Rising Newsletter: Debate Winners & Losers

Ryan Grim destroys Biden, White feminists meltdown over AOC, and Yang gets into it with Warren

Hello #Risers! Welcome to the second edition of our newsletter. If you haven’t already, tell your friends to sign up by sharing the link to this post!

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: Hill TV Live Debate Coverage

Why: This was our first foray into live debate coverage! We couldn’t be more proud of how it turned out. We got Bernie Sanders advisor Chuck Rocha to confirm that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would endorse the senator at a Saturday rally in Queens, Ryan Grim dispelled Joe Biden’s notion that he had anything to do with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and we both marveled at Andrew Yang’s ability to shift the conversation on the stage. Many of you tuned in and we couldn’t thank you enough! Although after watching some of CNN’s coverage, we understand why you may have been looking for an alternative. We’ll be back for more after the next debate.

#2: Sanders National Policy Director Josh Orton

Why: Josh exclusively joined us to talk about a newly unveiled Sanders plan to force corporations to give workers 20% of their shares and 45% of their board seats. We questioned Josh about why this plan contrasts with that put forward by Elizabeth Warren and how exactly it will be implemented. If enacted this would be a radical shift in American capitalism. It deserves a lot more coverage and debate!

#3 Senator Rand Paul

Why (from Saagar): Rand Paul has written a new book called The Case Against Socialism, in which he sings the praise of free market libertarianism.

#4: Eric Blanc, Jacobin Writer:

Why (from Krystal): Eric joined us from Chicago where public school teachers have just launched a strike. They join teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, LA, Arizona, and elsewhere in demanding quality education for their students and a basic living for their own families. Eric explains why the media has all but ignored the historic movement.

Expanded #RisingQs


Answer (from both): There certainly is a chance it could happen, but Ryan Grim made an excellent point to us both in our post debate coverage that many Biden supporters do not frequently keep up with the news. He’s familiar and comfortable and they see no reason to switch. That’s a tough thing to crack electorally.


Answer (from Krystal): When I interviewed Senator Sanders I asked him almost exactly the same question. He essentially said that he hoped so but wasn’t entirely sure. I guess I feel the same given the level of animosity that the establishment has had towards him and given the fact that Bernie himself embraces being an existential threat to the Democratic party. Honestly, if the establishment were to sit it out or campaign against him it would probably the best possible thing for his campaign.


Answer (from both): We both saw that no other show exists where the new left and the new right are in actual dialogue. We also recognized how much overlap we have in terms of our diagnosis of the rot at the heart of culture, we only differ on solutions. The truth is that corporate democrats and corporate republicans generally agree on almost everything.

As to where we’re headed, world wide takeover obviously.

Weekly Takeaways

Krystal’s Weekly Takeaway:

With a fiery debate performance, the release of a radical new plan to give workers wealth and power, a massive lead in the money game and the most sought after endorsement in the country, Bernie Sanders came back from his heart attack to have the best week of his career so far. Often pundits want to dismiss or ignore all together Sanders successes but Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement was just too big of a deal for them to be able to look past. Even Warren surrogate Adam Green of the PCCC admitted to Rising that it was significant. But some online had trouble wrapping their head around how AOC could possibly have chosen Sanders over Warren. Jane Eisner, Director of Academic Affairs at Columbia Journalism School in a now deleted tweet wrote: “I find it fascinating that women of color overlook female and minority candidates to endorse a white guy. Is ‘Identity Politics’ over? Is ideology more important than race and gender? Genuinely curious.”

Well Jane, allow me to explain. For many, although not all women, what a candidate will actually do is in fact more important than if they happen to share your gender or racial identity. For example, the fact that Sanders alone, has a shot at realigning the Democratic Party around the multi-racial working class instead of doubling down on the current centering of professional elites, is something that AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and others may find more important than the fact that he happens to be a white man. I’d recommend to you Matt Karp’s important piece in Jacobin titled: “Is this the Future Liberals Want” on the consequences that this alignment around affluent liberals has had on our brothers and sisters in the multi-racial working class and what we can expect in the future if this alliance strengthens. As Matt points out, the so-called party of the people currently represents all 20 of the wealthiest counties in America. By the way, we interviewed Matt about his piece for a segment that will post this weekend. AOC standing with Sanders is an important, vital moment even, for the left in electoral politics. And it’s a clarifying moment for those who want to stand on the sidelines of the Warren versus Sanders debate.

Saagar’ s Weekly Takeaway:

This week the most important development of the week was the automation vs trade discussion that erupted online after Andrew Yang’s breakout moment at the debate. As I said in my post-debate monologue it is absolutely astounding that Yang was able to force the entire field to engage his idea of UBI after being a relative unknown only 6 months ago. The rise of his campaign and increasing comfort with UBI demonstrates that Americans are hungering for solutions to the decimation of the middle class. 

That being said I think the reason why the middle class was destroyed beginning in the year 2000 is really really important. The evidence I lay out in this monologue demonstrates that contra some claims that permanent normal trading relations with China is largely responsible for the loss of American manufacturing jobs. Understanding that this is the case shows us first that changing our trade policy can bring some manufacturing jobs back and that the loss of jobs is not inevitable. 

Yang has pointed to some studies which show that robots could be coming for service sector jobs and ergo a UBI is necessary. My response to that would be very simply that we do not have to allow any of that to happen. Government’s have a choice. Will companies seek to automate? Sure, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get a say which jobs or what they try to destroy. I think UBI is strangely techno-libertarian in this way, its a fatalist surrender to the changes in our economy without the recognition that we have a say in how our future develops.