 2020 primaries? The poor and oppressed.

A new poll from Morning Consult confirms an ongoing trend: voters who pay a lot of attention to politics are more likely to support Elizabeth Warren, while those who pay less attention are more likely to support Bernie Sanders.

9/6/19

I was wrong about Twitter

For several years now I have persistently argued that Twitter discourse is not actually a significant force in US politics. And for the most part, I still think this is true. For one thing, even though we often talk about Twitter as if it's some grand forum of public opinion, very few people actually use it. For another, even though we often talk about our politics as if it's downstream from the discourse, usually it's the other way around: the people in our society who have power wield it, and then the rest of us post about what they've done.

Usually - but two fairly recent developments have inclined me to acknowledge some exceptions.

9/4/19

CAP's rebrand of "universal health care" is vacuous and dangerous



Yet again, Neera Tanden is repeating the Center for American Progress's talking point that "universal health care" applies to a full range of proposals that are not single payer. The marketing reasons for making this point are obvious: UHC is an extremely popular brand on the liberal-left, and opposing it is extremely unpopular, which means that anyone who wants the liberal-left's support for their agenda needs to make some claim to the brand.