Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Idaho, Mississippi and North Dakota Democrats-- Don't Be Fooled... And Don't Let America Down Today


Joe and Strom-- they got things done

Remember when Biden-- before he stopped saying anything unscripted-- mentioned that by working with overt racists in the Senate "We got things done?" On the air with Amy Goodman last June, one of America's most revered public intellectuals, Ta-Nehisi Coates, stated flatly that "Joe Biden shouldn’t be president... [I]f he ends up being the nominee, better him than Trump, but I think that’s a really, really low standard."
I think when you have somebody who is celebrating their relationship, the ability of a person who saw no problem depriving an entire population of African Americans in their state of the right to vote, the right to participate as American citizens, the fact that that person was polite to them? I mean, it’s nice that Eastland never called, or Talmadge, whoever it was-- never called Joe Biden “boy.” It’s nice that Joe Biden had that privilege. But the fact of the matter is, Joe Biden owes his very presence in the race, right now, to the first black president, to Barack Obama. And if it were up to Eastland, and if it were up to Talmadge, Barack Obama would not only not be in the White House, he actually would not exist.

And so, I don’t know what is going on in your brain where you decide to celebrate the fact these people were polite. They could afford to be polite, because the major opposition in their state, that being African Americans, was effectively, at that time, in their time, through most of their career, wiped out of the political process and erased as an electorate.

You know, Joe Biden says that he’s been involved with civil rights his entire career. It’s worth remembering Joe Biden opposed busing and bragged about it, you know, in the 1970s. Joe Biden is on the record as being to the right of actually the New Democrats in the 1990s on the issue of mass incarceration, wanted more people sentenced to the death penalty, wanted more jails. And so, you know, I’m not surprised. I mean, this is who Joe Biden is. You know there’s that saying: When somebody shows you who they are, believe them. This is who Joe Biden is.
Yesterday Washington Post reporter Jose Del Real wrote that Bernie wants you to know that Biden "once supported cuts to social security, cast a vote to prohibit federal funding of abortions, and used to favor a ban on openly gay people serving in the military. In recent speeches, Sanders has cautiously tested new and forceful attacks on Biden’s record on gay rights and women’s issues, potent critiques aimed at two key bases of the Democratic Party."
For much of the campaign, Sanders has focused on economics and inequality, attacking his opponents for accepting donations from the wealthy and opposing Medicare-for-all. But in recent days, Sanders has also begun to challenge Biden’s record on LGBT rights and women’s reproductive health.

He repeatedly knocked Biden for, until recently, supporting the Hyde amendment, which banned Medicaid funds from being used to cover abortions.

He has criticized the former vice president for supporting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the 1990s, a policy that prevented openly gay people from serving in the military. And he has stressed Biden’s 1996 vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that barred legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

“Joe Biden in the past has voted for what is called the Hyde Amendment, that said that women could not use Medicaid dollars in order to protect their reproductive rights and get an abortion,” Sanders told a crowd of 15,000 supporters Saturday at a rally in Chicago, echoing comments he also made in Phoenix, Detroit and Flint, Michigan.

“I am proud to tell you that I have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record throughout my entire life,” he added. “I believed then, and I believe now, that it is women who have a right to control their own bodies, not the government.”

The new line of attack comes at a crucial moment for the Sanders campaign, which is struggling to gain momentum ahead of Tuesday’s votes in six states. Though Sanders racked up wins in some early states, Biden won most of the nominating contests on Super Tuesday amid a consolidation of moderate support and now holds a lead in delegates.

On the stump, Sanders has framed these new comments as a way to emphasize his own liberal record, noting that he supported gay rights when it was far more difficult to do so-- unlike Biden. The supercharged contrast on social issues, Sanders said repeatedly in recent days, is crucial to give voters a clear picture of who has “the vision” to lead.

“The point here is not just to look back 20 years ago, not just to look at consistency, it is to look at which candidate had the guts to cast difficult votes because they were the right votes,” he said Friday during a news conference. “All I can tell you is, whether it was Iraq, whether it was DOMA, whether it was ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ those were difficult votes. I was there, on the right side of history, and my friend Joe Biden was not.”

...[T]here are fears that Biden may not be able to energize Sanders’s base if he wins the nomination. Many Sanders supporters have expressed uncertainty about whether they will cast ballots in November for anyone else.

Jerome Palmer, 45, said during a rally in Phoenix on Thursday that he identifies as a “progressive” and was until recently a “Democrat with reservations.” He said he has struggled with the idea of voting for Biden in November if he is the nominee.

Palmer said he does not want Trump to be reelected, and he knows that he may have to make an uncomfortable political compromise to prevent it. But he cannot shake the “sour taste in my mouth” after casting a ballot for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The fact that she lost, he said, added insult to injury.

He now identifies as a political independent after a lifetime voting for Democrats.

“The past four or five years, I’ve had an awakening. The Democrat Party, they’re not the good guys. They’re bad news in my opinion,” he said, noting that he had always voted for Democrats before. “Democrats, it’s literally two parties within one party. I think the moderates are just conservative-lite. It’s the progressives who want to see change.”

...Unlike when he is talking about Biden, Sanders’s comments on Trump are scathingly personal. He calls him a “pathological liar,” a “fraud,” a “racist” and an “autocrat.” He regularly accuses the president of never having read the Constitution.

By those standards, the final stretch of the Democratic primary may look tame.

Notably, Sanders has not mentioned Biden’s son, Hunter, whose business associations have already become fodder for Trump’s attacks, and were at the center of the Congressional inquiry that led to the president’s impeachment six weeks ago.

Still, the overwhelming bulk of his critiques have focused on health care, prescription drug prices, trade, and campaign finance reform-- his bread-and-butter issues.

On those topics, Sanders is loud, aggressive and direct.

“I just don’t think that Joe Biden can generate enthusiasm when you’ve got 60 billionaires contributing to his campaign,” he said Saturday in Dearborn, Michigan, his voice and his hands rising. “At the end of the day, people understand that if you’re taking lots of money from billionaires, you’re not going to be there standing up for the working class and the middle class in this country.”
A new poll released by YouGov shows that, although a Biden nomination will be greeted with enthusiasm by 51% of Democrats, just 26% of the crucial independent vote is enthusiastic about him as the nominee. Compare that to Bernie, who generates enthusiasm from 45% of independent voters. Democrats are likely to vote for whoever wins the nomination. If the Democrats want to win in November, they need not Republicans but Independents. And 35% of Independents same that a Biden nomination would "upset" them (as opposed to 20% who say a Bernie nomination would upset them). 47% of independents say they were either "dissatisfied" or "upset" by Super Tuesday's results.

If you read New York Magazine, you probably know that entertaining columnist Jonathan Chait is a rabid Bernie smear machine, but when he's not red-baiting Bernie, he's focusing on Señor Trumpanzee and yesterday he noted-- as more an more people will in coming weeks-- that we are watching the probable demise of Trump's reelection in real time. He wrote that throughout the unending series of disasters of Trump's own making, he "has maintained a floor of support that is apparently immutable and just high enough to give him a plausible chance of reelection. Yet the pair of crises now enveloping the administration appear to be of a completely different political magnitude than anything that has faced Trump to date. It may now really, finally, truly be over for him." He's talking about two things no one, no matter how much they detest Trump, should be cheering about: the pandemic and the Trump Recession.

"Trump’s continuous din of scandals and gaffes," he wrote, "is unintelligible to many Americans who either do not follow the news closely, or follow Trump-controlled news organs, and who have instead judged his presidency by the direct experience of peace and prosperity. Trump has done one very big thing very well: He rebranded the economic expansion he inherited as his own creation, like the licensing deals he makes to splash the Trump name over hotels and resorts other people built. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus turns his greatest strength into perhaps his greatest liability. A somewhat less obvious factor is that Trump’s own mismanagement has demonstrably contributed to these disasters. The entire crisis has grown out of Trump’s constitutional aversion to long-term planning. In his autobiography, Trump boasted that he does not even plan his days, but simply reacts to events as they happen."

Incapable of patience, Trump "keeps repeating that the coronavirus will blow over without much hassle. He believes the conspiracy theories that it’s a hoax designed to bring him down, and he also believes any messaging problem he has can be solved by more messaging from Trump. Trump seemed totally oblivious to the danger of hardening his public image as the national-level equivalent of the mayor in Jaws, blithely ignoring reports of a gigantic shark because he didn’t want to hurt the tourism season.

Enough of the debacle has played out in public to supply Democrats with a campaign’s worth of damning video clips. Trump appeared in public insisting that the virus was “contained,” and that the number of cases “within a couple of days, is going to be down to close to zero.” Trump and his surrogates kept advising people to buy stocks after every dip. The strategy made no sense except as a desperation gambit to prop up the stock market on an hour-to-hour basis with dumb money from Trump’s marks.

For all the apparent durability of Trump’s personality cult, it is worth recalling that George W. Bush was once a figure of nearly equal stature on the right. He was the swaggering, flight-suit-wearing alpha male who had conquered Afghanistan and Iraq. The conservative media slathered over him in almost erotic terms. When things went south for Bush, after his failed attempt to privatize Social Security was followed by Hurricane Katrina and the unraveling of the Iraq occupation, they went south very fast.

It is possible that the public-health and economic catastrophes that loom so large at the moment will be gone by autumn. It is even possible that they will remain and Trump will somehow survive anyway. (After all, the mayor in Jaws had somehow retained his position in Jaws 2. And he was still minimizing shark risks!)

But it seems more likely that Trump has finally made his unfitness for office so blatant that even his own supporters will notice. The American economy, its health infrastructure, and perhaps more are plunging into foreseeable crisis. And every step Trump has taken along the way seems almost calculated to expose him to maximal blame. Trump is now quite likely to lose his reelection, and we will look back at the last few weeks as the time when he sealed his own fate.

UPDATE: Biden Is A Better Republican Than Trumpanzee

Michael Taylor, the Republican mayor of Sterling Heights. Michigan, chose yesterday to announce that-- though still a Republican-- he's backing the less extreme Republican. Taylor is backing Biden, not Trump, even though Biden has (wink, wink) a "D" next to his name. Noting that Trump is "deranged," he told the Newsweek that he thinks "Joe Biden is the candidate who can unify all of the Democrats, and he’s the candidate who can appeal to moderates and Republicans like me who don’t want to see four more years of President Trump... I remember thinking this Trump thing is insane, but when it was down to him and Hillary, I kind of said, 'Well, you are a Republican, and yeah he's nuts, but maybe he'll get better and you know he's going to lower taxes. I slowly talked myself into it. 'He can't seriously be this deranged once he gets in there,' and he's even more deranged now than I thought then. So, I take the blame. I voted for him."

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At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

biden being a better republican than trump is nothing noteworthy. Michael Moore called slick willie the 'best republican president in our history' (apologies to Abe Lincoln, I'm sure).

It is now clear to me that asking democrap voters to not screw the pooch is a waste of time.

It should also now be crystal clear that the democraps are a lost cause. They are never going to be reformed from within, from the bottom or any other way.

Since when did it ever work to ask 65 million colossal morons to not be colossal morons? It won't work this time either.

There are 80-90million voters who don't vote. If ever this shithole is to improve, these must be engaged... just not for democraps.


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