An excellent and fairly hopeful piece by Rachel Bitecofer, written before the Ukraine story broke: https://cnu.edu/wasoncenter/2019/07/01-2020-election-forecast/
Indeed, the only massive restructuring I might have to make to this forecast involves a significant upheaval like the entrance of a well-funded Independent candidate such as Howard Schultz into the general election....Other potential significant disruptions might be a ground war with Iran, an economic recession, or a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11. Otherwise, the country's hyperpartisan and polarized environment has largely set the conditions of the 2020 election in stone....on Election Day Donald Trump will earn the vote of somewhere around 90% of self-identified Republicans. And as 2018 demonstrated, Republicans will increase their turnout rate over 2016. This, combined with a floor for Trump among Independents of around 38% (because of right-leaning Independents) and an infusion of cash that will dwarf his 2016 efforts, Trump has a floor that is at least theoretically competitive for reelection and will force Democrats to compete hard to win the presidency. The polarized era doesnt produce Reagan Era Electoral College landslide maps.
I agree with the above excerpt. My biggest concern is that because desperate people take desperate action, we are likely to see more voter suppression efforts (e.g., the closure of polling sites in urban areas) than ever before...and even more collusion with foreign powers than we saw in 2016. I'm convinced that the reason Trump is increasingly brazen in his corruption is to normalize it -- or make the public numb to it -- as we head into next year's election. And, as Rachel Bitecofer suggested, the days of a candidate walking away with 400+ electoral votes are long gone. 2008 was a landslide by today's standards, which means we can't get too comfortable.
On the other hand, we won't be nominating a polarizing figure who has been the target of vicious attacks for a quarter of a century. And Trump is no longer new or as much of an unknown quantity, so there will be fewer casual "I'll give him a shot/he won't win anyway/both candidates suck" voters. Someone with a "strongly approve" number in the high 20s and a "strongly disapprove" number that's almost twice as high shouldn't have much of a chance at re-election, even with the electoral college in place and even with a fairly steady economy. It's also worth remembering that we had won Pennsylvania and Michigan for 6 straight elections and Wisconsin for 7 straight. We can definitely win back those states. Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and even Georgia are also in play. It's hard to imagine us losing any of the states that Clinton won.
Again, though, we're dealing with the Republican Mafia. We can't be complacent.
I wouldn't say "almost everyone," as myself and many others have been railing against that bogus narrative for nearly 3 years. But it's true, sadly, that far, far too many people (in the media and all across the political spectrum) have been (and still are) pushing the demonstrably false "economic anxiety/Clinton focused too much on identity politics" narrative. Even after all of the articles that make clear how false that story is, such as this one and this one.
And it wasn't Obama-Trump voters that were Clinton's downfall either (regarding Obama-Trump voters, everyone should read what Jamelle Bouie wrote). The unfortunate reality is that hundreds of thousands of Obama voters, across key states, simply didn't vote in 2016. Again, Hillary Hate was undoubtedly a major factor.
Next, many people continue to misunderstand who so-called "independents" are. Very few are actually swing voters. The vast majority are highly partisan (most only require the slightest nudge in order to vote for a particular candidate). In fact, studies have shown that the average "independent" of today is more strongly aligned with a particular party than the average party-affiliated voter was in the 1970s. The other thing to understand about independents is that they are less reliable voters, less engaged.
The failure to understand that truth about independents and a misunderstanding of what actually happened in 2016 has led some to this notion that only a specific type of candidate (older, white, male, moderate) can defeat Trump. Also, people get seduced by the hypothetical matchup polls, but they're historically inaccurate at this stage in the game--just ask President Dukakis. We shouldn't be relying on those as any sort of a barometer in terms of picking our nominee.
The bottom line is that our focus must be on boosting turnout of POC, youth and white suburban women. And not on appealing to a limited subset of supposed swing voters who are widely dispersed across all 50 states, at the risk of not firing up the base. Get out the base, get out the base, get out the base. And be prepared to fight voter suppression efforts. That's what will win us the election. If we get turnout even close to 2008 levels, it'll take epic corruption to prevent our nominee from topping 270 electoral votes. But let's not pretend that the GOP is above epic corruption.
A lawless government cannot be constrained by the institutions of the law alone. It is popular mass resistance that creates a crisis point and forces action. And if Democrats want to beat Trumps stonewalling tactics in 2019, they should consider doing it again.
Watergate was a long time ago
Watergate played out under a party system that was remarkably loose compared to today. Not all conservatives were Republicans, and not all Republicans were conservatives. That arguably set the stage for presidential misconduct to be evaluated as separately from political ideology or orientation as is possible.
Arch-segregationists mostly Democrats were serving openly in the halls of Congress. Meanwhile, the greatest champions of civil rights were also mostly Democrats, yet a liberal African American Republicanrepresented Massachusetts in the Senate. Individual members faced cross-cutting ideological and partisan pressures, and even beyond race the system was only loosely organized with hawks and doves sitting in both parties.
Much more here: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/10/18/20905686/resistance-protest-impeachment-rallies-trump
I don't often read what Chris Cillizza writes, but I read an article of his a couple days ago and it's the end of his piece on which I wish to focus. Here's a link to the article: https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/15/politics/donald-trump-fox-poll-impeachment/index.html
And here's the part on which I'm focusing:
Which is a giant problem.
Obviously American ignorance is not reserved solely for right wingers, but the Republican Party base is clearly "a giant problem" that helps enable so many other problems.
Nearly 10 years ago, I read this depressing article that the above excerpt reminds me of, as it's all about How Facts Backfire.
This is an issue for people from across the political spectrum. But, of course, holding firm to *a* false belief or two isn't as destructive as holding firm to what amounts to a parallel universe, an alternate reality--a worldview that consists entirely of bullshit.
We've all lamented the stunning ignorance of the Republican Party base. But what, if anything, can be done?
One idea that occurs to me is for the next administration to push for making media literacy (identifying sources and verifying content, identifying the purpose of a particular message, determining who the intended audience is, etc.) mandatory curriculum starting in junior high, if not earlier.
What do you propose?
We are, once again, witnessing an example of trying to convince the public that crimes committed openly aren't crimes. Most notably with regard to Ukraine collusion, but also the effort to undercut charges of emoluments violations. This is part of a pattern. Deny, lie, obfuscate and then acknowledge while claiming it's perfectly okay and normal.
Mark my words, there are many people (and I don't just mean Cult45) who will fall for that tactic and the narrative Republicans are trying to establish will become the dominant narrative. Unless Democrats are vigilant and work hard at establishing what should be the dominant narrative. Part of that effort has to include shining a bright light on what Mulvaney and Co. are attempting to do and not just on what they're saying. If we simply debate the substance, we're debating on their terms.
Most people aren't political junkies. Many are only vaguely aware of what's going on by way of whichever narrative or soundbite dominates. Your average person doesn't recognize, for instance, the tactic we all know as 'projection', or accusing your opponent of that which you're doing.
The same goes for the tactic of creating a massive problem (e.g., trade war, slaughter of Kurds) for whatever reason (incompetence, ideology, distraction), applying a bandaid and then claiming victory. Don't just debate the merits of the argument. Point out the effort to bamboozle.
It's not enough to debate the *what*, especially when it's on their terms. We must shine a bright light on the *why*.
The media continues to write shit like this:
No, they're investigating the extent of the corruption.
They've seen the writing on the wall (social progression, increased secularism, changing demographics, etc.), so their tactics have become increasingly extreme (intense voter suppression and gerrymandering, extreme deregulation and privatization, full-throated attacks on science and public education, persistent attacks on the "liberal media" in the interest of shifting the Overton Window, stealing a Supreme Court seat and packing the judiciary with right wing ideologues, aligning with dictators who share the goal of undermining democracy for personal enrichment, replacing the dog whistle with a bullhorn, and so on). They take comfort in a tyranny of the minority system which, paradoxically, makes major structural reform nearly impossible to bring about for the very reasons why such reform is so desperately needed. Still, they have reason to fear and thwart the impacts of social evolution.
We can't afford to simply dismiss these monsters as mentally ill, even if they all happen to be sociopaths. It's vital that we understand that with which we're dealing.
Do you think he'll resign?
Do you think he'll actually get convicted by the Senate?
Or do you just think he'll lose his re-election bid?
Fellow "white" people, please hear me out
We've been bamboozled, let there be no doubt
When divided, we're conquered, too
There's a sickness worse than any pandemic flu
A tool used to suppress wages and pollute our common air
A tool used to keep us all from affordable health care
Convinced of who's deserving and who's not
Willing to die so long as "they" don't get what's sought
Told we're better and given just enough more
Sold a bill of goods to keep us poor
Blinded to injustice, corruption and lies
Numb to hypocrisy and all those caged cries
To save your family, you'd cross any arbitrary border
But we aren't in those shoes, so we talk of law and order
Police brutality is disproportionate we know
We were told he's dead but there stands Jim Crow
The disease can be cured but only if we unite
It infects systems and structures, we're needed in this fight
There are no people of "white" descent
That's made up capital that we've done spent
Du Bois referred to our "psychological wage"
We're long overdue to redirect white rage
Genocide and enslavement formed the foundation
Upon lacerated backs was built a nation
Trillions worth of unpaid labor
Reparations wouldn't be some favor
No, simply put, a massive debt is owed
A construct, a lie and hatred was sowed
Dehumanization to justify families torn apart
And that, dear friends, was just the start
Rape, mutilation and the taking of life
The 13th did not end the strife
Convict leasing, lynchings, a phony drug war
New Deal for some, others shown the door
Housing denied with a simple red line
My ancestors given access, no question what's mine
Access to colleges another omission
No fuss, though, over legacy admission
I trust you can see the wealth gap was not fated
It was methodically, viciously, intentionally created
The same can be said of the ghetto and reservation
Don't be fooled by media misrepresentation
Hannity and Carlson, they're not your friend
They profit off keeping us bitter til the end
The media asks candidates if Trump is a racist
They ask if water is wet and pretend he's not also a rapist
We've been exploited and used
To ensure we overlook the abused
Cast off the chains, let's be free
Not us vs. them but an ethic of we
Equality sounds nice but equity's the goal
Find your humanity and play a vital role
Let's say Dems turned up audio of Trump saying to Putin, "If you promise to not release the videos of me raping children, I promise to do your bidding for as long as I'm in office."
Would that be enough to remove Trump from office? Or would Republicans argue that it was fake audio, or that it's concerning but not impeachable?
Seriously, what would it take?
It's quite obvious that Trump and Republicans are using the strategy of "If I'm open about asking foreign governments to help me politically, then it can't be wrong." Trump did it in 2016 with "Russia, if you're listening..." And then there's Trump's comment to Stephanopoulos, his released call summary with Zelensky, Barr and Giuliani not really hiding what they're doing in places like Italy, Trump's open remarks about China investigating Biden, and so on.
If Dems don't constantly beat back that narrative, it will dominate. If there's one thing Republicans understand, it's establishing the dominant narrative.
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