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.

6/6/19

It would be extremely good if the GOP moved left on economic issues

I do not actually think that the Republican party is moving left on economics. Judging by the caveat at the end of his latest piece - Tucker Carlson’s Praise for Elizabeth Warren Should Scare Democrats - I don't think Eric Levitz does, either.

Still, I think we should be clear about this: as the dysfunctions of liberal capitalism escalate and socialists articulate a clear, compelling alternative to laissez faire austerity, we should absolutely expect the popular consensus on economic questions to shift to the left. And we should want this to happen. We should want deregulation and tax cuts for the rich and attacks on organized labor and welfare to become so politically toxic that even our right-wing parties are afraid to touch it.

6/6/19

An early look at the Biden and Sanders coalitions

Voter coalitions in the Democratic primaries will probably shift significantly between now and when the voting starts, particularly as candidates drop out and voters adjust their calculations to the new political landscape. That said, it seems odd to suppose that current trends are going to completely reverse, and analyses based on actual polling are still much more legitimate than the kind of speculation and conjecture that has dominated talk about coalitions so far.

6/4/19

Can't beat capitalism with hashtags

The buzz around "Abolish ICE" - a slogan from the immigration justice movement that was taken up by journalists, media activists, and a handful of politicians for a few months last year - has entirely faded away. A couple of belated articles are all we have for the postmortem. By the 2018 elections, Democrats had "sprinted away" from the issue, Adam Edelman writes; in Buzzfeed, Molly Hensley-Clancy and Nidhi Prakash affirm that it "has been rejected entirely by the presidential contenders," and that it has remained "starkly unpopular with voters".

5/28/19

Everyone misread the "Sanders voters don't pay attention to politics" poll

Over the past week, multiple pundits - including Nate Silver, Chuck Todd, and Harry Enten, among others - have seized on a new Quinnipiac poll to make some confused points about how much attention Sanders supporters are paying to the Democratic primaries. The kernel of truth to their argument is that Sanders is currently winning the largest share of voters who say that they are paying little-to-no attention to the primaries. But from there, they extrapolate all sorts of conclusions that defy both basic math and common sense.

5/27/19

Gallup's new poll on socialism is full of bad news

A few months ago, Gallup released some polling that prompted a surge of sensational headlines: in NY Mag, one typical article asked "Are Democratic Voters Abandoning Capitalism for Socialism?" The answer, it turns out, was no: support for capitalism cratered by nine points in that poll, but support for socialism dropped too (by a single point). But the shift in their relative positions, giving socialism (at 57%) a clear lead over capitalism (at 47%) for the first time in a decade, was enough to spark lots of media coverage.

5/26/19

Adorno, on telling the truth

The most profound and insightful writing tells you something new every time you read it, and so it is with Adorno. Last night, re-reading his Research Project on Anti-Semitism, I came across this passage:

5/20/19

New Jacobin article on Warren's green military bill

I'm in Jacobin today with a walkthrough of the Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act - better known as Elizabeth Warren's "green military" bill.

5/16/19

Mike Gravel is running a more credible campaign than most Democrats

For one simple reason: if you want to win, you have to be willing to attack Joe Biden.

Right now, this is how the polls look:

5/16/19

Podcast chat on Fox News boycott skepticism

I laid out a socialist case for skepticism of the Fox News boycott - and what a socialist solution to Fox News looks like on Joe Virgillito's Daily Beat podcast.

5/13/19

Joe Biden is a retreat from the age of Obama

Joe Biden is going to spend the next year selling his campaign as a return to the era of Barack Obama. And this means, of course, that every other candidate will spend a lot of time reminding us that Joe Biden is not Barack Obama - that everything about him, from his record to his philosophy to his vision for the future, is if anything a step back from Obama's legacy.