The Empty Quadrant
January 31, 2019 10:05 PM   Subscribe

"That's the end. Howard Schultz did not put forward one policy he would enact as president." - Paul Constant wraps up a live-tweet of billionaire Howard Schultz's latest not-quite-presidential-campaign event. The not-campaign has been marked with a distinct lack of substance, mostly consisting of Schultz criticizing popular Democratic policies and espousing a bland socially liberal/financially conservative centrism that's been described as "The Empty Quadrant of American Politics". So who is this for and who is encouraging this? Probably the media, and their ongoing infatuation with false middle ground narratives.
posted by Artw (125 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
The only good thing about this clown is that he's not well known enough to be a real spoiler, and the way he's tripping over his own tongue in every interview means he's going to end up a punchline and a future answer to a trivial pursuit question rather than a contender or a Nader or a Stein.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:17 PM on January 31 [12 favorites]


The only good thing about this clown is that he's not well known enough to be a real spoiler, and the way he's tripping over his own tongue in every interview means he's going to end up a punchline and a future answer to a trivial pursuit question rather than a contender or a Nader or a Stein.

Please oh please let this be prescient, rather than the first of a deluge of casual dismissals that distract us from taking the threat of his candidacy seriously until it's too late (see: Trump.)
posted by davejay at 10:40 PM on January 31 [22 favorites]


Schultz keeps saying that he can't run as a Democrat because he's opposed to raising taxes on the rich and universal healthcare. So... run as a Republican, jackass. Pick one. Anyone who runs as a third party candidate these days is either a fool, a lunatic, or a saboteur. There's zero chance of winning, and it usually benefits the incumbent more than the challenger. (So far, he seems to be decisively in the "fool" camp, but time will tell)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:50 PM on January 31 [34 favorites]


Given his main concern seems to be making sure he keeps his tax cuts, I'd vote saboteur.
posted by tavella at 10:58 PM on January 31 [24 favorites]


somebody should organize a 'boycott Starbucks' campaign
posted by growabrain at 11:01 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


Given his main concern seems to be making sure he keeps his tax cuts, I'd vote saboteur.

I agree. It's an ultimatum, that says if you run anyone left of Joe Biden then you're going to face a billionaire spoiler. The right is so deranged that they'd rather toss the next election to trump than to have any meaningful leftward shift of policy. It's a moral disease that needs to be erradicated - let's start with extremely heavy taxation, and if that doesn't work see where we can go next.
posted by codacorolla at 11:05 PM on January 31 [34 favorites]


See the difference between him and Trump is brand recognition. People say Howard Schultz and my first reaction is “who?” Versus Trump who everyone knew since the 80s as a businessman and later as a reality TV Star. Schultz was never on TV- and it’s gonna be very VERY easy to rightfully connect him to Starbucks and threaten a boycott which should spook people in the company enough to end this. Mind you- this is America and we’re all nuts in this country so I can’t guarantee that this is a nothingburger but he doesn’t have a quarter of what Trump had going for him.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:28 PM on January 31 [6 favorites]


A typical centrist: socially-liberal-but-fiscally-conservative and where's my puke bag? Seriously, who exactly thinks this guy represents...well, anyone but rich folks like himself? He seems pretty clueless, but that kind of centrism is not exactly rare in the Democratic party. They'll align themselves with some safe "leftist" position, like gay marriage for virtue signaling (even though gay marriage is a done deal, but whatever). But when it comes to Wall Street reform, tax hikes for the rich, universal health care, etc., he's no different from any Republican.

Remember, people, Donald Trump isn't the problem, he's the symptom. The problem is the Republican Party. And the Republican Party is a problem because their policies (or lack of policies) hurt people.

Schultz will drag on until...who knows? Maybe til the primaries, maybe to the debates, but probably nowhere nearly that long. I'm guessing the guy's never had any actual criticism, like to his face, in decades. Now he can wave away criticism as "social media haters" or whatever, but eventually the laughter will get to be too much and he'll quit, blaming said haters, but never examining the utter narcissism. Come to think of it, some good could come of this...if billionaires are indeed walkin "policy mistakes," what better way to highlight that than a completely inept political campaign.
posted by zardoz at 11:55 PM on January 31 [15 favorites]


So what about the opposite, socially conservative and fiscally liberal? Ironically, Europe and Latin America has that with Christian democracy, but the zealous U.S. doesn't. There's also whatever the heck communitarianism is.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:00 AM on February 1 [7 favorites]


I will say I appreciate this Megan McArdle article posted to twitter get ratioed in real time, but what's wrong with these people? Have they learned nothing?
posted by Carillon at 12:06 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Ooh, as a brit, dilletante follower of US politics, even I have just recently had to learn who Megan McArdle is though the sheer number of dreadful waspo columns she pumps out (There Is No Bigger Guarantee of Trump's Reelection Than [a policy for x tiny breadcrumb to be given to The Poors], etc)
posted by ominous_paws at 12:12 AM on February 1 [9 favorites]


Howard Schultz 'freaked out' by Democratic backlash to independent presidential run, rethinks effort

He lives in such a bubble that he had no idea how unpopular his stupid ideas were.
posted by octothorpe at 3:07 AM on February 1 [36 favorites]


So who is this for and who is encouraging this?

Rich white guys who can't stand being associated with Trump, and just want things to go back to how they were when Clinton was president? Maybe Bush? Just not that black guy and his friends.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:21 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


I love that this guy doesn't understand that "give billionaires more money you lazy poors" isn't a popular policy.
posted by runcibleshaw at 4:51 AM on February 1 [22 favorites]


There's no transcript but the 538 podcast yesterday said that the intersection of socially liberal views and conservative economic ones is really pretty small. His constituency is basically his golfing buddies.
posted by octothorpe at 4:54 AM on February 1 [17 favorites]


See the difference between him and Trump is brand recognition. People say Howard Schultz and my first reaction is “who?”

Howard Schultz is the answer to the question "What happened to the Seattle SuperSonics, and why is there a team in Oklahoma City instead?"

Dude had one interaction with politics in his life, failed miserably at it, and destroyed basketball in Seattle as a result.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:58 AM on February 1 [13 favorites]


He’s a rich guy Stein. I just sent Starbucks an e-mail that I am now Boycotting them. He isn’t their CEO, but he has 37 % of their shares. People in the boardroom are perturbed. Perturb them some more.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:26 AM on February 1 [8 favorites]


It's possible the Schultz run makes no fucking sense and is just a weird ego trip from a billionaire who should probably be ground into nutrient-slurry, BUT this article is so far the most compelling theory I've read for what might be happening: This is all about Howard Schultz running as a Republican in 2024.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:31 AM on February 1 [10 favorites]


Vaguely disappointed no-one's worked in a reference to @crushingbort's immortal line about socially liberal fiscal conservatives. Only vaguely, though, because the problem of people mindlessly repeating references is bad, but the causes... the causes are very good.
posted by Merus at 5:40 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Merus: What was that immortal line? Also @username isn’t a thing here.
posted by argybarg at 5:53 AM on February 1


Metafilter: billionaire who should probably be ground into nutrient-slurry
posted by sammyo at 6:00 AM on February 1 [9 favorites]


If we could all just stop talking about him, he would go away. Nobody can win the presidency wothout people talking about them as if they are a legitimate candidate, giving them publicity and a platform. What is wrong with this country, that we give all our attention to self-aggrandizing egotistical jackasses who neither meed nor deserve it?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:13 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


Between Howard, Beto getting lots of coverage, The Bern, the 35+ others and Hil quietly entering at the last minute, guess who will capitalize on the dissension and get another four years...
posted by sammyo at 6:22 AM on February 1


Hil quietly entering at the last minute

Stop. Saying. This.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:28 AM on February 1 [20 favorites]


The idea that Schultz is illegitimate as a candidate is nuts. Of the 2020 aspirants he and Bloomberg each created a business (and one could argue an entire industry) that has dominated its space for 30+ years. The left should be so good as to offer someone of similar achievement - doesn’t have to be a rich person, maybe a Nobelist or pathbreaking innovator in some other non-money-making area.
posted by MattD at 6:28 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Howard Schultz built a driveway through a park: This is why he shouldn't be president (Amanda Marcotte, Salon)
The Starbucks CEO's 1994 battle over a Seattle park is a classic story about America's billionaire class



But one story out of Seattle from the early 1990s regarding a public park and a private driveway perfectly illustrates the toxic brew of entitlement, contempt for the commons and overblown self-regard that is fueling Schultz's presidential flirtation.

"Quite a few of Howard Schultz's neighbors say the Parks Department never should have let him build a 100-foot driveway through the park next to his new home overlooking Lake Washington, near Denny Blaine Park," begins a Jan. 3, 1994, Seattle Times article written by Dick Lilly.

Schultz had purchased a parcel of private property on a Seattle hilltop that already had a driveway running through Viretta Park, but that wasn't enough. The coffee magnate wanted more than the existing "overgrown lane," so he got city permission to build a new driveway and even convinced Seattle authorities to waive the $25,000 fee they charged for using the park as a staging area during driveway construction.
Said construction then proceeded differently then what had been communicated to the city. The driveway was larger, and made the park seem to be part of his property. During the related legal battles, he ended up moving to a different part of town.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:34 AM on February 1 [16 favorites]


I wonder how many cups of coffee and employees it took to make him a billionaire.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:35 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


The idea that Schultz is illegitimate as a candidate is nuts. Of the 2020 aspirants he and Bloomberg each created a business (and one could argue an entire industry) that has dominated its space for 30+ years.

This only goes so far as to show that he's not stupid, that able to commit to a cause, lucky (not guaranteed to repeat), and perhaps cutthroat. Running a business really doesn't have much in common with running a government.

With the exception of a few assholes who claim government "should be run like a business," most agree that government exists to supplement the private sector. Government is supposed to fill in the gaps where the scale is either too large for a private business (Interstate Highway System) or too unprofitable (mail to rural areas).

There's certainly something to people having success by flipping sides, like hackers becoming security analysts, or cops and security guards becoming robbers. But very, very often successful businesspersons find themselves unable to succeed in government, because they chafe under the requirements that they be accountable to the public. They're used to "move fast and break things," but that doesn't work in government, because when you break things, you break people.
posted by explosion at 6:38 AM on February 1 [27 favorites]


I am so, so heartened to see the collective pushback against a Schultz third-party run. Not just here, but elsewhere. Just no, man.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:39 AM on February 1 [12 favorites]


The left should be so good as to offer someone of similar achievement - doesn’t have to be a rich person, maybe a Nobelist or pathbreaking innovator in some other non-money-making area.

Great idea, sure. Let's get a Nobel-winning geneticist or novelist in there. Definitely makes sense that if you're good at one specific thing, like selling coffee, you must be adept at running a nation for the common good. Fucking brilliant thinking. Genius level, my guy.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:40 AM on February 1 [53 favorites]


espousing a bland socially liberal/financially conservative centrism that's been described as "The Empty Quadrant of American Politics"

For an empty quadrant, it sure does have a lot of vocal proponents who won't shut the fuck up about their libertarian canards. Schultz is running as an (I) because the big-L Libertarian Party has gone so far off the rails that it's an active liability to associate with them. I don't think he's fooling anybody, though. In any other election cycle, we'd discard him for being such an indefatigable blowhard, but this time around he has a real chance of Jill-Stein-ing us into another four years of the big orange muppet.
posted by Mayor West at 6:42 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Greg Sargent: Howard Schultz’s own advisers just unmasked his cynical game. Trump will cheer.
[Schultz claims h]e wants legalization for undocumented immigrants and humane treatment of newcomers. He wants health care for all and vaguely says Trump’s tax cut was indefensibly regressive. He’s merely “warning” that Medicare-for-all and Democratic proposals for progressive tax reform go too far.

Yet we now know that Schultz is not offering this argument in good faith.

By Schultz’s own lights, the Democratic agenda is far less extreme than the GOP one is. If he really wants universal health care, he’s far closer to the loose Democratic consensus than to the GOP’s unshakable ideological opposition to it. If he really thinks climate change has put us on a “collision course with time,” then he must agree that Trump/GOP climate denial poses an extraordinarily extreme threat.
[...]
This is the cynicism of a certain elite centrism at work: Yes, the GOP agenda poses an extreme threat to our future, but the party that agrees with me to a far greater degree about how to secure that future is just as dangerous and extreme.

Thus, Schultz must cast greater taxation on extremely high income and wealth to fund truly universal health care and higher education as a threat equivalent to — or more worthy of attention than — that posed by four more years of Trump/GOP climate denial and xenophobic nationalism, and Trump’s staggering incompetence.

Perhaps Schultz sees the former as so unbearable that he’s willing to risk the latter. But what we now know is that his strategy, by depending on splitting the anti-Trump vote, requires him to elevate that latter risk to a much higher level.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:44 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


The idea that Schultz is illegitimate as a candidate is nuts. Of the 2020 aspirants he and Bloomberg each created a business (and one could argue an entire industry) that has dominated its space for 30+ years.

Yeah, if there's one thing the past two years have taught us, it's that business-moguls-turned-political-outsiders sure can do a great job governing the country.
posted by Mayor West at 6:45 AM on February 1 [25 favorites]


Also, way to light your Never Trump bona fides on fire forever, Steve Schmidt. Enjoy the money, you Palin-enabler.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:50 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Bloomberg …

Bloomberg builds an all-star political team — and he might not even run (Robert Costa, Washington Post)
Bloomberg has retained more than two dozen of the party’s leading operatives and data strategists, some of whom played prominent roles in Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaigns. They are poised to leverage their networks and experience to help the billionaire former New York mayor make inroads with key constituencies across the country.

For Bloomberg — who has been a Republican, independent and Democrat — the staffers could be critical as the 76-year-old businessman navigates the modern Democratic Party, giving him links to blocs and stakeholders who may be wary of his past and politics.

Many of those advisers say that if Bloomberg does not enter the 2020 race, they plan to stay on his team anyway, working to build what one top aide described as a “Koch Brothers-type group for Democrats,” a digital and grass-roots powerhouse that would spend hundreds of millions of dollars with the sole mission of defeating President Trump.

The spate of high-profile hires and the establishment of a sweeping, data-heavy political operation underscore Bloomberg’s determination to shape the 2020 campaign, whether he decides to be a candidate or spends millions as an advocate and influencer, following a 2018 cycle in which he and his allied groups spent more than $110 million.

And it reflects mounting unease in Democratic ranks about the political cost of a protracted presidential primary cycle in which a number of contenders could battle until the Democratic National Convention. Such a fight could leave the party distracted, Bloomberg advisers said, necessitating that someone construct an outside political machine ready for fall 2020.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:52 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


The idea that Schultz is illegitimate as a candidate is nuts. Of the 2020 aspirants he and Bloomberg each created a business (and one could argue an entire industry) that has dominated its space for 30+ years.

OK, so off the top of your head, name one policy proposal of his, one that includes concrete numbers and isn't just platitudes and theories.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:55 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


Bloomberg was mayor of New York City, which has a bigger population than a lot of states, and I would say that he's genuinely qualified to be president. He shouldn't and won't be president, because his policy agenda is really unpopular. But he has a policy agenda, and he has government experience, and he's qualified.

Schultz is good at marketing and selling coffee, which has literally nothing to do with running a country. He's also a clueless, tone-deaf doofus with no logical constituency other than other rich people who want to preserve wealth inequality because they don't realize that people need disposable income if they're going to buy overpriced coffee drinks.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:59 AM on February 1 [24 favorites]


The idea that Schultz is illegitimate as a candidate is nuts. Of the 2020 aspirants he and Bloomberg each created a business (and one could argue an entire industry) that has dominated its space for 30+ years.

Running the government is the opposite of a business. A business exists to make money for its shareholders. The government should not be making money for anyone. The fact that it is doing so right now under the cabal of businessmen-cum-grifters installed in DC is a problem. No more of that, thank you.

Which isn't to say that businesspeople can't become effective governors, but they need to start in a place where they can get their hands dirty and fundamentally understand down to the level of their bones that government is different from business. They need to make a commitment to fully shifting gears to an entirely new line of work. They can become good governors despite being businesspeople previously, not because of it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:03 AM on February 1 [39 favorites]


This guy is just another giant, steaming, pile of shit.
posted by freakazoid at 7:31 AM on February 1 [8 favorites]


this is America and we’re all nuts in this country so I can’t guarantee that this is a nothingburger but he doesn’t have a quarter of what Trump had going for him.

What we have going for us—and what Schultz has going against him—is that Howard Schultz is blander than a decaf blonde roast with extra water. If nothing else, Trump was bold enough to campaign on punishing half of the country—to campaign on carnage and revolution; Schultz, in that respect, is the exact opposite of Trump. In a quote I wish I could find at the moment, Trotskyist-turned-right-winger, James Burnham once observed that no one was willing to fight and die for a 2% raise in cost-of-living allowances.

Howard Schultz may be the perfect Morning Joe candidate, but beyond that, he doesn't appear to have a lot going for him besides Megan McArdle, a tank of High Broderism, and a dislike of the party he wants to annoint him.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:49 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Howard Schultz Learned the Wrong Lesson From Trump (David A. Graham, The Atlantic)
The president succeeded because of the outlandish things he was willing to say, not because he was a successful businessman with half-baked ideas about politics.

The problem is that Schultz’s rollout has been so clumsy that journalists find it irresistible to mock him. He doesn’t seem to know anything about political polarization, or history, or how primary elections work. In fact, Schultz is a little reminiscent of Donald Trump four years ago. But it’s only on the surface: Schultz’s bumbling shows that the roots of Trump’s success remain misunderstood, including by Schultz himself.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:02 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Being a billionaire should disqualify you from holding office. I know it never will be, but it should.

I mean, my grandma had to sell and give away nearly all her savings and possessions to be able to get nursing home care at the end of her life, because if you "own too much" you don't qualify for aid, even though her entire savings would not have begun to pay for her care, but could have made the end of her life more comfortable.

Also see: everyone on disability who can't get paid for work they can still do, because they would lose their disability.

If ordinary people have to go through those kind of hoops to get basic necessities, then rich people should have to suffer no less to get nice jobs with the government.

/bitter
posted by emjaybee at 8:08 AM on February 1 [34 favorites]


The idea that Schultz is illegitimate as a candidate is nuts. Of the 2020 aspirants he and Bloomberg each created a business (and one could argue an entire industry) that has dominated its space for 30+ years.

He took that leadership experience and decided to mount a third-party run rather than going through a primary fight on either the Republican or Democratic side, thereby drastically reducing his chances of winning before the race has even really gotten under steam. And then he completely flubbed his initial press blitz by waving aside almost ever single policy question he was asked, failing to articulate a clear rationale for his hypothetical term of office beyond 'cut spending to fix the national debt,' a position for which there is not broad national support capable of driving a candidate into office.

Regardless of the case his business record makes for his leadership skills, his campaign record is absolutely atrocious and is likely disqualifying: he's not going to win. He is not a serious candidate and should not be treated as one, and it's Schultz's own actions in the last thirty days that have put him in that position, not his work in the last thirty years.
posted by cjelli at 8:10 AM on February 1 [15 favorites]


maybe a Nobelist or pathbreaking innovator

Well, Bob Dylan would add a little something special to the primary season, that's for sure
posted by thivaia at 8:17 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Not to be all, "He sold the Sonics!!! Never forget!!" ... but, he sold the Sonics . That's what his home state remembers about him. Starbucks has been a good corporate citizen in the Seattle metro area, but Schultz himself is not a popular figure locally. He's not visibly involved in local politics. One wonders who is advising him - maybe his publisher to drum up book sales?
posted by stowaway at 8:22 AM on February 1 [8 favorites]


"some of whom played prominent roles in Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaigns"

Why are they wasting their time and credibility in this way?
posted by Selena777 at 8:23 AM on February 1


Jim Messina, Obama's former campaign chief, went to work for Theresa May during her last election. Perhaps some people just have unrealistic expectations regarding the credibility and convictions of these ghouls that they think are on their side.
posted by LaserCat at 8:30 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


Greg Sargent: Howard Schultz’s own advisers just unmasked his cynical game. Trump will cheer.

A shorter version of that is from Josh Marshall: lol "I must be doing something right to create so much interest and backlash from the Democratic party." ... three days in and he's basically at 'Appreciate Congrats for owning the libs.'
posted by peeedro at 8:31 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine a VP for the Schultz ticket and I'm failing because everyone I can think of—Gary Johnson, Mike Gravel, James Stockdale—is either more charismatic, dead, or more charismatic and dead.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:35 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


The Schultz candidacy has one purpose: the downticket. There are a lot of discouraged Republican voters who have the sense to be embarrassed by Trump but not the wisdom to reexamine the thinking that made Trump the Republican candidate in the first place. People who don't mind dog whistles because they can plausibly deny that they heard them.

Some of those folks are going to sit out the next election, if it is between Trump and any real progressive. This terrifies the NRCC and NSCC, because they need those folks voting to hold a lot of districts. Someone like Schultz -- a distinguished-looking wealthy white man -- gives those people an alternative and a reason to go vote, and as long as they are there they will vote R down the ticket. Schultz himself has no prayer of winning, and no prayer of driving the debate in any particular direction.

It's about turnout, and he is being taken for a ride, perhaps willingly.
posted by gauche at 8:37 AM on February 1 [7 favorites]


The idea that Schultz is illegitimate as a candidate is nuts. Of the 2020 aspirants he and Bloomberg each created a business (and one could argue an entire industry) that has dominated its space for 30+ years.

The lesson of Trump isn't that things would be fine, if only he was a good businessman - it's that having a businessman as a president is a terrible idea. Here's a thought - if you're good at business, stay in business.
posted by Awkward Philip at 8:37 AM on February 1 [9 favorites]


Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station: Henhouse
He thinks he's being bullied.
He thinks he’s a victim. Of bullying. This guy.
He's quoting the conservative press, who thinks he's being bullied.
Bullied.
Howard Schultz, billionaire straight white guy running for president – the very epitome of power and privilege in America – thinks he’s the victim.
He thinks he is being bullied because the press asked him some questions.
He thinks he’s being bullied because social media asked him some questions.
He thinks he’s being bullied because his past is being scrutinized.
Most of all he thinks he being bullied because suddenly he's facing criticism that he can’t ignore for the first time in his life.
Pity him, Howard Schultz, poor little rich man put upon so unfairly.
Paul Campos, Lawyers, Guns and Money: Taking Howard Schultz Seriously - "I don’t think this guy is ready for prime time."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:45 AM on February 1 [20 favorites]


Howard Schultz and even more importantly, Donald Trump, are probably the best reasons why we need the sort of wealth redistribution that prevents anyone from having this much wealth and power.

Someone having a billion dollars should be a moral and policy indictment of the society that allows them to exist.

The ironic tragedy is that most Democratic politicians, including all of the previous presidents and presidential candidates, are far too reliant on that very hyper-wealthy donor class to ever come out for incredibly popular policy proposals that used to be the status quo during America's 20th century golden age like a 70 percent marginal tax rate.
posted by Ouverture at 8:46 AM on February 1 [11 favorites]




Jamelle Bouie, The New York Times, Opinion: Howard Schultz Doesn’t Understand American History
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:03 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I saw it pointed out on Twitter that these "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" types aren't even, for the most part, all that socially liberal. They're getting way more credit than they deserve for being vaguely in favor of gay marriage and not calling all Muslims terrorists. Does anyone foresee Schultz taking up the banner of trans rights or speaking positively of Black Lives Matter?
posted by Copronymus at 9:04 AM on February 1 [15 favorites]


somebody should organize a 'boycott Starbucks' campaign

Michael Moore agrees.

Howard Schultz Is Democrats’ Chance to Bury Clintonism Forever (Alex Shephard, The New Republic)

The Miseducation of Howard Schultz: The billionaire and would-be presidential candidate learned the wrong lesson from Donald Trump’s success in politics (David A. Graham, The Atlantic
posted by box at 9:07 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Remember, people, Donald Trump isn't the problem, he's the symptom. The problem is the Republican Party. And the Republican Party is a problem because their policies (or lack of policies) hurt people.

The problem is Capitalism. Neither party is willing to upset corporations and wealthy donors to the extent that they need to be upset. We need to be soaking the rich and clamping down on corporations and neither side will do it. Howard Schultz is both rich and a corporation so he doesn't have to pick a side. He jumped in only when AOC started flexing and the Democratic establishment hates AOC, largely for this reason.

Why are [Obama operators] wasting their time and credibility in this way?

see above

The Republicans revel in Capitalism. The Democrats, including Warren, think it can be tamed and controlled. It can't be, and we're going to destroy the planet if we don't figure that out quickly.
posted by Legomancer at 9:07 AM on February 1 [9 favorites]


Bloomberg would be my sane candidate of choice for the Republican nominee for President. But since they've gone full moron that'll never happen.

Absent that, he should stay the hell out. I suspect he's smart enough to realize that, and to play Kingmaker instead.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:10 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I saw it pointed out on Twitter that these "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" types aren't even, for the most part, all that socially liberal. They're getting way more credit than they deserve for being vaguely in favor of gay marriage and not calling all Muslims terrorists. Does anyone foresee Schultz taking up the banner of trans rights or speaking positively of Black Lives Matter?

Can't think of any that have EVER given a shit about women getting equal pay, or abortion rights, or anything similar, that's for damn sure.

Socially liberal my ass.
posted by emjaybee at 9:18 AM on February 1 [8 favorites]


Socially liberal my ass.

"Social liberal, fiscal conservative" means "I only give a shit about money, and hands off mine"

also, as someone else pointed out, it means you think people are entitled to whatever level of respect and humanity they can buy
posted by Legomancer at 9:22 AM on February 1 [17 favorites]


"The Democrats, including Warren, think it can be tamed and controlled. It can't be, and we're going to destroy the planet if we don't figure that out quickly."

What's the achievable alternative? AOC's "radical" tax rate, and Sanders' Euro-style socialism are also mere attempts to tame and control capitalism.
posted by Selena777 at 9:29 AM on February 1 [8 favorites]


The Schultz candidacy has one purpose: the downticket.

I think there's another possibility: he's a spoiler, but not against the Democratic candidate. He's a spoiler to ensure Trump can't win.

It takes two things to win in politics: money and votes. Trump's money comes from the billionaire class, the business magnates who he gave a fat tax cut to, basically. His votes come from morons.

If you cleave those two apart, it's very hard for him to mount an effective campaign. So someone like Schultz, who is more appealing to rich people who want to continue making money and don't want the country to be run into the fucking ground, could take some of the big-money interest away. He's the promise of continued tax cuts but none of the insane stupidity and antics of Trump.

This is a win for the Republicans who are in it for the long haul, e.g. those in the Senate, who plan to have careers that will outlive Trump's time in DC. They need some way of bringing out Republican-leaning voters for downballot races, but don't really want to deal with another 4 years of Trump himself dragging the party through the mud. The Republican party in general does better when it's in the opposition, and can blame the Democrats for anything that goes wrong while blocking anything they don't like procedurally. That's what Republican senators are comfortable and skilled at doing. It's how you maintain the status quo, which is what their big donors basically pay them to do. That's what they all thought they would be doing starting in 2016.

So I wouldn't count Schultz out. He may be bland and uncharismatic, but he could potentially raise a shitload of money from people who want to purge the Republican party of Trump without destroying the party in the process.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:39 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


What's the achievable alternative? AOC's "radical" tax rate, and Sanders' Euro-style socialism are also mere attempts to tame and control capitalism.

the alternative is non-euro-style socialism, though that's a step in the right direction.

but the "achievable" weasel word means "what's the alternative that doesn't require any real action"
posted by Legomancer at 9:40 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


The current power that trump has are his morons - that's the effect of a trump primary, and it's why he has outsized control of the party with such a marginal amount of supporters. Peeling off "moderate" republicans doesn't do jack shit, because that wing of the party can no longer win outright anyway. The independent vote that would go for Schultz instead of trump is vanishingly small, especially compared to some upper middle-class fuckwit who would normally vote Dem, but has been swayed by their own ego and their fear of paying their fair share to cast a protest vote for Schultz instead. Schultz is dumb, but smart enough to realize all of the above. His run is first a publicity campaign, and secondly an ultimatum to the actual left in America that isn't just a business conservative with Democratic paint.
posted by codacorolla at 9:53 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


What's the achievable alternative?

The alternative to changing in “change or destroy the planet” is “destroy the planet”.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on February 1 [10 favorites]


"but the "achievable" weasel word means "what's the alternative that doesn't require any real action"

It was used to offhandedly acknowledge the profound failure of communism.
posted by Selena777 at 10:07 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


His run is first a publicity campaign, and secondly an ultimatum to the actual left in America that isn't just a business conservative with Democratic paint.

I do wonder if between him running away from press after the event last night and Cory Booker turning up to fill that role this might be the end of this adventure for him.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


It was used to offhandedly acknowledge the profound failure of communism.

Capitalism is doing great though.
posted by Legomancer at 10:11 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


I prefer to think of it as a failure of totalitarianism.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:15 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


"Social liberal, fiscal conservative" means "I only give a shit about money, and hands off mine"

Eternal
posted by ominous_paws at 10:29 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


The flat white goes sour: Watching Howard Schultz make the case for his own presidency - full write up of last nights event from Paul Constant. If you’ve read the live tweet you’ll know the gist but worth it for the intro.
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Copronymus: "I saw it pointed out on Twitter that these "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" types aren't even, for the most part, all that socially liberal. They're getting way more credit than they deserve for being vaguely in favor of gay marriage and not calling all Muslims terrorists. Does anyone foresee Schultz taking up the banner of trans rights or speaking positively of Black Lives Matter?"

It also ignores the fact that economic issues are social issues. I mean you can't really be socially liberal and at the same time ignore that a living wage and access to healthcare are human rights.
posted by octothorpe at 11:02 AM on February 1 [7 favorites]


I live in the Seattle area, and worked for Starbucks for a couple of years - and at HQ there was an almost cult-like love for Schultz. I never really got it, but people would nearly swoon at his quarterly addresses to the company. So there may be a small-ish cadre of Starbuckians who would vote for him?
I also heard a local critic say that he's only running to build up publicity for his recently-published book. Interestingly, all the press I've seen never mentions the title. Employees would get comped copies of his books when he ran Starbucks, I wonder if they still do?
posted by dbmcd at 11:06 AM on February 1


I don't see a left-wing President anytime soon.

The Democratic Party is funded by, and the media is owned by, people with vast private-sector wealth who, differ from Republicans in their particular industry alignment (e.g. trial lawyers yes, coal mine owners no); "cultural values"; and/or a noblesse oblige that makes them open to very modestly higher degrees of redistribution and regulation.

At the extremes, they will see Trump re-elected rather than exposure themselves to any serious economic jeopardy.

More likely is the rally-round a plausible moderate Democrat, with a fall back of a very large independent campaign. If they're smart they also cover their bets by teaming up with their Republican friends to primary Trump with a Republican they think to more able to beat a socialist who takes the Democratic nomination if their moderate Democrat fails.
posted by MattD at 11:23 AM on February 1


One copy per store.

Which might make you say, surprised, 'wow, for a billionaire, that guy's a cheap-ass cheapskate.'

Especially if you missed the story about how he gave Seattle Sonics employees $3.50 Starbucks gift cards
posted by box at 11:24 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


Glad you're here to be the adult in the room and tell all us young punks that we should suck it up and elect a reasonable centrist white guy rather than daring to hope for anything to ever get better, MattD.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:29 AM on February 1 [16 favorites]


And all that's missing for dog-whistle bingo is "cosmopolitan" and "globalist."
posted by zombieflanders at 11:36 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


Ok, so imagine it's the early 1980s. Reagan is running for President, Carter just got done with his term. Nobody knows who Ross Perot is, yet.

Now imagine Ray Kroc (yes, that Ray Kroc, from McDonald's) just announced he was running for president on a third party platform.

In our not so recent past this kind of shenanigans would cause several million TVs to spontaneously combust and explode when that days evening news came on across the nation with the ridiculousness of it all.

And yet here we are and it's just not funny.
posted by loquacious at 11:42 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


Bess Levin, Vanity Fair: Howard Schultz Already Reconsidering This Whole President Thing.

The billionaire coffee magnate is reportedly “shocked” by the backlash to his potential independent bid.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:43 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


I bet $5 with a friend that his presidential campaign will be done within 1 Mooch. I've got six days left and I still feel okay about it.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:46 AM on February 1 [8 favorites]


OK, but don’t be surprised if your friend pays off the bet with a Starbucks gift card.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:54 AM on February 1 [13 favorites]


I've been quietly boycotting Starbucks for a long time now by dint of them having crappy coffee, but I'm interested to do more than that. Are there any places where I could donate to an effort to organize Starbucks?

I want to send a message to any other billionaires who might get uppity.
posted by gauche at 12:19 PM on February 1 [6 favorites]


It's 2024 -- Trump is winding up his second term. The Republican Party has imploded from its own lunacy. The Democratic Party has shattered because of its general fecklessness and inability to coalesce around any coherent policy/messaging. All the candidates are "independent" billionaires running outside of the party structure -- Cuban, Zuckerberg, Oprah. The more billionaires that run, the more that invite themselves into the ring. They no longer need political parties, they just pay for it themselves.
posted by briank at 12:42 PM on February 1 [5 favorites]


failing to articulate a clear rationale for his hypothetical term of office beyond 'cut spending to fix the national debt,' a position for which there is not broad national support capable of driving a candidate into office.

I disagree. There is very broad support to cut spending to fix the national debt — until you ask for specifics. And then it turns into hand waving about “waste, fraud and abuse”.

Because — and I mean this in the kindest possible way — most people are utter morons.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 1:01 PM on February 1 [5 favorites]


So someone like Schultz, who is more appealing to rich people who want to continue making money and don't want the country to be run into the fucking ground, could take some of the big-money interest away.

Super rich people don't often back can't possibly win things. And no, Trump doesn't count as a counter-point, unfortunately. There was so much shit going on then behind the scenes we're still learning plus he was the Republican nominee who even helps downticket.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:05 PM on February 1


No oligarchs, no billionaires. End this madness, take all their money if they keep behaving like they own us.
posted by eustatic at 1:24 PM on February 1 [6 favorites]


There is a difference between supporting something in principle when it's presented to you in a vacuum, and placing such importance on it that you would use it as a litmus test for a presidential vote. You don't have to be a moron to say, "Reducing the debt would be a good thing, but it's less important than universal health care and a robust social safety net," or even, "Reducing the debt would be a good thing, but it's less important than keeping taxes low," let alone, "Reducing the debt would be a good thing, but I'd prefer to vote for a president who pledges to fight for [insert political platform]."

A lot of this kind of thing just comes down to how you present the question. People can be awfully dim-witted sometimes (Exhibit A right here) but sometimes the people who are dim-witted are the people who are designing surveys, or the people who are interpreting the surveys' results and basing decisions on them.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:01 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


When do we change the messaging so that instead of calling them "billionaires" we start calling them "oligarchs"?

Also (though I haven't seen it in this thread yet), can we permanently retire the phrase "net worth" and the many constructions that arise from it? I don't ever again want to hear someone described as being "worth $x billions" when, so much of the time, they're not "worth" a bucket of warm spit. And yet linguistic constructions like that are very effective at subconsciously biasing our thinking..
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:33 PM on February 1 [9 favorites]


Via historian Mike Duncan's Twitter: Sonicsgate, a documentary about the Sonics, which yes, includes Schultz definitely as a bad guy in this story.

(Now I'm grumpy again about all the public sports funding nonsense around here back in the early aughts. "Citizens for More Important Things" indeed.)
posted by epersonae at 2:36 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


...very, very often successful businesspersons find themselves unable to succeed in government, because they chafe under the requirements that they be accountable to the public. They're used to "move fast and break things," but that doesn't work in government, because when you break things, you break people.
posted by explosion at 10:38 AM on February 1

Just to clarify, you are saying businesses 'moving fast and braking things' also means breaking people, right? Not just in government?
posted by es_de_bah at 3:27 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


WAIT! WHAT IF, AND HEAR ME OUT....

WHAT IF HE PAID OFF THE DEBT WITH STARBUCKS GIFT CARDS???
posted by symbioid at 4:20 PM on February 1 [5 favorites]




This should be used as an opportunity to organize Starbucks workers who are opposed to his run to stage a walk out if necessary (also such organizing will pay dividends down the road).
posted by bookman117 at 6:01 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


The 538 podcast is worth a listen before freaking out too much about Schultz as spoiler. Nate Silver makes the case that Schultz would pull at least as many votes from Trump as from the Dem nominee.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 6:14 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I, for one, am not really freaking out. More aghast that he’s insulated enough (before this week, at any rate) to think anybody actually wanted him to run as a de facto spoiler policy-cipher.

But then again, the mega-rich aren’t like the rest of us. Exhibit Zzzzzzz...
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:33 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I have loved how obviously annoyed Nate Silver has been this week about having to waste his breath on this clown. He is pretty clear that the only reason Schultz is getting coverage is that he's a rich guy and it's a slow week, and yet he's done a chat, a column, and a podcast about it. His exasperation is palpable.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:55 PM on February 1 [8 favorites]


When do we change the messaging so that instead of calling them "billionaires" we start calling them "oligarchs"?

Ruling class works very well, and makes clear their role in society.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 10:29 PM on February 1 [4 favorites]


Why are they wasting their time and credibility in this way?

The answer may surprise you.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:06 PM on February 2


So what about the opposite, socially conservative and fiscally liberal?

America flirts with this on-and-off, but I think it never quite recovered from the collapse of the Whig Party back in the 19th century. They were AFAICT the only party to really simultaneously take a position of promoting public welfare and enforcing public morality and conformity. Friends and foes alike characterized it as "paternalism", with the main difference being how you felt about the government taking on a fatherly role.

It's a position that was deeply appealing to old-fashioned evangelical Protestants, and its occasional flare-ups were pretty explicitly evangelical. William Jenning Bryan, for instance, broadly fits the mold: big on public welfare and government interventionalism in wealth distribution, but deeply steeped in a Christian evangelical tradition which took a dim view of permissiveness toward "sin".

It logically should be the province of Catholics, who have institutionally promoted social-welfare programs to a fair degree, but in America mainstream Catholicism has historically come with a justified distrust of government-instituted morality as being dominated by (often viciously anti-Catholic) Protestants; I think the idiosyncratic experience of Catholics as a minority in America has contributed to a large extent to America having less of a tradition of Christian Democracy than Europe or Latin America does.

There are of course leftist evangelicals in America, but their gospel's a socially permissive one by and large, so from a policy standpoint they align with social liberals.

I'd venture that race is probably also a factor which in America makes this quadrant so empty. For various reasons, white Protestant denominations who get incensed about public morality are also, shall we say, not exactly great about recognizing black people as equal (they've stopped saying "curse of Ham" out loud, but, well, a lot of them probably still believe it). And government infrastructure and welfare are a wide net and it helps those people, so a bit of a nonstarter to build a big government (rather than give to your church, whose social programs will only help the kind of people you think deserve help).
posted by jackbishop at 10:27 AM on February 3 [10 favorites]


Once upon a time, "fiscally liberal" meant spending money recklessly, and Republicans fit that description. Our discourse is warped by the bizarre convention that military and police spending are praiseworthy, and all other government spending should be minimized.
posted by idiopath at 11:02 AM on February 3 [6 favorites]


I'd venture that race is probably also a factor which in America makes this quadrant so empty.

Or, more to the point, largely relegated to AfAm churches.
posted by non canadian guy at 11:03 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I'm not even sure that African-American churches really occupy that quadrant, because in general, I think black Americans are less likely than white Americans to have faith in the criminal justice system or other organs of institutional power. They don't believe that those institutions are fair or compassionate, because they don't experience those institutions as fair or compassionate. Therefore, although black Evangelicals may have beliefs about social issues that are pretty similar to white Evangelicals', they're a lot less likely to want their morality to be enforced by law or other institutionalized power.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:26 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


I think there's another possibility: he's a spoiler, but not against the Democratic candidate. He's a spoiler to ensure Trump can't win.

But all the data we have says that this isn't what would happen. He would cannibalize the anti-Trump vote to a significantly greater extent than he would grab Trump votes. So the evidence is not in support of your hypothesis.

The best case scenario would be that he, like Perot, drew equally from both actual candidates. But the "helps Trump's re-election chances" is the one with the evidence behind it.
posted by Justinian at 3:03 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I'm not even sure that African-American churches really occupy that quadrant, because in general, I think black Americans are less likely than white Americans to have faith in the criminal justice system or other organs of institutional power.

Yeah, I think they're in much the same boat as American Catholics (and to some extent Mormons) have historically been in: big on social justice and welfare, and also big on conformity to a restrictive behavioral ideal, and justifiably extremely distrustful of the government to implement either of these agendas in a way that they find remotely acceptable.

(The extent to which conservative Catholics and Mormons have thrown in with the right-wing agenda confuses the hell out of me. Like, you know that if the cultural conservatives institute theocracy, then you guys aren't invited, right?)
posted by jackbishop at 6:17 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


Are there no liberation theology type Cathbols in the US? I admit, I haven't really heard of any, but it seems unlikely there's none left at all.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 7:59 AM on February 4




As I texted to a friend the other day, I hope that Schultz never stops running for president because it's just so satisfying dunking on his clueless rich ass.
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:10 AM on February 5


I hope that Schultz never stops running for president because it's just so satisfying dunking on his clueless rich ass.

I honestly cannot believe that he and his team agreed that whining about how "billionaire" is an unfair term and people should refer to him instead as a "person of wealth" was a good idea.
posted by Copronymus at 11:19 AM on February 5 [3 favorites]


I honestly cannot believe that he and his team agreed that whining about how "billionaire" is an unfair term and people should refer to him instead as a "person of wealth" was a good idea.

There are only two kinds of person who would sign on to the Schultz 2020 team:
  • Total, pure, 100% cash-money grifter
  • Utter stan, either of Schultz personally or of whomever seems the most powerful person in the room
Either of those is going to tell the boss man that his every idea is exactly correct and perfect.
posted by Etrigan at 12:02 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


I honestly cannot believe that he and his team agreed that whining about how "billionaire" is an unfair term and people should refer to him instead as a "person of wealth" was a good idea.

This is from the same Third Way/DLC/No Labels centrists who constantly moan about how leftists spend too much time on "identity politics."

Well, it's either that or Schulz is a DSA plant who is doing his level best on making those people look like the whiny corporate bootlickers they are.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:29 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]




CNN will host a town hall with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz next week in Texas

...I guess one bad town hall in his home town wasn’t enough to put him off and he needs another somewhere more favorable.
posted by Artw at 4:45 PM on February 6


Surely they should’ve had Schultz’s second town hall in Oklahoma City instead.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:25 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


'He's not an honest person': How Howard Schultz Left a Bitter Taste in Seattle’s Mouth (Eric Scigliano, Politico)
"The former Starbucks CEO says he can bring unity to the country, but he’s a divisive figure in his hometown."

The surprise was that anyone was surprised at Schultz’s disclosure. He had been preparing for a presidential run for nearly a decade—and, via Starbucks, casting himself for three decades as a healer who can build communities, bridge conflicts and bring people together. In 2014, he even published a book of inspiring tales of patriotic valor, For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice, that uncannily recalled John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage, the literary run-up to his 1960 presidential campaign.


But there’s a disconnect here, one that will become increasingly evident as national media outlets dig harder into Schultz’s history than 60 Minutes did. His “come together” pitch may ring weakest here in Seattle, where he’s proven a singularly divisive figure and left a long, unhappy trail of civic and community disengagement. The rest of the world might know him as the father of the Frappuccino, but here he’s known for treating a public park like private property and throwing away the city’s NBA team. Schultz acknowledged in his op-ed that “Seattle and I have had a complicated relationship.” But that was putting it mildly.

One of Starbucks’ founders, speaking publicly about Schultz for the first time, has scarcely a good word to say. Gordon Bowker, who helped Schultz launch his first espresso bars before selling Starbucks to him, and whom Schultz has hailed as a mentor, says he was shocked to find himself and the other founders the subjects of vicious gossip and, after they started a small, competing coffee roaster, effaced from the company’s official history.

Schultz, who slams the Republican and Democratic parties for engaging in “revenge politics,” is himself “vindictive,” says Bowker. “He’s instinctually defensive and self-protective. … He’s not an honest person.” Schultz’s office did not respond to requests for comment on this and other accusations arising from his decades in Seattle.
Emphasis mine.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:32 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Is anyone watching this ridiculous man do his ridiculous town hall? I tried and can stomach even less of his speechifying than Trump's. Probably because he is able to put together a coherent sentence and, therefore, should know better than to do this?

In any case the one question I could stomach was about immigration and his answer was exactly the sort of both-sideism designed to attempt to appeal to politically naive swing voters. But that's about all I have in me to watch of yet another egotistical asshole billionaire candidate.
posted by Justinian at 7:25 PM on February 12


Looks like nobody else had it on. I'll leave you with this: Schultz was asked about the racist incident that occurred in a Starbucks. Part of his answer?

"I honestly don't see color"

That's not a paraphrase or a snarky summary of what he said, it's the words that came out of his mouth. So that happened.
posted by Justinian at 8:54 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Steven Colbert should sue him for steeling his old gag.
posted by octothorpe at 9:17 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Sounds like Schultz needs to get his eyes checked for color blindness if that's happening to him.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:12 PM on February 12


This summary of the town hall is as remarkable as Schultz's ideology is not:
The event demonstrated that Schultz’s candidacy is premised on a lie (or, more precisely, a series of falsehoods): He apparently believes a secret majority of Americans are yearning for a centrist candidate to save them from the two parties. But that majority doesn’t exist. What Schultz calls “centrism” is a vague repackaging of what centrist Democrats have been proposing for years, a vacuous ideology that makes sense to a small subset of elites but has no mass constituency.

Many of Schultz’s answers were terrible in part because he, personally, is clearly unprepared to be president. But it’s also because the set of ideas he claims to represent, a sort of generalized “centrism” untethered to either party, does not exist outside of an echo chamber made up of a small number of America’s wealthy, educated elite.

And that's not even considering his ridiculous response about race as mentioned above.

Assuming he doesn't spoil the election, his awful candidacy might have one silver lining: finally burying this idea that Americans secretly yearn neoliberal centrism.
posted by Ouverture at 11:53 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]




Apparently it's impossible to put a huffpo link in a link here.

This works for me if I paste it in the URL bar:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/howard-schultz-projects-starbucks-presidency_n_5c634babe4b03de94296955b

(why are news sites so bad?)
posted by runcibleshaw at 5:52 AM on February 14


Howard Schultz Is Already Helping President Trump (Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic)
"The former CEO has staked out a platform few Republican-leaning voters would endorse."

Clinton and his allies in the DLC actually fought for years inside the Democratic Party to shift its ideological balance toward the center. Like those views or not, the contemporary backlash against some of Clinton’s policies—on crime, welfare reform, deficit reduction, and trade—is a measure of how much they succeeded in that effort. Clinton’s policy program was centered on his determination to rebuild a political majority that would allow Democrats to regain control of the national agenda from the increasingly militant conservatism within the GOP.

Schultz is taking a very different approach toward a very different possible outcome. Exaggerating the power of the left in the Democratic coalition, he’s portraying the party as beyond redemption for anyone holding centrist views. To make that case, Schultz is echoing claims from Trump and other Republicans that Democrats have become radical. At times, Schultz has even called some of the Democratic ideas he opposes “un-American” or “not American,” not to mention “punitive” and “ridiculous.”

By validating the Republican efforts to portray Democrats as outside the mainstream, Schultz is helping Trump already. He would help him even more if he runs as an independent behind a platform that aligns much more closely with the views of Democratic rather than Republican voters. An independent candidacy that splinters the vote would reduce the share of the vote required to win, inexorably benefiting a president who has never sustained support from more than about 45 percent of the public. Unlike Clinton, who sought to remake the Democratic Party from within, Schultz could debilitate Democrats.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:50 AM on February 14


Howard Schultz is a spoiler for Trump. Here’s proof. (Crooked Media)

tl;dr, Schultz has no path to 270, and his being in the race, no matter how it played out, would only benefit Trump.
posted by box at 11:11 AM on February 14


Welp, there it is: Howard Schultz’ challenge to Democrats: Nominate a centrist for president and I’ll abandon my independent campaign

Which is surprising only in that he’s not maintaining plausible deniability. Has Bloomberg ever been dumb enough to outright state this out loud?
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


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