A School of Fish, Seemingly Leaderless: Two Quotes for the Day

school of fish

Democrats are not just a party; they’re a community. In my years of covering politics I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like what happened in the 48 hours after South Carolina — millions of Democrats from all around the country, from many different demographics, turning as one and arriving at a common decision.

It was like watching a flock of geese or a school of fish, seemingly leaderless, sensing some shift in conditions, sensing each other’s intuitions, and smoothly shifting direction en masse. A community is more than the sum of its parts. It is a shared sensibility and a pattern of response. This is a core Democratic strength.

David Brooks

I was told at the beginning of this whole undertaking that there are two lanes: a progressive lane that Bernie Sanders is the incumbent for and a moderate lane that Joe Biden is the incumbent for and there is no room for anyone else in this. I thought it was possible that that wasn’t the case, that there was more room, and more room to run another kind of campaign. But evidently that wasn’t the case.

Elizabeth Warren

We’re in the Money

Corporate America hikes contributions to key Democrats:

Corporate PACs are increasing their contributions to several Democrats who are in line to lead powerful committees if their party retakes the House in November, another sign of the burgeoning expectations for Democrats’ showing in the midterms. …

Contributions from lobbyists and corporate PACs are the lifeblood of Washington fundraising, and many Democratic lawmakers say there’s nothing wrong with accepting such contributions to help retake the House.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who’s in line to become chairman of the House Rules Committee if Democrats control the chamber next year, raised about $139,000 from corporate PACs for his campaign and his leadership PAC, Mac PAC, in the first six months of this year — 38 percent more than he brought in during the first half of 2016. But he doesn’t believe the checks he’s accepted from PACs affiliated with companies such as Amazon, General Mills and Boeing make him any more sympathetic to their interests. …

The money is a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions — if not billions — of dollars that will be spent on the battle for control of the House. But the uptick shows big business eyeing the chances that Democrats could win in November and trying to make early inroads with potential party leaders. The contributions could help Democrats on their way to control of the House — but also could exacerbate tension within the party’s ranks over its relationship with corporate PACs.

To Everything There is a Season

And a time for every purpose under heaven.

Now, in my view, is the time for corporate money flowing to Democrats. They badly need us, because their own Republican politicians did not stay bought. And we need them, acting in their own selfish interest, to drive a stake into the heart of Trumpism.

Fuck You, Democrats. And Please Work with Me on Health Care. Pretty Please with Sugar on Top


In his Oval Office remarks on the evening of March 24—the day Trumpcare bit the dust—master logician Donald Trump blamed his party’s failure to govern on … the Democrats!

Moving on from that elevated beginning, Trump went on predict the implosion of Obamacare and let us in on how much delight he will take in blaming said allegedly forthcoming implosion on—take three guesses—the Democrats!

These developments, he confidently predicted, will force the evil, cowardly Democrats to crawl into the Oval Office, praise his fine new suit of clothes, lick his feet, and beg to be allowed to cooperate in fixing the imploding Obamacare legislative project.

It was an odious invitation. If anyone is inclined to accept it, they will need to bear in mind that he who would sup with the devil should bring a long spoon.

Should Democrats give it a whirl anyway? And how do they answer the underlying questions: Is Obamacare “imploding” or isn’t it? (Much of the discussion of that question has a superficially partisan ‘tis/t’ain’t/’tis/t’ain’t quality about it; where does the truth really lie?) Insofar as there are real problems with Obamacare, not just partisan bullshit, how would reasonable people go about fixing the problems? And is there an icecube’s chance in hell that at least some Republicans could be persuaded to work with Democrats to find real solutions? (This would require, among other things, that Paul Ryan invite the “Freedom Caucus” to kiss is ass. After this evening, Ryan might welcome the opportunity to make such a declaration.)

I intend to inform myself better on these matters and, in future posts, to share the gist of what I think I have learned. My working hypotheses are that

  • Yes, the mandate was relatively weak to begin with; the Trump Administration has taken steps to make it even weaker; and that’s a problem.
  • Some people who buy insurance on the exchanges really do pay too much in premiums and, having made their unduly high payments, suffer from high deductible which they have trouble paying, if they become sick, because they paid too much for insurance to begin with. It’s a problem that could be addressed by increasing subsidies, taking steps to hold down payments to providers, and doing everything possible to make sure that insurance markets have enough competitors to make them “workably competitive,” as the microeconomists would say.

I tend to think the Democrats should make, and should be seen to be making, a good faith attempt to work with whoever is willing to work with them on these problems.