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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16601 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 18:51

Jeffrey Goldberg, on behalf of the editors of The Atlantic said:

Two men are running for president. One is a terrible man; the other is a decent man. Vote for the decent man.

https://www.theatlan...3MDUwMTE4MTk0S0

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#16602 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 19:38

Nate Cohn at NYT said:

Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania. Before we go into the mud, it’s worth flagging that there was one clear exception to our broader characterization: a poll of Pennsylvania from Muhlenberg College showing Joe Biden up by seven points.

Why should you care? Well, for one, Pennsylvania is probably the single most important state in the election. Mr. Biden has a clear lead in the states carried by Hillary Clinton, as well as Michigan and Wisconsin — essentially putting him one decent-size Trump state away from victory. Pennsylvania is Mr. Biden’s best option for that, so if he has a big lead in Pennsylvania, he has a big lead in the race for the presidency. If he doesn’t have a clear lead in Pennsylvania, he doesn’t have a clear lead.

We had gone a long while without Pennsylvania polling until Wednesday, when we received a big wave of them ahead of the debate. The surveys showed Mr. Biden up by seven points on average, which is pretty solid, but I was hemming and hawing about how the polls might not be quite as good for him as it seemed.

This poll has a result similar to those polls from Wednesday, but it requires no caveats. This is not a firm with a record of providing rosy results for Mr. Biden. In fact, it showed him up by just four points in its last poll, in August, and it showed a tied race in February. Muhlenberg runs a high-quality telephone poll, using voter registration files to ensure a solid partisan balance.

We’ll get a lot of final polls from Pennsylvania in the final stretch, so the picture will get less cloudy. But Mr. Biden looks to be clearly ahead heading into the final stretch — by six points, according to our average.

https://www.nytimes....are-about-today

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#16603 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 22:31

David Mitchell predicts DJT back in Feb15.
(-: Zel :-)

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#16604 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-24, 09:38

Going to the recommended site of a couple of posts up, I also found an article by David Brooks about aging, about Bruce Sprinsteen, and about where we are as a country.
See https://www.theatlan...ng-well/616826/

The last few paragraphs:


Quote


As you watch the film [Letter to you], you may think of not only personal maturity but also national maturity. America has always fancied itself as wild and innocent; youth, Oscar Wilde observed, is the country's oldest tradition. After the past 20 years, and especially after the presidency of Donald Trump, we've become jaded, and look askance at our former presumption of innocence. But, taking a cue from Springsteen, maybe we can achieve a more mature national perspective in the years post-Trump.

"Joe Biden is like one of the fathers in the neighborhood I grew up with as a kid," Springsteen told me. "They were firemen and policemen, and there was an innate decency to most of them that he carries naturally with him. It's very American."

Approaching 80, Biden is pretty old. Seventy-seven is probably not the ideal age to start such a grueling job as president of the United States. But making the most of the not-ideal is what maturity teaches. The urge to give something to future generations rises up in people over 65, and a style of leadership informed by that urge may be exactly what American needs right now. Today, being 77 doesn't have to be a time of wrapping things up; it's just the moment you're in, still moving to something better. Maybe this can be America—not in decline, but moving with maturity to a new strength.


Ken
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#16605 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-24, 14:58

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-24, 09:38, said:

David Brooks at The Atlantic said:

"Joe Biden is like one of the fathers in the neighborhood I grew up with as a kid," Springsteen told me. "They were firemen and policemen, and there was an innate decency to most of them that he carries naturally with him. It's very American."

Approaching 80, Biden is pretty old. Seventy-seven is probably not the ideal age to start such a grueling job as president of the United States. But making the most of the not-ideal is what maturity teaches. The urge to give something to future generations rises up in people over 65, and a style of leadership informed by that urge may be exactly what American needs right now. Today, being 77 doesn't have to be a time of wrapping things up; it's just the moment you're in, still moving to something better. Maybe this can be America—not in decline, but moving with maturity to a new strength.


You are the boss of the mature perspective on this thread.
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#16606 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-October-24, 18:37

View Posty66, on 2020-October-24, 14:58, said:

You are the boss of the mature perspective on this thread.

Agreed. If Biden wins I hope he'll appoint Ken to his cabinet as the Secretary of Common Sense. And if Trump wins I hope he'll do the same.

#16607 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-24, 20:05

Glenn Thrush and Patricia Mazzei at NYT said:

For years, President Trump trolled Barack Obama. On Saturday, the former president returned the favor — with an ear-to-ear smile and, at times, raw-nerve rage.

Mr. Obama, popping up in Florida just as Mr. Trump arrived in West Palm Beach to cast his vote, slammed his successor for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, “fumbling” the economy, opening a hidden bank account in China, threatening to sell Puerto Rico, musing about killing the virus with bleach and once floating the idea of blasting hurricanes with nuclear weapons.

“Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff! Why do we accept it from the president of the United States?” Mr. Obama asked during a drive-in rally in Miami to support Joseph R. Biden — hours after Mr. Trump voted for himself.

(“Florida Man” is a social media meme and hashtag used on bizarre news stories about residents in the Sunshine State.)

https://www.nytimes....pgtype=Homepage

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#16608 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-25, 05:38

NYT Editorial Board said:

R.I.P., G.O.P.

The Party of Lincoln had a good run. Then came Mr. Trump.

Of all the things President Trump has destroyed, the Republican Party is among the most dismaying.

“Destroyed” is perhaps too simplistic, though. It would be more precise to say that Mr. Trump accelerated his party’s demise, exposing the rot that has been eating at its core for decades and leaving it a hollowed-out shell devoid of ideas, values or integrity, committed solely to preserving its own power even at the expense of democratic norms, institutions and ideals.

Tomato, tomahto. However you characterize it, the Republican Party’s dissolution under Mr. Trump is bad for American democracy.

A healthy political system needs robust, competing parties to give citizens a choice of ideological, governing and policy visions. More specifically, center-right parties have long been crucial to the health of modern liberal democracies, according to the Harvard political scientist Daniel Ziblatt’s study of the emergence of democracy in Western Europe. Among other benefits, a strong center right can co-opt more palatable aspects of the far right, isolating and draining energy from the more radical elements that threaten to destabilize the system.

Today’s G.O.P. does not come close to serving this function. It has instead allowed itself to be co-opted and radicalized by Trumpism. Its ideology has been reduced to a slurry of paranoia, white grievance and authoritarian populism. Its governing vision is reactionary, a cross between obstructionism and owning the libs. Its policy agenda, as defined by the party platform, is whatever President Trump wants — which might not be so pathetic if Mr. Trump’s interests went beyond “Build a wall!”

“There is no philosophical underpinning for the Republican Party anymore,” the veteran strategist Reed Galen recently lamented to this board. A co-founder of the Lincoln Project, a political action committee run by current and former Republicans dedicated to defeating Mr. Trump and his enablers, Mr. Galen characterized the party as a self-serving, power-hungry gang.

With his dark gospel, the president has enthralled the Republican base, rendering other party leaders too afraid to stand up to him. But to stand with Mr. Trump requires a constant betrayal of one’s own integrity and values. This goes beyond the usual policy flip-flops — what happened to fiscal hawks anyway? — and political hypocrisy, though there have been plenty of both. Witness the scramble to fill a Supreme Court seat just weeks before Election Day by many of the same Senate Republicans who denied President Barack Obama his high court pick in 2016, claiming it would be wrong to fill a vacancy eight months out from that election.

Mr. Trump demands that his interests be placed above those of the nation. His presidency has been an extended exercise in defining deviancy down — and dragging the rest of his party down with him.

Having long preached “character” and “family values,” Republicans have given a pass to Mr. Trump’s personal degeneracy. The affairs, the hush money, the multiple accusations of assault and harassment, the gross boasts of grabbing unsuspecting women — none of it matters. White evangelicals remain especially faithful adherents, in large part because Mr. Trump has appointed around 200 judges to the federal bench.

For all their talk about revering the Constitution, Republicans have stood by, slack-jawed, in the face of the president’s assault on checks and balances. Mr. Trump has spurned the concept of congressional oversight of his office. After losing a budget fight and shutting down the government in 2018-19, he declared a phony national emergency at the southern border so he could siphon money from the Pentagon for his border wall. He put a hold on nearly $400 million in Senate-approved aid to Ukraine — a move that played a central role in his impeachment.

So much for Republicans’ Obama-era nattering about “executive overreach.”

Despite fetishizing “law and order,” Republicans have shrugged as Mr. Trump has maligned and politicized federal law enforcement, occasionally lending a hand. Impeachment offered the most searing example. Parroting the White House line that the entire process was illegitimate, the president’s enablers made clear they had his back no matter what. As Pete Wehner, who served as a speechwriter to the three previous Republican presidents, observed in The Atlantic: “Republicans, from beginning to end, sought not to ensure that justice be done or truth be revealed. Instead, they sought to ensure that Trump not be removed from office under any circumstances, defending him at all costs.”

The debasement goes beyond passive indulgence. Congressional bootlickers, channeling Mr. Trump’s rantings about the Deep State, have used their power to target those who dared to investigate him. Committee chairmen like Representative Devin Nunes and Senator Ron Johnson have conducted hearings aimed at smearing Mr. Trump’s political opponents and delegitimizing the special counsel’s Russia inquiry.

As head of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Mr. Johnson pushed a corruption investigation of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter that he bragged would expose the former vice president’s “unfitness for office.” Instead, he wasted taxpayer money producing an 87-page rehash of unsubstantiated claims reeking of a Russian disinformation campaign. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, another Republican on the committee, criticized the inquiry as “a political exercise,” noting, “It’s not the legitimate role of government or Congress, or for taxpayer expense to be used in an effort to damage political opponents.”

Undeterred, last Sunday Mr. Johnson popped up on Fox News, engaging with the host over baseless rumors that the F.B.I. was investigating child pornography on a computer that allegedly had belonged to Hunter Biden. These vile claims are being peddled online by right-wing conspiracymongers, including QAnon.

Not that congressional toadies are the only offenders. A parade of administration officials — some of whom were well respected before their Trumpian tour — have stood by, or pitched in, as the president has denigrated the F.B.I., federal prosecutors, intelligence agencies and the courts. They have failed to prioritize election security because the topic makes Mr. Trump insecure about his win in 2016. They have pushed the limits of the law and human decency to advance Mr. Trump’s draconian immigration agenda.

Most horrifically, Republican leaders have stood by as the president has lied to the public about a pandemic that has already killed more than 220,000 Americans. They have watched him politicize masks, testing, the distribution of emergency equipment and pretty much everything else. Some echo his incendiary talk, fueling violence in their own communities. In the campaign’s closing weeks, as case numbers and hospitalizations climb and health officials warn of a rough winter, Mr. Trump is stepping up the attacks on his scientific advisers, deriding them as “idiots” and declaring Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top expert in infectious diseases, a “disaster.” Only a smattering of Republican officials has managed even a tepid defense of Dr. Fauci. Whether out of fear, fealty or willful ignorance, these so-called leaders are complicit in this national tragedy.

As Republican lawmakers grow increasingly panicked that Mr. Trump will lose re-election — possibly damaging their fortunes as well — some are scrambling to salvage their reputations by pretending they haven’t spent the past four years letting him run amok. In an Oct. 14 call with constituents, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska gave a blistering assessment of the president’s failures and “deficient” values, from his misogyny to his calamitous handling of the pandemic to “the way he kisses dictators’ butts.” Mr. Sasse was less clear about why, the occasional targeted criticism notwithstanding, he has enabled these deficiencies for so long.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, locked in his own tight re-election race, recently told the local media that he, too, has disagreed with Mr. Trump on numerous issues, including deficit spending, trade policy and his raiding of the defense budget. Mr. Cornyn said he opted to keep his opposition private rather than get into a public tiff with Mr. Trump “because, as I’ve observed, those usually don’t end too well.”

Profiles in courage these are not.

Mr. Trump’s corrosive influence on his party would fill a book. It has, in fact, filled several, as well as a slew of articles, social media posts and op-eds, written by conservatives both heartbroken and incensed over what has become of their party.

But many of these disillusioned Republicans also acknowledge that their team has been descending into white grievance, revanchism and know-nothing populism for decades. Mr. Trump just greased the slide. “He is the logical conclusion of what the Republican Party has become in the last 50 or so years,” the longtime party strategist Stuart Stevens asserts in his new book, “It Was All a Lie.”

The scars of Mr. Trump’s presidency will linger long after he leaves office. Some Republicans believe that, if those scars run only four years deep, rather than eight, their party can be nursed back to health. Others question whether there is anything left worth saving. Mr. Stevens’s prescription: “Burn it to the ground, and start over.”

Republican leaders stand down and stand by.
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Posted 2020-October-26, 11:31

Nate Cohn at NYT said:


Readable and informative.
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Posted 2020-October-26, 11:53

Greg Ip and Ken Thomas at WSJ said:

Business on Biden: Not So Bad, Given the Alternatives

Former Vice President Joe Biden is running for president on the sort of platform that usually makes business sweat: higher taxes on corporations and investors, aggressive action to phase out fossil fuels, stronger unions and an expanded government role in health care.

Yet many business executives and their allies are greeting the prospect of a Biden presidency with either ambivalence or relief. Credit that not to who Mr. Biden is, but who he isn’t: Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, senators with a much more adversarial approach to business who lost to Mr. Biden in the Democratic primary, or President Trump, whose administration has been marked by economic-policy unpredictability.

Quote

In a survey of about 100 CEOs who attended a Yale School of Management conference in September, 77% said they planned to vote for Mr. Biden. Many also are voting with their wallets. Roger Altman, founder of investment bank Evercore Inc. and a top Democratic fundraiser on Wall Street said, “Raising money is never easy. But raising money for Biden by historical standards has been very easy.” The Biden campaign raised nearly $750 million in August and September, a record for any presidential candidate.

Financial industries have contributed more than $50 million to Mr. Biden’s campaign and outside groups supporting him, more than any other business sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. His top donors include Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and venture capitalist Chris Sacca.

Business isn’t monolithic, and political attitudes vary considerably by industry and type of business. Of the political donations flowing to Mr. Biden, Mr. Trump or to outside groups supporting them, 81% of those from the securities and investment industry went to Mr. Biden, while 81% from energy and natural resources went to Mr. Trump. The data, compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, covers reported donations through mid-October. Small-business owners have tended to be much more supportive of Mr. Trump than the CEOs of multinationals, such as those who answered the Yale survey.

Quote

Energy companies are resigned to more climate regulation in a Biden administration, said Kevin Book, head of research at ClearView Energy Partners, an energy analysis firm. In Thursday’s final debate, Mr. Biden said he would “transition away from the oil industry.” Yet much will depend on who fills key positions such as Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Mr. Book pointed to Gina McCarthy, who headed the EPA under Mr. Obama and has advised the Biden campaign, as someone the industry felt listened even if they didn’t like her decisions. People close to the campaign said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, is sometimes floated by Democratic operatives as EPA administrator.

Mr. Book said she would worry industry because she has “unflinchingly supported” the state’s “interventionist, heavy handed agenda.” A spokesman for Ms. Nichols declined to comment.

Business may be less out of step with a Democratic agenda than it once was. In the past decade, many executives, like the country at large, have moved in Democrats’ direction on noneconomic issues such as immigration, race, gay and transgender rights, and climate. Last month, the Business Roundtable, representing more than 200 big-company CEOs, endorsed reducing U.S. net carbon emissions 80% by 2050—a position closer to Mr. Biden’s than Mr. Trump’s.

Some business leaders see the current climate of polarization as antithetical to policy-making. From infrastructure to skill development, “there’s a long list of things we need resolved, and we’re just spinning our wheels in the twittersphere, and it’s time to get back to work,” said the Institute of International Finance’s Mr. Adams, who served in President George W. Bush ’s Treasury Department. “Let’s make America, or at least Washington, boring again.”

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#16611 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-26, 12:24

In some philosophical way, I would expect business people, many of them, to find Trump appalling. Try this, try that, when it works take credit for it, if it fails file for bankruptcy and let some other sucker get stuck with the loss. This can work for a while but long term? No. No one with any sense would work for Trump, or go into business with Trump, or really do anything with Trump except avoid him as much as possible. .Hucksters admire his approach, but hucksterism is only a part of the business community. If we are in this for the long term we have to approach issues in a responsible manner. I would expect many business people to find the man repulsive. To me, it's obvious.
Ken
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Posted 2020-October-26, 15:42

Ben Dooley, Makiko Inoue and Hikari Hida at NYT said:

Japan’s New Leader Sets Ambitious Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Japan now joins China, the largest polluter, and the European Union in promising to bring their net carbon emissions down to zero. China’s leader, Xi Jinping, made his country’s pledge last month during the United Nations General Assembly.

The two announcements from Asia’s largest economies reinforced just how much of an outlier the United States, the world’s second-largest carbon emitter, has become after President Trump moved in 2017 to pull the country out of the Paris agreement. Joseph R. Biden Jr., his challenger in the presidential election, has vowed to restore the United States’ participation in the accord.

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#16613 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-26, 17:59

Steven Dennis at Bloomberg said:

"Legitimacy is not the result of their feelings," McConnell said. We're a constitutional Republic, he notes.

"Elections have consequences."

Indeed.
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#16614 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-26, 23:56

Is dodgy Donald a Dick Head?
(-: Zel :-)

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#16615 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 01:58

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-26, 12:24, said:

In some philosophical way, I would expect business people, many of them, to find Trump appalling. Try this, try that, when it works take credit for it, if it fails file for bankruptcy and let some other sucker get stuck with the loss. This can work for a while but long term? No. No one with any sense would work for Trump, or go into business with Trump, or really do anything with Trump except avoid him as much as possible. .Hucksters admire his approach, but hucksterism is only a part of the business community. If we are in this for the long term we have to approach issues in a responsible manner. I would expect many business people to find the man repulsive. To me, it's obvious.

Tax cuts, though.
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#16616 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 06:06

Andrew Sorkin at NYT said:

In an open letter published yesterday, more than 600 business school professors — including the Nobel laureates Alvin Roth and William Sharpe, as well as Angela Duckworth, Bill George and Adam Grant — declared opposition to President Trump “an act of conscience” for corporate leaders. They are weighing in on the increasingly contentious debate over how much business and politics should mix in these hyperpartisan times.

“‘Stay in your lane’ is a good metaphor for ‘business as usual,’” said Deepak Malhotra, a Harvard Business School professor who drafted the letter. He said that the professors were modeling behavior for others who may want to engage: “We’re not just scholars. We’re their teachers.”

Professor Malhotra, a negotiations expert, knows that sharp language will convince some and repulse others, and he said that he wasn’t trying to sway voters. “It’s a call to action for business leaders,” he said. “They recall that we haven’t made this ask before.”

Others are taking sides — or actively choosing not to. David Barrett, Expensify’s C.E.O., recently sent an email to 10 million customers, stating that “anything less than a vote for Biden is a vote against democracy.” That contrasts with executives like Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, who took a stand by discouraging anything “unrelated to our core mission” at the workplace, stressing that politics isn’t their business.

https://messaging-cu...896ed87b2d9c72a

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#16617 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 06:53

Luke Broadwater at NYT said:

Swing-District Democrats, Defying Predictions, Poised to Help Keep House

Posted Image
Representative Abigail Spanberger, Democrat of Virginia, speaking at a campaign event last week in Henrico County, Va. Ms. Spanberger and moderate Democrats like her have served as brand ambassadors for the Democratic Party in red districts. Credit...Julia Rendleman for The New York Times

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — When Representative Abigail Spanberger, the Democrat running for re-election in the conservative-leaning Richmond suburbs, arrived to debate her Republican opponent on a recent evening, she received a heroine’s welcome, loudly cheered by supporters on both sides of the street who held blue balloons and handmade signs praising her accomplishments.

There was no such warm welcome for Nick Freitas, the state delegate running to oust her, recalled Carol Catron, 52, a stay-at-home mom and a supporter of Ms. Spanberger, who was among those shouting “We love Abigail!” outside as the Republican walked in without making eye contact.

The scene in this Republican-leaning district, which voted heavily for President Trump four years ago, underscored how solidly Ms. Spanberger — a first-term representative once thought to have an uphill climb to re-election — has cemented her following among voters here and now has the advantage heading into Election Day.

Across the country, Democrats like Ms. Spanberger, a former C.I.A. officer who has cultivated a brand as a moderate unafraid to criticize her own party, are playing a pivotal role that has positioned Democrats to maintain control of the House and build their majority.

She and dozens of freshmen Democrats like her whose victories in Trump-friendly districts in 2018 handed the party control of the House — and who were seen as the most vulnerable to defeat this year — are leading their Republican challengers in polling and fund-raising headed into the election’s final week.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi likes to call this group of about 40 lawmakers — most of them young, many women, and predominantly moderates — her “majority makers,” while the House Democratic campaign arm calls them “frontliners.” And they have largely managed to buck intense Republican attempts to brand them as Ms. Pelosi’s minions, socialists or out-of-touch coastal elites.

“We knew we had a lot of work to do when we got elected, and we got to work,” says Representative Lauren Underwood, Democrat of Illinois and a registered nurse.

Republicans had hoped to pick off Ms. Underwood, who in 2018 won in the Chicago suburbs carried by Mr. Trump. But after she raised more than $7 million and Republicans nominated a perennially unsuccessful candidate to challenge her, national conservative groups decided against spending on advertising in the district.

In polling conducted by the House Democrats’ campaign arm, the frontliners are outperforming former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the Democratic nominee, in their districts by an average of 8 percentage points, said Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In June, the Democratic frontline candidates had about $125 million cash on hand compared with just $25 million for their Republican challengers.

To be sure, there are still a handful who are at real risk of defeat. Representatives Kendra Horn in Oklahoma, Max Rose and Anthony Brindisi in New York, Ben McAdams in Utah, TJ Cox in California, Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico and Abby Finkenauer in Iowa are all struggling to head off Republican challengers.

Still, for a group that was initially seen as top targets — and most likely to pay the steepest political price for Mr. Trump’s impeachment — they are outperforming expectations. Of the 58 changes he has made to House race rankings over the past three months, Mr. Wasserman said, “many of them have benefited these Democratic freshmen.”

“Clearly the battlefield has shifted to Republican-held seats,” Mr. Wasserman added. “Republicans have not had enough money to prosecute the case against these freshmen Democrats.”

After Democrats picked up 41 House seats in 2018, Republicans immediately vowed revenge, targeting more than 50 seats, including 13 districts that Mr. Trump carried by six percentage points or more, as their ticket to reclaiming the majority.

Polling showed voters in these districts viewed socialism negatively, so Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, embarked on a strategy to try to tie the freshmen Democrats to that label, predicting that their party’s “embrace of socialism is going to cost them their majority in the House.”

Democrats were prepared for the onslaught, moving quickly and aggressively to protect the more than 40 members of their Frontline Program — almost all freshmen — through aggressive fund-raising, volunteer recruitment and online networking.

They rushed to build individual brands distinct from their party’s, and hauled in campaign cash that scared off some potential challengers from the right. And Mr. Trump’s sinking poll numbers in the suburbs has given them an even broader advantage in the closing months of the race.

Like Ms. Spanberger, several — including Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, a former C.I.A. analyst; Representative Jared Golden of Maine, a Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan; and Representative Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, a Navy helicopter pilot — are known for their robust national security credentials.

Ms. Sherrill’s race is not considered competitive. National conservative groups have shied away from challenging Ms. Slotkin again, after spending millions on unsuccessful attack ads against her two years ago, and recently decided to cut their advertising campaign against Mr. Golden. And this month, the Cook Political Report moved Ms. Spanberger out of its “toss up” category, judging that her district was leaning toward re-electing her.

Ms. Slotkin said she and other frontliners have had to labor far more intensively than many of their older Democrats colleagues, who hold safe seats in deep-blue districts.

“It takes work for a Democrat to represent a majority-Republican district,” Ms. Slotkin said. “We came into Congress with a strong sense of what it took to win in tough districts and what it would take to keep the seats.”

On a recent Wednesday, as Ms. Spanberger campaigned here with Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Senator Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic nominee for vice president, she relayed what she is up against.

A voter recently approached Ms. Spanberger with fear in her voice asking if Democrats were really moving to “defund the police,” as Republicans were claiming. Ms. Spanberger assured the woman she and the majority of Democrats were not.

“It really does make people scared,” she said of the Republican line of attack.

In some ways, Ms. Spanberger and frontliners like her have served as brand ambassadors for the Democratic Party in red districts, pushing back against Republican attempts to caricature their party and, at times, openly criticizing their own leaders.

On a recent private call with Ms. Pelosi and Democratic colleagues, and confirmed in an interview with Ms. Spanberger, she blasted party leaders for failing to find agreement with Republicans on a new coronavirus stimulus deal, saying she wanted to do “my g*ddamned job and come up with a solution for the American people.”

It was a familiar spot for Ms. Spanberger, who rose to viral fame in 2018 after a debate with the Tea Party-aligned incumbent Republican, Representative Dave Brat, in which she chided him for repeatedly referring to Ms. Pelosi instead of her.

“I question again whether Congressman Brat knows which Democrat in fact he’s running against,” Ms. Spanberger said then, as the crowd burst into applause. “Abigail Spanberger is my name!”

In this month’s debate, Mr. Freitas, a former Green Beret running as a strict fiscal conservative, attempted to tie her to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the liberal firebrand from New York.

“My opponent votes with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez almost 90 percent of the time and then comes back to the district and claims to be a moderate,” Mr. Freitas said.

This time, Ms. Spanberger ignored her opponent’s comment altogether.

“I don’t fall in line with speaker when I don’t want to,” Ms. Spanberger said in an interview. “I certainly disagree with colleagues, Alexandria among them. But that’s fine. We don’t have to agree.”

Despite the success of the frontliners, Mr. Emmer said he was optimistic and saw a “narrow path” back to control of the House should Mr. Trump perform “at or near 2016 levels.” Mr. Emmer said he believed many polls were off because they were missing a significant number of Trump supporters who don’t typically vote.

He noted that some of the frontliners were still in peril.

“They claimed they were going to go to Washington to be moderate problem-solvers,” Mr. Emmer says. “They didn’t do it.”

But his argument does not appear to have resonated in dozens of crucial districts.

In Michigan, Representative Haley Stevens is favored to win re-election; in New York, Representative Antonio Delgado’s main rival dropped out of the race because he couldn’t keep pace in fund-raising; and in California, Representative Katie Porter is a dominant favorite in a seat Republicans had held since the 1980s before she won it in 2018.

Ms. Stevens has pressed a pro-manufacturing agenda for her district dominated by the auto industry in the Detroit suburbs. She pushed for her party to come to an agreement with Republicans on the United States-Mexico trade deal “early on, when it wasn’t popular,” she said, because she thought it would create jobs that “my district would overwhelmingly benefit from.”

Others carved out their own identities separate from the national party, said Ms. Porter, one of the few progressives in the group, who is known for breaking out a whiteboard during congressional hearings and dressing down witnesses accused of profiteering or corruption.

“We didn’t all fall out of the same playbook,” she said. “We established a level of credibility that we’re going to fight for you and we’re not going to be bought.”

Back in Ms. Spanberger’s district, Ms. Catron said having a counterbalance to Mr. Trump and Republicans was a big reason she supported her Democratic congresswoman.

“Thank God we have the House,” Ms. Catron said. “Without it, I can’t even imagine where we’d be right now.”

Spanberger is the first Dem to represent her district in almost 50 years. What she has done to establish credibility with her constituents is impressive.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16618 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 06:59

Jonathan Bernstein at NYT said:

Amy Coney Barrett is now a Supreme Court justice, which she celebrated by appearing at what for all practical purposes was a campaign rally for President Donald Trump at the White House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has now completed the process of transforming a solid conservative majority on the court into an intensely partisan supermajority.

Democrats may soon have the option of doing something about it if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected and the party emerges with House and Senate majorities — hardly a sure thing, but somewhat more likely than not at this point. Whether it’s this January or later, though, Democrats will presumably be in control of a unified government again one day, and the same basic questions will apply.

What’s worth pointing out now is that there are two very separate issues for Democrats.

One is what they might call fairness. Democrats think it was fundamentally wrong — constitutional, but wrong — for Republicans to blockade a Supreme Court vacancy in 2016 on the stated basis that it was improper for the Senate to consider a nomination during an election year, only to completely change course in 2020. They would add other considerations, but that’s the core one, the one that not only has activists upset but has even turned normally cautious senators into revenge-seeking partisans.

Of course, it’s not simply about revenge. In a system of separated institutions sharing powers, courts affect public policy. More Republican-appointed, strongly conservative justices means that policy will likely shift in ways that Republicans support. (Yes, courts aren’t exactly like legislatures, and judges don’t make straightforward policy decisions the way politicians do. But there’s no point in pretending that judges have neutral or entirely unpredictable effects.)

Still, my best guess is that it’ll be an uphill battle for Democrats, even with unified government, to do much about this. I doubt (for example) that they’d end the filibuster simply to pass a law adding seats to the court. And even if the filibuster is at risk for other reasons, I suspect that it would take a fairly large majority in both chambers for the party to have enough votes to move ahead.

That raises the second issue. It’s quite possible that the new Supreme Court will be so radical that Democrats may come to think it’s an obstacle to governing at all. If the court eliminates the Affordable Care Act, or a future climate law, or basic voting rights? If it destroys the ability of the executive branch to function as it’s done since (at least) the New Deal? Then even moderate Democrats may think they have no choice but to respond. That, after all, was what drove President Franklin Roosevelt to his court-packing scheme. Not single issues, but the basic ability of Congress, the president and the executive branch to make policy.

No one can say whether the court will in fact end up being radicalized in this way. And of course we still don’t know how Democrats will do in next week’s elections. Biden could still lose despite the current polling, and Democrats could wind up with anywhere from 47 to 58 senators. But if they do have a good election night, they’re going to have to figure out exactly what kind of obstacle the court will be.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16619 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 07:12

If I may, the basic issue that will continue to dog the Dems is a misplaced sense of fairness. They will insist on playing by the Queensbury Rules even as the GOP legislators will engage in a dirty fight --- brass knuckles, eye gouging and all
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#16620 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 09:07

Regardless of the results of this election, the most discouraging aspect of the past 4 years is how many people can possibly still support Trump. That there is even the slightest threat that he could be re-elected is so demoralizing that it feels as if the country is already lost. That, from a citizen. I can't imagine what someone in another country feels.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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