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Sun Nov 29, 2020, 09:44 AM

If you are explaining, you are losing ...

"Why They Fight - The Democrats are a big-tent party. The GOP isn’t. That explains everything."

Progressives are right that the quest for racial justice should not be compromised — and is, in fact, an electoral asset. (After all, 85 percent of Biden voters told the exit pollsters that the criminal justice system treats Blacks unfairly.) But moderates are right that slogans like "Defund the police" can bring down moderate lawmakers, such as Staten Island's defeated Rep. Max Rose. Here's a rule for the future: Any slogan that requires five minutes to explain what it really means is not a good slogan.


If you are explaining, you are losing.

32 replies, 1874 views

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Reply If you are explaining, you are losing ... (Original post)
reACTIONary Nov 2020 OP
quakerboy Nov 2020 #1
Ferrets are Cool Nov 2020 #2
Shermann Nov 2020 #3
reACTIONary Nov 2020 #4
Ferrets are Cool Nov 2020 #6
reACTIONary Nov 2020 #7
quakerboy Nov 2020 #8
reACTIONary Nov 2020 #10
quakerboy Nov 2020 #12
Ferrets are Cool Nov 2020 #15
reACTIONary Nov 2020 #16
quakerboy Dec 2020 #17
reACTIONary Dec 2020 #19
quakerboy Dec 2020 #25
reACTIONary Dec 2020 #26
quakerboy Dec 2020 #27
onetexan Dec 2020 #28
quakerboy Nov 2020 #13
Ferrets are Cool Nov 2020 #14
reACTIONary Nov 2020 #5
quakerboy Nov 2020 #9
reACTIONary Nov 2020 #11
JonLP24 Dec 2020 #18
reACTIONary Dec 2020 #20
JonLP24 Dec 2020 #21
reACTIONary Dec 2020 #22
JonLP24 Dec 2020 #23
reACTIONary Dec 2020 #24
quakerboy Dec 2020 #29
reACTIONary Dec 2020 #30
quakerboy Dec 2020 #31
reACTIONary Dec 2020 #32

Response to reACTIONary (Original post)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 10:23 AM

1. If Rose supported defund, that would be s great point

Just like if biden supported socialism, it would be a great point to say that supporting socialism cost him florida.

But since neither did.. how about we focus on the false propaganda used against them and how to overcome the lies

Neither dufund or socialism will vanish from the earth before the next election, nor are either likely to be taken up as Democratic party standards. But even if every single Democrat, from the lowest dogcatcher all the way up to president biden explicitly disavows both.. the propeganda will still paint them on us.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 10:50 AM

2. Thank you. I keep asking folks to show me ONE Democratic platform that

included "defund the police" or "socialism for all". No one has taken me up on the offer, but some still seem to want to beat this dead horse.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 12:28 PM

3. It's the same with "open borders"

Which, incidentally, Libertarians are actually for.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 12:38 PM

4. It's not a dead horse...

... it is and was a slogan adopted by and defended not only by our more activist base, but by our elected officials:

“Defunding police means defunding police,” the congresswoman [AOC] said in a statement. “It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education’s budget so the exact same police remain in schools.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/505307-ocasio-cortez-dismisses-proposed-1b-cut-defunding-police-means-defunding


This is a deliberately provocative slogan that is harmful to our electoral prospects. It is even harmful to have to deny that you support "defunding the police". Our candidates should not be put in a position of having to do so.

We need to learn and to improve.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 05:26 PM

6. So? You are all for censoring of speech, right?

That is what I am hearing. One candidate says defund the police and it's now a "democratic party" problem.

It is a dead horse that some people just keep beating to try and make it live again. OUR Democratic Party did NOT advocate Defund the Police and you are being more than disingenuous to imply they did. Goodbye.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 08:26 PM

7. Censoring speech...

... by expressing my opinion and speaking out? Sorry, that doesn't make any sense.

At the very least one prominent and influential elected democrat advocated "defunding the police" and even clarified that "defund the police means 'defund the police'". Sorry, that's just a fact, jack; and quibbling isn't going to make it go away.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 10:48 PM

8. We are a big tent.

Your options really are to kick out the left, or live with the fact that some of them want to change the system.

But in the end, it wont matter one bit for the party. Many of the Antifa protestors are NOT dems. You will still be smeared with anything that can be negatively attributed to them unto the end of time. Biden could find, capture, strip citizenship, and expell from the country every single person who has been to an antifa protest.. And they would still call him a commie nazi socialist anti law enforcement racist antifa appologist.

So yeah.. We need to learn and improve how we deal with the fact that no matter what we do, no matter how we try to accommodate the right, they will still smear us with every thing the think might scare their base into voting. They will do this regardless of truth.

Whats your solution to the actual problem?

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 11:26 PM

10. My solution...

.... is to speak out so that there is a broader and deeper understanding of the harm that provocative slogans can do to our electoral success. I think that is a good idea in any case, but I also think it will help.

It would also help to come up with some creative, more positive slogans that can be adopted and to encourage others to brainstorm also.

From something that I think Biden said, a good slogan might be "Law, Order and Justice... for All".

Maybe you have some ideas you could share.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 09:27 AM

12. Your solution is doa

No matter how wide you make the understanding.. there will always be antifa in the street willing to say something radical. Even if law enforcement and the RW militias have to plant them.

And no matte how well you manage to enforce this version of PC speak among democrats, the rw controlled press will continue to paint you, me, and biden with the words of that example.

As you say, explaining is losing. So instead of trying to explain our way out of reargauard defense against lies, lets lean into this thing and push forward with actual policy solutions. Lets embrace our whole party rather than trying to enforce cones of silence on part of them. Lets find the things we can unite around instead of hammering on our fracture lines.

Also.. I think that we need to stop worrying about trying to purify our own party, and instead demolish the R base. I believe their weakness lies in them being less a cohesive party and more an uncomfortable alliance of extremist single issue zealots. Break off any one of their main issue groups, and they are toast for the foreseeable future.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 10:01 AM

15. +1

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 11:57 AM

16. Sorry, I'm not leaning into "defund the police"....

.... I support law and order with justice for all - the police are necessary for to those goals and I support the police to those ends.

I certainly will not adopt a destructive, harmful, counter productive slogan. And I certainly will continue to speak out to further our understanding and adoption of positive, productive persuasive techniques.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 04:11 AM

17. Then nothing will change

you will continue to alienate and or denigrate a significant portion of democrats, yet simultaneously failing to silence those who are harmed by the system as it stands, and also continuing to be plastered in the corporate media as anti police and socialist.

good luck with that. Im gonna lean into supporting and unifying our party, supporting those harmed by the corrupted system we are working in, while looking for the right crack in the Republican party to end their hegemony sooner than just waiting for demographics to change.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 07:26 AM

19. Sorry, but "defund the police" is...

... a loseing strategy and an inopperable policy, if it can be characterized as a "strategy" or a "policy" at all. It isn't going anywhere but the good old trash bin of history.

In the mean time it has been a gift to our opponents. I think we need to be more cognizant of the way these "bright ideas" actually play out in the real world and hew to the Obama Doctrine.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:00 AM

25. And yet its not Democratic policy, so even if that was true, it would be irrelevant.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:13 PM

26. Irrelevant to whom?

It's relevant to voters.

And there is at least one prominent and influential elected democrat advocating "defunding the police" and even clarified that "defund the police means 'defund the police'". So whether its "Democratic policy" or not is just quibbling.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 2, 2020, 05:13 AM

27. Its really not

Those who believe dems are in favor of defund will believe it whether they actually are or not.

Though it does raise a question.

Of those who actually ran on defund, how many lost their elections?
And of those who ran away from defund, how many lost their elections?

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 2, 2020, 07:01 AM

28. Agree. I sont support the slogan. Reform the police is alot better

& needs no explanation.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 09:29 AM

13. Ps

Ferrets are more than cool. They are kick ass awesome.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 10:00 AM

14. Yes, yes they are!!

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 12:44 PM

5. The way to counter false propaganda ...

... is to refrain from saying "defund the police". Even having to deny that you support it is harmful. Let alone having an elected official explicitly using the slogan and advocating for it as a policy position.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 10:53 PM

9. Not really

Doesnt matter if any politician said it or not. Biden certainly never did. He was still tarred with it. Still would have been tarred with that and socialist and all the other labels even if Bernie, AOC and the squad never existed.

Lets deal with the actual problem and find an actual solution. Because your solution is a: never going to happen. Barring a complete authoritarian police state, there will be always be someone who will say defund the police b: wouldnt work even if it did happen. They would still accuse us of it all, even if they had to make it up out of whole cloth.

These are people who have convinced a sizeable portion of their base to believe, really believe, that Joe Biden is a socialist. That takes a complete denial of reality on a level that makes any lie they choose believable.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 11:34 PM

11. In fact, I think ...

... words matter, and I think it matters who speaks those words. We should raise awareness of the harm or benefit that can be caused by proper or improper framing and rhetoric, and we should strive to do better. We should not be reluctant to criticize those who we believe can do better, and we should expect them to listen and maybe learn to do better.

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Response to reACTIONary (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 05:20 AM

18. Explaining is explaining

I learn things when people explain them to me. "If you are explaining, you are losing" sounds like a slogan.

I bet Engel & Clay wish their opponents didn't say defund the police which is what this is all about.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 07:58 AM

20. It is a slogan... Allow me to explain...

Often a policy idea is wrapped in or propagated through a slogan. Radical ideas are often wrapped in a provocative slogan that attracts attention and are, perhaps intentionally, off putting and aggressive.

Folks who are engaged in pragmatic political action - running for office, crafting legislation that has some chance of moving forward - are then tagged with the slogan by the opposition. This puts them in a difficult position which is where the "explaining" comes in. "Explaining" is an attempt to mitigate the damage being done by the sloganeering without actually flat out denying or rejecting it or the sloganeers:

"Oh 'defund the police' doesn't mean 'defund the police', it means blah blah blah mid-night basket ball blah blah."

Then AOC says "Defund the police means defund the police" - which it does.

So "explaining" is really a dishonest form of denial. The reality is right there in the slogan. If its bullshit, call it out as bullshit - and those who are responsible for the bullshit in the first place should wise up and follow Obama's advice.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:19 AM

21. Defund is close enough

Reducing police budgets to spend the money on social services.

I have been following police issues closely for a long time. I read the entire FBI report on the Baltimore Police Department. To sum it up a lot of stop and frisk, when a police officer complained about a co worker using a racial slur the officer who complained was punished professionally, they did a poor job of investigating sex crimes. This was back when Obama DOJ did civil rights investigations of problematic police departments which is a policy I hope Biden-Harris brings back .

Found a summary

The Justice Department announced today that it found reasonable cause to believe that the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution as well as federal anti-discrimination laws. BPD makes stops, searches and arrests without the required justification; uses enforcement strategies that unlawfully subject African Americans to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests; uses excessive force; and retaliates against individuals for their constitutionally-protected expression. The pattern or practice results from systemic deficiencies that have persisted within BPD for many years and has exacerbated community distrust of the police, particularly in the African-American community. The city and the department have also entered into an agreement in principle to work together, with community input, to create a federal court-enforceable consent decree addressing the deficiencies found during the investigation.

“Public trust is critical to effective policing and public safety,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “Our investigation found that Baltimore is a city where the bonds of trust have been broken, and that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful and unconstitutional conduct, ranging from the use of excessive force to unjustified stops, seizures and arrests. The results of our investigation raise serious concerns, and in the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue working tirelessly to ensure that all Baltimoreans enjoy the safety, security and dignity they expect and deserve. I am grateful to all of the community members, local officials, faith leaders and current and former police officers who spoke with us during the course of our inquiry, and whose input will remain critical to our efforts as we move forward. Additionally, I commend the city and BPD for its proactive and collaborative approach to our inquiry and for demonstrating a strong commitment to restoring public confidence by already taking steps to make needed changes. I look forward to continuing our work together to implement urgent and necessary reforms.”

“We found that BPD has engaged in a pattern or practice of serious violations of the U.S. Constitution and federal law that has disproportionately harmed Baltimore’s African-American community and eroded the public’s trust in the police,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. “The agency also fails to provide officers with the guidance, oversight and resources they need to police safely, constitutionally and effectively. In communities across America, even in communities where trust has been broken, we’ve seen transformative reform rebuild relationships and advance public safety. In the weeks ahead, as we negotiate our consent decree with the city, we will seek input from law enforcement and community members. With the city and commissioner’s commitment to reform, I am optimistic that we will work to drive that same progress in Baltimore.”

In May 2015, Attorney General Lynch announced the comprehensive investigation into the BPD after considering requests from city officials and hearing directly from community members about a potential pattern or practice of constitutional violations. The investigation focused on BPD’s use of force, including deadly force; stops, searches and arrests; and discriminatory policing.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-findings-investigation-baltimore-police-department

I can't summarize everything I learned in the past 10 years or so but I do know it is a good policy that addresses many problems.

There is also an Abolish the Police movement

Beyond Breonna: Louisville Police Make the Case for Abolition

Pushed to the background, meanwhile, is the unending flood of reports and revelations that again and again show policing to be an institution worthy of abolition. Just this month, two such stories came from Louisville, Kentucky, where 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was killed by police in March during a botched raid. Louisville Metro Police, the same department to which Taylor’s killers belonged, was found to have hidden from the public a staggering 738,000 records documenting sexual abuse of minors by two officers — concealment that was aided by the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office. The records related to the abuse of youths in the “Explorer Scouts” program, created for young people interested in law enforcement careers.

And just two weeks ago, a woman filed a sexual assault lawsuit against former Louisville detective Brett Hankison, one of the cops directly involved in Taylor’s death. The lawsuit claims that Hankison has a history of using his authority as a police officer to prey on women.

The wanton killing of a young Black woman involving a cop with an alleged history of predation, alongside the coverup of a major case of child sexual abuse — all recent events from just one department in one U.S. city. As is typical, funding for the policing operations will constitute the largest expenditure of Louisville’s 2020 city budget: $190.6 million out of $613 million.

(Snip)

Yet the Louisville cases highlight the problems of a violent and unaccountable law enforcement apparatus; problems which are so widespread and historic that they point to an unreformable institution. As abolitionist organizer Mariame Kaba put it, “When you see a police officer pressing his knee into a black man’s neck until he dies, that’s the logical result of policing in America. When a police officer brutalizes a black person, he is doing what he sees as his job.” The Louisville examples might not make for an airtight case for abolition, but they makes a case nonetheless — a case that can be made almost anywhere police are found across the country.

https://theintercept.com/2020/11/27/defund-police-louisville-breonna-taylor/

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:33 AM

22. Actually, defund the police means...

.... defund the police. It isn't anywhere near a good idea, it isn't going to happen, and the American people are going to electorally punish those who keep trying to excuse it.

Figure out some better way to communicate. "Defund the police" is going nowhere.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:42 AM

23. It already did happen

What people railing against this don't realize it is a local issue which I feel I have to constantly explain.


Los Angeles voters just delivered a huge win for the defund the police movement

Los Angeles voters have approved Measure J, also known as “Reimagine LA County,” which requires that 10 percent of the city’s unrestricted general funds — estimated between $360 million and $900 million per year — be invested in social services and alternatives to incarceration, not prisons and policing.

As of Wednesday afternoon, with a majority of votes counted, 57.1 percent of voters supported the measure, 42.9 percent opposed, according to the Los Angeles County registrar.

The measure’s passage comes at a moment when activists across the US — including in LA — have called for defunding police departments. While Measure J isn’t directly a defund the police initiative, it was designed as an important first step toward the public health and investment-based model of public safety that animates the defund movement.

A critique often made by police reformers of all stripes is that American cities rely far too heavily on law enforcement to address issues like substance abuse, mental health, and homelessness that would be better handled by social service providers and civilian responders. Thus, they generally agree that some level of funding should be redirected from police department budgets to those alternative service providers.

https://www.vox.com/2020/11/4/21549019/measure-j-police-abolition-defund-reform-black-lives-matter-protest-2020-election-george-floyd

I don't think groups like BLM are interested in leftist-centrist fights in the Democratic Party. They are going to continue organize & in fact they are in Georgia trying to help Democrats win the Georgia Senate races.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:13 AM

24. I think the salient point is...

... "Measure J isn’t directly a defund the police initiative".

As for this: "some level of funding should be redirected from police department budgets"... Why? Adequately funding social services does not require "redirecting" police budgets. Why tie a good policy choice to an unpopular policy choice? What good does that do? And what harm will it do to the pursuit of the good?

I'm glad BLM is helping to win Georgia. I hope that help doesn't involve shutting down a highway while chanting "defund the police".

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Response to reACTIONary (Original post)

Sun Dec 6, 2020, 09:26 AM

29. Bringing this back up

Im finally going through my after election numbers, because numbers are a large part of how i compare my perceptions to reality.

Max rose got more votes (99k) than the Democratic candidate in 2016 (78k)
He got nearly as many votes as he got when he was elected in 2018 (101k)
The Republican he lost to against got nearly identical numbers (136k) to the Republican in 2016 votes (134k).

So based on numbers, even if every vote he lost was due to "defund", that had negligible effect on the election.

If I were to hypothesize, Id go with the "trump on the ticket brings the racists out to vote" hypothesis. It seems to fit the numbers better.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 6, 2020, 07:23 PM

30. Sorry I didn't get back to you....

... I've been busy and haven't had the chance. Thanks for the update.

My thought is that this analysis is too narrow.

Overall, we lost a lot of our 2018 gains in the house, and in many of those districts (I believe) Joe won. So we see that a lot of voters who are willing to vote dem at the top of the ticket were unwilling to down ticket. And some of those districts probably were ones we flipped in 2018, which would reinforce the probability that a lot of those down ticket voters would be willing to vote dem.

My intention is to identify districts that flipped to dem in 2018, and then flipped back down ticket but still voted for Joe. I'd like to know if this was significant.

Now, even if it is, the question is why? I'm not sure, but messaging would be a likely factor. And "defund the police" would be a part of that for these voters. Maybe better message discipline would be helpful. Not that it would be easy to achieve.

When I get the chance to look into it further, I'll get back to you. And keep me posted.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 10, 2020, 06:48 PM

31. The numbers are pretty clear

Our house votes were pretty even from 2016 to 2018, and then jumped up decently for 2020.
Rep house votes dropped signficantly from 2016 to 2018, then jumped back up for 2020

I think the most reasonable reading of the numbers is that this wasnt a matter of our voters staying home, this was a matter of trump supporters coming out to vote for their cult leader. And that we have a bigger problem on the left of voters who only vote the top line and dont bother to go downballot.

the Georgia runoffs will present a good test case, though 2022 will be an even better test, assuming Biden can come through with some relief for people and not get nuked by obstinate opposition and a happily complicit press.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 10, 2020, 07:55 PM

32. Thanks! nt

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