Monday, January 28, 2019


Howard Schultz has crunched the numbers, and by "crunching the numbers" I mean he's developed a hunch about what the electorate wants that's not based on evidence at all:
“We have a broken political system with both parties basically in business to preserve their own ideology without a recognition and responsibility to represent the interests of the American people,” Mr. Schultz said in [last night's 60 Minutes] interview.

“Republicans and Democrats alike — who no longer see themselves as part of the far extreme of the far right and the far left — are looking for a home,” he added.
Dave Weigel has the best answer to that:

Right. So who are these disaffected Democrats "who no longer see themselves as part of the far extreme of ... the far left" and "are looking for a home"? Schultz seems to be saying it's just his gut instinct that they're out there -- but an aide tells Axios's Mike Allen that the numbers back Schultz up.
A Schultz adviser tells me his team sees opportunity in "the most moderate population the country's ever had," with so many "disengaged and disenchanted."

In the latest Gallup data, 39% of people see themselves as independents, 34% as Ds and 25% as Rs.
But that's data on party affiliation. It's not data on ideology. In fact, the percentage of Americans who call themselves moderate has been dropping over the past quarter century. I guess Schultz's people never looked at these Gallup numbers.

And given the polling Weigel cites, it's hard not to conclude that many Americans who say they're moderate are actually liberal (or at least are supporters of many progressive ideas), and that even some Republicans share a number of views with progressives, especially on economics, taxation, and inequality.

So if the general public doesn't think progressive ideas are too extreme, who are these people Schultz cites who are desperate for an alternative to Trumpism and progressivism? Maybe it's these folks:
NEW YORK — Top Wall Street executives would love to be rid of President Donald Trump. But they are getting panicked about the prospect of an ultraliberal Democratic nominee bent on raising taxes and slapping regulations on their firms.

The result is a kind of nervous paralysis of executives pining for a centrist nominee like Michael Bloomberg while realizing such an outcome is unlikely from a party veering sharply to the left.

... “I’m a socially liberal, fiscally conservative centrist who would love to vote for a rational Democrat and get Trump out of the White House,” said the CEO of one of the nation’s largest banks, who, like a dozen other executives interviewed for this story, declined to be identified by name for fear of angering a volatile president. “Personally, I’d love to see Bloomberg run and get the nomination. I’ve just never thought he could get the nomination the way the primary process works.”

... Bankers’ biggest fear: The nomination goes to an anti-Wall Street crusader like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sanders. “It can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders,” said the CEO of another giant bank. “It has to be someone centrist and someone who can win.”
I guess we've identified Howard Schultz's desperate American moderates: They're Wall Street bankers.

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