Tag Archives: elections

Running from Race is Hard in the Presidential Race

New Orleans       It’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, so what better time to talk about the still unresolved, raw issues around race that continue more than 150 years after his death.  Evidence abounds that you can’t run from issues around race, as we examine increased scrutiny of Democratic presidential candidates, and their forced confrontations with the issue to their peril.

Former Mayor Peter Buttigieg has borne the brunt of a number of recent commentaries over his comments late in his term in the small city of South Bend, Indiana that he was surprised to find the level of segregation in the local schools.  A racialized killing involving a cop brought him off the campaign trail while he was still mayor to deal with the crisis to less than rave reviews.  His abysmal polling at around 6.6% in the latest 538 summary indicates he’s a very tough sell outside of the white castles of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Minnesota’s Senator Amy Klobuchar is having to answer questions about her time as prosecuting attorney in the Twin Cities and her role in the conviction of an African-American teenager that remains a controversy.  Her law and order claims have had to confront questions about how she handled race in the overwhelmingly white St. Paul / Minneapolis area.  Another white settlement in the spotlight problem.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appropriately finding it hard to paper over the years of damage his top-of-his-lungs advocacy of destructively racist stop-and-frisk policies by the police with a simple apology.  The fact that it was racial profiling is beyond debate.  The fact that it led to huge incarceration rates of black and brown New Yorkers during his many terms in office is also beyond dispute.  Millions of dollars in television ads has bought him a 7.8% showing in South Carolina so far, just as billionaire Tom Steyer’s millions have him now standing at 10%, but those numbers don’t indicate that all is forgiven, all is forgotten.

Senator Bernie Sanders faces some of the same dilemma with all of his political experience coming from snow white Vermont.  The Census Bureau still classifies Vermont as the whitest state in the country with somewhere between 95 and 96% of the population easily lost in the winter there.  In Vermont, it’s a white-in, not a white-out, when a winter storm breaks.  Sanders has worked hard to offset his inexperience with race, and his experience in the primaries in 2016 and now again in 2020 shows that he has made some progress perhaps but still runs far behind former Vice-President Joe Biden, who has dealt with race by embracing President Obama in a bearhug and constantly citing their eight years together.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren isn’t having to sweep up mountains of problems in her past record, but clearly has not been able to catch fire with African-American voters yet either.  She may continue to be damaged in the kerfuffle of her claims to Native American heritage there.

African-Americans are the largest, most unified voting block in the Democratic Party.  Ambition may trump everything else, but how can any candidate believe they can win in the primaries or against Trump without uniting black votes and dealing aggressively in every way possible with the issues of race?

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Trump Is Right – The Democrats are a Hot Mess

Greenville       It’s like the line about a broken clock is still right two times a day. President Trump is right that the Democrats look like the gang that can’t shoot straight and might not be competent enough to run the US government.  What a sorry, tragic state of affairs.

The Iowa primaries finally reported some results.  Partial results of course, since they are still counting and have only gotten to about 62% the day after their caucuses.  The headlines are calling it for former small-town mayor Pete Buttigieg by a nose over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren quite a bit behind and former Vice-President Joe Biden trailing her in fourth.  The rest are in the dust.

Who are they kidding?  Iowa is a wipeout.  There are no winners, only losers.  They all go on to New Hampshire being able to claim it is a do-over, since Iowa was such a mess.  Sanders in fact looks like he was the first choice in the reports from the caucus, even though as voters there caucused Buttigieg might have tallied slightly more.  My point is simple.  Everyone can claim whatever.

The Democratic Party had more than three years to get ready for this.  The resistance was front and center.  Trump was the target.  They knew the election was coming and that the country was betting all the marbles on trying to take Trump down, and now when voters finally get to stand up and be counted, the party lets them down.  Trump isn’t wrong about that.  He’s spot-on.  Of course, he doesn’t believe in parties at all as he has proven in his decimation of the Republican Party.  Maybe he has a point, as painful as it is to say.  The Democratic Party failed its people.

The impeachment is the other piece of evidence front and center.  Sound and fury signifying next to nothing.  The needle hardly moved, and some polls are claiming that Trump is finally becoming popular.  Everyone, including virtually the entire US Senate and certainly the American public, knows he’s guilty and did everything he was accused of doing, but the votes were never going to be there to remove him, so it was a show trial.  Trump won’t be ruled guilty, so he will have the right to claim vindication.

So, we’re back to square one.  You can only beat Trump in an election, and so far, the Democrats don’t know how to run or win an election and seem lost and divided in picking a candidate to take on Trump.

How can this end well?

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Please enjoy 1. Grace Potter – Back To Me [Feat. Lucius] (Radio Edit)

Thanks to WAMF.

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