I'm working (slowly) on a newsletter about this, but I think a big part of the problem is an inability to differentiate between various roles in the progressive politics ecosystem. Campaign strategists have different obligations than op/ed columnists, even if some aims overlap.
As a politics-watcher and writer, I don't think it's my job to get Democrats elected, even though in most races I clearly prefer the Democrat. It's understandable that a lot of folks who work in ideas / argument but not campaigns bristle at "don't talk about this issue."
Voters, though, can't really differentiate between a campaign's message and the broader media noise around the message. That's made all the more complicated by Twitter, where everyone is a pundit.
But it is antithetical to the job of a columnist / analyst / opinion journalist to put the strategic desires of a political party ahead of the professional obligation to write about what's important & be honest with your audience. Part of our job, too, is to shape public opinion.
And so yes maybe it makes the utmost strategic sense for Dem campaigns to avoid issues that make voters move right, whether that's immigration or abortion or sexism or racism, and instead focus on the popular policies that would help a lot of people. But...
That's a different thing than expecting the broader universe of journalists, columnists, writers, etc to avoid those issues because they may move voters right. Short-term electoral strategy has to come along with a strategy for longer-term social change or it's just conservatism.

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More from @JillFilipovic

12 Oct
I wrote about the Covid Great Resignation. A lot is about policy, and lack of childcare in particular. A lot is about exploitation, including low pay and demands of physical risk.

But some of it is existential: People asking, how do I want to live?
Where I diverge from a lot of people who share my politics is that I think most people want to work, and that work is good for most people - unlimited leisure and pleasure time is actually not the key to a happy life. But work doesn't have to be like it is in the US.
For so many workers, work means surveillance, monitoring, and being managed -- treated like an idiot, as untrustworthy, as an automaton. That's degrading, and Covid seems to have only accelerated this absurd management style.
Read 5 tweets
10 Sep
The documentary LuLaRich is out on Amazon Prime today, and you may see a familiar face in it (hi). For me, the most interesting part of the LuLaRoe story is the place where two American aspirations collide: capitalist consumerism & white female domesticity
We still fetishize full-time motherhood and consider it the end-all be-all of female ambition, while also living in a nation obsessed with buying, selling, entrepreneurship, and the myth of the self-made (wo)man. LuLaRoe (and other MLMs) jumped right into that space.
LuLaRoe offered stifled, uncompensated, unfulfilled and ambitious stay-at-home moms two crucial things: Recognition and connection.
Read 6 tweets
10 Sep
So… three distinct choices then. “This option is somewhat more annoying than another option” doesn’t make it not actually an option. And many public policies are designed to coerce people into the choice policy-makers want — in this case, the one that saves lives. Image
I would not actually support a full vaccine mandate without any exceptions at all. But this isn’t a full vaccine mandate — it allows most workers to opt out of the vaccine as long as they test once per week (and even that is a little lax). Bizarre to see such outrage.
Also just sitting here noting which of your favorite leftists have a lot to say about freedom being impinged upon by life-saving vaccine rules and very little to say about women being forced to continue pregnancies and risk their lives in childbirth in Texas. Curious.
Read 5 tweets
1 Sep
So what can we do?
-Donate to a Texas abortion fund
-Get loud, protest, write op/eds, fuel mass public outrage. The court hasn’t overturned Roe yet. Some justices don’t care about their legacy or the court’s legitimacy, but some do. Turn up the pressure, show that stakes are high
Other things to do:
-Turn up the pressure on Democrats to fix the growing problem of undemocratic conservative capture (check out the new Texas bill curtailing voting rights for example — these issues are directly connected). Tell Dems: end the filibuster, expand the court.
What else we can do:
-Excise left-wing misogyny. It’s poison. We can’t fix the right, but we can require better of the people we follow, support, and promote. Watch how people on the left respond to this moment. How are they using their platforms? Are they silent? Defensive?
Read 4 tweets
31 Aug
This is good context, but the "kids are fine" people & the "protect the kids" people are talking past each other. What I hear from parents is less "I'm terrified my kid will die" and more "I'm terrified my kid will get a novel disease & I have no idea what that means long term."
Some parents are afraid their kid will die. But mostly, the actual fears of parents are not being met with "very few kids die of Covid." No one knows the long-term costs of this virus. Parents are making decisions for their most beloved people without sufficient information.
I'm not a parent. But I've had a hard enough time making decisions for myself during this pandemic. I cannot imagine having a child and navigating this, but I can imagine "don't worry, most kids don't die" wouldn't actually address my most pressing concerns.
Read 6 tweets
30 Aug
This is... quite a narrative. I'm fascinated by the theory Biden had an excellent evacuation plan but The Media was simply too hard on him out of malice or both sides-ism... and not that evacuations ramped up BECAUSE journalists were screaming about it.
It can be true that Biden did the right thing by finally getting us out of Afghanistan AND that evacuations were wildly insufficient, particularly at the start. Yes 120,000 people is a lot! But for context, Iran has several million Afghan refugees living within its borders.
I don't think 120,000 people -- not all of them Afghans -- evacuated from Afghanistan is enough. It is many more than any Republican president would have evacuated? Yes, and that's great. But it's not enough. It could have started much sooner. We could have done more.
Read 8 tweets

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