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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:49 pm 
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I miss Prim ...
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I mean, they're competing against Trump. It's not like he's trying to court the moderates, and I have to imagine the actual center would see damn near anyone as a more reasonable choice than him. Plus, Dems need someone who will inspire those fence-sitters to actually go out and vote, and I don't see Biden as inspiring much of anything.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:57 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Hearing the coverage of last night's debate reinforced my feelings about Biden - that he is only the current front-runner because of his name recognition, not because there's anything particularly noteworthy, special, or interesting about him, or even because he's a particularly good politician. I suspect he will go the route of Jeb Bush last election, the "obvious" early front-runner with lots of funding and name recognition who faded away quickly once voters found that other candidates had much more resonant messages. "Biden - I know Obama" is not a campaign slogan that's going to keep working for long.

I think the media is also a big factor. Biden is the big-donor corporate favorite and therefore the media favorite, and I think they'll continue to push him as the de facto nominee until there's a clear sign it isn't going to happen. He would mean the least upset for the corporate status quo.

I thought the two Coloradans came across well, and Gillibrand was overbearing in the beginning. Harris came across as passionate without being rude. I think Biden began every reply with, 'Look . . .,' which I thought he should have been advised not to do. The author and the Asian entrepreneur seemed pretty flaky to me.

Considering that no one will have the negatives Clinton had, and that Trump is no longer a novelty, I think just about any of the Democrats would beat him.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:32 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Obama was the exception, not the rule.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:48 pm 
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Not so, Al. Going all the way back to 1960 it is much more common when the Democrats nominate the establishment candidate they lose and when they nominate the upstart candidate they win:

1960 Kennedy, young upstart, wins
1964 Johnson certainly was an establishment candidate but he largely won on sympathy for Kennedy after his assassination.
1968 Humphrey, establishment candidate, lost
1972 McGovern, upstart candidate lost (exception to the rule)
1976 Carter, upstart candidate won
1980 Carter lost (exception)
1984 Mondale, establishment candidate, lost
1988 Dukakis, establishment candidate, lost
1992 Bill Clinton, upstart candidate, won
1996 Clintion won
2000 Gore, establishment candidate, lost
2004 Kerry, establishment candidate, lost
2008 Obama, upstart candidate, won
2012 Obama won
2016 Hillary Clinton, establishment candidate lost

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:09 pm 
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That'll teach me to talk about things I have no idea about! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:40 am 
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Kamala Harris' campaign today released a T-shirt representing the story she told in last night's debate ('I was that little girl'). The quick readiness of the merchandise seems to suggest that rather than being spontaneous and genuine, as it appeared, the moment was orchestrated. That doesn't diminish the validity of the message, but the calculation behind it leaves me feeling differently about the moment and the candidate. I realize everything in campaigns is calculated to the nth degree, but I think waiting a little longer would have been better.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:52 am 
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I think if anything, thinking and planning ahead is to a candidate's credit, but it also takes no time at all to upload a photo to a t-shirt printing site.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:26 am 
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Decades ago I worked at an embroidery (sweat)shop. We could pump out a lot of product (if the logo was small) in one evening with just 2 or 3 people. I'm assuming printing would be even quicker. I seem to vaguely recall a sport team pulling off a big upset and t-shirts were available the next day.

I'm torn on this one. Something about it doesn't appeal to me but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's probably the rigorous competitiveness of campaigning that rubs me the wrong way altogether. I agree with Frelga however in that someone (whether it's Kamala, a campaign manager or someone else on her team) had planned or was quick-thinking and that would be to their credit.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:55 am 
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538 has crunched the numbers and it looks like Warren, Harris and Castro have gained the most from the debates. Despite my misgivings about her chances, Warren has seen a steady climb in her polling numbers over the last couple of months, but it’s too early to see the results of the debate in the polls. On the other side, Biden, Sanders and O’Rourke seem to have underperformed expectations. I’m not that surprised that Biden and O’Rourke had a hard time as they both strike me as candidates who are not policy-heavy and also prone to misjudgements about managing their image, but Sanders’ core supporters must be a bit disappointed.

In the lower tier, Williamson and Yang gained tens of thousands of new Twitter followers – behind only Buttigieg (who more or less met expectations), Castro and Harris. Ironically for Yang, given he spoke least of all.

Even though he won’t win the nomination I have to say I’m fascinated by Yang’s candidacy. He’s been running for something like a year and has built a platform on a single big idea (universal basic income) and by appearing on every political Youtube channel which will have him, including on conservative ones. His position is “not left or right, but forward”, which has little appeal to the Democratic base but seems to have won him an eclectic coalition of backers (albeit only 1% of the Democratic electorate on current polling). I’m curious to see how it ends up, and if anyone else in either party emulates his approach in the future.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:06 pm 
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Not having watched the debates, my mental image of the second one is that of an arena fight where the combatants wear each other out until the well-rested Warren strides in.

It may not be entirely accurate.

I do want to point out that having a ruler named Elizabeth historically worked out well for the nations being ruled.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:28 pm 
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Much as I like Warren, I totally disagree with that. Harris pretty categorically demonstrated that she is a force to be reckoned with.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:39 pm 
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After Warren, Harris is my next choice. But I'd prefer her as an AG.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:41 pm 
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I remember, when Pres. Obama was running for his first term, that there was a discussion in the African American community about his blackness, and the legitimacy of his claim to a share in the African American story because of his parentage and upbringing (i.e., white mother, Kenyan father, not a descendant of American slaves). I don't recall this as a hostile discussion, but as a searching one, people sorting out their feelings about what it means to be African American. I know we have the Obama discussion available for review, but I don't have the time or energy to look for these posts. Can anyone here confirm my recollections on the existence and nature of these discussions?

I bring this up because there's a new kerfuffle over a tweet, apparently by an African American man, who is upset over his perception that Kamala Harris (who has an Indian mother and a Jamaican father and was born in California) was attempting to associate herself with the African American story (that is to say, with those who are descendants of African slaves in America). I don't want to discuss the substance of this tweeter's remarks, but rather, the reaction to them. Apparently the tweet was picked up by a bunch of bots, became politicized, was retweeted by Pres. Trump and then deleted, and went viral. The immediate response has been to condemn the tweet as 'birtherism.' This surprised me, because of my recollections of the discussions about Pres. Obama's blackness. I thought those were healthy discussions and allowed people to examine a legitimate question.

So I am wondering why the difference. Harris' parentage, like Obama's is interestingly different from many African Americans, but rather than allow a similar discussion to proceed, the other candidates jumped in and condemned it as a racist attack on Harris. Is this because the Pres. retweeted the remarks, thus irrevocably tainting them? Because twitter is not a good platform for serious discussions? Because the original tweet was critical and accusatory in nature? Because social media is generally a very nasty environment? Because the nation is now much more partisan than it was then?

I find it extremely discouraging that we are apparently so much less capable of having a discussion in this country today than we were 12 years ago.

edit

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/rivals-defend-kamala-harris-against-online-attacks-they-compare-to-birtherism/ar-AADCHQc

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:58 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
Because social media is generally a very nasty environment?


Bingo!

Cerin wrote:
Because the nation is now much more partisan than it was then?


Double Bingo!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:38 pm 
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Wow. That's a lot to unpack Cerin. Overall I agree with yov's reaction. 'Social media' is a nasty environment and the nastiest know to utilize it to their advantage. There is very little civility. A figurative bloody Roman arena. As for partisan, yes, it is more partisan but I would take that a step further and say divided, by which I mean we are not just politically polarized but polarized in every way. Tribalized. Unfortunately that is by the design of some. People agreeing & coming together as a great melting pot is not in their interest. We are failing at being a united 'us'. *sigh* United we stand, divided we fall.

If I correctly recall the kerfuffle over Obama & birtherism, it was intended to throw shade on his legitimacy as a citizen not necessarily his blackness. However, I believe birtherism was a 'dog whistle', a veiled excuse for racism that made it 'acceptable' to jump on the bandwagon and question his legitimacy altogether without openly appearing racist. So, perhaps the question might be: what is the recent kerfuffle about? Is it a valid question or a veiled attempt at delegitimizing Kamala Harris in some way?

People are (too often) swayed by emotion rather than facts. Advertising generally banks on that assumption because it works. Social media capitalizes on emotion. In something as important as an election, I wish there were a heavier emphasis on facts. A couple of posts up there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on that rubbed me the wrong way and I think this is what probably hits close to the mark. While I understand the importance and purpose of marketing and slogans, Kamala is an American. She was born here. She is part of our melting pot culture. She was the descendant of slaves, but in Jamaica. She was bused. This 'controversy' has all of the stink of trying to utilize emotion to make something out of nothing all over it.

The tweet you may be referring to:
Quote:
“Kamala Harris is implying she is descended from American Black Slaves,” Ali Alexander, a member of a right-wing constellation of media personalities, wrote on Twitter. “She’s not. She comes from Jamaican Slave Owners. That’s fine. She’s not an American Black. Period.”


I've never heard of this guy but... Oh good grief.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:59 pm 
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It seems straightforward to me. It is called a racist attack on Kamala Harris because it is a racist attack on Kamala Harris by a right-wing outfit, amplified by bots, all posing as an original post.


yovargas wrote:
Cerin wrote:
Because social media is generally a very nasty environment?


Bingo!


Because social media is saturated with bots and professional trolls, many of whom are run by agents of unfriendly states.

Watch what happens when Twitter does a round of bot cleanup. Suddenly, it becomes possible for people to have conversations in which they disagree but communicate. Then the bots descend again, and it all becomes drowned in the chorus of "lol, you triggered, lib?"

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:29 am 
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Can we please get something right here?

The birther conspiracy was an effort by the right wing to throw doubt over Obama's legitimacy. They said he wasn't born here, or something of the sort.

I am not talking about the birther conspiracy!

Again, I am not talking about the birther conspiracy!

I am talking about an African American man tweeting that he wasn't going to let a half-Indian, half-Jamaican 'steal his people's story.' (referencing Kamala Harris' remarks in the debate)

I was recalling that in 2008 or thereabouts, there was a civil, intelligent discussion in the African American community about where Pres. Obama fit into the African American narrative, not being a descendant of American slaves, but a child of a white mother and Kenyan father.

My point was, we were able to have that discussion then, but we are not able to ask today where Kamala Harris fits into the African American narrative, not being a descendant of American slaves, but a child of an Indian mother and Jamaican father. Today, talking about Harris' ancestry the way people talked about Obama's ancestry gets you immediately labeled a racist.

It was the other Presidential candidates who likened the tweet to the birther conspiracy. This is a distressingly inaccurate equivalence that the media has now picked up. The birther conspiracy was false. The observation that Obama was not a descendant of American slaves was true, and that observation of Harris is also true, as far as I know, and there is nothing wrong, in my view, with African Americans considering the significance of that. (I think the tweeter is mistaken in saying that Harris implied in the debate that she is part of the story of American slavery. I believe she did bring up the subject of reparations, and it was natural for a viewer to have assumed she was referencing herself, but she merely said the subject deserves to be considered seriously (paraphrase).)

The Harris campaign has labeled the incident 'vile.' So what was considered legitimate, sincere soul-searching in 2008 is now considered a vile racist attack. I was asking why.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:30 am 
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The 'African-American man' you refer to is actually a far-right activist participating in a concerted effort by other far-right activists to spread a false narrative about Sen. Harris. It is completely different than when some (in my opinion well-meaning but misguided) members of the African-American community pointed out that then-Senator Obama did not share their experience.

ETA: Here's a little more about Al Alexander (aka Ali Akbar), the far right activist who made the tweet that was retested by Donald Trump Jr (not the president as Cerin stated).
https://observer.com/2018/10/robert-mer ... alexander/
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:17 am 
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We'll see a lot more of this. Black voters are credited with carrying close elections during midterms where their turnout was high. So Republicans are going all out to keep them from turning out.

There are a lot of calls for Democrats to appeal to (unidentified) centrists, but my opinion is that the general election will depend on the turnout of progressive and minority voters.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:56 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
The 'African-American man' you refer to is actually a far-right activist participating in a concerted effort by other far-right activists to spread a false narrative about Sen. Harris. It is completely different than when some (in my opinion well-meaning but misguided) members of the African-American community pointed out that then-Senator Obama did not share their experience.

The African-American man may be a far right activist, but far right activist African-Americans have opinions, just as far-left African Americans activists have opinions, and centrist-activists, etc. What is the false narrative he is spreading? I agree he was wrong about Harris trying to imply something false about herself, but that's only his opinion. Others who watched the debate and heard what Harris said can come to a different conclusion, as I did. But thinking Harris was implying something false is neither racist nor vile. I think his tweet was over-aggressive, but that seems to be the tone of the twitterverse.

Or are you saying that the facts he offered about Harris' parentage are false? Is she not of Indian-Jamaican parentage? You say it is completely different than the discussion around Obama, but the only difference I see is that there appears to have been an agenda behind the tweet and re-tweets. That doesn't make the narrative false, it just makes the sincerity of the tweeter suspect.

If I understand what you're saying, the right isn't spreading a false narrative, but they are trying to stir up controversy around Harris by bringing up what could have been a legitimate subject if it had been raised sincerely at a time before our nation was so partisan.

I had successfully tuned out the political noise for a sustained length of time before something lured me back in. I think I will have another go at that.

edit for excess, with apologies

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Last edited by Cerin on Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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