PBS panel, including James Carville, analyzes the elections

November 4, 2021 • 12:30 pm

Here we have four people on PBS’s NewsHour with Judy Woodruff analyzing the overall election. I’ve marked the video to start at the appropriate place, so just hit the arrow. The segment ends at 27:10.

1). James Carville, political strategist and podcaster. I love him.

2). Barbara Comstock, former Republican congresswoman from Northern Virginia, now an advisor at a law firm

3.) Amy Walter from the The Cook Political Report

Short takes:

Walter: It’s a repudiation of President Biden, reflecting his low approval rating, even in blue states. Democrats lost the inroads they’ve made in the suburbs in the last few years. Tying Youngkin to Trump didn’t work because Youngkin didn’t embrace Trump all that closely.

Carville: What went wrong was “stupid wokness.” People see this “lunacy” and vote Republican. We need to change laws, not dictionaries.  He doesn’t think that Democrats are doomed in 2022 so long as “we talk about things that are relevant to people” instead of “this left-wing nonsense” is not popular in the U.S., but people express their opposition to it with their votes. Carville doesn’t see Biden as much of a drag on Democrats, for Youngkin didn’t even mention Biden in his campaign.

Comstock: Walter, a Republican, sees Youngkin as a “uniquely talented candidate”, helped by the the issue of the economy and people who opposed the “defund the police” movement from the Left. She echoes Carville in the opposite: if Republicans stick to their issues and are pleasant (i.e., unlike Trump), they’ll do well


22 thoughts on “PBS panel, including James Carville, analyzes the elections

  1. Carville’s view may seem the rational one to many, but for numerous others, such as the pundits on MSNBC, critics of “wokeness” are ipso facto either racist or at least passively supportive of racism. Some months ago (in NyMag) Ed Kilgore wrote a piece entitled “You Don’t Have To Be Woke To Dislike Anti-Woke Democrats”; he ends by declaring himself on the side of “anti-anti-wokeness”, nor is this, in fact, such an uncommon position.

      1. What will doom the Democratic Party’s future is their supine reaction to GOP reactionary politics and their pandering to corporate interests. Biden has been ineffectual where it counts and allows his agenda to be stalled by Blue Dogs and Republicans. It seems like a repeat of Obama.

        1. AFAIK the support of the extreme left progressive positions is fully entrenched in all of the biggest corporate interest. It’s the left that panders to the international giant corporations for the most part.

          1. “Extreme Left” is a RW talking point. There are no “extreme left” positions that are being proposed. “Defunding the police” does NOT mean abolishing PDs; it means returning funds that were once used for social/mental interventions to the appropriately trained entities that once existed before the “tough on crime” idiocy. A citizen that is experiencing
            a mental breakdown needs compassion, not a bullet. It also means taking away the war toys from PDs. The threat of civil war lies on the Right: Army of God and the various heavily-armed militias we saw storming state capitols recently. We now know that PDs are not going to use those war toys against RW militias because of the PDs did nothing in the face of those assaults. Imagine the difference if those militias had black militias.
            Rebuilding our infrastructure before it collapses is a sensible proposal. Modernize, repair, and provide jobs for unemployed Americans. The economy will benefit from local spending of the wages earned, taxes paid, and etc.

  2. The Republicans will continue to flog that the Democrats are behind teaching CRT and defunding the police, even if those things are completely dropped by the Democrats. Right leaning voters are not listening to the actual platform being put out by the left.

    Meanwhile, even as it becomes abundantly clear that CRT and defunding programs are a lose lose lose for the Democrats, their proponents will continue to call for them because reality and political expediency is not in their DNA.

    1. “that the Democrats are behind teaching CRT and defunding the police”

      Well, we just had a Dem-led vote on defunding the Minneapolis Police (which failed, decisively).

      I heard someone from Mpls., yesterday, on the radio saying they only feared the police. Despite that fact that they are orders of magnitude more likely to be victimized (and perhaps assaulted and perhaps shot) by private citizens and that there are hundreds (thousands?) of police-citizen interactions per day in Minneapolis. Where are all the bodies? Oh, wait, yeah, they are in the street, put there by young (mostly black, sorry to say, but true) men (not cops).

      1. I think that the issues are largely distorted about why people want to defund the police, and there is an overexaggeration of Minneapolis and Saint Paul being a war zone (mostly based on rumors from the suburbs about why people don’t want to go there.)

        There needs to be accountability from the police when they do commit violence against unarmed citizens, if they are tasked with protecting and serving. There is a message being drummed into the cops that traffic stops are incredibly dangerous for cops, and so often escalate rather than reduce tensions when they approach cars. There are cases in which cops have shot in self-defense that have either been shown on investigation to have been situations which could have been avoided had the cops not, for example reached into the car, or otherwise put themselves in front of vehicles of suspects seeking to flee the scene. They can instead record the license plate and send back up to the person’s home to deal with the situation more appropriately.
        In Ramsey County, District Attorney John Choi has enacted a plan not to prosecute crimes from minor offenses in order to reduce the number of traffic stops, keeping cops safer. Of course, it’s being interpreted to mean that people can break the law now with impunity, but that’s politics for you.

        The cops stop minorities more often even though there is no evidence that they commit more crime per capita than white people. Rates of black-on-black crime are largely due to proximity in segregated neighborhoods. White on white crime is more common in white neighborhoods. I lived in the suburbs for 10 years and had more crimes against me than I did when I lived in the city.

        If passed the resolution would not have gotten rid of the police department, it would have created over the next two years a “department of public safety” and allocated responses to situations that cops are not trained to deal with, such as mental health emergencies. It would have been phased over two years, and Minneapolis would still have police.

        In Minneapolis, as in Chicago, the police unions prevent any meaningful reform that gives the citizens authority over the police and we do need to fix that. Remember, the cops are our public servants and need to be responsible for not killing us in difficult situations.

        The Democrats want to solve problems, the Republicans want to stir up more fear in order to keep getting re-elected. One of the fears that is being stirred up is that kids are taught to hate whiteness, and it works to rile the base even if it’s not true.

        1. There is actually something more insidious, its teaching young people that they have an identity, e.g. they are “white”, and that who and what they are is defined by their whiteness.
          The white good/white bad thing doesn’t actually matter. People are driven for recognition, and strong willed people who have “white bad” drilled into them are going to flip to white good. Since they have been taught that whiteness is what they are, there is no other option than measuring their self worth in terms of the worth of their race. As for the weak, they will just kill themselves with Fentanyl.

          I can’t say that Anti-Semitism and the Nazi’s caused Zionism, but it is hard to imagine that Zionism and the State of Israel would exist without Naziism and European Anti-Semitism, but you can see the historic line between “Jew Bad” and the Israeli Defense Forces. If you want a vibrant white nationalist movement, support CRT. If the country did go white nationalist, you would probably see the Union collapse, and lots of nasty stuff in the division.

          1. What is likely to be the result of the forcing, by anti-rational “woke” totalitarians, of an identity defined purely as negative (privileged, oppressive, historically culpable, etc) upon more than two hundred million Americans, whose “original sin” is defined not Biblically, but biologically and ideologically?

        2. “The cops stop minorities more often even though there is no evidence that they commit more crime per capita than white people. ”
          That is simply not true.
          Figures from a 2018 NCVS survey of victims by the U.S. Department of Justice.
          Serious, violent, non-fatal incidents.
          Offenders: 43.8% white, 35.9% black.
          The respective population shares are given as 60.5%, 12.5%.

          Actual report here.

  3. I’ve no idea what the 2020s equivalent of “It’s the economy, stupid” is but the Dems should find a practical message that resonates far beyond the circles of its most extreme activists.

  4. The following algorithm(?) is useful, I think:

    win elections -> do things that you want to do

    But I guess we’re still in a world where the same people will insist 2+2 = 5.

    Call voters racists (and some of them are, certainly) after losing an election is about as effective as shouting “FRAUD!”

    Do better.

  5. It was very interesting that Youngkin won the Hispanic vote handily, and Trump outperformed in 2020 with Hispanics. For various demographic reasons (educational attainment, household income), Hispanics are looking very promising for the GOP. Additionally, Trump made in roads with Black males, it would be interesting if that holds up or expands.

    Anyways, it would be amusing if despite all the immigration rhetoric on the left and the Tucker Carlson-style immigration doomer narrative on the right, if Hispanics become the back bone of a long-term Republican coalition. Obviously, its dangerous to generalize about “Hispanics” because you are talking about a bunch of people from different nations and backgrounds, but it would be amusing if Karl Rove turns out correct. [There does seem to be a high level of openness to Evangelical Christianity among Hispanics as well.]

  6. I think they forgot the observation of Tip O’Neill that all politics is local. Nothing is more local than kids getting raped in bathrooms, and school boards covering it up.

  7. Do we think that pundits are somehow immune from confirmation bias? Every one of these people think they know what the cause is, and are seeing all the evidence they need to confirm their own prior opinion.

    Like most political punditry, this is pretty much useless.

  8. Seattle is reputed to be a hotbed of the “far” (meaning performative) Left, but there are encouraging signs even here. One candidate in the race for City Attorney displayed fashionably anti-police invective and promised not to prosecute small-time crimes; she lost 57% to 41% to a moderate candidate who was denounced for possibly being a Republican. In one of two City Council races, a candidate who was an avowed “abolitionist” in regard to the police department lost to another moderate by 59% to 40%. In the mayoralty race, the winner by 64 to 35 was a long-time pol and pragmatic liberal who carefully dissociated himself from the recent Council moves to reduce police funding, and sounded moderate rather than gushingly indulgent in regard to the urban camper population.

    1. Seattle is not the hot-bed of liberalism pushed by the corporate media. There are more progressives than reactionaries, to be sure, but wild-eyed leftists?
      Seattle PD is a murderous lot., so those who are victims and those who want to correct society’s wrongs want funds for mental health responders diverted from the PD.
      There is a large homeless population, due in part to the mild climate, and to social services. It’s amusing to see the largely Xian right rail against helping the homeless, the poor, and POC. It’s almost like they haven’t actually read their bible, nor do they particularly value human life.
      G. K. Chesterton hit the nail on the head: “Christianity has been tried and found too difficult”.

      1. Seattle’s homeless problem is largely a result of bad policy decisions. Seattle spends nearly 100 K per homeless person fighting homelessness yet the numbers keep increasing. The beneficiaries of this spending are affluent (mainly white) employees of the homeless industrial complex. It would make more sense to fire the entire lot and make direct cash payments to the homeless and this could be done at a considerably lower cost.

        The worst homeless problems are found in cities firmly in control of the left and the far left (Seatte, LA, San Francisco). Progressive policies intended to help the most vulnerable have the opposite effect.

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