Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Bernie’s the most popular politician in US. Favorability at 58% among Women.

The Harvard Harris poll sampled over 2000 voters across the country last week (April 14-17).

Sanders is viewed favorably by 57 percent of registered voters, according to data from a Harvard-Harris survey provided exclusively to The Hill. Sanders is the only person in a field of 16 Trump administration officials or congressional leaders included in the survey who is viewed favorably by a majority of those polled. […]

Only 32 percent have a negative view of Sanders, including nearly two-thirds of Republicans.

— thehill.com/…

It’s important to note that the survey looked only at current politicians, not those who aren’t in office today. Obama’s approval rating is also in the high 50s.

Equally interesting is the fact that Bernie’s support is very broad and crosses gender, race and age lines. He enjoys high levels of support among Women, African American and Latino voters. Those demographics favor him more than younger voters who are often assumed to be the overwhelming source of support for Bernie. But older voters support Bernie as well:

Sanders also has majority support among those over the age of 50.

There continue to be concerted efforts to erase the diversity of Bernie’s supporters on DKos and off it. Several diarists have continued the practice they adopted during the primaries, of referring to Bernie’s supporters as “Bernie Bros”, in a blatant attempt to paint all his supporters as white men. Kos has been providing fuel for this narrative throughout, and he continues to do it today, on and off this site:

“I would say that I’m focused on building this inclusive party of tomorrow. There was a contingent of Bernie bros that still exist, that are still whining and crying and making demands, instead of putting their words into actions,” — www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Bernie also enjoys 80% support among Democrats. Yes, that’s despite his not being a Democrat. Apparently, voters don’t seem to care, possibly because most voters are right there with him. Gallup’s party affiliation poll from last month found 40% of Americans consider themselves independents, far higher than the 30% who say they’re Democrats, and 26% who are Republicans. Most Democrats have friends, neighbors and relatives who aren’t, and they understand that values matter more than party affiliation.

Interestingly, Bernie’s name recognition (85%) is higher than that of Vice-President Mike Pence (80%), though lower than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (95% each).

Here’s a view of the 10 politicians with the highest favorables:

Politician Favorable unfavorable Net Fav
Bernie Sanders 57% 32% 25%
Mike Pence 44% 41% 3%
Donald Trump 44% 51% -7%
Hillary Clinton 42% 53% -11%
Elizabeth Warren 38% 32% 6%
Paul Ryan 34% 47% -13%
neil Gorsuch 34% 29% 5%
Nancy pelosi 31% 48% -17%
Chuck Schumer 27% 35% -8%
Rex tillerson 27% 31% -4%

It’s noteworthy that the next highest net favorables are for Elizabeth Warren, part of the Democratic wing which leans left on both economic and social issues.

The table collapses “very favorable” and “favorable” into one number. The rest of the cabinet and advisors like Kushner, Bannon languished in the low 20s or below for approval. Bannon had the worst numbers, 16% favorable, 45% unfavorable, for -29% favorability. Mitch McConnell wasn’t that far ahead, with 23% favorable, 42% unfavorable, or -19%.

Sourced from the results in the Harvard/Harris poll (link to PDF download).

— Also posted at DailyKos and Medium.

They’ve learned nothing. The media cheers Trump’s “decisiveness” on “beautiful” missile strikes.

Launching a few missiles is all it took. Now, much of the American media is rooting for the “shock and awe” show they most love to cover.

Example A: Brian Williams, gushing about “beautiful pictures” of missiles being launched from ships, obliviously quoting Leonard Cohen on “the beauty of our weapons”:

In his speech announcing the airstrikes, Trump said he was prompted to act by the sight of of “beautiful babies” killed in the attack. He said “No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

Example B: The New York Times wrote an article:

On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First

On Thursday, an emotional President Trump took the greatest risk of his young presidency, ordering a retaliatory missile strike on Syria for its latest chemical weapons attack.

The Times changed the headline eventually.

They must be suffering from amnesia, because the article doesn’t mention any of the dozens of “beautiful babies” who died in bombings or raids over the past month in Idlib, Raqqa, Mosul and Yemen. Bombings facilitated by Trump’s decision to loosen the Obama administration’s rules meant to reduce civilian casualties. Among those killed by our bombs was there no “child of “god” who suffered? Why didn’t Trump ever find a podium to speak of their suffering? He wouldn’t even have to launch missiles to ensure that doesn’t happen again, he can just sign an executive order strengthening US rules. Today again, there are early reports of a US airstrike killing 15 civilians, including 4 children.

Example C: Fareed Zakaria has decided launching missiles and weeping crocodile tears makes Trump finally seem Presidential.

I understand why Republicans who opposed any military action against Syria during Obama’s presidency are suddenly very supportive of airstrikes to bolster up Trump’s approval ratings. What excuse does the media have?

On Fox and Friends they were talking about how “cool” it was that Trump ordered missile strikes over “creme brulee” with the Chinese “politburo” at Mar-A-Lago.

The financial networks noticed this:

I guess the infrastructure stimulus plan won’t involve modernizing our infrastructure. The plan is to stimulate our economy by bombing someone else’s infrastructure to smithereens. It’s good for Trump too, he likely still owns Raytheon stock.

“Liberal” MSNBC wasn’t immune:

Know who else is cheering the bombing? Our “allies” in the region:

— Cross-posted at DailyKos | @subirgrewal

What if he isn’t colluding, just clueless?

There is clearly a lot we don’t know about the role Russia’s intelligence agencies played in the 2016 election. Investigations continue, both in Congress and by US intelligence agencies. I haven’t seen much attention paid to one possible outcome of the investigations. What if it turns out that Trump himself didn’t actively collude with Putin or any foreign agencies seeking to influence the election. What if he was clueless about this as he is (sometimes intentionally) about many other things?

That’s Mark Cuban’s take, as he outlined in a series of tweets yesterday.

Cuban then goes on to speculate that Manafort and Flynn were recommended to Trump who brought them on without  much due diligence. This is plausible, Trump prides himself on making decisions based on “very little knowledge”. With the haphazard, home-grown nature of his campaign, it’s quite likely no one even knew what screening questions to ask when bringing people into the campaign.

Trump is clueless enough to have asked, during a campaign rally:

“Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Someone actively conspiring with Russian intelligence wouldn’t be expected to say that. It might however, be blurted out by a careless person who has associates whispering in their ear that another e-mail dump might help the campaign.

If the rot is limited to Manafort, Flynn and a couple of others in the Trump campaign orbit, then we need to temper our expectations of the result. Unless it’s clear that Trump himself colluded (like Nixon) on an electronic DNC break-in, it’s unlikely he’ll be forced to resign or impeached.

There is no process to remove a president who is lazy, uninformed, uninterested or vulnerable to psy-ops and social engineering by foreign agents. Congress can’t and won’t impeach a president for incompetence.

There is still a political benefit to such a result. It will damage Trump’s awful agenda further and dent his approval ratings even more. So, we should continue to push for thorough, independent investigations. But it is likely that all we end up with is a hobbled Trump presidency. That would still be a good result for 2018 and 2020, but it is bound to disappoint some who believe Trump’s not long for the White House.

FWIW, my own take is that the alt-right in general (Trump included) adores Putin because they see in him a like-minded strongman who has used the Russian equivalent of white-supremacist, Islamaphobic, Christianist rhetoric in a quest for power.

“The Destruction of Hillary Clinton” has few lessons and heaps of condescension.

Susan Bordo published an extract from her forthcoming book in the Guardian, under the title: The destruction of Hillary Clinton: sexism, Sanders and the millennial feminists.

A quote from the piece:

They didn’t witness the complicated story of how the 1994 crime bill came to be passed or the origins of the “super-predator” label (not coined by Hillary and not referring to black youth, but rather to powerful, older drug dealers).

Go ahead, watch the video:

Your lying ears are probably telling you Hillary Clinton just said “they’re often the kinds of kids that are called super-predators”.

That’s because you’re an empty-headed, inexperienced, young millennial who doesn’t have the benefit of Bordo’s spidey-senses. Which is why you don’t know “kids” is actually a secret code-word for “powerful, older drug dealers”. Silly you.

Sanders’s branding of Hillary as establishment, however, seemed vastly unjust and corrosively divisive to me, especially when delivered to a generation that knew very little about her beyond what Bernie told them.

Not only are you too dumb to understand what “kids” means when Hillary Clinton says it, you’re also largely ignorant about politics in this country over the past 25 years. This generation doesn’t know much about politics or the Clintons and so abjectly failed to recognize HRC as the superior political product.

It’s really quite lamentable how impressionable and stupid we are, to fall for the rock-star charisma of a 75 year old grandpa, and that too only eight years after we fell for the rock-star charisma of a 47 year old black guy:

As I watched Sanders enchant the crowds, it was something of a deja vu experience to see a charismatic male politician on stage telling women which issues are and aren’t progressive.

The entire extract is meant to tell Bernie supporters they’re rubes without any agency of their own, incapable of discriminating between candidates. Apparently, millennial feminists weighed down by student debt were seduced by Bernie’s charisma, not his steadfast call for public colleges to be as affordable as when he (and Bordo and Clinton) attended.

On the off-chance that someone remembered there were substantive policy differences between Bernie and Hillary, Bordo is standing by to explain how silly we are to think that should matter.

As Jonathan Cohn wrote, in May: “If Sanders is the standard by which you’re going to decide whether a politician is a progressive, then almost nobody from the Democratic party would qualify. Take Sanders out of the equation, and suddenly Clinton looks an awful lot like a mainstream progressive.”

Let me paraphrase Jonathan Cohn’s prescription, quoted admiringly by Bordo:

First, forget that strong tea you tasted yesterday. We’re going to give you this weak tea, and just to make sure your little young heads don’t get all confused about it. The weak tea is what you get, and you will and should like it.

Earlier in the piece, Bordo is incensed that Bernie claimed the mantle of “progressive” from HRC, going into a long explanation of what “progressive” has meant over the years. And a couple of paragraphs later, she admits that you can only get Hillary to “mainstream progressive” if you remove Bernie from the data-set.

There’s a rank stench of paternalism, yes paternalism, wafting from this piece.

Bordo knows what is progressive and the silly Bernie supporters seduced by his “charisma” know less than nothing, we were just easy marks for a slick Burlington salesman. That paternalism might explain the next phenomenon that catches her attention:

too many young Democrats made it very clear (in newspaper and internet interviews, in polls, and in the mainstream media) that they were only voting for Hillary Clinton as the lesser of two evils, “holding their noses”, tears still streaming down their faces over the primary defeat of the person they felt truly deserved their votes. Some didn’t vote at all.

Ah yes, the crime of insufficient enthusiasm, which all Bernie supporters are forever guilty of. Of course, this couldn’t have anything to do with the candidate, it’s a product of Bernie supporters’ inherent moral failings, along with their youth, ignorance and inexperience as explained above.

This whole line of thinking is so ridiculous that even Bordo manages to lose the plot:

He was the champion of the working class (conveniently ignoring that black and white women were members, and that their issues were also working class issues)

Yes, for once I agree with her. Working class issues are indeed issues that impact black and white women, and all working people. Bernie reminded us of this throughout the campaign. For example, in his announcement speech:

Now is the time for millions of working families to come together, to revitalize American democracy, to end the collapse of the American middle class and to make certain that our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy a quality of life that brings them health, prosperity, security and joy – and that once again makes the United States the leader in the world in the fight for economic and social justice, for environmental sanity and for a world of peace.

Or when his campaign developed a comprehensive position on racial justice (before HRC’s did). Those are all reasons his campaign spoke to me, and why I knew he was more “progressive” than HRC. Jonathan Cohn’s attempt to adjust the curve and make HRC a “mainstream progressive” wasn’t compelling during the primary. Bordo echoing him a year later won’t do it either.

HRC had an opportunity to join the Congressional Progressive Caucus during her eight year senate career. It counts several dozen representatives as members. She did not.

Which allows me to remark on another prejudice that Bordo has managed to imbibe:

if Clinton had more support from the Democratic party, that was due in large part to the relationships she had cultivated over the years, working with others – something Sanders was not particularly good at.

By the way, that is the same CPC that Bernie helped found when he arrived in the House. So much for not being “particularly good at” working well with others. It’s also worth noting that the CPC overlaps significantly with the Congressional Black Caucus.

The fact is, HRC is a relatively “conservative” Democrat who inhabits a space between the right (on economic issues) and the left (on social issues). During her ascent (as part of a power couple) to the height of political power in our country, she had to make hard political choices, and there were reasons for making those choices. Some of them had to do with her priorities and what she believed, others with the circumstances. For instance, while serving as a board member at Walmart:

Fellow board members and company executives, who have not spoken publicly about her role at Wal-Mart, say Mrs. Clinton used her position to champion personal causes, like the need for more women in management and a comprehensive environmental program, despite being Wal-Mart’s only female director, the youngest and arguably the least experienced in business. On other topics, like Wal-Mart’s vehement anti-unionism, for example, she was largely silent, they said.

HRC was appointed to the board while her husband was governor of Arkansas (where Walmart is headquartered), to address the criticism that the board was composed entirely of white men. While in that role, she advocated for women in managerial roles, but not for rank and file working class women at Walmart who would have benefited from a union.

Some of those choices have been personally taxing for Hillary. For instance, her support for the Welfare Reform act caused a long-lasting rift with Marian Wright Edelman that has never been repaired.

In the end, Bordo’s long essay boils down to, us young ones don’t know what Hillary Clinton had to go through. If we accept that argument, then why not make it in defense of Lindsey Graham? Do we really know what Lindsey Graham had to go through, why he made the political compromises he did? Maybe we should cut him some slack and vote for him for president? Of course that’s a bad idea because much as there is to admire about Graham, his politics don’t align with ours, which is why we’re not enthusiastic about the prospect of voting for him.

The sad fact is that HRC was the wrong candidate for 2016. This was an anti-establishment cycle and she was the establishment candidate. She would have been the establishment candidate with or without Bernie. Without Bernie in the primary, her campaign might have made an even stronger pitch for suburban voters, by down-playing progressive economic issues. Would that have enthused millennial feminists?

There is much to admire in Hillary’s career and life, and even her two unsuccessful campaigns. Appreciating that does not require infantalizing those who supported Bernie as Bordo does.