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Ever since President Trump won the White House in 2016, a shocked Democratic Party had been united behind the mission of defeating him. Four years later, with the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the divides that have long simmered among Democrats are now beginning to burst into the open, as the president-elect confronts deep generational and ideological differences among congressional lawmakers, activists and the party’s grass-roots base.

The fault lines began to emerge within hours of Mr. Biden’s victory. Moderates argued that his success, particularly in industrial Midwestern states that Mr. Trump seized from the Democrats in 2016, was proof that a candidate who resisted progressive litmus tests was best positioned to win back voters who had abandoned the Democratic Party. Those tests included single-payer health care, aggressive measures to combat climate change and expanding the Supreme Court.

After a fiery call among members of the House Democratic caucus, in which some argued that progressives who have entertained ideas like defunding the police or “Medicare for all” had cost the party congressional seats, some Democratic leaders pushed further away from the left wing.

Representative Conor Lamb, a moderate from Pennsylvania who survived a difficult Republican challenge, said the results should be a wake-up call to the left.

“What we heard from a lot of our constituents was that they do not like the Democratic message when it comes to police in Western Pennsylvania, and when it comes to jobs and energy,” he said. “And that we need to do a lot of work to fix that.”

But after four years of pent-up frustration and energy, that may prove unlikely. By every early indication, Mr. Biden’s election has emboldened progressive energy, no matter the setbacks in the congressional races. There is an up-and-coming generation of elected Democratic officials who have been waiting in the wings, eager to take the lead in formulating a platform for the party.

After supporting Mr. Biden as a means of defeating Mr. Trump, younger and more progressive Democrats who have gained a foothold in Congress and among party activists are skeptical about his future administration. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, setting policy terms in a statement after Mr. Biden was declared victorious, said: “A Band-Aid approach won’t get the job done. We have a mandate for action on bold plans to meet these twin health and economic crises.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a leading voice of the party’s left wing, said in a phone interview that the next few weeks would set the tone for how the incoming administration will be received by liberal activists.

“I think that’s what people are keeping an eye out for: Is this administration going to be actively hostile and try to put in appointments that are going to just squash progressives and organizing?” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “I don’t envy the Biden team. It’s a very delicate balance. But I think it’s really important to strike a good one. Because it sends a very, very powerful message on the intention to govern.”

Jamaal Bowman, a progressive New York Democrat who will be sworn into the next Congress, took the view that Mr. Biden’s victory was not an affirmation of moderate ideology, but a testament to a diverse Democratic Party that had embraced the shared goal of defeating an unpopular president. He cited the work during the general election of progressive groups and candidates who opposed Mr. Biden during the Democratic primary, including young climate organizers like the Sunrise Movement — and said they should be rewarded.

“We have to move past the moderate-versus-liberal conversations and start speaking and moving together as a strong party,” Mr. Bowman said. “We have organizations like the Sunrise Movement and candidates like Jamaal Bowman who have gone out of our way to get Joe Biden elected.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said she expected a long-term fight, particularly given the setbacks for Democrats in the congressional contests. She also cited cabinet appointments as a way to measure Mr. Biden’s ideological core.

She said some people, including Mr. Emanuel, should not play a role in the party’s future. The former mayor has been floated by some in Mr. Biden’s inner circle to lead a department like housing or transportation.
“Someone like Rahm Emanuel would be a pretty divisive pick,” she said, citing his record as mayor on racial justice and his opposition to teachers’ unions. “And it would signal, I think, a hostile approach to the grass-roots and the progressive wing of the party.”

But for some on the left, the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis were reasons to push the administration further — not to back off. They cited mistakes made as Mr. Obama began his administration in 2009, when many believed the party’s progressive wing was too deferential to the new president in a moment of economic crisis.

“I don’t think there will be a grace period for Biden, because the country doesn’t have time for a grace period,” said Heather McGhee, a former president of Demos, a progressive policy and research organization. “A million more people in poverty don’t have time for a grace period. A racial epidemic and the coronavirus pandemic isn’t taking a grace period. As he is declared the winner, he needs to be putting a team in place that can really change Washington.”

Nina Turner, a co-chair of Mr. Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign, said she expected progressives to pressure Mr. Biden’s transition team and administration from the outset. When asked how open she thought Mr. Biden would be to the left, she said, “If the rhetoric that’s being used on the campaign trail is any indication, not very open.”

Still, she said, “things have an amazing way of changing once you’re in the office and you get that pressure.”



Democrats to point fingers at one another over the party’s weak showing in House races, warning that doing so would only inflame deep tensions.

The New York Democrat, an icon of the party’s progressive wing, appeared on CNN “State of the Union” as House Democrats faced the prospect of holding a thinner majority heading into the next Congress than they had after the 2018 election.

Some House Democratic leaders and other moderates warned last week that moving too far left cost the party House seats and imperiled the party’s hopes of capturing the Senate, which will be determined by two runoff races in Georgia in January. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a “Blue Dog” Democrat from Virginia, warned colleagues on a private call after the election that “no one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again.”
Ocasio-Cortez rejected that criticism on Sunday.

“When we kind of come out swinging not 48 hours after Tuesday, and we don’t even have solid data yet, pointing fingers and telling each other what to do, it deepens the division in the party,” she said. “And it’s irresponsible. It’s irresponsible to pour gasoline on what is already very delicate tensions in the party.”


Good diary at DK on this issue


My conservative neighbors are not impressed with Republican-light. They roll their eyes, chuckle a bit, and take it as a sign that Republicans were right all along, about everything, and Democrats just need to admit it. Appealing to their supposed grievances doesn’t win anything, it is now abundantly clear, and is a huge waste of time.

There are messages that can work here. They work best when neighbors are talking with neighbors. The problem is mostly execution and technical ability, as AOC rightly calls out.

The conservative message has talk radio all day, everyday; Fox News every night; Sinclair Broadcasting when switching to local news; and a well-curated right wing Facebook stream going 24/7. Combined, it takes up every bit of oxygen in the area. And we just don’t have the resources to present a better, positive message on a consistent basis.

The problem isn’t the progressive message. $15/hour wage, green jobs, and universal health/child care would get some attention. Neighbors now know, from recent-ish experiences, that sending police to a drug overdose isn’t all that helpful. They can be surprisingly open to reforming who gets dispatched to what emergency. We just don’t have the resources, technical experience, or those with dedicated time to get these and other messages out.

I’m talking transitioning the email list to Constant Contact, along with starting (and continuing) a regular newsletter. Setting up a HootSuite account to unify social messaging. Creating an ActBlue account to raise money from everyone who was born here and moved away. And, most importantly, organizing the data from those efforts to constantly improve and fine-tune the local party’s approach. And building it all in such a way that little is lost when volunteers re-focus on other aspects of their lives (as is always inevitable).

We need to see which email newsletters get forwarded and which social media messages are shared. Learn what creates engagement, and do the slow, hard work of building on every tiny bit of success. It’s all oh-so-very possible, and not-so-very happening. Rural means we’re light on people with time and ability — but not capability.

Don midwest
Don midwest

yes. I live in central ohio and worry that the dems are willing to lie down with those who last week they said were a threat to democracy

need to tie republicans to Trump

even Kasich

especially him since the dumb establishment invited him to speak at the convention and gave AOC 60 seconds

AOC in 60 seconds can say more than Biden in an hour


Another good one on the rec list there.


Dear Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez,

I imagine that you are growing weary of all those Democratic centrists and Lincoln Project Republicans who would like you to keep quiet and not make waves as we celebrate the Biden-Harris victory.

While I am delighted that Donald Trump will no longer pollute the office of the presidency, it is my fervent hope that you will continue to speak out forcefully for social justice, regardless of what the more moderate folks may say.


When are these Blue Dog yahoos going to be described by the MSM as the GOPuke Lite they actually are? Are they still so stupid they can’t see how their influx since 1980-81 has hurt the Party and the country?


I don’t think progressives should run from this fight. The Establishment is inviting us to shine a light on their abysmal electoral record, I say let’s keep doing that. Their brand is losing, refuse to allow any of their stink near our progressives.


Hopefully, AOC was saying this in a down moment. We definitely need her.


For a politician who easily won reelection, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) doesn’t sound very eager to continue in public office.

“I don’t even know if I want to be in politics,” the progressive star said in an interview with The New York Times on Saturday, after Democrat Joe Biden clinched the presidential election.

Ocasio-Cortez discussed the “extreme hostility” her ideas have faced within her own party, prompting the Times to ask if she’d consider a run for the Senate.

“I genuinely don’t know,” she replied. “I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for reelection this year.”

She continued: “It’s the incoming. It’s the stress. It’s the violence. It’s the lack of support from your own party. It’s your own party thinking you’re the enemy.”

Ocasio-Cortez has backed aggressive measures to combat climate change, promote universal health care and defund the police. Her views have made her a prominent target of President Donald Trump and the GOP.

Ocasio-Cortez said she pursued reelection to prove that the progressive movement was “real,” and that guaranteed health care was a true mandate from Democrats. But she characterized her chances of remaining in the public arena to pursue those goals as 50-50.

“I’m serious when I tell people the odds of me running for higher office and the odds of me just going off trying to start a homestead somewhere — they’re probably the same,” she said.


She has the right to want to homestead/raise a family. AOC has taken a ferocious beating from yahoos like Botoxed Pelousy. (h/t wi62).


yeah. i don’t see her leaving anytime soon. feels like it’s in her blood.



In an increasingly flailing effort to undercut the legitimacy of his election loss at the hands of Joe Biden, President Donald Trump’s legal team and remaining campaign apparatus are preparing to hold press conferences and in-person rallies at which they plan to display the supposed evidence behind the incumbent’s thus-far baseless claims of widespread voter fraud—including obituaries of dead people who purportedly cast ballots.

Despite the lack of supporting evidence and fact-checks debunking them, claims that tens of thousands of ballots were submitted in the name of deceased individuals and counted have been proliferating in right-wing social media circles, outlets like Breitbart, and among Trump’s advisers since Election Day.

Characteristically declining to let the facts stand in the way of his false narrative that he is the victim of election theft, Trump “plans to brandish obituaries of people who supposedly voted but are dead—plus hold campaign-style rallies—in an effort to prolong his fight against apparent insurmountable election results,” Axios reported late Sunday, citing four of the president’s advisers.

“Obits for those who cast ballots are part of the ‘specific pieces of evidence’ aimed at bolstering the Trump team’s so-far unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud and corruption that they say led to Joe Biden’s victory,” according to Axios. “Fueling the effort is the expected completion of vote counting this week, allowing Republicans to file for more recounts.”



America is entering a very dangerous time. For his next 11 weeks in office, Donald Trump will be in a position to exact revenge.

It’s a word that by his own account is his entire life philosophy.

We should all hope that he goes into one of his down emotional periods for an extended time so that lethargy, not blind rage, dominates his behavior until Jan. 20.

Through phony charges of ballot-box stuffing, firing officials, issuing pardons to friends and family and Trump can do great damage between now and Inauguration Day. On Jan. 20, his shield against criminal prosecution vanishes. He also can hobble the transition to a Biden administration.

On Friday, while the election outcome was still uncertain, Trump abruptly removed three high-level officials, two women with and a man of color.

In a reckless move, Trump forced the resignation of Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, who since 2018 had run the National Nuclear Security Administration. Thet agency keeps high-grade radioactive elements, known as fissile material, out of the hands of terrorists and rogue states. Trump’s Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette wanted to cut the budget for this work while Gordon-Hagerty sought increased funding.

Trump also fired Bonnie Glick, deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, in what appears to be a move to ensure that Islamophobes exercise greater power in the agency.

The third appointee, Neil Chatterjee, was demoted from the chairmanship of the powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to being just one of the five commissioners. Running diversity training, which Trump generally banned by executive order, was behind the demotion, Chatterjee told The Washington Post. “Guilty as charged,” he told EE News.

However, it wasn’t diversity, but Trump’s love of dirty coal that was behind Chatterjee’s demotion, both Green Tech Media and The Wall Street Journal reported. Chatterjee had supported a tax on carbon, which economists across the spectrum have said for years would be the most efficient way to create incentives that speed the shift away from fossil fuels.



The election of 2020 ended for Republican Party leaders a lot like the election of 2016 began: As much as they may want to move on from Donald J. Trump, he won’t let them — and neither will the voters.

After losing the White House to Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the popular vote in seven presidential elections since 1980, and facing the possibility of defeat in Arizona and Georgia where losses were once unthinkable, Republicans were grappling with how to untangle the man from a movement that is likely to dictate party politics for years.

Even in defeat, Republicans saw clear indicators of the enduring power of Trump-style populism. By the time Mr. Biden gave his victory speech on Saturday evening, Mr. Trump had received 7.4 million more votes than he did in 2016 — one million more in the battleground of Florida alone. Republicans cut into the Democratic majority in the House with wins in several swing districts from Iowa to New York, where they followed Mr. Trump’s slash-and-burn playbook of branding his opponents as far-left hysterics.

No one seems to be under the illusion that Mr. Trump will fade quietly. All week, as he launched an extraordinary, baseless attack on the integrity of the election, few in his party challenged claims that he was being cheated of a victory. Privately, some began discussing the possibility that he might not concede, which would put them in the awkward position of having to choose whether to defend him until Mr. Biden’s inauguration in two and a half months.

But Ms. Anderson’s research shows how difficult it may be finding someone else who can hold together and expand the Trump coalition. A poll last month from her firm, Echelon Insights, asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents if they considered themselves a supporter of Mr. Trump or of the Republican Party.

Fifty-eight percent picked Mr. Trump.


machines added to that tally.


Bunch of either deluded or calculating FRight stupids.



The bottom line: Republican operatives told Axios they worry that Trump’s scorched-earth fight will divert money from the real remaining prize for the GOP — the twin Georgia runoffs on Jan. 5 that’ll determine control of the Senate.

A top Republican said of the legal fight: “It is a distraction. And a gigantic waste of time.”

The person who talks often to the president said: “Republicans … are very concerned about the Senate. Trump is not.”

A former top Trump West Wing official said: “Surprise — it’s all about him.”



our ranks are growing.


I’ve heard little about Warnock (we know Ossof’s game), what are people’s impressions of him?


much better than Warmnock. not true progressive, but i want that senate.


ssshhhhhhh. 😉



President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced the members of his coronavirus task force, a group made up entirely of doctors and health experts, signaling his intent to seek a science-based approach to bring the raging pandemic under control.

Biden’s task force will have three co-chairs: Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration; David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. Murthy and Kessler have briefed Biden for months on the pandemic.

Biden will inherit the worst crisis since the Great Depression, made more difficult by President Trump’s refusal to concede the election and commit to a peaceful transition of power. The Trump administration has not put forward national plans for testing, contact tracing and resolving shortages in personal protective equipment that hospitals and health-care facilities are experiencing again as the nation enters its third surge of the virus.

“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a statement. “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”



Back in July, President Trump’s administration began the formal process of withdrawing the U.S. – and its critical funding – from the World Health Organization. Trump had accused the U.N. agency of conspiring with China to downplay the infectiousness of the novel coronavirus early on. The withdrawal was to be complete in July 2021.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to reverse the decision on his first day in office. Global health experts are counting on President-elect Joe Biden to restore and reimagine the U.S. relationship with the world’s leading public health agency.

Under a Biden administration, “the relationship will be completely reset,” says Rifat Atun, a professor of global health systems at Harvard University.

But a reset does not mean a return to the way things were. And experts warn it will take time and effort to restore the U.S. to a leadership position in global health.


Biden isn’t all progressives wanted on environmental issues, but as groups like the Sunrise Movement knew, the alternative is far worse. Winning those GA seats would make a difference.


Joe Biden, the projected winner of the presidency, will move to restore dozens of environmental safeguards President Trump abolished and launch the boldest climate change plan of any president in history. While some of Biden’s most sweeping programs will encounter stiff resistance from Senate Republicans and conservative attorneys general, the United States is poised to make a 180-degree turn on climate change and conservation policy.

Biden’s team already has plans on how it will restrict oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters; ratchet up federal mileage standards for cars and SUVs; block pipelines that transport fossil fuels across the country; provide federal incentives to develop renewable power; and mobilize other nations to make deeper cuts in their own carbon emissions.
In a victory speech Saturday night, Biden identified climate change as one of his top priorities as president, saying Americans must marshal the “forces of science” in the “battle to save our planet.”

“Joe Biden ran on climate. How great is this?” said Gina McCarthy, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency during President Barack Obama’s second term and now helms the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It’ll be time for the White House to finally get back to leading the charge against the central environmental crisis of our time.”

Biden has vowed to eliminate carbon emissions from the electric sector by 2035 and spend $2 trillion on investments ranging from weatherizing homes to developing a nationwide network of charging stations for electric vehicles. That massive investment plan stands a chance only if his party wins two Senate runoff races in Georgia in January; otherwise, he would have to rely on a combination of executive actions and more-modest congressional deals to advance his agenda.

Don midwest
Don midwest

I am posting an extensive rewrite of something I posted the other day.

Bruno Latour, and others, note that writing proceeds thinking. So, I rewrote the following.


Why are so many people voting for Trump? Can’t they see what he has done to the environment and to our country as he divides people and sets the stage for violence?

Could it be that people live in different worlds? There are at least two different worlds. In one of these worlds, Covid 19 is taken to be a public health issue, and in another world people take Covid 19 to be a plot, a way to manipulate the public, and to restrict freedom. How can there be a rational argument between these two worlds? This debate is related to being for or against science. Rationality assumes that science is the truth and reason will force people to stand with science.

The founders of our country were rationalists who argued positions from principles, a form of argument related to science.

Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. This favors theory rather than practice. Facts and rules are the basis of knowledge. Low information voters need to get out of their shell and face facts and embrace reason. An environmental humanities professor translates epistemology into the question “how you reckon that you know stuff?”

Epistemology is taken for granted, so pervasive that it is unconsciously being invoked, while the “practice of democracy” has been sidelined. Examples of the practice of democracy are seen in engagement in politics. The Bernie campaign has brought us, those on this blog, into a shared practice of democracy. In contrast, some Trump supporters have a shared practice of fascism. Trump was elected when our politics lost connection to important issues and the practice of democracy was taken for granted. (We have to be on guard that the platitudes of democracy and the desire to return to normal are used to silence authentic politics in the Biden administration. The establishment has already shown that they fear democratic engagement with the issues important to the people.) It is important to recall that the USA was founded as a republic, not a democracy. Now, even the rule of law, the foundation of a republic, is in jeopardy as the Republicans have taken over much of the federal judiciary.

The issue of Trump voters is deeper than Fox news or laying out the rational argument because we no longer have a shared world. We have yet to realize this cosmological shift and what consequences must be dealt with to face the challenges facing the USA and the world. This note focuses on a smaller issue: the lack a shared practice of democracy and republic form of government in order to diplomatically bridge the divides in our country.

Epistemology – facts and rules theory of knowledge, vs practice. When we blame the voters, often the focus is on cognitive difficulties, i.e., not informed, not know how to reason, ignore science, etc. In other words, we are invoking epistemology – facts and rules theory of knowledge, and ignoring the collective work needed to build a practice of democracy.

Both of the two worlds mentioned above are grounded on individual freedom. However, freedom is meaningless without everything that is needed for a human to exist for another second. Air, water, food, bacteria, soil, trucks to deliver food, etc. all the institutions and resources that are necessary to survive are a ground for freedom. To simply rely on facts and rules, without a grounding in practice, a practice that realizes the entanglements necessary for life, even both of the two worlds above are not sufficient.

We are together on this blog because of Bernie’s politics which brought to the table critical issues. His influence continues to expand as the major parties say they will try and figure out how to connect to the people.


ever growing segment of the public recognize that we can no longer truly trust our voting process, too, and that is yet another space and time, sort of. some of us very much in the epistemology camp, others very much in the faith in Trump camp.


The dangerous delusions pushed and exploited by organized Fundie religions needs to be brought up in this intelligent discussion, too.


T and R, Ms. Benny!! 😊☮️👍 Thank you (!) for doing yeoman’s work in posting the OTs and opening our Nest. ✊🗽✊
Hate to remind the writer of your opening read, but this country is already a fascist craporate state!

Don midwest
Don midwest

surprised that no one here has posted Twitter fact checking Trump

here are some examples — note the red from Twitter

also being done on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t go to either of them.

and some tweets were blocked so one had to go to View to see the content

could it be that these three sites do not want to participate in a violent revolt associated with the election?

for sure I don’t follow Trump

I only know what has been said about his twitter feed and some that were reposted

last night when I copied some and sent out to a couple of friends, it looked like a larger number of tweets were flagged

we know that some, not sure how many, some are written by others

in any case, the ratio of flagged and non flagged tweets is down this morning

maybe sending out lies to 80 million people that are flagged within minutes of their posting, maybe that is making them pause what they send out


Personally, I don’t waste my time on Trump tweets. I’m so sick of hearing about Trump I cannot even begin to tell you!