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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Left Brain

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the Sanders candidacy and the leftward drift of the Democratic Party.

At Axios, Sam Baker and Ben Geman repot on new left-wing think tanks.
The universe of new or newly prominent progressive groups includes Data for Progress and New Consensus, who both worked with the Sunrise Movement, a group that's providing a lot of the advocacy muscle behind the Green New Deal.
  • The Green New Deal is now well on its way into the Democratic mainstream (though it remains vague), thanks largely to the mutually reinforcing combination of outside legwork and Ocasio-Corteznearly unrivaled abilityto drive the political conversation.
  • Data for Progress cofounder Sean McElwee also helped popularize the hashtag #AbolishICE, which then gained steam on the left, and then became part of Ocasio-Cortez’ platform, and then won its first endorsement from a senator — Kirsten Gillbrand — two days after Ocasio-Cortez won her primary.
Individual experts are also playing a big role as Democrats’ 2020 candidates look beyond the familiar left-of-center policy framework.
  • Multiple Democrats have sought the counsel of economist Stephanie Kelton, a former aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders who has helped popularize Modern Monetary Theory.
  • A pair of left-leaning economists from the University of California at Berkeley reportedly helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren craft her proposed wealth tax.
  • Economists Sandy Darity and Darrick Hamilton consulted on Sen. Cory Booker's "baby bonds" proposal and Sen. Kamala Harris' middle-class tax cut.