Thursday, March 4, 2021
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Hugo Estrada


Why Democrats have no brand

The main problem with messaging of the Democratic party is that thanks to FDR, it became the party that champions populist causes. Yet today's political world one must be committed to champion the interests of the rich if you ever want to have a chance to run due to the costs of political campaigns.

So in real terms, the Democratic party is redundant since we already have a party, the GOP, that is deeply committed, and has a track record of delivering results for the wealthy class in the U.S. The only difference right now is that Democrats are kinder towards the underclasses and care for the environment. So they will let them have some public education, roads, and gay marriage.

But the Democratic party has FDR's populist legacy. So when it comes to voters, they can claim to be championing the underclass during the elections.

Yet the wealthy donor class is jealous. They don't like hearing that bankers were responsible for 2008. Or that we need greater regulations. Or talk of controlling college tuition costs and student loans, because many of the donors make money of of this. And if you don't praise the donors enough, they won't trust you, and they will back the Ayn Rand inspired GOP.

So this bring us to the lack of brand. The Democratic Party, to be able to run election campaigns, must be rich-friendly to get the money, yet populist enough to get liberals to vote for it. It has to be either a contradiction or so bland that no one can get excited with it.

Let's go back to student loans. Had Obama and the Democratic congress passed a reform back in 2009 that would allow for erasing student loan in bankruptcy and kicked out private lenders who profit out of lending federal money to students, we would have, to this day, a generation of solid democratic voters.

But the above plan ran against the desires of the wealthy political donor class.  So nothing happened.

And that is the source of voter apathy and low voter turnouts. When new voters finally get engaged and there is no direct change in their lives, they become apathetic. So elections to them, in a very personal way, don't matter because nothing changed.

We who are political junkies will talk about the supreme court, and abortion rights, and gay rights and how this means that voting does matter. And this is a valid counter-argument. Yet from the perspective of a new engaged voter, those are more decisions that come from the above. Decisions that in real terms, they have no control or power to do anything about it.. Whether you vote for someone or against them, neither party is looking out for the interests of the common person who can't donate consistently to campaigns due to having so much debt and low paying jobs.

I wish I could give a solution to this, but there isn't one as long as money is allowed to play such a strong role in our political system. I read that Social Democrats in Europe are going through the same problems.

It all comes down that democracy is functionally broken today due to money.

Bruce Shuttleworth’s outreach in Spanish

I was checking voice mail today, and I found three robocalls from Bruce Shuttleworth. Two of them were in Spanish. One of them may have been Shuttleworth speaking Spanish himself.

Regardless of how you feel about Shuttleworth, it is a nice gesture on his part to try to reach Spanish-speaking people. Tim Kaine made a video in Spanish, and I thought it was effective as well. Campaigns should try this more often.

Frank Wolf, slayer of internet freedom, and other comments

1. Frank Wolf, slaying the internet

The internet has empowered democratic movements around the world. The combination of instant communication and certain amounts of anonymity has allowed activists around the world to effectively organize against repressive regimes.

Frank Wolf wants to destroy the anonymity part though for American citizens. He is cosponsoring  CISPA, a bill that would let the US government and private corporations track, store, and mine your online activity.

ACLU's stand

More on Frank Wolf and his office below.

Why government helping the middle class makes sense

[This is an adaptation of a comment that I made in another thread. It answers a question that asked whether it was acceptable to use money from other people (this is, government tax money) to solve personal economic problems.]

When we pay taxes, we are paying for a series of services. Some of them are insurances. If you ever got an a car accident, I am sure you didn't mind that other people's money either paid off damaged or paid you from damage that occurred to your car. You may claim that you paid for that insurance, and you are right, but the reality is that most of us lack the cash-on-hand to pay damages off immediately after an accident.  And in some cases all of your premiums added together wouldn't cover the damages. In both cases, you are using other people's money.

Frank Wolf votes for constituent unemployment

This morning Republicans voted for their government job slaying bill. This bill, as mentioned before on this site, would be devastating to Northern Virginia.

Three Republicans voted against bill. Did Frank Wolf take a principled stand for his constituents, many whose livelihood are directly connected to the government?


Frank Wolf, instead, voted for a bill that would increase unemployment in his district.

So Frank Wolf calculated that the budget will be vetoed, so he could score more conservative points. But, if Frank was so sure that the bill will be defeated, then he could have stood up for his voters. I know that a symbolic vote against the bill would have made me like him more.

But no. Frank Wolf only fears the GOP nomenklatura; he only listens to the mandates from the Party. Frank Wolf can always be counted as a good Party man.

Voters be damned.

I was lied to by Frank Wolf’s Washington office

I called today the Washington office of Frank Wolf to ask for his position on repealing the health care act. The staffer told me that he is working on reaching a position. This surprised me. Maybe he is going to do the right thing right this time?

So I did a search on this to confirm.

Oh, he proudly supports repealing the acts, as of January 6, 2011:

Wolf voted against the health care reform legislation passed in March, 2010 and will vote to repeal the bill on January 12.

How long will Micheal Steel last now?

So, this could be the big win for Michael Steel after the last two years where many conservatives doubted him or even asked for his resignation several times. He still managed to keep his job, and proved himself with taking back the House.

But that was because no one really knew how the election was going to play out this year. As much as they disliked Steel, no one wanted to be responsible for what would happen on this election.

Now that has changed. Things went pretty well. Maybe not the total victory of taking back the Senate too, but things went very well in the House.

Now the pundits say that the GOP has the momentum, with the GOP thinking that they can win 2012. With Obama not fully engage and the rest of the Dems being so easily scared, and with the population so easily discouraged/tricked, it looks rosy for them.

So, what will happen with our favorite RNC chairman?

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