Patterico's Pontifications


Joe Biden’s New Campaign Ad Airing In…Texas

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:37 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This spot is titled “Tough”:

The ad itself is good. It’s a marriage of hope and comfort during a difficult time. It’s what Americans want to hear from a president. It’s not high-tech ad with a thumping soundtrack and dramatic WWF-type narration. Rather it’s simple story everyone can relate to at some level as it focuses on the Covid concerns of Americans. The ad is well timed, the pacing is good, and the montage of images tugs at the heartstrings. But what I think really seals the deal is Biden’s compassionate narration. He’s telling a relatable story and he’s offering support and compassion. I can see the ad being viewed as a point of sanity and relief in the midst of Trump and his chaotic response to the pandemic. It’s also not hard to see this drawing in both undecided voters and voters who wouldn’t normally consider a Democratic candidate but are looking for someone with a basic knowledge of policy and procedure, White House experience, and frankly, maybe just longing for normalcy again.

Anyway, Biden is definitely branching out, as his campaign announced. It makes political sense:

This new TV spot is part of a four-state ad buy the Biden campaign announced Tuesday that also includes Arizona, North Carolina and Florida. In recent weeks, coronavirus cases have soared across the Sun Belt, with both Florida and Texas reporting record daily case numbers.

The campaign also intends to release digital videos of Biden calling families in those four states. And it plans to air Spanish language-captioned versions of the ad in Arizona, Florida and Texas on YouTube, Facebook and Univision.

As Dustin mentioned, the Houston Chronicle published a 43-page obituary on Sunday, which certainly makes Biden’s ad a well timed move by the campaign.

About Texas specifically, where 38 electoral votes are ripe for the picking:

Public opinion surveys have shown an unexpectedly close race between Biden and Trump in Texas. The polling average from FiveThirtyEight now shows a tied contest, and a recent Dallas Morning News survey found Biden leading by 5 points — which, if accurate, would be a game changer for the election. In 2016, Trump won Texas by 9 points. Republicans have long depended on the state to win the White House. No Democrat has won Texas since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign deputy press secretary Samantha Zager poked fun at Biden’s efforts in the Lone Star State:

Democrats like to pretend Texas is on the table, but they know that’s a joke — just ask Governor Wendy Davis, Senator Beto O’Rourke, and President Hillary Clinton.


Majority Polled Say Trump Is Hurting Efforts to Slow Virus

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:32 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The new Quinnipiac Poll doesn’t deliver good news for the president because that pesky virus just won’t give him a break:

62% of registered voters say President Trump is hurting efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, compared to 31% who say he’s helping, according to a Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday.

The big picture: 36% of Americans approve of Trump’s overall job performance, and 60% disapprove — his worst net approval rating since August 2017 and a 6-point drop from June. The poll has Joe Biden with a 15% advantage nationally over Trump, widening his lead from last month by 7 points.

Between the lines: On his handling of the economy, Trump’s approval rating dropped to 36% in July as states force more businesses to close again due to the nationwide surge in coronavirus cases.

“Trump’s strongest card, the economy, shredded by a killer virus, may have left the president with no go-to issue or trait to stave off defeat,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy.

Here are some breakdowns:

61% disapprove of the way Trump has handled reopening schools.

67% say they do not trust the information Trump is providing about the coronavirus.

65% say they trust the information provided by Anthony Fauci, whom White House officials have sought to discredit in recent days.

Meanwhile, Fauci has pushed back against White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s op-ed, in which Navarro claims that Fauci “has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on”:

Fauci called White House attacks on him “bizarre” and said they ultimately damaged Trump.

“I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that,” he said. “I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it’s only reflecting negatively on them.”

“I can’t explain Peter Navarro,” he said. “He’s in a world by himself.”

Meanwhile, the White House has distanced themselves from Navarro, claiming that he went “rogue” with the op-ed, and circumvented the usual channels of approval:

“The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone. @realDonaldTrump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration,” White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah tweeted.

President Trump entered the fray when asked about the op-ed, saying that:

He [Navarro] made a statement representing himself. He shouldn’t be doing that. I have a very good relationship with Anthony. We’re all on the same team.

However, Trump stopped short of refuting Navarro’s claims about Fauci.


Using One’s Own Racial Experience To Have Empathy For Others

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:00 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson found himself in hot water when he posted anti-Semitic quotes on his Instagram page, which were (mistakenly) attributed to Hitler, as well as posting quotes from known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. As a result of his posts, Jackson was penalized by the Eagles this week.

Yesterday, entertainer and MTV host Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS because he “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” on-air last month after a guest claimed that Jews were wicked, and Cannon agreed. He also claimed that “Semitic people are black people,” and that “You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” as well as citing Louis Farrakhan.

Both men are black, and both have publicly apologized for their bigoted comments.

With that, former ESPN host and senior writer at The Atlantic Jemele Hill has written a deeply honest and insightful essay about Jewish bigotry within the black community. She righteously takes Jackson to task as well. But first, Hill openly addresses her own Hitler stumble, which resulted in what she says was a well deserved week-long suspension:

Like DeSean Jackson, the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver who is being condemned for posting a fake Adolf Hitler quote on his Instagram feed last week, I too have had an ill-advised Hitler moment.

In 2008, I was a general columnist for, covering the NBA Finals series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. Heading into Game 5, I wrote a piece about how it saddened me, as a lifelong Detroit Pistons fan, to see that the Celtics were no longer as widely hated as they had once been. Trying to be funny and whimsical, I drew upon my memories of the Pistons having to beat the Celtics before winning their first NBA championship in 1989. I ended up writing, “Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim.”

More than a decade later, I still cringe when I think about it. Not only had I severely insulted the Celtics’ fan base, but I had made a joke about the Nazi leader who orchestrated the murder of 6 million Jewish people. I was, of course, aware of the Holocaust, but I had given little thought to the feelings of the Jewish community because, frankly, it wasn’t my own. When others pointed out the insensitivity of my statement, I was mortified. I apologized and wrote an entire column asking for forgiveness.

Hill doesn’t hold back when describing the black community’s long-held stereotypical views of Jewish people, from family elders to the community at large:

Like Jackson, I am Black. And had anyone made a remark trivializing slavery, I would have been incensed. I learned that just because I’m aware of the destruction caused by racism, that doesn’t mean I’m automatically sensitive to other forms of racism, or in this case, anti-Semitism. Black people, too, are capable of being culturally arrogant.

…Stereotypical and hurtful tropes about Jews are widely accepted in the African American community. As a kid, I heard elders in my family say in passing that Jewish people were consumed with making money, and that they “owned everything.” My relatives never dwelled on the subject, and nothing about their tone indicated that they thought anything they were saying was anti-Semitic—not that a lack of awareness would be any excuse. This also doesn’t mean that my family—or other African Americans—are more or less anti-Semitic than others in America, but experiencing the pain of discrimination and stereotyping didn’t prevent them from spreading harmful stereotypes about another group.

Hill also points out that marginalized groups should use their own racial experiences to have understanding for other groups facing similar bigotry:

Black people’s fight for their humanity is unrelated to Jackson’s error, but they must use their own racial experiences to foster empathy for others. Even in his apology, Jackson showed little recognition of what he’d done.

The thirst for liberation and equality can never come at the expense of dehumanizing other marginalized groups—especially at a time when hate crimes against Jews have increased significantly. A record number of anti-Semitic incidents was reported last year.

While I have a quibble or two about the piece, they are really insignificant in light of her clarity and insight. And it’s also irrelevant that we differ politically. This is simply a unique look into a subject that is part of a larger conversation impacting our nation. Read the whole thing.


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