Chris Cillizza suggests that the following Jerry Brown ad “us[es] a familiar tactic” and could be “dropped into a Daily Show segment.”  The latter point verges on praise for a mere campaign ad, but I think it underrates the brilliance of the attack, and its pointedness for Californians who appear in large numbers to have concluded that pinning their hopes on the wealthy outsider spouting attractive phrases didn’t work out very well.  Notice also how it begins:  The cliché parroted by both Whitman and Schwarzenegger functions as a personal indictment of Whitman – as a phony – and also as the basis of the ad’s argument against her candidacy.  Rejecting the ad’s point about “doing the same thing  and expecting a different result” would still force you to conclude that Whitman was an empty suit given to reciting meaningless clichés…

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13 comments on “Whitmanegger

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  1. That is not the lesson, one could consider the recall and Schwartzenegger’s part in it, as a precursor to the Tea Party, the problem is, after a year or so, Arnold capitulated to the ‘special interests’ and became what he ran against, his support for Prop 23, is a case in point. Darrell Issa was a prime mover in the first effort, not so much in the second, and he’s floated trial balloons about cooperation with the Democrats,

  2. miguel cervantes wrote:

    That is not the lesson,

    That’s not “the lesson” that you want people to draw.

    You’re probably right that the Recall and the election of Arnold were precursors to the Tea Party, or Tea Party-like phenomena in important respects, but the same thing could be said about a lot of other phenomena. That doesn’t have much to do with the way that Californians may react to this particular ad. It may have something to say about the likely fate of the TP and of most “anti-government” movements that sooner or later are faced with the question of how to govern, and the implications of trying to implement their fantasy agenda. Usually, they end up “compromising” with the “necessary evil” and become for all intents and purposes the thing they hated. In rare instances, they resist compromise and gain power, and the result is madness and destruction that also sooner or later leads to complete inversion of their intentions.

  3. He sold out, and there was no consistent voice, that really held him to account, this why the TP cannot be a temporary thing, for this election.

  4. why the TP cannot be a temporary thing, for this election.

    If we had campaign ads for political movements, we could have done a Whitmanegger for the TP and countless previous movements, with statements like the one quoted. That’s exactly what, for instance, the Obamites urgently said to each other as they approached their victory.

    “Let’s all stay in touch and be best friends forever!” = “Have a nice life!”


    The Moral Majority emanating from the Silent Majority, the TP has few minorities,and few liberals,it is the Evangelical nation,

  6. No, the tea party comes from a different mindset than the Moral Majority, although like a Venn diagram, it shares part of the cohort

  7. @ miguel cervantes:What is the Tea party mindset and how could it govern a state as diverse as California?
    How the heck can it expect that electing a governor and a couple of legislators would result in anything but frustration and failure if the Tea Party governor doesn’t do some “selling out”?

  8. And hence, California draws deeper into the depths, as if dragged by the Old Ones, the Democrats in large part, blocked the reforms, as they demagogued Fannie & Freddie, when other’s inquired of it’s
    solvency, and were all rewarded, Biden, Dodd, Frank, Conrad, Obama, every one received their thirty pieces of silver, for their efforts. Some may finally be held accountable in this term, Some like Cuomo, seem to prosper from their mistakes. Brown likewise whitewashed ACORN’s malfeasance and the Working Families Party came through for him. I think his staff’s rather vituperative complaint, was that not everyone would go along with him

  9. Ain’t it great how he actually answers the questions by ignoring them? At least it worked this time.

    I’ll note that Brown also has some crappy ads, as does Boxer. Brown is pushing an attack on Whitman that pretends to accuse her of supporting capital gains tax reductions in order to enrich herself and her friends, but I think what he’s really trying to do is make her seem like one of “them,” not really accusing her of supporting the policy out of greed. So it’s duplicitous and political. He’s not a saint. What’s surprising is that with all of her money, Whitman doesn’t have any great ads. Instead, she has one that tries to make him responsible for overly generous retirement packages to state workers that were all negotiated after his tenure, but whose real point is that he’s beholden to the unions.

    Maybe she’s saving something for the stretch.

  10. He’s a fool, that ‘more welfare than jobs’ quip that you had no problem, I concur with Whitman’s half hearted effort after 120 million dollars including the 90K a month to Mike Murphy, seems to show a lack of imagination, her opposition to Prop 19, is another flag, found another Ronstadt clip, because that is the saving grace

  11. miguel cervantes wrote:

    He’s a fool, that ‘more welfare than jobs’ quip that you had no problem,

    Since, like Jim Hoft, you don’t seem to understand it, I’ll explain it to you. He was expressing a belief that is somewhat widely held worldwide, and that was even widely held in the U.S. at one time, but that now is considered heresy: That the overall tendencies in the advanced industrialized economies make full employment too difficult to achieve – some would say impossible, some would say at too great a sacrifice in wages and social services and amenities. If restoring high growth and bringing back lost jobs proves difficult, then the perspective might start to seem less alien.

    I think it’s probably true that deep down Brown isn’t a true believer in free market capitalist ideology. The time doesn’t seem to have come to admit as much. It might have been interesting if Whitman had confronted him forcefully on that question. Instead they’re kind of dancing around some good ol’ class warfare and progressivism vs. Reaganism.

  12. Well we’re seeing in France and Greece, how that philosophy manifests itself, his intention, expressed through the policies he wnts to pursue, make this almost a fait accompli. the Beck warning about the “Invisible Committee’ was quite prescient, on the subject,

  13. miguel cervantes wrote:

    the Beck warning about the “Invisible Committee’ was quite prescient,

    Nothing new: Lunatics making the simplest understandings of the world seem like magic to the ignorant: The socialist bogeyman will grab the little patriot children from their beds and gobble them up unless Glenn Beck restores honor and the Tea Party stands up for the good capitalist fairies who will shine up the city on the hill any day now.

    In France and Greece we see how a version of “that philosophy” produces amenities that a very large number of people consider more valuable than propping up the international financial system under the same rules and presumptions that, among other things, produced the financial crisis. That doesn’t mean that the governments are completely wrong to seek austerity measures or revisions in pension and social security, but who are you to determine that the people being affected don’t have a right to resist? If they don’t stand up for themselves, then they’ll be expected to roll over quietly during the next round and the one after that.

    You’re ready to go to the mattresses over taxes or regulations that you presume will take money out of the pockets of the rich and well-to-do. They’re ready to go the streets to protest having money taken out of the pockets of the poor and middle class.

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Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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