Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: How Democrats Should Have Answered Gwen Ifill's Question on Race

MORNING MESSAGE

... moderator Gwen Ifill flipped the script on race relations in America during the last Democratic presidential debate ... "If working class white Americans are about to be outnumbered, are already underemployed in many cases, and one study found they are dying sooner, don’t they have a reason to be resentful" ... Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders stuck to scripted, generalized positions. Neither deeply engaged the question. That’s unfortunate, because Democrats are in a better position to answer it ... Do they have reason to be resentful? Yes, but let’s examine why, and where that anger would be rightly directed.

Dems Jockey For African-American Vote

Sanders gains on Clinton nationally. Politico: “…the latest national NBC News/SurveyMonkey weekly online tracking poll released Tuesday [shows] Hillary Clinton’s advantage over Bernie Sanders has narrowed to its smallest in the last seven weeks … Clinton leads Sanders 50 percent to 40 percent … Sanders holds a narrow 3-point advantage over Clinton (47 percent to 44 percent) among white voters.”
Clinton to deliver speech on racism in Harlem today. Politico: “In her speech, which she is scheduled to deliver after a closed-door meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton, National Urban League President Marc Morial and NAACP President Cornell Brooks earlier in the day, Clinton is expected to call for ‘new investments in job creation to ending redlining to ensuring equal pay for women of color to ending the school-to-prison pipeline,’ according to a campaign aide.”
Sanders meets with victims of Flint crisis. W. Post: “The senator from Vermont said his private meeting with seven or eight Flint residents was among the most difficult in his public life, and he confessed that he had not realized ‘how ugly and how horrible and how terrible’ the situation is. ‘It is beyond my comprehension in the year 2016 in the United States of America we are poisoning our children,’ Sanders told the crowd here at Eastern Michigan University…”
Sanders touts 1988 support for Rev. Jesse Jackson. W. Post quotes: “I did it because I saw in him a man trying to bring working people together … There were three white elected officials in America that endorsed Jackson in 1988. I was one of them.”
“Clinton hit from left and right on immigration” reports W. Post: “…a spot launched this weekend from the conservative American Crossroads demonstrated how conservatives are trying to widen the divisions of the Democratic primary. ‘Hillary’s Wall,’ aimed at Spanish-speaking voters in Nevada, uses well-known but infrequently-replayed clips of a Bush-era Hillary Clinton saying she opposed ‘illegal immigration’ … and voted for a border fence.”

REPUBLICANS PREP FOR BROKERED CONVENTION

Republicans fret no one will amass enough delegates. Politico: “Mysterious outside groups are asking state parties for personal data on potential delegates, Republican campaigns are drawing up plans to send loyal representatives to obscure local conventions, and party officials are dusting off rulebooks to brush up on a process that hasn’t mattered for decades.”
George W. Bush stumps for Jeb in SC. NYT quotes: “These are tough times, and I understand that Americans are angry and frustrated, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration.”
Trump tries to woo South Carolina Democrats. WSJ: “…Youtube personalities Diamond and Silk came on stage and urged Democrats to vote for Mr. Trump. ‘All lives matter,’ Diamond yelled … South Carolina Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster then reminded the crowd it was an open primary, and Democrats and independents could vote for Mr. Trump.”
Rush Limbaugh says Trump’s anti-Bush rhetoric targets Democrats. NYT quotes: “People think that Mr. Trump was out of control, that he had emotional incontinence that night … Maybe, but I still think there was a strategy going into this.”
Trump threatens third-party run despite earlier pledge. The Hill: “‘When somebody’s in default, that means the other side can do what they have to do,’ he said. ‘The RNC is in default.’ … Trump said he was disappointed with the RNC because it stacks the room at debates ‘with special interests and donors.'”
Rubio further downplays his immigration reform vote. NBC: “‘The Senate immigration law was not headed towards becoming law,’ he told a questioner at a town hall in Rock Hill, S.C. ‘Ideally it was headed towards the House, where conservative members of the House were going to make it even better.'”
James Dobson campaigns for Cruz. NYT quotes robocall: “Other Republicans are certainly worthy of consideration, but at this point it looks like a vote for anyone other than Ted Cruz is a vote for Donald Trump.”

WH Presses GOP On SCOTUS

WH presses GOP on Supreme Court vacancy. W. Post: “‘This is not the first time the Republicans have come out with a lot of bluster only to have reality sink in,’ [WH press sec Eric] Schultz said … Schultz quoted President Ronald Reagan, who pressed for a vote on his Supreme Court nominee Anthony M. Kennedy, who was confirmed in 1988: ‘Every day that passes with a Supreme Court below full strength impairs the people’s business in that crucially important body.'”
Paul Waldman finds and quotes 1970 law review article by Mitch McConnell: “The Senate should discount the philosophy of the nominee … The president is presumably elected by the people to carry out a program and altering the ideological directions of the Supreme Court would seem to be a perfectly legitimate part of a Presidential platform”
“[H]istory supports Mr. Obama” says Prof. Timothy Huebner in NYT oped: “On 13 occasions, a vacancy on the nation’s highest court has occurred — through death, retirement or resignation — during a presidential election year … In 11 of these instances, the Senate took action on the president’s nomination. In all five cases in which a vacancy occurred during the first quarter of the year the president successfully nominated a replacement.”
When Republicans blocked LBJ from filling a vacancy, “liberals made them pay for it” reminds Prof. Josh Zeitz in Politico: “From the date of Fortas’ resignation, the seat stood vacant for 13 months until Nixon nominated a compromise candidate, Harry Blackmun. Blackmun, in turn, went on to pen the court’s decision in Roe v Wade.”
GOP obstruction could backfire on Election Day. NYT: “One of [Democrats’] main concerns for months has been how to reproduce the surge of enthusiasm among young and minority voters who helped elect President Obama twice. They view the Republican refusal to consider a nominee with almost a year left in Mr. Obama’s tenure as a potent weapon to generate excitement.”
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