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With Self-Inflicted Pay-Go Rule, Democratic Victory in 2020 Just Got Harder


With Self-Inflicted Pay-Go Rule, Democratic Victory in 2020 Just Got Harder

John Atcheson

The day after I wrote this, "… Pelosi, Schumer and Hoyer are doing everything in their power to keep the progressive insurgency in check, and keep their neoliberal/corporate money machine in power," Nancy Pelosi and the neoliberals in Congress committed political harikari and gutted the entire Democratic Party, by making "pay-go" a part of the House rules.


“Paygo is morally bankrupt.”

The Democratic Party has been “morally bankrupt” at least since the 1985 Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation.


If I didn’t know any better, I’d have to say that this Democratic Party Establishment is intentionally sabotaging 2020.


I don’t see how this qualifies as self-inflicted. It’s not like the Democrats are apt to be paid less for inflicting it on the poor.


Atcheson sez:
“What (pay-go) means is that a piece of legislation must offset costs, either by cutting somewhere else or by raising revenue. … In fact, it is already the established practice in the House.”

Wait — what?

If it’s already ‘established practice’, perhaps the author could share with us the $1.5 trillion ‘offset’ to the 2017 tax scam … because I’m not finding it with a web search.


The Democrats would like to be in power, but their number 1 priority is to keep their patrons (in the .1%) happy and they share many of the same patrons as the GOP. This explains why they’d rather lose to Trump than have a victory with Sanders - or, even win in 2020.


If you’re giving money to the super rich, that doesn’t count.


Reagan controlled the Senate, it was Republican. Democrats controlled the House, but by much smaller margins than previous iterations. The caucus also featured conservative southern and mid-western Democrats from areas Reagan did well in. Democrats controlled the Senate and House Reagan’s last two years.


Just looking for the logic: how does helping Trump win another term help progressivism?


Voters are going to vote in the primary. If they choose, say, Warren instead of Sanders, does that mean they think she has a better shot at beating Trump?


The Democratic House passed the Reagan tax cuts after negotiations that trimmed some of his nuttier ideas back. Why? Because Reagan won a bunch of Democratic districts and took the Senate. In the old days, he had what was called a “mandate” and a divided Democratic caucus was forced to reckon with a sweeping, conservative victory that demolished the New Deal coalition (completed in 1984). Pretending historians don’t call it the Reagan Revolution for nothing does not change this fact any more than pretending Republicans would have won big in 1936 by advocating austerian Hooverism. You would never say the latter, so why pretend the former? The country changed, was more conservative, and New Deal politics was not selling. Conservatives won and their coalition has defined our politics, sadly, for two generations.

My problem with the sellout narrative is that it simply ignores the achievements of the other side. Republicans are proud of winning two massive elections in the 80s that changed this country. They won by running on low taxes, anti-union, anti-communist, anti-government themes and were up front about it. Why do progressive victimhood purveyors feel so intent on ignoring this and blaming democrats for conservative wins? That New Democrats gained credence after winning back the Senate in 1986 is only a reflection of the complete thrashing Republicans gave old-school labor Democrats in 1984. The New Deal coalition was gone, the south shifted Republican, and Reagan conservatism was the winning political philosophy. People had a choice in 1984, and by overwhelming margins they chose an affable anti-government conservative and his party to control huge portions of this country. Being a progressive was a liability, not a winner at this time, just like being a conservative was a liability, not a winner, in most places in 1936.


Note also that Democrats continue to brag about what they label “bipartisan 1986 tax reform”, the most regressive tax code revisions in history util Trump’s December 2017 tax cuts. They didn’t hold their noses and pass the 1986 “reform”, rather it was their first action after the 1985 formation of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) that accelerated the downward spiral the 99% have found themselves in ever since.


Does that really surprise anyone?


They sabotaged Bernie in 2016, and helped to elect Trump, so nothing will probably change in 2020.


Electing Democrats does not advance a liberal agenda. Here’s more proof from Pelosi.


I never said I wasn’t a progressive, just pointed out to you what happened when an unabashed conservative won in 1980 and won even bigger in 1984. It can be tough to accept when you believe you are a righteous minority put upon by the less-than true. It’s what progressive victimology dictates. Because I prefer to deal with evidence and history, even when inconvenient, I don’t always share that particular pathology. Doesn’t mean I’m not progressive though.


No, when I disagree with stuff based on facts, I say so. That’s not “bashing” anyone. And when did I “praise” the conservative movement? You tried to make a cheap, uncontextual and ahistoric point to make a case that “Democrats”—universalized of course—were at fault for the Reagan tax cut, etc. I added relevant historical context to what you said, like the sweeping victory Reagan won in multiple one-time Democratic districts. If you are a congressman who eeks out a win in a district the president carries by multiple points, you would not be crazy to think your constituents might want you to negotiate with the president, right? You didn’t like what I wrote because history doesn’t fit your cheap, easy, sellout narrative where progressives are always the victims. That’s your problem, not mine.


@Tom_Larsen is referring to Democrats in a position of influence - not to voters. The claim that most of the former group opposed Sanders and favored Clinton in a way that hardly invoked rational discourse seems clear to me. Whether that means they were sucking up to power is up to interpretation I guess.

As far as primary voters go, they of course have all different sets of motivation and if Sanders and Warren both run and Warren were to get more votes, that could be because of a number of factors. Possibly some do think she is more likely to win (I don’t, but I wouldn’t say she is significantly less likely either - neither is a sure bet, but I’d rather roll the dice with Sanders myself). Others may think she is better in a certain way - she’s been a professor, has actually put forth bold plans like socializing drug production in certain cases, and has been first to speak about withdrawal from Syria in a positive way. I think she is more hawkish than Sanders on Israel and Iran and probably other areas, but it would be interesting to see them debate such topics (among others).


If you are going to hang it here a long time, you are going to have to get used to the fact that there are a significant number of progressives who think a) the Democratic party is the best lever to currently use for progressive change, b) some Democrats in office are progressive - none of them are going to do everything pleasing everyone, but Lee, Gabbard, Khanna, I would think AOC but she is just starting, are all good assets in the House and they are more there and a few in the Senate, and c) sometimes to achieve a fraction of a progressive goal, political tactics are needed that don’t seem all that great on the surface. I fall in this camp, though I’m less inclined to tolerate as much on point c as others.

Likewise, for people like me (and @KC2669 where we agree and many others), there are plenty of people on this site who have given up on the Democratic party and just want to hear about how to bring their demise and what the Green Party can do for them. I tolerate this set just fine - I understand where they are coming from, their vote is thiers - I would never attack them for using it for the Green Party if they think it is the best even though I don’t (save for safe state voting which I do all the time).

And there are a few genuine Republican types here - what they want to accomplish, I have no idea. I’ve posted on Left Right and Center in the past (no more forum there - I just don’t get it), but it would never occur to me to go to Red State or some such crazy place and start posting. I occasionally might read a few posts from places like that so I know the arguments, get sick to my stomach, then leave.

As far as what defines a progressive - I would say it is policy - not strategy. I know you woudn’t agree with some of my policy positions - I haven’t ruled out Gen IV nuclear power, I’m sympathetic to arguments that restricting third trimester abortions is probably helpful to not losing elections, and I take a more law and order approach to immigration than most do here (I support mandatory e-verify or even better a national ID with right to work clearly marked) though I see no need for harsh policing at the border or anywhere else. I’m pro no co-pay single payer, pro free college, I want a huge reduction in our military footprint and I’m for getting out of every damn conflict we are in now, and other standard progressive positions. But aside from a few Republicans posting here most of us are going to be progressive on issues that we think are best solved that way or we wouldn’t be here. I’m positive @KC2669 fits in that set.


Sorry to hear that. In general I wish the tone on this board was more amicable since I feel we need this In real life to make the positive changes we could sure use. I’m guilty of snapping at a few people myself, usually due to a misunderstanding on my part.

I search a few posters here by clicking their circle icon and see what they’ve posted because I find them quite informative: @Trog because I am trying to understand Gen IV reactors to have a logical position on them and I find his writing to be some the clearest and most logical here, @JoanRobinson because she challenges my views from the left with great references I might not know about, @dpearl because I find him interesting and he has the most tactful style I’ve come across (which I aspire to on my better days) and believe it or not @KC2669 for a take on what someone who takes a more mainstream Democratic view with quite a bit of policy knowledge but who also (or so I surmise) shares many or most of my progressive goals. Hopefully none of them think of my replies as stalking.