Sunday, April 07, 2019

Your Sunday Night Biden-- You Really Want Four Years Of This?


Friday evening, Bill Maher did what you would expect Bill Maher to do-- excused Joe Biden's behavior, with some cute jokes ("his hands have been part of an exploratory committee for decades"). Although he considers the whole #MeToo thing "a little nitpicky," he did acknowledge that "of course, no one likes to be touched unwantingly and women get a lot more of that than men but..." Yes, but. One of the best-- and most productive-- members of my senior management team at one of the companies I ran would go a little further than Biden did. He's gay and he would, in a very friendly way, grab men's crotches as a way of accessing if their penis was large enough for him to bother with; he's a size queen. Men didn't like that. Gay men didn't like it; straight men didn't like it. How do you think Bill Maher would feel about it? Especially if it was done by someone in a position of authority over him? Someone who could determine how much his bonus would be, for example? A little nitpicky?

A second Trump term make me feel gross and uneasy too, Bill. That's what Bernie's there for. Watch this. I agree with this guy on every call but two. The Omaha, Nebraska has one electoral vote and Bernie's going to get it in 2020. And Florida... I'm not as sure as he is that Florida is going to Trump. But that's a little nitpicky because it doesn't matter since Bernie will have already crushed Trump in the electoral college before all Florida's votes are counted.

Enough of Bill Maher's Biden-isn't-so-bad jokes? "it's getting ridiculous." Is it? How about talking about Biden's actual record as a corporate whore and Wall Street shill? Or about his grotesque racism instead of the touchy-feely stuff? Still, later in the show, Maher brought on Julián Castro to say he likes that Biden finally found something he's not willing to apologize over. "I like that," Maher said to Castro, about Biden saying he's not sorry for feeling up women for 60 or 70 or 80 years or for however long he's been acting like a creep. And he ten launched into a disgusting attack on Castro for a statement he had made on Maddow's show about taking Biden's attitude towards women serious ("with great gravitas"). "I think he should joke about; I don't think it's that big a deal," said Maher, who has been making a career for himself as Mister-Anti-Politically-Correct.

Castro killed him. Maher played the part of pig. Castro played the part of ethics teacher-- and Maher's audience agreed with Castro... loudly. Maher didn't like it when Castro used the word "bullshit-- twice-- to describe Maher's intention of laughing it off. Watch the exchange at the link above.

New York Magazine got a groups of their regular writers together for a chat about the Biden thing, Is The Biden Appeal About To Fade?. I sure hope so, but many people-- mostly people over 70 who have lost their memories or who are very conservative Democrats-- disagree with me. The panel consisted of Benjamin Hart, Jonathan Chait, Margaret Hartmann, Ed Kilgore, Ezekiel Kweku, Eric Levitz, David Wallace-Wells, and Ben Williams. Kweku made the salient point right off that bat that he may not be the best candidate to beat Trump-- Biden's pitch, his calling card-- because "his high ratings are pure Obama nostalgia, and I have my doubts that they would carry him through both a primary and a general election. Chait and Williams seem to agree: "I likewise suspect his campaign performance would bring him back to Earth," said Chait. "People forget all the gaffes. He has run before and lost very badly!" and Williams added that he feels "it’s better to nominate someone without a decades-long record to attack. Anti-Trump sentiment is going to rally behind any candidate."
Ezekiel: Biden has to appeal to a different set of voters than Trump does.

Ed: Biden is pretty slowly morphing into a 2020 version of Hillary Clinton, without her particular gender issue-- beginning as a unity candidate but becoming more controversial every day. Eventually, that will affect both his primary and his general-election numbers. Or maybe I just don’t get his avuncular, “Uncle Joe” appeal.

Ben H: I just wonder if that appeal, which, yes, is strongly tied to Obama nostalgia, is a little deeper and harder to uproot than we understand.

Margaret: I think a lot of people feel the statute of limitations has run out on stuff Biden did decades ago, and they’re really attached to him as an Obama administration figure.

Ben H: I also think there’s a strong sense out there among older white Democrats that nominating a woman and/or a person of color would be a risky move.

Ezekiel: Plenty of white guys to choose from.

Margaret: Are there, though? Guys who have that combo of experienced, “electable,” and centrist? And aren’t 37? If I’m a voter looking for that, I’ve eliminated Beto, Sanders, Buttigieg … who’s left?  (I’m seriously asking-- I can’t remember everyone in the field anymore.)

Ed: There’s Tim Ryan, as of today. If Biden doesn’t run, Terry McAuliffe and Bloomberg probably will.

Ezekiel: Why do you need “electable” and “centrist”? Isn’t the appeal of centrism, in this context, electability?

Ed: I’m not sure how to define “electability” anymore. Biden has led Trump pretty consistently in polls, in a way that no one else has. But I’m guessing that won’t last.

Ezekiel: I very much don’t understand the profile of a voter who (1) thinks a woman or person of color is a risky move and (2) likes Biden because he was in Obama’s administration. I’m not saying that these people don’t exist, I just don’t understand what exactly they’re thinking.

Ed: I’ll say this about his personal appeal: Everyone talks about the terrible legacy of the 1994 crime bill, and I agree with much of the criticism. But I also remember watching CSPAN, transfixed for hours (something I never did), as Biden made the case for it. There was a point at which he alluded to NRA president Charlton Heston’s claim that the bill wouldn’t actually provide as many cops as sponsors claimed, and Biden commented: “I went home last night and my wife said, ‘Joe, you said the bill had 100,000 cops, but MOSES said it didn’t!,’” and went on in that vein for a while. It was great theater. So he’s capable of that sort of thing.

Eric: I think giving Trump another opportunity to attack his opponent as one of the out-of-touch elites who supported the Iraq War and is in bed with the finance industry isn’t ideal. But they all have liabilities.

Ben H: It’s true that the big-business coziness hasn’t stuck to him yet, and will likely be a potent line of attack.

Ed: I’ve heard no rumors of Obama vocally coming to his defense. Has anyone else?

Ben H: No, and I seriously doubt he will. I don’t think he wants Biden to win... he never seemed enthusiastic about Biden’s potential candidacy in 2016. He easily could have boosted him, but he didn’t.

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At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Maher chose to be a DNC asset in 2016 by being a strong defender of $hillbillery. As soon as I hear Maher dabble in defending the Party, I tune out.

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it's been getting worse, 6:36. He's getting harder to watch, at least the first 3/4 of his show.

He's become Pelosi's talking points distributor also -- did you catch his comments on MFA vs. tweaking the current rape meme of obamneycare? straight from Pelosi's focus-group vetted talking points.

But why wouldn't the DNC keep pushing biden. All polling shows that he's more popular than Bernie, even in spite of his 5 decades of groping.

when voters are this fucking stupid, how can a democracy be any good?


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