Person #2547: 97 Posts

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  1. I stand by the term (1 Reply)

    To the degree that Clinton loses black support, in the short run the overwhelming majority of that support goes to Biden, with little benefit to Sanders. In the most recent CBS/YouGov tracking poll in South Carolina, the results from black respondents were as follows:

    Clinton: 52%
    Biden: 34%
    Sanders: 4%

    You operate under the premise that black folks consider white progressives to be allies. That isn’t supported by the facts.

    There was an interesting article in The Democratic Strategist that explains these attitudes as they play out within Black Lives Matter:

    …Because Black Lives Matter is a loose umbrella coalition of many groups and individuals there are actually two very distinct—and basically incompatible— political perspectives that exist within the broad alliance. While the first perspectives sees liberals and the Democratic Party as deeply lacking in genuine understanding and complete commitment to addressing the urgent needs of Black America, it nonetheless also sees them as potentially useful actors in the national political process.

    The second perspective, on the other hand, holds a fundamentally different view. It does not simply assert that Democrats and liberal-progressives hold unconscious attitudes of racial superiority or are insufficiently committed to the urgent needs of Black America but holds the very stunning view that they are actually the “real enemy” of Black America – that they are in a very genuine and meaningful sense “just as bad” or indeed even worse than right wing conservatives and the GOP.

    What I find amusing about the analysis, is that (far from “stunning”) the latter attitude is widespread, and has been widespread for more than a century. The interplay and tensions between the two perspectives reflect black conventional political wisdom to this day, irrespective of class, perspective or ideology.

    The black progressive political analysis Earl Ofari Hutchison (who personally supports Sanders) explains how a variation of this dynamic plays out at the grassroots:

    The real test is whether he can repeat [New Hampshire and Iowa] in primaries in South Carolina, Nevada, Alabama, and Arkansas that follow close on the heels of Iowa and New Hampshire. They will be won or lost with the black vote, and in Nevada the Hispanic vote.

    Bernie’s support among both groups is barely negligible. That’s in part due to their unfamiliarity with him and in greater part to the rock solid party traditionalism of black and Hispanic voters. They hue closely to the Democrat who stands on traditional and moderately framed bread and butter issues, with special emphasis on civil rights and immigration, is a known quantity, and can win. Hillary Clinton is that Democrat. Her long and admirable record on civil rights and immigration, and her deep ties with black and Hispanic Democratic Party regulars is the prime reason that there has not been the slightest hint of any perceptible rush to Bernie by black and Hispanic Democrats. A near textbook example was black lives matter. Clinton quickly got ahead of the curve and unhesitatingly backed the call, met with some of their supporters, and lectured mostly white audiences about the horror of black mass incarceration. Sanders came to the issue kicking and screaming. This point wasn’t missed by many blacks.

    I stand by my comment. And, as I’ve said earlier, however warm and fuzzy white progressives get when Cornel West supports Sanders, there is little or no resonance on the ground, insofar as the majority of black voters is concerned.

  2. Actually the opposition outspent the winning side 34 - 1 (0 Replies)

    Here are the numbers;

    $98,448 – Supporters
    $2,940,370 – Opponents

  3. Great book (0 Replies)

    I would suggest particular attention to its profile of Dukakis.

  4. As a rule endorsements of the type you cited aren't credible (1 Reply)

    There are exceptions like the 2008 Oprah endorsement of Obama, but Cornel West would help Sanders about as much as he did Bill Bradley and Al Sharpton..

    And nobody gives a damn about the political opinions of hip-hop artists.

    The issue is whether Sanders can develop a politically effective ground game in the communities he needs to win. Sanders, alas, has no credible or statistically significant organizational presence in those communities.

    What does exist is a variant of what we discussed in the matter of Chicago’s Mayoral race. I quote from a downthread comment I made.

    Nor do endorsements from activists* give Sanders a net benefit, because few of them have credibility on ground, and fewer have any real-world organizing skills – social media in isolation does not win elections; you can’t tweet your way to heaven…

    …as a Walter Reuther-style social democrat, Sanders has the potential as a candidate to obtain black and Latino support, but that potential is undercut by his campaign’s institutional culture.

    In order to achieve that potential, Sanders would have to create credible campaign organizations in these communities, and he has yet to do so.

    *As distinct from operatives.

  5. This is why Trump is a threat (0 Replies)

    Too many people forget their grade school years; specifically the fact that playground bullies are generally popular with the other kids.

    Not to put to fine a point on it Trump’s biggest political asset is his offensiveness. For example, among Latino voters:

    Not so surprising, then, that Trump may have captured — for any number of generational, racial and ideological reasons — what we could call the “Alonzo bloc.” It’s a twist on the fictional character in ABC’s racially charged drama “American Crime,” in which actor Benito Martinez plays a hardworking, old-school Hispanic father who blames his family’s mounting misfortunes on the “illegals.”

    When most would expect near-unanimous Hispanic disgust with Trump, the latest YouGov poll shows him with 26 percent favorability among Latinos — a more than 10 percentage point increase since YouGov polled respondents several days after his entry into the race. It’s not in the 30 percent or more range, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) or former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), but it’s still an impressive quarter of an electorate that should be universally hating him.

    …and from the CNN/ORC Poll:

    Trump’s gains come most notably among two groups that had proven challenging for him in the early stages of his campaign — women and those with college degrees. While he gained just 4 points among men in the last month (from 27% in August to 31% now), he’s up 13 points among women, rising from 20% in August to 33% now. Trump has also boosted his share of the vote among college graduates, increasing his support among those with degrees from 16% in August to 28% now. Among those without degrees, he stands at 33%, just slightly higher than the 28% support he had in August.

  6. Apples and Oranges (2 Replies)

    It was Bill Clinton’s (uncharacteristic) racial tone-deafness mentioned in passing in the Salon article you cited that solidified Obama’s black support; more importantly it solidified support from black political players and operatives, such as Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina.

    Sanders is playing the 2008 Clinton role in this race, with this critical distinction:

    Unlike Clinton in 2008, Sanders has no credible black political support and no credible black community outreach.

    I discussed this dynamic in another thread. I have no animus against Sanders as a candidate; however his campaign’s institutional culture is incapable – at present – of relating to the black electorate.

    The “ceiling” you referenced is directly due to that institutional campaign culture. Simply put, Sanders’ campaign repels black voters because it does not reach out to them in any politically competent way.

    The political incompetence generates hostility on the ground, to Clinton’s advantage. Long story short: Bernie Sanders’ campaign is a Hillary Clinton outreach mechanism to black voters.

  7. Black and Latino voters are not necessarily progressive (0 Replies)

    …as I mentioned here and here, but even black conservatives are on the whole anti-Republican.

    Due to the racialized rhetoric used by Trump when addressing immigration (and the tacit assent by other Republican candidates), the same is true within Latino electorates. The issue is not so much ideological as it is a response to a direct and personalized threat.

    Hence I think that black/Latino support is overstated.

    And, for what it’s worth, Latino Catholics are somewhat more liberal than you might think.

    But note that I said “liberal” not “progressive”.

  8. The United States controls its own currency (1 Reply)

    The Greeks are tied to the Euro, which in turn is largely controlled by Germany.

    The relationship is more akin to a homeowner facing foreclosure than a sovereign nation controlling its domestic economy.

  9. Actually Hitler was not elected (1 Reply)

    Here is a good thumbnail history of what happened:

    Hitler never had the popular votes to become Chancellor of Germany, and the only reason he got the job was because the German leaders entered into a series of back-room deals.

  10. My point was that Obama is indifferent to who chairs the DNC (1 Reply)

    …because the culture of modern campaigning has devolved from structured permanent Party organizations to election-specific, candidate-centered organizations. Democratic politics is vendor-centric, at the expense of ongoing grassroots work, and Party infrastructure is collateral damage to this.

    As a result, the DNC is perceived as a purely symbolic organization, of no real importance, within the Beltway.

  11. You overestimate the DNC's credibility (2 Replies)

    Ed Rogers is a Republican consultant, but his piece in the Washington Post pretty much sums up the consensus among national players within both Parties:

    This is Washington machine politics at its best — or maybe its worst. In a year when others are struggling to distance themselves from Washington and politics as usual, Team Clinton is doing what they do best and engaging in blatant, self-serving manipulation. Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s desire to hang onto some semblance of power is well-known, and it’s almost embarrassing. She was mostly disowned by the Obama White House a long time ago. She was never a Clinton favorite either, but her desperation to continue her vanity project as DNC chair has given the Clinton Empire the opening to manipulate her by having fewer debates.

    In Washington, watching the doomed grovel is a spectator sport. Even a confirmed cynic might feel a pang of pity. But what choice does Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz have? If she has any chance of being thrown a bone by the Clinton Empire, she has to do its bidding. ..

  12. Sanders could have come out of Netroots smelling like a rose (0 Replies)

    By interrupting him during his stump speech phase at Netroots, BLM gave Sanders the high ground. He and his supporters blew it by citing the March on Washington, which those same supporters compounded by suggesting that black people should be grateful for a Sanders candidacy.

    That basically created the dynamic wherein Sanders’ campaign framed itself as a Clinton outreach mechanism insofar as the back electorate is concerned, and the actions of the campaign since then have nothing but reinforce the frame.

    Frankly, I’m inclined to blame the campaign more than the candidate in this matter. Sanders’ response in isolation would have worked to his advantage (the protesters could have waited for the Q&A after the speech, and Sanders being pissed-off at the interruption would have been understandable), but the sheer barrage of white progressive entitlement that followed was the kiss of death, from which his campaign may not recover.

    That said, Sanders doesn’t need outreach to black activists; he needs credible black operatives, given the activists’ liabilities cited above.

    Given the purposeful lack of organization of BLM nationally, I’ll restrict the following to its Boston chapter: When BLM staged their protest in front of Marty Walsh’s home at four a.m. without checking whether the Mayor was in town (he wasn’t, and that fact was common knowledge), they established a reputation for infantilism within Boston’s black community that remains to this day.

    (Apropos of nothing, the protest was in opposition to the proposed 2024 Boston Olympics, and Boston’s black and Latino communities were the only racial demographics a majority of whom supported the Games.)

  13. Here's the problem for Sanders (1 Reply)

    We’ll start with the fact that Sanders’ press secretary comes from Public Citizen (which is conspicuous by its absence in black politics, and has no grassroots credibility whatsoever), one of whose tasks is to shut down any disruptions from Black Lives Matter. Insofar as the latter is concerned, the Sanders campaign is entitled to deal with potential disruption; but it’s amusing to see the presumed affiliation, given the reason for her employment.

    Nor do endorsements from activists give Sanders a net benefit, because few of them have credibility on ground, and fewer have any real-world organizing skills – social media in isolation does not win elections; you can’t tweet your way to heaven. This lack of on-the-ground connections between Sanders’ black activist supporters and the black (and Latino) base is illustrated by his lack of name recognition in those communities.

    Going after Sanders, both at Netroots and in Seattle, worked for BLM because Sanders’ supporters played into the traditional black perception that white progressives are intrinsically racist. That does not mean that BLM has a constituency in the electoral sense of the word, which is why the BLM meeting with Clinton worked to her advantage with black voters (who by and large agreed with her side of the argument).

    I cited the Chicago election because it was one in an ongoing series of case studies that illustrate how progressive organizing recruits for its opposition. The main problem with the Garcia campaign (according to Chicago operatives with whom I spoke) was that his “progressive” allies really pissed off the locals by presuming support rather than asking for it.

    And this brings us to the irony of the whole thing: as a Walter Reuther-style social democrat, Sanders has the potential as a candidate to obtain black and Latino support, but that potential is undercut by his campaign’s institutional culture.

  14. I was there for the fight over reconnecting the E line to Arborway (0 Replies)

    It occurred in the context of siting the Compressed Natural Gas facility at the Arborway Yard.

    The City and the MBTA played the local activists like fiddles, and just to be on the safe side tore up the tracks from Heath Street to Forest Hills.

    And those who believe a Big Dig mitigation agreement to be enforceable in the face of governmental opposition should consider that reconnecting the Green Line from Heath Street to Arborway (or Forest Hills) was part of the same mitigation package.

  15. As are a lot of black voters (1 Reply)

    Using the same Pew survey as a source.

    This ignores the broader issue that (in the context of Democrat-on-Democrat elections) a majority of neither group likes progressives. This is cultural and structural; and operates independent of ideology.

    Case in point, the Chicago Mayoral election this past spring.

    Emanuel carried every Black ward, all but one White lakefront ward, and received significant support in the Hispanic community. Clearly, his Caucasian voter support would not have been enough for him to claim victory unless the Black community supported his candidacy.

    Limited to the Democratic Presidential nomination dynamic, Clinton has a lock on the black and Latino vote, because the Saunders people (at present) haven’t the slightest clue about how do do outreach to these groups (and their constituent parts).

    The irony is that it is not Saunders as an individual who repels these voters, but the institutional culture of his campaign.

  16. You wrongly presume a progressive consensus among Latino voters (2 Replies)

    From Univision:

    Univision’s bipartisan survey suggests problems and opportunities for the aspiring Republican candidates. One problem is that barely 16% of the voters interviewed identify themselves as being Republicans while 58% say they are Democrats. Another problem is that only 36% have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party while 52% are favorable toward the Democratic Party. But Univision’s survey allows one to infer that many Hispanic voters are receptive to ideas from the aspiring Republicans. For example, 32% proclaim themselves to be conservative; while 35% consider themselves to be moderates and barely 28% see themselves as liberals. Furthermore, one out of every four interviewees is an independent. This suggests that Republicans as well as Democrats are still faced with the important task of persuading the Hispanic electorate during the current presidential campaign.

  17. Actually "Latino" is the less-favored term (0 Replies)

    …but the relevant populations do not as a rule care.

    Having said that, most competent pollsters phrase questions of self-identity in such a way as to not get caught up in semantic issues at the expense of getting relevant responses.

    Links to the issue can be found here, here, and here.

  18. An alternative view to David's alternative view (1 Reply)

    is available from MASSterList:

    …CEO Jeff Bezos responded to the story in a note to employees, saying he didn’t recognize the company that was described in the article. But the fascinating thing was how many readers of the story did. As of this writing, the Times’ article, some 5,900 words, has generated over 4,900 comments on the Times’ website as of this writing. Bezos can deny the conclusions of the Times after interviewing over 100 current and former employees. But he can’t argue past the collective experience of the legions of people who commented either on the Times or other websites saying, basically, what this commenter said on the NYT site: “Here in Seattle Amazon has a well-deserved reputation for being a sweat shop; work life balance does not exist. I’ve known ex-Microsoft colleagues, people who were smart, innovative, hard working and who thrived in Microsoft’s own brand of challenging work environment, who subsequently took jobs at Amazon, and who left after a year or two. All of them.” In other words, there are too many witnesses to be fooled. They give the story an extra level of credibility.

    The scary thing isn’t so much the callous behavior depicted in the article. What’s more frightening is the Brave New World aspect of the place. Amazon simply is slightly ahead of its time in using all manner of metrics to assess and promote top performers while weeding out underperformers. Bezos, even if he pretends otherwise, has figured out that creating a business cult focused relentlessly on performance is the way to win in the marketplace. Amazon’s stock went up $3.70 yesterday.