A Few Things To Consider Before Crowning Kamala Harris

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 Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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91 Responses

  1. Chip Daniels says:

    What the Democrats have to grapple with, (And I believe Harris understands perfectly well) is that she is the embodiment of the Republican cultural grievance.

    By conventional political theory, the Republican Party should be buried in a Goldwater level landslide. But the election will be very close, and even tip in their favor due to the implacable loyalty of the base.

    So a President Biden or Harris and the Democratic party will need to use whatever means necessary to actually get the machinery of government to turn. Politically, this means turning a deaf ear to the cries of compromise since ethnic grievance is a binary, having no middle ground to meet at.Report

  2. North says:

    Yeah, it is wildly, ludicrously early to be saying anything about Harris beyond “she she has a shot at camping in the Naval Observatory for a few years.”Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Part of the problem that I see is that Harris has a handful of problems.

    I’m not saying that the problems are insurmountable. I’m not saying that the problems are worse than Trump’s problems.

    I am saying that Harris has a handful of problems. They’re not even necessarily criticisms from The Right. They’re criticisms that we saw back in 2019.

    Now, of course, it’s one thing to criticize Kamala as being insufficiently pure when you’re pushing for Warren to win the nomination and quite another when that same criticism arises in the Real Election… but the criticisms that had bite in 2019 ought to be dealt with in 2020.

    Lest they still bite.Report

    • North in reply to Jaybird says:

      It’s ameliorated slightly in 2020 by the fact that she’s Bidens’ veep, which means his policies and positions are her positions.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      Oh, yeah. I didn’t finish my thought in the middle there. My problem with Clinton’s problems weren’t necessarily that Clinton had them. It was the weird denial that she had any problems at all.

      Like, remember the Parks and Rec episode The Debate? The spin room?

      Ben: Hypothetical crisis: Leslie just tried to answer a question, but audibly farted and then threw up. Spin.
      Chris: Leslie Knope is literally overflowing with ideas for this town. And speaking about methane, have you heard about her plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions?

      Now, I understand that it’s the job of a particular breed of politician to spin on behalf of “their” candidate. Clinton collapsed at a 9/11 Memorial? That’s because she’s a strong woman who was powering through pneumonia. If Trump got sick, he’d stay in bed whining like a little girl! Not Clinton! She was strong and showed up and, yes, hit a point of exhaustion but that’s because she was strong enough to show up in the first place!

      And it’s one thing to do that when you’re paid to do it.

      Another to do that freelance and pretend that the people who say “okay, that was bad” are trying to harm “your” candidate rather than looking at the damn situation and seeing that Leslie Knope just audibly farted and then barfed when asked a question.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

        The “weird denial that she had any problems at all” is not a thing. All candidates have problems, and they get talked about, though no one remembers them when you win. Hillary’s problems were discussed in many places, though really strange s**t, unique, so far, to 2016, took up a lot of the oxygen that would normally have been devoted to the topic. People just didn’t want to engage you, here, on them — at least not enough to suit you. There were reasons for that.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

          While I can appreciate that you’re saying “no, it’s just that people weren’t engaging with you”, I can show you places where, no, we were arguing for a good long while. I was on team “she made a mistake”. Others were on team “what, are you saying she should have lied?”

          Would you like me to find you links so you can read these exchanges for yourself?

          Because I know how important it is to have evidence that you can look at with your own eyes.

          But I also know that posting links to long pieces can be a distracting tactic and I don’t want to provide you with links if you’re not going to read them.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

            They did engage you a bit, but apparently not to your satisfaction, since you’re carping about it four years later. I’ve re-read the thread, and others, and I’d be shocked if someone actually took issue with the idea that HRC made some mistakes. There was discussion of the error of taking the “blue wall” for granted, which proved to be a huge mistake that nobody (well, there’s always somebody) disputes.There was also some discussion of what, if anything, she could, truthfully, if more artfully, have said to counter Trump’s lies about, for example, saving the dying coal mining industry, but that discussion did not prove fruitful and eventually petered out. Anyone who wants to can look and come to his or her own assessment of why it was unfruitful and petered out, but I would be surprised if anyone cares now.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

              The general idea is something like “of course Clinton made mistakes!” but when you get down to the specifics “you mean like the ‘deplorables’ thing?”, you get responses like “I’m not seeing that she said anything wrong there”. When it comes to the coal miners thing, you can read the argument that we had about them here.

              Indeed, there’s always somebody.

              For what it’s worth, I think that if the Democratic Leadership and had a long discussion over the mistakes they made last time and how they want to avoid those mistakes this time, that would be good and evidence of health… even if they didn’t make those discussions public.

              But the whole high-level “nobody’s perfect, everybody makes mistakes” attitude toward the 2016 election isn’t the type of wrestling with what went wrong last time that gives me hope that they might recognize whether something is going wrong this time.

              If you want me to point to a piece of evidence that the internal Democratic Leadership has learned a thing or two since last time, though, I’ll say that it was exceptionally smart to do this. That was smart and shows that *SOMEBODY* has been paying attention. (I hope it was Biden that made that call, honestly.)Report

  4. Marchmaine says:

    All cogent points… but honestly, the only thing that really matters is this:

    “The short, two year window of Democratic dominance made the ACA the biggest achievement of the Obama presidency, since most of the rest of it had an majority opposition party to blunt policy efforts. …[snip]…
    even if Democrats win it all in 2020 — once again looms large and could make the Biden/Harris window of opportunity not four or eight years, but practically a matter of months.”

    What’s ‘the one thing’ Biden/Harris do in 2021/22?

    That’s both a rhetorical and actual question… let’s assume its a blow-out… what are they going to do with that window? Police Reform? Criminal Justice Reform? M4A? UBI? Immigration Reform? And will the thing they do make people think they spent their political capital wisely and well?

    This is the week of the DNC, I assume we’ll get the “plan” … so my question isn’t snark… what are they going to do when they get the levers of power? Beating Trump alone won’t get them past 2022.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I once heard a trope (mostly true) that a congressman has 14-18 months to do real work, then its all campaign all the time. So your diagnosis of the window is astute.

      I think the Biden-Harris Administration would need to do 3 things –

      1. Shore up the ACA buy not only rolling back all the Republican rollbacks but also moving toward single payer.

      2. Federal level police reform, including eliminating QA.

      3. Find the most impactful part of the Green New Deal (i.e. most well paying jobs portion with the greatest environmental impact) and make it the center piece of their economic program.

      Other things will be easy – legalizing marijuana would be a great way to raise taxes without raising taxes, plus accomplishing a LOT of popular criminal justice reform. Immigration reform as a legislative approach won’t fly – but how you manage the agencies will achieve the same effect.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

        My suggestion:
        Voting rights and accessibility; Vote by mail, reconstruction of the USPS etc.

        Nothing matters more than being able to hold free and fair elections in 2022 and beyond.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Dude… is this so meta that I don’t get it?

          Future us: The one thing the Biden presidency did? Postal Reform.

          Ok, Colonial.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

            What’s meta about it?
            There are plenty of things a Biden administration and unified Congress can do to make voting in 2022 and 2024 easier.

            And when voting is easier, Democrats tend to win more.

            This seems like Politics 101.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Heh, this is why Mitch McConnel eats your lunch then drives to your house and has your Mom make him a sammich.

              More seriously… if my original comment is correct (and maybe it’s not!) I’m suggesting you get one bite at the apple… one piece of signature legislation that’s going to usher in the Kamala Harris 12-16-yr reign of technocratic benevolence – which is the premise of this piece and the piece it’s critiquing.

              If that signature legislation is Postal Reform?… then I’m suggesting that the people who pinned their hopes on Biden/Harris to make their lives better will beat the Democratic Party with all the spare mailboxes piled up in Indiana. DC will get statehood and elect 2 Republican Senators.

              That’s Politics 101.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Postal improvements. Automatic voter registration. Nationwide vote by mail. Early voting. Voting Day a federal holiday. Aggressive Justice Dept prosecution of voter suppression and gerrymandering.
                Investigation and prosecution of foreign election meddling.

                What these are doing is pushing back against the two year window by making victory in 2022 and 2024 more likely.

                When Trump says that easier voting means no more Republicans will be elected, believe him.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Also too- An election that results in a Democratic trifecta at the federal level will likely result in Democratic state legislative victories.

                For instance, flipping the legislatures of PA or AZ or even Texas means the federal push for voting rights can be amplified by state level machinery which narrows the field that Republicans have to operate in.

                Which becomes a virtuous cycle- making it easier to vote in flipped states makes it more likely to swing Democratic in 2024

                Of course, there are a lot of cards that need to fall just the right way for all this to happen. But the point here is that voting rights is a critical issue, which is why Republicans have been so deeply invested in blocking it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                At least it’s more realistic than “they’ll pass a law that will make it easier to go to the dentist”.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Given power for any length of time would result in Team Blue…
                1) Ripping itself apart because of its internal contradictions
                2) Getting kicked out because of overreach.
                3) People discovering that their solution(s) don’t work while the them out of power promises Utopia.

                A ton of this instability is democracy math.
                The gov has 100 units of some resource and there are 3 equal interest groups.

                It’s ALWAYS possible for the group out of power to promise the majority a “better” split of that resource so they’ll benefit.

                Start with it split evenly. ABC all get 33 units.
                Next promise a 50/50 split to AB while C gets zero.
                Next promise a 75/25 split to AC while B gets zero.
                Next promise an even split.

                If the gov plays Santa Claus and redistributes resources, then expect a lack of stability of government.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Postal improvements. Automatic voter registration. Nationwide vote by mail. Early voting. Voting Day a federal holiday. Aggressive Justice Dept prosecution of voter suppression and gerrymandering.

                I have to second every single one of these (Well, gerrymandering isn’t ‘illegal’, and I doubt the courts will allow much medding in that, but other than that.)

                But what I’d actually like to see is my ‘ID of last resort’ proposal. As in, anyone who does not have current ID (Well, I guess they could get it anyway.) can contact the US government and get some sort of advice on how to collect documentation of who they are, which could be neighbors and whatnot. And there will be a hearing scheduled.

                A real hearing, in front of a lower-court judge. With witnesses (Or at least testimony from them) saying ‘I knew this person’s mother, I remember hearing about their birth, I met them as a child and knew them as they got older, etc’.

                Anyone who thinks this person _isn’t_ this person is also free to weigh in at the hearing, somehow, I haven’t figure out exact details. It’s a public hearing.

                Based on the preponderance of evidence, the US government then says ‘You are this person.’ (or not), and issues them an official ID. (Even non-citizens could get the ID, it would just say non-citizen. Proving who you are doesn’t prove you’re a citizen, but…showing who you were would often prove you were born in the US, which does.)

                States are required to accept this ID as proof of who someone is when voting.

                And what this does is seriously undercut a lot of voter suppression in ways that Republicans cannot plausible fight. It doesn’t matter if they get back in control if people now have photo IDs.Report

              • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

                Even Guatemalans and Nicaraguans have ID. George Floyd had an ID. Every person in America who smokes or drinks has an ID. Kids under 21 often have several. In my state an official picture ID is available to everyone over age 14 for just $12.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

                In my state an official picture ID is available to everyone over age 14 for just $12.

                …everyone who has an accessible birth certificate, and every record of name change, and whose isn’t spelled or anglicized differently, and can meet the other requirements. (We will ignore the fact that a $12 poll tax is still a poll tax.)

                So you shouldn’t actually object to this, then? Because this would only be for people weren’t able to get an ID from their state, because they didn’t have documentation.

                If everyone who wants one can already get one, then it’s no expense at all and we should just do it and shut up the left, right?

                Although we do know that _a few_ people _have_ been denied, because they have literally sued over this. Sued over the fact that for decades the state accepted who they are,and accepts it in any other situation, but will not let them vote because all copies of their birth certificate were lost years ago.

                But…that’s the left searching for people in _very unique_ circumstances to present in lawsuits, right? And maybe it’s only just like ten people in the entire country. So…why not solve their problem at the Federal level and shut everyone up?

                Oh, and before you say ‘Inventing new form of ID is expensive, and not worth it for just a few people’…the Federal government could just give the people _passports_ (That is, the passport card, not the book.), which already exist, and are already acceptable by law as ID.

                So there you go. Please state your objection to the Federal governing saying: For those _incredible rare_ people (At least, claimed to be incredible rare by conservatives) who cannot meet their state’s ID burden because the documentation has been lost, the US government will allow them to have a free hearing on their identity and make a official decision on it, issuing them a passport card that the person can use to get state ID…or just use as-is.

                Do you have an objection to this policy?Report

              • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

                I think we already do that. Everybody can get a valid ID or there would be adults out there with no way to buy beer and smokes, or get an EBT card, or access other government services, and the number of those seems to be just about zero.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to George Turner says:

                Everybody who can get to the right place, during the proper hours, and can produce the appropriate pieces of paper.

                The 90-year-old lady who lacks a birth certificate can’t do it. Having a program in every state with a phone number where someone who believes they are entitled to vote but lacks the requisite ID can call (or their child or neighbor can call) and the state will take it from there and bend over backwards to help them get that ID. With open records about who called and what work was done and how it was resolved. The PR value alone should be worth it to conservatives.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I note that when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill assistance was being paid out, there were a remarkable number of young and middle-aged people in south Louisiana who existed entirely outside the paper system for establishing eligibility. No birth certificates, no drivers license, no payroll records, nothing. From the perspective of the various levels of government they were non-existent.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

                the number of those seems to be just about zero.

                People who can’t do this are always the legal plaintiff in cases about photo ID laws. Various places like the ACLU find those people, and use them to sue the state governments over requirements.

                So the number is clearly not ‘zero’. All you have to do is look at the number of cases about this. The question is, is the number who fall through the crack in the dozens, or the tens of thousands?

                If the number is as low as you think it is, then this proposal harms nothing. The US government is basically out the cost of a dozen passport cards(1), and as a bonus, there no longer are state photo ID lawsuits cluttering things up, because there’s a Federal remedy already existing, and the state can say ‘Go get your Federal ID’, and stop dealing with the fringe cases at all. On average, this would probably save money…just one court case is going to be more expensive than some hearings.

                Of course, it’s not just a few dozen people, and would actually be slightly expensive…but you are required by Conservative Law to pretend it’s basically no one, so it wouldn’t cost anything. So again, I ask:

                What is your objection to this? To the Federal government stepping in and solving the incredibly rare circumstances of people who cannot get ID to vote?

                1) We shouldn’t be using a passport there, and it would saner if the hearings just issued a court order to the state telling them to issue the ID, but…that sounds like something states could challenge, and God knows what nonsense the Supreme Courts might invent there. Whereas a state can’t legally challenge a passport as ID, not only is that a Federal law, but that’s usually explicitly included under state law as an accepted form of ID.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              And when voting is easier, Democrats tend to win more.

              Democrats claim that Republicans are the stupid party. Republicans claim that Democrats are the stupid party. Who’s right? I don’t know, because they both look pretty stupid from where I’m sitting, but I can’t help noticing that there’s a strong bipartisan consensus that making it easier for the least intelligent and conscientious people to vote will help the Democrats rather than the Republicans.Report

        • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Trump is screwing up the postal system! We need to vote by mail!

          internal logic and consistency.Report

          • greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

            1st We need to vote by mail.

            2nd Trumps loudly denigrates voting by mail then starts screwing the PS.

            logic and timingReport

            • Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

              We need something right this minute that can be screwed with by the opposing party! Eve thought a union supporting our candidate is in charge of the procedure!

              Yeah, that’s logical…

              And by the way, correlation is not causation. But, long before that, we have heard about the numbers of F-ed up postal and gov’t mistakes in the various vote-by-mail schemes. Couple that with ballot harvesting and you get your election in doubt stories from the other side. Let’s just go back to in-person voting, at least until there is some sort of consensus and unified direction in the country. Keep both sides from fucking up.

              Sorry, but the newest conspiracy story is as bad as the piss hookers. And when you mix it with TRUMPPPP!!!1!! it just gets weaker.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

                At this point, you are arguing with Donald Trump more than anyone here.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No, I am arguing with the two of you. But nice try, attempting to change the subject.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Aaron David says:

                Some of the recent US attempts at vote-by-mail have had greater than 20% error rates. 20% of ballots in a New York election were simply tossed out.

                Neither party will accept a hotly contested election where 20% of the ballots are dumped in the trash. That means more chaos, strife, and perhaps a brutal civil war that pits all the gun owners against all the non-gun owners. I’m pretty sure the NRA will win that one.Report

              • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

                Of those that were mailed in by Manhattan voters, 8,939 ballots were invalidated for a variety of reasons by the staff review. That represents a 19 percent rejection rate. The leading cause of invalidations appears to be a failure by the voter to have signed and dated the ballot, according to several campaigns who have been monitoring the process.

                Thats not a failure of the balloting process or the post office. Its also not fraud. NIce try though.


              • Marchmaine in reply to Philip H says:

                Sure… but wondering what 19% user error will do to the ‘legitimacy’ of the election.

                If Biden wins? If Trump wins?

                What does either team do with 19% good faith attempted votes discarded?

                Might be worse than fraud, when you think on it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Who is going to find this persuasive, the voters who have been voting by mail for decades without any concern about “legitimacy” or “fraud”? The citizens of the five states that currently are all-mail voting?

                Up until very recently, it was received wisdom that the elderly, military and rural residents, mostly Republicans, were the most frequent mail-in voters.

                But now, suddenly, mailed ballots are some newfangled dangerous perversion which threatens the republic.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Received wisdom.

                In other words, they were told that with zero proof, and are just expected to believe it.Report

              • J_A in reply to Aaron David says:

                There was a time were you. @Aaron_David, believed, with zero proof, that 58,000 illegal immigrants (which, fun fact, included me, personally) had voted in Texas, and that 95,000 had registered illegally.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to J_A says:

                No, I was posting an article that described it, along with many others that talked about illegal voting. That does not indicate belief, only a search for additional information. And, as that case was refuted (by you), we moved on.

                But, George and Phillip above show an instace where 20% of ballots had issues, rendering them invalid. Chip is saying that it had been received wisdom that there were no problems when mailing in votes, but now, all-of-a-sudden(!) there are people saying there might be issues. Well, we are seeing an issue right there! How many other issues are there? We don’t know at this time.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Just responding to Philip H’s quotation:

                “Of those that were mailed in by Manhattan voters, 8,939 ballots were invalidated for a variety of reasons by the staff review. That represents a 19 percent rejection rate. The leading cause of invalidations appears to be a failure by the voter to have signed and dated the ballot, according to several campaigns who have been monitoring the process.

                …in Manhattan. Did that happen, yes or no?

                In a system that is *not* designed for Mail-in votes… with voters who mostly don’t vote by mail… will a drastic up-tick in Vote-by-Mail go

                a) Swimmingly, systems are easy.
                b) You have to understand, this is more of a 1st time test run… we’ll get it right eventually
                c) We’ll know in our hearts who really won

                I’m neither pro- nor con-Vote-by-mail… I’d like all of us to state in advance what level of Vote-by-Mail FAILURE is acceptable when
                a) Biden wins
                b) Trump wins

                Like, let’s say today, right now… all unsigned ballots are counted or not.

                All ballots without post marks (and not collected in special drop boxes) are counted or not

                All ballots with Post Marks *after* the official deadline are counted or not.

                Unsigned after the deadline ballots? Unsigned without a postmark not from a drop box?

                Is and invalid-but-good faith ballot something we can define or something we’ll know when we see it?

                Let’s assume it’s not 20% user error… is 10% ok? What about 5%? It’s the “you have to understand” argument that I’m looking to preempt when one side wins.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine says:

                PS… this is the Michael Cain observation that it took years of planning and effort to get vote by mail stable just in CO. He’s warned us that vote-by-mail is a complex system that isn’t going to happen because we thing its a good idea for 2020.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Unsigned ballots are not counted.

                Ballots without postmarks are not counted.

                Ballots after the deadline are not counted.

                Good faith is a wonderful thing, but the voters in the United States do not have it at this point. On either side of the political aisle. Election integrity needs to be established, not assumed.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Marchmaine says:

                It’s the “you have to understand” argument that I’m looking to preempt when one side wins.

                Good luck with that.

                I think by the time of the general the dismissed rate needs to be in line with normal dismissal rates – and yes even paper and digital ballots used day of get tossed for various completely legal reasons. What you see in Manhattan is indeed a system failure in that instructions and voter education wasn’t ramped up to meet the circumstances. There was a flawed assumption that people simply knew what to do, would read all the directions and then do it 100% right. Clearly that was a fail, and if it persists that’s on election officials no matter who wins.

                As to post offices not canceling ballot they don’t need to cancel – again that’s almost something to be expected, and it shows that some election rules need to be updated, and that now overburdened post offices need some help. Part of the beauty of the primaries is they always uncover issues that can be solved by the general if we are arsed to solve them.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                This is verging on comical, the attempt to make such a mundane and routine thing as absentee balloting into some bizarre invention.

                The fact that New York had established rules for which valid and for what reasons, and enforced them with a clear and transparent process reinforces the legitimacy of the process.

                What percentage of damaged, illegible, or incomplete in-person ballots occur? In 2000, it turned out to be quite a few!
                And why don’t we hear all sorts of handwringing and fearmongering about them?

                But this is all just dancing around the fact that Republicans don’t want full participation by citizens in the vote.

                Because again, the higher the voter participation, the more Democrats win.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I hope Biden wins by at least 10%… because you folks are not prepared for this.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                “You folks”…meaning Republicans?

                I’m not the first one to note that as Republicans become increasingly aware of how unpopular their ideas are, they become increasingly hostile to democracy.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s interesting how you can accuse the other side of “hostile to democracy” in one post and support the idea of Court Packing and arresting of political opponents with another.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Marchmaine: Team Blue really needs to figure out how to hit the curve ball or they’re gonna keep striking out with runners in scoring position.

                Chip: Oh yeah? Well, Team Red cheated by filling out their rotation with great curve ball throwers and no one likes them anyway.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                Those Belarus protesters really need to get their act together.
                No wonder they keep losing elections.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                Heh… might be simpler than that: what’s the strike zone?

                Aaron David gave a Strike Zone.
                Chip… “you people…”

                Don’t take my word for it… here’s NPR going, “uh, guys…” from yesterday.

                At least the overconfidence of 2020 is totally different than the overconfidence of 2016.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Neither side is going accept a close result with mail-in ballots. If Trump wins a state by x%, that means x+1% of Democrat mail-in ballots were thrown away by Trump-supporting postal workers, or x+1% were rejected by wildly partisan and corrupt election officials, or x+1% were fraudulent ballots cranked out by Trump supporters.

                The reverse is also true, for any value of x less than probably 10%.

                In ALL states where the winner changes after election night, due to mail-in vote counting, the election will be considered “stolen” through ballot fraud, as the initially losing side diligently kept printing more and more fake ballots until they got the outcome they wanted.

                And even in states where the validity of the mail-in-ballot isn’t directly challenged, the losing side will point out how mail-in-voting unfairly disenfranchises their side, with disparate impacts one whatever group can be claimed to suffer disparate impacts, such as the elderly, rural people, urban people, minorities, poor people who don’t have mailboxes, or more affluent people whose more exposed street-side mailboxes all got robbed.

                And it doesn’t have to happen everywhere, just a few isolate spots where the county or precinct vote counters acted with reckless abandon to generate a fraudulent vote. My home town used to be run by a pair of corrupt officials (the Ball brothers). They ran the liquor, gambling, and prostitution, and counted all the votes. A Republican once ran against them and was irked to lose something like 5,000 to 0, swearing that he’d voted for himself so he should’ve gotten more than zero.

                So what we’ll likely be left with as an election where the losing side does not accept the outcome. Democrats went all in on that in 2016, illegally wire-tapping the Trump campaign, then illegally trying to sabotage his administration or remove him from office, then impeaching him, calling him an “illegitimate President” the whole time.

                They consider that a winning political strategy, and if Trump wins again there’s already a 100% chance they’ll stick with that strategy. The trouble is that it’s making Democrat parts of the country ungovernable, even by Democrats. They’re also war-gaming the idea of having Joe Biden encouraging Western states to secede. They want a civil war, and of course the Republicans would delight in giving them one that will go worse for them than the last time they tried it.

                Mail-in voting makes all of that not just possible, but likely.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Aaron David says:

                Among the 27 countries in the European Union, 63% ban mail-in voting unless living abroad and
                another 22% require a photo-ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Twenty-two percent ban the practice
                even for those who live abroad.
                There are sixteen countries in the rest of Europe, and they are even more restrictive. Every
                single one bans mail-in voting for those living in the country or require a photo-ID to obtain a
                mail-in ballot. Sixty-three percent don’t allow mail-in ballots even for citizens living outside of
                the country.
                Are all of these countries, socialist and non-socialist alike, Western and Eastern European,
                developed and undeveloped, acting “without evidence”? It is not as though people in these
                countries haven’t heard the same arguments about the importance of ease of voting. Or about
                how photo ID requirements will supposedly, as one professor in the UK explained, “lead to
                people not being able to vote.”3
                These countries have learned the hard way about what happens when mail-in ballots aren’t
                secured. They have also discovered how hard it is to detect vote buying when both those
                buying and selling the votes have an incentive to hide the exchange.
                France banned mail-in voting in 1975 because of massive fraud in Corsica, where postal ballots
                were stolen or bought and voters cast multiple votes. Mail-in ballots were used to cast the
                votes of dead people.4
                The United Kingdom, which allows postal voting, has had some notable mail-in ballot fraud
                cases. Prior to recent photo ID requirements, six Labour Party councilors in Birmingham won
                office after what the judge described as a “massive, systematic and organised” postal voting fraud campaign.5 The fraud was apparently carried out with the full knowledge and cooperation
                of the local Labour party. There was “widespread theft” of postal votes (possibly around 40,000
                ballots) in areas with large Muslim populations because Labour members were worried that the
                Iraq war would spur these voters to oppose the incumbent government.
                In 1991, Mexico’s 1991 election mandated voter photo-IDs and banned absentee ballots. The
                then-governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had long used fraud and intimidation
                with mail-in ballots to win elections.6 Only in 2006 were absentee ballots again allowed, and
                then only for those living abroad who requested them at least six months in advance.7
                If concern about vote fraud with mail-in ballots is delusional, it is a delusion that is shared by
                most of the world. Even the countries that allow mail-in ballots have protections, such as
                government-issued photo-IDs. But Americans are constantly assured even this step is
                completely unnecessary. Without basic precautions, our elections are on course to become the
                laughing stock of the developed world.


              • George Turner in reply to Aaron David says:

                Here’s another little problem with mail in voting.

                PHOTO: Rioters destroy Minneapolis Post Office 55406

                Worse than self-disenfranchising, how are people going to get their checks?Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Police reform if it was held this week. Wait 6 months and it may be a dead issue.

      I’d love Immigration Reform.
      I’d like Ethics Reform.
      I’d be cool with Police Reform.

      M4A is seriously unlikely. The amount of political pain would be too high to do it right.

      Criminal Justice Reform is dull.

      UBI would run into “math” issues unless you’re planning on eating the rich or making it so small it won’t do much.

      My expectation is we have some minor handouts and pretend to do something about Green stuff. If Covid is still around it might be major handouts.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Dark Matter says:

        Yeah… I was just throwing out a few hot-buttons… I don’t think there’s any chance this is the team for M4A.

        It’s certainly possible that they won’t campaign on anything in particular… they don’t *have* to to beat Trump. But really it becomes a question of what they do in the first 2-years that will set-up Harris/Biden for the next cycle. Doing nothing with all 3 branches of Govt. (the hypothetical here) would be a thing, but not a likely thing. So I’m wondering what does Biden/Harris build their empire upon?

        I honestly don’t know at this point. But I kinda take issue with a prevailing Democratic notion that votes/voters are lifestyle choices. That’s going to end in a very surprising fashion (for some).Report

        • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

          The simple, best, and most likely answer is infrastructure. Then the sales pitch is ‘The GOP got everyone laid off, we got them back to work!’ Or some such thing.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

            Sure… we’re about due for Infrastructure Week.

            My follow-up would be… good idea, what infrastructure are we building? Roads and Bridges? Meh. Green Energy? Ok… does the math work? Cities in the Plains with high-speed Internet? Like China, but better?

            What’s that… not building anything, just a “Guaranteed Job” program? Run. For. The. Hills.

            But in principle… yes, America could use a building program that isn’t a proto-work-camp and doesn’t cater to the Big 5 (10) Cities. I’m all for it… in principle.Report

            • J_A in reply to Marchmaine says:

              Funny thing about Green Energy: It creates loads of very high paying jobs.

              People engaged in building wind farms make between 50-150 dollars per hour. And the USA has about 25,000 MW of wind farms under construction right now – enough to cover 1/3 of Texas peak demand.

              The other curious thing about wind energy jobs, is overwhelmingly white. Probably 90% of the wind plants construction force is white, perhaps 8% Hispanic, 2% Native American, and I have only met one black worker (actually born in Houston). About 5% are women.

              Green energy could provide the white working class [men] abundant, high paying, jobs, relatively unthreatened by automation in the short-mid term. The main thing standing in the way of these jobs is the Republican Party submission to their donors in the extractive industriesReport

            • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

              No matter the signature piece, if it is in fact or is perceived as a boondoggle or in service of some narrow pet political cause it won’t work. But if the name of the game is ‘do something to justify electing Kamala in 2024’ I think it’s the hardest one to screw up. The challenge as always with party D is the irresistible urge to pander.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

        M4A is seriously unlikely.

        That probably is unlikely in first the two years, but I can see the Democrats fixing the dumbass problem caused by states not expanding Medicaid in some manner. The obvious way would be to extend the Marketplace subsidies downward, and they’ll probably do that.

        Although, honestly, if we’re going to manually provide health insurance to some states entirely at the Federal government’s cost, it’s completely unfair to keep charging states that _do_ pay a tiny portion of the cost, especially since we gave large discounts to states that were hesitant.

        We really need to stop _rewarding_ states that don’t want to spend money on the health of their citizens…if the Federal government wants something done, don’t keep bribing states to do it. Just do it.

        At minimum, we should stop making the _responsible_ states continue to pay into Medicaid. By which I mean, stop making any states pay in.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

          You mean like Jonathan Gruber said they should do back in 2012?Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            No, I do not. He wasn’t even _talking_ about Medicaid, he was talking about the exchanges.

            I am saying that states should no longer be asked to pay a portion of Medicaid.

            The way we built everything, and will be made worse if we extend the subsidies downward, is that blue states that actually do what the Fed _want_ and help their citizens get health care end up paying a lot more than red states that don’t do that. The longer a state holds out, the better we make the deal for them.

            This is obviously stupid.

            And now we are a pretty historical point where states are literally out of money, whereas the Federal government can print more (And just needs to embrance MMT and start doing that.), it seems a perfect time to say: We are ending any requirements for states to pay anything,a nd will cover the costs ourselves. We will slowly be phasing out the currently state-run programs and putting them under our control, but that will take a while, until then, the state (or us if they want) can continue to run the program as before, but we will be providing all funding.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter says:

        (Criminal Justice Reform is dull?!?!?)Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

          Crime “X” should have “Y” years rather than “Z” years.
          More money should be given to public defenders.

          Anything else? Maybe hire more Black lawyers?

          I’d like ending the war on drugs but I don’t think it’s included.Report

  5. Aaron David says:

    “Biden has to pick a Black woman!”

    “Biden has to pick a Black woman!”

    “Biden has to pick a Black woman!”

    That was all we heard for the last few months regarding his possible VP selection, and in the end, we have been presented with a person who could only pull 2% in the Democrat primaries for this very contest (7% in her own state.) And that isn’t very inspiring. She wasn’t a politician who cut her chops on tough electoral contests in a battleground state. And that isn’t very comforting. The state she represents is a given in electoral votes for the Dems. That isn’t very encouraging. She has a weak record as a Senator and a controversial record as a state Attorney General. That isn’t very helpful.

    Was she picked solely because of her color and gender? If so, that, while both racist and sexist, doesn’t lend much support to the idea that she would be any sort of good politician, let alone a possible POTUS. My guess is that she is the result of internal squabbling among the party insiders.

    And that is a bad sign.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Aaron David says:

      Another problem with “Biden has to pick a Black woman!” is that members of the black community said “What?! She’s NOT black! She’s an Indian-American!” Which is in fact how the press celebrated her Senate victory, cooing over the first Indian-American woman ever elected to the US Senate. They never said she was black, and I didn’t even suspect she was black till she made it an issue in the Democratic primaries.

      So the other day I watched two hours of Young Pharaoh discussing his views of Kamala, from what I must assume is a strong black nationalist viewpoint. What I learned was, paraphrasing, “She’s NOT black! On her father’s side of the family are huge slave owners, and her mother’s side are elite Dravidians!”

      Her dad’s family owned over a hundred slaves, included two named “Sambo” at the same time. They also owned a Caesar, Hannibal, and Cicero. Her mother’s side of the family were racial elites who spent over a thousand years brutally oppressing people based purely on skin color, torturing, killing, and dismembering any blacks who dared recite from the Vedas.

      Young Pharaoh went on to explain that white people stole the swastika from Ethiopians, and explained how Hindus have deep ties to child-sacrificing Satanist Aleister Crowley, and of course to the German guy with the funny mustache, and that their whole system is based on a hierarchy of human worth based on skin color, with blacks of course at the bottom, comparable to frogs and turtles.

      So, there’s that. Then he went over Kamala’s history of gleefully locking up thousands of black people, even ones she knew were innocent, and even fighting the use of DNA evidence to free wrongly convicted blacks. I think we’re all pretty aware that her record as a DA wasn’t not exactly “woke”.

      But onward, because I risked potential brain damage for two hours to bring you folks this vital information.

      So he showed that Kamala Harris doesn’t even like black people. She married a Jewish Hollywood entertainment attorney (one whose skin is the same shade as hers, because she’s NOT black). But perhaps she would share concerns over her kids growing up in a racist society? Well, not likely, because her kids are Swedish Jewish Americans (like Scarlet Johansson), and blindingly white.

      But he saved the best for last. His big problem with Kamala is that she supports pedophilia. Pedophiles got her elected DA, and very likely got her elected as California’s AG. Watching this part of the tirade, I though”That’s just crazy talk!” Sadly, it wasn’t.

      The previous San Francisco DA, who she defeated, was building a strong case against 40 Catholic priests, and had hundreds of pages of internal Church documents, along with victim statements. During the campaign, the Church’s supporters (and presumably all the SF area pedophiles) threw lots of money into her campaign, so she won the election. Then she deep-sixed all those cases, and they’ve never since seen the light of day. Many of the priests have probably since died of old age. The previous DA has talked about it at some length in newspapers and in interviews on Fox News and elsewhere. Interesting, all the other fifty largest cities in the US prosecuted priests during the Catholic child abuse scandal. Every single one of them – except San Francisco under Kamala Harris, even though the previous DA left her 40 open cases of priest sexual abuse of minors.

      So then she wins election to become California’s Attorney General. There her responsibility extended to Harvey Weinstein and all those Hollywood pedophile rings. How many pedophiles did she prosecute? Zero. Zero pedophiles in Hollywood.

      And then we have Joe, notorious sniffer of little girls, accused sexual predator, and definitely considered to be “pedophile adjacent”. Who does he pick as VP? The one person who absolutely will not go against or expose any pedophiles.

      Young Pharaoh took it even further, showing how Kamala’s sister went to pizza parties with the Podesta brothers (as confirmed by e-mails), and she worked directly for Hillary Clinton, whose husband of course kept flying down to Epstein’s pedophile island. Combined with Kamala’s stance on legalizing sex workers, most of whom will of course be underage girls, and Pharaoh was ready to blow his top. He disagrees with white people on just about everything, but is willing to share land with them, but on pedophilia, he’s right there with right-wing death beasts, ready to burn them at the stake. He’s convinced that Biden and Harris, and their backers, want to have sex with his babies.

      So in sum, he made it quite clear that Kamala is NOT black and was picked by racist Democrats to further the oppression of black people, by once again conning them into voting for a non-American person who is a Trojan Horse for the black community. He further made clear that she hates black people, wants to lock them all up, and wants pedophiles to rape and murder black children. And it is for these reasons that Young Pharaoh and his 20,000 viewers (on that live stream), will certainly not support Biden this fall. Somehow I don’t think he can be swayed back into the Democratic fold by citing the ACA, economic issues, or some ad about drowning polar bears.Report

      • You know the best thing about white Republicans? The way they have their finger on the pulse of the black community.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          One of his complaints is that white Democrats revile and destroy the black community while pretending to be its friend.

          The white liberals, who have been posing as our friends, have failed us. The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man.

          White liberals are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the black man as our ‘friend’ to get our sympathy, our allegiance and our minds. The white liberal attempts to use us politically against white conservatives, so that anything the black man does is never for his own good, never for his advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal.

          – Malcolm X

          Young Pharaoh says Malcolm X was the most righteous man the black community ever produced.Report

        • Aaron David in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          Funny, I thought the Dems did.

          Looking at Minn. they still do.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

        First…why are you thinking what Young Pharaoh says has any bearing on anything?

        Secondly…Young Pharaoh stopped supporting Democrats quite a while back, and is also, more importantly, a professional paranoid conspiracy theoriest.

        You trying to bring him into the election as a serious…a serious anything that vague relevant to anything is sorta like trying to bring in Alex Jones, because that’s who he basically is. Actually, he’s crazier than Alex Jones, which is a hell of a thing to say. Young Pharaoh has literally made videos on how to spot shapeshifter…and yes, he mean real shapeshifters, that’s not a metaphor.

        And a good portion of his viewers _are people like you_, people tuning in to see what thing he says next.

        The people who take him seriously are a) not very likely to vote,b) almost certainly think _everyone_ in the government is part of some conspiracy, or c) people who wander over from q-anon (Because that the conspiracy theories he’s just wandered into, and they’ve gotten curious.) and already not voting for Democrats.

        Her dad’s family owned over a hundred slaves, included two named “Sambo” at the same time. They also owned a Caesar, Hannibal, and Cicero

        Republicans are invited to continue to make really loud noises about it. Really really really loud noises about how her great-great-great-great-great grandfather might have owned slaves. You keep talking about that.

        I’m sure at _some_ point you guys will figure out your misstep there, but it’s pretty funny watching it.

        Sadly, no mainstream Republican has take the bait, but luckily, Trump is so undisciplined he probably will at some point.Report

        • Philip H in reply to DavidTC says:

          You seem to forget that George is something of an expert on paranoid conspiracy theorists.Report

        • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

          Yep. Only blacks who support Biden are “authentically” black. I’m sure Young Pharaoh represents hardly anyone at all. Yet a third of blacks say the selection of Kamala Harris makes them less likely to vote for Biden. As they say, Kamala Harris has the black vote all locked up. ^_^

          Kamala herself used black convicts for forced labor when California prisons needed workers. It’s who she is. She laughed about sending a thousand people to prison for weed. She was a gleeful enforcer of Biden’s mass incarceration policy – except for pedophiles. Those got a stay-out-of-jail card.

          Perhaps that’s part of the reason that Harris was polling worse than Elizabeth Warren, a fake Indian, among the black community in early primary states.Report

    • She’s no Mike Pence.Report

  6. Burt Likko says:

    I’m disinclined to believe the prediction of 12-16 years of Harrisian political ascendancy because it’s been a long time since we’ve had such a thing. Debatably the Reagan-Bush Administrations from 1981-1992, but really before that you’re going back to FDR-Truman, 1933-1952. Which can’t happen anymore 5hanks to the 25th Amendment. Alsotoo, the world moves much faster in the 21st century than it did in the 20th. Even Reagan-Bush faced some very serious political challenges in recessions and scandals. It’s just really really hard to stay on top for that long.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Harris’s political ascendancy didn’t manage to last from the Kavanaugh hearing all the way to the Iowa caucus. It was all over in about 15 months. It turns out that the more people see her, the more they don’t like her.Report

    • Remember that Karl Rove was building the permanent Republican majority, using wedge issues like SSM and defeating terrorism abroad. It lasted about 4 years.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        I mean, in reality, even if I would’ve hated it, if the Iraq War hadn’t gone totally off the rails (ie. they hadn’t disbanded the Iraqi Army, etc.), not tried to privatize Social Security, not put a moron in charge of FEMA, and not stayed stuck in 2004 on social issues forever, while also going virulently anti-immigrant, a somewhat moderately conservative party on social issues, that’s pro-immigration, and moderately conservative on economic issues could’ve continued to win.

        Now, you can argue all of the above is an inherent part of Republican Party governance, but I don’t completely buy that.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Jesse says:

          I think all those Republican politicians are supporting Joe Biden. As Will Rogers once observed, if the flies are circling you’ve found the outhouse.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Jesse says:

          …a somewhat moderately conservative party on social issues, that’s pro-immigration, and moderately conservative on economic issues could’ve continued to win.

          Yes, but Rove was talking about the Republican party.Report

  7. George Turner says:

    Uh oh. There Spectator made a brilliant suggestion about people Trump should pardon next.

    The chief one I see is to pardon blacks in California who were wrongly convicted and sentenced to harsh jail terms for minor drug offences by *drum roll* Kamala Harris. He can invite their families into the Oval Office and make a huge deal out of it, too, over and over, all the way until November. He can even get Kim Kardasian and Kanye West to stand beside him when he does it, as he rails against Joe “Crime Bill” Biden and Kamala “lock’em up” Harris.Report