Well done to Sorensen

Mr. Sorensen won a tough fight in the IL-17 district to keep the district in the Democratic column: this was a Trump +1 district that Cheri Bustos had to fight for. He was very strong in the Quad Cities area.

We still don’t know if the Democrats will keep the Senate; it appears likely..somewhat likely. The tight spots: Nevada and the upcoming runoff in Georgia; I think Warnock is favored..slightly. So…wonder where the uncounted votes in Nevada are from?

House: good fight, but a lost cause; we lost a few seats.

Workout notes: shook off the sleepies to do PT, my usual 50 reps of pull ups (3 sets of 10 singles, 4 sets of 5), push ups (4 sets of 25: time to step it up), and PT

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 228 low handle

presses: 3 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss bar, 2 sets of 10 curls.

Two mile walk, then two mile commuter walk; walk felt faster than recorded.

Political Thoughts

I haven’t talked politics in a while. And I’ve become *very* disinterested in policy, at least at the federal level.

Here is why: at the present moment, what matters is what party controls Congress and the White House, and any policy that gets passed has to be approved by the party national level; in some sense it doesn’t really matter what policy nuances my US Rep may or may not support.

And right now, the Republicans are so awful that the important thing is to elect a Democrat.

Demonstrators attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol building during a protest in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. Capitol was placed under lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence left the floor of Congress as hundreds of Demonstrators swarmed past barricades surrounding the building where lawmakers were debating Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Until the Republicans can agree to accept the election results, I want absolutely nothing to do with them.

So, IL-17 is a tight race between Eric Sorenson (a Quad Cities weatherman) and Esther Joy King, the Republican who ran in 2020 and held Cheri Bustos to 52 percent (though Trump was on the ballot..that helped her a bit). Obama won the district by 17 points in 2012, Trump won by 0.7 points in 2016 and 1.6 points in 2020. It is sort of Iowa like, with a couple of urban areas (Peoria, Rockford) added to give a boost to the Democrats.

In 2020, Peoria gave Bustos her margin of victory.

Joy-King is running a Bush style campaign (right wing issues, social issues), but as of right now, distancing herself from Trump; she is not running as a MAGA. That is one of her biggest challenges. And she has a ton of money and so do the Republican PACs.

Sorensen is a political rookie, and I think it shows. It appeared that he fell for the age old Republican trick: some campaign surrogate (or PAC) makes a bigoted cultural attack (Sorensen is gay and open about it). The Democrat responds with a cultural counter..instead of focusing on the fact that the Republicans, as a party, want to reduce taxes on the wealthiest, deregulate business and cut services, Social Security, Medicare, etc.

Such cuts are deeply unpopular with the public, so the focus is on cultural stuff .

Note the images of Biden and Pelosi.

Here is a fact check by a Democratic PAC ad:

Ok, one of the PAC’s claims was false.

So, how will it go? The race is viewed as being very close. (via Fivethirtyeight.com)

The big problem, as I see it.

I’ve posted this several times. It still applies.

It is frustrating.

I think one of the divides is by education.

On a college campus, anything that smacks of xxx-ism or bigotry is immediately and loudly denounced; deans and administrators leap into action.

It doesn’t work that way off campus.

Here are a couple of incidents:
In one of the games, there was a very questionable “roughing the passer” call:

Troy Aikman responded on the air with a suggestion that the NFL competition committee “take off the dresses” on the quarterback.

Most blue collar fans wouldn’t have a problem with that statement (“gee, the NFL IS too soft”) but college educated people ..let’s say would respond immediately “that’s misogynistic“; we are trained to react that way (any hint that women are weaker and need more protection then men is just awful, etc.)

But college graduates …especially recent college graduates, are not the bulk of the voting population, and if you want to win an election, you have to know how to talk to non-college graduates and do so in a way where you aren’t “educating them out of their …” whatever.

I am not sure that Democratic politicians, on the whole, do that well.

And then you have this:

There is that Republican trick again: bait Democrats into fighting about culture, while they strip away Social Security, Medicare and other services.

Yes, the Democrats make it easy with moronic slogans like Defund the Police (and yes, some favor reparations) but no Democrat is “pro-crime.”

Of course, the people to which this “Senator” is referring to (poor urban Black people) are the victims of said crimes, and they certainly aren’t in favor of it. In fact, if you live in an urban area and pay attention, there is *always* some anti-crime program going on, often funded and supported by the churches and the people who live in the area. They are constantly pleading for help from the city to stop it.

So, the Senator’s statement is not merely “impolite”; it is false. It is a smear.

But it is also a distraction from the agenda that Sen. McConnell wants to enact and it behooves the Democrats to note that.

Will we fight back effectively? I am not optimistic.

Are liberals interested in winning elections or winning in policy?

A few things struck me. One was the protests outside of SCOTUS justices homes. If you read the opinion article I linked to, you’ll find a common theme: their expecting ruling is so awful they deserve this.

There have been marches, other protests and slogans such as “My Body, My Choice.” Such slogans really do not convince..even if I agree with them.

This is a bit of a digression but here goes: the anti-choice people see abortion as the murder of a baby. To them, it is the same (so they say) as if you took a 1 month newborn and just killed it. And this is why “oh, so you don’t care about the baby after it is born” responses fail to convince. One can believe that murdering a 1 month old baby is murder but still believe that it is up to the PARENTS to care for that baby; that is not inconsistent.

Dakwins argues that the counter would be to challenge the assumption that a fetus is the same as a kid; of course it isn’t. After all, in a fire, would you prioritize saving a new born or some frozen embryos? Easy choice.

But that was a digression…

And the other main point is that many liberals really don’t care about how “the other side sees it.”

And that leads to the second:

To this I say “Me too.” No, there is no danger of me moving to the Republicans..at least so long as they remain a loony anti-democracy xenophobic cult.

But..read the responses to the above tweet. Smith is accused of being a conservative, not sufficiently caring about problems that affect him, etc.

This response I got might be telling:

Note: I was NOT the person who was put off by “pussy hats”; Smith was. I saw the hats as …”eye roll” material but merely shrugged…”that event was not for me” though I did think that stunt opened them up to even more ridicule and made them the butt of jokes..

But Twitter threads can be hard to follow, so I don’t blame her for that. The part I am interested in is the “we. don’t. fucking. want. you.”

That is telling.

There was a time when I saw things like the massive BLM protests which disregarded COVID protocols (and yeah, outdoors later proved to be ok) and were *sometimes* accompanied by riots, looting and violence, and I seriously believe that they contributed to the dismal showing by Democrats in the 2020 elections. The “defund the police” movement was especially bad. The country rejected Trump but didn’t want Democrats either.

And further still…well, with abortion, the “pro-choice caucus” is passing out approved language sheets

I really wonder if they actually tested said language changes on voters. This sure reminds me of the sorts of decisions “activist” faculty make..and I know most don’t test first.

So…I’ve wondered “why do these “activists” care so little about persuasion?” Yes, the hard core right wingers cannot be changed, but there are some far less committed people who observe the exchanges…and often we do NOT have a good look.

Then it struck me:

many liberals really aren’t about winning political battles or even winning policy changes. They are more about being an affinity group and getting praise from those in their own bubble.

So, the more outraged you are, the louder you scream, the more outlandish antics you engage in…the more credibility you have with your peers.

And if you lose at the ballot box, why it was because of the rest of the country of Homer Simpson’s are too crude, too immoral, too bigoted and not “intellectual” enough to appreciate you and “your side”.

I swear..they appear to see losing as a badge of honor and purity.

How this affects me I’ll tell you this: I am starting to think about candidates to succeed Cheri Bustos in the IL-17 district; right now, the race is rated as a toss-up. I won’t look at positions too closely; I’ll see “political skill and the ability to win the general” as the most important thing, by far.

Campaigns and sex appeal…

This Twitter post is interesting to me:

This isn’t the first time..not by any stretch:

So, can this only benefit men…and is it wrong to use it at all?

Well, one can consider my US Rep. Cheri Bustos who made a “50 most beautiful” list. She definitely exploits her athletic physique. Example: this is her FB profile:

This is one of her commercials:

And her Instagram account is full of photos which shows off her health and vitality (softball, running)

In my opinion, she’d be crazy to NOT exploit that. And while her photos are all in good taste, there is no separating health and vigor from sex appeal..which does lead to a favorable image.

So yes, female politicians can do this and still be viewed very positively. In 2016, she won reelection by 20 points in a district that went for Trump (barely..in 2012 Obama won it by 17).