Delaware Dem's Latest Posts
DR Tucker \at the Washington Monthly:
The suggestion that most Sanders-supporting progressives will refuse to vote on November 8 if Sanders isn’t the Democratic nominee defies all logic. Sure, there may be a few disgruntled Bernie-backers who will either skip the polls or pull the level for presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, but ask yourself: considering the stakes involved, do you honestly believe that the folks who have been attracted to Sanders’s message would, in essence, concede the election to whichever radical from last night’s debate wins the GOP nomination?
Remember the nonsensical “PUMA” movement in 2008? The idea that large numbers of Clinton supporters would actually refuse to vote for Barack Obama in the general election was laughable—and the idea that most Sanders supporters will throw a tantrum in the event the Vermonter is vanquished is just as silly.
[...] To accept the premise that most Sanders supporters would go on a general-election strike if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination is to accept the right’s premise of progressive irrationality. In order to buy the idea that the “Bernie or Bust!” movement is real, one would have to believe that most Sanders supporters:
* are unmindful of the importance of the United States Supreme Court, US District Courts of Appeal, and US District Courts, and the judges appointed to each division;
* are perfectly willing to allow a situation whereby a Republican President, Republican House and Republican Senate are finally in a position to obliterate Obamacare;
* would have no problem with four years of nothing being done to stem the bloody tide of handgun violence;
* would give the Christian right the opportunity to reinstate coathangers as the only reproductive option for women facing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies;
* would tolerate a Republican president fomenting a culture of racial and religious intolerance;
* would ignore the prospect of the GOP gutting President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and successfully sabotaging the 2015 Paris climate agreement; and
* would gamble on the idea that a Republican president could be thrown out of office in 2020 in favor of, presumably, Democratic presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren.
In other words, to buy this idea, one would have to buy absolute absurdity.
Members of the progressive family are simply having an argument over who will be the best individual to lead the country into the next decade. Yes, the language in this argument is sometimes raw, crude, personal. However, does anyone really believe that at the end of the primary, the progressive family will not set aside its differences and come together?
Indeed, those Sanders supporters who say they will not vote for Hillary are the type of voter that have never voted for the Democratic nominee in the first place. They vote Green, Working Families, Socialist, Communist or not at all. So if you want to see how large their numbers are, look at prior vote totals for those parties.
The New Castle County Democratic Committee will be holding a “Candidate Forum Night” for the positions of Insurance Commissioner and Lt. Governor. The Forum will be on February 17, 2016 at 7 pm at the Local 74 Executive Banquet & Conference Center, 205 Executive Drive, Newark, Delaware 19702. During this forum there will be an interactive question and answer session with the audience. Meanwhile, the News Journal and WHYY have formed a coalition with various community groups to hose four debates for the candidates for Wilmington Mayor.
The beginning of the Republican primary debate in New Hampshire Thursday night may go down as the most awkward in memory.
It all started when Ben Carson failed to walk onstage when his name was called, causing a bottleneck in the wings that the other candidates had to walk around. Then Donald Trump apparently didn’t hear his name and stood by Carson while other candidates walked by the two of them. On top of it all, the ABC News moderators forgot about John Kasich, leaving an empty podium on stage and one Ohio governor hovering off to the side.
Then Marcodyne Rubicon Systems Model T100 faltered last night, getting stuck on repeat.
Booman says we are in for a long primary, even if Clinton becomes the inevitable nominee in March:
Even if Clinton rips off a bunch of big victories in a row and seems like the inevitable nominee, it’s pretty unlikely that Sanders will concede because he’ll have all the money he needs to keep campaigning. And I don’t think he really set out to win this thing at the beginning, so he’s not quitting just because he realizes that he won’t be nominated. He’ll want to keep hammering home his points and gathering delegates for the convention.
A long campaign will be painful, but 2008 showed there can be important upsides. The more states the two campaigns organize, the more work they’ll have done in advance of the general election. The more the country is focused on the differences between Clinton and Sanders, the more they’ll be focused on their messaging and values and the less they’ll be focused on the messaging and values of the Republicans.
It’s true that some feelings will get hurt and some bitterness will result. It’s not cost-free to have an extended contested nomination, and the eventual nominee will get wounded. But, even here, some of Obama’s worst vulnerabilities were old news by November precisely because they’d been hashed out in the winter and spring.
As long as the process doesn’t leave the nominee underfunded, it’s probably not a problem to have a long primary season.
In this week’s address, the President discussed climate change and how the most ambitious climate agreement in history is creating private sector partnerships that are advancing the latest technologies in clean power.
In his weekly message, Governor Markell celebrated the groundbreaking of the new US Route 301 and its positive impact on the surrounding economy.
Dylan Matthews has his winners and losers. Winner: Bernie and Hillary. Losers: Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Wall Street.
On some level, the Democratic primary process is now zero-sum, with any gains to Sanders hurting Clinton and vice versa. And that’s true in a narrow sense. But both candidates gave very strong performances that emphasized their respective strengths. Regardless of who won in relative terms, both clearly succeeded in making the most compelling case for their respective candidacies.
For Clinton, that meant giving her strongest performance to date on foreign policy. She’s still well to the right of the Democratic Party as a whole on these questions. But she also is actually well-versed in them, whereas Sanders’s comments on foreign policy appear limited to a) praising the foreign policy achievements of the Obama administration, and b) hammering Clinton for her vote for the Iraq War. [...]
Sanders clearly won on domestic policy. Clinton clearly won on foreign policy. And both gave excellent performances that offered compelling substantive grounds for supporting them. It feels perverse to label either a loser.
So Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders got into a little bit of a Twitter war yesterday, over Progressivism. If there is a war as to who is the MOST progressive, Bernie wins. But Bernie does what every Purist Progressive does, in that they think they can define for all who and who is not Progressive, with the answer always being that only Purists can be called Progressive. Purist Progressives are horrible, HORRIBLE, at building coalitions for this very reason. Because any deviation from dogma is a sin and the sinner must be cast out and burned at the stake.
Hillary is who she says she is, a pragmatic progressive who likes to get things done. To Bernie, getting things done is a heresy that must be condemned.
And Brian Beutler says Bernie better quit it soon or else he will be unelectable.
One of the questions at the heart of the fight between Clinton and Sanders is whether Sanders’s promise to lead a political revolution that brings the United States closer to social democracy is credible or fantastic. The argument frequently pits cynics and pragmatists, who see Barack Obama’s high-minded-candidacy-turned-difficult-presidency as an object lesson in the unloveliness of governing, against idealists and counterfactualists, who say Obama never attempted to turn the promise of his campaign into progressive action.
Even if you side with Team Sanders on this question, the insight that gave rise to that tweet (that pitting progressives against moderates is an effective tactic in a two-person Democratic primary) is incompatible with the goal of uniting the existing Democratic base with the unattached voters and Republicans of the white working class. It may even be incompatible with building a majority coalition in a general election.
The list of reasons to worry Sanders is unelectable is unusually long. To paraphrase Vox’s David Roberts: Sanders would be far and away the oldest president to take office; he has self-identified as a socialist for most of his career, undeterred by the media’s inability to distinguish between social democrats (what he is) and Leninists (what Republicans will say he is); he supports a higher tax on middle-class labor, which is politically and substantively the worst way to finance a welfare state expansion.
On top of all that, he is unabashed about his disinterest in party coalition building. He’s happy to represent one wing of it, but not inclusively enough to pick up endorsements from influential party actors. This is all exacerbated by the fact that he’s spent his congressional career as an independent who caucuses with Democrats, and has never plied his popularity into helping Democratic colleagues get elected. This increases the likelihood that down-ballot Democrats would run away from him in a tough race, rather than rally to unite the party.
But you can set all that aside, too, and just consider the ramifications of Sanders’s defeating Clinton by boxing her out of the progressive movement, and using the term “moderate” as an epithet to describe deviations from his agenda.
Progressives should welcome Clinton’s embrace of progressivism, for that means that Progressivism has control of the party. At this rate, if Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, he will lose in such spectacular fashion that he will destroy Progressivism for 50 years.
“Hillary Clinton is dispatching at least 150 people from her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn Heights to New Hampshire for an all-hands-on-deck effort here in advance of the Democratic primary on Tuesday,” BuzzFeed reports.
Politico: “The feeling at Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters these days isn’t about pulling off an upset — it’s about closing the gap, and halting Sanders’ momentum by denying him an easy win in a state that should be a cakewalk. In some respects New Hampshire is the only state where Team Clinton can flip the inevitability script — with Sanders positioned as the favorite with lots to lose.”
Kudos to Wilmington City Councilman Bud Freel:
A handful of contracts that Mayor Dennis P. Williams brought to the City Council for approval have sat untouched for more than a month as Finance Committee Chairman Bud Freel wages a silent protest against the mayor. Freel has refused to bring three agreements to the full council for a final vote until Williams provides members of the state General Assembly with information about how the police department deploys officers.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Dec. 2 approved putting $1.5 million toward fighting Wilmington crime, but said the money would not be released until the police department discloses the number of officers on patrol and how they are used. Legislators said they included the stipulation because of concerns the department is not effectively using current resources. [...]
Williams has not responded to state lawmakers, saying he was offended by the stipulation.
Mayor Dennis P. Williams has something to hide: either his incompetence or something more sinister. Hence his refusal to turn over the data. It was long past time someone, anyone, on the Wilmington Council revolted. I say shut down the entire city until Williams relents. And then, come November, Wilmington voters need to wipe the city clean of all of most of elected officials, starting with Williams and his entire cabal.
Jason330 has come out for Sanders, though he is happy to vote for each candidate in the end, especially if the primary produces a battle tested Hillary Clinton. I, as you know, am a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and I am not going to change my mind on that nor apologize for it. I believe Bernie Sanders would fail as our nominee, leading us to a Mondale or Dukakis-style defeat. And if you don’t see that possibility, and the risk inherent in nominating someone who pledges to raise taxes on the middle class, not the wealthy, but the middle class, by 20%, then you are a, what is the term Jason used to describe me, oh yes, a puerile irredeemable naive misanthrope. It’s like you have learned nothing at all about Republicans and Independents and even Democrats your entire life. I mean, the commercials write themselves.
And the worst part is Bernie Sanders has pledged that he will be another Michael Dukakis and John Kerry in that he will not fight back with negative campaigning against the Republicans to defend himself. Fuck that. I’ll go with the fighting Clinton.
I will of course support and vote for him if he is our nominee, if only because to do otherwise will make me responsible for whatever Republican wins, but that does not change the fact that the Democratic Party will be wiped out in Congress and every where else, not that Bernie cares, since he is not a Democrat nor does he support any Democratic candidates with his campaign money.
So game on. The Battle is joined.
Now let’s get back to the politics of it. Hillary got the win, albeit a close one, but she will no doubt take it and be happy. And Clinton supporters should be happy, and Bernie supporters should be concerned. Why? Because the worst case scenario for her campaign and the best case scenario for the Sanders campaign occurred in that the turnout for Sanders was higher than even the Sanders campaign expected, and Hillary still won. She took the punch and kept standing.
Now Bernie faces a no win situation in New Hampshire. Current polls have his lead there anywhere from 15-30 points. He better win by 20-30 points to have his win deemed a win. In fact, I am not sure he should even be campaigning in New Hampshire right now. He should be in South Carolina and Nevada. Because what happens if Hillary gains on him in New Hampshire to finish strong there, losing by 5 instead of 30? It means she will have “won” the New Hampshire primary in terms of momentum. And then she will go steamrolling into Nevada and South Carolina. Bernie needs to be there now to see if he can make inroads in states where Hillary is leading by significant margins, to show that he can win where white progressives are not 90% of the vote.
Trump, Cruz and Rubio were managing the expectations game going into tonight’s caucuses. We also have tells from the candidates themselves about how the campaign is going. Ed Kilgore says the Clinton campaign reeks of confidence. Margaret Hartmann on the Bernie Sanders campaign:
Over the weekend, Sanders began running a new ad in Iowa that hints Clinton is too influenced by Wall Street. And after famously declaring, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” at October’s debate, he took a different stance when Jake Tapper raised the issue on CNN’s State of the Union. “I think this is a very serious issue,” Sanders said. “I think there is a legal process right now taking place.”
In some ways Clinton and Sanders have switched tactics in the final days before voting in Iowa. As New York’s Ed Kilgore reported, a confident Clinton tried to fire up supporters by discussing a raft of progressive policy proposals on Sunday in Des Moines. Meanwhile, the final Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics poll showed Clinton three points ahead of Sanders in Iowa, and the Washington Post reports that a “visibly agitated” Sanders complained about Clinton hitting him on gun control and reproductive rights. “Those are inaccuracies, and we can do better than that,” he said. “Secretary Clinton and I have differences of opinion. Let’s debate those differences of opinion, but let’s not go around distorting a record that I am very proud of.”
That tells of a campaign that is behind.
Yesterday, the Gold Standard Iowa poll by Anne Selzer was released. As expected, it finds Clinton and Trump ahead, though they find that Trump’s lead is beatable whereas other polls showed him with a larger more insurmountable lead.
Here are some interesting points from the cross tabs and internals of the poll: “Another sign of a possible cliffhanger Monday night: Although just 9% of likely GOP caucusgoers haven’t yet made a choice, they’re part of the 45% who could be persuaded to change their minds in the final hours.”
As has been the case all along, Sanders has a robust lead among first-time Caucus-goers, but they represent only about a third of likely participants, as compared to 60 percent when Barack Obama beat Clinton in 2008 via a huge turnout. And while Sanders’s base includes both men and women under 30, Clinton has a better than 2-to-1 lead among seniors — still the most likely voters to show up Monday night — and desire for a woman to become president seems more intense than a passion for the kind of political revolution Sanders promises.
Among Republicans, the Iowa Poll confirms the conventional wisdom that Donald Trump has overtaken Ted Cruz; he leads Cruz 28 to 23 percent, reversing a 25 to 22 percent Cruz lead in the last Selzer poll. But the bit of conventional wisdom passionately hoped for by many establishment Republicans — a Marco Rubio surge past Cruz into second place — just ain’t happening. He’s at 15 percent, with no particular signs of momentum, unless you believe Selzer missed some sort of very late, debate-driven change (this poll was still in the field yesterday, though).
An interesting thing is happening: President Obama’s poll numbers are rising. The Washington Post reported this week:
President Obama’s job-approval rating has rebounded into positive territory, boosted by improving assessments of his handling of the nation’s economy since 2012 and thawing ratings on handling the terrorist threat, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Fifty percent of Americans approve of Obama’s overall job performance in the new poll, similar to 51 percent in October. While barely positive, Obama’s marks are up slightly from 45 and 46 percent in the past two months…. Fully 50 percent approve of his handling of the economy, while 46 percent disapprove, the best margin in Post-ABC polls since 2009.
In late January of 2008, President Bush’s approving rating was in the high 20’s to low thirties. In fact, President Obama’s approval rating is practically identical to that of Ronald Reagan at this stage of his Presidency. Reagan was at 47% approval in late January, compared to Obama’s 48%, according to Gallup. Nate Silver added yesterday that the latest RealClearPolitics average shows the president’s support reaching its highest point since June 2013. It could be a temporary blip, of course, but Nate added, “Maybe Obama looks a little better in comparison to the unpopular set of candidates they’ve been seeing and hearing so much from lately.”
In this week’s address, the President discussed his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school.
In his weekly message, Governor Markell unveiled a Fiscal Year 2017 state budget that invests in stronger schools and workforce training, innovation and infrastructure to spur economic growth, better health and a high quality of life.
This week, the House Administration Committee released House Bill 165, sponsored by Rep. Debra Heffernan, which would make full-time State of Delaware employees who have at least one year of employment eligible for 12 weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave.