8 votes

David Shor is telling Democrats what they don’t want to hear

8 comments

  1. [3]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    fun time to bring up one of my favorite political hobby horses. By 2040, two-thirds of Americans will be represented by 30 percent of the Senate (NPR source for the same thing if the Post is...

    Senate Democrats could win 51 percent of the two-party vote in the next two elections and end up with only 43 seats in the Senate.

    fun time to bring up one of my favorite political hobby horses.

    By 2040, two-thirds of Americans will be represented by 30 percent of the Senate (NPR source for the same thing if the Post is paywalled for you)

    By 2040, if population trends continue, 70% of Americans will be represented by just 30 senators, and 30% of Americans by 70 senators.

    as bad as things look for the midterms and 2024, it's going to get worse. much worse.

    the things that could maybe forestall the slide into minoritarian rule - ending the filibuster, adding Puerto Rico and DC as states - are seen as too radical by current moderate Democrats, and effectively vetoed by the likes of Manchin and Sinema.

    meanwhile, time for Media Criticism Corner - this twitter thread is I think the best critical take on Shor's argument that I've read:

    Fully half the media -- inc. the top-rated cable channel & the most influential FB pages -- is propaganda specifically designed to make Democrats look horrible. It's a little wild to me that this ongoing discussion about Dem strategy takes so little note of this fact.

    The other half of the media ("MSM") devotes itself to defending against accusations of bias from the right. What reaches voters is both-sides stories of partisan dysfunction. So one half the media is saying "Dems are broken." The other half is saying "Washington is broken."

    GOP messages blast, coordinated, across a whole giant multimedia propaganda machine. Dems toss messages out into the media swamp & then cross their fingers, hoping those messages reach the right voters. Of course they don't.

    17 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      In case anyone throws the "But Democratic small states like Vermont" attempt at a defense at you elsewhere online, I made an overtly partisan version of your hobby horse in the form of this map,...

      What a fun time to bring up one of my favorite political hobby horses.

      By 2040, two-thirds of Americans will be represented by 30 percent of the Senate (NPR source for the same thing if the Post is paywalled for you)

      By 2040, if population trends continue, 70% of Americans will be represented by just 30 senators, and 30% of Americans by 70 senators.

      In case anyone throws the "But Democratic small states like Vermont" attempt at a defense at you elsewhere online, I made an overtly partisan version of your hobby horse in the form of this map, which I would follow with the taglines of "Despite the parties having popular parity nationally, safely Republican states net the GOP ten more Senate seats in total than safely Democratic ones do" or "Despite the parties having parity nationwide, Democrats need to win ten more swing seats in the Senate than the GOP does."

      8 votes
    2. skybrian
      Link Parent
      That twitter thread looks to me more like overheated rhetoric than fact, of the “99% of all statistics are made up” variety. I’m thinking of how this could be measured in a way that justifies...

      That twitter thread looks to me more like overheated rhetoric than fact, of the “99% of all statistics are made up” variety.

      I’m thinking of how this could be measured in a way that justifies “fully half.” You’d need to make a big spreadsheet collecting all the media sites, somehow give each one a weight by how much influence they have, classify them as “mainstream media” or “right wing” or, presumably, “other” by some hopefully objective scheme… I doubt it’s been done, and I don’t trust someone else’s eyeball estimates.

      (Also, the Senate looks bad but holding onto the House matters too.)

      4 votes
  2. [5]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    Small note but while the title doesn't suggest it at all, the writer of this article does actually criticize and debate Shor's ideas to some extent, as opposed to merely acting as a platform for...

    Small note but while the title doesn't suggest it at all, the writer of this article does actually criticize and debate Shor's ideas to some extent, as opposed to merely acting as a platform for them, by the way. And this isn't just an article about how Democrats are institutionally disadvantaged, although it sometimes seems like it.

    6 votes
    1. [5]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [4]
        Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        (I'm not American, not sure why are you asking me? Also this is off-topic. ) Anyway, the GOP is clearly opposed to the amount of people that are currently voting in elections and how much effort...

        (I'm not American, not sure why are you asking me? Also this is off-topic. )

        Anyway, the GOP is clearly opposed to the amount of people that are currently voting in elections and how much effort it should take to vote, given themselves a lot more power of managing the election process to themselves, are opposed to a lot (probably most) of what leftists say in universities and social media, have supported the police and military more than Democrats for your lifetime, and both have supported them back. Right-wing media doesn't really give a damn about what Republicans do or say, in large part because they are what Republican voters are hearing so Republican politicians follow them but also because right-wing media has continues to radicalize itself and nearly the entire right.

        There's no reason to assume the GOP wouldn't want to govern more like how it's done in Russia or Hungary if it has the majorities to do whatever it wants.

        Perhaps the party could go easy on the US and just exploit its voters' geography (and gerrymandering) to rule more like the LDP in Japan without rigging any elections, but probably with turnout from poor people, urban people and minorities drastically lowered as they put polling stations away from these places. In such a scenario the US would be in practice a one-party state, but would still have free elections with the GOP having domineering legislative majorities even if the amount of people who vote for them stayed at 50%.

        The odds of the GOP taking large scale power of the US to implement these plans seems like it depends in a quite large part IMO in how the 2022 midterms go and how much the Democratic party can accomplish when it comes to keeping and easing ballot access and the election process itself verifiable to everyone with things like audits and observers, which requires filibuster reform, probably abolishment. The current 50-50 Senate isn't really looking to do any of those things, which is why the 2022 midterms are so important.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          I am not 100% sure that the GOP's attempts to make it harder to vote won't backfire eventually. Like part of Trump's success was that he managed to activate a lot of apathetic/apolitical...

          I am not 100% sure that the GOP's attempts to make it harder to vote won't backfire eventually. Like part of Trump's success was that he managed to activate a lot of apathetic/apolitical conservatives who didn't typically vote. Presumably they would also be discouraged from participating by making it generally more difficult. These would be measures, like onerous ID and registration requirements, that would be enforced across the entire polity.

          The more specifically racially targeted ones are, for sure, advantageous for them. These would be things like felon disenfranchisement or simply not including enough polling places or staff to properly carry out elections in minority neighborhoods. It's much harder to "out-organize" measures like these.

          4 votes
          1. moriarty
            Link Parent
            Exactly. I'm less worried about onerous ID laws as I am about disenfranchising which is not directly racial based, but racially-correlated. Going after city voters, limiting polling places,...

            Exactly. I'm less worried about onerous ID laws as I am about disenfranchising which is not directly racial based, but racially-correlated. Going after city voters, limiting polling places, targeted removal of ballot boxes and mail-sorting machines in large population centers will be much harder to prove and argue against.

            5 votes
          2. nukeman
            Link Parent
            An ironic take I’ve read somewhere is that many of these measures (including, IMO, the racially-targeted stuff) tends to drive minority (especially Black) turnout, since they can rally around “our...

            An ironic take I’ve read somewhere is that many of these measures (including, IMO, the racially-targeted stuff) tends to drive minority (especially Black) turnout, since they can rally around “our right to vote is under attack”. The major effect is that lower propensity voters (e.g., college students), who don’t have the same organizations backing them, have a harder time voting and don’t tend to persist in following through. This inhibits Dems from picking up a major group of potential voters, but it does the same with a good portion of Trump voters (e.g., the type of people who last voted for Ross Perot in 1992, or Ron Paul in 2008).

            3 votes