October 11, 2016

Obama speechwriter: Bernie's class focus is racist and sexist (Wikileaks)

An earlier post looked at why populism triumphed in the Republican rather than the Democrat primary. In either party, the class orientation had to overcome its party's version of identity politics. That is mostly based on race and ethnicity in the Democrats, and Evangelical Christianity in the Republicans. Race is inherited, while religion is not, making race a stickier aspect of identity to get away from.

This email from the latest Wikileaks series on John Podesta includes a ranting memo by Obama's speechwriter Jon Favreau (Feb. 2016), in which he whines about Bernie's focus on class taking away from the identity politics that has been the Democrats' go-to red meat for at least a generation:

Far more effective has been what [Hillary has] been doing recently - saying that Bernie is a single issue voter and that there are a lot more issues at stake than Wall Street. This idea that class is the only divide and economic issues are all that matter is a very white male centric view of the world (a Bernie Bro view, if you will).

He doesn't really mean the "male" part -- it's just a standard cop-out buzzword that wasn't satisfied to just pile onto whites, why not add men too? Women are just as held down as men are by Wall Street dominating the economy, sending jobs overseas to boost corporate profits, and so on.

What he really means is class vs. race and ethnicity. Working-class people vote similarly, blacks vote similarly. But women do not vote similarly.

It also reminds me of the hilarious joke that Brian Buetler keeps making every time some asshole says something horribly racist about Obama or sexist about Hillary or prejudice about immigrants and Muslims - oh, let's not blame them, they're just economically anxious.

Here we see the "basket of deplorables" argument -- a patronizing view of people whose jobs have been sent overseas, and are duped into supporting someone like Trump. Also the dismissive tone toward class politics -- folks in the Rust Belt aren't living paycheck to paycheck, with no good jobs in sight. They're just economically anxious, another bullshit PC euphemism.

People are of course economically anxious, and Bernie is tapping into that very well. But that's only half the equation. They're also being told to blame other groups for all their problems - blacks, gays, immigrants, Muslims, women, political correctness, etc. Fighting that intolerance and divisiveness is just as important as fighting inequality - arguably more so in this election because Trump has made it the defining issue.

Who's blaming blacks, gays, and women for the de-industrialization of our economy and economic inequality? This is just kneejerk "intersectionality," where all identity politics topics are related to each other. In reality, Trump and Bernie only point to immigrants as a source of "economic anxiety" for Americans -- greater supply of labor, lower price of labor, lower wages and incomes.

Favreau is being a typical hysterical homosexual.

Still, that response does have an effect -- to make any discussion of class taboo because you won't only be seen as being skeptical of immigration, but of every kind of diversity -- racial, gender, sexuality, religious, whatever. Populism is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

And they're not so wrong, since you are trying to turn the focus away from identity politics and toward class. You aren't anti-black or anti-woman -- you simply don't think national policy has to worry about how racial minorities feel about their identity, or whether men make cat-calls to women wearing revealing clothing. What will the president possibly do to affect those matters? Nothing, but he will affect how much power Wall Street has, whether manufacturing industries stay here or go abroad, and so on.

Favreau says the Democrats have to sideline class matters because Trump has made race, ethnicity, gender, etc., so central -- and yet he's only talked about immigration, not how blacks are ruining society, how women belong in the kitchen, how gays should not allowed to be married, or whatever else. That would be someone more in the mold of Ted Cruz, culture warrior. But again, to the identity-obsessed, anything that is class-oriented must therefore be rabidly against all identity groups.

Too bad he read the mood wrong, which is about populism and the related topic of immigration, rather than about identity politics, only taking the pro-white pro-man pro-hetero side. By misreading the mood, he misreads the roots of Trump's popularity, and misreads how to counteract it -- with a populist of their own, not the most corrupt elitist Establishmentarian they could have possibly run.

His is not an uncommon mistake, and is the reason why the Trump movement has so effortlessly bulldozed through the Establishment of one party and soon the other, the media, and the donor class.

Pay better attention for next time, or you're done for good.


  1. Referring to Hillary Clinton, John Podesta wrote: "I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans".

  2. NBC's latest poll was conducted by a firm owned by a man who runs a pro-Hillobeast SuperPAC: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/10/11/media-polling-fully-exposed-about-that-nbcwsj-clinton-11-point-poll/#more-123009

  3. If you know any former Sanders supporters who are not carrying water for Crooked Hillary, here's a good Twitter account to warm them up to Trump:


    Former Bernie babe, then joined the Trump train after the primaries were over. She has a pinned tweet with a good video explaining why she switched.

    Millennial, female, blue state, tattooed, not ideological, clear traces of slacker-ish youth -- a big deal for the Johnson supporters, who consider him South Park: The Candidate.

    May not convert too many hardcore progressives, who have gone to Stein. But she could persuade the under-35 Johnson supporters.

    A day after I posted a tweet of hers to my brother's Facebook, he shared a Milo video -- pretty rapid change. It's from the debate, where Trump says "Because you'd be in jail," and the "deal with it" shades come down, a blunt lands in his mouth, and they play Snoop Dogg.

  4. It looks like the USC poll has Trump and Clinton locked in a dead heat now. He took a blow for this leaked tape.

    Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. But I agree with agnostic that Trump's popularity falls during the end of the odd month and beginning of the even month, but will begin climbing again. There's a lot that can happen in the next four weeks.

  5. It's not the tape, which does not show up in the gentle decline since the beginning of the month. Neither did the debate, btw -- same as with the first debate.

    The big drop on Tuesday was due to the open Ryan-Trump war within the party. It makes people second-guess how strong the coalition is. People want to join a solid coalition that is not going to blow up.

    Ryan will get his ass handed to him, and the wishy-washy cycle will enter its final upward phase. That should do the trick by November 8.

    In the meantime, it wouldn't be the worst thing for Paul Ryan to get droned.

    1. Important to emphasize those who come back into the fold.

      I'm aware of 3 who walked back. As for pundits, Hugh Hewitt is about the only 1 I can imagine walking back his calls for dropout as he is a genuine values voter. Many of the rest are the types that secretly support Hillary, but want to retain their cred with the values voters; same people who would emotionally blackmail pro-life voters during the primaries.

      The National Review crowd is more in the middle and you're exactly right that a lot of these guys were pumped after the second debate. They were let down when Trump went after Ryan (IMHO, he had no choice), but hopefully, we can quickly let bygones be bygones.

      I believe there is a whisper campaign to keep alive the idea of #GOPSabotage by marginal GOP party members hoping to poach positions, even seats, for themselves. And they're finding outlets in the more... eccentric, flightly types.

  6. I know, Nate Silver is unbelievably biased and in many ways stupid and autistic. Everything from 538 likewise should be carefully scrutinized because they're just as bad if not worse than the big networks.

    However, 538 did release something interesting recently. It shows areas that given their demographics would be expected to shift towards Trump from Obama 2012-2016, and likewise towards Clinton from Romney.

    The great news is that the areas shifting towards Clinton tend to be in states that are overwhelmingly Republican anyway. Utah, Mississippi, Texas, and other parts of the South and red areas are the places where she stands to gain votes. In other words, she won't be gaining votes in many swing states.

    Trumps largest areas shifting towards him are places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, etc, in other words Midwestern and inland "liberal" states that are either swing or slightly blue.

    Even in their biased model based off many biased polls and home-effect bullshit manipulation of the data, you'll notice that Trump barely loses Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New Hampshire, while he wins Ohio, Iowa, and one of Maine's electoral votes!

    Keep in mind that besides all the bullshit I think they genuinely believe in an overestimation of how college educated whites feel negatively towards Trump, which would make their model even more bullshit.

    So, even with a model that predicts her winning 52.7% of the vote in an election with higher than average third party vote, she barely holds onto the victory! They also note that this model shows Trump winning Vigo County, the county that has been the best bellweather for presidential elections for a Century or more, predicting every election since 1956.

  7. Take a deep breath...The more hostile and triumphant the media acts, the more it indicates that they are genuinely worried. After Trump dominated the debate, the media diffidently reacted to it by burying not only the righteous euphoria of Trump supporters but also the even more persuasive reality that he won over fence sitters like Frank Luntz's focus group. They then regurgitated the usual ID politics and temperament shaming via the weaponized tabloid tape. The "news cycle" of Tuesday and Wednesday has been predicated on the cuck sell-out brigade. They've done an effective job of letting the GOP civil war overshadow what should've been a unifying debate performance. But the GOP elite clearly sided with Hillary all along; they never had any intention of a Trump alliance. Paul Ryan had to bite his tongue until he had been re-elected and until the pres. election day drew near, so as to maximize the damage done to Trump's/the GOP's image.

    Even some people in the USC poll feel so embarrassed by Trump getting abandoned by True Conservatives (TM) like Ryan that they're more reticent to hold the Trump banner. Ryan to us is obviously a traitor, a globalist, an ineffectual nerd, and a backstabber. But to GOP partisans, well, partisanship dies hard. Likewise for the Dems.I'm not kidding when I say that Dem partisans would gladly vote Trump if he happened to have a D by his name. One thing that's underrated right now is the fact that in a less partisan climate, legions of Dems would've jumped shipped and voted no to Hillary.

    I talked to a True Conservative (she denies that the GOP commits election fraud) who said that a lot of the Christian ideologues she follows are struggling with who to vote for. I pointed out that states granted statehood after 1840 seemed to be much more nervous about Trump in the primary, regardless of how religious the primary voters ostensibly were. No response. Genteel right-wingers, whether they be Ned Flanders types or prissy Bill Buckley types, just don't get a lot of the class, ethnic, and geography elements at work. I've told her several times that the South is the most religious part of the country, but they had no qualms about voting Trump. Christian ID warriors who concentrate in the Plains and Mountains are totally oblivious to the fact that Easterners and Southerners care less about flaky posturing and more about getting things done. She even claims that Trump "could" be bought; are you kidding? Every globalist elite hates him and wants him to lose. He's also lost billions of dollars in terms of his fellow elites not wanting to do business with him and many countries/businesses/colleges will now refuse to have anything to do with him.

    I've also told her several times that Trump is now doing and saying things no other GOP candidate would ever have the guts to say. And they need to be said. He's exposed a lot of things that otherwise would've been marginalized to the realm of internet underground arcana.

    I think we might have to wait until a couple days before the next debate before we see the next "scandal" thrown at Trump. You can tell what the strategy is: unleash something embarrassing both shortly before and after a debate so as to distract from how horrible everything about Clinton is. She literally couldn't stand up to Trump during the town hall debate cuz she's that frail.

  8. "I'm not kidding when I say that Dem partisans would gladly vote Trump if he happened to have a D by his name."

    How funny would it be, in the unlikely event of a Hillary presidency, if Trump's next act is a hostile takeover of the Democrat party -- along with a left populist in the mold of Bernie, although not Bernie himself since he sold out?

    Tell everyone of his old supporters to vote in the Democrat primary, since your vote was worthless in the last Republican one, where the GOP leaders sabotaged a winnable election at the last moment.

    All of a sudden, the "blue wall" and Dem partisanship goes to the advantage of Trump / Bernie 2.0.

    Make the running mate Tulsi Gabbard -- least pozzed of Democrats, Bernie supporter who never sold out, younger, woman, minority-ish background. The Bernie people still look up to her, especially now that it's come out that the Clinton campaign all but threatened her over endorsing Bernie instead of Crooked Hillary.

    Like I said, in the *unlikely* event.

  9. Random Dude on the Internet10/12/16, 6:08 PM

    I also believe it was the interparty war that caused the big drop. One of the things normie voters want is effective government and if Trump is continually fighting his own party, then it raises questions about how effective he can roll out his agenda if he spends his (hopefully) eight years continually fighting with his own party leadership. They don't want to vote for a guy who effectively becomes a lame duck on day one.

    I think this will be temporary because Ryan is throwing his own career in the trash can with this. He won the 2016 primary against Paul Nehlen, sure, but what if Ryan is such a stick in the mud that Nehlen tries again in 2018 and wins? Ryan has to be careful. I'm sure he wants to be President in 2020 but he is flushing his career down the toilet by fighting Trump. I suspect it will eventually begin sinking in, the interparty warfare will die down, and the numbers will shoot back up.

    A bump in the road at best but hopefully the last bump in the road that he experiences.

  10. Ryan cannot be primaried by the voters -- he has too much money, power, incumbency record, influence, networking, contacts, talk radio media, etc., pushing him forward.

    The only realistic chance to boot him is for the Democrat to win. This time, he's a good one, too -- Bernie-esque, to appeal to voters in the state that Bernie won big-league in the primary. Not a Clintonite corporate globalist pandering to identity politics.


    The only other way is if the money, contacts, etc. that prop Ryan up are removed because he becomes toxic to them.

    That's what happened in 1968 when LBJ was informed by those with real wealth and power that he would not be running for re-election. Escalating the War in Vietnam and antagonizing the Boomers was putting society on the brink of revolt, and that was going to ruin their party's chances indefinitely.

    I'd rather see the Democrat take his place, since he's better on the issues than whoever would be the GOP replacement if his donors and backers fired Ryan.

  11. BTW, in the last presidential election year, Ryan only won his district 55 to 43. And that's when he was the running mate of the Pres candidate!

    Midterm election would be a harder time for a Dem to unseat him.

    But with so many people coming out to the polls this year, and with such a Bernie / Trump feeling in the air, who knows?

    Anybody who can should be pushing for Solen rather than Ryan.

    If Solen turns out to be bad, primary or challenge him in two measly years. He'll be a total newcomer.


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