Home | About | Donate

Covid ICU Doctor and Medicare for All Champion Robbie Goldstein Seeks to Upset Entrenched Democratic Incumbent in Key Primary

Yes - the primaries didn’t end just because the Presidential race was decided. I wish more people recognized that.

For myself I only donate to Green Party down ballot races and progressive Democrats seeking to unseat corporate Democrats in primaries. These races are important in order to both build the respectability for the Greens and to move the number of actual progressives in Congress up to a reasonable level.

People here typically believe that having a dozen or so true progressives in congress is meaningless since they cannot win the day on legislative votes. But I say it’s important for progressives to be thinking both about building a strong Movement along with the electoral and legislative politics. Every true progressive in Congress is another true progressive that will be interviewed for their take on key issues by the media - another important endorsor of local and statewide progressive citizens’ ballot initiatives - and another person with a million followers in social media to drive public opinion in a positive direction.

1 Like

One-hundred percent agree with you. It’s why I was excited about candidates like Bowman in New York. You’ve probably seen my comments on the civil rights movement before, but the Democratic Party didn’t become a civil rights party over night. The party changed as the politicians running it changed, and that took time.

I’ve been donating to some of the tougher-to-win races because I think it’s also important to compete in tough places. While Doug Jones wouldn’t be who I would back here in California, I think he’s been great for Alabama, and is a decent guy to boot. As the saying goes, you gotta win some tough races to govern.

Except as I’ve pointed out before, the data shows the exact opposite. With Trump in power, third parties will have their worst showing in a long time. The MPP initiative that combines electoral and movement politics is important but I think more so are initiatives like RCV at the state and local level in order to break the LOTE vs Spoiler cycle that produces no good choices for the left.

1 Like

But that makes the median vote in the Senate the decider on all issues. So - since Doug Jones does not support the issues I care about - I don’t want him to be deciding much of anything (though I do agree with you that he seems to be a decent guy as a person and I would be thrilled to have McConnell out as majority leader when judicial nominations are made)

Serious change will require lots of data and precedent-defying events to fall into place.

RCV becoming commonplace defies the data.
NOTA voting that triggers a second election defies the data.
Finally realizing that enabling the status quo has forced us to make tough choices does as well.

A pandemic, economic calamity, and racial reckoning tied up in a bow is another black swan.
But here we are, friend.

1 Like

Someone always will be, right? I think getting McConnell out is imperative. If he’s running the Senate, nothing happens legislatively and, assuming a Biden win, gaping holes will be left in the judiciary. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat is unlikely to be filled, giving Republicans a rock solid majority. Plus, Jones is likely to be much friendlier on issues—willing to talk—than Tommy Tuberville, a dyed-in-the-wool Trumper. Just my take.

Not sure why you say that (at least for states with an initiative process). RCV has done very well as an election issue this past decade as both parties lose favor and the eclectic group of so-called “independents” seem to vote positively for RCV. My guess is that we will win at least 5 of the 8 RCV ballot initiatives this November. The momentum is there.

The concept of RCV has been around for over 150 years.
It was passed and repealed many times in the US since then.
Data from the 1890 to 1920 reform era would place bad odds on its passage.
Yet we here we are, poised to expand it – which is my point.

Claiming the data doesn’t support something kinda implies you favor not trying to start somewhere and build momentum from there. That’s not you, is it? Saying “It’s hard, the data indicates bad odds, let’s not try?”

Because if you’re going to imply that accrued data is the only way to judge future results, I’d suggest a good long look at the success of reforming the d-party from within. Or a good long look at marijuana legalization.

Exactly the opposite - I am more optimistic than almost everyone on this site - partly because of the “stranger things have happened” logic you are mentioning in this post, along with the potential for a peoples’ media with global internet access, and the potential for demographic-based change that arises with the passion of youth in dramatic times and the passing of the calcified old guard.

But you specifically stated that building a third party is a reason with merit for voting for Trump - that is where I have to push back because the evidence does matter if you are putting that forward as a thesis.

1 Like

Just as the evidence matters against all uphill struggles.

Do you think a Trump win is going to dampen the MPP?
Because a conservative win did that in the past?

I beg to differ, man.
All I’m reading about here and elsewhere is the unprecedented nature of this situation.
Of what Trump’s presidency portends.
Throw out the past, I’m told, this time it’s different.
Okay, yeah. Let’s do that.

Just to add to your point, parties do change. I really don’t understand the idea they are immutable, unchanging things. Look at the Democratic Party in the 20th century. At the turn of the century, the party was the home of staunch racists, featuring a southern base with a heritage averse to federal intervention. Conservatives like Grover Cleveland, no friend of labor, were important figureheads. A decade-and-a-half later, President Wilson, from New Jersey, signed laws that lowered tariffs, created the federal reserve, and bolstered antitrust, things near-to unimaginable a decade prior. That happened because agricultural constituencies and labor-focused people took seats in Congress.

What’s even more unimaginable, though, is a Democratic President signing a voting rights act. This would have been unthinkable in 1926, but it was very thinkable after civil rights-conscious Congressmen began winning seats in the 1940s and 50s. While it was a long process, the party changed overtime, to the point a racist West Virginia Senator who filibustered the CRA, renounced his opposition while several of his comrades became Republicans.

These are just a few examples, but I just don’t get where the unchanging idea comes from. Heck, the DLC and business orientation of the party was a change itself, a reaction to the rise of the conservative movement, Reagan’s massive reelection victory.

Was reading up on the primary races and it sounds like one of the Democrats running for Kennedy’s seat, Jake Auchincloss, would be a shift to the right. Did you know that? It doubly makes me wish Kennedy didn’t run a vanity campaign for Markey’s seat, assuming the primary goes the wrong direction.

Yes - Auchincloss is very conservative. There are also two liberals (boost ACA and public option type people) and two progressives (both for Medicare for All and one who is a Democratic socialist and also more progressive on the foreign policy side that I support). Recent polls put my guy behind and his supporters have been getting a lot of pressure to switch to the more palatable progressive to avoid the race going to the conservative. Such is politics in America.

It’s a total bummer to hear that and I wish I’d been paying more attention. It’s not that my donation would’ve have made a difference, but it’d be a shame to have that seat shift to the right. I didn’t understand Kennedy’s challenge from the get-go, aside from ego, and that only underscores my feelings of frustration with it.

On the hopeful side, I was reading up on the challenge to Neal’s seat, and if he gets replaced, Ways and Means would be Chaired by Lloyd Doggett, a definite improvement. That in itself is enough to root for Neal to lose (I probably jinxed the race now).

Curious, any thoughts on the MA primaries? I figured Neal would win, but am happy he faced a serious challenge.

You did (kidding). I heard Morse on several podcasts, seemed solid enough. I don’t know the district so I have no idea how much the non scandal affected the final vote count. I assume he’ll try again in 2.

I wasn’t as invested in this race as I am on other long shots (like WV Senator) and didn’t send money either. Not sure if money could have made the difference or not.

1 Like

A complete disaster in the congressional races. I am particular saddened that Auchincloss won Kennedy’s old seat (with only 22% of the vote!) by edging out Mermell by about 1500 votes. One unfortunate aspect of early voting was illustrated here when two major candidates dropped out after the ballots had been sent out and so they ended up getting about 6000 votes meaning that early progressive voters could have made up the difference in a close race if they had only known their candidate was out (note they both endorsed Mermell).

That is the one drawback to early voting. You are stuck if a candidate drops out.

The races are disappointing, particularly Kennedy’s seat. I didn’t like Kennedy’s primary challenge from the start; it seemed all about ego since he and Markey aren’t all that different. I am happy that Neal faced a challenge though. It’s reason enough for him to look over his shoulder occasionally at least. And, assuming there are still elections in 2022, maybe there will be a repeat challenge.

Another question because you are a statistician: how comfortable are you with the presidential race at the moment? Barring all the “x” factors, like Trump wrecking the USPS, Biden seems to be doing well. Assuming you’ve looked at the numbers, do you see things in the data that give you concern?

1 Like

FiveThirtyEight has Biden with a 70% chance of winning at this point and I think that is a fair assessment. The polls have been extremely steady with hardly any convention bounces and a much smaller “might change their mind” crowd than usual. Third parties will also have no effect on things in the Presidential race as the public spirit that drove people’s interest in third party Presidential candidates mostly disappeared during the Trump Presidency (still a strong public belief in the value of third parties for lower offices though - and hence my concentration on party building at the local level). Remember, if the polls stay steady, then that 70-30 chance of winning for Biden will grow to 80-20 and then 90-10 as the election grows closer and Trump runs out of time to change things. So where might this apple cart be turned?

The first part of that 30% potential for Trump to win then comes from changes in opinion that might happen, for example, with the debates - and I don’t see a particular advantage for him there (my opinion - not evidence based)

a second part of that 30% potential for Trump comes from turnout issues and the supposed enthusiasm gap. Including PACS there will be about $4 billion spent on the Presidential election - probably half to 2/3 of that in negative ads trying to dishearten opponents voters and lower the turnout. Right now Biden’s voters are just as enthusiastic about voting as Trump’s voters (it’s just that they have enthusiasm about voting against Trump rather than enthusiasm about voting for Biden). So the question here is whether negative advertising affects one type of enthusiasm differently than another type of enthusiasm. I haven’t seen any evidence that it does.

a third part of that 30% potential for Trump’s to win is in the idea that Biden just can’t hold it together and will play it overly safe and his lead will slowly deteriorate until he loses in a Clintonesque manner. Personally, I thought Biden was going to collapse back in January - but his campaign staff and the full force of the establishment corporate Democrats have done a marvelous job of propping him up. The pandemic thus helps Biiden a good deal as he can make scripted pronouncements from his basement, talk about his family tragedies with talk show hosts, feed the media with statements about having empathy and providing a return to a more normal and less dramatic Presidency (his only real campaign message), and generally wait out the clock until election day.

a fourth part of that 30% potential for Trump to win comes from the likelihood that he will throw out a variety of October surprises where Biden might have a difficult time refuting before the election - but I’m guessing they will be hard for the public to differentiate from all of the other crap being thrown out.

a fifth part of that 30% potential for Trump to win is with a contested election that comes down to who has the better lawyers (i.e. the George W Bush route to victory). With the full force of the Attorney General’s office behind him and a strongly conservative Supreme Court - the Biden campaign has to rely on good outcomes at the state court level that are upheld in the Federal courts. The Republicans will be contesting a huge percentage of votes in every swing state and the state-by-state rules for provisional ballots will become crucial. Thus, this factor leads me to look at data on control of State Supreme Courts in swing states. Michigan & Wisconsin & Arizona & Ohio have Republican leaning courts while North Carolina & Pennsylvania are currently Democrat leaning. So the edge on this factor goes to Trump.

1 Like