A Few Thoughts About Trump's Gay Adversary

Pete Buttigieg is the first homo to have a serious shot at the Democratic nomination.

Comments

1

I love him already. Death to the GOP!

2

There's nothing about Pete's positions (insofar as he has them) that stand out. He's squeaky cleancut looking, a young white dude, people know little about him, little baggage- so he's fresh. And he doesn't challenge anyone, doesn't propose anything scary or new. This is appealing to people who wish they could build a time machine and just go back to a time when things made sense "go back to normal". Regarding his sexuality, I think among liberals it ranges from not a consideration to a positive- a lot of them like him because they enjoy speculating about what it will be like to have a gay first family. Among conservatives and Republicans, it ranges from neutral to a big hell no. I don't really care about what conservatives think of a candidate since "swing voters" are a myth anyway.

But let's cut to the quick- Here's all you need to know about Pete: His plan for the Supreme Court is to split it 50/50 between Dems and Reps.

He does not understand politics if he is already making compromises before he's even come close to the challenge, already ceding power to the opposition (which wants to destroy many of our lives) before he's even engaged in any battle with him. Fuck that, Fuck Pete, he should go home and let someone who is actually willing to fight take his place.

3

@2 Why do you think "swing voters" are a myth? Roughly 10%+ of the people that voted for Trump in 2016 voted for Obama in 2012. Those would be voters that a moderate Democrat could easily reach next year. Over 40% of voters identify as "Independent." Some actually are...

4

It's a small number and their significance has been overly emphasized.

First let's take that number at face value. 52% of people who voted in 2008 voted for Obama. Around 9% of those voters later voted for Trump. That's 9% of 52%, not 9% of the electorate nor 9% of voters. So we are actually talking about just over 4% of voters, and less than 2% of eligible voters.

Second, let's question that number. Were they really Republicans in the first place? Johnson got nearly 4% of the vote himself, and when you combine his vote with Stein's you find that combined third parties are a more signficant percentage. In 2008, there were not significant numbers of third party voters. Meanwhile, The percentage of people who voted Republican stayed the same in 2008, 2012, and 2016. What was different in 2016 was the percentage of people who voted Democrat and third party, plus the percentage of people who voted altogether (the actual voter turnout). Taken altogether, I shouldn't have said that swing voters don't exist, but rather that they are just a small percentage of the electorate and not the group from which Democrats pick up the most votes when they do. Dems pick up votes from the disaffected who will otherwise vote third parties.

But even if we were going to accept the premise of the swing voter myth and pretend there's a significant percentage of people who are willing to vote for any party, what they have in common is that they want change- an outsider. This is what Trump had in common with Obama THE FIRST TIME and why they didn't vote for him in the same numbers the second time and why so many of them were willing to vote for Bernie or Johnson but not Hilary.

So overall, chasing the center to attract swing voters is a stupid (tested and failed) strategy by all accounts, even if you accept the numbers. Democrats win when their candidate fires people up enough to increase OVERALL turnout- they pick up votes mostly from third parties and the disaffected, not from folks who would otherwise vote Republicans, and even those few who do vote Dem when they've voted Rep in the past tend to avoid mainstream candidates.

Loads of people have written about this btw- it's not some shit I'm just making up. Media narratives are usually bullshit.

I have no idea how many voters identify as Independent or where you get that number from, but if it's from Gallup (https://news.gallup.com/poll/225056/americans-identification-independents-back-2017.aspx) then they are talking about AMERICANS- not VOTERS. Those are two different categories. Most Americans (half of all eligible voters and more than half when you count people who are disenfranchised for any number of reasons) do not vote. It is no surprise that in a two-party system where most people don't vote, nearly half of them do not identify as either of the two parties. However, that's irrelevant to the elections since only half of all Americans vote in the first place and most of them do in fact have pretty static party identifications. If you want to tap into that group of disaffected eligible voters who do not vote and who identify mostly as independents (due to their disgust with both parties) then you will not get it by chasing the center or trying to enforce the status quo. That's exactly what they are disgusted by.

5

Swing voters:
Voters who vote regardless of party based on their wallets
White women who base their vote on who they would rather sleep with
White men who base their vote on who they would have a beer with

The other part of the equation is getting your base to show up.

6

No @5. I don't think that's true. People like charisma and personality- that part is true- but I don't think that is more or less true of the mythic swing voter than a party hack. Getting your base to show up- absolutely. And Reps are way better at this. Dems need to rebuild a base before they can get there. Honestly I think it will be 2024 before that happens. Assuming the system survives that long.

I can really nerd out about this because I had to crunch a lot of this data last summer before the midterm for a contract gig. I wish I could think of some way to present it that's not boring, but whatevs.

The data from 2012 on Trump-Obama voters comes entirely from only two different surveys- both done after the 2016 election. It's already skewed for people who will answer such polls, but then on top of that, it's based entirely on self-reports. If you add up the data for one of them (the 2016 self-reports on who voted for whom in 2012) then it doesn't match the reality of what happened in 2012- so there is something wrong. People are either misremembering (which happens), lying (which also happens, especially with Trump voters who a) want to be perceived as not being racist, and b) who famously would not admit that they planned to vote Trump before the election throwing off the early polls), or the research methods skewed the results. In any case, the two studies themselves do not match one another. There is slightly more data on 2008 and the studies from 2016 match the reality of 2008 a little better.

Regardless, take the numbers at face value again- in either case you are talking about around 4% of voters or 2% of the electorate. Different media reports phrase it in different ways to make it sound like it's more than it actually is- like you'll hear a lot that 13% of Trump voters in 16 voted for Obama (so it's the same as saying 9% of Obama voters), but more people voted for Obama overall and that's from the higher and more flawed study anyway, the other one says around 11%- and in any case we're still talking about like 2% of the electorate. It's how people manipulate stats to match their narrative.

The data on who actually voted, what percentage of the eligible and their demographics, is much clearer since it uses actual voter rolls and census data, not self-reports. And it does not jive with such a large percentage of voters swinging between the two parties. I think it's far more likely that the self-reports (the two studies) are just wrong and the number of people who switched between the two is actually less than 4%. But even if it's accurate, it's still flawed to conclude that it is a good strategy to aim for the center or attempt to attract moderate Reps. The Rep voter turnout is static and consistent over the years (if you look at percentages, not whole numbers as the population itself changes)- so this around (but probably less than) 4% are not people who are moderates swinging between Dems and Reps but rather people who may not vote at all unless a populist candidate (like Obama with his extremely charismatic hope/change message or Trump with his drain-the-swamp rhetoric) turns them out. Therefore, playing it safe, playing to the center, is the very thing most likely to alienate them- hence Hilary's loss. Besides, they are 2% of the electorate at most, even if we accept these studies at face value. Surely the Democrats would do better to develop a populist message that speaks to the masses and stop obsessing over moderate Republican swing voters- a strategy that failed in 16 and 18.

7

@6 Well whatever the actual percentages are the more manly guy gets elected in the general.
Also a clear vision of the future helps instead of "its my turn" (Hillary, Mitt, McCain, Kerry, Gore, Dole, well it worked for Bush the first time around but he was up against Dukakis. And once the media labels you Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, there is no hope of manliness).

8

@2: No, that's not what Pete Buttigieg proposed. NBC:

In short, it calls for expanding the number of justices from nine to 15, with five affiliated with Democrats, five affiliated with Republicans, and five apolitical justices chosen by the first 10.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/inside-pete-buttigieg-s-plan-overhaul-supreme-court-n1012491

9

@8,

That's pretty freaking batshit. And I actually kinda genuinely really like it in idealized theory. In practice.... Yeah, I'm sticking with batshit.

10

@8:

But, SCOTUS isn't constitutionally mandated to appoint its own members. The number of justices CAN be - and in fact has been - changed by the Senate over the years, but Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 spells out the process: the Executive nominates and the Senate confirms/denies. It would literally take an Amendment to the Constitution to change that. And then there's the whole concept that justices, in theory at least, are supposed to be non-partisan in order to maintain impartiality (what they do in practice, is of course an entirely other matter), so even designating which are which would also seem very problematic, not to mention going against the intent of the Framers, since they deliberately excluded SCOTUS from the electoral process altogether precisely in order to minimize such political factionalism on the Court.

The fact he doesn't know something so basic about how our national government functions, is, frankly, a little disturbing.

11

8
That is the stupidest thing ever proposed.
Evidently one doesn't have to be smart at all to get a Harvard degree....

12

Raindrop, As I said, he's proposing splitting it 50/50 between Reps and Dems which is exactly what you just described. It's fucking stupid and cowardly- conceeding a fight before you even start it. Keep in mind that this is his fantasy of how the SCOTUS should be run. Even in his fantasy he's giving half the seats to Republicans? Why in fucking hell would he do that? If he has the power to nearly double the size of the court, why wouldn't he pack it with people on his own damn side? It's bullshit. That's what we need- someone who wants to split power 50/50 with the assholes who want to destroy half of us? No we need someone who understands that politics is about fighting for resources and rights, not someone seeking compromise with the Reps before he even comes close to power- he's a bootlicker or an idiot or both. This is a man who people are taking seriously as a contender against the Republicans at a time when they are rounding up immigrants and destroying women's rights etc, and this guy's plan is to WITHOUT ANY STRUGGLE give them half the power of oversight to continue to do these things?

Now I didn't even get into the second part of why this is so fucking stupid- which is the dumb naive starry eyed political novice belief that the SCOTUS is or ever could possibly be a nonbiased apolitical entity. That's incredibly fucking stupid to begin with, but let's just pretend for a second that we all live in the childish fairy tale version of reality in which that is true. If his goal is a nonbiased apolitical entity, then why in god's name does he think you achieve that by starting with a 50/50 split between two biased political parties? Even in his own stupid worldview his plan makes no goddamn sense.

But it's worse than that because it just shows that he's so fucking dumb that he thinks a neutral view of politics (and by neutral, I guess he means his own status quo) is apolitical- like it's not an ideology itself but rather some default of the universe?

It's incoherent garbage. Everyone can write pages and pages about him, but all you need to know is what I said. Even in this guy's fantasies, he compromises with Republicans and gives them HALF the fucking power.

He's the second worse Democrat running, if not the actual worst.

13

There are loads of ways to be smart. Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon.

I have no doubt that Pete Buttigieg would be one of the best candidates for a job as an interpreter. He's also really good at talking pretty, so he'd be good at PR type stuff too. His background is in finance right? So he's probably good at helping rich people make money, telling people how to invest, listening to their concerns and networking, etc.

As for college, he majored in History and Literature. OK now I think the liberal arts are super important and we need people who know more about both of those topics, but doing an undergraduate degree in them does not require any particularly well developed brain- it's more an exercise in diligence. It's probably also where he learned to talk well in a way that makes people think he sounds good without ever actually saying any goddamn thing. Which yes is a skillset and not one that I have a bit of respect for. He hasn't even been to grad school right? Not that I give a shit about politician's academics generally- I don't think going to grad school is the most qualifying thing someone can do for a career in politics, but Pete has this reputation as being this great genius when as far as I can tell, he simply has an undergraduate liberal arts degree. He wrote some essays, basically. You can find hundreds of waiters in every city with the same qualification. Seriously people need to pay attention to this. The man has two bachelors degrees- two undergraduate liberal arts degrees, not a grad degree. Then he worked in finance and joined the military before going into politics. He's just a guy who's book smart and doesn't know what to do with his life, doesn't really have a career. It's the rich white guy version of being a career student then joining the Peace Corps and then taking side activism gigs, etc. Only without the life lessons you'd get from that, leading him to fucking delusional ideas about his own grandiose place in history despite obviously not having the fucking political worldview, vision, ideology or balls to do any damn thing. Hence his incredibly stupid plan for the SCOTUS. That's who he is - his heads are in the clouds. I hope he goes away ASAP and liberals wake the fuck up and pick a fighter who actually knows what he/she is doing.

14

Here,
let us help you out with the subhead;
"Pete Buttigieg doesn't have a chance in Hell at the Democratic nomination."

Did you see the viral clips of him and the black police shooting protesters?
A thin skinned clueless white yuppie with a Deer-in-the-Headlights stare being totally slammed by protesters and telling the nice black lady 'I don't want your vote' ?

Did you know the South Bend police department has become more white under vanilla Pete?

We don't know why he will even waste an airplane ticket going to Miami....