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Dana Gould on reality television:

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This is too clever by half:

[Loretta] Sanchez has been reaching out to GOP leaders, and she’s gained a few endorsements for her trouble. On Thursday, Sanchez appeared on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s program, and he endorsed her shortly thereafter. Last month, ex-Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan also backed her. But Sanchez is going to need a lot more help if she’s going to win in November in this expensive state.

Yeah, this may get a few Republicans to vote for her over Kamala Harris in November, but it’s not like winning a boatload of Republicans is a proven path to success in this sort of race, and it’s not as though bucking up her support among conservatives will have no effect on her hold on Democrats. Remember the sorry case of Howard Berman, last seen trying to beat a fellow Democrat by hitting up the likes of John McCain for an endorsement. There’s no particular reason to believe running a Joe Lieberman style campaign will work in 2016 California any better than it worked for Lieberman in 2012. Admittedly Sanchez doesn’t have a particularly better option, given her Blue Dog record she can’t credibly attack Harris from the left, and she’s responding rationally enough to the incentives, but it just seems so pointless, an indictment of the system that creates these incentives.

Basically, this is why the whole top-two nonpartisan scheme is stupid and should be junked. Sure, a Republican can’t win statewide in California anymore, but they should at least have an option on the ballot who embodies their priorities, though to be fair Sanchez does have some of Trump’s foot-in-mouth disease, which is something I guess. The whole thing is just so flawed: seems to be based on a “vote the person, not the party” ethos that is fundamentally flawed: voting based on party gives you far more reliable results than voting based on personality, which is ultimately voting based on a multi-million dollar sales job, which may as well be nothing. We were told that this process would incentivize Democrats running to the right or Republicans running to the left, but in the rare same party showdowns the dynamic seems to mostly be second placer desperately trying to suck up to the other party and alienating their own party’s base in the process. Why bother?

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I don’t worry that Hillary Clinton is going down the road of Obama-style bipartisanship, regardless of what she says. Because, ultimately, what can she say? That bipartisanship has been dead for two decades and Republicans killed it? That she’ll face the same unyielding hostility that Obama did, no matter what she does? That the center has dwindled and that she’ll have little room for even Obama’s level of heterodoxy given the changes in the Democratic Party over the past few years? All unquestionably true, but not politically wise to say. In fact, I reckon it’ll be the most partisan presidency ever (give or take a Dubya) purely by necessity: a fathomlessly hostile Republican Party on one hand, and on the other a Democratic Party over which the Clintons have vastly less control than they did in the 1990s (back when the liberal wing was tiny and had no Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren leaders to speak of, let alone ones who were more popular and respected than Bill Clinton). She’ll have every incentive to work at avoiding party rifts, and none to freelance on education or trade. She will continue to try to distance herself from the left-most positions of the party, but that’s all. And that’s a lot better than triangulation.

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Nate Silver is still definitely a data journalist.

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For those of you who thought that getting dismembered by Donald Trump in the presidential race would somehow cause the press to quit hyping the human-sized vacuum that is Marco Rubio, ha ha ha no. Undeniably the worst thing about his running for the Senate again is that we’re going to have to listen to another four months of stories about what a legend he is before he loses again.

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And those who know know it:

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I rate the Democrats’ chances of taking the House perhaps a little better than most pundits, though still not that great. Obviously, there’s gerrymandering, but beside that, the Democrats’ incredibly stupid “be nice” strategy toward moderate Republicans, often running mediocre campaigns against “safe” Republicans in blue seats rather than making them fight like hell every time, is probably going to make it even more difficult than it should be. The fact that Frank LoBiondo holds a “safe” seat in a staunch Obama district illustrates the problem nicely, and if they fall short by a handful or so it’s going to be decisive. In any event, if the Democrats do somehow pull out the House, it would almost certainly be with a tiny majority with the balance held by red-staters unlikely to vote for major new social programs or take huge risks to their re-election. But that doesn’t mean that nothing should be done:

  1. Voting rights fix: Chief Justice Roberts’s most egregious error should be corrected with a new Section 4 to the Voting Rights Act that requires all states to get preclearance for changes to voting procedures. But that shouldn’t be all. Banning the Republicans’ egregious practices to restrict voting, such as voter ID laws; mandating same-day registration and early voting; and providing binding guidelines aimed at breaking up multi-hour lines on election day are all no-brainers. This may not get much in the way of bipartisan support but I cannot imagine many (if any) Democrats disapproving of this–it affects moderates equally as much as liberals.
  2. Campaign finance: With a new Democratic majority, there’s no reason not to go sweeping in this area–restoring McCain-Feingold strictures and then going further, adding new restrictions for non-profit “charities” to engage in politics, for example. Again, the campaign fundraising issues affect all parts of the party equally.
  3. Immigration reform: Basically no way this gets done any other way, and there is still some (if dwindling) sincere Republican support for doing something here that may balance out whatever remaining Democratic opposition exists. It’s probably not the first thing you want to do, but certainly you don’t want to wait so long–activists on this issue will not be strung along forever.
  4. Criminal justice reform: Theoretically, this is something that has bipartisan support, though I am doubtful just how long that would last if a President Clinton made it a major push. Still, much to be done here–still too-high mandatory minimums, discriminatory policing, prisons, etc.
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