good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 475 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. this week saw a return to normal: we not only have opinion pieces this week, but we also have fundraising and polling numbers, and quite a bit of news both in policy and in punditry.
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 Saint Anselm College (MoE +/- 5.2 percent) New Hampshire state poll [PDF warning]:
All others below 5%
Fundraising (Q2, 2019)
Buttigieg $24.8 million
de Blasio 1.1
- from POLITICO: Third Democratic primary debate will be in Houston. the third democratic debate series will be held in Houston on Sept. 12 and (potentially) 13. this is a change from the end-of-month dates they've used for june and the coming july debates; note also they will not be having debates in august. the qualifications for this one are being bumped up such that candidates need to receive at least 2 percent in four approved polls and have 130,000 unique donors including at least 400 individual donors in at least 20 states, which makes it pretty likely that there will not be 20 candidates on the stage in september. only 5 people qualify currently.
- from USA Today: Penalizing candidates who interrupt, and other changes coming to the Democratic debates. a welcome change for some of you, USA Today reports that "[...]candidates who interrupt "consistently" will be penalized and have time taken away from them" for the july debates which CNN will be hosting, although they note that "CNN did not specify how it defines the level of interruption that would trigger the penalty nor how much time would be deducted." CNN will also be allowing an opening statement for candidates.
- from FiveThirtyEight: It Won’t Be Easy For Many Democrats To Make The September Debate. as i mentioned above, it's looking pretty unlikely that 20 democrats will meet the qualifications for the september debates. aside from the five frontrunners (sanders, biden, warren, harris, buttigieg) who have all qualified already, only castro, o'rourke, and yang have hit the donor criteria and only booker has hit the polling criteria. the donor criteria will probably be met by at least 15 candidates, but the polling criteria is going to be a big hurdle for most of the remaining candidates.
- from FiveThirtyEight: A Midsummer Overview Of The Democratic Field. FiveThirtyEight puts things a bit more technically: while there are clearly five frontrunners and the rest of the pack, there's reason to believe even the frontrunners are more two clusters of biden, warren, harris and then sanders, buttigieg as of current. everybody else after them of course still has a shot, but it's going to require some agenda setting and, currently, that doesn't look very likely to happen.
- from CNN: Kamala Harris soars in our latest 2020 rankings. CNN's rankings by chris cillizza and FiveThirtyEight alum harry enten not surprisingly look basically identical among the frontrunners. for the most part, it seems as though the popular consensus among the punditry has coalesced for the time being--for good reason, to be clear. it will take quite an act or performance to dislodge the front five from their positions.
- from POLITICO: Embattled Biden ditches Rose Garden strategy. biden's whole strategy of playing it safe and avoiding gaffes is now out the window, and with it has gone biden's reluctance to draw strong contrasts between himself and other people running. biden has also been increasingly confrontational on his ideas to other candidates, particularly with healthcare which he's recently sparred with bernie sanders over. will the pivot to actually addressing other people work out? who the fuck knows, this is joe biden.
- from the Atlantic: Biden Stops Playing It Safe. in the same vein, the Atlantic has a piece here on how biden's best chance is most likely to continue to exploit the healthcare issue, since it's one where he isn't a spectacular fuckup or one where he's open to consistent attack from all sides. biden's record on healthcare is actually moderate, too, which allows him to play to centrist voters without having to explain votes, for the most part.
- from POLITICO: Biden unveils health care plan: Affordable Care Act 2.0. oh, he also has a health care plan now which is more of the same and predominantly builds on the existing infrastructure of the PPACA. his issues page on it can be found o'er yonder.
- from NBC News: Sanders skips Netroots as Warren strengthens her hold on progressives. bernie sanders was notably absent from the progressive forum and gathering netroots nation this week, primarily because he had other comittments (although there was this whole stupid ordeal about how he wasn't going because markos moulitsas, founder of the daily kos, doesn't like him). sanders, who has been sliding in the polls recently to warren, probably missed out on an opportunity to make his case to the wing of the party he actually needs to win over on some level by not showing up. his base, while significant, remains entirely insufficient to win the nomination of its own.
- from Jacobin: Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Is Different. jacobin meanwhile focuses on an underrated aspect of the sanders campaign which has not been focused on very much by the media, this being the campaign's elevation of labor issues. sanders has made the bully pulpit for labor issues one part of his campaign and, incidentally tying into why he didn't show up at netroots nation this week, has often spent time campaiging and organizing at labor disputes like the one trying to prevent the closing of philadelphia's hahnemann university hospital.
- from the Atlantic: Harris Gains Momentum With Democrats’ Most Important Voter Base. kamala harris is in a decent position to win the nomination, and it's mostly on the back of her well-covered recent surge after the first debates. a lot of this comes from the fact that she's improved her standing with black women, who are a constituency that at this point cannot be overlooked by any democrat wanting to seriously win the presidential nomination. harris would be relatively formidable if she manages to win over even a significant plurality of black women, especially given her homestate advantage in early, delegate rich california. she still has a ways to go before that comes to fruition, but she is on the right path.
- from the Guardian: With her back against the wall, Kamala Harris surged. Will it last?. this sorta-profile of harris so far in the race and the history which has gotten us here is an interesting look into how the more things change, the more things stay the same for harris's political strategy. the somewhat cautious, reserved approach which had previously gotten harris somewhat mixed reviews from the punditry and people at large did a pretty big turnaround after the debates. she still has things to reckon for, of course, but on the whole those things seem less likely to derail her campaign now than they did before.
- from CNN: Pete Buttigieg unveils new details of racial justice plan in bid for black voters. pete buttigieg has new policy this week aimed at black voters in what he's calling the douglass plan. the plan, among other things, entails "increasing federal funding for historically black colleges and universities, increasing investments in minority-held depositories and mandating 25% of government contracts go to minority owned businesses." CNN also notes that "The plan would also seek to reduce incarceration by 50% at the state and federal level and abolish private federal prisons." buttigieg also hopes to address racial inequality in the healthcare system with the plan.
- From Vox: Pete Buttigieg says Americans should have the right to hide personal details from the internet. buttigieg is also, interestingly, in support of importing the right to be forgotten from the european union. we don't hear very much internet related policy from candidates even as the internet looms larger and larger in both politics and the broader culture wars that are being waged by people, so this is a welcome addition to the vast list of policies that people are going to be parsing through for the inevitable nominee to consider putting in their agenda.
- from CNN: Elizabeth Warren pledges to decriminalize border crossings, reverse Trump administration policies in new immigration plan. warren has some more immigration policy to throw onto the pile (medium link). per CNN:
The proposal would decriminalize crossing the border into the United States without authorization and separate law enforcement from immigration enforcement [...] designate a Justice Department task force to investigate accusations of serious violations -- including medical neglect and physical and sexual assaults of detained immigrants." It would be granted "independent authority to pursue any substantiated criminal allegations." [...] end privately-contracted detention facilities and promises that, if Warren is elected, she would "issue guidance ensuring that detention is only used where it is actually necessary because an individual poses a flight or safety risk." [and] expand legal immigration, raising the refugee cap, and making "it easier for those eligible for citizenship to naturalize." She would also reduce "the family reunification backlog" and provide "a fair and achievable pathway to citizenship."
- from CBS News: Amy Klobuchar unveils plan to address medical needs of America's aging population. amy klobuchar has a plan to "provide a cure and treatment options for some of the most aggressive chronic conditions facing the country's elderly population, including Alzheimer's disease, by 2025" and to "strengthen Medicare and Social Security, reduc[e] drug prices, creat[e] personal savings accounts to help Americans save for retirement and ensure paid family leave for all." as part of helping to reduce the strain of an increasingly old population of america. i assume we'll see a few more people with plans of some sort like this, since it's a growing issue and will only continue to be in the future as the boomers begin to die off.
- from POLITICO: Inslee knocks Sanders, 2020 rivals over filibuster support. jay inslee wants to nuke the filibuster and does not like people who do not want to nuke the filibuster. this is something a bunch of democrats, not just inslee, want to do because it's probably the only way anything will ever pass the senate again. godspeed, inslee, godspeed.
- from the Guardian: Neoliberal pundits want to write off Bernie Sanders again. That's no surprise:
As New York’s Rebecca Traister aptly pointed out in a recent essay, the pundits aren’t keeping up with the politicians: “In all of their hand-wringing,” she writes, “they seem not to have noticed that … assumptions about a safe center are crumbling in the hands of a new generation of political leaders willing to make a stirring case for radical ideas,” like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
Is Bernie Sanders down for the count? Probably not. But you definitely shouldn’t take the mainstream media’s word for it.
- from the Guardian: Kamala Harris might be surging – but her record will soon catch up with her:
Some political evolutions are genuine, and Harris’s “law-and-order” past wasn’t out of place in the Democratic party at the time. But that old wisdom is now being called into question. It’s hard to imagine that a party tacking to the left in an increasingly polarized country is about to elect a criminal prosecutor as its nominee.
[...] Kamala Harris isn’t just not leftwing enough to be the Democratic party’s nominee, she’s also not bold enough to win a presidential election and bring about the change we desperately need