A half hour on politics with James Carville, who’s optimistic about the Democrats

October 2, 2022 • 1:30 pm

Whenever I feel dispirited about politics, I try to watch James Carville’s latest take on video. It may not be cheerful (though this one should buck up Democrats), but I love his Louisiana accent and as well as his genuine populist-Democatic take, knocking the wind out of “progressive” Democrats, whom he sees as elitist, arrogant, and inimical to the progress of Democrats. (Carville is, of course, an ardent Democrat, but can’t stand fellow party members who, he thinks, don’t understand America). He’s the Andy Rooney of the Democratic Party.

Here we have Carville in August on “The Hill”, talking for a half hour with Niall Stanage about the state of the Democratic Party. I have to say that he’s more optimistic than I am about the midterm elections and about Trump’s possible run for the Presidency (Carville doesn’t think that will happen.) And that makes me feel better, perhaps because I agree with him, but perhaps because Carville has a pretty good track record with prognostications.

So here are a few bullet points in favor of the Democrats articulated by Carville:

  • He is pretty optimistic about the midterms, seeing it as likely that Democrats will will the Senate (of course, they already have, but at least he thinks the Republicans won’t gain control.
  • Voters, he says, are not impressed by the kind of “change” offered by the Republican party, which is not having a good year.
  • Inflation and economic problems are, he says, abating, and although Biden will still be blamed for them, he’s done a good job as President, having “substantial achievement” and having made some good appointments. He seems to think, but won’t “jinx” the next Presidential election, that Biden will be the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2024, though Carville for the moment would rather concentrate on this November’s midterm elections.
  • He thinks that Republicans are going to be vulnerable on the Mar-a-Lago papers issue. Their only defense is that this is a Democratic conspiracy, but that doesn’t sit well with most Americans,
  • Carville emphasizes that if you look at how people self-identify among Democrats, you find that, at only 11%, “progressive liberals” is the smallest group, and the only one that’s majority white. He decries them because “they have the ability to irritate and come up with really stupid things like ‘Defund the Police’: the worst words in the English language.
  • When Stanage asks him what people like him should do about the progressive Democrats, Carville says, “Make fun of them.”  He minces no words!
  • Finally, he doesn’t think Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2024. Further, he believes that the Republicans are going to shoot themselves in the foot because “they ahve really stupid people who vote in their primaries”, and thus “they tend to elect really stupid leaders.”  (He sees most electable Republicans as having dropped out of contention.)

Watch the video to see the Democrats’ Andy Rooney!:

9 thoughts on “A half hour on politics with James Carville, who’s optimistic about the Democrats

  1. I think our best chances are if Trump does run and earn the Republican nomination. I would be worried if the candidate is instead a “Trump 2.0”, i.e., Ron DeSantis. I would be very worried for our chances if its a centrist and competent Republican.

    1. Yeah, I think Trump’s chances of ever being president again are minuscule. Only one president has ever served two nonconsecutive terms, Grover Cleveland in the 19th century, and he won the popular vote in three elections in a row. Trump has lost the popular vote twice, by a combined total of 11 million ballots, receiving under 47% of the vote both times.

      Trump won the electoral college in 2016 (with all the help the Russians could give him) in a fluke – based on 78,000 ballots spread across three states — due in no small measure to then-FBI director James Comey boxing himself into having to announce the reopening of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails just 11 days before voters went to the polls. Trump has essentially no chance whatsoever of winning 50%+ of the vote — the standard benchmark for victory in a two-party election (as was accomplished twice by Barack Obama, one time each by both the Bushes, and twice by Ronald Reagan) — given that he’s never once had an approval rating above 50% since riding down his glitzy Trump Tower elevator and into our presidential politics in the summer of 2015.

      And all that is before consideration of the legal walls ineluctably closing in on Trump, a circumstance likely to lead to his indictment before the 2024 primary season begins.

  2. Is having Trump as the 2024 republican nominee bad for Democrats? It would insure my vote for his opponent no matter who. Otherwise, if there is no Trump and the Democrats put up Harris, Sanders, or Warren I might lean Republican depending how much orange has rubbed off on the GOP candidate.

    What about Senator Klobuchar? Unless I learn something unexpected in the interim, she would be one of my few Presidential votes that didn’t go to the lesser evil.

  3. I found interesting as a foreign observer the statement that 11% of Democrats self-identify as “progressive” and it is the only grouping in the party that is majority white. I wonder if the reason then that white Democrats identity as progressive is that that is the only place in the party that they can find a tribal home. Every other tribe takes one look at them and tells them to check their white privilege. But what do all those other non-white groups in the party call themselves? Do they not identify as progressive?

    Reminds me of the wife of a doctor from the mainland who moved to practice with her husband in a small town in Newfoundland. Not having a job, she found it all rather isolating. So she joined Weight-Watchers even though she wasn’t overweight, just in order to meet her fellow townspeople. It being Newfoundland, they recognized what she was trying to do and welcomed her. Will the Democratic Party do the same for non-progressive white people, who Mr. Carville says should all be laughing at the progressive 11%?

    1. And perhaps it is too obvious to add that if you laugh at the only tribe who will have you, they will banish you and then what will you do?

  4. I don’t think Biden will run in 2024. But he can’t say that or even hint at it NOW because it would effectively end what Presidency he has. But 2024 is a long way off. If you really want to get depressed look at the cases in the upcoming Supreme Court docket.

  5. We call him “Cueball” and we (my wife and me) really like his straight talkin’ ways. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and he’s a super valuable counterpoint to the crazies on the far left—the “Defund the police” idiots who, if not countered, will ruin the Democrats’ chances.

Leave a Reply