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Is This a Primary or a Generational Murder/Suicide Plot?

I made a prediction last April regarding the then potential candidacy of Joe Biden that I should probably acknowledge was wrong, with an asterisk. In a short piece, "Schrödinger's Candidate", I predicted that Biden would decide against running because getting paid to make speeches as a potential candidate was more fun than losing in the primary. I said that Biden's polling numbers were not real and would sink once he started campaigning. This is where the asterisk comes in. I revisited the prediction in November to acknowledge that it was essentially wrong with a caveat, Biden had yet to truly begin campaigning.

He was the only candidate avoiding a live town hall with questions from the audience. As far as I know, this remains true. His campaign schedule seemed incredibly sparse, more in keeping with a book tour for a book of middling success than building political power. In many ways his campaign resembled Hillary Clinton and her avoidance of the press for a year.…

Making the White Supremacist Argument in Blackface

What are the stakes that people imagine to be bound up with demonstrating that capitalism in this country emerged from slavery and racism, which are treated as two different labels for the same pathology? Ultimately, it's a race reductionist argument. What the Afro-pessimist types or black nationalist types get out of it is an insistence that we can't ever talk about anything except race. And that's partly because talking about race is the things they have to sell. Adolph Reed Jr.
If it's not clear already, it's worth thinking about the ways in which the history revision of the 1619 Project is less about understanding history than it is using history to justify a specific approach to defining and dealing with racism in the present. It serves the same purpose as all of the moral idealism pretending to represent justice-- identity politics, intersectionality, reparations-- that exist in the discourse to deter economic redistribution generally, and specifically, in th…

The Enemy of My Goals Is My Friend?

If you were shocked by the sudden flare up of soap opera drama from the Warren campaign over the weekend leading up to the January Democratic debate, then her PR campaign had been working. It started with an article in Politico from Alex Thompson and Hollie Otterbein. The writers obtained what they said was a new script for volunteers that contrasted Sanders with Warren by pointing to the relative economic comfort of her base. This was portrayed as attacking Warren.

There are a few problems with this. It's factual and matches reporting from Otterbein in July. The Sanders campaign denied sharing the awkwardly worded script. Many volunteers made the point that it was the opposite of the campaign messaging, which doesn't mention other candidates. One volunteer tweeted that it had been shared in a Slack channel by a volunteer posting for the first time and it was removed by a team leader. It should be noted that Otterbein and Thompson are embedded with the Warren campaign. As evi…

For Whom the Libs Troll

Two articles published online within days of each other in December highlight in very different ways a unique hazard of our current political discourse that is singularly directed at the supporters and campaign of Bernie Sanders. Published by The Federalist, Melissa Longam Braunstein attempts to bring the accusations of anti-semitism thrown at Jeremy Corbyn specifically, and the British left in general to our domestic politics. Recognizing it ill-advised to accuse a Jewish man who lost family in the Holocaust of anti-semitism, in her piece Linda Sarsour is Too Anti-Semitic For the Women’s March, But Not For Bernie Sanders Braunstein attempts to implicate him through association. In her final paragraph she writes: These associations paint a pattern of proximity to antisemitism that’s hard to miss. That raises the thorny question: Is it that Sanders really doesn’t notice, that he’s willing to tolerate it, or that he somehow also supports it? Because there’s no doubt that by surrounding…

Confessions of a Polling Truther

Do we have to spend the entire election season acting like it’s tin foil hat material to suggest that billion dollar corporations might manipulate publicly available data to protect their profits like fossil fuel companies with climate change, or big tobacco with cancer? — little jon quijote (@brotherbeat) September 26, 2019 ***** In a Los Angeles Times survey of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 donors they found that the single largest group were those without a job. In September, as his campaign reached the million donor mark, 5 months earlier than in the 2016 cycle, we got a glimpse into Bernie’s current support. Pew Research released the results of its poll of Democratic voters which included the following graphic detailing the supporters of the major candidates

Open Secrets also released an interactive graphic that allows tracking of donors by profession. The professions with the strongest support for Bernie are teachers, nurses, farmers, truck drivers, and food service workers. The biggest e…