Dems Need To Insult Their Base And Love Big Oil And Tell White People They're Not Racist Even When They Are
Matthew Yglesias, formerly of Vox, offered Democrats some advice on his “Slow Boring" Substack that we imagine he believes is helpful somehow. Yglesias claimed that Democrats should “try harder to win elections." Democrats currently control the White House and both chambers of Congress. They beat incumbent Republican senators in Arizona and Georgia. Yes, they really need to get off their asses.
Yglegias defines trying harder as spitting on the party's base and running to the "center." Democrats have enjoyed electoral success in the past two election cycles thanks to increased support from suburban voters and moderates, but apparently we could do even better if we beat Republicans to the punch on their BS culture war issues.
For example, Yglesias sees ample opportunity for growth if Democrats join the anvil chorus and denounce so-called “cancel culture."
Say you think it's dumb that they are putting warning labels on old TV shows like the muppets. Just let people watch stuff.
This suggestion is either clueless or disingenuous. It's only a “winning" position if the warning labels caution viewers about content conservatives don't find offensive. Rightwing groups have recently freaked out because the Hallmark Channel might produce holiday movies that acknowledge the existence of gay people. Conservatives are big on “wholesome" family entertainment. Movie ratings and the FCC guidelines weren't bemoaned as cancel culture because conservatives made the call. I personally remember when an episode of a TV show would have a "for mature viewers only" or "parental discretion advised" warning, which meant there might be a gay kiss or an interracial couple.
The network affiliates in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, would yank episodes of shows with content that offended the Bible Belt. If you switched on the TV and "Mama's Family" was airing in prime time, you knew you were missing an episode of something else with a lesbian interracial couple fucking. That's what they were watching in New York. That's why I moved to New York!
Ellen Degeneres's 1990s sitcom ran with an “adult content" warning the entire season after she came out. Her very existence was considered triggering. Democrats who publicly denounced those specific Lesbian Sighting warnings would've been quickly “canceled" at the polls.
But anyway what *I* conclude from Matt’s observation that many Democrats go on about how Republicans are an existen… https://t.co/uh0aBUgUF2— Josh Barro (@Josh Barro)1614782666.0
Yglesias has more:
Say you don't think it's fair to call people racist when they worry about crime or illegal immigration — these are things lots of folks worry about, and the government owes them solutions.
The undocumented immigrant population fell considerably during Barack Obama's presidency. People weren't called "racist" because they had issues with illegal immigration. Our objection was with the previous White House occupant's overtly racist rhetoric and obscene immigration policies. Call me crazy but I don't think Democrats should sound like Fox News hosts.
Especially if you are a Vice President Kamala Harris, a former elected official from San Francisco, say that canceling Abraham Lincoln while keeping the city's schools closed is the kind of dumb shit that makes people think Democrats can't govern, and you're mad about it.
Oh, if only Vice President Kamala Harris dragged those damn commies from her home town. Finally, real Americans in Ohio diners would have something in common with her. This is not what Republicans ever, ever do. Ted Cruz doesn't go around talking about how humiliated he is that Texas schoolchildren are taught with lost cause propaganda history books. His schtick is knocking the liberals he claims are looking down on Texans. And you know what? Voters tend to prefer politicians who go to the mat for them, even when they're a hot QAnon mess. Democrats feigning embarrassment over their own voters isn't inspiring. It's pathetic.
Say you absolutely want to invest in the next generation of technology, but you think fossil fuels have been, on net, a boon for humanity, and you sometimes think environmentalists wish we were living in caves or something.
Sweet Christ. Yeah, nothing spells electoral success quite like sucking up to Big Oil like every voter is J.R. Ewing from “Dallas." What's gained from Democrats hitting major section of their electorate with strawman insults?
Columnist Josh Barro, operating under the mistaken impression that Obama spouted drivel like this, thought Yglesias's suggestions were dynamite. He also called out what he considers a fundamental hypocrisy among Democrats. They campaign as if Republicans are an existential threat — probably because of all the sedition — but they aren't willing to do the one simple thing that would help them win over more Joe Manchins: Become Republicans. That's not just immoral. It never works.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."