"I'm not a progressive," says John Fetterman, elected while frequently saying he was a progressive

And what about socialism? Neither libertarian socialism or state socialism are liberal, centrist or conservative.


I think part of the problem is that the overton window in the USA has shifted a bunch of stuff that used to be ‘conservative’ into ‘centrist stuff that doesn’t even get discussed, but isn’t progressive’.

For one example: I think that stronger and more robust regulation is generally a positive thing that protects consumers and labor in most markets, but I recognize that there’s complexity around how a high amount of complex regulation protects incumbent market forces over newcomers, because expecting a company with 101 employees (or whatever the magic threshold is) to handle all the same regulatory work as Microsoft or whichever industry giant they’re trying to go up against is pretty rough, and benefits large corporations with deep pockets.

I don’t think that unilaterally, but I’m at least able to go ‘huh, that’s kind of a weird situation that seems like it’s worth discussing and I can see upside and downside here’, and that’s I guess a more conservative view than most of my other ones?


Well, no, not really, since the current actual “conservative” position is to do away with any and all regulation or at the very least, make it as difficult as possible to maintain (starving regulatory agencies for funding). Deregulation is a huge benefit to large corporations much more so than it is to smaller companies. There really isn’t any evidence that deregulation spurs competition, and in fact, it favors massive industry consolidation. That’s precisely what has happened since the Reagan era - massive corporate consolidation.

I think plenty of progressives and centrists are happy to have conversations about the nature of regulation, which it should look like, and how to make sure it doesn’t just favor big corporations. Conservatives today just want to ensure that the rich can keep doing as they see fit, and the rest of us are less free. They really have no interest in any kind of nuanced conversation around this kind of thing and the people who do are pretty being drummed out of the party.


Yeah; I don’t disagree with you generally. I was saying that it’s “more” conservative than my other views, as in further right on the spectrum. That doesn’t mean that it’s capital C Conservative. I also, just so it’s clear, am not in favor of deregulation either, as far as modern Conservatives understand it.

I think a lot of this is the problem in modern political discussions where the polarizing effect applies to a lot of issues anyway, often due to bad actors using any sort of inch to claim a mile. Nazis and the alt-right on the internet are famous for exploiting this, by luring people in with semi-sane sounding stuff before pulling them in all the way to the fascism stuff.

Unfortunately, that makes it hard to even say ‘Well, I’m in favor of X, but I’m worried about the effect X has on Y’ without it coming off as ‘I am secretly against X and if you find my twitter handle I’ll have an anime pfp and use a lot of (((weird parentheses)))’


Saying that being anti-immigration is “close to my heart” is gross.

It is like when Suella Braverman said that deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda was her “dream”.

Does Fetterman say that? I don’t see it in either the FPP or the linked article. He does say:

And immigration is something near and dear to me, and I think we do have to effectively address it as well.

Which is something different.


Ok “Near and dear” not “close to my heart” but they mean the same thing and when he talks about addressing immigration he isn’t talking about supporting it. So yes that is what he is saying.

That’s uncharitable, considering the next graf in the NBC article:

Fetterman insisted he can be pro-immigration while also favoring policies to restrict the flow of migration to manageable levels, disagreeing with progressives who oppose new limits on asylum and bash some of the ideas in the negotiations as cruel.

“It’s a reasonable conversation — until somebody can say there’s an explanation on what we can do when 270,000 people are being encountered on the border, not including the ones, of course, that we don’t know about

Most people – including progressives but excluding fascist demagogues – are not happy with the needless chaos on the border caused by bad and sometimes malicious U.S. immigration policy. Also, most people – including progressives – understand that no modern nation-state, even an immigrant nation like the U.S., can’t just allow immigration with zero restrictions.


I don’t care!

If he is seen more rationally as a mainstream liberal centrist then perhaps the US is coming down from the psychosis that has gripped it for the last decade a little.

As for a politician branding themselves one way and walking it back later… meh… They do that. People’s alliances are going to shift also around big issues such as Gaza and plenty of politicians will clarify, redefine, or shift their positions and alliances.

I think anyway that most of the things that are called “progressive” in the US are progressive only in the context of the intense radical-right trajectory of the US overall.


Me too. I guess the thing is I feel like it has been such a farce. “Progressive” values aren’t even trying to progress anymore. They are trying to conserve. Human rights for pregnant women? Gone. Trying to hold on where they can and now advanced as progress in the places where they have been most thoroughly and hopelessly lost. Do people have the right not to be summarily executed by a cop at any moment? Up for debate…

Losing what you had and trying to claw it back from the leopard’s mouth isn’t progressive though is it? Even the Karens of this country have lost some basic rights.

The right has named the progressive agenda for at least a decade straight by targeting some one’s rights somewhere and taking them away. Anything that is offended is “progressive.”

Fetterman ran under those conditions and under those conditions only did I consider him “progressive.”

I guess that’s how it reads to me in my weird brain.

I think maybe to me he’s probably signaling that he is willing to compromise some foreign policy agenda items for domestic policy agenda items and I’m not sure if that isn’t ultimately what a lot of people might have wanted from him in some way.


It is not a bit uncharitable when he is saying that turning away people seeking a better life is “near and dear” to him. I’d say he is one who is being uncharitable.

So “immigration” = “turning away people seeking a better life” in your definition? Because that’s how you’re interpreting this quote:

And immigration is something near and dear to me, and I think we do have to effectively address it as well.

I see him saying that he’s pro-immigration (safe and orderly) and wants to reform policy to support that position.


Exactly. I can see how some who identify as progressive might be disappointed that he’s no longer identifying as one, but if he’s still promoting progressive positions and promoting them as mainstream (which they often are according to polls) then I don’t care. I’ll save my outrage for the eventuality that he pivots fully from left populism to right populism.


There’s certainly a lot of black and white thinking going on right now.

It’s like if some one describes themselves as bluish-purple then reddish-purple, well they might as well be red. I don’t see how thinking like that has done anyone any good so far though. I’m not sure I really want the person who is least able to compromise in leadership either. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen of that so far.


He is using language referring to huge numbers at the border and yes he is clearly talking about turning them away. It is a toned down version of the “hoardes of immigrants” type langauge.

I’m reading it that way, too.
And I agree. We do need to address it. It’s truly irresponsible that the agencies responsible for ushering immigrants and refugees safely through the process have been so perpetually underfunded and understaffed that we can’t even abide by our own laws.
Or change the laws as needed.
Republicans have been unwilling to do any of that, not really.

Citation needed.


Verifiable citation, please.

Otherwise, that’s just your personal interpretation at this point.

Jinx; I owe you the fizzy, sugary beverage of your choosing.



I think you might, ah…hell, this one’s on me :wink:

(Oh, no! We’re in the Coke Inception!!!)


maybe if people printed things out more…


i did find this from more than a year ago:

Asked whether he considers himself to be a progressive, Fetterman said: “No, I’m just a Democrat that has always run on what I believe in, know to be true. And six years ago, this was considered progressive. But now there isn’t a single Democrat in this race or any race that I’m aware of that’s running on anything different. So that’s not really progressive. That’s just where the party is.”