ChrisWeigant.com

Pundits Misread Biden's Appeal

[ Posted Monday, May 20th, 2019 – 17:33 UTC ]

It's always amusing when the inside-the-Beltway pundits realize with astonishment that they've been wrong about something. What happens is that one of them decides they know "what the American voter is thinking" and then all the rest of them stampede to the conclusion that this is really what's going on out in the heartland. They write articles and make television appearances corroborating each others' opinions, and it soon becomes virtually accepted fact among the cognoscenti. Then, reality interjects itself and their house of cards collapses -- leaving them to construct yet another false narrative to run with (which they almost always immediately do).

Part of the problem is that the pundits, always facing one deadline or another, tend to microanalyze whatever just happened and thus miss the forest for the trees (or "for one leaf," at times). They seldom sit back and look at the bigger picture, or notice how the trends slowly are bending one way or another.

The Democratic primary race is going to provide many examples of such behavior, since it is such a wide-open field. Here's something right off the top that the pundits are almost universally missing -- the field is now so wide because so many people have jumped in the race for one core reason: we have now officially seen the end of the era of the Clinton machine. From 1992 right up to 2016, Bill and Hillary Clinton dominated Democratic politics. They weren't always successful, obviously, since Hillary ran for president twice and lost both times (once in the primaries and once to Donald Trump). Their influence has actually been waning somewhat since 2008, when Barack Obama beat Hillary for the party's presidential nomination. But Obama was careful to bring Hillary into his cabinet, to assuage the rest of the Clinton machine and show that there were no hard feelings. But for a quarter-century, the Clintons absolutely dominated the party machinery -- most notably, in the fundraising sphere.

This is no longer true. There is one Democrat currently running for president who might claim the mantle of Clintonianism, but Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is not doing very well at all with the voters. In fact, she's doing the worst of the seven senators who are currently running, which shows more than anything else at this point how the Clinton influence has faded away. Without the fear of the Clinton machine burying their chances before they even begin, a lot more Democrats decided that they had a chance to run in 2020. And so far, they've been mostly right -- both Bill and Hillary have been notable in their absence in the primary race so far. Not only has neither one endorsed a candidate, they haven't even commented on the field much at all.

But let's get back to the main point. The recent collapse of an inside-the-Beltway meme came when the pundits all realized that they had read Joe Biden completely wrong. Before Biden officially jumped in the race, the storyline from the cocktail-party-circuit chatter was that "Biden's best day on the campaign will be his first." This prediction was supposed to be based on the idea that Democratic voters liked the concept of a Biden candidacy more than they would like the actual reality of Biden as a candidate. Once he jumped in, the voters would start taking a very hard look at him in comparison to the rest of the field, and his poll numbers would drop.

There was a secondary storyline that went along with this, too. The Democratic electorate had moved so radically to the left that Joe Biden would never survive due to his long history of less-than-progressive positions, votes, and actions. Biden was too moderate and too accommodating to big business to be viable in today's Democratic Party, in other words.

Obviously, neither of these storylines has so far come true, which made for amusing viewing this weekend as all the pundits on Sunday morning had to readjust their conventional wisdom. Once Biden entered the race, his poll numbers jumped dramatically upward, at one point almost doubling in size. This was remarkable since Biden had already been leading the entire pack. Democrats, it seems, aren't using some purist progressive litmus test for the candidates they support. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the fiery young liberals aren't actually speaking for the Democratic electorate as a whole, it now appears. That was the shift in the punditary conversation, and as always with such head-slapping "Wow, were we wrong!" moments, it was more than a little amusing to watch.

However, now the pundits seem to be stampeding hard in the other direction, reaching conclusions that will quite likely become false narratives just as fast as the "Biden will fade fast" theme did. This is, once again, because they are missing what is really going on out there.

There are two things the pundits are currently ignoring. The first is that Biden is going through -- although in a much more pronounced way -- what pretty much every big-name candidate goes through when they first announce their presidential run. There is a surge in interest by both the media and the voters which propels the candidate to new highs in the polls. But, over time, this bump usually fades. The novelty wears off. Most candidates can't sustain the interest, and most of them wind up right back where they were in the polls before their announcement bump. So far, to varying degrees, we've seen this happen for many of the other Democrats in the race. One week, Beto O'Rourke is riding high, and the next week Pete Buttigieg is all everyone's talking about.

Will this happen with Biden? It's really too soon to say. He had such an incredible initial bump that he could very well sustain at least part of it after the novelty factor wears off. When he announced, he was running anywhere from even with to up to five points ahead of Bernie Sanders. Biden then skyrocketed upwards, reaching an apex of 15 to 20 points above Sanders. But there are already some signs that this is tapering off. Will he end up back at around a five-point lead? Or will he hang onto, say, a 10-point lead? Again, it's too early to tell. He may well retain most of his bump and become the runaway favorite.

While Biden is still doing extremely well in the national polling, there was one interesting poll out of Iowa today that showed Biden and Sanders with exactly the same level of support, at 24 percent each. The other candidates who managed to draw more than a single percentage point, in descending order: Pete Buttigieg (14 percent), Elizabeth Warren (12), Kamala Harris (10), Beto O'Rourke (5), Amy Klobuchar (2), and Andrew Yang (2). Now, this is just one poll and a state-level poll at that, but I would be willing to bet it's causing some deep concern among Team Biden right about now. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to hear that Biden has quickly scheduled a whole bunch of events in Iowa to shore up his support. If this is the first indication of a trend, it would mean that Biden's announcement bump is starting to fade away. But again, it's just one poll.

Personally, I'm not taking much of any of the current polling all that seriously. The first time I will be paying very close attention to the polls is roughly two weeks after the first debates. This will allow voters to really get an introduction to the whole field (well, the top 20, at any rate), and it will allow for "breakout moments" during the debates. After two weeks, these initial perceptions will have percolated across the whole voting base, and the numbers will start to become a lot more meaningful. But up until the debates happen, most of the electorate simply isn't paying a whole lot of attention to the Democratic race. Meaning the polling still reflects more name recognition than actual voter support, at this point.

There's one other thing that the Beltway punditocracy is largely missing, although they do occasionally point this one out. Democratic voters are overwhelmingly concerned with just one thing this time around -- winning. They want to beat Trump, period. In fact, the voters who are already paying attention are mostly viewing all the candidates through this one single lens: Will this person be able to beat Trump? All the infighting over the whole host of issues, from progressive to moderate, is decidedly secondary to this overall goal. Democratic voters don't really care who is greener or who is more "woke" or any of the rest of it. They want a candidate who can beat Donald Trump and they're more than willing to forgive all kinds of things in a candidate who appears best able to do so.

This is part of the reason Biden is now doing so well, in fact. Biden, much more than any of the rest of the field, is acting like the general election campaign has already begun. He is already laser-focused on beating Trump, and he doesn't hesitate to say so at his rallies and appearances -- to the delight of the crowds. So far, Biden appears ready, willing, and able to take on Trump. Trump's playground taunting of him hasn't hurt Biden at all, so far. In fact, it may have helped Biden by getting his name out there more. The more Trump appears worried about Biden, the more that makes Biden's case for him -- that Biden is the best one to take on Trump, since Trump is so obviously scared of him. Even this early in the race, Democratic voters are much more eager to cast a vote against Trump than they are to choose from the field of Democrats, and Biden is tapping into this enthusiasm perfectly.

Because Biden is so far out in front of the pack, the rest of the pack now faces a quandary. Biden is doing well at least in part by his focus on beating Trump, but any other candidate (with the exception, perhaps, of Bernie Sanders) can't really effectively start running their campaign with that sole focus. Biden's focus is plausible since he is so obviously the frontrunner, at this point. Someone who is only pulling in support in the low single digits, on the other hand, might just appear a bit delusional to start campaigning as if the general election campaign had already begun. Their biggest current challenge for everyone else, in fact, is to take Biden down a notch and make a name for themselves by doing so. So far, though, most of them are shying away from directly doing so because while Biden may not have universal support from the voters so far, he is almost universally well-liked by Democrats. So it's hard to take on such a sympathetic figure without risking a backlash from the base. Sanders is the only one so far who has solved this problem to any notable degree, as he has been introducing policy proposals that, while not directly mentioning Biden at all, serve to highlight the positions Biden may be weak on and contrast them with bold and progressive ideas from Sanders. Just today, Sanders unveiled a plan to fix America's education system, and one part of this plan was to bring back school busing -- a subject that Biden is old enough to have been on the wrong side of, back in the 1970s. It's a subtle contrast rather than a frontal attack, in other words. Bernie has also introduced a bill (jointly with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) to cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent -- another subtle slap at Biden, who has been very friendly to Delaware-based big banks over his whole career.

The first debates are roughly a month away. That is long enough to tell whether Biden's initial polling bump has any staying power or not. It will also be the time period when the average voters (as opposed to political wonks) really start getting interested in all the candidates. More than anything else in the polls leading up to the debates, I will be looking for a number of candidates to start improving their standing somewhat, as more and more voters start to form opinions (truth be told, the biggest winner in the race at this point is still most likely "undecided").

Of course, with a whole month to go, we've got time for at least two (and maybe three) more instances where the Beltway pundits realize they've been reading the tea leaves wrong, and for them to get all excited about yet another clever way of interpreting "what people out there are thinking." You know, without taking the trouble to get out there themselves and talk to actual people to find out what they are thinking. So there'll probably be a few more such amusing rounds of punditary gobsmacking to watch in the meantime.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

97 Comments on “Pundits Misread Biden's Appeal”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Just today, Sanders unveiled a plan to fix America's education system, and one part of this plan was to bring back school busing -- a subject that Biden is old enough to have been on the wrong side of, back in the 1970s. It's a subtle contrast rather than a frontal attack, in other words. Bernie has also introduced a bill (jointly with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) to cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent -- another subtle slap at Biden, who has been very friendly to Delaware-based big banks over his whole career.

    I hope you will help me understand some of this. First, wasn't Biden against forced busing as the best way to desegregate and not for segregation? I've read a few pieces practically calling Biden a racist for his stance on school busing. Obviously, this is not true.

    Secondly, was Biden on the side of the big banks during the financial crisis of 2007/08, the latter part of his whole career?

    Help me understand exactly what Biden did for big banks over the course of his long senate career ...

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I admit I don't know enough about Biden's support for the Bankruptcy bill of 2005 but I know he did not support previous bills.

    I also know that he was able to make the 2005 bill better for women and their children and that is why he voted for the bill that was going to pass anyway in a Republican-led senate.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    More than anything else in the polls leading up to the debates, I will be looking for a number of candidates to start improving their standing somewhat, as more and more voters start to form opinions (truth be told, the biggest winner in the race at this point is still most likely "undecided").

    I'm guessing that the polls won't change a whole lot after the debates (or the lower candidates will actually poll even lower) because I think the overriding concern here, if not the only concern, is which candidate has the best chance of beating Trump. I'll be surprised if that calculus changes.

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Xcellent column.

    The political pundit's lot is not a happy one. Failure is not not an option.

  5. [5] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I would disagree that a pundit's lot is not a happy one.

    They don't even need to worry aboot failing.

    That must make them happy because they keep doing it.

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Was your claim that Democrats are most concerned with beating Trump and were willing to forgive all sorts of things supposed to be an example of a pundit making an error?

    I don't think that applies to all Democrats.

    And even if it does, it doesn't apply to all the non-Democrats, so if the Democrats want to beat Trump and forgive all sorts of things they better understand that many of the non-Democrats will be essential in the Democrats beating Trump in the general election so Democrats had better worry less aboot what they think is important and offer more than empty promises and a false big money alternative to the big money Republicans.

    Democrats need to forgive candidates that will not sell out to the big money donors and offer candidates that will be small donor candidates if they want to win.

    With so many pundits being wrong so often the odds are at least even that you have been wrong aboot One Demand.

    But even if I have been wrong aboot One Demand and those here that claim it's bullshit are right, there is so much bullshit out there and right here that it would just be the same as anything else in the public discourse.

    But I was right aboot taking on the establishment candidates in the primaries long before there was a Tea Party and right aboot small contributions long before Bernie's 2016 campaign when these ideas were considered unrealistic.

    Is that the problem? Only people that are wrong all the time get to be part of the public discourse with their ideas?

    No wonder our country and politcal process is all fucked up.

    Perhaps considering ideas from people that have been proven right might be more productive.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's always amusing when the inside-the-Beltway pundits realize with astonishment that they've been wrong about something. What happens is that one of them decides they know "what the American voter is thinking" and then all the rest of them stampede to the conclusion that this is really what's going on out in the heartland. They write articles and make television appearances corroborating each others' opinions, and it soon becomes virtually accepted fact among the cognoscenti. Then, reality interjects itself and their house of cards collapses -- leaving them to construct yet another false narrative to run with (which they almost always immediately do).

    You DO realize you just described the entirety of everyone here, right? :D

    There's one other thing that the Beltway punditocracy is largely missing, although they do occasionally point this one out. Democratic voters are overwhelmingly concerned with just one thing this time around -- winning. They want to beat Trump, period. In fact, the voters who are already paying attention are mostly viewing all the candidates through this one single lens: Will this person be able to beat Trump? All the infighting over the whole host of issues, from progressive to moderate, is decidedly secondary to this overall goal. Democratic voters don't really care who is greener or who is more "woke" or any of the rest of it. They want a candidate who can beat Donald Trump and they're more than willing to forgive all kinds of things in a candidate who appears best able to do so.

    Yep.. Throw principles out the window and just concentrate on WINNING.. :D

    I still don't believe Biden can win...

    But if he does, I am going to have a FIELD DAY at the Democrat Party's expense.. :D

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz

    because I think the overriding concern here, if not the only concern, is which candidate has the best chance of beating Trump.

    So, what you are saying is that the Democrat Party candidates and voters hate President Trump so much that they are going to ignore their principles and their "woke"ness and their diversity and just vote for the guy who can beat Trump..

    Hokay... Kewl.. I can accept that..

    I still don't believe it.. But I accept it.. A familiar concept, I am sure you will recall. :D

    Do you want me to tell you what I think??

    Of course you do.. :D

    Biden introduces a new concept to the entire political morass..

    Lefties think Biden can beat Trump and they are totally excited about the IDEA that they might actually be able to BEAT Trump after losing to Trump again and again over the last 3+ years...

    But once that initial euphoria fades, reality will set in and Leftie voters will remind themselves or, BE reminded, that they value diversity and identity and "woke"ness and blaa blaa blaa blaa blaa above all else..

    Republicans fall in line and Demcorats fall in love...

    And Democrat voters are desperately SO IN LOVE with the idea of being in love..

    But they will never fall in love with Biden...

    And this will become evident prior to the first debate in about a month's time...

    Biden will go into the first debate (26 Jun 2019) with his popularity on the down turn..

    You can take that to the bank...

    Aren't you glad you asked my opinion?? :D

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, what you are saying is that the Democrat Party candidates and voters hate President Trump so much that they are going to ignore their principles and their "woke"ness and their diversity and just vote for the guy who can beat Trump..

    I - - don't - - under - stand.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    I - - don't - - under - stand.

    It's simple..

    With the Democrat Party, you have 2 competing priorities..

    #1 Party Purity

    #2 Beating President Trump..

    In the here and now, #2 is the bigger priority..

    That will change as time goes on... Party Purity will take center stage...

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Does Biden's Pop in the Polls Change Anything?

    Since declaring his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, former vice president Joe Biden has shot up in the polls. He now is at 38.3% nationally in the RealClearPolitics polling average, up from 29% a month ago, and holds a 19.5 percentage point lead over his nearest competitor. He has surged to a 13-point lead in New Hampshire (his lead in Iowa is smaller, but Iowa has not been polled recently).

    What does this mean? Analysts were openly skeptical of Biden’s chances as the Democratic nominee, and he seemed beset by early polling surges from Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris. There were structural reasons to doubt whether his candidacy was viable as well.

    Should analysts change their thinking on Biden now? That would probably be premature. Rather, analysts should proceed as Bayesians. What does this mean? The Bayesian approach to statistics acknowledges that new information is not evaluated on a blank slate. While it admits that we should adjust our views in light of new data, it also reminds us that we should not forget about everything we knew (or thought we knew) beforehand either.

    This isn’t an approach you probably learned in your Statistics 101 class, but the suggestion is not that we apply Bayes’ Rule in a mathematical sense (which can be difficult outside of the circumstances where an analyst has clearly defined prior beliefs). Instead, it is that analysts should simply avoid the temptation to react to each new piece of information in a vacuum. We should move from our prior beliefs slowly, unless we receive overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/20/does_bidens_pop_in_the_polls_change_anything.html

    Basically, Biden's bump should be viewed as an outlier as such time more evidence emerges that it can be sustained..

    I don't think we will see that evidence..

    Party purity will re-assert itself as the dominant force in the run-up to the first debate..

    This will be confirmed by Biden's numbers going down..

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Gun control must be central theme for Democratic candidates in 2020
    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/444428-gun-control-must-be-central-theme-for-democratic-candidates-in-2020

    Oh please, please, PLEASE Democrats.

    Do this!! :D

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    John Lott: Gun controls backed by Dem presidential candidates would hurt poor and minorities
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/john-lott-gun-controls-backed-by-dem-presidential-candidates-would-hurt-poor-and-minorities

    This is why Anti-Gun hysteria will hurt the Democrat Party..

    Because it massively negatively affects the very constituencies that are the life-blood of the Demcorat Party...

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Senators ask Trump administration why the ‘American Taliban’ is getting out of prison early
    John Walker Lindh has been on track for release on Thursday

    https://www.rollcall.com/news/senators-ask-trump-administration-american-taliban-getting-prison-early

    I would also like President Trump to answer that question..

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Because he is now helping US law enforcement, Michale.

    I think another question Trump should answer is why he is considering a pardon for two former US Military guys who were convicted of or charged with war crimes, don't you?

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I just checked your link, Michale, and this is not the person I was thinking about.

    So, just regard the first part of that comment.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    disregard

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think another question Trump should answer is why he is considering a pardon for two former US Military guys who were convicted of or charged with war crimes, don't you?

    Nope...

    Those two former US Military guys were railroaded by the HATE THE MILITARY attitude of the Demcorat Party..

    As such their pardon is fully acceptable to ANY patriotic American..

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Credit where credit is due..

    McConnell introduces bill making the legal smoking age 21
    https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/senate-majority-leader-mitch-mcconnell-introduces-bill-raise-federal-legal-smoking-age-21

    I applaud McConnell and the GOP for pushing this legislation thru..

    Personally, I would like to see all tobacco products banned, but that's just me..

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: In fact, she's doing the worst of the seven senators who are currently running, which shows more than anything else at this point how the Clinton influence has faded away.

    Of course, the Clinton's influence is fading away, but I don't think Gillibrand's low polling numbers are indicative of that. Indeed, I believe what's causing Gillibrand's poor showing is partly her simultaneous kneecapping of Al Franken and badmouthing of Bill Clinton directly, and Hillary Clinton by extension, when she called for the resignation of Franken and stated that Clinton should have resigned. There are obviously other factors, but the fact that she pissed off a lot of Democrats with her comments about Franken and Clinton sure isn't helping her.

    Democrats wishing to get ahead might want to avoid kneecapping their fellow Democrats... leave that BS to the Trumplicans and their ilk.

  21. [21] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Not only has neither one endorsed a candidate, they haven't even commented on the field much at all.

    This common practice of Presidents and their spouses also applies to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and Barack and Michelle Obama and indeed applies to past GOP presidents as well. :)

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "But I was right aboot taking on the establishment candidates in the primaries long before there was a Tea Party and right aboot small contributions."

    Astro Turf is not the same as grass. A family worth over 50 billion dollars is a charter member of The Establishment. You are mistaking a successful "Republican Palace Coup" for grass roots reform. I am pretty sure the brothers didn't limit their reforming contributions to $200 per brother. Or, is dark money not subject to your limit?

    So, what exactly were you right about?

    One more thing. Your prose is too prolix.

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    3

    I agree completely with you, EM. :)

  24. [24] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re; Chris's "At this point, I'm not taking much of any of the polling seriously."

    I'm surprised that after 2016, there is a single person left in the world willing to admit that he even IS a pollster!!!

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm surprised that after 2016, there is a single person left in the world willing to admit that he even IS a pollster!!!

    "I know, right!!"
    -Felix, WRECK IT RALPH

    Just remember the golden rule of Polls..

    Most everyone here LOVES polls.. At least, they love the polls that say what they want to hear... :D

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I too, agree with Liz. Beating Trump is the priority.

    Chris is a Bernie fan, so I can forgive him for hoping that the polls change. But I can think of several reasons why it won't. Most importantly (and backed up by no less than Trump) is the fact that Biden's from Pennsylvania, where a Democrat HAS to win in 2020.

    I expect Gillibrand to drop out. Her kneecapping of Franken and Clinton did her in. Clinton may be done in American politics, but she still has fans.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Chris is a Bernie fan, so I can forgive him for hoping that the polls change. But I can think of several reasons why it won't. Most importantly (and backed up by no less than Trump) is the fact that Biden's from Pennsylvania, where a Democrat HAS to win in 2020.

    So, for all your talk of diversity and loyalty to minorities and principles and all...

    All of that goes the window, just because you want to win.. Yer not even gonna vote for the gay guy!!!?? You must be homo-phobic....

    Congrats.. You are now officially what you call a Republican..

    I am sooo proud.... :D

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    I too, agree with Liz. Beating Trump is the priority.

    I'll remind you of that when yer bleeding heart makes a re-apperance... :D

  29. [29] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    All of that goes the window, just because you want to win..

    Where do you get that conclusion? Biden's fine, and far, far better than Trump in that regard.

    You're just disappointed that playing the "liberal" card isn't going to work in this election. Too bad for you.

  30. [30] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And I'd remind you that I, and many others have vowed to vote for whoever wins the nomination.

    "Whoever" is better than Trump, natch.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're just disappointed that playing the "liberal" card isn't going to work in this election. Too bad for you.

    Yer right..

    Biden IS more Republican than liberal.. :D

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats fume as McGahn skips House hearing: ‘Our subpoenas are not optional’
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democrats-fume-after-mcgahn-skips-house-hearing-our-subpoenas-are-not-optional

    Whiney biatch Nadler is whining because President Trump invokes Executive Privilege...

    Congress' subpoenas were optional when they were issued by a Republican House to a Democrat..

    Suck it Nadler! :D

    Democrats had their shot at McGhan thru their hero, Mueller..

    They lost.. Game over..

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Biden IS more Republican than liberal.

    Biden is in the center, which places him several notches left of the present Republican base.

    And he IS liberal, which apparently chews you up.

  34. [34] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    They lost.. Game over..

    Hey! Thought you like this game. No worry, it's far from over. Seems we're gonna haveta beat you in court.

    Again.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden is in the center, which places him several notches left of the present Republican base.

    And he IS liberal, which apparently chews you up.

    You realize if Biden is the center, he CAN'T be liberal..

    Your contradicting yerself..

    Hey! Thought you like this game. No worry, it's far from over. Seems we're gonna haveta beat you in court.

    Yea, like you did with the Muslim Ban???

    BBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Ya'all have NEVER won against Trump at the SCOTUS..

    And you never will...

  36. [36] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    You mean Trumps THIRD Muslim ban. 3.0, which included, for good measure, North Korea (which had a total of 67 emigres in the last decade). Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said, “This ruling will go down in history as one of the Supreme Court’s great failures. It repeats the mistakes of the Korematsu decision upholding Japanese-American imprisonment and swallows wholesale government lawyers’ flimsy national security excuse for the ban instead of taking seriously the president’s own explanation for his action."

    So...

    You realize if Biden is the center, he CAN'T be liberal..

    Yeah, used to be like that. Now, of course, the Republicants have moved the window so far to the right, that a liberal is now centrist. So you can blame your own side for that...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    You mean Trumps THIRD Muslim ban.

    Irrelevant..

    You lost at the SCOTUS.. You will lose EVERY ruling at the SCOTUS against President Trump..

    Because you have no moral, ethical or legal leg to stand on..

    Now, of course, the Republicants have moved the window so far to the right,

    Actually it was hysterical Left Wingers like Occasional Cortex and that Oman bitch who hates Jews and Israel..

    They are the ones who has moved the Democrat Party to the Fringe Left..

    The GOP had nothing to do with that...

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    You will lose EVERY ruling at the SCOTUS against President Trump..

    Why, we won yesterday, on the issue of Native American rights. Gorsuch sided with the liberals.

    Actually it was hysterical Left Wingers like Occasional Cortex and that Oman bitch who hates Jews and Israel..

    Oh man, do you hate the left. Well you go on focusing on those two while the rest of us run right over you.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Special counsel's team hesitant about Mueller testifying publicly, part of hold up securing testimony

    Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has expressed reluctance to him testifying publicly in front of the House Judiciary Committee, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    The special counsel's team has expressed the notion that Mueller does not want to appear political after staying behind the scenes for two years and not speaking as he conducted his investigation into President Donald Trump. One option is to have him testify behind closed doors, but sources caution numerous options are being considered in the negotiations between the committee and the special counsel's team.

    Even Mueller realizes that Dumbocrats are just playing political games..

    He said his peace and that's the end of it..

    You lose, Dumbocrats..

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar, can you post a link for that Native American case, please?

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why, we won yesterday, on the issue of Native American rights. Gorsuch sided with the liberals.

    And that has WHAT to do with Trump??

    NOTHING...

    You honestly believe that Gorsuch is on the liberal's side in EVERYTHING???

    Gods, you are so ate up with Trump/America hate, you are an addled fool..

    Oh man, do you hate the left. Well you go on focusing on those two while the rest of us run right over you.

    According to your OWN DUmbocrats, they are "the future of the Democrat Party"...

    Once again.. YOU LOSE :D

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Balthasar, can you post a link for that Native American case, please?

    https://www.npr.org/2019/05/20/724987193/supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-native-american-rights-in-wyoming-hunting-case

    It's ludicrous to think that Gorsuch is Anti-Trump JUST because he sided with liberals in this case..

    Only a MORON who is a Trump/America hater would believe such a connection exists..

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Boy, you Trump/America haters must be so decimated and demoralized..

    You can't get to McGahn and even MUELLER is rejecting ya'all's blatant political Party slavery machinations...

    Ya picked a bad time to be a Dumbocrat.. :D

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    I took a quick look at the Herrera case.

    Like the Supreme Court of Canada, SCOTUS holds that aboriginal and treaty rights cannot be implicitly extinguished and that aboriginal peoples do not need a license to practice their rights.

    I'm happy to see that Justice Gorsuch recognizes aboriginal and treaty rights.

    I'm not sure what this has to do with Trump, Michale ...

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Is Trump against the recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights?

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm not sure what this has to do with Trump, Michale ...

    It has NOTHING to do with Trump..

    That was MY point..

    But Balthasar thinks it does...

    Ask him why he thinks that because I can't fathom any rhyme nor reason from it..

    If anyone here thinks that the SCOTUS is going to overrule the POTUS on Executive Privilege in this case, they need their heads examined..

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought we were talking about aboriginal rights???

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is Trump against the recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights?

    I doubt it... I would think he would assess those on a case by case basis, based on the merits of the individual cases..

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    I thought we were talking about aboriginal rights???

    No, we weren't.,.

    Blathy brought it up as if it had some relevance to anything...

    Wasn't the first time he was wrong.. Won't be the last..

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If anyone here thinks that the SCOTUS is going to overrule the POTUS on Executive Privilege in this case, they need their heads examined..

    Well, hasn't SCOTUS already done that in the Nixon case? So, why wouldn't they do it now?

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, hasn't SCOTUS already done that in the Nixon case?

    Apples and Eskimos

    There was an Impeachment process well under way when the SCOTUS ruled against Nixon..

    We are no where near such a point in the current case..

    If Democrats want to start impeachment then, in 6-8 months time, they might have a chance in overcoming Executive Privilege..

    Until such time, EP is sacrosanct...

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sorry, Michale, I haven't been following along with this thread very well … the Herrera case just piqued my interest in aboriginal rights.

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    EP issues aside, you can't possibly agree with the Trump administration blanket refusal to testify before congress, can you?

    Do you think Trump thinks he can make a decision to start a war without congressional approval?

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Think of it as a Presidential declaration of a Disaster Area...

    Once such a declaration is made, assets are deployed and processes are activated..

    So it is with Impeachment..

    Once Impeachment is declared there are a whole slew of actions and processes and assets that are NOT available in run o the mill legal cases..

    Put another way.. A subpoena during run o the mill legal wrangling is a garden shovel..

    A subpoena during an Impeachment process is a bulldozer..

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Trump is really at a loss with respect to how he should best respond to Biden.

    But, his latest attach on Biden for leaving Scranton at the age of eleven was good for a sustained laugh. Who knows, maybe Trump was joking. Which proves my point above. Heh.

  56. [56] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Sorry, had something to do.

    You're right, Liz. Michale seems to think that Trump's SCOTUS picks are little robots like himself.

    Well, Kavanaugh could be.

    But I discern that Gorsuch is different. Now I could be wrong, but wouldn't bet my presidency on it.

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    EP issues aside, you can't possibly agree with the Trump administration blanket refusal to testify before congress, can you?

    Oh yea, I do..

    Democrats had their shot with the Mueller report..

    If you are going to attack the king, you better KILL the king..

    Dems had their shot and they missed...

    They don't get a second shot..

    Do you think Trump thinks he can make a decision to start a war without congressional approval?

    Clinton did.. Bush did.. Obama did..

    Why is Trump any different??

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have a feeling that Congress is getting closer to making an impeachment decision.

    It's up to the president but he may have already gone too far ...

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Trump would be ill-advised to start another war in the Middle East. That would be the final straw.

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're right, Liz. Michale seems to think that Trump's SCOTUS picks are little robots like himself.

    Except that is not what Liz asked..

    She asked what the aboriginal rights case had to do with President Trump..

    Do you have an answer??

    No.. Because it's a retarded (... oh.. sorry snowflakes... It's a mentally challenged..) connection..

    But I discern that Gorsuch is different. Now I could be wrong, but wouldn't bet my presidency on it.

    BBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yea, you thought he was "different" when he replaced Garland Merrick, eh??

    You HATED him then...

    Gods, you are so full of shit, yer eyes are brown.. :D

  61. [61] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Think of it as a Presidential declaration of a Disaster Area...

    Sure, Congress has ceded too much power to the executive. No doubt about it. They could put an end to it right now, but won't.

    As for impeachment, Michale is so sure that his idol would survive it, he's trying to goad us into it.

    So far, clearer heads prevail.

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, Trump would be ill-advised to start another war in the Middle East. That would be the final straw.

    Trump is on record as not EVER wanting to START wars..

    If a war starts, it won't be Trump's doing..

    If Iran lobs a few nukes at Israel, what do you think the US reaction should be??

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have a feeling that Congress is getting closer to making an impeachment decision.

    Then let them...

    THEN they will have some clout to back up their legal machinations.

    But they won't..

    It's the same thinking they had with the Mueller report..

    "We'll invest EVERYTHING in the Mueller report!! He's GOT to find SOMETHING to justify it!!!"

    They bet it all on Mueller and they lost..

    They are not going to want to bet it ALL again on Impeachment.. Because they will lose and when they lose, Democrats can kiss ANY chance of 2020 and 2022 goodbye..

  64. [64] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    She asked what the aboriginal rights case had to do with President Trump..

    I answered it. Gorsuch has his own mind.

    Yea, you thought he was "different" when he replaced Garland Merrick, eh?

    Yeah, he was, but I wouldn't call my reaction "hate".

    Hey, by the way, Merrick Garland is going to hear Trump v. Deutsche Bank (or whatever its title is). Seems life has some sweet rewards.

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sure, Congress has ceded too much power to the executive. No doubt about it.

    And when did Congress do this??

    Under Odumbo..

    And WHO cheered Congress on in ceding too much power to the executive under Odumbo??

    YA'ALL!!!!!!!!

    Reap what ya sow, biatch!!! :D

    As for impeachment, Michale is so sure that his idol would survive it, he's trying to goad us into it.

    Not only will Trump... excuse me.. PRESIDENT Trump... Survive..

    He will thrive!!!

    So hell yea, I am trying to goad Dumbocrats into it..

    Because it would be the ABSOLUTE UNEQUIVOCAL WORST mistake they can make..

    And, considering all the bone headed mistakes Dumbocrats have made in the last decade, THAT says a lot...

  66. [66] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Trump is on record as not EVER wanting to START wars..

    Sure he is. That's why he's listening to Bolton.

    And the Saudis. Those murderous bastards have wanted us to do their dirty work for a long time.

    Trump will find a reason when he's ready. Watch the polls...

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    I answered it. Gorsuch has his own mind.

    Which has NOTHING to do with Trump..

    I accept your concession..

    Yeah, he was, but I wouldn't call my reaction "hate".

    Yea.. It's the kind of love your Left Wing AntiFa terrorists show towards patriotic Americans..

    Gorsuch was HATED in this forum.. This is fact..

    But NOW he does something you can use?? Now, all of the sudden, he has "his own mind" and you respect him..

    More proof that you are completely and utterly ruled by your Party slavery..

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sure he is. That's why he's listening to Bolton.

    He's actually not.. President Trump has contradicted Bolton..

    But why let FACTS ruin your hysterical Party slavery rant..

  69. [69] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And when did Congress do this?

    Pretty much all my life. For every President, unfortunately.

    Interestingly, Obama took the invasion of Syria to Congress and they voted "no", which stopped it. Then, of course, the Right pummeled him for it.

  70. [70] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Which has NOTHING to do with Trump..

    Keep on telling yourself that.

    President Trump has contradicted Bolton..

    He's contradicted himself, so that means nothing. Bolton is looking for his own "gulf of Tonkin" incident to set it all up...

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interestingly, Obama took the invasion of Syria to Congress and they voted "no", which stopped it.

    STOPPED IT!!!

    BBWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yea, that's why President Trump had to rein in Odumbos massive Syria deployment..

    Nothing like re-writing recent history to further yer Party slavery, eh? :D

    Which has NOTHING to do with Trump..

    Keep on telling yourself that.

    Explain what the aboriginal decision has to do with Trump...

    You can't because it doesn't..

    He's contradicted himself, so that means nothing. Bolton is looking for his own "gulf of Tonkin" incident to set it all up...

    We're talking about Trump, not Bolton..

    I accept your concession..

  72. [72] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Now, all of the sudden, he has "his own mind" and you respect him..

    Huh? You're confusing fact with respect. The FACT is, that he's not the 'perfect' right wing jurist. Neither, by the way, is Roberts. Your side could be walking into a trap.

  73. [73] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I was talking about this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_for_the_Use_of_Military_Force_Against_the_Government_of_Syria_to_Respond_to_Use_of_Chemical_Weapons

    But, while we're on the subject, the question of Syria has been also on the table for the current Congress, which wasn't too happy, in a bi-partisan way..

  74. [74] 
    Balthasar wrote:
  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    Huh? You're confusing fact with respect. The FACT is, that he's not the 'perfect' right wing jurist.

    No one is claiming he is..

    Neither, by the way, is Roberts. Your side could be walking into a trap.

    Yea, COULD be..

    Or it COULD be they will decide on the LAW and FACT and your side will be screwed..

    Considering the results of your Mueller witch hunt, which is more likely?? :D hehehehe

    It's clear. Republicants like war!

    As you have made clear, Trump is not the quintessential Republican..

    You see how you flail around trying to throw ANYTHING up on the wall and hope it sticks!! :D

    You LOST... Get over it..

  76. [76] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Or it COULD be they will decide on the LAW and FACT

    I'm counting on it!

    Trump is not the quintessential Republican..

    You've got a point. We'll see.

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm counting on it!

    Yea??? How did that work out with the Mueller report??

    You were counting on LAW and FACT then..

    Apparently, your concept of LAW and FACT are skewed by your Party slavery..

    No other explanation is possible..

    You've got a point.

    Of course I have a point.. I *ALWAYS* have a point.. Your Party slavery prevents you from seeing it..

  78. [78] 
    Kick wrote:

    I interrupt this program to set the record straight on the recently decided aboriginal rights issue: Herrera v. Wyoming. The Trump administration submitted an Amicus Curiae Brief of the United States and also argued in favor of petitioner Herrera at the SCOTUS.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/17/17-532/63413/20180911212614508_17-532tsacUnitedStates.pdf

    The SCOTUS narrowly ruled in favor of Herrera with four of the conservative justices disagreeing with Herrera and the Trump administration's arguments. So on the one hand, the Trump administration did win when "righty" Gorsuch sided with the four "lefties," but on the other hand, the "righties" Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh all disagreed with the position of the United States in their dissenting opinion. Womp, womp. :)

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, lookie that...

    Gorsuch and Trump were on the SAME SIDE in the SCOTUS ruling...

    Hay Balthy... Kinda TOTALLY decimates yer argument that Gorsuch will always go against Trump..

    So, ALL the Lefties and Gorsuch were on the SAME side as President Trump.. :D

    "OUCH!!! THAT's GOTTA hurt!!"
    -Jim Carrey, THE MASK

  80. [80] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Balthy... Kinda TOTALLY decimates yer argument that Gorsuch will always go against Trump..

    Didn't say that. Said that Gorshuch will often side with the lefties, as he did here.

    So what makes you think he'll side with Trump on a close decision?

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:

    More notable is the fact that Michale was totally and repeatedly wrong about the case having nothing to do with Trump and that the majority of conservatives would always side with Trump. Four of the conservatives didn't side with Trump on this one, and even Sotomayor explained in her Opinion how the State of Wyoming could still win the case upon it's remand to the lower court.

    https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/herrera-v-wyoming/

  82. [82] 
    Kick wrote:

    Confidential draft IRS memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless president invokes executive privilege

    A confidential Internal Revenue Service legal memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless the president takes the rare step of asserting executive privilege, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The Washington Post.

    The memo contradicts the Trump administration’s justification for denying lawmakers’ request for President Trump’s tax returns, exposing fissures in the executive branch.

    Trump has refused to turn over his tax returns but has not invoked executive privilege. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has instead denied the returns by arguing there is no legislative purpose for demanding them.

    But, according to the IRS memo, which has not been previously reported, the disclosure of tax returns to the committee “is mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested by the tax-writing Chairs.”

    The 10-page document says the law “does not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information provided the statutory conditions are met” and directly rejects the reason that Mnuchin has cited for witholding the information.

    “[T]he Secretary’s obligation to disclose return and return information would not be affected by the failure of a tax writing committee ... to state a reason for the request,” it says. It adds that the “only basis the agency’s refusal to comply with a committee’s subpoena would be the invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege.”

    https://tinyurl.com/y37cp2f9

    Obviously, executive privilege wouldn't apply to Trump's tax returns.

  83. [83] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    So, the Trump administration supports aboriginal rights and agrees that aboriginal rights cannot be implicitly extinguished?

    Good for the Trump administration!

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    and even Sotomayor explained in her Opinion how the State of Wyoming could still win the case upon it's remand to the lower court.

    On what basis did Sotomayor remand it to the lower court?

  85. [85] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Liz:

    You can read the entire case decision here. Essentially, this case is one in which competing cases were at issue.

  86. [86] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So...

    1. Oleg Deripaska, the Russian Oligarch that directed the attack on the US in 2016 was given sanctions.

    2. But when the Treasury suggested that it would remove those sanctions, the House voted overwhelmingly against the move. 130 Republicans signed on.

    3. But when it got to the Senate, Mitch McConnell came out against it, and it died there.

    4. Former Senator David Vitter, who works (!) for Deripaska, informed McConnell that a 200+ Million dollar aluminum plant would be put in Kentucky.

    5. Wendy Vitter, whose nomination to be a US District judge was languishing, is suddenly fast-tracked to that judgeship.

    Was McConnell paid to remove the sanctions from Deripaska with that 200 million dollar plant? Was Wendy Vitter's nomination a part of the deal?

    Senate Democrats are asking..

  87. [87] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    A quick clarification:

    Deripaska own Rusco, Russia's largest aluminum co.

    The treasury DID remove the sanctions from him.

    Wendy Vitter was so unqualified that her confirmation hearing went viral.

    https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/wendy-vitter-is-an-untrustworthy-and-inappropriate-choice-as-a-lifetime-federal-judge

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I know where to find the case and analysis of it and when I have time I'll read it.

    I'm interested in comparing certain cases in Canada to the US.

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just very quickly, Balthasar … why did you bring up this case and did the Trump administration really side with Herrera??

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Essentially, this case is one in which competing cases were at issue.

    Essentially, this case is about whether aboriginal and treaty rights can be implicitly extinguished. Some cases get that right, others don't. The Herrera case got it right.

  91. [91] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    very quickly, Balthasar … why did you bring up this case

    Just to show that Gorsuch can indeed side with the liberals, when inclined to. Michale says that Trump also held that opinion, but I've seen nothing about that.

    By comparison, I don't think that Clarence Thomas has ever done that, alone. I could be wrong, but it's at least very very rare.

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    So what makes you think he'll side with Trump on a close decision?

    What makes you think he won't??

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just to show that Gorsuch can indeed side with the liberals,

    Which was never in contention..

    Just because Gorsuch CAN side with Liberals doesn't mean he is going to side with Liberals when it comes to ruling on Executive Privilege...

    You just throw all the shit up against the wall and hope something sticks.

    THIS time the shit bounced back and hit you squarely in the face because Gorsuch and the Lefty Justices were all on Trump's side.. :D

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just to show that Gorsuch can indeed side with the liberals,

    Which was never in contention..

    Leave it to you, Balthy, to counter an argument that was never made..

    I guess that's how ya get yerself a win to feel good. :D

    Slap down an argument I never made... :D

    Hay, if that's how ya make it thru your day, who am I to begrudge ya that, eh? :D

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just to show that Gorsuch can indeed side with the liberals, when inclined to. Michale says that Trump also held that opinion, but I've seen nothing about that.

    Kick said that about Trump, too. But, I haven't had time yet to dig into the case and decision.

    I have to say I'd be extremely and pleasantly surprised if Trump supported aboriginal rights.

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Just to show that Gorsuch can indeed side with the liberals

    That happens a lot, thank God!

    Kennedy did it often, didn't he? And, I think we'll see Roberts making it somewhat of a habit ...

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    Kennedy did it often, didn't he? And, I think we'll see Roberts making it somewhat of a habit ...

    Wanna bet?? :D

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