54 Comments

I wish this wasn't happening again...People being impressed with shiny Hollywood "public relations" package Obama style. This man is all ambition. He is getting away with the latest public relations ploy which is the social elevation of two fathers having a baby. How sensitive, how nice and aren't we all so tolerant and good...but there is no real discussion of anything including his conduct while being Mayor Pete. It is all kept very banal and superficial. Why would anyone be impressed with his six

languages when he nothing of value to say in his first language English. (I'm probably out of line)

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No, say it all. The time is past for circumscribing our language. We all need to be as brutally honest as we can be.

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Yup!

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aaaand…it was two fathers having two babies!

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thanks the refresh...my agitated brain forgot what the mind's eye saw, that of each holding a baby.

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In a hospital bed, as if they’d personally produced them.

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Oh for crying out loud...

I found it hard to believe this comment until I saw for myself. Sigh...and the well placed bracelets that look like hospital ID bands...

This disturbs me on a deeper level than simple scorn for a pair of phony baloneys...

There's something ominous going on here. This performance being so glorified in the media instead of being called out, especially in light of the vast challenges facing this nation disturbs me deeply.

It's like having a perfectly prepared steak dinner served in an excellent restaurant...

...but as I pick up my cutlery I notice a single maggot crawl out from underneath.

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Yes, it's quite ridiculous, isn't it?

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Yes, I still hadn't retained it. Funny the mind. As if I had edited it out. Thank you for completing the picture more literally. Too much 'amnesia' lately.

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Jul 21, 2022Liked by Matt Stoller

I spent the first few years in DC as a budding lobbyist for the airline industry in the 1980's, "The Partnership for Improved Air Travel" co-chaired by Bob Crandall of American and Herb Kelleher of Southwest. Our purpose was to lobby for more runways, more capacity, more competition. We were a waste of money. I did not get rich but soon found other clients. The airlines soon learned that the road to solvency and profits was LESS capacity, less runways and less competition. There were something like 12 real national airlines then, today there are 4 and half the hubs.

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founding

"most of our elite institutions are increasingly dedicated to cheating people"

Boy, that puts it in a nutshell, doesn't it? Whatever happened to making an honest buck?

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"Airlines are so confident in their control of the political sector that they even canceled flights that Buttigieg himself was scheduled to take, a veritable wedgie given to the substitute teacher."

Just had to see that again. Thanks!

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He’s not a coward. He’s just a careful steward of his LinkedIn profile.

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Oh you know his LinkedIn had that meeting with the airline CEOs as a “multi stakeholder dialogue”

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Hopefully Pete finds out that second part in about a year or so

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The problem with "electing competent people" is that the competent people are rarely allowed to get anywhere near the general election. Both parties know how to suppress funding and media for undesirable candidates. Once in a generation the parties fail in their mission, and we get a competent leader like FDR or DeSantis.

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FDR and DeSantis on the same level? You've got to be kidding. DeSantis is the new Mussolini. FDR gave us the new deal. DeSantis gives us Christo-fascism. The voting districts are so carefully gerrymandered that Democrats don't have a chance. (St. Petersburg, a marginally Blue city, has been split in two with residents of the city core packed in with Democrats on the opposite side of Tampa Bay). The "Supreme Court" is even more packed with right wing Republicans than its national counterpart. There are no constraints. It's pretty easy to be strong when the opposition has been kneecapped.

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D/Rs are allergic to competent people - they might get in the way of their corporate sponsors ...Matt gave you an example, actually 2, here ...

The Ds especially are hell bent on making sure they get no challenge from a 3rd party to their left - they just kept a fine fellow running for Senate from NC as a 3rd party candidate - he had gotten the required signatures but the State election Board just arbitrarily said NO .... He is going to sue, I wish him luck ...

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Allow me to provide an example of third party candidate consequences: Ralph Nader. Without Nader, there would not have been Bush 2 and forever wars. Does anyone doubt that a President Gore would have given us a good start on climate control?

Republicans in Florida funded three phony "unaffiliated" candidates. In at least one case, the strategy worked by drawing enough votes from the Democrat to result in a win by a Republican who otherwise wouldn't have had a chance.

Of course, it's quite likely that third party candidate Perot cost Bush 1 reelection.

Be careful what you wish for.

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Oh dear - not that old saw again - has been thoroughly debunked - facts:

1) Gore couldn't even carry his home state

2) more Ds voted for Bush in Fla than folks who voted for Nader

3) polls show that for a good % of Nader voters, if he hadn't been on the ballot, they wouldn't have voted at all- for a lot of Nader voters - the LOTE D wasn't worth their vote

4) the SC gave it to Bush when they stopped the Fla recount - which. according to some sources, would have made Gore the winner

I voted Clinton/Gore in '92 because of Gore's Earth in the Balance - however after he got in his focus was not on climate issues but on "re-inventing gov.'t" - by the time '96 came Clinton and the New Dems were into the trade deals that screwed so many in this country - even after the Battle in Seattle in '99 - Gore was still on the wrong side.

As to the forever wars - you seem to have forgotten that under the Clinton Admin and the sanctions on Iraq, over half a million children died - with Clinton's Sec of State Albright saying she thought "the price was worth it", and i don't remember Gore ever raising a peep, so don't assume the carnage in Iraq would have ceased - wishful thinking on your part ...

Again - as for "drawing enough votes from a D" by unaffiliated candidates" - could it be because they thought those candidates were better than the D? Heaven forbid that folks should vote for whom they thought was the best candidate ...Shucks, our "duty" is to "vote Blue no matter who" - n'est pas? even when it means putting folks like Manchin or Sinema in office, even though voting duopoly for decades has gotten us in the mess we are in - I have voted 3rd Party since '96 for Pres - and haven't looked back - having to fight the nonsense you put out here all that time - sorta like the same nonsense of Trump's "stolen election" ....

If Ds want to know how we got Bush and Trump, look in the mirror ...

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That's quite a passionate defense of a rather silly pattern of wasting votes on Quixotic candidates. Much of what you write comes straight from Nader. But only one thing matters - Bush won Florida by an official count of 537 votes. Nader got 97,421. It's delusional to believe that a majority of those Nader votes would have gone to Bush or stayed home. Even Nader (Crashing the Party) acknowledged that Gore would have won Florida by more than 12,000 votes had Nader not run. None of your other statements are relevant.

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Sorry, but I would say the same about your "defense" of Gore which comes straight out of the DP playbook - loads of Ds voted for Bush, the SC stopped the recount, and it is delusional to believe that Nader's votes would have gone to Gore. And if Gore was such a great choice - why didn't he win his home state?

As to "quixotic" candidates - they represent what a majority of folks in opinion poll after poll want but wind up not voting for in electoral polls precisely because they have been convinced that a 3rd party "can't win" by folks like you - which is nonsense, anyone on a ballot can win if enough folks vote for 'em - and the Ds know this which is why they do their best to keep them off ballots, out of debates and make it increasingly hard to get Fed'l matching funds - so tell me, if the DP wasn't afraid of the potential strength of 3rd parties, why is it "necessary" for them to try so hard to keep them out - please explain that ....

So continue an unwavering support of Ds if you like - it was the Ds who got us Trump - I notice that even you apparently don't try to make a credible case for a 3rd party to have done that - and may well again.

If you D folks want us 3rd party folks to vote for your candidate - please give us a decent candidate ...

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The Democrats don't want to govern. Then they would be expected to accomplish something. You can raise more money from the outside claiming you need it to "fight for" what the people want, but as long as you're on the outside you can't be expected to actually make those things happen.

Obama was the "Great Black Hope" but he hurt the black community more than many of his predecessors of both parties, IMNSHO. His most celebrated accomplishment, Obamacare, has hurt more people than it has helped (with a couple of exceptions, e.g. Medicaid expansion).

His other accomplishments included "foaming the runways" for the banks when the GFC hit, and "standing between [the banks] and the pitchforks" of the ten million homeowners who lost their homes to mortgage and foreclosure fraud.

Biden isn't any better. He made it quite clear when he said that "fundamentally nothing will change". And it hasn't for the wealthy elites, although many things have changed for the worse for the 99%.

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Good one this week Matt. So much ‘easy living’ under the hood. I point the finger at the Fourth Estate as I always understood their job was to hold our public leaders to account - to report back the genuine progress or genuine failure. Sadly they’ve morphed into cheerleaders for those governing rather than the referee. Owned by elites with vested interests means reality and performance get distorted to fit the agenda of politics rather than objectively inform for functioning democratic system.

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And this is why liberal Democrat politicians, as a class, are useless. They lack the capacity to govern. Trump handed them a winning hand with vaccines and Warp Speed as a business model, and instead we got a failed vaccine-only approach to the Pandemic and no further investment in vaccines, treatments, or other mitigations, and domestic N95 producers are going out of business or on the brink of doing so.

These people are useless at governing in the public interest, and wouldn't know how if they cared to try.

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Bless you for this! I can't believe the number of Democrats who seem to be swooning for the fake governance Buttigieg is offering. All they seem to know is he speaks six languages, or however many he allegedly has mastered.

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Buttigieg is doing for gay people’s popularity in the 2020s what AIDS did in the 1980s. He couldn’t care less as long as he personally lives his best life.

Since I started using years as references, I might as well say I think now I will live to see a 1789 solution to 2022’s problems. The professional and managerial class is irredeemable. Every normal avenue to change is closed.

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Thank you for expressing so clearly what I have long thought: we have politics but little to no governance. All talk, no walk.

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The governing point with relation to Obama is important. Nowadays, both lefties and neoliberals like to claim Obama as a moderate/neoliberal sellout, the former in a negative way and the latter to make their own brand look better. But, Obama didn't see himself as anything of the kind! He talked about repudiating "triangulation" and even if he fudged on gay marriage he took a more assertively liberal stance on cultural issues than Democratic presidential candidates had previously. Then, he was elected, he showed a single-minded focus on passing healthcare expansion, even though it was unpopular pretty much from the start and did huge damage to the Democrats in 2010 midterms. He had a brief turn towards negotiating after those midterms, but then in his second term picked up an assertive style ("pen and a phone") while also making his cabinet more liberal (HRC, Geithner, Arne Duncan and probably some others out).

The problem, as Matt noted, was that while Obama loved liberal *politics* and genuinely believed himself to be bringing about major change, he wasn't actually interested in governing. So, on issue after issue, he ended up deferring to people who told him "nah, can't do that." This got the most attention with regards to finance (e.g. not doing sufficient mortgage relief, not prosecuting bankers), but really that was just the the most prominent of many examples.

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His "healthcare expansion" consisted of shoring up private insurance companies and we see how well that is working out - the only decent part of that bill was the provision of Medicaid expansion, but the States had to buy into that ...

His Cabinet - Geithner as Sec Treas who couldn't even get his own tax return right, ole Charter School Duncan, and "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton who, I do believe, was given a Sec State position as a consolation prize for losing the nomination to O - so she could shore up her resume for when it was "her turn" to be the nominee -

As far as O "deferring" to the no folks - a) they're the ones he chose to listen to b) he never wanted to do any of that stuff in the first place ...

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I don't disagree with any of those. My point was just that Obama and some of those who opposed him sincerely ***thought*** he was trying hard to bring about liberal policy outcomes.

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So much difference between being fluent in saying what voters want to hear, and knowing what levers need to be played inside the system. Such confusion between prima fasciae popularity and actual votes.

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Jul 21, 2022·edited Jul 21, 2022

One of the things that's been highlighted about Fetterman's run is that he's less about policies and more about perception. I think that is a shame but it seems to be the winning strategy - we'll see about PA. While I'd love to see effective politicians who want to govern and lead by fixing things, I don't think they can get elected (or won't stay in office long) as they are beholden to lobbyists and special interests. Another issue is the SCOTUS might put a thumb on any federal regulations. I guess you could say I'm cynical.

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I think the perception is sort of a lightning in a bottle marketing thing - it's just so easy to do when he's up against someone so obviously as fraudulent as Dr. Oz.

Fetterman strikes me as at least mostly interested in policy, even if he's personally ambitious.

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Why do you say that about Fetterman? I saw that he went after Buttigieg over the airlines last month but is that a one off from him?

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author

No Fetterman is actually about connecting policy to character

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Many of the comments here leave me utterly depressed. One party at least tries to govern. The other doesn't even have a platform beyond blowing the country up. Obama was less progressive than Nixon but the alternative was even more judges providing cover to big business. (Remember that Romney told us corporations are people, too.) But he was followed by probably the most corrupt administration in the history of a country with a lengthy history of administrative corruption.

Yes, push for more from the only party remotely interested in governing. Hammer the feckless Buttigieg. But don't lose sight of what is happening in the red states where the only Amendment considered important is the 2nd and book banning is resurgent.

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Everyone knows Mayor Pete is an empty suit doofus. I have to wonder though is it him (or the other appointed heads of agencies/departments such as Justice) who is actually responsible for the failures of the agency? Or is it the entrenched “deep state” bureaucrats who remain in place regardless of who is theoretically in charge of them and actually are responsible for the lack of effective governance?

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