Yeesh, but I detest Collin Peterson


Collin Peterson does not belong in the Democratic party.

It’s an election year, so naturally I’ve been flooded with Republican attack ads against our local representative, Collin Peterson. He sides with Nancy Pelosi 4 out of 5 times! He’s too liberal! It’s the only reason I voted for him this time.

I wish I could retract that vote, and I’ll never make that mistake again. Peterson has come out with a rebuttal ad, in which he touts how truly conservative he is: he voted against the Trump impeachment! The NRA loves him!

Fuck Collin Peterson. I’ve got no shortage of Republicans to vote for, and if I wanted to vote Republican, I wouldn’t have voted for his lying ass.

Comments

  1. kome says

    This is why it’s so important to not see politics as a team sport. When “the other side” is simply painted as the greater evil (even when completely justified in the case of the Nazi-adjacent modern day Republican party), it means that one’s own side doesn’t actually need to be any good; they just need to be less evil. And the problem with supporting the perceived lesser of two evils is… they’re still evil. Being punched in the face one time may be less painful than being punched in the face twice, but why the hell should anyone try to convince anyone else to vote for being punched in the face one time at all?

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    kome @1:

    And the problem with supporting the perceived lesser of two evils is… they’re still evil.

    The problem with not supporting the lesser evil is that you’re helping the greater evil win.

    why the hell should anyone try to convince anyone else to vote for being punched in the face one time at all?

    Because it is, in fact, preferable to be punched once rather than twice.

  3. PaulBC says

    Well he’s certainly an extreme case https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/collin_peterson/400316 You might do better with a randomly chosen Republican but I assume his opponent is further right in this instance.

    I don’t see the advantage in ceding numbers. Maybe the party itself should be applying discipline in this case, though I also wonder if someone more representative of the Democratic party as a whole would even stand a chance in a district that could elect Peterson.

  4. petesh says

    You didn’t know that? Really? I trust you were naked and flagellating yourself while confessing, which I guess buys you some measure of forgiveness, but you should probably append “But I voted for a fascist” to every political post for the next two years, until you have a chance to redeem yourself.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    I had thought the sort-of independent Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party generally stood a bit to the left of the national Dem party – but maybe they made an exception for Jordan P’s cousin…

  6. says

    I think the question is less “should you vote for the lesser evil?” and more “why do we have a system that forces us to only choose between bad options?”

  7. kome says

    @2

    The problem with not supporting the lesser evil is that you’re helping the greater evil win.

    Alternatively – and bear with me here – we could support not-evil instead.

    Because it is, in fact, preferable to be punched once rather than twice.

    It’s so weird that some people seem unable to conceive of a world where we can not be punched in the face at all. Is that so unrealistically utopian to you? Why? What’s the mindset? Is it just that you’ve given up, that you don’t feel like bothering to fight for a better world and you’re content with just prolonging circling the drain? How come some other countries around the world can have political parties in power that don’t do any amount of face-punching, but that’s just a pipe dream for the USA? How is that sane or rational at all?

  8. PaulBC says

    @6 I suspect that even given a wide menu of options, PZ’s district would go for a very conservative representative. (Unless Collin Peterson’s views are a big secret!) You might make a stronger case to the Republican voters: you need to nominate someone as conservative as Peterson who will caucus with your party. (I don’t know a thing about Michelle Fischbach who’s running against him, but maybe that case has already been made.)

  9. PaulBC says

    It’s so weird that some people seem unable to conceive of a world where we can not be punched in the face at all.

    How about conceiving an actual plan to end all the metaphorical face punching? That’s part that seems to be missing.

  10. PaulBC says

    me@8

    You might make a stronger case to the Republican voters: you need to nominate someone as conservative as Peterson who will caucus with your party.

    That came out wrong. What I mean is “You know you can get someone at least as conservative as Peterson. Don’t overreach and you can get someone who will also caucus with your party.”

    I doubt very much that any candidate remotely acceptable to me would stand a chance in that district.

  11. robro says

    Bespeaks the core problem with politics in the US…the two-party system and how campaigns are bankrolled. Peterson probably runs as a “Democrat” because that’s the sure-fire way to win in your district, and the local party has the money to back him.

    That’s the way it is in the South. Until the mid-60s, the party to be in was Democrat. Then LBJ got a couple of civil rights acts through Congress, and generations of Southern Democrats suddenly became Republicans. There was no change in their position, just where voters found support for their racism and politicians could get money to run. And when I say “generations” I mean even the dead. I have an uncle who insists that his dad (who died in 1967) always voted Republican. I doubt that very much, although some of the Democrats he voted for probably became Republicans.

  12. Rob Grigjanis says

    kome @7:

    Alternatively – and bear with me here – we could support not-evil instead.

    And how exactly do you do that on Nov 3? There are two time scales; one short-term to stop the fascist, and one longer-term to fix the system. Both are necessary.

    It’s so weird that some people seem unable to conceive of a world where we can not be punched in the face at all.

    It’s easy to conceive such a world, harder to bring it about. It’s so weird fucking unbelievable that some people seem unable to tell the difference between immediate short-term goals and longer-term ones.

  13. prairieslug says

    I got a pro Collin Peterson ad in the mail saying he was good for farmers because he was against the buffer strip law and Fischbach was for it. I thought Democrats were supposed to care about the environment. That was the last straw for my tolerance for him. He lost my vote.

  14. says

    Here in NY we have fusion voting (one candidate can be listed multiple times on several parties with their vote total being the combination from all parties listed). Thus, I have a few simple rules regarding voting:
    1) Never vote for a candidate for any office if they are running unopposed.
    2) Always vote for the candidate of your choice using the preferred party. For example, in NY we have the Working Families Party which tends to be be more progressive than the Democrats. If someone is listed on both WP and D, I will vote on WP because that will help their public funding and I want to increase the number of viable political parties.
    3) Never vote for a Democrat who is also listed on the Conservative Party (or worse).
    4) There maybe extreme exceptions that allow breaking these rules.
    5) There is no rule 5.

  15. robro says

    Ray Ceeya @ #15 — He’s a Representative. Only the Senate votes to confirm the nomination. He probably said he supports confirmation. Either that, or he’s a idiot and doesn’t know where he works.

    jimf @ #16 — Rule 5 is my favorite and it’s so broadly applicable.

  16. PaulBC says

    prairieslug@14 I already linked this https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/collin_peterson/400316 but it shows that he is only slightly left of the median House Republican and way off in outlier land for Democrats. I’m not into ideological purity, but there are some limits. I’m guessing he is some kind of legacy Democrat who just never bothered to switch parties or sees an advantage to remaining a Democrat.

    It would be interested to the same chart for 1991 when he started.

  17. mnb0 says

    “There are two time scales; one short-term to stop the fascist, and one longer-term to fix the system. Both are necessary.”
    Which folks like RobG dutifully repeat every four years, with the predictable result that the second will never happened.
    Which is why RobG was wrong in comment 2. Voting means giving consent for being punched in the face.
    That said, I’m repeating myself, there is at least one positive reason to vote for JoeB (voting against Donald the Clown remains as lame as ever): JoeB will be far more likely to prevent the revival of the Troubles in Northern Ireland/Ulster.
    It’s typical that the pseudo-progressives who call themselves liberals on this page never mention this. For them it’s America First as much as for those who vote for Donald the Clown.

  18. PaulBC says

    Voting means giving consent for being punched in the face.

    I see. Third party voters and abstainers get to point out that while they are still being “punched in the face” they didn’t consent to it. That sounds like a big win!

    Can you provide an example of a tangible benefit for not voting or voting for a candidate who will not gain any notice beyond a day or two of post-election reporting?

  19. unclefrogy says

    glad I do not have to make the choice on mr. collin my choice is much easier.
    It is all very well to complain about the lesser of two evils and push blame around and argue for better choices and face punching and all. Politics is the art of the possible not some kind of religious test for purity or damnation.
    How it works as far as I see here in the U.S. a bunch of people decide to run for a political office each tries to convince all the voting public that they should get the job their ir a primary vote a first vote to winnow the choices down to a smaller number. Then they take some smaller number of the winners of the primary vote and they are listed in the general election as the final choices. For better or worse that is loosely how it works, the choices are what they are partly determined by the peoples votes. Who is to blame for that? If anyone really does not like the results maybe they should try to convince the majority of the voters that vote at the particular level they chose to vote for them by running themselves or maybe become active in promoting some other candidates who they might be able to support.
    At the end of that long process we end up with the choices we have in the general election. One of the candidates for a given office WILL be elected our only choice is which would we each prefer. Is there another way to see that?
    uncle frogy

  20. consciousness razor says

    mnb0, #19:

    JoeB will be far more likely to prevent the revival of the Troubles in Northern Ireland/Ulster.

    Isn’t this too strong? Biden may be less likely to throw more fuel on the fire, but that’s not the same as being likely to prevent it.

  21. marner says

    Minnesota’s 7th Congressional district voted at about the same percentage for Trump in 2016 as did Alabama. A progressive is not going to win here anytime soon.
    538 has a section where they compare a congressperson’s votes vs. what Trump wanted. They also predict the rate of agreement based on how the voting district voted in the 2016 presidential election. It is called “Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump.”
    Peterson’s is here https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-trump-score/collin-c-peterson/
    A Republican, Tom Emmer, who won in a MN district with a similar Trump vs Clinton percentage is here https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-trump-score/tom-emmer/
    To save you the trouble, Peterson has voted in line with Trump 47.1% of the time. Emmer is at 91.7%. To put it on one issue, are you willing to sacrifice a yes vote for establishing “Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act” so that you can remain ideologically pure?

  22. PaulBC says

    marner@23 How does he compare to Michelle Fischbach, who he’s actually running against? I realize Fischbach doesn’t have a voting record that would make for a clear comparison, but that’s the choice.

    It looks like an accident of history that MN-7 is represented by a Democrat (and an accident I might understand better if I knew what this DFL thing is about). At a national level, there are much better opportunities for preserving a Democratic house majority.

    I admit I’d probably vote reflexively for the Democrat if I lived in the district. I can understand the disgust though and can understand voting third party or abstaining in this case, just because there is so little benefit to tactical voting in a district that is eventually going Republican no matter what.

  23. marner says

    @24
    I was hoping that the Republican I referenced would act as a stand in for Fischbach’s voting record, but this is what is on Fishbach’s website:

    We must secure our borders and build the southern border wall. Michelle will stand up to efforts by the radical left to abolish Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and promote open borders and sanctuary cities. She will work with law enforcement officials to restore the rule law and order and is committed to helping President Trump finish the southern border wall and support our ICE agents as they remove unlawful entrants and violent gang members from our county to keep America safe.

    I trust you get my original – meant to be a little more generic than just this race – point.

  24. Rob Grigjanis says

    mnb0 @19: OK, so you’re encouraging people to either abstain or vote for Trump. Please explain how either of these gets the US closer to fixing the system.

  25. consciousness razor says

    In the 116th Congress (2019-2020), 182 bills have actually been signed into law, with 112 of them sponsored by a Democrat. A surprising number were about naming post offices and so forth … nothing to write home about, in other words.

    Of these, there are 23 without Republican cosponsors: H.R.266, S.50, H.J.Res.28, H.J.Res.31, S.216, H.R.866, S.294, S.725, S.832, H.R.2157, H.R.2372, H.R.2451, S.1689, H.R.3055, H.R.3401, S.2047, H.R.3877, H.R.4378, H.R.5363, H.R.6074, H.R.6201, S.4072, and H.R.8337.

    Only the last four above were introduced (and passed) in 2020. Four others (H.R.266, S.294, S.832, H.R.2372) were introduced in 2019 and didn’t become law until some time this year.

  26. says

    @26 Rob Grigjanis
    I’m pretty sure mnb0 is a regular troll who has been floating around here for years. He changes his name every few months to dodge the ban hammer and likes to impersonate the Republican vision of a leftist. Short version is, he’s full of shit and should be ignored.

  27. logicalcat says

    @28

    mnbo is maybe just a troll or maybe he’s a very real leftists. When we accuse the dumbest among us of being trolls we become blind to our very real problems that we have as a group. This is just a downplayed notruescotsmen. I feel the same way when people accuse them of being russion trolls or bots, or in secret republicans. I dont doubt all of these things are real and out there, but mnbo and the shit he says are not some anomaly. Its very much what a lot of leftists thing. Just not here in this forum because the pushback against these wrong arguments are winning.

    You may very well be right, just saying that I dont really see it.

  28. Kagehi says

    @7 kome

    Man in front of firing squad, “Rather than being shot once, and being allowed to walk away if it doesn’t kill me, or being shot at by 10 people, with 20 bullets each, couldn’t I just go home and not be shot at? That would be better right guys? Guys!?”

    Its funny how, when you are not the one “choosing”, like at all, who gets to be the one you vote for, the firing squad isn’t going to care much if you would have preferred a “different option”, instead of the two they picked, and the one everyone else then voted for.

  29. KG says

    mnb0@19,

    “There are two time scales; one short-term to stop the fascist, and one longer-term to fix the system. Both are necessary.”
    Which folks like RobG dutifully repeat every four years, with the predictable result that the second will never happened.

    Argument by assertion is unconvincing. I guess during WW2 mnb0 would have been refusing to oppose the Nazis, because after all, the opposition to them was led by “lesser evils” Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt.

    JoeB will be far more likely to prevent the revival of the Troubles in Northern Ireland/Ulster.
    It’s typical that the pseudo-progressives who call themselves liberals on this page never mention this. For them it’s America First as much as for those who vote for Donald the Clown.

    Er… what? As far as I can see (and I live in the UK and support a united Ireland) this is one issue where there’s actually little practical difference between Trump and Biden. The significant American constraint on Johnson/Cummings is that they want a trade deal with the USA, which needs a 2/3 Senate majority. No plausible Senate is going to pass such a deal if Johnson has fuckedBrexited up Irish matters badly enough to provoke a return to large-scale violence.

  30. KG says

    @mnb0 (and of course The Vicar, consciousness razor…),
    Further to my #31, there will of course be enormous differences outside the USA depending on whether Trump or Biden wins, as I pointed out, citing a Guardian article here, on this blog, 10 days ago. If you were honest, you would acknowledge the huge setback a Trump defeat (which, inevitably, means a Biden victory) would be for the far right worldwide.

  31. PaulBC says

    This is a really random thought, but I liked the Deaniacs in 2004 a lot more than I like the activists who wanted me to feel ashamed of voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016 even past the point when there were no other viable choices remaining. And by “like” I just mean I felt greater personal affinity, not that I think their ideas were better.

    My voting strategy has been roughly fixed for decades. The only tweak I made was to remove the “independent” affectation and register as a Democrat, probably around the time Bill Clinton was being impeached. I forget. Politics is pretty disgusting and if you think you are going to vote at a national level and go to sleep with a big smile on your face, you are either playing the wrong game, not playing to win, or you are some kind of fucking psychopath.

  32. Nemo says

    So, primary him next time.
    I know a real progressive who lives in your district. College professor, runs a popular blog.

  33. logicalcat says

    @35

    I like your attitude. Definitely primary the fucker. But if you were suggesting that pz be that guy well, not sure a godless heathen can win. I would love to be proven wrong though.

  34. PaulBC says

    @35 @36 I think the outcome is the same either way. Once Peterson’s out, that’s a district that will be Republican for a long time to come. Might as well just let them have a real Republican instead of one with some bizarre legacy identification. I’m more divided on people like Sen. Manchin in West Virginia. I’m glad I will never have to vote for him, but the Republican alternative would certainly be worse and the numerical balance is more critical.

  35. PaulBC says

    @38 I believe the US is naturally a center-right nation, significantly right of my preferences, and this explains the difficulty of genuine leftists winning at a national level.

    But I know people who argue the opposite (and not just here) that leftwing policy is really popular, and people will vote for it if you give it a chance. In fact, I agree that some policies are pretty popular, and a tepid form of European social democracy might do OK in the US if there wasn’t a powerful faction out there who screams that it’s a descent into communism. So maybe there’s a point to this.

    However, constituencies should elect people who represent them. That’s a basic principle of democracy, so if you are getting leftists elected through false advertising, you’re eventually going to damage the brand. I have a rough idea of what most people in Peterson’s district want, assuming he hasn’t pulled the wool over their eyes for nearly 30 years. Tricking them into something else may work once. It is not sustainable, and it’s anti-democratic if that counts for anything.

  36. PaulBC says

    @38

    The trouble is that these red state Democrats bring this bitterness into their political action. They show up to political events angry and looking to pick fights. They judge the people around them. They’re condescending. They’re rude. Red state citizens aren’t going to vote for Democrats who don’t like them, don’t share their values, and would leave if they could.

    As a coastal liberal, I resent this. I can do “bitter” with the best of them. Try me some time.

  37. John Morales says

    PaulBC:

    However, constituencies should elect people who represent them.

    Huh. Too bad that, in the course of my life, I have never ever had the choice of a person who represents me (or, at least, my stances) for whom I could vote. Alas.

    My only option has ever been to rank my votes backwards; the most objectionable gets put last, the second most objectionable second-last, and so forth until the least-objectionable gets put first.

    (I live in Oz, we get a proportional voting system here. And mandatory voting, though obs one can make an informal vote. Basically, one has to get their name signed off)

    But never have I (nor do I expect to ever do so) got to vote for someone who represents me.

  38. John Morales says

    In passing, for a loooooooong time I have wished I could vote for policies, not for people or for parties.

    But that’s not how the system works, and no way I was gonna (or am gonna) devote my life to changing the system. Got a life to live.

  39. logicalcat says

    Aint really a lie John. The word Republican doesnt actually mean anything. Hell they used to be liberal during the civil war.

    Is there a better plan becaise I havent seen one?

  40. logicalcat says

    And to Paul same thing i said to John apples. Not really a lie. Republican as a brand doesnt have to mean right wing. It just became that way. Diring the civil war republicans were the liberal progressive.

  41. John Morales says

    logicalcat:

    The word Republican doesnt actually mean anything.

    Ahem. Whence “having leftists run as Republicans”, then?

    Put it this way: if one is supposedly a Republican, one would endorse the Republican party platform, no?

    Is there a better plan becaise I havent seen one?

    Dunno. Can there be a better plan than misrepresenting one’s affiliation?

    (Hm, tricky)

  42. John Morales says

    I mean, I get what you’re saying. Basically, do a Susan Collins.

    (And I get your principle: if ya can’t beat them, join them. But, still…)

  43. logicalcat says

    I mean…we already have that. This very thread is about a man who is not a liberal running as a democrat. This district Myers is talking about is very republican. Why not run a leftist republican? We already have misrepresentation. Or the appearance of misrepresentation since at the end the party affiliate is not set in stone. Hell we bring this point up whether some rightie tries the whole “it was democrats who supported slaves!”.

    And of course in talking about red states. In blue states primary the dems with leftists if any current dems dont capitulate to our wants like the teaparty did.

  44. PaulBC says

    It’s certainly true that the Republican party was once something different and included the likes of Robert Ingersoll whose views I share on most things (though I suspect that my ancestors, all Brooklyn Irish Catholic Democrats at that time, would not have agreed).

    But the label means something very different now, just like Abercrombie and Fitch means something very different from the days when they sold fishing rods. The premise of a liberal posing as a Republican suggests that the voters are aligned mostly with labels. I think in large parts of the country, they’re aligned with ideology. When the Democratic party lost the “solid South” the ideology didn’t change. Eventually people just identified with a different party.

    Is there a better plan becaise I havent seen one?

    I don’t have a plan. Things are looking better in many ways for progressives in that the Republican party has shrunk to a mostly white, mostly religiously homogeneous identity group. The key problem comes from their geographical distribution and the way the Senate is assigned. That assignment actually gives disproportionate weight to people with conservative beliefs, not just those who like the Republican label, so I don’t see how manipulating the label is useful.

    I’m not even saying it’s dishonest really, just that I doubt it would work. Also if the GOP isn’t asleep at the wheel they’ll find many ways to counter it.

  45. PaulBC says

    Why did A&F come to mind? Now I remember. I was reading Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley last year and he remarks

    “Some years ago at Abercrombie and Fitch I bought a cattle caller, an automobile horn manipulated by a lever with which nearly all cow emotions can be imitated, from the sweet lowing of a romantic heifer to the growling roar of a bull in the prime and lust of his bullhood. I had this contraption on Rocinante, and it was most effective. When its call goes out, every bovine within hearing distance raises its head from grazing and moves toward the sound.”

    Not the sort of thing they sell today.

  46. logicalcat says

    Hey Bernie Sanders got a standing ovation from a Fox News crowd. I dont deny there is a strong ideological influence here but its clear to me there is a wedge there that could be exploited regarding economic issues.

  47. consciousness razor says

    From the essay in #39:

    There’s also a problem with the red state Democratic base. Democratic voters in red states tend to resent the people who live around them. They don’t share the values of their neighbors, and they resent having to put up with them. Many red state Democrats would like to move to a blue city or college town, but can’t afford it. They are living in red states against their will, and they’re bitter about it. It’s understandable–you’d be bitter too if you had to live among people you despised because you didn’t have the capital to leave.

    The trouble is that these red state Democrats bring this bitterness into their political action. They show up to political events angry and looking to pick fights. They judge the people around them. They’re condescending. They’re rude. Red state citizens aren’t going to vote for Democrats who don’t like them, don’t share their values, and would leave if they could.

    It’s all about voters, at least imaginary ones if not the real kind … with no analysis of the comfy, upper-class, neoliberal candidates themselves. Those are almost always the people who have the means to run for office, in our “system,” if such an unsystematic mess even deserves the label. Those are the people who are the most inclined to talk to the electorate like we’re children at best or garbage at worst. And they’re the ones with the most control over what goes into the broader political conversation.

    An assumption made throughout is that one could run (and win) as a “leftist Republican.” To be explicit, since that is pretty incoherent as it stands, this is supposed to mean putting more of a direct focus on class and unifying a large number of people under that banner. So what you’d do is shy away from (or possibly reject) a “liberal” stance on certain cultural or “identity politics” issues that don’t tend to be as popular as they are in more urban/suburban areas (many of them on the coasts).

    Although it may sound like it, this might not involve serious policy concessions. (At any rate, no more than what we already get from most Dems.) In many respects, I think it could be as simple as not being such a tone deaf, finger-wagging, elitist dipshit, who only ever has symbolic gestures of “solidarity” and “good will” to offer, rather than real policy with real substance. You’re not a racist? Okay, but don’t turn that into a huge fucking spectacle, because that’s not even the bare minimum required for basic decency. Just get to work already — do your actual fucking job of governing the place. Fewer nice-sounding words (which to many are irritating or extremely suspicious) and more tangible progress. That’s about it. Not a very complicated recipe. There is no ingredient to help Jeff Bezos find it more digestible. He should feel like his status is being threatened, because it absolutely is.

    What’s apparently not possible (or just isn’t contemplated in the essay) is doing the same thing while running as a Democrat. That seems much simpler and more honest, although it would take some work. Is this supposed to be something Ds just can’t do, but Rs can? If so, why? I mean, people like Collin Peterson fail on all counts as far as I’m concerned, but they’re still supported by the party. So which things are actually a bridge too far, officially speaking? It certainly looks like you can be “conservative” on practically anything and still fit in the big tent. So what is supposed to be the problem with them supporting candidates who don’t seem like they just arrived from a different fucking planet, who happen to actually give a shit about regular working class people? They do exist, so don’t even try that nonsense. The job here is to explain why the party establishment chooses not to support them.

  48. logicalcat says

    @CR

    The reason why it camt be done with democrats in red states is because the bramd has too much power. People absolutely vote party lines becaise its easier. So democrats have a terrible chance of winning. Im not saying its imposoble to do this with democrats but getting a leftwong repiblican might just be easier.

    As for making concessions regarsong identity politics, this is where this author and I have a dissagreement. He thinks identity politics is a problem. I dont. In fact he has a very naive understanding of the subject. But in terms of winning impossible to win red states i do see the merit in compromising on these issues if it meams pushing that state to the left. In the long run it can be very helpful. But only in these red states.

Leave a Reply