The worse, the better?

Lenin felt that way about Czarist Russia, but is that how the Democratic leadership should feel about the GOP?

Apparently, the Democratic Governors Associations is with Lenin. Here’s Reason:

Yesterday was Maryland’s primary election day. The winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary was supported by both former President Donald Trump and the Democratic Governors Association. Why is that? . . .

In Pennsylvania, Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro ran ads boosting Republican candidate Doug Mastriano, a state senator who insists the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Mastriano ultimately won the nomination, and now has a fighting chance of winning not just the governorship, but the power to hand-pick a secretary of state who may throw the 2024 election into chaos. . .

[T]he DGA spent $1.2 million on an ad targeting Cox, more than twice what Cox had raised to that point. The ad highlighted Trump’s endorsement, and claimed Cox was “fighting to end abortion in Maryland” and “will protect the Second Amendment at all costs, refusing to support any federal restrictions on guns, even pushing to put armed guards in every school.”

While likely horrifying Democrats, the ad goosed Cox’s prospects among Republicans: He ultimately beat Schulz by more than 15 percentage points. Like Mastriano, Cox participated in the January 6 Capitol riot, busing people to Washington ahead of time and tweeting “[Vice President Mike] Pence is a traitor” after protesters had already breached the building.

The GSA strategy is too cynical even for someone like me. After all, Democrats are Americans, aren’t they? It’s inevitable that the Dems will win some elections and lose some elections. When they lose, wouldn’t it be better if the victorious GOP opponent were not evil?

It’s bad enough that the GOP is being taken over by right wing nuts. The fact that the Democrats are encouraging this shift is even worse. Just one more indication that America has become a banana republic.

Bloomberg has the following headline:

Good News for Democrats: Even Republicans Are Tiring of Trump

I don’t believe that; the betting markets still show Trump as being almost twice as likely to win the next presidential election as is the next most popular candidate (which is not Biden, in case you are interested.) But if the DGA is correct, then news of Trump’s (alleged) falling popularity should be discouraging to Dems. After all, it would be easier for the Dems to beat Trump than DeSantis. (To be clear, I don’t believe they’d beat either. I’m just saying that Trump is clearly the weaker candidate.)

PS. I read that some of the MPs that support Rishi Sunak strategically voted for Liz Truss, believing her to be the weaker foe in the next round. Betting markets now have Truss as the favorite to beat Sunak.

PPS. Was it a mistake to unify Italy? The country seems increasingly dysfunctional. Let’s not forget that it all began in Italy with the election of Berlusconi. By “it”, I mean the banana republicization of much of the world. Italy was the canary in the coal mine, heralding that the 21st century was going to suck.

Forza Italia! Yeah, how’d that work out?



17 Responses to “The worse, the better?”

  1. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    21. July 2022 at 11:33

    The only way I can think about Italy is it is the most beautiful outdoor museum in history. When I think of it that way I feel at peace. Everything else since 1860 has been a joke. Notice when the Italian immigration rush began -about the 1880s

    Re election. Too early for me to tell—-even midterms. What if Fed pulls some magic out it’s hat. We cannot forecast anything as you have written. At least macro

  2. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    21. July 2022 at 11:38

    PS. By outdoor, I mean the country is a museum which includes the indoor wonders of course

  3. Gravatar of steve steve
    21. July 2022 at 16:35

    jeez you are a glass half empty guy….

  4. Gravatar of Axel Kassel Axel Kassel
    21. July 2022 at 18:40

    This sort of sabotage and the profusion of candidates from extremes of the parties is largely a product of the primary system and the vacuous get-ouot-the-vote campaigns. The old party caucus and smoke-filled room system at least had the virtue of drawing in genuinely interested party members and providing an incentive to pick a candidate whp might actually be electable. Effectively nationalizing the candidate-selection process undermines the operation of voluntary, private associations and too often coughs up office-seekers whose accession to power triggers fast-onset bouts of buyers’ remorse (see recent history),

  5. Gravatar of tpeach tpeach
    21. July 2022 at 19:41

    I don’t think Trump can win without Twitter. Did his odds in the betting markets fall when Elon Musk’s Twitter deal fell through?

  6. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    21. July 2022 at 21:37

    Steve, More like “Just a few dregs of coffee left on the bottom” guy.

  7. Gravatar of Ben Ben
    22. July 2022 at 04:08

    It’s “Tsarist Russia” not Czarist…

  8. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    22. July 2022 at 08:01

    tpeach, The twitter ban clearly helps Trump. I’m sure he hopes that it continues.

    Ben, What are you, some sort of spelling czar? When Russia stops invading other countries, I’ll start treating their language with respect.

  9. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    22. July 2022 at 09:12

    It’s царь. Both czar and tsar are transliterations and are acceptable in English, although tsar is more modern and appears to be currently more popular.

  10. Gravatar of Mark Z Mark Z
    22. July 2022 at 13:03

    “When they lose, wouldn’t it be better if the victorious GOP opponent were not evil?”
    Well, no? For one thing, they probably view the more moderate candidate as 85% as evil as the other guy anyway. But it’s also entirely possible, from their view, that the increased chance of winning outweighs the greater cost of losing. Unless one is (on balance) politically moderate or fairly risk averse, the case for Lenin-style accelerationism (which, I’d note, actually worked out great for the Soviet Union) is at least plausible, especially for the candidates themselves.

  11. Gravatar of Larry Larry
    22. July 2022 at 13:49

    As far as I am concerned the United States has been in decline for about the last 50 years, at least since the start of the Vietnam War.

    And as far as I can tell this country, our civilization, has become totally decadent for many reasons.

    In any event I expect the Republicans to retake congress this fall and maybe even for Traitor Trump to be President again is 2024.

    Sometimes, no matter how painful, you have to hit bottom before you can turn it around.

  12. Gravatar of Bob Bob
    22. July 2022 at 17:22

    The worse, the better is a strategy that is only considered when you have a wide advantage: Maryland will possibly pick a moderate Republican as governor, but it’s quite unlikely that a MAGA candidate will work. This has worked before: Sell old Missouri and Todd Akin.

    Democrats aren’t playing those games in places where there is a lot of competition, or where they are very likely to lose: See the Democrats voting for sane republicans in Georgia primaries, whenever one was available and had a chance in hell.

    It is always a risky play: Maybe an election is 20 points away from polls. Either way, we’d all be better off with an electoral system that has better chances of letting the median voter choose candidates, instead of primary systems that often hand us extremists of all stripes.

  13. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    22. July 2022 at 19:34

    Former Republican strategist Mike Murphy put it well, I think. He said Trump now is like a car with a bent frame. The damage on the outside doesn’t look too bad, but given the bent frame, it’ll never drive properly again.

  14. Gravatar of MichaelM MichaelM
    24. July 2022 at 07:04

    “Democrats aren’t playing those games in places where there is a lot of competition, or where they are very likely to lose: See the Democrats voting for sane republicans in Georgia primaries, whenever one was available and had a chance in hell.”

    Mastriano may well be governor of Pennsylvania come next year. The Dems are doing this everywhere they’re afraid of losing, including places they may well still loose.

    It’s especially stupid to do in the Rust Belt, ex-Blue Wall states, the beating heart of Trumpism.

  15. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. July 2022 at 08:00

    Larry, You said:

    “In any event I expect the Republicans to retake congress this fall and maybe even for Traitor Trump to be President again is 2024.”

    Me too.

    Bob, I hope the Georgia Republicans didn’t vote for Walker! And Pennsylvania is a swing state. But otherwise your Georgia example has some merit–they did help in the Secretary of State race.

    MichaelM, That’s right.

  16. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    26. July 2022 at 08:51

    this is good news for everyone

    if you want to live in a gun-free zero-emission cop-defunding abortion-on-demand no-borders left-wing utopia with basic universal everything and LGTBQ drag shows at every elementary school (in between Trump effigy burnings and loyalty oaths to the Democrats), you should have a place to do that

    as long as you don’t force everyone else to live there too

  17. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    26. July 2022 at 08:59

    “PPS. Was it a mistake to unify Italy?”

    absolutely… only decentralized government can offer adequate representation

    it’s not just Quebec or Scotland, this sentiments are everywhere… even eastern Oregon counties have officially pronounced their desire to secede from Portland to join Idaho

    and you may trust their ineffable, insufferable, benighted pro-Trump views are no more offensive to you than yours are to them

    why inflict any more of our mutually repulsive beliefs on each other than absolutely necessary?

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