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.

11/27/19

Medicare for All isn't tanking Warren

"Democrats," according to Sam Stein, have found "a universally agreed upon culprit for [Elizabeth Warren's] stall in the polls: her embrace and handling of Medicare for All." Or perhaps that's putting it a little strong, since six paragraphs in we find out this has merely "become the topic of intense debate in Democratic circles." But either way, we know that at least four people think Warrencare has tanked her campaign:
  • former Harry Reid staffer Adam Jentleson;
  • Biden spokesman T.J. Ducklo;
  • an anonymous aide to another one of Warren's opponents; and
  • a "senior Democratic Party member" (whatever that means)
I'm not sure why it's news that two professional opponents of Medicare for All - along with (for all we know) your aging Blue Dog grandpa - think that it's a political liability for Warren; but let me propose an alternative explanation.

11/25/19

The legend of the sexist Warren defector

This article also appears on Jacobin.

Every so often, you can see a take emerge in the takesphere that is so striking - so penetrating in its insight, so damning in its criticism - that it doesn't really matter if it is actually true. And as far back as 2016, you could see this happening amid the "Bernie bro" complaints. In the early months of that year, Sanders supporters were parrying allegations of sexism by naming women who they preferred to Clinton - among them, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

At first, the response to this was to suggest that Sanders supporters were simply being opportunistic: they're only saying nice things about Warren, we were told, because she isn't running for president. But by the end of that year, that line had evolved into a hypothetical: what if Warren did run for president, and all of the Bernie bros who are saying nice things about her now refused to support her?

The irony was too good to not be true. And so, in the years since then, a new kind of Bernie bro was born: the Sexist Warren Defector.

11/15/19

Warren's plan would destroy the fight for single payer

This article also appears on Jacobin.


A recurring argument for Bernie Sanders in this primary is that he understands our obstacles are primarily political, not technocratic, and that he would bring a movement of activists with him to fight for his agenda.

Elizabeth Warren's new health care proposal, released today, presents a direct contrast to that approach. NBC News describes its basic architecture:
Warren, D-Mass., released her plan for transitioning the country to a Medicare For All health care system Friday, splitting the effort into two legislative pushes that would happen over her first term in office, but holding off — at first — on ending the role of private insurance companies.
It is perfectly obvious to anyone who thinks about this for five seconds how it would actually play out.

11/5/19

Rep. Espaillat's international climate funding bill is a major step forward

Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) has introduced The Green Climate Fund Authorization Act of 2019, which commits the United State to fulfill its responsibility to fund international climate adaptation and mitigation through the United Nations.

11/4/19

Yet another study on economic factors driving Trump voters

Just getting around to an important study on the factors behind political alignment published in Politics & Society a few months ago. The paper, by Herbert Kitschelt and Philipp Rehm, discusses the roles played by income and education among white voters.

11/3/19

Bernie still leads the class war coalition

There's been enough turbulence in the polls in recent months that I've hesitated to make any strong claims about demographics. Nevertheless, some persistent trends continue to stand out: