Re: Friday WTFuckery

1

I give money to certain charities monthly. I should do some one-off donations for the midterms, I probably will now that I mention it, but I haven't so far. Cassandane gives more than me.

I feel like I can't do more than that for political causes, living where I do, with a kid. I'd have to drive for at least an hour just to set foot in a district that's in play, and to do that I'd have to rent a car. In some sense that's just an excuse to be lazy, of course. I probably should find the time and motivation for some kind of volunteerism, but if I do it'll probably be for a local issue or charity. And, of course, in most cases local work is still important because it's how state/national politicians get started, but not here! I don't want to move, I like where I live, but Cassandane is talking about a career change, and maybe having local politics that actually matter should be a tiny factor in any changes we make.

Semi-OT, but I'm in a discussion elsewhere with someone who seems somewhat reasonable but is using the phrase "identity politics" a lot. I seem to remember a pithy argument or even image spread virally, pointing that 90 percent of uses of the phrase are by right-wing nuts and/r white male Christian identity politics are so ubiquitous no one even thinks about them, but I don't remember the exact words and can't find something like it to quote it. Maybe I even got it from one of you at the other place, I don't know. Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? I hesitate to ask, arguing about politics always has an element of masochism and this week far more than usual, but it's this or pay attention to work.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 7:42 AM
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Twice now while canvassing I have spent at least 10 minutes trying to disengage from someone on my side who just wants to talk forever about all the abstruse current affairs he knows and how cleverly he puts them all together and the notion of taking some kind of concrete action like volunteering rolls off him like water off a duck's back


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 7:49 AM
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2: Wait until he finds out about blogs.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 7:52 AM
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/05/no-shock-powerful-hate-identity-politics

Any use?


Posted by: Dave Heasman | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 8:15 AM
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4: Not exactly what I was thinking of, but maybe, yeah. Thanks.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 8:20 AM
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1: I shouldn't have used the word lazy. But I think you're saying something different, which is that you see the value in taking action and can't see a logistical way to make it work. Which is mostly the boat I put myself in, as well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 8:32 AM
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7

I have a staff to put me in boats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 8:46 AM
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From now on I'll think of Moby as the little man in the boat.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 8:52 AM
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9

We're both not necessary, strictly speaking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 9:22 AM
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6: Eh, I often actually am lazy. It's sometimes just the most accurate way to describe things. Obviously not always, I try to spend every minute doing something productive and beat myself up if I fail, but sometimes. You have one more car than me and live in a place where local politics matters more, but you also have 3 more kids; if you have the time and energy for any kind of activism at all, I'm pretty sure I could if I tried.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 9:56 AM
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Bullet points/scattershot:

Should we make this a general midterms thread? I might actually finally plan this trip to Wisconsin if I can coordinate with the parents.

Where do you guys go for polls these days, after the poll apocalypse of 2016? I discount all good news fairly heavily as a reflex.

Heebie, how is the voter registration process going in Texas overall?

538 has a NV Senate seat as a toss-up, if any Californians are looking for neighbors in need.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:10 AM
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Where do you guys go for polls these days, after the poll apocalypse of 2016? I discount all good news fairly heavily as a reflex.

538. They did better than others in appropriately hedging about 2016 at the time and have been thoughtful about adjusting their approach in response to how that went. Their House and Senate forecast models this time are particularly interesting in how they try to incorporate the "fundamentals" but in a relatively transparent way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:23 AM
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11
Where do you guys go for polls these days, after the poll apocalypse of 2016? I discount all good news fairly heavily as a reflex.

How bad were they, exactly? Not looking up details now but if I remember correctly, right before the election, 538 gave Clinton a 60-70 percent chance of winning. A 60 percent chance of something really isn't very certain at all.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:24 AM
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10: I don't know why I'm belaboring this point, but: I want nonactivists to feel vaguely guilty for not doing more, and not self-righteous because they know it's futile. This is all about the complacency of self-righteous people and how can they sleep at night.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:25 AM
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13: Yeah, the problem in 2016 was not so much with the polls themselves as with how people were interpreting them. A lot of people seemed to think they were showing Clinton was an absolute lock, which was not the case at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:28 AM
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The thing about the sort of person who feels self-righteous about being lazy is that they're unlikely to feel guilty about anything.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:29 AM
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17

Heebie, how is the voter registration process going in Texas overall?

400,000 registered since March, which frankly doesn't sound that great. 1.6 million registered since the 2014 midterms.

Given that the 500,000 more Republicans voted in the 2018 primary than Democrats, 400,000 on its own isn't going to do it. Of course, there are currently 15 million registered voters, and only 4.7 million voted in 2014, so there is plenty of room to GOTV with existing registered voters. Still, I'm pessimistic.

Oh, also the Texas GOP threw out 2400 online registrations. I'm equal parts angry at the state for creating unnecessary obstacles around registrations and angry at the vote.org website for not checking their process thoroughly before letting users register.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:33 AM
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16: They're maddening that way. But as an activist, I'm always looking for ways to mobilize self-righteous people into the guilty category.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:39 AM
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13: Quantitatively, I don't know how bad they were. In terms of the big picture, discounting optimistic projections (and going all out to get more voters registered in tight contests) would have been wise. But I guess I mean more "assume everything is tight and every vote matters" than "assume things that seem hopeful are hopeless." Except Beto. That might be hopeless. Getting a Democrat to take Paul Ryan's seat is most likely hopeless too, but the district isn't far from the keyaki family manor, and it would be so damn satisfying if every last eligible black voter in WI-1 registered.

(Also satisfying: the flooding of the map with lakes and rivers as this PDF loads slowly.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:41 AM
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10: Ugh. "I try" should be "I don't try". To think a lot of my job is editing.

14: Got it. Comity, then. There's a lot of despair out there, but I actually have mentally rehearsed arguments to justify activism despite it, or to point out why my despair is different than certain other peoples' would be. Because that is the kind of thing sane people do.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 5-18 10:59 AM
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Posted by: Rodolfo | Link to this comment | 02-10-19 7:18 PM
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