3.29.19 Pete Buttigieg on American Capitalism, Socialism

Pete Buttigieg on American Capitalism, Socialism

“In the past few weeks, Pete Buttigieg — the 37-year-old gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana — has become a surprising standout in the crowded 2020 Democratic field,” Zack Beauchamp writes in a new article from Vox. Beauchamp interviews Buttigieg on a range of topics, including socialism and why the idea has received support among younger people. Buttigieg is a self-claimed believer in capitalism, one that is democratic in nature but talks about socialism and how it’s perceived. “I think the word ‘socialism’ has largely lost its meaning in American politics because it has been used by the right to describe pretty much anything they disagree with. To the extent there’s a conversation around democratic socialism — even that seems to be a little squishy in terms of what it actually means.” According to PRRI polling, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say socialism is about providing citizens with services (61 percent vs. 43 percent), while Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say it is about government control of industry (54 percent vs. 36 percent).
Electoral College Removal Could Prove Difficult

Even though a majority of people in the U.S. want the Electoral College removed, overhauling the system may not be so easy, writes Miles Parks for NPR. Parks references PRRI data, writing, “65 percent of adults think whoever wins the popular vote should hold the nation’s highest office, according to an Atlantic/PRRI poll last year.” Politicians such as Kamala Harris (D-CA), Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have criticized the current electoral, but, the system change would need widespread political support. An overhaul would likely involve a constitutional amendment, which would require approval votes by two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives, two-thirds of the Senate, and three-fourths of the states.
New York Times Editorial Board: End Gerrymandering

This week, The New York Times featured an editorial arguing for an end to partisan gerrymandering, the practice of designing state voting districts. The column comes on the heels of two oral arguments on the issue at the U.S. Supreme Court. Both cases aim to tackle the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering claiming that the practice helps keep a political party in power. Justices could call for an end to gerrymandering, but the decisions will likely come down to whether litigants can prove there is an objective, non-political standard of drawing political maps. According to a PRRI/The Atlantic poll, 70 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents, and 48 percent of Republicans think that gerrymandering is a major problem in our election system. 
New Criticisms for Barr and Mueller Report

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report spans more than 300 pages, raising concerns that the four-page summary from Attorney General William P. Barr may not be adequate, Washington Post reporters Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett note. The report is already subject to political scrutiny, and without the release of the full report, Democrats have accused the Trump administration of withholding vital information. The opinions of Mueller diverge substantially. According to PRRI data, 59 percent of Democrats say their opinion of Mueller is positive overall. By contrast, 71 percent of Republicans report having an unfavorable view of Mueller.