Rising Newsletter: Everyone Learned Wrong Lessons From Kentucky

Tulsi Ends Joy Behar On The View, Our Thoughts...

Hello #Risers! Welcome to the fifth 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!

Share RISING with Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti

Favorite Segments Of The Week

1) Matt Stoller:

Why: Matt is author of a new book “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy” where he grapples with the history of populist movements to reign to in corporate power in America. Matt offers a poignant and important critique of the Obama administration’s handling of the financial crisis.

2) Zaid Jilani:

Why: Zaid is consistently one of the most important voices on twitter in the 2020 election. In this clip he notes that Warren’s playing to the cultural benchmarks of upper class liberals could really come back to hurt her in the general election

3) Chuck Rocha:

Why: Chuck is often one of our favorite guests on the show. He stopped by to break down Bernie Sanders new immigration plan and specifically took a shot at Elizabeth Warren by noting it wasn’t written by some “woke white boys from Harvard.” He also talks about how Bernie is currently leading the field in Latino donations.

Expanded #RisingQs


Answer (from both): A lot of attention was paid to Tulsi’s response to Joy Behar who called her a “useful idiot,” she was courageous, powerful, and clear in her denunciation of these smear tactics.

We actually thought another great part of her answer was when she talked about why she does interviews on Fox News and Tucker Carlson’s show. She explained the obvious point that she wants to the American people wherever they are. You may or may not (Saagar does, Krystal doesn’t) but you have to acknowledge that 3 million people watch his show every night and they should be treated with respect and not contempt.

We talked about it on the show this week, you can watch it here:


Answer (from both): The media decided after the last debate they needed to make Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar happen. Amy didn’t work out so well, but Pete is beginning to catch on in Iowa. Don’t forget Iowa is not respresentative of the entire Democratic primary electorate and he has a very long way to go in Nevada, South Carolina, and California.

If his poll numbers start to move in *those* states, then we’ll really start to pay attention.


Answer (from Saagar): My chief concern when it comes to healthcare is cost, both to the government and to the consumer. I’m not fundamentally convinced that a Medicare for All system is actually the best way to lower consumer and government reimbursed prices for all in the U.S.

My focus would instead be to go after monopolization within the hospital system and the insurance system. These two actors (along with Dr’s groups) have basically worked in cahoots to bilk American consumers through complicated reimbursement schemes and price fixing.

In short, I’d rather regulate the market than take it over in this case. I know it won’t go over so well with some of you. Reply to this email and tell me why I’m wrong. If you’re nice I’ll respond.

Weekly Takeaways

Krystal’s Takeaway:

Big elections happened this week in two states that I’ve lived and worked in, Virginia and Kentucky. Democrats took control of both state houses in Virginia thanks to increasing strength in the suburbs and ousted odious rich guy asshole Matt Bevin from the Governor’s mansion in Kentucky. Both results for the party to absolutely celebrate. However, as per usual they seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from this result. I’ve heard lots of pundits explain that these results mean that the impeachment strategy is working and that the media’s all Ukraine all the time focus is a good thing for them heading into an election year.

The problem is that Democrats didn’t win a narrow victory in Kentucky because of the National Democrats, they very much won in spite of them. Kentucky Democrats didn’t waste their time criticizing Matt Bevin for his violation of the norms and guardrails of Democracy or even noble but lofty principles like his attacks on the free press. Instead they stayed laser focus on how he hurt working class people. His attacks on educators, pensions, healthcare and unions were front and center in every ad, speech and piece of campaign literature. Republicans want to say that Bevin just lost because he was a jerk (which he was), but people don’t mind jerks who are acting on their behalf. They do however hate a jerk who is hurting their family and their working brothers and sisters. Dems ran up the score in the urban areas and the suburbs but where they really brought it home was in the economic populist coal counties where Bevin’s attacks on public education stung the most. In other words, Dems waged class warfare in Kentucky and won and the places they need to win back in 2020 are a lot more like coal country than they are like the Northern Virginia suburbs.

Saagar’s Takeaway:

My takeaway this week is also about the Kentucky election and how Republicans are learning the wrong lesson from Matt Bevin’s loss. As I wrote about in an earlier edition of the newsletter, Bevin’s loss shows what happens when you don a MAGA hat but don’t actually govern or speak to the concerns of working class voters who support Donald Trump.

As I wrote Tuesday, Bevin tried to institute Medicaid work requirements, slashed pensions, and insulted teachers when they struck as a result. He even sued his own constituents in order to fight for medicaid work requirements and threatened to fully pull the state out of the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is clocking a 72% approval rating after declaring 2020 “The Year of the Teacher” and trying to pass mandatory e-verify. His entire agenda is working class centric and his remarkable ability to pull together a deeply divided state shows how the GOP should be trying to govern in the future.

You can watch my monologue on this from earlier in the week here: