The two Americas

Not entirely new stuff, but Brownstein really brings it with this excellent analysis of the increasingly diverging of two Americas defined by the vibrant, growing, urban areas and the left-behind everywhere else.  What’s unique this time around is that, due to our Constitutional system’s over-reliance on physical land in representation, the left behind are those in political power:

This pattern creates what could be called the prosperity paradox. Even as economic growth is concentrating in Democratic-leaning metropolitan areas thriving in the information economy, Republicans rooted in non-urban communities largely excluded from those opportunities now control all the levers of power in Washington and in most states. That disjuncture raises a pointed long-term question: How long can the places that are mostly lagging in the economy dictate the terms of politics and policy to the places that are mostly succeeding? [emphases mine]

Today the nation’s core economic divide is less between regions than within them. After mostly declining through the late 20th century, the large metropolitan areas have restored their position as the locus of growth across the country by emerging as the epicenter of the information economy…

In 2016, Clinton won fewer than 500 counties and Trump won more than 2,600. But the counties that Clinton carried accounted for 72% of the nation’s increased economic output from 2014 through 2016, the most recent years for which figures are available, according to Brookings. The Clinton counties accounted for 66% of the new job growth over that period as well.

In both output and employment the Clinton counties over that recent period accounted for an even higher percentage of the new growth than they did from 2010 through 2016, the full period of recovery from the financial crash of 2008.

The tilt away from Trump is even more pronounced at the very top of the economic pyramid. Of the 30 counties that generated the largest share of new jobs from 2014 through 2016, Trump carried only two: Collin County (north of Dallas) and Maricopa (Arizona), where Republican-leaning suburbs slightly outvoted a strongly Democratic metro core in Phoenix…

In all, Brookings calculated, Clinton won 79 of the 100 counties that contributed the most to economic growth from 2014 to 2016, and 76 of the 100 that generated the most job growth.
Trump’s struggles even in the metro areas of red states underscore how virtually every region of the country is experiencing the same consolidation of economic opportunity into Democratic-leaning urban areas also typically marked by increasing racial diversity…

Clinton counties also provided most of the economic gains even in places that are now considered much more reliably Republican, including Nebraska (just over half of both output and growth), Georgia (just over two-thirds of output and just under two-thirds of jobs) and even Texas (just over three-fifths of both output and growth.)…
This pattern creates what could be called the prosperity paradox. Even as economic growth is concentrating in Democratic-leaning metropolitan areas thriving in the information economy, Republicans rooted in non-urban communities largely excluded from those opportunities now control all the levers of power in Washington and in most states. That disjuncture raises a pointed long-term question: How long can the places that are mostly lagging in the economy dictate the terms of politics and policy to the places that are mostly succeeding?…

“It looks to me that there are more technologies out there that will augment … the blue county economy,” Muro says. “This is not a temporary thing. This is more akin to the industrial revolution: The information technology, innovation, artificial intelligence economy is going to be a 100-year cycle. We are now getting deeper into that period and we are seeing greater regional variations … and greater blue metro centrality to the economy.”

And that means the nation is poised for even greater tension between an economic order that increasingly favors the largest places — and a political dynamic that, for now, sublimates them to the smaller places that are economically falling behind.

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Republicans love Trump– but not all the same

Really enjoyed this Gallup feature looking at percent approval for Trump across all sorts of subgroups.  Two of these charts stood out for me.  First, Independents who lean Democratic are just as anti-Trump as avowed Democrats.  Whereas, the Republican leaners are noticeably less supportive of Trump:

And “pure” independents (who tend to follow politics least of any of these groups) are, interestingly, quite anti-Trump.

I was, though, especially intrigued by the clearly lower support among young Republicans– only 67% among the youngest cohort (compared to 88% among their grandparents).  Certainly jibes with my perception that Trump is toxic to young people.  And, I do believe augurs bad news for Republicans going into the future.  Trump (and his docile enablers) have ruined a generation of young people on the Republican Party.

Also, not at all surprising, but fun to point out, the most religious among Republicans are the most supportive of this transparently depraved, morally corrupt, unrepentant, con-man.  Yes, it is all partisanship, of course, but just shows how much Evangelical Christianity has been disgustingly corrupted by right-wing politics in America.

 

Democrats won. Seriously

I independently came to pretty much the exact same conclusion as Krugman, and that works for me.

Yes!!  Where are we as compared to a week ago.  Democrats have 1) health care funding for kids and, 2) a legislative promise for a fair consideration of DACA (of course, McConnell can renege, but that looks hugely bad for Republicans), 3) and open government (not nothing– and Democrats actually care about a functioning government).  In exchange, Democrats gave up… 3 weeks of open government.  Sounds pretty damn good to me.

Also encouraged that Nate Cohn

And Matthew Miller see it this way.

 

Drum is a little more circumspect in claiming nobody won, but I do like his summary:

So who did win? Beats me. On the one hand, Democrats caved by agreeing to yet another continuing resolution that doesn’t restore DACA. On the other hand, Democrats got CHIP funding out of the deal, as well as a promise from Mitch McConnell—admittedly a bit nebulous—to allow a vote on DACA restoration in the Senate. Is that a win? On the one hand, Democrats got CHIP. On the other hand, they would’ve gotten CHIP eventually anyway. On the third hand, getting CHIP now means that kids won’t start losing health care as the current funding slowly disappears state by state…

To summarize, then, I have no idea who won. But I do know this: the fact that we’re so obsessed with this is just a bit of fresh evidence that H. sapiens as a species is little more than a modestly souped up version of P. troglodytes. For chimps, knowing precisely who won and who surrendered in every encounter—and therefore who outranks you—is vitally important and has been bred into the species by millions of years of evolution. A few hundred thousands generations later, it still controls human society. The only difference between chimps and humans is that they do it with screeching and feces flinging, while we do it with Twitter and cable news. I think their way is probably more dignified.

And Ezra is pretty disheartened for what this means for democracy (he’s got a good point), but likewise agrees Democrats didn’t really cave:

3) We also don’t know what the implicit Democratic position is here. If Democrats get a fair vote in the House and Senate on an immigration deal and it doesn’t pass, will they shut down the government again in three weeks? Put differently, is this a deal about a fair process or about a particular outcome? If Democrats don’t get a deal and they shut the government back down in three weeks, it’s hard to see what was lost here…

5) Politically, Trump’s entire brand is anti-immigration politics, and if there is round-the-clock news coverage of a shutdown over immigration, he’ll think it’s good for his base. Personally, Trump’s goal in life is to be seen as a winner, and to double down when attacked or under pressure, and so it’s hard to see how a high-stakes battle over a shutdown — which would make a deal on immigration look like a cave to reopen the government by Trump — helps…

8)And if Democrats do need to shut down the government in three weeks, they’ll do so with the Children’s Health Insurance Program funded for six years, rather than seeing it weaponized against them. That’s a big deal, both substantively and politically. [emphasis mine]

I get that a lot of activists are upset, but we really don’t need a Tea Party of the left.  Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.  If we get a DACA fix it’s going to be because enough Republicans agree that it’s a good idea, or at least horse-trading over, not because Democrats play really, really hardball.

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