David Atkins Profile picture
May 12 13 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The biggest mistake moderate Democrats are making is that they are governing to preserve institutional credibility while hoping that Trumpism will blow over, rather than preparing with grim fortitude for a society-wide confrontation with a fascist movement playing for keeps. /1
What does this look like? Let's take some examples. Democrats are trying to preserve the comity of the Senate so it keeps "working" after Trumpism dissipates, failing to get that the Senate is the barricade the fascists are fortifying to prevent us from stopping their coup. /2
The Supreme Court. Much of the center-left is terrified of expanding the court, worrying about future GOP expansions & the legitimacy of the institution, rather than understanding that the current balance, with Senate apportionment, is their siege engine against democracy./3
Democrats are terrified of backlash on "crime" and policing, refusing to partisanize the police problem, failing to understand that the fascists are counting on MAGA cops dominating blue cities as the frontline troops to beat down progressive resistance to the coup. /4
Democrats treat the gun problem as if they were debating people who simply don't understand the origins of gun violence, rather than address what is happening: the MAGA glorification of a culture of political violence by people eager to kill Others and prepping for civil war. /5
Democrats are dealing with the anti-LGBT and abortion pushes as if they were passing moral panics to push against for votes, rather than a deliberate attempt to create a theocracy before the country secularizes--and cleanse red states of liberals while crushing blue cities. /6
We have to stop trying to preserve institutional norms to keep working until the fever breaks. It's not going to break. DeSantis is working on enhancing Trumpist fascism without the chaos. We need to be preparing at all levels to fortify democracy against the coming trial. /7
The fascists see demographic disaster looming, & they are leveraging all the centers of power they can to seize total control. They don't care how they have to do that, or what they have to break. Democrats cannot save ourselves & the nice institutional norms at the same time./8
It's time to understand that the battle isn't just to win the next election. You can't win EVERY election. There are too many variables. Also, the fascist fever isn't breaking. The battle is to stop the coup. That means changing the institutions to make the coup impossible. /9
That means BIG STRUCTURAL CHANGE, even if it feels a bit destabilizing. It means expanding the court, adding states, ditching blue slips, killing the filibuster, invoking the 14th, adding requirements for police hiring, and honestly talking about what the GOP is doing. /10
Is it a risk? Of course. But it's NOT AS BIG AS RISK AS THINKING YOU CAN WIN ENOUGH ELECTIONS UNTIL THE FEVER PASSES. That sounds nice, but it is stupid. The fever isn't going to "pass" with these people, and you'll eventually lose an election. /11
As long as the public thinks it's just politics as usual, they tend to behave thermostatically. Most won't understand the consequences of Republicans taking power unless institutional Democrats and trusted public figures make it explicit. And note that it's not just Trump. /12
A time of testing of powers is eventually coming, socially and institutionally. I expect the fascists to lose, but we stand a better chance of winning the more we have prepared explicitly for that rather than trying to seem like the nice sensible ones because polls said so. /end

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More from @DavidOAtkins

May 10
Going after junior staffers is wrong and inappropriate.

But the problem is that we're in a situation with NO accountability mechanism. The legislator cannot be contacted or pressured. There is no relief valve.

The only possible avenue is exposure by someone on the inside./1
The incentives for staff are also perverse. Exposing the situation potentially destroys their careers. Continuing it basically gives the senior staffers the power of a Senator and keeps their jobs.

I feel for all of them, but someone has to step forward and do the right thing./2
The legislators' *colleagues* could step forward and do the right thing. But they also have little power over it, and most of their personal and career incentives incline toward protecting the privileges of the gerontocracy, no matter the externalized costs to the public. /3
Read 9 tweets
May 9
True Blue Dems wasting tens of millions of dollars on doomed vanity campaigns against MTG will do far, far more to damage to Democrats in 2024 than Marianne Williamson running a silly primary campaign that won't actually hurt Biden in the general.
You know why no one frets that a Trump vs DeSantis brawl will hurt the GOP in the general election? Because it won't.

Primaries are good. If Bernie hadn't given voice to millions of frustrated young progressive voters in 2016, Clinton might have straight-up lost the pop vote.
Since our utterly broken winner-take-all system doesn't allow for more than two viable parties, & caucus politics are a pure tug-of-war, literally the only pathway for hashing out issues internally for the sane half of the country is through the imperfect mechanism of primaries.
Read 5 tweets
Apr 26
Almost every major error and meltdown in Dem/left politics, from post-left fash apologism to popularist left-punching cringe, comes from fatally flawed attempts to solve what I call the Upper Left Quadrant problem.

Here is the chart, and the fundamental problem: /1 Image
This chart explains *so much* about modern American politics. What it says, simply, is that almost all the actual persuadable voters in the electorate aren't "moderates."

They're cross-pressured extremists and...kinda fashy. They're socially bigoted and economically leftist. /2
Needless to say, this is not great. It's a huge impediment for making progress.

But it's also highly inconvenient for the major ideological factions in American politics. /3
Read 16 tweets
Apr 25
Biden is running again because his team is (wrongly) convinced he's the only candidate who could have beaten Trump, and the only one who can do it again.

And because there aren't a lot of great alternatives. A short thread. /1
Way too many Bernielanders proved they hate liberals more than fascists. It's hard to trust anyone who, for instance, is against helping Ukraine.

They're also replete with "left" NIMBYs who won't accept any solutions short of "ending capitalism" whatever that means. /2
Harris' approvals are abysmal, she never got traction in the primary, & her biggest supporters are a mirror version of the worst Berners: they hate progressives more than they do Romney GOPs, they like the economic status quo and have bizarre hero worship for the gerontocracy./3
Read 8 tweets
Apr 16
I keep banging this drum, but Republicans don't oppose grooming. They love grooming, as long as it's powerful religious men doing it to young girls.

When they say "grooming" they mean LGBT people existing, bc they don't believe anyone is actually LGBT absent social conditioning.
Republicans want their boys to be as cruel and abusive as possible, and they want their girls to be transferred as possessions from fathers to husbands, preferably as young as possible, with no threats to their sexual "purity" or exposure to feminist ideas. /2
They assume everyone else is as predatory as they are. They sin all week, repent on Sunday for absolution to sin all over again the next week. They see this as the only backstop to their own predation.

Thus they assume anyone without that backstop must literally be pedophiles.3
Read 4 tweets
Apr 4
The idea in some faux-left spaces that home prices are high because landlords are colluding to artificially raise prices is mind-numbingly stupid. Landlords can charge what they do because for every decent living space there are 50 people who want it. /1
Apartment rents are high for the same reason mortgage prices are high: NIMBYs who spent decades preventing anyone from building new housing in desirable urban areas. Too few spaces for the need. /2
If a government took every property from every landlord, it could theoretically lower the price--but it would still have to decide which of those 50 people who want that apartment will get it.

Supply and demand exist regardless of your economic system. /3
Read 14 tweets

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