Patterico's Pontifications

12/3/2019

Intersectionality Bingo Folds Her Tent [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:18 pm



[guest post by JVW]

As Dana posted on this blog earlier today, California Senator Kamala Harris has announced her exit from the 2020 Democrat Presidential Primary. Dana characterized the announcement as “expected, rather than surprising,” but I have to slightly disagree. My feeling is that the senator’s announcement is unexpected, but not exactly shocking. I had assumed that despite the layoff of campaign staff that she would tough it out until the California primary, but perhaps she had not allocated her money wisely and saw her campaign donations drying up as her numbers continued to drop in the polls. I suppose a fourth or fifth-place finish in the California Primary would have been extraordinarily embarrassing for a home state candidate who still harbors future political ambitions, so rather than subject herself to the indignity she has wisely chosen to call it a day.

I admit upfront and without evasion that I do not care for Kamala Harris as a politician. I find her to be a deeply unprincipled careerist and I think the way she got her start in San Francisco politics was sleazy and unethical. Depending upon which way the winds blow, she is a tough-as-nails prosecutor who prioritizes making the streets of San Francisco safe for the city’s residents and visitors, or else she’s the progressive advocate for rehabilitative justice and an implacable opponent of harsh punishments rendered to minorities and the poor who run afoul of the law. When socialism seems ascendant in her party she wants a single-payer health care plan that would eliminate private coverage, but when she’s surrounded by union members or wealthy progressives she suddenly decides that there is a place for private health care after all. And she has absolutely zero compunction about changing her mind on this issue from hour to hour.

That said, up until this fall I really did think she was a shoo-in for the nomination. She seemed to me to be everything that progressives desired. She had Barack Obama’s biracial background, but with an even more glamorous pedigree, being half-Asian rather than half-white. She had Hillary Clinton’s gender, but was a generation younger and had nowhere near her political baggage. She came from the wealthiest state in the nation and already had a rolodex full of progressive donors who, I assumed, would keep her rolling in dough. I figured that a candidate with all that going for her would easily sweep aside the various white men and the fake Indian on the way to the nomination.

So I suppose I owe Democrats an apology of sorts. Rather than just fall for the superficial benefits of intersectionality, voters appear to be rather discerning at this point in the game, and that’s probably best reflected by the continuous rise and fall of the top candidates. Kudos to the members of the donkey party for seeing through the disingenuousness of Kamala Harris and finding another candidate to support. This is also proof-positive that, just like in 2016, I am destined to be wrong with respect to just about everything in the coming election.

And yes, I am going to mention My Little Aloha Sweetie’s epic takedown of Senator Harris in the second debate:

In just forty-eight seconds, Tulsi Gabbard’s perfectly-aimed torpedo breached Kamala Harris’s hull and though it took a few months, the ship sank at long last today.

Interesting coda: I would have preferred that she remained silent savoring her victory, but I guess My Little Aloha Sweetie is ready to mend fences:

UPDATE: Are you ready for an insipid take from the Dog Trainer? Here is what Carla Hall, one of their editorial writers (but of course), had to say:

I’m not surprised that Kamala Harris has dropped out of the presidential race. Sinking poll numbers, dwindling finances. That can only mean a death spiral for a campaign. But I’m deeply disappointed. Other people have left the race and I’ve thought, “Wait — they were still in?” But poll numbers aside, Harris was a candidate with a unique presence. And how exhilarating to see a smart, accomplished, powerful senator who is also a black woman running for president. Why has it even taken this long?

And for a minute there, she was on fire. There she was, onstage for the second debate, amid a bickering, cross-talking crowd of candidates, when she shushed the stage with the line, “Hey, guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight. They want to know how we’re going to put food on their table.” The audience erupted in applause, and the next night her crack earned an admiring “Damn….” from late-night talk show host Seth Meyers, one of the most clever and insightful political commentators on television. It was exciting to see her rise above the crowd. And I loved that she flustered the avuncular, overly confident Joe Biden by reminding him of his opposition to court-ordered busing and that she made the whole country take a week to revisit segregation in schools then — and, unfortunately, now.

Political pundits I know who grade the performances of presidential candidates on whether they laid out their cases like rigid geometry proofs scoffed that she did a bad job that night, yet her poll numbers skyrocketed. I loved that, too. She quickly nailed the ultimate honor: She became a character in a “Saturday Night Live” skit, portrayed by Maya Rudolph.

And there you have the mindlessness of the modern young progressive (from her profile picture accompanying the piece, I am guessing Ms. Hall is roughly 30): She was adored by Seth Meyers (yeah, I’m having trouble remember who that is too) and by the cast of Saturday Night Live, so verily she was an outstanding candidate. Ms. Hall also lauds Intersectionality Bingo for being great on abortion rights, as if that was some existential threat front-and-center on the minds of a majority of voters and not the speciality hobby horse of high-strung young feminists. You can go on and read the rest, but I’ll save you the time and tell you it is absolute dreck. It is only axiomatic to be sure, but rest assured that a crappy candidate is likely to turn out and be a crappy leader.

– JVW

Impeachment, Democrats, And 2020 Key States

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:32 pm



[guest post by Dana]

While most Democrats support impeachment, Democrats in 2020 key states may take a hit as a result, which in turn could benefit Trump:

Democrats and Republicans are mirror opposites on the issue, with an average of 86 percent of Democrats supporting impeachment, compared with 9 percent of Republicans. Democrats have grown more united in their support for impeachment since before the inquiry began, when polls showed roughly two-thirds supported impeachment. Among Republicans, an average of 87 percent are opposed, while 8 percent of Democrats say the same.

[…]

Battleground state polls show a more negative reaction to the impeachment inquiry, signaling more risk to Democrats and potential benefit for Trump. An average of 44 percent supported impeachment, with 51 percent opposed, averaging across a dozen October and November polls in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin. That’s a flip from an average of national polls that finds support for impeachment narrowly edging opposition, 47 percent to 43 percent.

The depressed support for impeachment in key states was first signaled by a series of New York Times-Siena College polls conducted in mid-October, which found between 51 and 53 percent opposing impeachment in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But several other polls also have found that support for impeachment in key 2020 states lags the country overall. At the most negative, a mid-November Marquette University Law School poll in Wisconsin found 40 percent of registered voters support impeaching and removing Trump, while 53 percent are opposed. Fox News polls in North Carolina and Nevada showed opposition to impeachment outpacing support by eight and seven points, respectively. The best results in key states have shown voters divided over impeachment, such as a Muhlenberg College poll of Pennsylvania voters.

Obviously these are states that Democrats are going to need to carry if they want to take back the White House in 2020. But in the meantime, Trump’s approval ratings remain steady and fairly unchanged since the impeachment inquiry began in earnest. The indication being that public hearings, witness testimony, and even on-going revelations about the president’s questionable behavior, untruthfulness or anything negative continues to have little impact:

In Gallup polling from mid-September to mid-November, Trump’s approval has tiptoed between 39 percent and 43 percent approving. In Quinnipiac University polls, the story is no different: Between 38 percent and 41 percent of registered voters approved of Trump from late September to late November.

Here are a few observations about impeachment and the 2020 election from three familiar swing states:

From Wisconsin:

About a third of people are saying they’re paying a lot of attention, but a third are saying little or no attention. So there’s, you know, a gap in the sort of degree to which this is a riveting exercise. And the other thing I’d follow up on is that the kinds of issues that we saw motivating voters in 2018 like health care and preexisting conditions are things that are largely absent from the discussion right now as impeachment dominates. When those proceedings are over, presumably we’ll come back to more the issues of the Democratic primary and shaping the fall election…Democrats favor impeachment, but not as nearly universally as Republicans oppose it. And the modest number of independents are a bit more opposed to impeachment than in favor of it, though the gap there’s not large.

From Michigan:

[P]eople here have made it very clear that the impeachment hearings are a political campaign. I don’t get a sense that they’re connecting it right now with anything except the 2016 election and the 2020 election…Trump and his reality show team are master marketers who have convinced his base that he is responsible for everything good in America, whether it’s legacy victories such as low unemployment rates here to the myth that farmers and autoworkers are doing better. No one’s really paying attention to issues because the issue right now is just Donald Trump, and that is not the way I think Democrats can win. Impeachment should not have been a campaign.

From Pennsylvania:

Republican suburban voters – the ones who really have had a problem with Trump’s comportment and either sat it out in 2016 or voted with them – but in 2018, they decided they wanted to put the brakes on him. They’re really struggling now with these new congressional members who ran on, you know, a different kind of politics – who ran on health care, who ran on, you know, getting things done. And they’re frustrated with this vote that they made.

Not that they like Trump any more – they still don’t like him. But they’re frustrated that the vote that they did give to the Democrats has turned out to be sort of opening up the road towards impeachment, and they don’t like that.

Can Democrats have already forgotten the brutal experiences of Hillary Clinton in those three states during the last presidential election?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Kamala Harris Withdraws From Presidential Race

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:39 am



[guest post by Dana]

From Roll Call:

“I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” Harris wrote in a letter to supporters Tuesday. “It is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today.”

Along with a frustrated campaign staff and internal fighting, Harris’s polling plummet makes the news of her withdrawal expected, rather than surprising:

Support for Harris in national polls peaked at 15 percent after her breakout debate performance in June. But it has been declining ever since, hitting a low of about 3 percent on Dec. 2, according to a Real Clear Politics average. That put her in sixth place, behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Still trailing in the polls, and with no real chance of taking the nomination, Tulsi Gabbard could nonetheless, be seen smiling to herself.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Yes: People Should Be Able To Judge For Themselves

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:28 am



[guest post by Dana]

When asked about removing political advertising on Facebook that contains misinformation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated his belief that individuals should be allowed to draw their own conclusions about elected officials because they actually have brains:

It’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments. And, you know, I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news.

Zuckerberg remains firm in his position in spite of “nearly two hundred” Facebook employees complaining that “free speech and paid speech are not the same.”

The Facebook CEO acknowledged that it’s not an easy situation, but he gave people the benefit of the doubt for their intelligence and ability to ferret out truth:

… “At the end of the day, I just think that in a democracy, people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”

Pressed by King on whether that still applied in cases when the ads were spreading false claims, Zuckerberg repeated, “I think that people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians.”

Of course, as more Americans (especially millennials), social media gurus and Democratic lawmakers believe speech should be limited, Zuckerberg’s view is not a popular one. And it goes without saying that Zuckerberg’s motive is certainly suspect in this, but does that really matter when issues of speech are on the line? Anyway, for your perusal, here are a few comments at the linked piece:

Should private enterprise be allowed to refuse to sell food to blacks?

How about refuse to sell food to Democrats?

How much discrimination are you going to allow in the markets?

If you cannot justify refusing to sell food on those grounds, you cannot justify refusing to sell ads.

You are hypocritically and speciously praising market discrimination solely because it is discrimination you approve of and feel will advantage you.

And…

Oh FFS. It’s a bulletin board, not a part of the 4th estate.

A telephone pole papered over in I’m the Greatest posters.

There is no existential gooberness in danger of anything.

Here’s a good discussion about the issue.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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