November 6, 2018


I've seen nothing to change my calls from March and from August that the GOP will narrowly retain control of the House and Senate, while still having a poorer showing than in recent years. To make things a little more interesting on Election Day, let's say they lose 15-20 seats on net in the House, and win 0-1 on net in the Senate.

Read those two posts for extensive historical context, drawing parallels between these midterms and those of other disjunctive, end-of-an-era administrations -- Carter, Hoover, Pierce (and Buchanan), John Quincy Adams, and John Adams.

Those posts cover the "why" as well as the "what" -- the dominant party of a historical period, such as the GOP during the Reagan era, begins and ends its disjunctive phase with full control of government, including limping across the finish line during the midterm election. Voters do not transfer control during the midterm, as is usual, because the big issues are at stake during a disjunctive phase, not the minor issues that draw attention during the regime's heyday. And the opposition does not, or cannot, campaign on these revolutionary issues during an off-year election.

Still relevant:

This year's opposition Democrats are not offering enough of a radical change to counter the escalation of militarism, the record widening trade deficits and de-industrialization, soaring numbers of cheap labor immigrants, falling real wages and deteriorating standard of living, and last-ditch inflation of the bubble economy by cutting taxes without paying for them, leading to yet another record year for our national debt. So while voters will not be pleased with the GOP's performance so far, they will not transfer power to the Democrats...

The big story is the rise of the Bernie candidates, just as 1854 saw the first-ever explosion of the realigning Republicans. They began with no one in the Senate before 1854, and picked up 3 (out of 62). And they began with only 4 in the House and ended with 37 (out of 118). Whether they're affiliated with Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, the Democratic Socialists of America, or are their own economic populist and anti-imperialist, these candidates are the clear wave of the future...

For now I'm keeping the chances of this "two disjunctive terms" scenario below 50%, but when the Democrats fail to pick up either house of Congress in the midterms, I will raise it above 50% if the psychotic centrists double down on ignoring the major issues and offering only the status quo, at a time when it is rapidly disintegrating. When the status quo was strong, during the '90s, it was feasible to offer their take on the status quo and win. But by now, Reaganism is dead, and they must offer a wholly different system -- at least as radically different as the system that Trump campaigned on in 2016.

Democrats will keep losing until they internalize what Trump ran and won on in 2016 -- a repudiation of Reaganism (neoliberalism) by the GOP's own hardcore primary voters, crossover voters, and the leading candidate himself. Wanting to close the borders and deport illegals is only one part of the broader reversal of neoliberalism, which relies on open borders for cheap labor, and return toward Progressive Era or New Deal outcomes, which both relied on closed borders to protect domestic labor against boatloads of foreign scabs (immigration peaked during the 1910s).

Almost no Republicans support restricting immigration, let alone closing the borders or deporting illegals or building a wall. With full control over government since Reagan's initial victory, they have flung the gates wide open, given amnesty to millions, and lost sleep trying to import millions more. They are about maximizing profits for labor-intensive sectors of the economy, not airy-fairy bullshit like "maintaining white supremacy". That means they need endless cheaper and cheaper labor, and that's not going to come from here, so it must come from somewhere over there. It's that simple.

The very small handful of Republicans who do support restricting immigration, however, do not come to that policy from a populist standpoint -- Steve King of Iowa does not want single-payer healthcare, soak-the-rich wealth tax to pay off the debt, de-globalizing our military, and so on and so forth, like Trump has promoted before becoming president (and getting promptly cock-blocked by the GOP Establishment). King wants the same ol' Reaganite garbage of tax cuts, deregulation, and imperialism, but he doesn't want it to go so far that "maximum profits" leads to 100 million new immigrants. Too bad, numbnuts -- that's exactly where laissez-faire and profits uber alles leads us.

To win dominant status, rather than an occasional opposition victory whose effects are fleeting, the Democrats must campaign on populism rather than elitism, and anti-globalization -- their spin on Trump's nationalism. If they refuse to adapt to the new climate of the Trump era, they will lose in 2020. No matter how minuscule Trump's accomplishments will be by then, all he has to do is say, "Hey folks, at least I'm promising the right policies of anti-globalization -- the Democrats won't even give you their word. They're promising to open the borders, send more factories overseas, and stay bogged down in the Middle East, NATO, and everywhere else."

At that point, he may even get away with the whopper he's been testing out about how it's the Democrats rather than the GOP who wants to gut Medicare and Social Security. If the Democrats refuse to campaign on single-payer, if they refuse to campaign on collective bargaining against the pharma cartels to crush the prices of drugs way down, if all they do campaign on is "protecting pre-existing conditions," then maybe voters will conclude the Dems don't actually give a shit about Medicare after all.

As of midterm Election Day, I see zero sign that the Democrats are going to try to steal Trump's own popular winning issues from him, leaving him with powerful weapons to beat the shit out of them with in just two years. It doesn't matter if he himself runs, or if he campaigns on behalf of Pence, Haley, or whoever.

I think it will take a second disjunctive, end-of-an-era term to finally break the Democrats' stubbornness and force them to do what the voters want, and shut their mouths about the fake idiotic crap that alienates 95% of the country. Otherwise, they are effectively extinct as a party.


  1. You know, it’s pretty stupid to claim that GOP hegemony is the primary motive force behind this mass immigration, even when you take into account the plain fact that the country club leadership don’t give a damn what the prole base want.

    Why? It’s very simple:

    A. Mass immigration leads inevitably to the one-party state of 2018 California. There are plenty of low-skill agriculture jobs in California, all of which are now performed by Mexican immigrants. And as we know, California is America’s GOP stronghold (lol).

    B. We have contemporary examples of what real government policy re: scab labor looks like. It looks a lot less like caravans pouring over the border completely uncontrolled and a lot more like H-1B or the Gulf states’ labor policies:

    C. If mass immigration were about labor, then the immigrants, most of them Amerindian, would not receive welfare; they would work because they would be forced to work. Most nonwhite immigrants are on welfare. It’s literally a majority.

    D. Birthright citizenship would not be a thing. For a desired pool of labor, it’s expensive and wasteful to let the first-generation descendants of migrant workers become full-blown citizens. Why in the hell would any sensible Robber Baron overlord permit that? (They wouldn’t.)

    The purpose of mass immigration policy is obvious, though you must open your eyes to see it: it is to disenfranchise the white working- and middle-classes, eradicate them through cultural assimilation to low-class foreign standards of behavior and ultimately outbreeding, and economically squeeze them from both ends and wring them dry in the meantime, the end goal being a Latin American-esque country with a whitish aristocracy and a biologically pacified underclass.

    It’s economic, but it isn’t only economic — or even mostly, at root. It’s really about power, and it just so happens that the form of power to which most people respond best is the power of the dollar.

  2. Clueless culture warrior. Politics is patronage, not ethnic tribalism. California became less white since forever ago, yet voted Republican for president in '80, '84, and even '88. They defected from the GOP when the party's senior member faction -- the Pentagon -- shut down a lot of their patronage networks (bases, research grants, etc.) after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    In non-white, immigrant-ridden states like Texas and Arizona -- where the GOP's patronage networks still support people through the military, energy, and agriculture sectors -- there has been only a consolidation of GOP support, not an erosion, let alone a defection to the Dems.

    The Democrats have only scooped up those who the GOP has cut loose from their patronage. Democrat sectors are finance, tech, media / entertainment, and education. That's who replaced the Pentagon and the off-shoring manufacturers of the West Coast, as the head of patronage networks, so the people responded loyally by voting for the political party of those sectors, i.e. the Dems.

    The only way for a red state like Texas or Arizona to flip Democrat is for the GOP to withdraw patronage and let the tech / finance / media / education network step into its place. Texas will turn Democrat because of all the tech jobs sprouting up there, not because of immigration -- since immigrants do not vote, Hispanics do not vote, Hispanic immigrants do not vote, and illegals vote the least of all.

  3. As for your other clueless points:

    B. The Reaganite GOP is also fully responsible for the wave of legal immigration, skilled and unskilled. That and illegal immigration are two sides of the same coin. Both provide cheaper labor than hiring Americans.

    Why would the cheap labor sectors repel the border-crossers? The greedy employers would prefer getting their replacement workers legally, but if not, they cannot be punished.

    C. Immigrants getting welfare is part of the same larger plan of the greedy elites from labor-intensive sectors to cut their costs and maximize profits. It is not they who pay for the welfare that immigrants get -- that is broadly foisted on the entire tax-paying base.

    Some of that are individual tax payers who want nothing to do with mass immigration, and others are corporations from the non-labor-intensive sectors who do not benefit from waves of cheap labor flooding the shores.

    Like finance -- how many immigrants wind up in that sector? Zero. And yet, are finance corporations, hedge funds, etc., exempt from paying taxes that go to welfare for immigrants, just because they are not benefiting from those immigrants' cheap labor? Hell no.

    So the labor-intensive sectors are hijacking the government to make everyone else pay the costs of the immigrant waves that only benefit the GOP sectors' elites.

    D. Citizenship is not more costly to the labor-intensive sector elites. So they get to vote, big deal -- they will not make use of that, as alienated members of their host society. Hispanics and immigrants don't vote.

    And even if they do, the GOP has nothing to worry about as long as they are the patronage heads of the new immigrant populations. See Texas, Arizona, Florida, etc. They only vote Democrat where that patronage network is the one buttering their bread.

    As for welfare and other services -- that's already covered by the rest of the tax-payers, not just the GOP elites, and it's given regardless of citizenship.

    Giving illegals citizenship through amnesty, or birthright citizenship to their kids, does not raise the costs to the GOP elites.

    But please, keep pretending that you know more about the material motives of the dominant party of the largest empire in the world for nearly half a century, than they do themselves.

    You're just a clueless culture warrior who thinks they can talk some sense into the Reaganite GOP. They are the enemy, and only a re-alignment that crushes the cheap labor-seeking elites will stem the flow of immigration.

  4. Clueless conservatives whining about California remind me of clueless libs whining about the Electoral College.

    Cons try to eagerly and sincerely plead with their party to deliver something to their base, that is against the party's elites -- close the borders, deport illegals, build a wall.

    They know the elites are dead set against it, else they would've done it out of their own elite interest, plus wanting to deliver the goods to their base. So the elites must *really* have an interest in not doing so.

    But, the clueless cons say, you're only thinking of your short-term interests, not your long-term interests. You will cease to exist as a party in the medium-to-long term if you keep importing all these foreigners. What's the proof? JUST LOOK AT CALIFORNIA.

    Well, the savvy GOP-er says, have you dumb patriotards ever taken a look at Texas? That sucker is still redder than a bloody steak, and so is Arizona, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Utah, and all the other states out West where we've been letting in hordes of Hispanics over the decades. Ditto for the Southern states that have been over-run with immigration, including Florida, which has always been a swing state.

    The GOP knows more about their long-term interests than some clueless culture-warring vote-giver like you. That's why they always tune you out -- you have no idea what you're talking about.

    Same with the clueless libs whining about why their party doesn't try to abolish the Electoral College. Duh, because "all those sparsely populated flyover states" are balanced by all those dinky little coastal states. The Dems can really kiss the Senate good-bye if, on top of being the marginal opposition party, they also lost free votes from tiny-population states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, DC, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada.

    It's not in the Dems' long-term interest to commit suicide by giving up all those free spots, so of course they won't abolish the Electoral College or the Senate. Dumb libs who keep urging them earnestly to do so -- "in your own elite interests, if not for the base that you don't care about -- could not be any more clueless.

  5. Back to the midterms, most predictions are ignoring dominant vs. opposition party status, and disjunctive vs. business-as-usual phases of the regime cycle.

    They're saying that "historically" or "on average" the incumbent WH party loses X seats in the midterms. OK, but did you notice that the dominant party of our era loses fewer seats than the opposition party?

    When the Dems had the WH, the '94 and '10 midterms were massacres for the incumbent party, because it was opposition. We call it opposition because it's weak, struggling to maintain control once it gets it, and struggling to preserve its accomplishments when it's no longer in power.

    We call the dominant party dominant because it's dominant. Even when it does lose seats during midterms, like in '06, it doesn't get wiped out as badly. It coasts on and on in power, it easily claws back the accomplishments of the opposition, and has an easy time preserving its own accomplishment even when it's temporarily out of power.

    By saying "on average," the models conflate two very different things -- dominant vs. opposition party -- and come up clueless when put to a real-world test.

    Ditto for the more difficult to see variable, disjunctive vs. business as usual phase of the regime cycle. Only Corey Robin on Twitter is pointing this out, saying we shouldn't expect major gains in the elections -- just like Republicans in the '78 midterms, under disjunctive Carter. Dems began with full control, kept it through the midterms, albeit with lower numbers. But the Reaganite re-aligners were visible at the margins making their way toward the center.

    Just as 2016 was clearly an out-of-the-ordinary presidential election, so the '18 midterms will be out-of-the-ordinary. Models must compare them to others like them -- unfortunately not a lot, but they have to do it anyways. Midterms under Carter, Hoover, Pierce, Quincy Adams, and Adams, like I outlined in those posts.

    There is some minimal awareness of endogenous political dynamics, like incumbent advantage (and hence retirements hurting the party with the most leavers). Other than that, no one is talking about politics per se -- only exogenous factors like the state of the economy, demographics, etc.

    Polling presents the same problems it did back in '16, with no evidence that they've solved those problems. Even more of a black hole.

    Statisticians do not want to over-fit their data. And a model with a zillion inputs, mostly from polling, but potentially including a zillion other exogenous factors, could not be more of a case of over-fitting. It works great in the case it was designed to fit the best -- but will not generalize to one other case, let alone a range of others.

    You want the closest fit, with the least number of factors doing the fitting. Basic model building. But then these spreadsheet junkies never even took a probability class, let alone formal statistics.

  6. Other major problems of mainstream predictions:

    1. Using sheer numbers of seats, rather than a share of the whole up for grabs, which limits the model from comparing a long range of elections, since the House and Senate have not always had as many seats as they do now.

    2. Limiting the range of elections, due in part to 1, but also to general laziness, lack of historical curiosity, clueless technocrat bias about modern times being so different from ancient times (i.e., anytime before 1950 or 1900), etc.

    None of these models goes back to the lead-up to the Civil War, which is the obvious parallel to the present. Corey Robin is pointing out the disjunctive Carter era, but what about the Pierce era? That was not followed by the Lincoln era, but by the Buchanan prolongation of the Pierce admin. Two disjunctive terms back to back, due to a fragmented opposition. Sound familiar?

    3. Not normalizing number of seats or share of seats. If the incumbent party has 80% of the seats, that's highly unusual and unstable, so it won't be surprising to see a massive loss, whether or not it still clears the 50% majority. We should not project that onto the case where the incumbent party has a 55% majority -- it may only lose a small number of seats, since it's already close to a stable 50-50 position.

    They should project a percentage snap-back factor -- like losing 20% of their current seats, rather than a sheer count of seats. If the incumbents have 350 seats in the House, losing 20% means losing 70 seats, whereas if they have only 250 seats, losing the same 20% means losing only 50 seats. It looks like a major difference in absolute terms, but not in terms of elasticity snapping an unstable position back toward a more stable position.

  7. Looks like Democrats could win every statewide race in the rustbelt(PA-OH-MI-WI)this part of the country was always cool to Reaganism(look at the 1988 map) but put Trump over the top in 2016. Doesn't bode well for Trump in 2020.

  8. I deleted the 50,000 word neo-reactionary comments, which were just as clueless as the first ones from Jack Smack (don't bother commenting anymore).

    And did not address the material argument being made about labor-intensive sectors of society, which he cluelessly took to mean hiring landscapers for domestic work, rather than the collective economic activity of an entire sector -- e.g., agriculture, energy and resource extraction, armed forces inc. cops, and manufacturing. As contrasted with informational sectors that are not labor-intensive -- finance, info tech, media / entertainment.

    I'm not trying to get through to ethnic paranoids, who are a lost cause and never had anything to offer anyway -- intellectually or coalitionally.

  9. Dems did better in the Rust Belt tonight b/c the GOP renounced Trumpism -- populism and isolationism.

    Zero GOP candidates ran on re-industrializing the economy, and all that would entail, like gutting NAFTA and beating the shit out of greedy manufacturers who want to off-shore their factories.

    Contrast with Trump 2016: If Nabisco, Carrier, and Ford think they're just going to fire all their workers, move their plants to Mexico, and not face any consequences -- sorry folks, we're going to hit them with a 35% tax at the border. And then they either won't move in the first place, or they will but we'll collect an absolute fortune from that tax (implicitly passing it along to the fired workers to pad their landing).

    Zero GOP-ers said we're going to get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria -- let alone South Korea, Japan, Germany, and Italy. Contrast with Trump 2016: NATO is obsolete, and we're wasting trillions in the Middle East, when that money could be used to spend on ordinary struggling Americans.

    The Dems only did as well as they did in the Rust Belt tonight because they were facing Reaganite zombies, not re-aligners.

    When they face Trump -- if that's who it is in 2020 -- they'll face someone who can at least make a lot of good promises on the campaign trail about anti-imperialism and re-industrialization. Maybe he won't have much to show for that after 4 years -- but promises are better than nothing. At least people would have a distant hope that he could deliver on them in the next 4 years.

    What will the generic Democrat promise? To remain in the quagmires of the Muslim world, to double down on NATO and occupation of South Korea and Japan. And to give off-shoring companies a technocratic slap on the wrist. Sorry -- not inspiring, not a big-picture vision, and not enough to overcome the picture Trump will paint.

    Some of the Rust Belt is of course lost to Trump in 2020, like Michigan. Even Wisconsin and Iowa. But remember, all he needed in 2016 was the swing states of Ohio and Florida -- which are looking pretty good for him, judging by tonight -- and Pennsylvania. Everything else was just icing on the cake.

    And that's assuming there's no 3rd party vote splitting -- like if Bernie wins the Democrat nom, and some centrist runs a spoiler candidacy.

    Or if the DNC rigs the nom against Bernie candidates and rams through a Russiagater centrist. Then it's de facto running a spoiler 3rd party candidate as a main candidate -- one with no real electoral base outside of MSNBC junkies.

    Suppose they run an "ex" spook from the CIA, whose campaign is all about how Trump's tariffs are hurting profits and stock prices (to which Trump says they will help out the workers, if not the owners of the company), and how Trump's rhetoric about Syria and South Korea endangers America's standing in the world, why he's so in love with Vladimir Putin, etc.

    If that's what is being pitched, then maybe Minnesota will vote for Trump next time. As pathetically tone-deaf as Crooked Hillary was, imagine if the DNC or the Rachel Maddow wine-aunt primary voters give the nom to someone who promises to be Hillary Clinton, only on steroids. She had the right vision, just not enough fight in her to take on the orange bully.

    Given how widely the DNC acted to block the Bernie re-aligners, not to mention the psycho voters in Dem primaries who actually choose them over the Bernie choices, I don't put anything past them next time.

    Donald Trump vs. Valerie Plame, 2020 -- electoral armageddon.

  10. Both parties pretending their populist campaigns of '16 never happened. It's incorrect to say that Trump's views on immigration were rejected, since no Republican ran on them -- closed borders, not just ramping up military pork to fly useless drones over an open southern border.

    "Well, so even Trump's own party is rejecting his views on immigration -- that shows how unpopular they are!"

    No, it means the two parties' leadership are again depriving voters of anything that they actually want, and that would be good for the working class broadly.

    You could say the same for single-payer healthcare -- most of the Dem flippers did not run on that, so it shows how unpopular it is! No, it shows how much the Establishment does not want it to be talked about, let alone promised.

    The GOP did not run on closed borders, but also did not run on re-industrialization or de-globalizing our military footprint, which were even more important issues that won Trump the upset victory two years ago.

    These midterms were just an attempt to paper over the seismic shifts that have occurred at the material level (widening inequality, crumbling empire, de-industrialization, open borders, etc.), and the electoral surge of the last presidential cycle that was responding to them (Bernie and Trump).

    Don't count on that wishful thinking lasting into 2020 -- there will be too much popular anger exploding on cue, unlike this midterm year.

    That said, the only signs of re-alignment came from Dems, however minor in number. That's the Bernie candidates who de-throned their neoliberal fellow party members in primaries, like Ali O-C, Tlaib, Omar, etc.

  11. Attended Trump’s rally in Houston for Cruz (the “I’m a nationalist” one). While that particular moment was a soundbite for the ages, and Trump’s speech overall was inspiring and certainly contributed to Cruz’s win over Beto, this rejection of the winning populist ideas Trump ran on was evident throughout the parade of speakers they had on as openers before Trump arrived.

    One after another, going on and on about the tax cuts. The tax cuts, the regulation cuts. Tax cuts, and regulations. Regulations, and tax cuts! Tax cuts, and regulations! And when we win? More tax cuts! Fewer regulations!

    Became downright grating after the fifth person in a row made it the centerpiece of their speech. Nothing about factories coming back, nothing meaningful about foreign policy (we beat ISIS! Iran bad! Texas has a bigger economy than Russia!), the word “wall” not even mentioned once until Cruz went on (and only once by Cruz).

    It’s got to be humbling, right? Going to these places seeing a sea of red hats, knowing that everyone here showed up to see him and not you. But it just doesn’t sink in.

    Trump needs to find a way to get more tactical use from his rallies. His ability to draw a crowd in the tens of thousands wherever he goes is the only weapon he’s got.

  12. Patronage theory proven correct again by the flips. Democrats lost big in states whose patronage networks are primarily material rather than informational (ND, IN, MO, although not running the full table with MT and WV), or lost narrowly where they're evenly split (FL).

    The House flips by Dems had zero to do with ethnic demographics, contra the ethnic paranoid view -- there's no army of destitute non-white / immigrant voters in these wealthy suburbs. Instead, Dems made the case that the GOP was not as good of a patron to the suburban yuppie transplant shit-eaters as the Dems could be, and convinced enough of a sliver of them to change.

    The main appeal came from the GOP's tax cut, which jacked up taxes for affluent blue staters, by removing the mortgage deduction. For people who live in expensive housing markets, that was a killer.

    At the time, mouth-breathing GOP partisans said, "Oh poor babies -- suck it, blue states!" Yeah well now your worthless party lost trifecta control because of that.

    Again, that's not a sign of re-alignment, since the Dems' whole campaign was "The GOP did not optimally cut taxes for the wealthy -- look at how many yuppies were harmed by the removal of the mortgage deduction!" Not a Bernie appeal, not made to working or middle-class voters, not made to left-behind regions and states.

    But a patronage appeal nonetheless, rather than trying to summon hordes of Hispanics or immigrants, who never vote. Or trying to get "women" as a whole to vote one way, when they never due, since they belong to different patronage networks.

  13. Trump's not going to use his only weapon -- popular support -- against the Establishment, else he would've done so already. Two years in, he's only used it to shore up support for bitterly hated GOP-ers and their zombie Reaganite agenda.

    He ran a good confrontation game during the primaries, when he thought it was all just for show, with no real chance of winning the presidency and having to follow through on those challenges to the GOP from within. He's an entertainer, at root.

    He famously can't even fire people to their faces like on The Apprentice, including Sessions today getting a phone call from General Kelly. Look at how much Trump wasted his energies on whipping up his base to howl for Sessions' firing. He's doing more to mobilize the base toward his own petty feuds, not the big picture. Sad.

    There's nothing left of the stillborn Trump revolution from 2016. The only place with any action is the Bernie re-alignment of the Dems.

    Take KS-03 district, where the cuckservative open borders Koch-sucker Yoder was driven out of office. That was always going to be a shaky spot to hold, in Kansas and on a wide-open-borders platform. So the real stakes were what kind of Democrat would replace him?

    In the Democrat primary, there was a Bernie bro supported by Ali O-C, Bernie himself, and others on the re-aligning side. He ended up losing to the ID pol candidate, a dyke of color who is a typical squishy empty centrist.

    If enough Trump supporters had piled into that Democrat primary, they could've replaced Yoder with the Bernie guy. Instead, in partisan stubbornness, they sat on the sidelines or actually went out and voted in the GOP primary, and now they're stuck with another corporate elitist open-borders Rep, who is also going to rub their face in degeneracy with ID politics.

    Trumpian populists have no alternative but to abandon the burning building of the GOP, and try to make sure that its Democrat successor is the most populist and least identity-obsessed as possible.

  14. The field of Bernie-style economic leftists with at least tolerably moderate social views looks pretty barren. “Squishy” is exactly how I’d describe most of these new left-populists when it comes to identity politics. That time Bernie Sanders got mic-jacked by BLM activists and impotently stood aside is emblematic of this. They have no answer to the identitarian left. Is there a single one of them anywhere who has given a clear, decisive “NO!” to the identitarians?

    There isn’t. Until they can do that, Trump’s base is never even going to consider crossing over to them. Trump voters hate the establishment, but they hate the liberals more. The left must draw a sharp line between itself and the liberals before there is any chance of a crossover alliance with the populist right.

    Look to Italy, where such an alliance has succeeded for the first time in recent memory. This triumph was possible because Five Star made a clear break from the center-left and from multiculturalism by defying their orthodoxy on the EU, on immigration, and by refusing to coalition with any of them for years before that.

    Until the populist left adopts a similar strategy over here, what you’re asking for cannot and will not happen.

  15. All of the DSA candidates put race, sex, and gayness aside and only focused on material issues like inequality, housing costs, healthcare, labor organizing, etc. -- Ali O-C, Tlaib, and Omar. Throw in Tulsi Gabbard as well.

    Ditto for Bernie himself, he never whines about that crap.

    If you want every one of them to come out guns a-blazin', "No daughter of mine should have to live in a world where she has to pay off her student loans by being a beard for some Hollywood faggot" -- that's just theatrics.

    As long as they shut up about culture war topics, that's all that's necessary -- a truce, burying the hatchet. And of course, refuse to prioritize and act on them in office, not just stay quiet while campaigning and then turn around and become a culture warrior in office.

    As for activists, commentators, etc., they're already on board with moving racism to the back of the bus, as it were, of Leftist priorities. And it's the women of color who are most pragmatic about that, like Briahna Joy Gray (from the Intercept, mainstream enough to be on Chris Hayes' panels).

    She explicitly says the Left needs the votes of white racists in order to build a broad enough coalition to implement an egalitarian material agenda. After all, Obama won twice thanks to those white racists' votes in flyover country, and Hillary fell short because they defected to Trump.

    That also undercuts your claim that white Trump supporters, even those with racial grievances, will never vote for a lib -- they voted Obama twice. The ones who voted for McCain or Romney are just generic GOP-ers, and were not pivotal to Trump's victory.

    Now, she and other pragmatists are not calling to endorse white racial grievances, or play to them, in order to bring them back on board the broad Left. But just don't prioritize identity politics, treat it "intersectionally" when possible, and always focus primarily on class and economics, and anti-imperialism.

    I think that demographic is the most willing to deal because they have the most skin in the game -- if women of color can't be part of a dominant coalition, they're SOL. If upper-middle class white Leftists are left out of politics, no biggie, they'll whine on the internet but still have a cushy existence.

  16. That's not to say that the average DSA member is willing to put aside the culture war, like good Marxists ought to, but at least the politicians who are running and winning are willing to do so.

    There was a bunch of them in Pennsylvania's local races who won as well, not just the women of color featured on Drudge and Axios as part of their ID-pol framing of events.

    As the Left populists try to win more races across a broader range of the country, they'll figure it out by survival of the fittest.

    E.g., Kucinich ran a Bernie-style primary campaign for Ohio governor, but played up social-cultural degeneracy too much, distracting voters from the material issues. He lost to Cordray in the primary, who lost in the general to cuckservative DeWine.

    If Democrat primary voters want degeneracy, they'll vote for the mainstream candidates -- centrists have been ID-pol-friendly for decades, and it's their main pitch to general audiences ("I'm a Reaganite who wants to troll Bible-thumpers into baking wedding cakes for gays").

    Maybe it's because Kucinich is a Boomer, but those Leftists have a kumbuyah view where there's going to be all this feel-good cultural liberalism, as well as economic populism. That's targeting the hippie demographic, who barely exist anymore.

    Gen X-ers and especially Millennials don't have that utopian view, and are willing to play down identity in order to advance the material issues. Even in districts, like those of Tulsi or Ali O-C, where degeneracy would play well with the voters. They're looking at what did or didn't work for their predecessors, and realizing that the hippie campaigns have never won in a mainstream setting. So what do we have to trim off in order to get the core ideas across to a general audience?

  17. Italy's alliance is a mirror-image of the Trump campaign, so that won't be happening here. In Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Greece, the egalitarian Midcentury era was presided over by the culturally conservative coalition, whereas in Britain and America it was the more liberal coalition. Both camps were economic populists, though.

    When the neoliberal transition took place, the old dominant coalitions were dethroned. So, it has been the conservatives in the UK and US, but the liberals in the Med.

    As neoliberalism gives way to whatever is coming next, the current dominant coalition will be replaced by its rival. In Italy (and the rest of the Med), that means the dickless Socialist parties will be replaced by Gaullist-type parties. Five Star cutting loose its cultural liberalism was an acknowledgement that their reign is almost over, and they have to win over the other side to hang on to some influence. It's passing the baton.

    In the US, it will be the reverse. Trump had to bend over backwards to convince voters he was not a typical conservative or Republican, both of whom are deeply hated by now. He abandoned the culture war throughout his campaign, and made a point of bringing out the first openly gay speaker at the RNC. It's not a pandering tactic either -- he's really not a conservative, but a moderate and even liberal on some issues like gays (supposedly b/c his older brother who died was gay).

    That means those who sided with Trumpian populism who want to hang on to influence through the transition out of Reaganism are going to have to ditch the conservative culture war stuff, provided the other side does as well.

    Same in Italy -- Five Star had to ditch social degeneracy, but "La Lega" had to re-brand itself away from its right-wing cultural separatist roots (Lega Nord, "League of the North," i.e. not those poor, dark-skinned crypto-Libyans in the South).

    It takes two sides to compromise.

  18. To follow through on your Italy analogy, you'd have to commit to civic nationalism with a group you previously wanted a formal political separation from -- African-Americans. "You" specifically if you're white-nationalist, or people on the Alt-Right broadly.

    Lega Nord wanted to separate the prosperous North from the "net negative tax base" in the South. Why should civilized lighter-skinned Northerners have their wealth sapped just to pay for the welfare of those dusky layabouts in the Mezzogiorno?

    It's comparable to white racist populists and African-Americans.

    What was the only way for Lega Nord to gain national power? To ditch that agenda altogether -- they partnered with a Southern-dominated faction, whose leader is a lot darker and Meddier than the Lega leader.

    Salvini agreed to the citizen's income, which is a wealth transfer from the North to the South, to keep the coalition intact -- gibs for gabagoolies.

    The compromise was struck so that both sides could unite against the EU and immigrants. Both the North and the South have reasons to oppose the EU, and to oppose open borders. So if they had previously behaved as bitter internal rivals, they had to bury the hatchet.

    White racist populists will have to strike the same compromise -- overt commitment to welfare programs that will be class-based, but given the race-class correlation, programs that will disproportionately benefit African-Americans (not "blacks," since that could include recent immigrants, but only the descendants of slaves). It will be a wealth transfer from prosperous whites to poorer Af-Ams.

    Also some kind of affirmative action programs specifically for descendants of slaves.

    What's in it for either side? Uniting against the globalists who want to replace Americans with cheap foreign labor, and who don't want to spend any government funds on common people but only on elite welfare projects like empire-building and tech bubbles.

    That would be civic nationalism, including Euro-Americans and the descendants of slaves brought to this country centuries ago, but excluding our cheap-labor replacements and their neoliberal patrons.

    I've been pushing that '80s buddy cop plot since the Trump campaign -- Trumpian populists have more in common allying with the Black Panthers than with country club GOP-ers.

    But not with ethnic groups who want set-asides despite being recent, voluntary, opportunistic immigrants to this country. CAIR, La Raza, etc.

  19. Trump aligned with the Reaganites, but they could do some things for him. They could staff his administration (he otherwise obviously had no idea), shield his business enterprises from congressional investigation, and get his tax cuts through.

    Trump and his inner circle understand DC more, and the election negates the other two factors. A Donk House means the GOP can't shield Trump from Congressional subpoenas and can't deliver on finance or budget related legislation anymore. His position in the Senate is strengthened, not just in terms of fewer Donks, but with retiring Reaganites being replaced by more nationalist Republicans.

    So the prospects for a left-right deal improved on Tuesday.

    Incidentally, the historical post World War 2 midterms that most resemble 2018, in terms of the nationwide popular votes and the number of seats in both houses that changed hands, are 1954 and (even more so) 1982, not 1978.

  20. Wrong, 1954 saw both chambers change hands, and they were a loss of a tri-fecta for the opposition party -- GOP under the New Deal. That's akin to '94 mid-terms, not now.

    1982 saw neither chamber change hands, and both began and finished in the hands of the opposition party, while the dominant party was in the WH (split govt).

    If the Dem takeover of the House were due to Bernie-style campaigns, then yes, there'd be an improved chance of populist cooperation with Trump. But since the appeal was to rich selfish yuppies angry about sub-optimal tax cuts, there will be no such bills being introduced.

    The major theme will be how to restore the lost faith of the wealthy suburbanites, who are elitist rather than populist.

    No nationalist Republicans took the place of the cucks who left -- zero support de-globalizing our military, esp. McSally who is bought and paid for by the Pentagon, de-globalizing our companies' supply chains (NAFTA, China in the WTO, etc.), and zero support deporting all illegals, building a wall, ending birthright citizenship, and cutting off legal immigration in the future.

    They simply changed cucks who bad-mouth Trump with cucks who hug Trump. It has no impact whatsoever on the outcomes of government, it's just placating Trump while they ram through their neocon garbage. Trump does not understand institutions, coalitions, or anything collective. For him, it's all interpersonal relations among individuals. So just put in Reaganite zombies who will smile and shake his hand, and he won't take on the Establishment like he promised two years ago.

    Ditto for cabinet appointments -- Bolton is no better than McMaster, and Gaffney will be no better than Mattis. Likely, both will be worse than their already garbage predecessors. But Bolton and Gaffney are neocons who hold their nose while hugging Trump, in order to pick his wallet, while McMaster and Mattis were unwilling to swallow their pride and genuflect before Dear Leader in order to get their larger policy goals achieved.

  21. More pragmatism from prominent Left women on toning down the appeals to race and sex, in favor of universal appeals to material issues:

    Writer of that thread, Katie Halper, is a Jewish New Yorker who works in the media sector, who you'd normally expect to focus only on generic liberal culture war BS.

    But she's a socialist, not a lib, so more of a class focus. And also a Millennial -- they are so sick of seeing their Boomer parents' generation fail at such basic things for no reason, and want to change strategies and ideologies ASAP.

    Being female may also play a role -- they're less inclined toward hardcore purist cults on either the Left or Right, and are more pragmatic.

    That also points to a fundamental weakness of the Alt-Right and fellow-minded people -- there are so few females, because it is so puritanical and culturally obsessed. Material issues are pragmatic, culture is more airy-fairy.

    There are some mainstream women like Ann Coulter who sympathize with it, but she's pragmatic and would easily trade a British-style single-payer healthcare system in exchange for a crackdown on employers of illegals so that more go back home.

    And she's fully on-board the protection of descendants of slaves -- for affirmative action for that group (and not others, like recent immigrants), and would likely trade New Deal welfare programs in exchange for immigration policies typical of that era rather than the Reaganite era.

    Too many would-be re-aligners on both the Left and Right are purist males who get drawn into escapist minimal-tent cults that figuratively or perhaps literally jerk each other off in their secluded bunker compound.

    Which re-aligning side has more of a groundswell of pragmatic women? Clearly the Left, not the Right.

  22. Are you sure you aren't conceptualizing this incorrectly? This year, your political predictions have been way off, especially now with the House. I don't know what is correct.

  23. No, they're all in line with what I've said. I predicted R's losing seats but barely holding onto the House, while they lost a bit more and D's are barely holding onto the House. I predicted Senate would tilt toward more R's if anything, and that's also true.

    I haven't made many other predictions, if at all, since there's been no clear test like an election. It's mostly been analysis, which you may agree or disagree with, but has nothing to do with predictions succeeding or failing.

    If you mean big-picture impressions, re-alignment will happen on the non-GOP side rather than the GOP side -- 100% true, with no GOP-ers running on Trump's 2016 agenda, but plenty of D's running on the Bernie 2016 agenda (and then some).

    Rust Belt not being a lock for the GOP, since they voted mainly on trade, and the Trump admin has exploded the trade deficits wider than under Obama. Also true -- no wave of GOP flips in the Midwest.

    2020 being like 1856 where the disjunctive party gets a second term due to fragmented opposition -- looking more and more likely every day. I certainly hope Bernie gets the nom and wins the general, but there's still not enough transformation from the Dem Establishment and a too-large chunk of the electorate (albeit less than in '16, when they thought neolibs were invincible against populists).

    And likewise for other re-alignments that I've pointed to -- it will be the Left in the UK, the Right in the Med, the Left in Israel, some faction aside from the Sudairi Seven in Saudi Arabia, etc. I.e., coalitions other than the currently dominant ones during the neolib era.

    Biggest signs of that are the May govt fragmenting, while the Corbyn faction of Labor gets stronger and more influential, and the Salvini / Lega group taking over more and more of Italian politics.

  24. "U.S. National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro discusses how Wall Street bankers and hedge-fund managers are attempting to influence U.S.-China trade talks. He speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C."

    Is one of the big "splits" right now over which enemy we ought to focus on? The Pentagon of course is itching to get more conflict started. But against whom? For the Wall Street Dems, it's Russia, who they haven't forgiven after Putin put guys like Larry Summers on notice for what they did to Russia in the 90's. On the other hand, the Wall Streeters don't have as much animus against China.

    The Trumpites are doing more agitating against China, for two reasons that I can presume: appealing to the Rust-belt, which hates all the crap made in China. Secondly, because much of the Pentagon views China as an increasingly arrogant power, and is concerned that the US has become too close to China since the 70's (the fact that the Pentagon's arch enemies in the Dem party, the Wall Streeters, have embraced all things China doesn't help).

    The nuttiest of the neo-cons want to pursue aggressiveness toward all the players (except Saudi Arabia and Israel), no matter the financial and political costs (and no matter how discredited they've been in the eyes of the public since the mid-2000's).

    It seems that the staggering lack of accountability applied to Wall Street and the Pentagon might come to a head, part of the deepening crisis phase we're in. We don't need to be whoring ourselves out militarily and/or economically to Israel, the House of Saud, and the Chi-coms. Nor do we need to constantly provoke Russia with military structures and activities being boldly placed in areas that we once promised to stay out of, and attempting to vilify a world power with bogus allegations of election interference.

  25. "I haven't made many other predictions, if at all, since there's been no clear test like an election"
    Earlier in the year when you thought the Bernie candidates would do well and they got shut out. On many trends, you've called them correctly and were way out ahead of everyone else, like the Mormons and Westerners. So, your explanations way back then for why these developments would come to pass carry far more weight than the grappling for answers by pundits after the fact.

  26. Literal socialists elected to Congress = Sandernista shut-out. Including one who dethroned the #2 Dem in the House, with a fully grassroots campaign. Brilliant analysis.

    Check the Our Revolution twitter account from election day, and look at how many of them won. Especially at state-level offices. That's after already winning their Dem primaries, pushing out the neolibs from the party.

    I made no specific predictions for this or that race, and gave a general view of where things are heading -- which has been proven correct by the election results. Namely:

    1) The Bernie people are taking over the Democrats, at the primary level and even in the general.

    2) The only populist realignment is among the Democrats (or non-GOP, if they become a distinct party).

    3) This is due to the regime cycle dynamics, where the dominant party becomes sclerotic and cannot change even when a maverick runs against the orthodoxy (e.g. Trump during the Reagan era, or Carter during the New Deal era). It falls to the opposition party to mount a realignment and become the new dominant party.

    4) Also borne out by the European trajectories, whereby the populists are gaining more and more ground -- but on different sides, depending on which is dominant during the neolib era. Conservative elitists replaced by liberal populists in the Anglo countries, Liberal elitists replaced by conservative populists in the Med.

  27. Another major true prediction: Romney moving in to wound Trump in time for the 2020 primary / general election season.

    He wasted no time after getting elected before challenging Trump over Mueller-gate, appealing to the Never Trumpers and crossover Mueller-gate junkie Democrats. "Never Trumpers don't exist in the electorate" -- but they do in the elites, who hold actual wealth and power, and can make things happen in a way that the poor vote-givers cannot.

    You can also count on him to run a campaign against Trump's tariffs and trade / industrial policy overall, appealing to the old-order manufacturing elites (not their workers, who prefer Trump) and the agricultural elites (whose products are now slapped with counter-tariffs due to Trump).

    This is not a specific prediction about Romney, but someone who is interchangeable with him in being a lion of the old-order GOP. See this prediction from my original post comparing Trump to Carter, before I got clued in to Skowronek's regime cycle model and ran with it:

    "The first disruption to Carter was a bruising primary challenge from a major figure of the old school, namely the New Deal Northeastern liberal Teddy Kennedy. He didn't like the strange new direction that Carter was taking the party in. Trump will certainly face a brutal primary challenge in 2020, from some major figure of the old school of Reaganite conservatism -- let's just say Mitt Romney -- who cannot sleep at night knowing the perverse direction that the president is steering his party in. These primary battles severely damage the incumbent during the general."

    From another post:

    "That would mean that, notwithstanding all of the Republicans who are offing themselves rather than be taken hostage, some will remain who will try to wound the sitting invader president in the next primary. Mitt Romney is not suddenly heading off to the Senate in order to help Trump carry out the re-alignment."

  28. As for actual policy outcomes, not just election results, everything I "predicted" has come true:

    1) Military global footprint and spending has shot up.

    2) Trade deficits have shot up.

    3) Illegal immigration has shot up.

    Those are all counter to what Trump ran and won on, and counter to what we thought he'd be doing once in office. The event that woke me out of that wishful thinking fan-fiction was the first bombing of Syria, just over two months after his inauguration.

    That signaled that the GOP elites were in control, not Trump, so their Reaganite business as usual would continue -- pointless wasteful militarism, off-shoring manufacturing to cut costs, and importing hordes of cheap foreigners to cut costs.

    These were not just one-time reversals that have stayed as bad as they were in 2017 -- they've gotten even worse during his second year. So you can call that a prediction if you want, and it's come true.

    Trump is a disjunctive president who cannot get any of his distinctive policies implemented -- he can only rubber-stamp what the entrenched dominant party hands him.

    And some fiddling at the margins, of course, like meeting symbolically with "Chairman Kim" and implementing some tariffs (even there, not to different from GWB's steel tariffs). Just like Carter largely failing to implement the deconstruction of the New Deal that he ran on, notwithstanding his baby steps toward deregulation of transportation and finance.

    This is not a "no duh" analysis that everyone agrees with -- most people, on either side, view Trump as having taken over the GOP, rather than the Reaganites having taken Trump hostage. And they view him as a uniquely dangerous fascistic threat (whether that fan-fic is dystopian or utopian, depending on which side it comes from), when in reality he's completely impotent due to his disjunctive status, and rides out the clock hate-watching cable news and tweeting like a red-faced Fox News grandpa on twitter.

    So not only was my analysis insightful, it was mostly original -- an independent discovery, given that people who'd studied Skowronek had that view after the election, and it took me a year to figure it all out, though on my own.

  29. Major true prediction: stock bubble to pop under Trump, as finance party safely out of power, and can tighten monetary conditions at the central bank while pinning the blame on their rivals (standard move for them -- Reagan, Bush Sr., Bush Jr., now Trump).

    That prediction was from June 2017, before the melt-up of late '17, and the first big pop in February '18.

    Not one unique to me, as I credited Nassim Taleb and Peter Schiff for noticing the same thing around the same time. But more insightful analytically, since I drew that conclusion from a general view of which elite sectors control the Dems vs. GOP (finance vs. military).

    The central bank, and its chairman Powell, have only removed more and more doubt about their intentions to pop the Everything Bubble since then, by raising interest rates and dumping the garbage held on their balance sheets.


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