Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Martyrs, Saints, and Grifters Upon the Waves Edition

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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144 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I’m not that concerned about the Iowa turnout. It wasn’t bad per se. Just a bit higher than 2016 levels. Barack Obama was a once in a generation political talent and people need to learn to vote without that kind of charisma being present every time. Plus there are a lot more candidates this time around. Plus the caucus system is an anti-democratic archaic thing that the U.S. gets to keep because of might and size. In any other country, the U.N. would send in special election monitors.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels
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      says:

      I’m not particularly eager to vote in the CA primary, yet I will crawl over broken glass to vote in November.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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      says:

      I agree with you about President Obama, but wonder how many folks have not drawn the conclusion you have and still think the best path is to find a new savior every 4-8 years not realizing that is a generational occurrence.Report

    • Avatar JS
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      says:

      Judging by the hypothetical head-to-heads, watching Biden and Sanders get almost identical results is rather illuminating.

      The Democratic candidate seems far less of a factor than his Republican opponent.

      Sanders and Biden represent pretty polar ends of the Democratic tent, so seeing no real wavering seems to indicate Democratic ideology or platform is not a significant factor this year.

      Watching the hypothetical head-to-heads, the pattern is pretty straightforward — high name recognition Dems cluster together, with drop-offs as name recognition drops off — not towards Trump, but towards undecided. Trump’s numbers remain static.

      I confess myself singularly unexcited for the primaries this year. There are a handful of Democrats I’d vote against in the primary, but they all seem to be nicely removing themselves from the process. I’ll likely still vote in the primary, of course. Habit of a lifetime.

      Now the general election? As Chip noted, I’d crawl over broken glass just to run up the score.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe
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      says:

      My guess is there’s also a bit of of a demographic shift in twelve years.

      The big mass of Boomers are now twelve years older, and, even though olds vote more than youngs, some stil might have more trouble going the distance at a caucus then they did when they were in their fifties.

      The skinny Gen X doesn’t have the numbers to backfill completely. And the millenials, while numerous, may have simply left the state at their current age to seek their fortunes elsewhere. (particularly the ones with more affinity for blue politics to begin with)

      Though going against this theory is that Iowa is pretty much right at the middle of states for median age of the population

      http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/median-age-by-state/

      There is something to be said though for the possibility that a lot of old Tom Harkin voters are simply no longer with us, and have been replaced by Joni Ernst voters.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw
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        says:

        Your link indicates that the average age in the US increased from 37.2 to 38.2 over the last ten years, and the median age in Iowa is 38.1. Noting the link’s shift from mean to median, it appears that Iowa is squarely in the middle, and has a median age less than places like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. (Basically, the Northeast is the oldest part of the county and the West is the youngest)Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Allow me to toot my own horn:

    I’ve been thinking about that a *LOT* over the weekend.

    Now, I also know that the Republicans 2016 doesn’t map to Democrats 2020 1:1. Like, not even close. (Buttigeig as Rubio!) But I do know some of the ins and outs of my brain and my brain was 100% taken in by Biden the way that it was by Jeb.

    And now I’m looking at the rest of the field and asking myself what I’m not understanding about the non-Bernie people running, about Bernie, about the base, and about the media.

    Lemme tell ya. My brain is doing the exact same thing when it looks at the media this time as last time.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    One difference between 2020 and 2016 and 2012:

    I’ve gotten calls from supporters this time.

    In the past, I’ve gotten push-polls and I suppose that those *TECHNICALLY* qualify, but this time around is the first time that I’ve had someone call my house and try to talk me into voting for their guy. (They were a Bernie guy and they liked that I was “Yang then Bernie” and they thanked me and moved on to the next guy on their list. But I’ve never gotten a call from an enthusiastic supporter before.)Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Related to HM3, from Martin Longman, reviewing David French on the Falwell Christians:
    Trumpism and the Corruption of Christian Morals
    https://washingtonmonthly.com/2020/02/10/trumpism-and-the-corruption-of-christian-morals/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+washingtonmonthly%2Frss+%28Political+Animal+at+Washington+Monthly%29

    Nut graf:
    “Trump takes kind old ladies who worry about the unborn and transforms them into hate-tweeters. He turns upright and model citizens into apologists for sexual assault, white nationalism, business fraud, self-dealing and foreign interference in our elections.”

    Longman talks about the corrupting nature of the transactional relationship between Trump and the Christians where they begin by using him as a proxy to fight their enemies, but then invest themselves in his behavior and end up excusing what they should be condemning.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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      says:

      I’ve about to come to the place where the only political measuring rod I even both with anymore is “Has Donald Trump changed who you are in the last 4 years, good, bad, or indifferent.”Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
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        says:

        There is always a debate within lefty circles about whether Trump has changed conservatives or merely revealed who they always were.

        I think Longman’s comments about leaders appealing to the various aspects of people’s nature is about right, that hypothetically a conservative could appeal to the best in the conservative base, but it is equally true that the base itself shapes the field of possible candidates.

        After 2012, the GOP base could have chosen a Jeb who was tolerant of immigrants, but they chose not to. They could have expelled the white supremacists and Naizs, but chose to include them.

        It isn’t Trump who is changing me.
        It is my interactions with former friends and relations, who are like that kindly old lady who now ardently defend the indefensible. Its like watching a loved one shave their head and begin reciting bizarre cult slogans about the Illuminati.Report

        • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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          says:

          Trump has changed quite a few folks on the left also, to be fair. He seems to be an equal opportunity, bipartisan, metastasizing thing where his most ardent opponents get sucked in and lose their bearings. But your point is valid, the single issue voters latching on and signing up are this era’s “low information voters” of the past that those same people hated so openly.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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      says:

      The IRS investigation when the next Democratic president is in power into Liberty should be fun. “Just how do you go from $150M to $2.5B in 12 years, there Jerry.” A lot of innocent kids and folks at the university are going to get caught up in some very ugly stuff rolling downhill from the top of Chandler’s Mountain someday soon, I’m afraid.Report

      • Avatar JS
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        says:

        The toothlessness of the IRS — of which collar criminal investigations at all — is pretty damning.

        Take Paul Manafort. He got caught in a variety of white collar crimes entirely mostly by accident — had he not so singularly elevated his own stature, odds are no one would have ever noticed.

        And yet he committed bank fraud and tax evasion to the tune of tens of millions, and not in a particularly clever way. He was not some financial wiz — he was altering documents in Word, emailing his partner the details of his fraud, and not even bothering to hide the offshore accounts he didn’t report.

        As far as white collar criminals go, Paul Manafort was the equivalent of a cashier just helping themselves to the till, despite being on camera and knowing automatic audits were done before and after shifts. As soon as someone glanced even casually at him, it all fell apart.

        How many Paul Manaforts are out there? Money laundering, illegal foreign donations, fake charities, just pure illegal grift that there’s simply no one even sweeping up the low-hanging fruit anymore?Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Ronald Brownstein argues that every Democratic Candidate is a niche candidate:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/02/democratic-race-could-end-contested-convention/606343/Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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      says:

      It has merit, if a bit of stretch since there is quite a bit of overlap to the nichesReport

    • Avatar JS
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      says:

      This comes up every 4 years. The media wants one, because it’s exciting. They speculate on it like the average Joe does about winning the lottery. “Wouldn’t it be neat…” and then someone has to clean their keyboard again.

      It never happens. It’s not going to happen. It’s like me telling you what sort of yacht I’d buy when I’m a billionaire.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m old enough to remember when Bush II tried to do this after he was reelected and still got his ass kicked. You gotta wonder why they think they can pull this off in an election year: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-election-year-gamble-cutting-entitlements-for-seniors-2020-02-10?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahooReport

    • Avatar Jaybird
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      says:

      If Buttigeig is the nominee, Trump will get *SLAUGHTERED* for pulling something like this.

      If Bernie is the nominee, Trump’s the (more) reasonable one.

      I mean, if we’re talking seniors, anyway.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
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        says:

        I’m not saying that won’t happen. I’m just saying its pretty revealing of priorities.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
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          says:

          Here is the problem with “Inheritance”, as I see it.

          If you see “Inheritance” as “Something you get from your parents”, then it is pretty much agreed upon to be a bullshit thing. You’ll get a handful of people who say “no, it’s good” but they’re all Trustafarians. (I remember reading in a leftist forum from a guy who talked about his Trust Fund and how it wasn’t a big deal because it only gave him $600 a month. This was, like, the ’90s so those were Clinton dollars. He didn’t understand the vitriol he got in response.)

          If, however, you see “inheritance” as “something you leave to your children”, suddenly it starts polling through the roof. Sure, there are a handful of people who are still opposed, but in nowhere near the numbers we had for the previous definition.

          A simple change in framing was all it took.

          Anyway, yeah. It’s pretty revealing of priorities.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels
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            says:

            What would the Republican framing of cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security look like?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
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              says:

              Oh, I don’t know. How *I* would sell it, however, is to rely on something like this. Just point out “when Medicare and Social Security started, it was intended to help the poor. Now? I’m not suggesting we push gramma off a cliff. But I am suggesting that we stop sending money to millionaires and multimillionaires.”

              We’re not “cutting” Social Security. We’re just means testing it. The people who still need it will still get it. It’s the millionaires who won’t get it anymore.

              That’s just off the top of my head.

              “Why was Medicare used to help David Rockefeller?” That sort of thing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I would so love to see the Republicans run on that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                says:

                I have no idea what the actual campaign would be. “We know that you care about your grandchildren. You want to leave them your recipes, your gold watch, your classic encyclopedia. But what about leaving them The Deficit?”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
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                says:

                “Really, Grandma, if you truly loved your children, wouldn’t you roll your Hoverround off that cliff and spare us all the trouble?”Report

              • Avatar greginak
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                says:

                It’s not like we haven’ seen them try to sell the fork SocSec/Medi before. They can just dust off the old platitudes about the deficit is coming to kill us blah blah blah. We know how they try to sell it.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Means-testing Social Security will make all too obvious that it is — gasp — WELFARE, something only Those People (TM) get. Its political invulnerability is precisely the result of its universal status and the comforting illusion so many recipients entertain that it is some kind of earned and paid-for benefit, not — shudder — WELFARE.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Just sell it to their kids.

                They were religious hypocrites.
                They didn’t care about the environment.
                They didn’t care about people who weren’t White.
                They didn’t care about LGBT issues.
                Now they don’t care about the economy.
                Why are we sending them checks while they send us THE BILL?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Please proceed, Governor.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
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                says:

                Is there a recognizable political demographic that checks the first five boxes and also wants to cut Social Security? Maybe it’s a logically-possible collection of political beliefs (or, if you prefer, irritable mental gestures), but I haven’t seen many, or maybe any, examples in the wild.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The Republicans have tried very hard for decades to portray SS as the program that is blowing up the budget deficit.

                One of the troubles they have had is that their core constituency loves Social Security, and as you point out, doesn’t see it as a welfare program but as some sort of annuity program that they paid for with their hard earned dollars.

                So trying to slip resentment of the olds in with appeals to the SJW/ Bernie generation seems like a bizarre sales effort.

                Especially if you have Dems pointing out that SS could be solvent for generations to come if we just raised the contribution cap so guys like Mark Zuckerberg paid a trifle more.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                says:

                That’s not how *I* would do it. (I already said how I’d do it. I’d appeal to ressentiment alone!)Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain
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                says:

                Just point out “when Medicare and Social Security started, it was intended to help the poor. Now?

                After the Social Security benefits and financing were completely redone in the early 1980s, it was no longer a program for the poor. It was explicitly a program that provided everyone with a modest public pension. Go read the Greenspan report.

                When Medicare was created, the problem it was intended to solve was that no one aged 65+ could individually buy health insurance — the insurance companies simply didn’t do it. It wasn’t a program for the poor, it was a group plan for everyone, with subsidies paid by the taxpayer instead of an employer.

                Medicaid, OTOH, was explicitly health insurance for the poor.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Please understand: I was asked to create a political ad. The truth didn’t really interest me as I was writing it.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter
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              says:

              What would the Republican framing of cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security look like?

              Savings of $292 billion would come from reforming Medicaid and other safety net programs, for example by eliminating improper payments to people who have died.

              https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/9/trump-budget-cuts-44-trillion-medicare-discretiona/

              We’re going to end up with this being a combo of fake news and good ideas.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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      says:

      who will be the first person to run the “Granny over the cliff” ad, do you think this time?Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    Biden’s firewall among black voters has disappeared post Iowa. The winners from his dismal Iowa performance are Sanders and most surprisingly Bloomberg: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/status/1226944447767814144Report

    • Avatar JS
      Ignored
      says:

      “Biden’s firewall among black voters has disappeared post Iowa.”

      He never had one, not really. Biden was on top because he seemed most electable, because he was a former VP. As soon as that shattered, the support flowed to whomever now looks most electable.

      It’s not an ideology primary. It’s a pretty focused “Beat that other guy” primary. The more politically involved might be in screaming fights over the minutia of healthcare plans, but I suspect the average Democrat cares only for “whomever has the best chance of beating Trump” because everything else is fairly trivial compared to that.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
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        says:

        It is interesting how ideology hasn’t seemed to matter very much at all since the GOP went all in on white identity politics after 2012.Report

        • Avatar George Turner
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          says:

          Trump did better than Romney among blacks, and now Trump’s approval numbers are almost four times higher (22% in early February) than they were when he beat Clinton. Only 60% of blacks strongly disapprove of him, and if Democrats nominate a blindingly white candidate like Bernie, Buttigieg, or Bloomberg, it might be that only those 60% would stay on board with the elitist Democratic party.

          Washington Examiner article about a Zogby poll.

          There are some seasons Democratic strategists who are deeply concerned that things could go all pear shaped for them.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater
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          says:

          It is interesting how ideology hasn’t seemed to matter very much at all since the GOP went all in on white identity politics after 2012.

          Ehhh, Trump realized that the GOP was top-heavy on lies and institutional BS and that kicking out its legs would flip it ass over tea-kettle. Ideology hasn’t meant squat to the party since Reagan except as a lever to up-grift.Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    It will be interesting to see who the Dem establishment settles on now that Biden is in freefall, polewise. It is sad how they were backing him, as whatever is going on with him is getting worse. My father has late stage Alzheimers, and Biden is showing a lot of similar symptoms. Not that I know what it is, but it is coming to the fore. As Density Duck once said, he is polling well because peolpe know who is is, as opposed to the other guy.

    Alsotoo:

    Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Democrat Strategist:
      “President Trump has been going very hard at African American men.”

      “Truer words have never been spoken!”
      The New York FiveReport

      • Avatar JS
        Ignored
        says:

        In addition to “brokered conventions”, the “Will black voters abandon the Democratic party” storyline comes up every election as well.

        I’m amazed anyone has the balls to apply that one to Donald Trump. Dubya, Mitt Romney, John McCain — you can at least try out that storyline with a straight face.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater
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          says:

          Trump doesn’t need very many black voters to not vote Dem for the strategy to pay off bigly. Seems like smart politics on his part.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah, the people saying that Trump will get “30 percent” of the African American vote are lying to their audience or to themselves or both.

            But he maybe perhaps could get 12% of the vote, which may be just enough to get narrow victories (again) in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin, and certainly enough to keep locked in North Carolina and Florida, which in turn almost guarantees him re-election.

            Still, it’s an uphill climb for him to get to 12%, because his numbers with African American women are still atrocious and have shown no signs of improving, as far as I know.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Bloomberg supporters, down here.

    Let’s say that this clip starts getting played by oppo researchers. Berniebros, even.

    Let’s say that I say that this statement by Bloomberg is disqualifying for him. “I cannot vote for someone like this! I would prefer to stay home or vote third party than vote for someone who believes this sort of thing!”

    What’s the counter-argument?

    All of the stuff I’m thinking of is “Trump is bad too” and gets worse from there. “See? This is a message that will resonate with White America. Everything you like about Trump, nothing you don’t!”Report

    • Avatar InMD
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      says:

      That illustrates pretty well why I wouldn’t support him. Dude represents some of the most authoritarian instincts in our culture, and I can’t think of anyone in the entire field who would be more effective with the tools he’d have at his disposal.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, but that’s an argument for why middle America would dig him. Vote Bloomberg!

        Read some praise that comes from his critics!

        “I can’t think of anyone in the entire field who would be more effective with the tools he’d have at his disposal.”

        Report

        • Avatar InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Orwellian indeed.

          Though I am curious whether the tough on crime stuff resonates quite the way it used to, especially when combined with opposition to gun rights as a core part of the agenda. Lot of 2A love, and not a lot of crime, out there in flyover country. Granted of course that perception is not always reality.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
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        says:

        Wait, you may be right. The NYT is arguing that this is a bad thing, not that it’s a good thing.

        Report

        • Avatar InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          The question I guess is whether it’s right in the jurisdictions where it will matter. He might end up turning off people in the urban core he needs for the primary with heightened sensitivity to the quite clear racism and also sending a bad message to D leaning gun owners in WI, MI, west PA, etc. he may need in the general.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
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            says:

            Good news: CNN is questioning the motives of the person who brought the audio to light. (Wait, I mixed my metaphor there.)

            Report

            • Avatar InMD
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              says:

              Motives? Like… defeating a rival candidate? If CNN didn’t exist the BernieBros would have to invent it.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
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                says:

                What’s the news here? This was exactly what Bloomberg was saying publicly back when. Everyone who was paying attention then knew about it. He has since had a Come To Jesus moment on stop and frisk, and I leave it to others whether they think he’s sincere. I don’t care that much about sincerity once you box yourself in and can’t do it again.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                says:

                What’s the news here?

                I think it has to do with the African-American vote.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
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                says:

                African-Americans already know about this, and knew it back when. If they are, nevertheless, coming around on him, about which I have no basis yet for a view, that’s a positive for Bloomberg. But the recycling of old news was played by the recycler as something negative, that needed to be broadcast, presumably because he thought it insufficiently known by people who might not like it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ll tell you this right now: I’d rather be a Biden supporter arguing about how this matters than a Bloomberg supporter talking about how this doesn’t.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
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                says:

                Small comfort. Like Hillary, Joe!’s popularity peaked the day he announced. He’s toast.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I swear that I wrote “Bernie” in there. Nope. I wrote Biden.

                Huh.

                Anyway, I’m still in this weird place where I spent most of last week wondering how in the hell I had no idea that Buttigeig was going to win in Iowa and I’m waiting to see what happens in New Hampshire (Bernie, I’m almost certain) before making guesses about Super Tuesday.

                But I am currently in denial about Bloomberg. I cannot believe that he’s being floated as a serious contender.

                What this feels like most to me is the 20 minutes in 2018 that we were arguing over whether Oprah has baggage.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
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                says:

                The best evidence that Bloomie’s a contender is that he’s getting the “attack him like he’s the frontrunner!” treatment.

                My clear-eyed practical been-around-the-block self can’t see Bloomie winning. But when I squint a bit? Ahhh, there it is.

                Personally, I *still* have a hard time believing Bernie will win the nom, and that despite having laid eyes on Nate Silver’s Dem nominee predictions. Like, I just *can’t* believe it…..Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure that I’m seeing him being attacked like he’s the frontrunner as much as he’s being attacked like he’s a former Republican mayor who supported Stop and Frisk.

                Now is he being *DEFENDED* like he’s the frontrunner?

                Yes.

                Which is weird.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                I accept that as a statement about how you feel.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I can lay my marker down here without embarrassment:

                A month ago, I thought that the big battle was going to be between Biden and Bernie. Buttigeig’s win in Iowa is little more than a weird replay not of Kerry in 2004 but Robertson in 1988.

                Sentiment is shifting to Bloomberg only because of a narrative that Biden stumbled and, by Super Tuesday, it’ll be Biden vs. Bernie again.

                And people who bring up Bloomberg will be called “trolls” for doing so.

                There. I look forward to this comment being thrown in my face for reading the situation incorrectly when I should have known that (insert what everybody knows in June 2020 here).Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                This may be right, it may be wrong. At least it’s about the actual world. I don’t think I have a basis for predictions, at least no basis warranting inflicting my predictions on others, so I will await events. For people who think they do have some basis for predictions, I promise not to point and laugh if they don’t pan out.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                says:

                There’s a phenomenon I’ve seen where someone says something like “the Iraq war is going to be a debacle!” and other people say “you can’t know that!”

                And then, when the Iraq war turns out to be a debacle, the people who said “you can’t know that” merely pivot to “well, they *COULDN’T* have known that.”

                And, on one level, I suppose they’re right.Report

              • Avatar cjcolucci
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                says:

                Take that up with them. I stand by my promise not to point and laugh.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels
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            says:

            None of this sheds any light on Bloomberg’s rise in the polls.

            He is somehow gaining traction with the AA voters. Who, more than anyone, are extremely aware of his history with Stop & Frisk.
            They don’t need the lefty Twitter guys to tell them what they already experience.

            Bloomberg befuddles guys like us for the same reason that Biden did; We can’t possibly imagine who these Democrats are who are supporting him, because they aren’t here at OT or our Twitter feeds to explain themselves.

            For the record, I don’t really like the guy, any more than my lefty brethren. But obviously a lot of other people do.Report

            • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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              says:

              Is it, in your opinion, desperation, the money, or lack of other options that is fueling Bloomberg?Report

              • Avatar Philip H
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                says:

                i’ll go with money. I have yet to click a single Youtube ad for a single candidate, but his commercials come on before every video I watch. His ads are now a staple of prime time broadcast TV down here in very Republican Mississippi. He’s one in 4 or 5 of the ads i see on facebook. Whether his history will matter or not, he’s already saturating the channels as if he has won. Which you can do when you are a billionaire.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                One of the commenters over at BJ wrote:

                “You know how at the end of Texas Chainsaw Massacre the driver of that truck slowed down just enough to allow the girl to hop on and avoid being murdered by Leatherface? Every one of the Dem candidates is like the driver of that truck for me.”

                So yeah, the desperate hunger to Crawl Over Broken Glass To Vote For Anyone But Trump is a real phenomenon.

                I recall that in the primaries leading up to the 2018 vote, at every Dem candidate forum I went to, the number one question from everyone was “What will you to to stop Trump?”
                Every other issue faded in relevance, and the winner here in my extremely blue district wasn’t the leftyest lefty, but the most seasoned pol who emphasized his ability to work the system.

                And it seems like my reaction now isn’t unique, in that the first clear voice we are hearing of “I can F*ck Up Trump’s Sh!T” is the one people latch onto.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, I don’t doubt for a moment that there are “I would crawl over broken glass to vote for the Democrat running against Trump!” voters.

                I just also believe that there are “I’d vote for a good candidate against Trump, but I’d vote 3rd party if there wasn’t” voters as well.

                On top of that, I also believe that there are “I’d vote for a good candidate but, without a good candidate, I’d just stay home” voters and, get this, I even think that there are some “I’d vote for some candidates before Trump but I’d vote for Trump before other candidates” voters out there.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course there are.

                I don’t think anyone has a good handle on what proportions these people exist in the electorate.
                Further, those proportions are almost certain to vary from now until November.

                Again, we haven’t seen Bloomberg work a room, or engage in a debate or take a punch.

                So all this could be a flash in the pan, or the start of something big.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “We haven’t seen Bloomberg work a room, or engage in a debate or take a punch.”

                That’s a hell of a basket to be considering for eggs.

                Mind if I see it as indicative of knowledge of the weakness of the other baskets?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure.
                They’re all terrible candidates, until one of them wins.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I recall that in the primaries leading up to the 2018 vote, at every Dem candidate forum I went to, the number one question from everyone was “What will you to to stop Trump?”

                That might be true of the online community, but is it true of Dem base voters in general? I recall *plenty* of punditizing (from both inside and outside The Pahty) that the 2018 candidates notably avoided getting into the Trump weeds and stuck with traditional bread and butter issues like healthcare, education, jobs, stuff like that.

                Saying that I’ll concede that Bloomberg is singularly focused on presenting himself as a “I can beat Trump” candidate, and it works in part because no one else in the party – not national Dem, not Dem Superpacs, not the DNC/CC, none of the candidates, not anyone* – is running ads about beating Trump.

                A lot of people want Trump gone. Bloomberg is the only person tapping into that desire.

                *Which is yet another reason I think the Democratic party needs a complete gutting and overhaul. The political incompetence of Party leadership is absolutely stunning.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If the “I Will F*ck Up Trump’s Sh!t” candidate starts climbing in the polls how will that change the other candidates messaging?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                He is climbing in the polls.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                ” the desperate hunger to Crawl Over Broken Glass To Vote For Anyone But Trump is a real phenomenon.”

                …said Hillary Clinton in 2016.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Anecdata point… Colorado’s primary is three weeks from today. The mail-in ballots should be in everyone’s hands by the end of this week. The state has just about as many delegates as Iowa and New Hampshire combined. Bloomberg’s TV ads during Broncos’ football games started Thanksgiving week. It certainly looks likely that a lot of the primary ballots will have been returned by the time the other candidates start advertising here. If they start advertising at all — California’s mail ballots are due the same day as Colorado’s.

                So, money, and all the things that it buys, like ads and organization.Report

            • Avatar InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              I don’t find Biden as mystifying, and can kind of see how an old insider connected to a popular former administration who no one loves but very few hate could get traction in a fractious coalition.

              Bloomberg I find a bit harder to get my mind around. The ability of some black voters to look passed S&F doesn’t completely shock me, as Bloomberg’s basic statement that black people are disproportionately impacted by violent crime is true. This of course does not justify the particular manner in which the state has approached the issue.

              It seems like he has all of the ‘is he really one of us’ baggage of Bernie but with none of the ‘but he’s been on our side when it mattered most’ goodwill.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I think part of the allure of Bloomberg is that he’s *not* perceived by the public as a product of the Democratic Party while he singularly possesses the one thing every candidate aspires to: individual power. He’s powerful, and I bet a lot of people are drawn to his candidacy because they sense that this election will be determined by pretty straight power concepts. That’s the lane Bloomberg is angling for, seems to me, with domestic policy issues (and pandering to the base, etc) taking a backseat.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                This is probably a true assessment for many. They will then profess to be shocked at his neoliberal economic policies . . .Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                My own 2 cents: that Bloomberg is not shackled to current Dem politics – retail and wholesale – is viewed by his supporters as an asset. Couple that with his cash and it’s a (potentially) Trump-defeating combination.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                He seems to be the perfect Moderate Candidate that all the pundits have been dreaming of.

                Y’know, the Chris Matthew’s types who fret over the unelectable leftwing lurch, and If Only the Dems would nominate a socially liberal, fiscally conservative non Woke white man then by golly the country would rally round him.

                Normally I just see this as the Pundit Fallacy where they just ascribe their own biases to the nation as a whole.

                But this may be a test of that theory.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, Bloomberg’s spent hundreds of millions on TV and internet ads. He’s rising in the polls because people like his message, not because he’s being fluffed by the media.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Right.
                Which may be a validation of the theory.

                Maybe the Great Moderate Centrist only lacked funding, all along.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Never underestimate the power of a compelling narrative. 🙂Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Probably true. Determination by power concepts huh? I hope for everyone’s sake he’s wrong about that.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw
                Ignored
                says:

                African Americans are nearly twice as likely to tell pollsters that violent crime, particularly gun crime (82%), is a “very important” issue, when compared to whites (47%). Which candidate has done the most about gun violence?

                Generally, African-American voters are more socially conservative than white Democrats, so I would expect them to vote for anybody but Sanders or Warren unless they have no choice.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean, it’s worth remembering how people tried to tag Hillary Clinton with “superpredators”, and how it didn’t work.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, that’s why I said it doesn’t surprise me. It’s a sentiment I am exposed to where I live. Doesn’t mean the response that concern tends to recieve from the state is the right one, but that’s what they say about democracy. We get what we ask for, good and hard.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                It is a combo pack, really. On the one hand, lower crime (!), but on the other, racial profiling(?)

                I do see that the clip has spread to NPR though.
                https://www.npr.org/2020/02/11/804795405/throw-them-against-the-wall-and-frisk-them-bloomberg-s-2015-race-talk-stirs-debaReport

    • Avatar Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      Here’s an NYT article from 2013.

      The stop-and-frisk policing tactic, which the city credits with reducing gun violence, is as polarizing as ever: 50 percent approve of it and 47 percent disapprove of it, according to the poll, which was conducted before a federal judge ruled Monday that the city’s use of the procedure violated New Yorkers’ rights by, in effect, singling out young black and Hispanic men. Approval for the tactic is lowest among black residents, 28 percent of whom support it, compared with 55 percent of whites and 59 percent of Hispanics.

      While 49 percent of New Yorkers approve of Mr. Bloomberg’s job performance, black residents do so at a significantly lower rate (38 percent) than whites (55 percent) or Hispanics (49 percent).

      Back then, 28% of black New Yorkers supported the stop-and-frisk program, and 38% approved of Bloomberg in general. I think a lot of white people have a bad habit of modeling black people as a unified hive mind. If we consider that they are, in fact, individuals capable of independent thought, it becomes less of a mystery.

      To be clear, I haven’t actually interviewed any black people on this issue. So this is speculative. But as discussed, the victims of crime committed by black perpetrators are overwhelmingly black. Conversely, the primary beneficiaries of reducing crime in black neighborhoods were…black people. In particular, middle aged, elderly, and middle-class black people got all the benefits of crime reduction, but probably weren’t stopped and frisked much. So that’s a win for them, unless their sons or grandsons got arrested.

      You know who I bet dislikes young black men playing gangster even more than white Republicans in Texas? Older black people who have to put up with their crap because they live in the same neighborhood. It’s like that Chris Rock bit about how much black people hate [black people]. That lost a bit in translation, but you know the one.

      I’m not even that old, but I know that if there were a bunch of white people in my neighborhood running around shooting each other and committing petty crimes, I wouldn’t like them much, either. And maybe I’d be a bit more tolerant of stuff like stop-and-frisk, if it got them to cut that shit out. I mean, apparently it turns out that it doesn’t actually help much and the thing that actually reduced the crime was just getting more cops on the street, but that was less clear back then.

      Anyway, that’s my highly speculative theory on why some black people like Bloomberg. Some journalist should probably find some actual black Bloomberg supporters and ask them. That would be a good story, if said journalist just played it straight and didn’t try too hard to shoehorn it into the Narrative.

      Incidentally, I’ve been stopped and frisked several times. I’m opposed to it in principle, but in practice it’s a pretty minor hassle.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        This clarifies a phenomenon I noticed wandering around and can now put my finger on.

        There are a ton of arguments for Bloomberg for President and why Bloomberg would be a solid Presidential choice that don’t make a single appeal to Trump.

        They can be summed up as: “Pretend it’s 1996 and you have a chance to vote for Bob Dole again.”

        This is one of those argument that might move a bunch of conservatively-inclined people! Bloomberg is in the ballpark of fiscally responsible, he’s tough on crime and, not only that, knows which parts of town require more heavily policing than which other ones, he care about public health, and has been the executive of what is arguably the most complicated city in the world.

        But here’s the wacky thing: I don’t see this argument moving The Populist Left. The Technocratic Left? Hey, you have to make trade-offs, right? It’s worth it to make a trade here so long as you get more back over there.

        But the more arguments that I put together in my head for Bloomberg, the more that I see that, yeah, we can’t make these arguments. At best, we’ll be called someone who is constructing a strawman. At best.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t see this argument moving The Populist Left.

          Yes. Bloomberg is white and sleeps with a woman, so he doesn’t hit any identity politics buttons. He’s also one of the evil rich, and worse, he got it via merit.

          His policies are bedrock economic sanity combined with social sanity/progressiveness. His experience shows crazy levels of competence… but the Populist Left has their heart set on repeating Venezuela’s experiment so that also works against him.

          If it matters, I’d vote for Bloomberg over Trump. Maybe also Buttigieg although that’s a harder sell.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Related: You know that super-racist 1986 drug bill that created a 50-bazillion-to-one penalty disparity between crack and powder cocaine? A while back I cross-checked the list of cosponsors of that bill against a list of black members of the 99th Congress, and it turns out that of the 21 black members of the 99th Congress, 17 were cosponsors of that super-racist bill.

        Crime was totally out of control in 1986. The violent crime rate had tripled since 1960, and the worst of it was heavily concentrated in urban black neighborhoods. Since most black people were not violent criminals, they were very keen on getting the ones who were off the streets. Crack may or may not have been a major causal factor, but the circumstantial evidence against it was pretty strong, and at the time everybody thought it was. Black people wanted that stuff out of their neighborhoods.

        The super-racist 1994 crime bill was a bit less lopsided; 12 black House members voted against it, and 24 in favor, with 2 abstaining. On a bill that was, again, super-racist. Republicans voted against it 131-46, I guess because it included the so-called assault weapons ban, but I wasn’t old enough to be paying attention back then.

        Members of the white woking class like to believe that every black person ever to exist (except Clarence Thomas, who is wrong about everything and therefore actually white) has agreed with them about every political issue. But history suggests that theorizing about the systemic causes of crime is a privilege reserved primarily for those living in places not blighted by said crime.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Liberals like to imagine that black people are uniformly leftist in economics; They aren’t;
          Conservatives like to imagine that black people are uniformly anti-police; They aren’t;

          Were it not for the raging racism , about half of black America would vote Republican.Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Bloomberg apologizes for some reason:

    Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      He seems to use “95%” as a generic intensifier. It’s not literally true that 95% of homicide pepetrators and victims are young, minority males. It’s also not literally true that he cut stop-and-frisk by 95%. It’s true that young, non-minority males commit a greatly disproportionate share of crime. It’s true that he greatly reduced stop-and-frisk. But in neither case is 95 the correct percentage to use.

      Edit: I seem to have a comment stuck in moderation. It’s from 5-10 minutes before this comment, and it has a blockquote from an NYT story.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      A challenger appears:

      Report

      • Avatar Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        So Bloomberg is looking for the Warren vote then.Report

        • Avatar George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          He also adds more chaos.

          In the Roger Stone thread, Dragonfrog said “Bloomberg isn’t a Democratic mirror image of Republican extremism. Bloomberg is a Republican.”

          I could easily see that view becoming rather widespread, and I could see it becoming compounded with the conviction that Bloomberg is just Trump cranked to eleven. From one perspective, he is everything Democrats don’t like about Republicans: Rich, entitled, condescending, out-of-touch, arrogant, power mad, pompous, big-business, Wall Street, racist, law-and-order, stop-and-frisk, dictatorial. “We couldn’t find any Getty’s, Carnegies, Hunts, or Rockefellers to sell out too, so Bloomberg will have to do!” I could also see myself arguing that a Republican billionaire will win in 2020 no matter what happens because both parties are running Republican billionaires, so it’s a guaranteed victory for team red. “Sure, Bloomberg started mollifying crazy New York Democrats when he had to, for political reasons, but once he’s President he can go back to being his true self!”

          Remember last summer when Democrats were terrified that Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, was considering a bid? I guess they didn’t want his money tainting the purity of their cause. Well, they might be having some regrets about sending him off so quickly because although he’s a highly successful businessman, at least his ideological bonafides were solid, and now Michael (R) Bloomberg has stepped in to fill the vacuum he left.

          Although I will note that Bloomberg is reportedly paying even minor “influencers” $150 to make nice comments about him, so maybe we can all make a few bucks on the side.

          Bloomberg: Strong. Successful. Experienced. He’s what America needs.

          Whew! That was so easy.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            “I could also see myself arguing that a Republican billionaire will win in 2020 no matter what happens ”

            Bloomberg, and which other one?
            Steyer? Hard to see that, but maybe.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    This is one of those things that I can see only being seen as an attack by a very, very small group of people.

    Report

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