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The Rise of the New New Left
September 12, 2013 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.
posted by DynamiteToast (144 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
To God's ear.

My entire adult life has been spent watching my country slide slowly but deliberately into the abyss.

I'd really like to think there could be a future for my children out there that doesn't read like The Road.
posted by Naberius at 9:34 AM on September 12, 2013 [30 favorites]


It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.

Not a moment too soon.
posted by Gelatin at 9:37 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Juan González, who has been participating in and reporting on NYC politics for decades, said the primary puts the city, "on the cusp of electing perhaps its most progressive government in the past fifty years."
posted by ryanshepard at 9:39 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Punditry without any hard evidence to back him up, including talk about 2016 via the vantage point of 2013. And then it's long-winded to boot. Might be something to it, but this is just a pundit's hunch. You can hear pundits talk about their hunches all the live long day on TV. Doesn't require reading or looking at loosely related pics from a music festival in die-hard Republican Tennessee.
posted by raysmj at 9:41 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Warren-Reich, 2016.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:42 AM on September 12, 2013 [38 favorites]


This seems a little premature, no? Vermont's been sending a socialist to Congress for decades, this failed to prompt a tidal wave of liberalism to sweep the country. A liberal mayor getting elected in New York is something that could happen in just about any era, given the demographics and an appealing candidate. Personally I'd want to see about four more big city mayors or governors like him before I start singing the Internationale.
posted by Diablevert at 9:43 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh god, you guys, this mayoral race has been, so far, HILARIOUS. Seriously, Weiner flipping the bird after he came in what? 4th? The curiously inept and desperate Republican candidates basically strangling each other to death* over who is more "anti-kitten"? The dire warnings from the right that if we elect a progressive mayor the safest city in the country will somehow become a fire-strewn post-apocalyptic wasteland overnight! And doing so in campaign commercials that look like they where made in iMovie and narrated by what appears to be someone's cousin and are blunt and vague to point of being parodic? (JOB. COPS. DEFENSE. KITTENS) Oh man, it's been too much. I need a break seriously.

*how wonderful must it have been to be Catsimatidis's campaign manager? You knew you where never, ever, ever going to win so why not just charge the guy an arm and leg for everything? Go ahead and run it as a performance art, it's not like anyone will notice.
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on September 12, 2013 [28 favorites]


It should be noted, of course, that President Obama, who this article ties to Clintonian era politics, is the exact same age as Bill de Blasio.

If anyone is to thank for the de Blasio win, it's the kids from Anyone But Quinn.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:45 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh god, you guys, this mayoral race has been, so far, HILARIOUS.

Unless you live here and care about the city. In which case it has been, and continues to be, terrifying and sad. And hilarious. Which is tricky.
posted by The Bellman at 9:46 AM on September 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


I would just like to go on record as being absolutely, totally, completely, enthusiastically OK with milennials challenging both the Reagan and Clintonian orthodoxies.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:47 AM on September 12, 2013 [54 favorites]


Boy do I disagree, and I would caution against seeing some imaginary Leftward shift because of a primary and Elizabeth Warren winning Kennedy's old seat.

This was an extremely local election. Basically 12 years of Bloomberg's baggage fell on Quinn. Probably because she doesn't have his charisma and no one likes an heiress apparent.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:47 AM on September 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


If anyone is to thank for the de Blasio win, it's the kids from Anyone But Quinn.

It was downright spooky how quickly it went form "I have vague notions about Quinn but she seems like the winner by default" to "Anyone but her, and here are the reasons..." in my social circle. That's good campaigning.

(okay I really didn't like how she assumed she had the gay vote locked up )
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was at the Bill DeBlasio victory party (because I'm covering this race on assignment for Metafilter apparently) Ask Me Anything
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:48 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Potomac, did you see the hilarious NY Post article about that party? "How DARE he celebrate anything the day before 9/11! what a monster"
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:49 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unless you live here and care about the city.

Nope, still hilarious.
posted by elizardbits at 9:50 AM on September 12, 2013 [13 favorites]


I find it most intriguing that in the exact same article about how Obama talked up a liberal game while he was essentially waiting for his shot at the big office, and then swerved right upon taking that office, the author is not only confident that DeBlasio represents a sea change, but that he will somehow avoid the exact same trap. The only stated difference between Barack Obama in December 2008 and Bill DeBlasio in September 2013 is that the former had written a book in which he acknowledged the existence of Ronald Reagan.
posted by Etrigan at 9:50 AM on September 12, 2013 [11 favorites]


Posted without comment (I read it this morning and thought it was interesting, but don't know enough about the issues): Bill de Blasio, Friend of Real Estate Developers? from the New Yorker's business blog.
posted by immlass at 9:51 AM on September 12, 2013


did you see the hilarious NY Post article about that party?

Haha yeah, it was before midnight so suck it Post. He made a pretty awesome turn during his speech about 9/11 too actually. It was probably the best bit of rhethoric he's ever come up with, and actually fits this articles point well. Paraphrasing, he said "After 9/11 we came together and made sure everyone was OK, and looked out for each other. We should do that always and for the poor/needy etc."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:53 AM on September 12, 2013


I would like to know if they served tiny roasted weiners at this party.
posted by elizardbits at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2013 [12 favorites]


Q: Could any other candidate play a ton of Jay Z at his victory party?
A: Definitely not.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2013


Oh man the Post's headline right before the election? REMEMBER THERE COULD BE A BOMBING AT ANY MOMENT.
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2013


This was an extremely local election. Basically 12 years of Bloomberg's baggage fell on Quinn. Probably because she doesn't have his charisma and no one likes an heiress apparent.

Charisma? Have you ever seen Bloomberg speak? Bloomberg had money, 9/11, a financial crisis and enough crossover appeal to middle-class liberals to win elections. I'm not saying he was a bad mayor - I actually think he was pretty good, on balance - but charismatic he ain't.

New York has a notable tendency to elect obnoxious, but sometimes effective, assholes to the mayoralty and then tire of them when they overreach and their obnoxious assholeness overrides whatever made them appealing in the first place. See Giuliani, Rudolph; Koch, Edward; and LaGuardia, Fiorello. All of them eventually alienated pretty much everyone. Quinn's main miscalculation was not learning from this history.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


the author is not only confident that DeBlasio represents a sea change, but that he will somehow avoid the exact same trap.

Here's the thing about de Blasio. He has promised to ban the Central Park horse-driven carriages almost immediately (if not the first act) upon taking office. We're going to know pretty quickly if we're going to see a sea change in this city.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would like to know if they served tiny roasted weiners at this party.

Only metaphorically.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's certainly reason to believe in a political shift to the left---I expected Obama to win in 2012, but for gay marriage and recreational marijuana to win in voter initiatives was a pleasant surprise. But it's way too early to say how important it'll be. DeBlasio still has plenty of time to fuck up, and it'll only take a few major mistakes to leave people disillusioned.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:55 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, I'm sure this single politician will be the magical unicorn that saves America on the backs of vague promises to young people. The last several hundred who failed were just not as good as this guy. Did you see how after they got into office it turned out they disagreed with you about some issues and other stuff turned out to be way more complicated than they said it would? That definitely, definitely won't be true for this guy.
posted by Copronymus at 9:56 AM on September 12, 2013 [11 favorites]


Here's the thing about de Blasio. He has promised to ban the Central Park horse-driven carriages almost immediately (if not the first act) upon taking office. We're going to know pretty quickly if we're going to see a sea change in this city.

You may be interested to know that Lhota, too, is against horse-drawn carriages. It appears to be the one issue that unites everyone.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:57 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


While I think there is a hefty dose of wishful thinking in this article, it does seem among my circle of friends and acquaintances that the number of "embarrassed Republicans" has between rising for a while. Probably not enough to be a sea-change anytime soon, but heading in that direction...

(The number of critical comments regarding modern business practices by heretofore hardcore free-marketers has been especially noticeable.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:57 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, let's face it, New York doesn't attract a high caliber of candidate for city-wide offices. Anyone remember Mark Green or Fernando Ferrer? Voter turnout in New York is embarrassingly low.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:57 AM on September 12, 2013


Ok, to focus on the most trivial part of this discussion, what is the beef with the horse-drawn carriages, specifically?
posted by emjaybee at 9:58 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


No, I'm sure this single politician will be the magical unicorn that saves America on the backs of vague promises to young people. The last several hundred who failed were just not as good as this guy. Did you see how after they got into office it turned out they disagreed with you about some issues and other stuff turned out to be way more complicated than they said it would? That definitely, definitely won't be true for this guy.

Nothing good has ever happened, or will ever happen. Don't vote, kids!
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:58 AM on September 12, 2013 [19 favorites]


DeBlasio still has plenty of time to fuck up, and it'll only take a few major mistakes to leave people disillusioned.

I'm keeping my eye on that day care situation, cause I've always thought the single greatest ROI you could do is support universal day care.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ok, to focus on the most trivial part of this discussion, what is the beef with the horse-drawn carriages, specifically?

Here's an overview from a "ban carriages now" site.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:59 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


and it'll only take a few major mistakes to leave people disillusioned.

Metafilter is already disillusioned and DeBlasio hasn't taken office yet.
posted by tommyD at 10:00 AM on September 12, 2013 [14 favorites]


emjaybee, I don't think it's the most trivial part at all, but here you go.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:00 AM on September 12, 2013


Ok, to focus on the most trivial part of this discussion, what is the beef with the horse-drawn carriages, specifically?

Dedicated carriage lanes take up parking space and there have been some major glitches rolling out the new city-wide horseshare system
posted by theodolite at 10:00 AM on September 12, 2013 [33 favorites]


My entire adult life has been spent watching my country slide slowly but deliberately into the abyss.

Oh please stop. I don't know how old you are but I'm 43 and I've heard this nearly every day of my life over those 43 years and so far no abyss. We just came through a massive economic upheaval and life in America still looked nothing like what my grandparents went through in 30s.
posted by spicynuts at 10:01 AM on September 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


Having essentially grown up in the 3 decades defined by Reagan and Clinton, quite frankly, I'm sick of the whole mess.

I don't care if we get a namby-pamby, cradle to the grave, wipe your ass for you government or a 'fuck it, let's just turn off the lights in the capitals and let the States duke it out Somalia-style" government so long as we get someone who actually does what they say they're going to do.

Seriously, politicians, quit lying to everyone, stop pandering to every different demographic just to get a vote, stop listening to all those special interest groups whose interests you hate.
Just vote your conscience (or lack thereof) and let's see what this country really believes in, one way or the other.
posted by madajb at 10:03 AM on September 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


So what a bunch of the cynics in this thread are missing (by not reading every single thread about this election) is not that this is NOT some wide-eyed commie who got elected by accident, but a career politician who, when he ran the poll numbers, and listened to his advisers, realized that left-wing progressive stances are what the people of new york are interested in hearing about right now. That's why he represents a sea change, because he's merely listening to the mood of the electorate right now, who is tired of some billionaire pretending to take the train from his Manhattan aerie telling them why they are lucky to be paying the highest rents in the nation. I attribute this in large part to the Occupy Movement and the ongoing efforts of folks like Occupy Sandy bringing attention to the fact that the city's middle class is being ignored as often as the poor are being stepped on.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:03 AM on September 12, 2013 [45 favorites]


Hoping that the author is correct about Millenials but even so, the entrenched right (and center-right) isn't going to give up without an ugly fight.
posted by octothorpe at 10:04 AM on September 12, 2013


I like the horses. I walk across Central Park South all the time to look at them. I agree they shouldn't be in traffic but If we ban carriages, can we just let them hang out near the park, or better yet, pasture them in the park somewhere?
posted by Ad hominem at 10:04 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh please stop. I don't know how old you are but I'm 43 and I've heard this nearly every day of my life over those 43 years and so far no abyss. We just came through a massive economic upheaval and life in America still looked nothing like what my grandparents went through in 30s.

I'm 53. Give it time.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:04 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


If Millennials remain on the left, the consequences for American politics over the next two decades could be profound. In the 2008 presidential election, Millennials constituted one-fifth of America’s voters. In 2012, they were one-quarter. In 2016, according to predictions by political demographer Ruy Teixeira, they will be one-third. And they will go on constituting between one-third and two-fifths of America’s voters through at least 2028 .
In the words of Grumpycat: "Good."
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:05 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm skeptical that DeBlasio will be able to do everything he's promised (though I'd love it), but it's been great to hear someone consistently and loudly decry that rotten Reagan-era koan that making the rich richer makes EVERYONE richer.

I don't think he's pure as the driven snow and I'm sure that as we speak he's snuggling up to sympathetic Wall Streeters like Rattner in advance of the general election. Even so, I've enjoyed the campaign if only because it's so damn nice to hear someone acknowledge the wild inequality levels in the city without tiptoeing around how it makes billionaires feel uncomfy, wah wah. Thompson did this too, if not as effectively. It's been really refreshing, and I think that's what a lot of people were responding to when Quinn dropped in the polls.

But yeah, if BDB swings the universal pre-K thing somehow, I'll have no problem calling him the real deal.
posted by superfluousm at 10:07 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've grown increasingly wary of "paradigm shift" narratives in regards to politics. Seems like one comes out every six months, from 2000 onwards, and I'd probably be able to move that trend back a decade if I could remember more about the '90s. I'll be saving the champagne until I see something more than one gubernatorial election result.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:08 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


the entrenched right (and center-right) isn't going to give up without an ugly fight.

On the upside it could also be highly entertaining.

And yeah, one of the knock on effects of the whole Occupy movement? a whole lot of politically engaged young progressives. When was the last time you saw a bunch of 20-something that really, really wanted to talk about the minutiae of local politics? Or that "class inequality" is no longer a taboo word?
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Occupy might have fizzled out ultimately, but I hold them in large part responsible for getting income inequality to be a topic of national debate.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:10 AM on September 12, 2013 [18 favorites]


Those horses look miserable to me.
posted by cell divide at 10:11 AM on September 12, 2013


I'm 53. Give it time.

I don't think we ever really recovered from that nuclear war in the 1980s.
posted by happyroach at 10:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


And the Occupy Sandy stuff really opened a lot of eyes to how badly serviced the city's poorer neighborhoods are. I don;t think the Red Cross even showed up in the Rockaways.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Those horses look miserable to me.

They do have long faces.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [18 favorites]


Oh please stop. I don't know how old you are but I'm 43 and I've heard this nearly every day of my life over those 43 years and so far no abyss. We just came through a massive economic upheaval and life in America still looked nothing like what my grandparents went through in 30s.

I'm 49 and Reagan was elected when I was in 11th grade. Since then I've watched the systematic looting of the country by corporations and the 1% in the name of deregulation, tax reform, welfare reform, right-to-work laws, union-busting, school choice and a ton of other ways to funnel the wealth of this country from the poor and middle class to the rich.

Maybe it's not the abyss but it's not the country that I grew up in.
posted by octothorpe at 10:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [37 favorites]


Let's not forget that NYC often has its hands tied by the state government (not least of all because of tax redistribution). There's only so much that a mayor can do in terms of economic policy.

DC's been electing progressive(ish) candidates for ages, and the District hasn't exactly turned into a socialist utopia.... and our city government has a whole lot more power than NYC's does. Having good ideas about solving income inequality does not necessarily lead to effective governance.
posted by schmod at 10:15 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Funny, the last time I heard about the rise of the New New New Left was after Obama's election when we'd elected a real progressive.

WELP.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:17 AM on September 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm a year older than you Octothorpe. Growing up, I watched the civil rights movement, the Apollo landings, the end of Vietnam. There was a kind of assumption in the air that America was working hard and getting better (occasional economic stumbles notwithstanding). The first election I was eligible to vote in: 1980.

Like I said, my entire adult life has been about ripping up everything my childhood promised right in front of my eyes and mocking me for ever wanting it.
posted by Naberius at 10:18 AM on September 12, 2013 [36 favorites]


I'm skeptical of this argument in particular, but think that the author is on to something in general. De Blasio (whom I would have volunteered for if I had any free time) won with just over a quarter of a million votes, slightly fewer than Thompson and Quinn combined received. I don't know if that presages a massive swing to the left, numbers-wise, but it does suggest that enthusiasm has swung that way--and in low turnout situations, enthusiasm wins.

It's interesting that the article didn't touch on the fact that "millennials" (christ) have been moving back to the city in droves, looking for living situations that don't require cars, or the effects that the internet has had on the new generations' politics--two factors that on the Clinton/Reagan scale appear to be shifts to the left that aren't necessarily. De Blasio's campaign focused on improving the standards of city living across the board, from universal daycare to declaring support for Vision Zero (no traffic deaths by 2020) as much as he opposed Bloomberg's connections to Wall Street. Oh, and Ray Kelly.

I'm not expecting De Blasio to be pefect--no politician ever is--but if he delivers a tenth of his platform it's going to result in a significant improvement in NYC life in general.
posted by thecaddy at 10:19 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


For anyone who paid attention Obama's always clearly been a neo-con or at least neo-con adjacent. He's the Brooklyn Heights of Neo-conhattan.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:20 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Q: Were people yelling "Whose City? OUR CITY!" off and on during the bedlam of cheering for BDB's speech?
A: Yes they were.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:21 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Things got so bleak in the 00s that anyone who isn't a foaming at the mouth loon is a welcome change. Kinda sad we got to this point, but we've got 30 years of ascendant right-wing asshattery to deal with.
posted by The Whelk at 10:22 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thank goodness that America was a pristine utopia right up until the 1970's when those nasty conservatives started to gain power. Maybe this lefty can help it get back there.
</hamburger>
posted by blue_beetle at 10:22 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yeah, one of the knock on effects of the whole Occupy movement? a whole lot of politically engaged young progressives. When was the last time you saw a bunch of 20-something that really, really wanted to talk about the minutiae of local politics? Or that "class inequality" is no longer a taboo word?

Ok but nobody votes. Nobody! Half the city is registered to vote and less than 1 in 4 registered votes bothers to show up. These primaries are probably the single election that affects day-to-day life in New York most. Holding up signs is fun and glamorous but going to the gym at your local middle school one Tuesday in September is boring and anonymous. That's why so much of this visible shift is meaningless.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:23 AM on September 12, 2013


Anything that helps stop a slow slide back into the 19th century is progress, no matter how small.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The anti-carriage-horse arguments, for those who don't want to read the links:

1. Cruelty; the animals get no days off, no pasture time, are stabled in unsafe conditions and work long hours breathing exhaust and walking on pavement. They are often spooked which leads to injuries/death. They often end up in slaughterhouses after they are "retired."

2. Safety: spooked horses have injured people, and carriages leave ruts in dirt paths that apparently cause problems.

3. Hygiene: Horse poop and smell,

4. Money: Cabs are cash-only and the City isn't getting a well-defined chunk of that cash (apparently).

5. Traffic: They slow it down, by a lot, when they are on roadways.

There are lots of things equally annoying/enraging in the city, of course, so I am surprised this has reached BAN NOW status, but it sounds like a good idea. I find reason 1 the most compelling, but tend to think that reason 4 had a lot to do with it and reason 3 also, given that rich folk live around the Park and don't like bad smells wafting into their million-dollar penthouses.
posted by emjaybee at 10:24 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


I voted and I pestered everyone I knew until they voted as well. And I'll do it again. Baby steps.
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Half the city is registered to vote

I presume the other half are those helpful Russian billionaires.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:26 AM on September 12, 2013


Gothamist: Solitary Voting Booth Set Up For Single Voter Goes Unused On Primary Day
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:30 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Spoiler alert on TPS' link. It wasn't the guy being lazy. He moved away two years ago.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:32 AM on September 12, 2013


Where I live in San Francisco my voting district is so small we do it by mail. (Ask Me Anything).
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:35 AM on September 12, 2013


The 1970s featured energy crisis, Watergate and Nixon's resignation, the beginning of an economic depression in black America, stagflation. How could a kid growing up in the 1970s not have noticed, unless his or her family were apolotical? Or did I just have too much of a politically attuned family? I don't know.

Anyway, the conservative turn had already taken hold, somewhat, before Reagan's election in 1980. Carter was all into deregulation, and Ted Kennedy pushed airline deregulation along. I remember trucker shootings in the Deep South related to trucking deregulation.

But things went too far with deregulation, especially of the financial variety. We never learned from the disastrous S&L crisis of the 1980s. Elizabeth Warren's politics are thus more worth talking about, to me, but ... I don't care for Presidential Savior in 2016 talk, and neither should you or anyone. The Presidency is not as powerful as articles like this suggest. I suspect Warren is of more benefit in the Senate, where she won't get bogged down in foreign policy crises or nomination battles galore. It would be vastly better to focus on Congress as a whole anyway!
posted by raysmj at 10:37 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren is not a leftist. She is a centrist Republican politically. She stands out because she has said some honest things about what is happening to this country.

Bill de Blasio is not a leftist. He was Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign manager for fucks sake. He is a Clinton democrat who didn't piss leftward as part of his campaign.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:43 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


It would be vastly better to focus on Congress as a whole anyway!

Yep.
posted by The Whelk at 10:44 AM on September 12, 2013


The generational argument is very interesting and I think it could be right.

However, this is just one election and New York City, for all its cultural significance, is not a reliable political bellweather for the rest of the country. Bloomberg, like most NY mayors, was quite prominent nationally but his election wasn't a sign of a new centrist, technocratic wave of elected officials.
posted by Area Man at 10:45 AM on September 12, 2013


They often end up in slaughterhouses after they are "retired."

I can't see a problem with that. Horses are basically a prettier kind of cow.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:45 AM on September 12, 2013


In most local politics it isn't the voting that really matters. It's not the counting either.

It's who can bring pressure to bear on already elected politicians once they have secured their spot. Or instead of pressure who can deliver a free hot tub.
posted by srboisvert at 10:45 AM on September 12, 2013


I can't see a problem with that. Horses are basically a prettier kind of cow.

Wow. You do realize the difference between humanely killing an animal for food and slaughtering an animal for no reason, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2013


Wow. You do realize the difference between humanely killing an animal for food and slaughtering an animal for no reason, right?

People ARE eating the horses though?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:47 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


First the cronut and now the horseburger - you forward-thinking New Yorkers have so much to teach us!
posted by Tevin at 10:49 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Dude, Bareburger
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 AM on September 12, 2013


It would be vastly better to focus on Congress as a whole anyway!

That's the trick, really. Why are the Democrats so feckless? The real wave of the future is not focusing on a few strongmen leading lights, as if they were the reincarnations of FDR, JFK, or LBJ, but instead to inspire a mass movement with said strongmen. Where is the counter-Tea Party? Why can't progressives organize?
posted by Apocryphon at 10:50 AM on September 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


The meat would be local!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:50 AM on September 12, 2013


Anyone else remember the epic battle over the carriage poop bags? Which mayor was that?

Personally if give the choice between well cared for horses in the streets of Manhattan and cars, I would take horses.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:53 AM on September 12, 2013


Huh, so politics are completely different now because young people are voting for this new guy, eh? Please do go on...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:53 AM on September 12, 2013


Why can't progressives organize?

Traditionally, alienation from the mass of working class voters that should be their bloc and circular firing squads over ideological purity. I think this is changing however, as evidenced by the extremely well run campaigns like we see here.
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sure, de Blasio promises to get rid of the horses drawing the carriages, but have you ever asked him what he's replacing them with?



People.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.

Every time I see stuff like this--which is after every election and coming from whatever side won--the only thing I take away from it is "this writer is not serious and should probably be ignored from now." Such statements are always, always wrong and show a fundamental lack of understanding of history, our political system and our electorate. Political, social and demographic change is always slow and incremental; it is never revolutionary or dramatic. And people who earnestly believe "this time will be different" suffer from something akin to battered spouse syndrome.
posted by dios at 10:56 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


young people are voting for this new guy, eh?

De Blasio won exit polls among every single demographic.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:57 AM on September 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


And people who earnestly believe "this time will be different" suffer from something akin to battered spouse syndrome.

God forbid people have hope? But honestly, if some of the things de Blasio claims to want (public pre-k, a rent cap for people living with HIV/AIDS) happen in the next year, then this time will be a lot different from a mayor who wanted to take away our large sodas and wanted to tell moms they had to try breastfeeding before getting formula samples.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:59 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd be thrilled with political upheaval in both the DNC and GOP, and I think that some sort of upheaval is probably unavoidable.

I'm not convinced that's a reason for anyone to be optimistic though.

For the GOP: yeah, shit is weird. Social issues which anchored the party are spinning out of control. Gradual coloring of the electorate. But also immense gains in state government which will bolster national GOP efforts for at least the next seven years. And--things being a word from my political-organizer younger brother--the GOP seems to be doing a lot better at candidate recruitment amongst people under both 40 and 50 than the DNC, for whatever reason.

For the DNC: shit is also weird. The author is basically spot on in his assessment that Clintonism is basically just a moderation of big-government liberalism, adding a technocratic flavor (which has deep epistemic problems, but that's another conversation) but nothing in the way of actual positive programming. It probably enabled the Democratic party to survive the enormous anti-government backlash of the late 1970s and 1980s, but it certainly didn't do anything for the party's long term direction.

But for both parties: populism is unpredictable. I'd agree that even if we have heard the last of Occupy, the ideas that it represented haven't necessarily gone anywhere. But populism is fickle as the mob. In the EU, populism today seems almost entirely right-wing and actually outright fascist in many cases. Greece in particular, it's out there. Euroskepticism is certainly a growing force in many places.

Also for both parties: I think we're starting to reach the point where things which could not go on forever are starting to stop. There is an upper limit as to how much we can afford to spend on health care. There is a lower limit on the number of people paying into government benefit programs before said programs start to have hideous amounts of red ink. There is an upper limit on the amount of taxes the voting public is willing to pay. There is a lower limit to how much we can afford to spend on infrastructure. There is an upper limit to how many inmate-days generated by the criminal justice system that we can actually afford to pay for and and upper level on the amount of perceived crime that the voting public is willing to deal with.

Contrary to what seems to be the prevailing thought in both progressive and conservative circles, I think we're running up against a lot of those limits. The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Progressives had a very easy case to make for improving government because the government was horribly ridden with corruption and graft. That's mostly gone now, and what improvements we might make to government are a lot harder to pull off than those reforms were. Movement Conservatives are starting to find--with the failure of the recent Farm Bill as an example--that ideology aside, the only segments of the budget that are big enough to be worth cutting would involve enormously painful changes to the way America as a society operates. Progressives are still pretending that the programs they want to fund will cost a trivial amount of money, but the ongoing debacle that is the implementation of the ACA is rapidly proving them wrong. The educational system is broken in ways that probably don't have anything to do with the system itself.

Something's gotta give, and it's not political intransigence on one side of the aisle or the other. Neither party seems to have a realistic way forward.
posted by valkyryn at 11:03 AM on September 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren is not a leftist. She is a centrist Republican politically. She stands out because she has said some honest things about what is happening to this country.

Even if that were true (I'm not convinced you're right), I'd happily take an honest, caring Republican over what we've got on either side of the aisle these days.

I've been continually disappointed that the "freedom-loving" Republicans weren't leading the charge for gay rights. In my mind, the ideal Republican senator is some old guy who'd have the balls to say, "I don't know how or why they'd want to marry another man, but God love 'em, this is America, right? They deserve freedom like anyone else." But no, that sort of man (or woman) with integrity was run out of the Republican party a long time ago.

Same thing for pretty much any issue. It used to be a conservative value, for instance, to care about the environment. It's sad that the most recent Republican president that I can look up to is Nixon.
posted by explosion at 11:04 AM on September 12, 2013 [11 favorites]


Exactly explosion, we need to stop the hand-wringing over ideological purity and consider anyone who isn't actively trying to make our lives worse as an ally. Big movements have big tents.
posted by The Whelk at 11:06 AM on September 12, 2013 [11 favorites]


Sorkin Republicans.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:15 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe Bill de Blasio got lucky. Maybe he only won because he cut a sweet ad featuring his biracial son. Or because his rivals were either spectacularly boring, spectacularly pathological, or running for Michael Bloomberg’s fourth term. But I don’t think so.

Yeah, I'm going to go with A), B), C) D) and E) rather than the author's wishiest-of-wishful-thinking theory.
posted by ook at 11:16 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been continually disappointed that the "freedom-loving" Republicans weren't leading the charge for gay rights. In my mind, the ideal Republican senator is some old guy who'd have the balls to say, "I don't know how or why they'd want to marry another man, but God love 'em, this is America, right? They deserve freedom like anyone else." But no, that sort of man (or woman) with integrity was run out of the Republican party a long time ago.

Three sitting Republican Senators support gay marriage. I don't recall MeFi conversations about the latter two, but I recall when Portman came out in favor of it, the reaction was largely, "Well, yeah, because he has a gay son. He's still a self-serving asshole."
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


While Warren would probably be a damn fine President, and would definitely try to put the brakes on the corporate juggernaut that's ruining this country for ordinary people, I do not want to give up my awesome new Senator so soon. I've endured the seemingly endless span of tepid liberalism that was Senator Kerry's term in office; the Warren years are going to be my reward for that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:20 AM on September 12, 2013


this is wishful thinking. He won because of ABQ.
posted by JPD at 11:21 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


God forbid people have hope?

God forbid people have change.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:22 AM on September 12, 2013


He won because of ABQ- I would think it's more likely she lost because of ABQ.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:22 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Extrapolating a single NYC primary result out across the political future of the entire nation is a bit, shall we say...enthusiastic?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:24 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, ABQ did the work clearing the field, but it wouldn't explain why Thompson didn't come closer.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:24 AM on September 12, 2013


but I recall when Portman came out in favor of it, the reaction was largely, "Well, yeah, because he has a gay son. He's still a self-serving asshole."

IIRC that sentiment was primarily in part due to Portman's previous history of intolerance and his immediate shift to tolerance once his son came out, but I may be remembering incorrectly. (and i am too lazy to find and read the mefi thread, admittedly)
posted by elizardbits at 11:32 AM on September 12, 2013


The afro isn't just pandering (it may be a little pandering, in that his parents weren't like "Get a haircut Dante" but surely were like "Yeah cool keep growing your hair it looks great in photos haha") it is a potent political symbol. It says: "1970s new york". It also says "90s California". It says "Black Power" but it also says "Interracial Love". It says "Funk". It says "Hip Hop". It says both "History" and "Youth". And finally it obviously says "Brooklyn As Heck".
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:32 AM on September 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


I met Dante last week. I'm pretty sure his afro says "I am awesome."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:36 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


The new left/ ho ho. New York--and I love the place--is hardly representative of America as a whole...Now the new left should tell us how those making not very much can begin to afford to live in this now soon to be enlightened city.
posted by Postroad at 11:39 AM on September 12, 2013


I'm pretty sure his afro says "I am awesome."

He is and it does. I wasn't saying it's fake or something, just that it reads (especially in the commercial that had a lot to do with BDB's ascension in the polls, and inspired the Bloomberg gaffe that clinched it) as a lot of other things to voters.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:40 AM on September 12, 2013


I'd caution against reading too much into DeBlasio's primary win. While it seems like it's going to be a return to a historical norm (ie the Democratic mayoral primary winner being the mayor) that hasn't been true for almost 20 years (David Dinkins election in 1989 was the last time NYC elected a Democrat as mayor), DeBlasio hasn't actually won the general election yet. I don't believe Lhota has a chance, but then I didn't think Bloomberg was going to win in 2001 either. Some crazy thing could happen that has Lhota squeaking out a win.

Various things have created conditions that have helped him greatly - Bloomberg fatigue, strong opponents shooting themselves in the foot and imploding, and just a lot of blah candidates. Has DeBlasio so far managed to outmanuever all his opponents? Yes. Has his campaign been well run? Yes. Does he seem to have people's ears right now? Yes. However, a lot of this is likely due to him being an experienced politician and campaigner - this is not a wet behind the ears do-gooder who suddenly caught lightning in a bottle. This is a man who knows the game and the system, and is playing it like a veteran. The stories of Cesar Chavez or the union men who battled the Pinkertons are far more inspiring than this.

To use a baseball analogy, Bill DeBlasio's team is looking a lot like the 1985 Kansas City Royals or the 1990 Cincinnati Reds - good, but not great teams who took advantage of stumbles by traditional powers, and favorable circumstances to memorably plant their banners on top of the hill for one glorious moment. Decades later we remember them as the 1985 and 1990 champions, and their memorable run to the championship. But we do not remember dynasties, or major legacies.

That being said, I hope DeBlasio turns out to be really good mayor who exceeds my expectations.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:41 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


whoops --> almost 20 years should be "over 20 years"
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:50 AM on September 12, 2013


Extrapolating a single NYC primary result out across the political future of the entire nation is a bit, shall we say...enthusiastic?

But it's New York! The only place in the US that matters!
posted by clockbound at 11:52 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


But it's New York! The only place in the US that matters!

I KNOW PEOPLE WHO LITERALLY BELIEVE THIS
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:02 PM on September 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


I do enjoy the NY Times features where they go on safari in the suburbs (or, say, Queens) and discover people live there! And they have shops and restaurants and everything!
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:09 PM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]



The amazing thing to remember is that pre-Giuliani the norm was for the Republican to come in third in the general election - even when the state as a whole was actually closer to the mainline of the national republican party.
posted by JPD at 12:13 PM on September 12, 2013


My entire adult life has been spent watching my country slide slowly but deliberately into the abyss.

Oh for the love of god cut this crap out.
posted by xmutex at 12:21 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "*how wonderful must it have been to be Catsimatidis's campaign manager?"

That's CATSimatidis.
posted by zarq at 12:25 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally, I think Warren is great. I'm glad she is my senator, but no one should be confused about where she is coming from politically:
In an interview with The Daily Beast released on Tuesday, Warren, 62, who recently began a bid to unseat Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) admitted that up into her early 40s she was a Republican.

"I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets. I think that is not true anymore," Warren said. "I was a Republican at a time when I felt like there was a problem that the markets were under a lot more strain. It worried me whether or not the government played too activist a role."
She's not a Democrat because she's no longer a fan of free markets, she's a Democrat because the Republican party consists of 1/2 corrupt big business and 1/2 religious zealots. ( The MERS scandal alone shows that the Republican party is actually against the concept of private property, if it gets in the way of the big banks making money)

Allowing people like Peter Beinart define the poltical boundaries is part of what's wrong with this country. It's why conservatives like Obama and Booker are the "left", and centrists like Warren and Di Blasio are considered to out of the mainstream.
posted by ennui.bz at 12:28 PM on September 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


New York has always been weird when it comes to party affiliation. Ed Koch ran on at least one occasion as the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties. (he was opposed primarily by the nominee of the Conservative party that year.) Even weirder, Rudolph Giuliani, in both his successful mayoral campaigns, ran as the nominee of the Liberal party and the Republican party.
posted by deadmessenger at 12:32 PM on September 12, 2013


He is and it does. I wasn't saying it's fake or something, just that it reads (especially in the commercial that had a lot to do with BDB's ascension in the polls, and inspired the Bloomberg gaffe that clinched it) as a lot of other things to voters.

One can only imagine how it reads to that certain cadre of wingnuts who are still calling Trayvon Martin a thug who deserved to die. Unfortunately, one doesn't have to imagine very hard.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:36 PM on September 12, 2013


Let's not forget that NYC often has its hands tied by the state government (not least of all because of tax redistribution). There's only so much that a mayor can do in terms of economic policy

Yeah, this is what worries me about De Blasio. In the debates, when asked how he would get Albany to go along with the taxes he needs for pre-K, he kept saying "If the people demand it, Albany will have to go along." And I thought "What the fuck dude you are talking about Albany! Are you really that naive, or are you lying?"
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:38 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am so, so tired of the old "the right says this, the left says that, so the correct thing is doubtless somewhere in the middle!" paradigm. Lets please stop pretending that the right has anything like a governing program, and listen to the many different ideas coming from reasonable people.

Conservatives are starting to find--with the failure of the recent Farm Bill as an example--that ideology aside, the only segments of the budget that are big enough to be worth cutting would involve enormously painful changes to the way America as a society operates. Progressives are still pretending that the programs they want to fund will cost a trivial amount of money, but the ongoing debacle that is the implementation of the ACA is rapidly proving them wrong.

The crazies don't care about whether society functions, and the old-school republicans are having a hard time containing the crazies. The Affordable Care Act looks like it will save a lot of money for just about everyone but those under Republican governors who are rejecting Medicaid. What is this "debacle?"

There is a lower limit on the number of people paying into government benefit programs before said programs start to have hideous amounts of red ink.

I'm not really sure what this is supposed to mean, but it sounds like "Social Security and Medicare are gonna go bankrupt soon! OMG!" This is not true unless you regard something decades down the line as "soon." This is just the usual right-wing claptrap. I have a permanent solution anyway, though: remove the cap on income taxed for Social Security and make it at least a non-regressive tax. Boom! Done!
posted by lackutrol at 12:45 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am so, so tired of the old "the right says this, the left says that, so the correct thing is doubtless somewhere in the middle!" paradigm. Lets please stop pretending that the right has anything like a governing program, and listen to the many different ideas coming from reasonable people.

The crazies don't care about whether society functions, and the old-school republicans are having a hard time containing the crazies. The Affordable Care Act looks like it will save a lot of money for just about everyone but those under Republican governors who are rejecting Medicaid. What is this "debacle?"


Quoted for truth.

SO MUCH of the debate is centered on absolute lies: We're broke. Taxes are too high; as high as they've ever been. Government can only break things. The "free market" is the only system that works. Government jobs aren't real, actual jobs. The deficit is growing. We can save our way to prosperity. Jobs bills are a waste of money. Infrastructure can be ignored until we get back on track. Welfare and food stamps are breaking our backs.

It's absolute crazytown. And giving any credence at all to those lines of "reasoning" is crazytown, too.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:17 PM on September 12, 2013 [12 favorites]


Reagan and Clinton trimmed a few programs slightly, Clinton enough to balance the budget briefly. Yet, no president or congress has made the deep cuts into defense and law enforcement required for any real reduction in spending, debt, and taxation. Should we call Reagan through Obama the bullshit political generations?
posted by jeffburdges at 1:29 PM on September 12, 2013


Reagan and Clinton trimmed a few programs slightly, Clinton enough to balance the budget briefly.

Welfare reform - and other Clintonian "triangulation" policies, whatever their merits in other ways - played a teeny tiny role in balancing the budget. Clinton balanced the budget mostly because the economy boomed, and because he and Bush I pushed through tax increases. I also believe Clinton did cut military spending, at least in his first term.
posted by breakin' the law at 1:41 PM on September 12, 2013


jeffburdges: this will blow your mind, but why do we need to cut spending? I mean, I'd like to cut defense too, if only for the reason that certain people want to use our fancy toys, and that money is mostly wasted. But I have no problem with massive investments in education, infrastructure, clean energy, and all sorts of other things that will make people's lives better, the country better off, and everybody gunning for a better future.

Oh wait, I forgot: government budgets are just like family budgets. Why can't those folks in Washington balance a checkbook!?
posted by lackutrol at 1:42 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are there any old-school republicans even left? The New England types.....I think Lincoln Chafee has switched parties, and he seemed to be the last of that crew. As for the conservatives, hell, guys like Richard Lugar are painted as liberals in Tea Party rhetoric.
posted by thelonius at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2013


Remember when the cold war ended and the going story was that we were going to reap huge peace dividends because of the reduced need for national defense investment in spending and manpower? Or when that time when the invasion of Iraq would pay for itself through oil revenues? Ha ha, that was so cute and funny when people believed that!
posted by Daddy-O at 2:05 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: "But it's New York! The only place in the US that matters!

I KNOW PEOPLE WHO LITERALLY BELIEVE THIS
"

The weird thing about this is that I think we've long past the point where New York is a net consumer (rather than producer) of "culture". I'm always surprised by how little cultural influence New York seems to have on the rest of the nation.

Yeah, it's awesome that NYC is a melting-pot of everybody else's culture, but I have a really tough time identifying unique bits of NYC culture that are successfully exported. NYC's a unique place, but it seems surprisingly uninfluential.
posted by schmod at 2:31 PM on September 12, 2013


I have a really tough time identifying unique bits of NYC culture that are successfully exported.

For about 150 years NYC was like the great big network switch through which almost everything important entered or left the US. It was the biggest hub of shipping, and because of that immigration and manufacturing, and because of those communications. It was the hub where the things that came over the transatlantic cables were brought together and assembled and sent onward through first the wire services and then radio and television when those networks took root. It was the epicenter of other radio and TV production when technology required them to be live and by inertia for some time afterward.

But bit by bit NYC's centralness has dissolved. Now radio and TV can be recorded and broadcast from anywhere, and they are. Container shipping passed that baton to more suburban ports where inland transportation was more convenient, and the manufacturing followed. Nowadays the main thing that's special about NYC is, well that it's NYC. But there isn't a lot left that you can do in NYC that you can't do anywhere else, whereas there were a lot of such things from the early 19th century through 1980 or so.
posted by localroger at 2:47 PM on September 12, 2013


Man, progressives, when you get a blowjob this long, you usually have to leave the money on the dresser.

I'd love to believe that the nation is coming back around to uh, such liberal stalwarts as LBJ, but I think it's gonna take at least a decade to really see it.
posted by klangklangston at 2:48 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have a really tough time identifying unique bits of NYC culture that are successfully exported.

New York City publications lead the nation in snarky articles about the inferiority of Los Angeles' culture.
posted by cell divide at 2:54 PM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


What about Lady Gaga? We exported her, don't we love her anymore?
posted by Ad hominem at 3:02 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a really tough time identifying unique bits of NYC culture that are successfully exported.

Would that it were so! Then we wouldn't be covered in tourists wanting 30 Rock/Sex & The City/Ghostbusters/Men In Black tours!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:19 PM on September 12, 2013


Yeah, it is actually kind of hard to tell because so much of American pop culture is from New York. Like the frog, you guys stopped noticing the hot water.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:23 PM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


From everyone's favourite liberalish blogger:
De Blasio's campaign message and its strong focus on inequality is definitely a populist break with Clintonite politics. But his campaign agenda of higher taxes on a small slice of wealthy people in order to finance increased investments in early childhood education fits extremely comfortably inside the current Democratic Party consensus. Just ask Lawrence Summers who thinks that "the current tax system is, in certain ways, manifestly unfair at a time of rising inequality" and that "there are fairly expensive aspects of the current tax system that favor the most fortunate – aspects that border on the indefensible."

[snip]

There's a clear hunger in the Democratic Party's base for more left-wing measures than they're getting from the Obama administration and its neoliberal sellout lapdogs. But the main reason we don't have higher taxes on the wealthy to finance more domestic social services spending isn't the neoliberal sellout lapdogs—it's congressional Republicans.
posted by vasi at 3:35 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I believe society should seriously invest in the Bertrand Russell, Bob Black, etc. position that, if you give people free time, education, health care, and maybe a little basic income or welfare or "meritfare", then they'll do interesting, important, and useful things, lackutrol.

In other words, I'd tentatively believe the "leisure" class's main assets were always just leisure and education, not some subculture traits that distinguished them from the plebes, which is what right-wing believe. There is evidence both for and against this position, but I believe the positive evidence and huge potential pay off warrant serious efforts. "It is in countries where people work the longest that they spend the most time watching the tube -- Japan, South Korea and the U.S."

I'm therefore quite worried about the waste, corruption, etc. created by the Keynesian "tax & make bullshit jobs" approach. Yes, Keynesianism does what Keynes claims. And economies obviously don't work like personal finances. Yet, Keynesianism spends not only money that nations print, it spends people's time as well, and it spends only where the powerful want spending. It creates an overly planned economy that cannot see far enough beyond the planners vision.

We could harness vastly more people's creativity and vision by giving them leisure time and financial freedom. We should especially not squander our leisure time funding an excessive military that's mostly pure waste or excessive law enforcement that actively makes the country worse off. Imagine you invent a tool that liberates a few million man hours per year. Is it okay that Keynesians come along and spend that million hours hiring more DEA, TSA, etc. agents? No!

What happens if I'm right in that people live better but wrong in that they all just do art with their new leisure instead of science and engineering? I'm not worried because the arts involve more and more technology every year, eventually all the VJs will need to learn mathematics.

Anyways, I'm not impressed by a "new left" that merely retreads the recovery from the abuses of the industrial revolution when we should try to go so much further.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:54 PM on September 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


Exactly explosion, we need to stop the hand-wringing over ideological purity and consider anyone who isn't actively trying to make our lives worse as an ally. Big movements have big tents.

The left already does that, it's why Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate and don't torpedo as many electable moderates in primary elections.

If you want to go further left it's a matter of actually having to care about ideological purity like the tea party does, which can end up self destructive.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:57 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Or care a little less but still care and make slow deliberate progress in moving a tiny bit left as we go, which is what appears to be happening.)
posted by Drinky Die at 3:59 PM on September 12, 2013


Container shipping passed that baton to more suburban ports where inland transportation was more convenient

Uh, no, NYC is still third by tonnage, 1st on the East Coast, as it has been since basically forever.
posted by zvs at 4:50 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, NYC is third *if* you include New Jersey, which is a pretty big add-on.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:06 PM on September 12, 2013


New Jersey is the suburban port that stole NYC's thunder. New Jersey is not NYC.
posted by localroger at 7:32 PM on September 12, 2013


I'm no shipping expert, but "Port of New York and New Jersey" is the actual name of "Port Authority". It isn't NYC and all of New Jersey, it is three specific ports, one in Brooklyn, one in Staten Island and Port Newark, which is pretty far from a suburb. They also own a whole shitload of other things like, Port Authority bus terminal and One World Trade Center.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:43 PM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


The amount of positive change members of the Democratic Party can achieve is structurally limited by the money and influence flowing into the party from actors who have vested interests in making other people suffer. It doesn't matter who the individual politician is, be they Barack Obama, Bill de Blasio, or Elizabeth Warren. If there's a (D) there, their hands are smeared with blood money. Out out damn spot, eh?
posted by threeants at 9:28 PM on September 12, 2013


younger voters have long been more pro–Social Security privatization than older ones

Probably because they're too inexperienced to realize what the smiles of the Vampire Squid would mean after hearing the news that their 100s of Billions would be flowing into the Squid's coffers.

Consider what the Squid has done for education debt and mortgages in the past 10 years.

Social Security was created after the Great Depression began - started by the carelessness of the Squid - precisely to keep their hands off of the futures of average Americans.
posted by Twang at 12:40 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate

Nitpick: Without a 60-vote supermajority, the Senate is clearly not under the control of either party.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:29 PM on September 13, 2013


I just finished my first of what will probably be many days volunteering for the de Blasio campaign, AMA.

(For instance, while ABQ deserves a lot of credit, I think de Blasio ultimately owes his success thus far to Anthony Weiner's incredibly ill-advised entrance into the race, which called major attention to a primary Quinn was hoping to quietly walk away with. I just feel it's at least incomplete to credit things so far with ABQ when so much of the BDB momentum has been positive and hopeful, rather than negatively reactive towards Quinn. ALso, Thompson lost his ground in the African-American community, at least it appears, because of his equivocating on Stop-and-Frisk, which frankly is the sort of thing which makes one deserve to lose his base.)
posted by Navelgazer at 6:18 PM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thompson concedes; De Blasio is the nominee!
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:56 AM on September 16, 2013


Mayor Bloomberg Uses Private Email To Avoid FOI Requests; Has No Plans To Retain Archive Of Office, NYPD Emails
posted by jeffburdges at 3:34 PM on October 2, 2013


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