Taibbi: “Conventional wisdom is pretty much always wrong, and often spectacularly so.”


Earlier I was thinking about the Donnelly shambles, and how I can’t seem to take my eyes off the proverbial train wreck.

Embarrassment as “the Donnelly campaign demonstrates the futility of seeking to surmount these obstacles by trying to out-Republican the Republicans.”

An hour later, former councilman John Gonder offered a comment perfectly calibrated for the mood.

This is from a speech Harry Truman gave in 1952 to Americans for Democratic Action, it is found at the Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum web site:

I’ve seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn’t believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don’t want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

It was true then and it is true now. The Donnelly campaign’s tack rightward was like watching two trains headed toward each other on the same track; the result was inevitable.

Gonder knows all too well what it’s like to be progressive and kneecapped by his own local political party, that of crassly indeterminate ethical values and dumpster fires.

Has the local chairman resigned yet?

Forget ‘Conventional Wisdom’: There Are No More Moderates, by Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone)

Beware the latest call to “move to the center” — which is just the same old tune, re-packaged

 … Voters are not skittish, brainless creatures afraid of strong policy proposals. That more accurately describes the politicians and corporate donors who are invested in things staying as they are. Most actual people are living on the edge financially, are angry, and will take policy help from anywhere they can get it.

Polls today show Americans in large majorities now support expanded Social Security, drug re-importation, single-payer health care, free college, and they want Medicare to be able to negotiate lower drug prices. These positions would do well if any party threw its support behind them.

But conventional wisdom, once again, will likely insist heading into 2020 that something other than policy will matter, when it comes to picking candidates. CNN earlier this year, quoting pols and consultants, actually said that “in the era of Trump, where uniqueness is prized,” Democrats should search for “candidates with distinct backgrounds” …