Saturday, April 20, 2019

South Carolina Has A 2020 Role To Play Beyond Just Delivering 9 Electoral College Votes For Fascism


The most recent poll of South Carolina primary voters-- actually a registered voters poll by Emerson-- was about a month and a half ago. South Carolina is different from the states we usually look at. There Trump's approval rating is relatively high-- 50% and just 44% disapproving. And in head to head match-ups, he would beat any Democratic nominee. Trump would beat Biden 52-48%. He'd beat Bernie, Cory Booker or Elizabeth Warren 54-46%, and the other front-runners would lose to him 56-44%.

When only Democrats are polled-- for the primary-- Biden was the clear winner with 37%. Bernie was second with 21% and, surprisingly, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, each of whom is counting on South Carolina for a big boost came in 3rd and 4th, respectively with 9% and 6%. The McKinsey Pete boomlet hadn't broken yet and he was still at 0%.

Why would Democrats care what happens in the South Carolina primary, since the state is a general election lock for Trump? The DNC picked South Carolina as an early state to help winnow the field. It's supposed to show where African-Americans stand-- or at least African-mericans in the Deep South-- and it does... but it also shows where conservative Democrats stand. In fact, all four early states-- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada-- are relatively conservative compared to the big urban states where all the electoral votes are. Conventional wisdom says that these are the kinds of voters who will back establishment, status quo candidates the DNC prefers. This year that candidate will be Joe Biden or, if he falters again in his 7th run for president, McKinsey Pete. ("Biden and his team have eagerly been taking in nearly every public poll that has him in first place, convinced those numbers will only grow, despite many Democratic operatives, on opposing campaigns and beyond, who believe he’ll start leeching support almost as soon as he declares. Biden’s doubters are convinced that he seems better as a theoretical alternative than as someone people would actually support, especially when they start looking at his record closely. Already the scrutiny has started, with attention to his opposition to school busing in the 1970s, as well as his chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee during Anita Hill’s testimony in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, which many women have never forgiven him for, and which he’s stumbled over in trying to explain since. 'I wish I could have done something,' is how he put it in late March, infuriating people who pointed out that he was in charge of the process.")

Even many of the African-American voters in South Carolina tend to be on the conservative side. Biden's 37% among all Dems goes to 43% among African-Americans only. Bernie's 21% among all Dems, sunk to 15% among African-Americans only. And among African-American voters, neither Harris nor Booker finds any significant increase in support.

Black voters in the state are either unaware that Biden has a long, ugly pre-Obama history of racism or they've forgiven him. Most voters are judging him completely as an Obama stand-in. Tragic!

On Thursday Bernie addressed the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus after his campaign announced endorsements from seven more African-American members of the legislature (bringing his total to nine-- the biggest number of black lawmakers to back a 2020 hopeful to date in this state. The two were backed him in 2016 and announced their endorsements again are state Reps Justin Bamberg (Bamberg) and Terry Alexander (Florence). The seven new endorsers are also state Reps: Wendell Gilliard (Charleston), Cezar McKnight (Clarendon & Williamsburg counties ), Krystle Simmons (Berkeley), Ivory Thigpen (Richland) and Shedron Williams (Beaufort, Hampton & Jasper counties). He was also endorsed by South Carolina AFL-CIO President Emeritus Donna DeWitt.

Krystle Simmons, the first black woman to represent the low country region in the state House, said that Bernie "is a champion for women's rights and has been rocking with middle class and minority communities since before he was popular. What he did back then matters just as much as it does now." Alexander was as effusive: "I believe in his positions that will move this country forward. His openness to change, his progressive stance on issues that impact so many people; this is why I was one of the first legislators in South Carolina to endorse him in 2016 and am doing so this year so that we can finish what he started many years ago."

Thursday Bernie was in Spartanburg, speaking at the event the Legislative Black Caucus set up for him at Mount Moriah Baptist Church. Yesterday he had two events in Greenville, a poverty roundtable at the West End Community Development Center in the afternoon and a major rally at the Peace Center amphitheater in the evening. In Spartanburg, his topics were criminal recidivism rates, racial profiling in law enforcement, generational poverty, teacher salaries and early childhood development. "A nation and a community, which provides quality education for its children that makes certain there are good jobs available to those young people when they leave school is a nation and a community which will have a lower rate of crime where residents will be safer, where human lives are not destroyed because people are rotting away their lives in prisons," he said. "At the same time is a nation and community which will save enormous sums of money by avoiding mass incarceration." The crowd interrupted many times, chanting "Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!"

Bernie also wrote an OpEd for the Greenville News, Here's what has to change in South Carolina and the nation. "This week," he wrote, "I am visiting South Carolina to learn more about the challenges facing Upstate residents, especially in public education, criminal justice and rural issues. I want to find out about how we can work together to address some of the state’s most serious problems, and reach people in communities that have been left behind."
Across this country, teachers have been on strike because they are badly underpaid. They lack basic supplies, work in rundown classrooms, and their professional expertise is undermined by excessive standardized testing that takes the joy out of learning. Far too many are leaving the profession entirely.

These dynamics have reached crisis levels in South Carolina, where public schools lag behind national averages in reading, writing and job preparedness. Many schools are racially segregated, and magnet and charter schools are drawing resources and high-performing students away. Meanwhile, amid cuts in funding for school programs, one in five children in South Carolina is going without meals.

This year, the situation has become an emergency. The start of school saw a 16 percent increase in unfilled teacher vacancies, and teacher pay was well below the national average. Adding insult to injury, under President Trump’s new budget, South Carolina would lose $28 million of grants to help high-poverty schools boost teacher salaries. Overall, South Carolina’s public education system would lose roughly $246 million under the Trump budget, denying 14,000 students access to after-school programs.

This endemic lack of investment in teachers, public schools, and educational opportunity is particularly acute in rural communities. Kids are starting kindergarten without basic skills: Some do not know how to recite the alphabet or spell their own names.

Even after school districts along the Corridor of Shame sued the state and endured decades of legal struggle, Republican leadership is still not giving them what they need to provide adequate education for their students-- most of whom are poor and African American.

Without a strong education early on, South Carolina’s young people will have trouble finding jobs, lose hope, and some will land in jail when they could have been going to college.

What’s truly shameful is that last year, South Carolina spent $11,552 on average per student, while spending $21,756 on average per prison inmate-- nearly twice as much. It makes absolutely no sense that Republican leaders in South Carolina, and other parts of the country, would invest more in keeping people in prison than in keeping them in school.

If I am elected president, I will do everything I can to reverse this absurdity. I will work to rebuild our public school system, especially in communities that need the most attention, and fund jobs and apprenticeship programs to combat the hopelessness of unemployment.

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At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not fascism... naziism. do words not mean anything even to DWT any more?

Again and still, polling shows that "lefty" (if any really exist in SC) voters are dumber than shit. It also shows that black voters in SC are even dumber than 'dumber than shit'.

biden over Bernie? do no blacks even pay attention?

SC is another Nazi shithole. Not quite what some others are, but a Nazi shithole.

At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

". . . all four early states-- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada-- are relatively conservative compared to the big urban states where all the electoral votes are."

THIS is why a greedy and ignorant minority rule this nation. N one else can get a fair hearing.

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this piece. South Carolina is a very key state in the Democratic primary.

Bernie is absolutely on the right track. Hillary killed him in the Deep South during the 2016 primaries, primarily owing to her name recognition and some very dishonest comments against him by John Lewis. Bernie has made appeals to black voters a centerpiece of his current campaign, not as part of an identity politics but part and parcel of his class politics. Bernie is counting on knocking out his competition early by winning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The black vote is crucial in SC. If he pulls that off while getting
significant numbers of black voters he could very well sweep through the rest of the primaries.

Biden looks to be the last hope of corporate Dems to stop Bernie but his hesitancy to announce indicates even he and his backers doubt his chances at mounting a serious challenge to a rising Left.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Gadfly said...

6:32: There's no call to insult black Dem voters in SC as dumber than shit. They're not dumb just because they don't vote the way you, or I, might like on issues. (I wish they, as well as whites, would leave the Dem party and vote Green, or Socialist.) The reality, though, is that southern black Democrats still tilt more conservatively than national Democrats overall on most social issues. That includes abortion and gay rights.

A related reality is that many younger Hispanic immigrants are evangelical Protestant and again, on social issues, open to voting GOP even.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gad, they're not dumber than 'dumber than shit' because they are conservative. They're dumber than 'dumber than shit' because polling shows they are overwhelmingly supporting a guy who has been a racist in public life for almost a half century. Even DWT has done a fair job of doc'ing how bad biden has been for blacks.

It would be almost as bad as if hitler had gotten 70% of the jewish vote in 1932.

Hispanics have a similar problem. the democraps haven't done shit for them in decades. why would they keep supporting democraps after that?

same reason that unions still support democraps (with money)... dumber than shit.

voting for Nazis is even dumber than 'dumber than shit', of course.


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