Ruy Teixeira
Monthly Commentary and Analysis
May 2021
Opposing Racism Is Good. Justifying Race-Neutral Policies in Racial Terms Is Bad.

This is not complicated. Matt Yglesias usefully sums up the situation in a recent post on his substack:

"1. Framing race-neutral issues as racial ones is not the same thing as tackling racial issues head-on.

2. Framing race-neutral issues as racial ones is not politically effective, as racial justice advocates have traditionally understood the risks of white racial backlash are high.
Ten Things We Now Know About the 2020 Election

My latest is up at The Liberal Patriot!

"As more data continue to come in about the 2020 election, the picture of what really happened is starting to clarify. In many ways, this picture defies expectations about the election and/or postelection assessments that took root in its immediate aftermath. Here are ten things that seem reasonably clear based on data, both public and nonpublic, that I have encountered."

Read all ten of 'em at The Liberal Patriot! And subscribe!!
The Negative Payoff to Racial Framing of Policy Issues

The new paper by Micah English and Joshua L. Kalla, "Racial Equality Frames and Public Policy Support: Survey Experimental Evidence", has gotten quite a lot of attention and deservedly so. Through a clever survey experiment, they show quite clearly that racial framing detracts from support for progressive policies relative to a class or even a neutral framing. This indicates that Democrats are marketing their policies poorly to the extent that they use racial framing to urge support for essentially race-neutral policies that will disproportionately benefit blacks and Latinos because they are disproportionately poor and disadvantaged.
Can European Social Democratic Parties Avoid "Pasokification"?

The situation is not good (see the chart below for the saddest tales). Costas Lapavitsas and Jon Trickett discuss the possible fate of Britain's Labour Party in a contribution on Jacobin and Donald Sassoon has a broader survey of the current state of European social democracy on the Verso Books blog. Sassoon:

"By 2020 it had become obvious that traditional social democracy had been comprehensively defeated throughout Europe. Will it survive in some form or other, after the pandemic?
How Much Has Gerrymandering Contributed to Polarization?

Less than you think. A treasure trove of data has just been released by Cook Political Report on the partisan lean of states and congressional districts, with a lot fantastic maps, tables and other graphics. Among their findings is the following:

"It's become fashionable to blame gerrymandering for polarization and Congress's ills. In truth, redistricting is only responsible for a fraction of the decimation of swing seats over the past few decades. The bigger factor? Voters' self-sorting.
How Moderate Democrats Can Take Advantage of a Republican Coalition in Crisis

Andy Levison at The Democratic Strategist takes a look at the latest Democracy Corps memo on "What Will Trump Loyalists’ Sensed Powerlessness Mean For Politics?"and considers how moderate Democrats can leverage the situation to improve Democratic prospects. Important stuff. As I have frequently noted, the ostentatiously progressive Democrats get the ink but the Democrats' near-term fate depends much more on how moderate Democrats fare in coming elections.