week six comes slightly early, because i have way too many links and i actually started writing this yesterday because it's just over a page and fuck writing all this in one day, lol. the [LONGFORM] tag continues and finally returns, offering up two pieces to us today.
the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.
from FiveThirtyEight: What The Potential 2020 Candidates Are Doing And Saying, Vol. 16. a pretty quiet week for most of the candidates. most of the highlights came after the end-date for this volume and will be reflected in next week's.
from NBC News: Can a woman beat Trump? Some Democrats wonder if it's worth the risk. even though it's pretty inane, this topic is probably going to be a recurring theme, because voter preferences are some of the absolute weirdest, most unfathomably illogical shit possible. electability is a large part of why this is probably going to be a theme: clinton might have poisoned the well for all of this year's "first" candidates by fucking up in 2016, and that might make voters hesitant to pull the lever for another one. but again, who the fuck knows. voter preferences have an uncanny tendency to make zero sense.
from the Guardian: Black female voters to Democrats: 'You won't win the White House without us'. another recurring topic is going to be the black female vote, which is consistently the most democratic bloc possible. in really any place where there's a significant minority vote, democrats have to turn these voters out significantly, and obviously presidential primaries and elections aren't exceptions to that rule. most of the candidates don't seem to be doing the best job of winning them over yet.
from Reuters: Democratic presidential candidates seek union support at workers' forum. union voters could be significant in the democratic path to the presidency, and so you're seeing a lot of democrats try and angle themselves as union candidates also. which one will win out here? i have no fucking clue.
from NPR: The Democratic Field Is Set: 8 Questions About What Comes Next. NPR offers up a series of questions about the trajectory of the primary, which will probably aid us in the coming months:
- How far does name identification go?
- It's there for Biden now, but can he prove himself?
- Can Bernie Sanders expand beyond his loyal base?
- Does Pete Buttigieg continue his momentum?
- Does Elizabeth Warren find her lane?
- Does Beto O'Rourke get edged out or does he find his way in?
- Can Kamala Harris supercharge her candidacy – and fend off Biden in South Carolina?
- Can others have a breakout moment?
from the Atlantic: Unlike His Rivals, Biden Sees Trump as an Aberration. we begin this week with how biden is framing his candidacy. one of the cruxes of biden's campaign is that trump doesn't reflect a change of values in the american public or even in the republican party, necessarily. in his view, the status quo hasn't really changed, and if we return to electing people like biden then trumpism will effectively cease. whether you buy that, i leave up to you.
from Vox: The health care industry is betting on Joe Biden in its war against Medicare-for-all. another thing about biden is that he has very decisively positioned himself against medicare-for-all, which mostly reflects his status as an establishment candidate. this, as it happens, is super great if you're a lobbyist for the healthcare industry, which is unsurprisingly and firmly in biden's camp in this election.
from Buzzfeed News: Joe Biden Backs A Public Option — Not Medicare For All — As He Argues For Electability. as far as biden is concerned though, this is mostly a matter of electability. among his other points of policy: "[a] on noncompete clauses ... a $15 minimum wage and ... a more simplified process for issuing professional licenses."
from the Guardian: 'Battle for America's soul': Biden comes out swinging at first 2020 event. beyond that, biden also has this for policy: "reversing Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations" and "enacting the so-called “Buffett Rule” – which would apply a minimum tax rate of 30% on individuals making more than $1m". he's supposed to unveil more of this in the near future.
from Slate: 10 Questions Joe Biden Needs to Answer About His Views on Race. Slate offers up 10 questions that they feel joe biden is obligated to give us better answers on, thanks in no small part to his incredibly long history of being a dumb politician who might now be on the wrong side of the political traintracks.
- from Buzzfeed News: Bernie Sanders Is Getting A Shadow Organizing Campaign In The Midwest. bernie sanders has had a quiet week in the media, relatively speaking. one of the only notes from this week about him came in the form of people realizing that yes, our revolution does actually exist and yes, it does actually do things. the sanders campaign is probably going to need things like this to win this year.
from the Guardian: Beto O'Rourke is coming to California. Can the trip redeem his campaign?. beto has been busy in california the past few days trying to drum up support, which is easier said than done because he's on the wrong side of a wave now. he's been quietly slipping in the polls for the past little while, to a point where he's now usually sixth or so in the order. will stumping in california help with this at all? probably not, but he's gotta do it at some point.
from NBC News: Beto O'Rourke releases $5 trillion plan to combat climate crisis. on the policy front, he's finally getting around to expanding on what he's running on. his climate change plan is fairly extensive:
The plan begins with proposed executive actions, including rejoining the Paris climate agreement on day one of an O’Rourke administration and moving quickly to raise efficiency standards for buildings, cars and appliances. Longer term executive actions include setting a net-zero emissions carbon budget for federal lands by 2030 and adding more national parks and monuments to protect land and seascapes.
The meat of the O’Rourke plan is a promise to send Congress, as his first piece of legislation, a bill that would mobilize $5 trillion over the next 10 years to upgrade infrastructure and spur innovation — including more than a trillion dollars in tax incentives to reduce emissions, and $250 billion dedicated directly to research and development.
- from Buzzfeed News: Beto O’Rourke Is The Latest Democrat To Make Climate Change Central To His Campaign. Buzzfeed News helpfully fills in some of the other details, such as this:
His plan, starting day one in the White House, would include spending a record $5 trillion on climate action over ten years and mandating the US reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050. (This means the nation, by midcentury, would no longer be emitting more climate pollution into the atmosphere than it was pulling out of it through trees and other ways.)
from POLITICO: Warren puts Bernie on defense. POLITICO pitches the interesting take that warren is putting sanders on defense by pushing a shit ton of policy. this seems... dubious? at best, given that warren is polling at literally half of what sanders does, sanders has greatly outraised her, and in general the two just have not interacted especially significantly at any point in the campaign so far. but a take is a take.
from Truthout: [LONGFORM] Elizabeth Warren’s Student Debt Plan: An Outsized Economic Boon for People of Color. truthout provides an analysis of elizabeth warren's student debt plan, suggesting that it would be the best for people of color. this is interesting, because...
from Slate: Elizabeth Warren’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Mostly Helps the Middle Class, Think Tank Finds. one of the big takeways most other sources have had is that it would be a boon for the middle class instead. figure that one out.
- from the Atlantic: Authenticity Just Means Faking It Well. this article is more about authenticity than it is about buttigieg, but its catalyst is buttigieg so i'm placing it in this section. what constitutes "authenticity"? who the fuck knows, honestly, but buttigieg is apparently it in a way that resonates with voters.
from Truthout: [LONGFORM] None of the 2020 Frontrunners Go Far Enough on Climate. Truthout opines that realistically, absolutely none of the current frontrunner candidates have a compelling platform on climate change that will work. this might change now that o'rourke has actually unveiled a comprehensive plan, but in general outside of inslee (who is running as The Climate Change Candidate), so far climate change hasn't really played much of a role in the primary.
from the Guardian: Joe Biden is the Hillary Clinton of 2020 – and it won't end well this time either. this take opines that biden is basically this cycle's hillary clinton and that biden basically does not get it. perhaps the best distilling of this argument is in this paragraph:
Biden’s answer to Trump isn’t systemic change that will make America a more equitable place. He’s not offering progressive policies like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. His is the vaguest and most centrist of battle cries: let’s go back to, you know, “all those good things”. Let’s go back to a time where racism was a little more polite and white people could pretend America was a post-racial society. Let’s fight for the soul of America by pretending that Trump is the problem, not just a symptom of the problem. Let’s pretend that Charlottesville was a direct result of Trump – an aberration – and not a product of a racism that has always existed in America. Let’s rewind the clock a few years to when everything was just fine and dandy.
- from the Guardian: Bernie Sanders v the Democratic establishment: what the battle is really about. this piece takes an interesting alternative frame on the major split that seems to divide sanders from the rest of the democratic party. in essence, it is this:
The Shakir-Tanden debate about money in politics at Cap is also the larger debate Sanders is sparking in the Democratic party. Joe Biden opened his presidential bid by allowing a Comcast executive to host a fundraiser for him at his home in Pennsylvania. Sanders, on the other hand, has written off such fundraisers and is insisting on relying on small donor funders, not corporate executives or lobbyists.
anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.
EDIT: minor grammatical stuff