Are Pete's High High Hopes Over?
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As promised every Friday we’ll tell you what our favorite segments of the week are, give you a written and expanded version of #RisingQs, and give you our weekly takeaways. If there’s anything you love, like, dislike, or hate don’t hesitate to reply to this email with your thoughts!
Favorite Segments Of The Week
1) Matt Taibbi:
WHY: The IG report revealed FISA court abuses, but it also revealed how the media completely bought the lies and spin of the national security blob and has zero self-reflection on the many ways their reporting misled the American public. Don’t expect any mea culpas any time soon.
2) Nathan Robinson:
Current Affairs Editor Nathan Robinson was in studio to discuss his latest piece on Pelosi’s failed brand of neoliberalism and contempt for working class policy priorities. In a week that saw Pete Buttigieg forced into releasing his McKinsey clients, Robinson also did a deep dive on exactly why Pete is so problematic.
3) The Afghanistan Papers:
WHY: While much of the media fixated exclusively on impeachment, we thought it was really important to speak out about the outrageous new report on how multiple administrations lied to the American people about the “progress” we were making in Afghanistan. This report should have triggered wall to wall coverage but because the villains are on both sides, it will be buried instead.
Answer from both: It’s unlikely he’ll get a specific question on his fake black endorsements, but broadly the media has begun to turn on Pete. As the race enters it’s final phase, the time for fresh faced flirtations is over, the media is coming home to Joe as they realize that their liberal flavor of the months don’t have a real shot at becoming the nominee or defeating Trump.
Warren is unlikely to face critical questions from the media about abandoning Medicare for All. The media loves that she did that. But she may well get critical questions about how her fall in the polls relates to her health care positions which is more scrutiny then she’s really faced so far. They will also certainly pit Warren and Pete against each other in the coming debate to try to spark some fireworks.
Answer from both: We find Yang’s candidacy both fascinating and important because he has completely shifted the paradigm of American politics. From this point forward, both parties will have to deal with the forces that gave rise to his candidacy which includes job destruction and online virality. He has also inserted a policy concept into mainstream conversation that hasn’t been seriously discussed or considered in decades.
Answer from Krystal: What will cause the left, or any party, to lose faster than anything, is having condescension and contempt for the voting public. If we want to have a true cross-racial working class movement we are going to have to win back some people who are opposed to us now. That means not calling Trump supporters racist or questioning their motives but rather fighting for them and treating them with respect whether that is reciprocated today or not. When it comes to those in power I am relentless, when it comes to ordinary citizens, I do my best to approach with a mindset of understanding and solidarity.
This week brought new signs that the Pete media lovefest and associated polling surge is coming to an end. It actually started with him facing some hostile questioning from the press and handling it very very poorly.
phil@PrettyGoodPhilThis clip of @PeteButtigieg, responding to questions about why he won’t open his fundraisers to the press, is devastating. Wow. https://t.co/mZ2HipoQXA
Then under pressure, he capitulated and announced both his McKinsey client list and also that he would disclose the high dollar event hosts and bundlers for his campaign. I believe they call him his “Investment Circle” or something obnoxious like that.
But the bigger picture is that as the race enters the home stretch, with the holidays upon us and an impeachment trial looming, the media is wrapping up its various flirtations for the boring but reliable Joe Biden. Pete has largely been a media creation so the turn in coverage could really be damaging to him. He rose initially after a CNN town hall that earned him praise from Hillary world and Obama land. His latest surge was sparked by a debate performance where the pundits decided they liked the cut of his jib and by that I mean his right-wing anti-M4A talking points. Last debate I thought for sure they would ask him something challenging, especially given that Ryan Grim had just published a bombshell report on his faked black endorsements, but of course, they gave him lots of speaking time and kid gloves questions. That period of uncritical adulation seems to have ended and I wouldn’t doubt if his surge recedes to put him back in his “strong 4th place” positioning.
You can already see the way the new scrutiny is reverberating online. Both #refundPete and #wallstreet Pete trended online after Pete held a high dollar Wall Street fundraiser. A new poll that had him at 2% among voters under 35 also underscored the fact that young progressives had long seen through this guy. He’s not appealing to the young because he’s embracing the same old big money neoliberal politics. The last thing we need is a young face on the same terrible old ideas.
So Peter’s high high hopes may well be over but don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll make a great MSNBC contributor.
The British Labor party lost BIG under Jeremy Corbyn delivering probably the biggest electoral defeat to democratic socialism as it has been tried on the ballot in the Western democracy up and until this point. There are very interesting lessons to be learned from this election for left and right populists despite the fact that the election came as close to a single issue as one does these days in a developed democracy.
Brexit aside, Jeremy Corbyn and Labor’s marriage of progressive economics with far left social values is what ultimately doomed the party’s electoral chances. As a labor representative from the traditional northern stronghold told ITV News, the party has become one that only represents the values of the city and not of the rural working class
As journalist Zaid Jilani noted after Labor’s disastrous defeat:
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would do well to heed the lesson from Corbyn’s loss. If people feel condescended too on values that they hold dear then they are not going to be receptive to economic policies which may very well be better for their financial situation. To think otherwise is a profound misunderstanding of how people actually vote
The American right should also learn the lesson of the Conservative party in the UK. Johnson’s party promised to use more funds that were going to the European Union to fund their healthcare system, wanted to exit the single European market to the benefit of British workers, and adopted a much more worker friendly politics to win one of the biggest victories in modern UK history.
The UK may not be the same as the US but it’s as close of a cousin as we have to see what may come to pass in November 2020.