(Fusion Voting) "New Jersey Centrists Seek to Legalize Their Dream: The Moderate Party"

Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Smedley said:

The silliness was being fine with several off-topic yuks making fun of moderates but then tsk-tsking my post responding to them.   

it's not making fun. It's just my observation that the word "moderate" or "centrist" is typically used by pundits and other political observers in a particular way. They use it as if you can add up a bunch of very rightward positions with a couple of socially left positions, and average them out. So that the likes of Rudy Giuliani becomes a "moderate" Republican. 

Fact is, the GOP has gone so far to the crazy white nationalist right, that anyone in the exact center between them and the typical Democrat is pretty conservative. 

That depends on your definition of "typical Democrat."  If a typical Democrat is someone like Biden (over his career, not so much as President specifically), Obama, or Bubba, I agree with you. If however a typical Democrat is someone like Sanders, Warren, or AOC, then I disagree. And I would argue that the typical Democrat (if there is such an animal) has moved toward the latter camp in recent years.   

does anyone think Sanders and AOC are "typical" of the Democratic Party? To me, the quintessential Democrat in Congress is a corporate pol like Schumer. And Schumer is not what anyone would consider a progressive.


nohero said:

Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Fact is, the GOP has gone so far to the crazy white nationalist right, that anyone in the exact center between them and the typical Democrat is pretty conservative. 

That depends on your definition of "typical Democrat."  If a typical Democrat is someone like Biden (over his career, not so much as President specifically), Obama, or Bubba, I agree with you. If however a typical Democrat is someone like Sanders, Warren, or AOC, then I disagree. And I would argue that the typical Democrat (if there is such an animal) has moved toward the latter camp in recent years.   

If the scale has "crazy white nationalist right" on one side, then Biden, Obama, Bubba, Sanders, Warren and AOC are bunched up together on the other side, and the "exact center" certainly would be pretty conservative.

And depending on the issue, the most prominent example being health care, the names you list are all singing from the same hymnal.  The differences are mostly "how" and not "whether".

To keep it on topic - this is an example of the problem of discussing an appeal to "moderates".  What exactly is the group to be appealed to? I don't think the "fusion voting" proposal is a substantive solution to addressing the problem of finding voters for Democratic candidates.

A good example of how conservatives get labeled moderates is John Kasich. Because when he was governor he wasn't crazy enough to turn down federal Medicaid funding for his state, he became known as a "moderate." And somehow even though he's anti-choice he's "moderate" on abortion because he vetoed a "6-week heartbeat" bill.

Kasich is very conservative down the line on just about every issue. He's just not crazy. 


yeah maybe but Schumer is an old fart, just like Biden and Pelosi are. All in the twilight of their careers. Who's the young blood (at least, the young blood making the most noise?) The squad.


Smedley said:

yeah maybe but Schumer is an old fart, just like Biden and Pelosi are. All in the twilight of their careers. Who's the young blood (at least, the young blood making the most noise?) The squad.

They "make noise" in the places you pay attention to.  There are other young Democratic representatives (two examples, Lauren Underwood and Sharice Davids) who get things done but whom you may be overlooking.


Smedley said:

yeah maybe but Schumer is an old fart, just like Biden and Pelosi are. All in the twilight of their careers. Who's the young blood (at least, the young blood making the most noise?) The squad.

the NJ House delegation doesn't have anyone as far to the left as the squad. Pallone is probably the most progressive. Only 3 members of our state delegation (of 10 Democrats) are in the House progressive caucus. Several members of the delegation are youngish (first-termers) like Malinowski, Sherrill and Kim.  And only Kim is in the progressive caucus.

your biased view of the typical Democratic member of Congress isn't borne out by who's actually in Congress.


Does that suggest a branding challenge, though? We all know Republicans will brand any Democrat a communist, and that it's absurd, and that even those on the leftmost edges of US politics are pretty centrist in terms of the political spectrum one sees in liberal democracies, and yet the charge seems to stick to some degree. Much as I personally think it's silly to obsess over style over substance (say, for instance, what the Biden admin says about inflation vs what it actually does or can do), a lot of voters do seem moved by brand/reputation. Does it blunt bad-faith cries of "socialism" at all to claim the mantle of moderation?


Well the Democrats should really work on their messaging then, which would entail raising the profile of some of their "typical" non-progressive members of Congress,  and/or or telling the progressive caucus to put a sock in it. Because the Democratic party is increasingly being identified by its progressive caucus.  


When I think of moderate Dems I think of Beto and Buttigieg. They exist in a spectrum with Manchin on one side and AOC on the other.


I think Donald Payne, our congressman, sits somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, as do our US Senators.


Smedley said:

Well the Democrats should really work on their messaging then, which would entail raising the profile of some of their "typical" non-progressive members of Congress,  and/or or telling the progressive caucus to put a sock in it. Because the Democratic party is increasingly being identified by its progressive caucus.  

Part of the problem with the Dems' messaging is that we remain tethered to facts as opposed to the Reps who have no problem just making **** up, throwing it against the wall, and seeing what sticks (and then flinging even more).


Smedley said:

... Because the Democratic party is increasingly being identified by its progressive caucus.  

By whom?


By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  


Smedley said:

Well the Democrats should really work on their messaging then, which would entail raising the profile of some of their "typical" non-progressive members of Congress,  and/or or telling the progressive caucus to put a sock in it. Because the Democratic party is increasingly being identified by its progressive caucus.  

it's actually not Democratic messaging. It's right wing news sources who are obsessed with The Squad. If you think any members of that group are the typical Democrat in Congress, you've been played.

That said, you're right that it's a Democratic problem if people don't really know what the typical member of the party is. But who knows what the solution is when a lot of people don't consume news outside their partisan/ideological bubble. The Dems can message and define themselves from here to eternity, but people who read the NY Post or watch Fox News are going to hear about AOC and Pressley a thousand times more often than they'll hear about Sherrill or Malinowski.


Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

nobody is saying the party hasn't moved left over the past decade. But it moved left away from the DLC/Clinton/Schumer right of center Democratic Party. The typical Democrat is still fairly far to the right of the party of FDR, LBJ or even Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale.

you're not an idiot. But your view of the political parties and their ideologies seems to be ahistorical. You don't seem to have a view that goes back further than Bill Clinton.


And since when are you guys so namby-pamby about progressivism? I thought you were progressives. But suddenly the idea that progressive = Democrat is a hot potato. I thought you'd be like the Democrats are associated with progressivism? Hell yeah, that's the way it should be.  


Smedley said:

And since when are you guys so namby-pamby about progressivism? I thought you were progressives. But suddenly the idea that progressive = Democrat is a hot potato. I thought you'd be like the Democrats are associated with progressivism? Hell yeah, that's the way it should be.  

sometimes I'm not sure you actually read my comments fully before you respond. I don't find the idea of Democrats being progressive a "hot potato." I wish most of them actually WERE progressive. But most of them aren't.


ml1 said:

Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

nobody is saying the party hasn't moved left over the past decade. But it moved left away from the DLC/Clinton/Schumer right of center Democratic Party. The typical Democrat is still fairly far to the right of the party of FDR, LBJ or even Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale.

you're not an idiot. But your view of the political parties and their ideologies seems to be ahistorical. You don't seem to have a view that goes back further than Bill Clinton.

My view goes back to Reagan for sure, maybe Carter. Your historical context in these discussions does go further back than mine -- that may be interesting from an academic perspective, but TBH I don't know how relevant that older stuff is.The vast majority of voters will make any comparisons about present-day versus what they've experienced in their lifetimes, not from history books.  


Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

nobody is saying the party hasn't moved left over the past decade. But it moved left away from the DLC/Clinton/Schumer right of center Democratic Party. The typical Democrat is still fairly far to the right of the party of FDR, LBJ or even Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale.

you're not an idiot. But your view of the political parties and their ideologies seems to be ahistorical. You don't seem to have a view that goes back further than Bill Clinton.

My view goes back to Reagan for sure, maybe Carter. Your historical context in these discussions does go further back than mine -- that may be interesting from an academic perspective, but TBH I don't know how relevant that older stuff is.The vast majority of voters will make any comparisons about present-day versus what they've experienced in their lifetimes, not from history books.  

that doesn't explain why someone like you thinks AOC is a typical Democrat, when she most certainly is outnumbered in the caucus by moderates by about 20:1.


ml1 said:

Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

nobody is saying the party hasn't moved left over the past decade. But it moved left away from the DLC/Clinton/Schumer right of center Democratic Party. The typical Democrat is still fairly far to the right of the party of FDR, LBJ or even Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale.

you're not an idiot. But your view of the political parties and their ideologies seems to be ahistorical. You don't seem to have a view that goes back further than Bill Clinton.

My view goes back to Reagan for sure, maybe Carter. Your historical context in these discussions does go further back than mine -- that may be interesting from an academic perspective, but TBH I don't know how relevant that older stuff is.The vast majority of voters will make any comparisons about present-day versus what they've experienced in their lifetimes, not from history books.  

that doesn't explain why someone like you thinks AOC is a typical Democrat, when she most certainly is outnumbered in the caucus by moderates by about 20:1.

For a smart and often thoughtful guy you're pretty loosey goosey about (mis)quoting people (or at least misquoting me).

I said previously the typical Democrat "has moved toward" the camp of Sanders, Warren, and AOC. I did not say "AOC is typical Democrat." 

Two very different statements. 


The typical Democrat voted for lifelong moderate Joe Biden, and not for Warren, Sanders, and other liberals. That's why he's President rather than them or Trump. 


Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

nobody is saying the party hasn't moved left over the past decade. But it moved left away from the DLC/Clinton/Schumer right of center Democratic Party. The typical Democrat is still fairly far to the right of the party of FDR, LBJ or even Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale.

you're not an idiot. But your view of the political parties and their ideologies seems to be ahistorical. You don't seem to have a view that goes back further than Bill Clinton.

My view goes back to Reagan for sure, maybe Carter. Your historical context in these discussions does go further back than mine -- that may be interesting from an academic perspective, but TBH I don't know how relevant that older stuff is.The vast majority of voters will make any comparisons about present-day versus what they've experienced in their lifetimes, not from history books.  

that doesn't explain why someone like you thinks AOC is a typical Democrat, when she most certainly is outnumbered in the caucus by moderates by about 20:1.

For a smart and often thoughtful guy you're pretty loosey goosey about (mis)quoting people (or at least misquoting me).

I said previously the typical Democrat "has moved toward" the camp of Sanders, Warren, and AOC. I did not say "AOC is typical Democrat." 

Two very different statements. 

you kind of said both of those statements:

Smedley said:

That depends on your definition of "typical Democrat." If a typical Democrat is someone like Biden (over his career, not so much as President specifically), Obama, or Bubba, I agree with you. If however a typical Democrat is someone like Sanders, Warren, or AOC, then I disagree. And I would argue that the typical Democrat (if there is such an animal) has moved toward the latter camp in recent years.

I'll admit I misconstrued that. But that's also not as clear as you're making it now. So why are you disagreeing with me? Seems like you're saying the same thing as me, and you could have corrected my misinterpretation about a half dozen comments ago.


Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

you know, saying they're identified by the progressive caucus, and then "proving" it with a google search about the party moving to the left are not exactly the same thing.

but, you do you.


drummerboy said:

you know, saying they're identified by the progressive caucus, and then "proving" it with a google search about the party moving to the left are not exactly the same thing.

but, you do you.

The article doesn't even claim the party's elected officials have moved to the left. It says a higher proportion of Democratic voters self-identify as liberal than in the past. 


drummerboy said:

Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

you know, saying they're identified by the progressive caucus, and then "proving" it with a google search about the party moving to the left are not exactly the same thing.

but, you do you.

so now we "prove" our opinions here? This is a friggin politics forum, it ain't science class.

First it was about convincing others, now it's about proving stuff. Those are pretty high bars set by someone who to my knowledge has never once done either.


Smedley said:

drummerboy said:

Smedley said:

By many of the voters who believe the Democratic Party has moved to the left, maybe too far to the left.

Yeah yeah I know, I have it all wrong, the Democratic Party hasn't moved to the left, I'm the biggest idiot who ever lived, and all the articles in that linked Google search are by horrible hacks and/or ridiculously biased media outlets with no credibility.  

So we'll have to agree to disagree.  

you know, saying they're identified by the progressive caucus, and then "proving" it with a google search about the party moving to the left are not exactly the same thing.

but, you do you.

so now we "prove" our opinions here? This is a friggin politics forum, it ain't science class.

First it was about convincing others, now it's about proving stuff. Those are pretty high bars set by someone who to my knowledge has never once done either.

fine, get hung up on some semantics.

but obviously your response to my question was non-responsive. You said one thing, I questioned it, and you showed me something else that had nothing to do with it.

or do you not see that?


Smedley said:

so now we "prove" our opinions here? This is a friggin politics forum, it ain't science class.

First it was about convincing others, now it's about proving stuff. Those are pretty high bars set by someone who to my knowledge has never once done either.

I am someone who would love to be convinced that the Dems have successfully moved left, but have trouble believing it. If you could find something compelling  that shows it to really be true, that would be great! TIA.

Right now it just looks like unsuccessful factions that have always existed.


sprout said:

I am someone who would love to be convinced that the Dems have successfully moved left, but have trouble believing it. If you could find something compelling  that shows it to really be true, that would be great! TIA.

Right now it just looks like unsuccessful factions that have always existed.

Depends how you measure, which is the inherent problem with terms like "left" and "right." And depends how important the various ways of measuring are to you.

Plenty of people on the religious right would point to the normalization of same-sex marriage as moving dramatically left, for instance -- see for instance Putin or Orban's comments on LGBTQ issues, and the American right's infatuation with these authoritarians partly as a result -- and yet plenty libertarians and others on the right who tolerate or even embrace marriage equality but consider themselves firmly on the right. Or on economics, the rhetoric of Democrats is certainly far more market-skeptical than it was in the 90s, but plenty of Democrats still would say the party is pretty far to the right on actually enacted policy.

My own axis is how broadly or narrowly a party defines who gets to be a full, participating member of society. By that measure I'd say Republicans have definitely raced to the right, with the factions arguing for a narrower definition taking increasing power and enacting exclusionary policies when they win election. Democrats have been mixed on moving to the left -- there's certainly a lot more rhetorical inclusion of more groups, and some real progress (the ACA was a BFD, marriage equality is a big deal), but it's felt to me that in many cases there's a lot more talk than action and Democratic policy has been more holding the line against Republican attempts to close the circle of "America" than truly fighting to expand it.


PVW said:

Depends how you measure, which is the inherent problem with terms like "left" and "right." And depends how important the various ways of measuring are to you.

Plenty of people on the religious right would point to the normalization of same-sex marriage as moving dramatically left, for instance -- see for instance Putin or Orban's comments on LGBTQ issues, and the American right's infatuation with these authoritarians partly as a result -- and yet plenty libertarians and others on the right who tolerate or even embrace marriage equality but consider themselves firmly on the right. Or on economics, the rhetoric of Democrats is certainly far more market-skeptical than it was in the 90s, but plenty of Democrats still would say the party is pretty far to the right on actually enacted policy.

My own axis is how broadly or narrowly a party defines who gets to be a full, participating member of society. By that measure I'd say Republicans have definitely raced to the right, with the factions arguing for a narrower definition taking increasing power and enacting exclusionary policies when they win election. Democrats have been mixed on moving to the left -- there's certainly a lot more rhetorical inclusion of more groups, and some real progress (the ACA was a BFD, marriage equality is a big deal), but it's felt to me that in many cases there's a lot more talk than action and Democratic policy has been more holding the line against Republican attempts to close the circle of "America" than truly fighting to expand it.

the Democratic Party has tended to follow, not lead on issues like LGBTQ rights or legalization of cannibis. The people were way ahead of the politicians on same-sex marriage. "Will and Grace" and "Modern Family" probably did more heavy lifting for same-sex marriage than just about any Democratic officeholder. 



drummerboy said:

Smedley said:

... Because the Democratic party is increasingly being identified by its progressive caucus.  

By whom?

I haven't finished reading this thread, but the answer to this is The Right, Fox News , et.al.

The Congressperson who is running for re-election in the District that now includes Maplewood and South Orange is Mikie Sherrill who is a moderate and gets lots or press and TV appearances. 


STANV said:

I haven't finished reading this thread, but the answer to this is The Right, Fox News , et.al.

The Congressperson who is running for re-election in the District that now includes Maplewood and South Orange is Mikie Sherrill who is a moderate and gets lots or press and TV appearances. 

Is this true?  Is SO out of Donald Payne's district now?

I don't follow NJ politics very closely but, as SO was the last place I voted in the US, that is where my congressional representation falls.

Is the new district a solid blue one?  As I recall, Sherrill's original district was fairly purple.


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