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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Harris analysis

 

Why not Harris? 

First off, I have already said that pandering to a voting bloc only works when that group is actually a VOTING bloc. It doesn’t help at all if it’s not really a “voting bloc” but more of a reluctant group of people that is utterly unreliable for actually showing up to vote. The “Black Vote” is just such a group. Ignore them. Instead focus on swing voters who are actually going to show up and possibly vote for your opponent. Every swing voter you add to your side, you SUBTRACT from the other. The Black Vote if it shows up in any number is probably  not going to vote for Trump anyway. Kanye perhaps? But not Trump.

2: If you ARE going to try to entice the Black Vote…...why the fuck would you go with Harris? A PROSECUTOR and daughter of Jamaican and Indian professionals* is not the poster child of urban, Black America. (Admittedly anecdotal, I talked with Nickki recently and SHE knows of no one in her circle who is happy about Harris.) So I wonder if Harris is really the right choice for the Black community, or is instead what clueless White people think Black people want. And if these white folks based their choice on advice from Black politicians, they are clueless. 

*I was a Bio Major in college and I wonder how genetics work in politics?  It seems if you are half Jamaican and half Asian-Indian, you are indeed half Black and half Indian…..but if you are half white and half black, you are Black. Why are caucasian genes apparently so recessive?

3: She reeks of opportunism. Not “ambition”........but OPPORTUNISM. I am not saying that SNL is the best source of serious political analysis, but comic writers do have a sort of sharp insight into the character of the people they lampoon. SNL NAILED Harris. And if it’s that obvious to a bunch of comedians, I’m guessing she comes across that way to others too…...and that’s why they laughed at the characterization. She certainly does to me. I feel like she will say ANYTHING.



4: I can’t see her appeal to a swing voter. She is merely the darling choice of people already fully in Biden's corner. And Biden needs swing voters, not big smiles on the faces of his solid constituency. My choice? Prior to the race riots, it was Klobuchar, but now it would be Duckworth.

5: Then there’s her voice. She sounds like a smarmy female professional trapped inside of a higher-pitched bagpipe that is being slowly deflated. Now that doesn’t make her a bad person or bad politician, But it doesn't endear her to anyone either. And in case no one noticed….. politics is a bit of a popularity contest. Remember how "likable" Hillary was? 

So will Harris sink the Biden campaign? Hopefully not, but I don't see it doing much good either…... except for making solid Blue-Democrats feel very pleased with themselves…….right up until they lose again to Trump. Vice presidential choices rarely impact a campaign to a large degree, but this time a lot of people are a bit more concerned about Biden’s age than is sometimes the case. As such, his VP IS a bigger deal than it normally would be. So people ARE looking at her as a potential president…….and the moderates and swing-folk and even Blacks, don't seem thrilled at that prospect. I find it a very interesting barometer that Chris Wallace…...who is FOX News’ rare independent and someone I personally find refreshing, seems to like Biden but seems to be no great fan of Harris. Curious.

So basically Harris is the wrong person for the wrong reason......a twofold mistake. Now, what I would be eager to hear is a comment here from someone who voted for Trump in 2016, was on the fence for most of this year, and made a pro-Biden decision based on the inclusion of Harris on the ticket.......particularly if that person is from a swing state. THAT might make me reconsider my opinion!


15 comments:

  1. (1) Black voters turnout swings drastically. True. So do basically all voting blocs on a national basis, other than old people. Had Hillary done a better job of turning out black voters in a few key jurisdictions, she would have won. The problem isn't appealing to or targeting black voters. It's the Democrats traditional over-reliance on identity politics period, which leaves them always trying to cobble together diverse coalitions. Of course, the Republicans are even worse than the Democrats in that regard these days, targeting really only a single demographic, i.e. under-educated white men.

    (2) I think the assumption that black people won't vote for a prosecutor is a little problematic and reflects a very white perspective and white presumptions. While it definitely is anecdotal, the reaction among blacks I know for Harris was positive. I think it's also inconsistent to say the target needs to be swing voters, and then say Harris isn't appeal to urban black voters. The large urban votes are pretty much locked in for Democrats already, so on your theory, why care about appealing to those voters. It's the less urban, more middle of the road, suburban, law and order types that you want to win over.

    (3) Not all elections are swing elections. When you have a very polarizing candidate, people get locked in early. The polls have been remarkably, depressingly stable for months. There simply are not that many people who don't have a strong opinion about this administration. Therefore, it's a base election and the whole game revolves around turnout. How many people do you know who are genuinely open-minded about this president and truly persuadable? I have friends and colleagues who hate him. I have redneck relatives who love him. I don't personally know many people who are undecided or on the fence.

    (4) Why is it that if you are half white and half black you are black? Probably because it worked that way for about 300 years of slavery. From Frederick Douglass to Barak Obama, many prominent black leaders have had racially mixed backgrounds. So, I'm not sure what point you're making -- someone is black only if it's pure? I'm personally a mutt, but it's not that difficult to put me in one predominant bucket.

    (5) I too liked Klobuchar, and I also liked Mayor Pete. While I'm not from the Midwest, Midwesterners do seem to have an appeal to me. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be true for big blocks of the rest of the country. As for Duckworth, I get why you might like her, but I don't know what data you're relying on for an argument that she would move a bunch of swing voters away from Trump and to Biden.

    (6) I agree that Maya Rudolf totally nails Harris. "I am the cool Aunt who will buy you pot. Then bust you for smoking pot." Priceless. Though, does it matter? Alex Baldwin nailed Trump. Trump won. The one and only time I can think of that SNL has had any impact at all on a president or presidential contenders fortunes was Chevy Chase's lampooning of Gerald Ford as a klutz. There *is* some evidence that the drip, drip, drip of displaying him as a boob, at a point when the electorate was not as immune to relentless media portrayals as they are today, had an impact on his favorability ratings.

    (7) Your final point was the right one -- VP choices almost never make a real difference in the outcome. I would argue that Sarah Palin may have been an exception. I personally idolized John McCain and looked forward to voting for him, right up until he put that airhead on the ballot. The prospect of her as president was so terrifying that I did end up switching my vote that round.

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    1. .>>>>> The problem isn't appealing to or targeting black voters. It's the Democrats traditional over-reliance on identity politics period<<<<<< Agreed! Emphatically.

      >>>>>I think the assumption that black people won't vote for a prosecutor is a little problematic and reflects a very white perspective<<<<< I got that from Nickki.

      >>>>>> I think it's also inconsistent to say the target needs to be swing voters, and then say Harris isn't appeal to urban black voters.<<<<< No I said they should target swings......but if they aren't, and want to go for the Black vote instead, Harris was the wrong pick.

      >>>> It's the less urban, more middle of the road, suburban, law and order types that you want to win over.<<<<<< Yes and I don't think they are Harris fans either. Prosecutor or not.

      >>>>>>The polls have been remarkably, depressingly stable for months. There simply are not that many people who don't have a strong opinion about this administration. Therefore, it's a base election and the whole game revolves around turnout. How many people do you know who are genuinely open-minded about this president and truly persuadable? I have friends and colleagues who hate him. I have redneck relatives who love him. I don't personally know many people who are undecided or on the fence.<<<<<<< Agreed and not agreed. There aren't many undecideds. An estimate I heard is about 4 to 5% or less......BUT they will still decide the election. Turnout is also important, but not nationally. Only the swings matter. A very unfortunate fact for "Every vote counts" optimists.

      >>>>>>>Probably because it worked that way for about 300 years of slavery.<<<<<< Agreed and the same was true for "Jewishness" in Nazi Germany. It doesn't make it accurate though.

      >>>>> So, I'm not sure what point you're making -- someone is black only if it's pure? <<<<<< They are what they are. Half anything is still only half.

      >>>>>>> As for Duckworth, I get why you might like her, but I don't know what data you're relying on for an argument that she would move a bunch of swing voters away from Trump and to Biden.<<<<< None. Just a feeling. Disabled veterans have edges in politics with conservatives especially.

      >>>>>>I agree that Maya Rudolf totally nails Harris.<<<<<< That was my only point with SNL. They got her right....and it's not flattering.

      >>>>>only time I can think of that SNL has had any impact at all <<<<< SNL having an impact was NOT my point. My point was if SNL writers see her that way, so do others, myself included. I don't believe a word out of her mouth is anything other than a calculated ploy.

      Ahhhh, Sarah Palin. (sigh) Those were the days. ;-)

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  2. KD and Dan
    This was an interesting discussion to which I will add a couple points. The first is that VP candidates “almost” never have a positive impact, i.e., produce victory for the ticket. The most conspicuous exception is Johnson named to Kennedy’s 1960 ticket. He probably did make the difference. But more often the VP can harm a ticket and in fact presidential candidates today usually look for a running mate unlikely to become toxic. The classic example of the toxic VP was Eagleton in 1968 on the McGovern ticket, and of course Ms. Palin with McCain is another example. In sum the VP choice doesn’t matter or matter only at the margins, exception noted in 1960. My second point is re “undecideds” I have no good idea how many are out there but 5 -8 % is my guess. But the thing about undecideds in a race featuring an incumbent –especially incumbents named Trump, is that they tend to break for the challenger or not to vote at all. I know both of you harbor some expectation ( angst?) that Trump will roar from behind at the last minute to reprise his 2016 shocker. It’s not going to happen. Watch the polls over the next week or so the (average not any one poll) Trump, as the incumbent is at or near his high water mark or will be by mid-month ( September). Yes Biden could choke in a debate or two ( a word I used to like but strangely recently find obscene), and the mythic “October surprise” could always happen. (a vaccine for example). But this is not going to happen in the real world. This one is over except for the cheering –and there will be plenty of that – probably for the next four years as the country come to realize what a bullet it ducked
    Alan

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    1. Alan I agree with "almost never" very much. History validates it. However, "almost never" is not "never" and I feel with Biden's age and the Right's attack on his competency, people might be more interested in just who takes over if something bad happens than with a younger presidential candidate.

      Also, I hope you are right on the outcome. An "October Surprise" is so expected though that I think they may have to drop 'surprise' and call whatever he comes up with "the crazy bombshell we all knew he was going to drop in October".

      Thanks for dropping by, too.

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  3. Thank you for FINALLY explaining your objection to Harris. at least I can understand it.

    As for "Blackness," I REALLY don't "get" it. My 5 (adult male) children are all Mulatto. I tend to think of it as a race separate from Black or White, or Asian, etc.
    BUT
    My opinion is in the minority, and I had a talk with my (45 y/o) niece about this some time ago. We both agreed it was strange to think of my children as anything but mixed race, but there you go.

    As someone who appears caucasion, I get a lot of "white Privilege" (hate the term, but it's true) and I cannot begin to tell you how many times I was questioned about being their "real mother" by others. It's insulting! I also cannot begin to tell you how many times my boys were racially profiled and harassed by the local police (we lived in the Redondo Beach/Torrance area of CA) even though they did nothing suspicious.

    I talked to my youngest and he told me the idea that Harris was a Prosecutor made it MORE appealing to him and his wife. In other words #NotAllBlackPeople

    I'm looking forward to Election Day and hoping the incumbent gets voted out along with McConnell

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    1. Thanks for all of that background. I think it's good for people to see what happens when ideas are represented by real people.

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  4. McConnell will survive but in a very diminished ( and harmless) state.He will have presided over the loss of the Senate, the loss of the white house and amid the shrinking relevancy of the GOP itself.Not being from Kentucky and not otherwise needing to endure him daily I rather relish the idea of him wandering around the wreckage,helpless to control even the hours of the Senate Barbershop. It will never compensate for all the harm his lies and enabling of Trump produced - but it's a good down payment

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    1. Sorry, I neglected to sign above note to Merry's post
      Alan

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    2. Hi Alan!

      I'm in California, but what I feel is that McConnell has spent YEARS thwarting important issues from being passed. He REALLY has to GO NOW!

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    3. Under the scenario I outlined above he will go into the minority where he may have to fight to maintain any leadership role even in the ( soon to be) Senate Minority. The Trump enablers will not do well in the post Trump era.

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  5. I guess it all boils down to who kept their campaign promises and who built the greatest economy to date. And it wasn't Barack and Joe. You may not like what he says or tweets but he is the first President that keeps his promises. Steve (Trump 2020)

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    1. Not really. Keeping a promise (which in many cases with Trump is debatable as well) is still less important than what those promises are in the first place. Take the wall. Whether you want to say he followed through or not....a wall was never something I wanted as a taxpayer.

      And I have a difficult time with this economy claim. I see whatever he may have accomplished coming at the expense of other more important things. I think of it as if there was a cold snap and a politician promised to keep you warm, and then did.....by burning your house.

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  6. No thats Antifa and Black lives matter

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  7. Replies
    1. Absolutely......(eye roll) ....as if white people have NEVER burned anything in a protest.

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