In spite of all!
Quick favor: could you update the billing receipt to contain ONLYFANS so I'm less embarrassed when my wife asks about the credit card statement?
I can't believe I subscribed to a substack.
You wore me down with the One Billion Americans promo and now I will spend money on anything you tell me to.
One thing that feels missing here is examples of "Democrats . . . burrowing-in on a very particular style of politics that simply has a limited range of appeal." Like, I get that "Latinx" is annoying and I'm sure you're right that it's an arcane bit of academic jargon that has no connection to the communities to which it's supposed to be respectful. But have actual Democratic politicians running actual campaigns *actually* leaned in to this sort of thing, or are Republicans just working overtime to associate Democrats with a bunch of free-floating pablum from randos on Twitter (+ Joy Reid)?
Best of luck with this new outlet! I’m especially excited for any new housing and transit policy discussions.
Matt, this is exciting for you! I feel like I owed you $80 for the tweets alone.
Comment - Doesn't personality/charisma also greatly impact the ability to win close campaigns? Issues are obviously important, but the ability to explain, convince, inspire, and get someone to look past certain policy positions is also key. Trump, Manchin, AOC, Tester, Buttigieg, Beto, and even Obama all seemed to overperform their expected policy-based outcomes due to their character and style. And charisma-challenged folks like Gore, Kerry, Romney, and Hillary all surely underperformed due to this metric. (Ronald Reagan might be the ur-text). Think about Dwayne Johnson - he would be a presidential front runner regardless of which party he was running for. I know this is a policy shop, but shouldn't we think about promoting and encouraging people with this skill set (Buttigieg comes to mind)?
It’s a little slow around here. When does the boring of hard boards start?
It is pretty irritating how the GOP can seemingly make shit up about what our policy planks are (eg defund the police, Biden will raise your taxes and ban fracking) while we can't seem to ever get through to people about how crazy extreme a lot of their plank is. Is it just a messaging failure on our part, or is it more structural issues?
Also, it would be fantastic if states like CA or NY could -actually- set examples and be really well-run states instead of continually wasting the potential. It's better than a red state, but some of the stuff that goes on here is quite frankly an embarrassment.
Hey Matt. Big fan. Cool to see you doing your own thing!
Few questions for you.
As you’re probably aware, some of your opinions on immigration aren’t particularly popular. I remember one Weeds podcast a while back discussing it and to paraphrase, the gist of what you said was something like: sometimes you just have to make your argument and if you lose you lose. IIRC in that same conversation you expressed contempt for Yascha Mounk’s suggestion that maybe the left should heed David Frum’s advice and accept the right’s hard line on immigration.
I’m very sympathetic to the notion that some of the left’s attitudes on cultural issues are off-putting to a lot of voters and imo counterproductive from the standpoint of winning elections. But, everyone who is politically active has the issue(s) they care most about, where they essentially feel the way you do on immigration—you advocate for it because you think it’s right and if you lose you lose.
If you think the party should trim its sails to appeal to more culturally conservative voters, how do you determine which sails to trim? Who’s issue(s) get thrown under the bus?
Also, shouldn’t any strategy of pragmatic sail trimming to appeal to right-leaning voters try to differentiate between the relative unpopularity of a given issue in terms of raw polling and the magnitude of the dislike in the individual voters? Meaning, couldn’t it be the case that using the term Latinx might be mildly annoying to the vast majority of the Latino electorate but not very relevant to how they cast their vote, and that while a more open immigration policy might enjoy more support it could be a dealbreaker for many more people than the Latinx issue?
Mostly subscribing for the T-shirts that say "I Am Boring" on the front. (Those are coming, surely? Take my money.) (Yes, more of it.) Meanwhile, looking forward to reading some Yglesias Unbound.
There should be a German word for "The feeling when the only writer you'd even consider subscribing to a Substack to read... launches a Substack."
May I propose: Unterstapelabfindem
Love the piece. My disconnect is that voters seem to be responding to culture (corporate wokeness, what Fox said that AOC says, etc) rather than you what Biden actually does and says. (Biden was explicitly against defund the police, but that didn't seem to penetrate). So even if you run a moderate PA Senate candidate, can they overcome being painted with the extremes of leftist culture? Is this a candidate problem, or a cultural disconnect problem? Does a PA moderate Senate candidate have to explicitly campaign against wokeness to cut through? Could such a person every win a Dem primary?
What do you think of claims that supposed political "moderates" aren't really all that moderate at all; they're just inconsistent (e.g., some voters who love Trump-y attacks on wokeness but also favor a higher minimum wage or universal healthcare, or others who are very culturally woke but strongly in favor of deregulation)? If this is true, doesn't that imply that there's a much larger disconnect between image and substance in American politics than is usually conceived of, and that true cross-aisle coalition politics ought to be possible on narrow policy grounds (even in a Biden administration where dems are the legislative minority)?
Congrats on this new project, Matt. Looking forward to it. On the off chance you're taking requests, I'd love to see a post about the potential *political* benefits of relocating federal agencies outside D.C. You hooked me on the economic merits of this idea in One Billion Americans (and in your Vox piece from a few years back), as I work on economic development in rural/declining areas. It seems like Dems could leverage some conservatives' (Hawley, Blackburn) interest in the idea to expand support for government -- and therefore the party -- in key states.
"Latinx" has always made my Cubana wife and all her amigas latinas cringe. So wonderful that I never need to visit the Vox site again and sift through Ezra's "takes as performance art". Congrats Matt and I wish you the best of success. Yglesias Unbridled!!!
They hated Matt because he told the truth..
As any longtime fan knows your comment sections on your old blogs always sucked. Do you have plans to make the comment section here better than that?