7 votes

This Week in Election Night, 2020 (Week 6)

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.

Week 1 threadWeek 2 threadWeek 3 threadWeek 4 threadWeek 5 thread


News

General Stuff

  • 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:

  1. How far does name identification go?
  2. It's there for Biden now, but can he prove himself?
  3. Can Bernie Sanders expand beyond his loyal base?
  4. Does Pete Buttigieg continue his momentum?
  5. Does Elizabeth Warren find her lane?
  6. Does Beto O'Rourke get edged out or does he find his way in?
  7. Can Kamala Harris supercharge her candidacy – and fend off Biden in South Carolina?
  8. Can others have a breakout moment?

Joe Biden

  • 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.

Bernie Sanders

  • 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.

Beto O'Rourke

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.

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.)

Elizabeth Warren

Pete Buttigieg

  • 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.

Opinion/Ideology-driven

  • 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.

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

8 comments

  1. [2]
    Bishop Link
    Just wanting to mention how ridiculous I think it is that there is even a modicum if discussion about whether a female president could perform as well as a male president. All this shit about “bUt...

    Just wanting to mention how ridiculous I think it is that there is even a modicum if discussion about whether a female president could perform as well as a male president.

    All this shit about “bUt oThEr cUlTurEs mIgHt nOt rEsPeCt hEr aS mUcH” are horseshit. Like what do you think Angela Merkel or Theresa May have been doing their entire careers? Certainly they don’t write down their thoughts on a slip of paper and hand them off to a man to discuss for them. They’re strong, capable women in their own position of power which they own and represent fully. They’ll speak as forerunners of their country regardless of how others see that, and that’s precisely how it should be.

    Sorry for the mini-rant, but that was an actual point of contention between Trump and Hillary of an old friend of mine, and it still digs at me to this day.

    They were also the type to vote against gay rights because it’s “their duty to enforce the will of god” or some shit like that, but I’m just mad ranting at that point.

    3 votes
    1. alyaza Link Parent
      given the american spirit of exceptionalism with respect to sexism, i'm sure it'll be an issue until we elect our second or third female president, and it'll reset back to zero the second we have...

      given the american spirit of exceptionalism with respect to sexism, i'm sure it'll be an issue until we elect our second or third female president, and it'll reset back to zero the second we have a female president who's incompetent or shitty like andrew johnson.

      3 votes
  2. alyaza Link
    here's a leftist take on warren's policy focus that i actually also missed in writing this because i haven't checked jacobin this week: and also:

    here's a leftist take on warren's policy focus that i actually also missed in writing this because i haven't checked jacobin this week:

    The proposals she’s pumping out are exciting, but more to the point, they are a strategy for raising her campaign’s profile.
    It’s not standard in presidential politics to bust out of the gate with a constant stream of detailed policy ideas. The other candidates aren’t behind on releasing policy proposals — Warren is way ahead, doing something unusual. Bernie Sanders doesn’t even have his policy team fully assembled yet, nor do the others. We need to ask why Warren feels compelled to adopt this early traction-gaining strategy to begin with.
    In my view, Warren’s policy blitz is a bid to distinguish herself in light of her difficulty thus far in cohering an organic base. Put bluntly, Warren is turning her campaign into a policy factory because she’s had trouble inspiring people with a broad-strokes political vision the way her closest ideological competitor, Bernie Sanders, has.
    This strategy may work to boost her campaign prospects, but it’s a bad omen for any presidential administration seriously committed to taking on the ruling elite. If you can’t impart to millions of working people the sense that they are carrying out a historic mission during your campaign — a “political revolution” driven by “Not Me, Us” — you won’t be able to mobilize them to exert pressure on the state to challenge the interests of capital when it really counts, during your presidency.

    and also:

    Warren hates egregious inequality, but fundamentally believes in the superior rationality of markets. She has unwavering faith in capitalism, calling herself “a capitalist to my bones” — her primary concern is that it has been led astray. At a time when socialism is becoming synonymous with efforts to put people over profit, Warren disavows it. When Donald Trump declared that “America will never be a socialist country” a couple of months ago, Sanders stayed slouched in his chair, while Warren rose to her feet in applause.
    This means that while Warren knows down to the last detail what she’d like better regulations to look like, she’s not quite solid on the antagonists and protagonists, i.e. which broader social forces need to be arranged against which other forces to make change.
    ...
    We are right to admire many of the ideas coming out of the Warren campaign. Best-case scenario, they will spur a progressive policy arms race, which would be to the benefit of all.
    But we shouldn’t see her policy blitz purely as a sign of strength. It may actually be an SOS message, a panicked response to her campaign’s shortcomings in the field of mass politics. And of course, mass politics are necessary for creating durable and militant constituencies that can self-organize outside the state, which is in turn necessary to win and preserve a progressive policy agenda against the interests of capitalists — an agenda that Warren and Sanders largely share.

    3 votes
  3. clerical_terrors Link
    Elizabeth Warren’s Student Debt Plan: An Outsized Economic Boon for People of Color This one caught my eye but I find the actual article not very long-form. I'd also like to see some direct...

    Elizabeth Warren’s Student Debt Plan: An Outsized Economic Boon for People of Color

    This one caught my eye but I find the actual article not very long-form. I'd also like to see some direct citations or at least names for claims like these:

    Economists estimate that 80 percent of Black households with debt and 83 percent of Latinx households with debt, would see it eliminated entirely. The vast majority of low-income and middle-class households would see their debt forgiven, compared to about a quarter of families from the top 10 percent, according to Warren’s estimates. And while slightly more dollars would flow to upper-middle-class households, the impact of canceling all debt for low-wealth households cannot be overstated. It removes a serious level of risk, allowing for peace of mind and the ability to get out from under financial strain.

    The article kind of reads like they're extrapolating their conclusion from this research by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and these numbers by the Bureau of Labour Statistics. But its not citing anyone for it's core claim, which seems a little odd to me.

    2 votes
  4. alyaza Link
    of note: biden has gotten a significant polling bump of between 6 and 11 points, but the polls for that really only came out yesterday and today so i didn't bother to add them. this bump will most...

    of note: biden has gotten a significant polling bump of between 6 and 11 points, but the polls for that really only came out yesterday and today so i didn't bother to add them. this bump will most likely decay as it did with every other candidate, but it's a good start for biden.

    1 vote
  5. [2]
    alyaza Link
    michael bennet has decided to throw himself on the altar of sacrificial candidates who will go nowhere, for some reason. if colorado were a redder state, this would be dumb as shit, but given that...

    michael bennet has decided to throw himself on the altar of sacrificial candidates who will go nowhere, for some reason. if colorado were a redder state, this would be dumb as shit, but given that (as i recall) every statewide democrat won by at least 6 in 2018, and polis won by 11, this should be pretty trivial if he somehow does go anywhere.

    1 vote
    1. alyaza Link Parent
      here's some more formal written stuff on michael bennet now that the media has actually had time to do something with his announcement: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet announces presidential run...

      here's some more formal written stuff on michael bennet now that the media has actually had time to do something with his announcement:

      unfortunately, bennet is basically just running as a radical centrist, so he's probably already out without adding anything new to the discourse, because there are like 12 other candidates running on the exact same shit. will people keep trying to take this centrist, compromise lane even though literally nobody wants that and it makes no sense because standing on a unique platform is likely to get you more votes? apparently so.

  6. alyaza Link
    i'm really not ready for the podcasting revolution to come to political campaigning, but it's doing so this year apparently. from Roll Call: In crowded field, 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls...

    i'm really not ready for the podcasting revolution to come to political campaigning, but it's doing so this year apparently. from Roll Call: In crowded field, 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls turn to podcasts.