ChrisWeigant.com

Heading Into The First Debates

[ Posted Monday, June 24th, 2019 – 17:01 UTC ]

It looks like I spoke too soon when I declared the Democratic field for was complete, as we now have yet another entrant -- Joe Sestak -- whose chances of winning the nomination are about as good as being struck by lightning while simultaneously winning the lottery. Officially he becomes the (are you sitting down?) twenty-sixth Democrat to run for president. Most only count the 25 people who are currently running, but we scrupulously have to add in to our total the one candidate (Richard Ojeda) who has already officially dropped out.

But of course, the real attention this week will be on the 20 candidates who have qualified for the first round of nationally-televised debates. So Sestak will have to wait on the sidelines with Steve Bullock, Seth Moulton, Mike Gravel, and Wayne Messam, the other four candidates who didn't make the first cut.

While things may change if any of the minor candidates (the ones polling at one percent or less) has their magic breakout moment during the first debates, currently there are only seven candidates who seem to have any sort of chance at all, if the polling is correct. No polls have been released in the past few days, which usually means the pollsters will all release their most recent polls right before the big debate event, to set a "before" benchmark. This could be important, because there have been developments for several of these candidates in the past week which have not had a chance to show up in the polling yet.

We're going to focus today on the top seven candidates and see where each one currently stands, heading into the first debate round. Here is the list of the top seven, running from the lowest level of support to the highest:

 

Cory Booker

Cory Booker has been struggling to generate some sort of enthusiasm in the polls since he announced. So far, he hasn't been very successful, and his numbers have fallen well below five percent. But all that could be changing, as Booker really took the lead in criticizing Joe Biden's use of two Democratic racist senators in a ham-handed example of legislative comity last week. Booker, of course, is black, giving him a certain moral standing to lead the charge against what Biden said. But then again so is Kamala Harris, but Booker really beat her to the punch.

Biden reacted to the criticism by personally calling up Booker -- something he didn't do with any of the other candidates. This helped cement the idea that Booker was in the lead on the pushback.

One of Biden's greatest strengths is how well he polls among African-American voters. They still have fond memories of him being Barack Obama's second in command, and nowhere is this more evident than in South Carolina, the early-voting state with the highest percentage of black voters. This all goes to show that figuring "identity politics" only goes so far -- all black people don't automatically vote for the black candidate, just as all Latinos aren't backing the Latino candidate.

But Booker will have the chance to take a few potshots at Biden this Wednesday without Biden being on stage to respond (they drew different nights). This could become a real breakout moment if Booker handles it correctly (condemning Biden's examples without personally attacking Biden himself). So Booker has to be seen as having one of the best chances to advance his campaign in the debates this week.

 

Beto O'Rourke

Beto O'Rourke, unlike Booker, was doing much better in the polling right after he announced than he is now. There was a surge of interest and support, but that has mostly now bled away, and my gut feeling is that most of it migrated over to supporting Pete Buttigieg. O'Rourke seems like the one candidate among the top ranks who is obviously punching above his weight, at this point.

Beto's claim to fame is almost beating Ted Cruz in a Texas Senate race. But "almost" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades -- at the end of the day, Beto lost. That's not much of a qualification for winning nationwide, although to be fair, Texas is an incredibly tough nut for Democrats to crack (it's not like O'Rourke lost a Senate race in Colorado or Illinois, in other words). He achieved what he did by a unique style of in-person campaigning that hasn't translated well on the national stage yet. He is improving, but the question is whether he has improved fast enough, or whether he will continue to slide.

O'Rourke could easily have a breakout moment during the debate, but his chances of doing so aren't all that high. He's specifically lowering expectations for such a moment before the debates even begin, saying that if one happens it'll have to be spontaneous -- he certainly isn't practicing one or anything. This laid-back approach may work, but it also may condemn him to background status on the debate stage.

 

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris is another candidate who is currently on a downslide in the polls, although not nearly as steep as the one O'Rourke has seen. Currently, Harris is tied for fourth place with Pete Buttigieg, both at a 7.1 percent average in nationwide polls. This puts both of them in the top ranks, but they've both got a lot of ground to cover to really be considered challengers.

Harris has had a decent amount of support from much of the national media, who for some reason have been very sympathetic to her candidacy (more so than other candidates, in other words). Her initial polling bump has faded a bit, but she's still holding her own.

Harris drew the second night of the debates, which means she'll be appearing on stage with Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden on Thursday night. This could give her the opportunity to stand out, as she will be the highest-ranking woman candidate up there sparring with the three white men who lead her in the polls (Warren drew the other night, so Harris won't directly get to debate her). But this also comes with a risk -- that Harris will be overshadowed by the sparring among the top three candidates on stage with her. She'll have to work hard to be noticed, in other words.

Harris could benefit from a breakout moment better than many others, at this point. If she gets a wave of new interest after the debates, she could push her polling above 10 percent (she polled in double digits in her initial announcement bump, but has slid below this metric since). So Harris has a lot to gain by a good debate performance.

 

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Pete had a pretty bad week, but it was overshadowed in the national press by plenty of other political news, so perhaps it won't turn out too badly for him. He is, of course, "Mayor Pete," but what that means is that when there's a crisis in South Bend, Indiana, he has to go back home and deal with it. Which he did last week, after the South Bend police shot and killed a black man, with no body cameras recording the incident.

Buttigieg suspended his campaign, sort of. He did make it to South Carolina over the weekend for the big fish fry there, but he's been spending all his other time in Indiana trying to cope with the fallout from the shooting.

Buttigieg has had the same problem many other candidates have had, which is that his supporters tend to be affluent, white, or young (or all three). That's a big part of the Democratic base, but it also leaves other big parts out. Buttigieg has struggled to get any interest from black voters throughout the campaign, and his shooting response isn't going to help that much, from the press he's been getting back home. Mayor Pete likes to tout South Bend as an economic miracle, but that miracle hasn't touched everyone's lives there. He's also taken some flak for redevelopment projects that bulldozed low-income housing, and the fact that the South Bend police force is only about five percent black, in a city with about one quarter black residents.

Buttigieg could turn all of this around, of course. He could take the whole experience as a learning moment and appear at the debates with a newfound enthusiasm for righting racial wrongs and pursuing racial equality. But he's got a lot of skepticism to overcome, and that skepticism existed even before the shooting happened. So he's got a ways to go.

Buttigieg already had one big breakout moment in the campaign, that vaulted him into the frontrunner ranks. He turned in a great performance at a televised town hall, and he could just as easily turn in a stellar performance during the first debate. Many voters have still not even heard him speak, even though he has accepted just about every media interview offer he's gotten. So he has the chance again to make a great first impression on a whole lot of voters.

 

Elizabeth Warren

We now get to the top three candidates, starting with Elizabeth Warren. Warren, more than any other Democratic candidate, has been experiencing a real boost in the polls in the past few weeks. She's climbed above 10 percent, making her only the fourth candidate to ever do so (the top two as well as Kamala Harris, during her announcement bump). In a field of 25 candidates, that alone is pretty impressive.

Warren has been the most consistent in her campaign style, and it finally seems to be paying off for her. She has decided that she is going to be the candidate of hard work and solid plans, and she has so far done a fantastic job of doing so. Her new campaign slogan reflects this: "She's got a plan for that." Warren has been issuing white papers to lay out her position on just about everything, in impressive detail. While other candidates issue vaguely-worded "gee, it sure would be nice if we could solve this problem" position papers, Warren's own have some real meat on the bones. This, more than anything else, has set her apart from her competitors.

Warren's real challenge, as I wrote about last week, is going to be taking on Bernie Sanders in a one-to-one match to see which one will emerge as the true favorite of the progressive wing of the party. Bernie and Elizabeth are almost identical in terms of the goals they want to achieve, with Warren being seen as slightly more cautious in her approach (Warren doesn't call herself a socialist of any sort, and still believes in capitalism, for instance).

Unfortunately, though, the two of them won't be appearing on the same stage this week. Warren will go first, facing off against nine candidates who are doing much worse in the polling than she is. She'll have top billing in the first debate, which could present an opportunity to really stand out from the field of lesser-known candidates. The only ones in the top seven to appear with Warren will be Booker and O'Rourke, neither of which will really be competing directly for the progressive vote (at least, not as prominently as Warren). So she's got a golden opportunity to shine on stage this week, although this also means she'll be appearing on the night which will inevitably get worse ratings when it airs. This likely won't matter, however, in the age of viral video clips, since any standout moment for Warren will be disbursed far beyond the people watching live on Wednesday night.

 

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has been alone in second place since the race began. Only he and Biden have consistently polled in the double digits, although Sanders seems to be on the wane right now as Warren is surging. Sanders is still ahead of Warren, but only by a few points. But, as just mentioned, the two won't be appearing on the same night, so there won't be any fireworks directly between the two at the debates.

Sanders, more than any other candidate at the debates, has the most to gain from seeing Joe Biden slip in the polls. The other candidates will also be targeted Biden, since he is so far out in front, but if Biden should stumble Bernie's the one with the best chance of picking up enough support to emerge as the frontrunner. So he's got a lot to gain in the first debates by taking Biden down a peg or two.

Sanders, like Warren, also has put out detailed plans for what he hopes to accomplish. Bernie's plans are almost always the most comprehensive and sweeping of all. He just released a plan that would forgive just about all student loan debt, which (of course) goes farther than everyone else would. He announced he'd pay for it by a tax on stock trading, pitching it as "Wall Street bailing everyone else out for a change." This is a pretty good framing of his idea, so look for him to be touting it Thursday night.

Bernie is who he always has been, which is one of his strengths. He's the guy pushing for a "political revolution," meaning radical changes in the "rigged system" to benefit the many rather than the wealthy few. This stands in contrast with Joe Biden and all the other Democratic candidates who favor more moderate and less ambitious solutions to the nation's problems. This is precisely the contrast Sanders will be making, while standing next to Biden on the debate stage. Sanders will paint himself as the true candidate of the future, and Biden as a product of the past. Sanders doesn't really need a breakout moment (at least not as much as all the others do), what he really needs is the national political media to take him a lot more seriously than they have been. He could accomplish this in the debates, but it's doubtful, given the mainstream media's knee-jerk reaction to dismiss Bernie's chances of winning.

 

Joe Biden

Biden, even before he officially entered the race, has always been the 800-pound gorilla in the race. Biden's polling is so far above everyone else's that he's had the luxury of ignoring the rest of the Democratic field up until now. Biden has been running against one man -- Donald Trump -- while all the other Democrats squabble among themselves. So far, this has worked fairly well for Biden. When you're beating everyone by at least a margin of 2-to-1, why bother even mentioning them at all?

But Biden just came off of a very bad week, and even before his chummy comments about white supremacist senators of the 1970s, his polling numbers have been sliding. Biden has lost more support in the past few weeks than most of the other Democrats have ever had, in fact. After he announced, he shot above 40 percent, but he's now back down to the low 30s.

No other candidate has ever topped 30 percent, though, and only one (Bernie) has made it into the 20s, so this is still a pretty commanding position for Biden to be in. Bernie's currently down to around 15 percent, so Biden is still beating his nearest competitor by 2-to-1.

Biden will be the one with a big fat target on his back in the debates, as everyone else knows they need him to fall precipitously if they are even going to have a prayer of winning. So he'll be taking flak from all sides -- and from both nights, even though he won't be on stage Wednesday to defend himself.

Biden, like Bernie, doesn't really have to have a breakout moment, though. He's got to hold his own and defend his record and his positions, and he's got to project the image of the guy best suited to beating Trump next year. So far he's been able to do that on the campaign trail, but this will be the first time he'll have to directly face criticism from fellow Democrats.

My guess is that Biden will turn in a good enough debate performance to, at the very least, maintain his position solidly in the lead. Right now, even if Biden slips another 10 points, he'd still be dominating the field, so he's got a pretty large buffer to work with. My guess is that we may see one or two other candidates exit the debates with significant bumps in the polling, but that it probably won't come at the expense of Biden so much as it will come at the expense of "undecided." This will be the first time the voters see all the candidates together, so one or more of them might catch fire with voters who haven't been paying attention yet. But Biden, like Bernie, is who he is -- he hasn't changed his persona for the campaign, and everyone's already pretty familiar with it.

So that's my ultimate take on the field entering into the first debate round. If there is a breakout moment or two, it might redefine the race for fourth or fifth place, maybe as high as second or third. But at least initially, Biden will still be the frontrunner next week, as the post-debate polling comes in.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

102 Comments on “Heading Into The First Debates”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One of Biden's greatest strengths is how well he polls among African-American voters. They still have fond memories of him being Barack Obama's second in command, and nowhere is this more evident than in South Carolina, the early-voting state with the highest percentage of black voters.

    I believe Biden has always polled very well with African-American voters - it goes back way before Obama.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This could be important, because there have been developments for several of these candidates in the past week which have not had a chance to show up in the polling yet.

    Prepared to be surprised by those pre-debate polls. :)

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Everything Senator Booker has said about 'Biden's bad examples has been a lie.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My guess is that Biden will turn in a good enough debate performance to, at the very least, maintain his position solidly in the lead.

    Good enough? Yeah, me too.

  5. [5] 
    Paula wrote:

    The other evening I was waiting in line to get a gyro, behind a middle-aged black couple. I asked them if they were excited about any of the candidates running yet and we had a nice conversation.

    They're Dems.

    Both said they're just starting to pay attention; both said DJT scares the hell out of them; both were aware of the debates coming this week and said they'd be watching.

    The man said he thinks we need someone to "bring us together". The woman was less enamored of that idea but she asked me if I thought a woman could win?

    I said yes. She smiled.

    Neither cared for Biden or Bernie - they're looking forward to to seeing everyone else. (Too old.)

    So that was fun.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nice, Paula. We need more comments like that - very interesting.

  7. [7] 
    Paula wrote:

    A friend of mine is psychotherapist who works with veterans struggling with PTSD. She told me (today) that she's been working with some black Vietnam vets who had been gang-raped by white American soldiers to "put them in their place".** (Black men who were smart, doing well, making white soldiers "look bad" were targeted.) She said these men still wonder if they "acted gay" and attracted the rapes as a result. She said her black patients fight the idea that they have ever been mistreated due to race - they blame themselves, not the racists. This is one of the biggest areas she has to work on with them.

    It made me think of the VERY UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT during that committee hearing where Mark Meadows trotted out his black female staffer (or whatever she was) to "prove" he isn't racist and he ended up appealing to John Lewis to defend him; Lewis dutifully did.

    When John Lewis and James Clyburn defended Biden last week I was disturbed, but I hadn't heard this story from my friend. Having heard it their defenses disturb me even more.

    Abuse affects victims in multiple ways, but the worst is that it causes victims to blame themselves for terrible acts done to them by others. It also causes them, as my friend explained, to blame OTHER victims over abusers.

    I think Biden bumbled into a generational wound - one that Cory Booker can see more clearly than he, or John Lewis or James Clyburn can.

    I wonder if Biden's AA support will hold. I can see it lingering with older folks but not with younger generations. I guess we'll find out.

    **I've heard of lots of kinds of atrocities from Vietnam War, but I had never heard about that.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When John Lewis and James Clyburn defended Biden last week I was disturbed, but I hadn't heard this story from my friend. Having heard it their defenses disturb me even more.

    You may not know very much about John Lewis or James Clyburn except for how they defend Joe Biden.

    I hope you will explain why it is that you were so disturbed and what was it about Biden's comments that made you so.

  9. [9] 
    Paula wrote:

    [8] Liz:

    I hope you will explain why it is that you were so disturbed and what was it about Biden's comments that made you so.

    My tentative thesis - I'm still mulling this over - is that older generations of black folks were trained and/or traumatized into an exceedingly damaging pov about themselves, just as women are very commonly conditioned to accept blame for bad things done by others.

    When John Lewis spoke up for Mark Meadows it was just very weird. I felt at the time that Lewis was manipulated into granting Meadows absolution and it didn't ring "false" - that is, JL wasn't lying, but it didn't ring true either. It was awkward and forced. I felt badly for JL.

    I don't think any of these men: Biden, Lewis, Clyburn, are being dishonest. But I think they are all oblivious, but for different reasons. Biden, because he's never been on the receiving end of racism; Lewis and Clyburn because they chose to defend an oblivious white man - I can't put it into words. But there's something not-right going on.

    Cory Booker, otoh, was young enough but also perhaps protected enough, to see the humiliation his father endured without he, Cory, accepting the frame for himself.

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    that is, JL wasn't lying, but it didn't ring true either. It was awkward and forced. I felt badly for JL.

    umm... oh, john lewis. got it.

    my take, for what it's worth, is that these men happen to know biden personally, and take his words at face value. biden has always fought for civil rights, so they recognize that whatever gaffes he may have uttered, they know biden is on their side of the struggle. booker isn't exactly being disingenuous, but he is being opportunistic and trying to inject himself back into the presidential conversation, at the expense of biden, who he too knows didn't really do anything wrong.

    JL (Joshua Lynn)

  11. [11] 
    Paula wrote:

    [10] JL: I'm referring to when John Lewis defended Mark Meadows - that was awkward.

    Separately, it's not about Biden being for civil rights etc. No one disputes that. It's about Biden's tendency to want to put his personal relationships with racist leaders over those who are harmed by racist leaders. It's about Biden's belief that making nice to bad people is worth it to get, usually little (or no) gain BUT which also makes the racists seem less bad. Much like going on FOX, it's a process of legitimization and normalization - "this guy isn't so bad..."

    It's OBLIVIOUSNESS. It's a refusal to recognize that just maybe his buddy-buddying some real bastards might not be seen in a positive light by people those bastards actively worked to harm. It's compounded by the fact that JB had been advised to not tell these stories by his team and he ignored the advice. So we get obliviousness PLUS refusal to change. Not good qualities for the job at hand.

    As for Booker being opportunistic - well isn't it peachy of you to feel that way! Nice old white guy didn't do anything wrong, but younger black man is an opportunist when he reacts to something old white guy says that disturbs him. Old white guy's feelings are legit; younger black man's feelings aren't sincere. And you know this how?

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Younger black man lied about what Biden said.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If Senator Booker's feelings were hurt by what he presumed Biden said, then perhaps he should have reached out to Biden in private. If Booker had done that, then there wouldn't have been three columns condemning Biden for things he didn't say.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Three columns here, I mean; gazillions else because that is what the devolutionary media have always done.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    gazillions elsewhere, that is

  16. [16] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: But Booker will have the chance to take a few potshots at Biden this Wednesday without Biden being on stage to respond (they drew different nights).

    Well, I have done my research, and I'm going to go out on a limb and report that Cory will talk about how his grandfather and/or father (these are apparently interchangeable) told him: "Boy, you got more degrees than the month of July, but you ain't hot" or something similar where either his mother or somebody called him "boy." When it happens, I'm downing my alcoholic beverage in a drinking game I've invented called: Boy, Oh Boy!

    Point being that I would wager Cory will use the term "boy" at least once on the debate stage. He couldn't go 6 minutes in South Carolina without saying it, and not 15 minutes later he was back talking about what a horrible word it was. Drink!

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Warren has been issuing white papers to lay out her position on just about everything, in impressive detail.

    It is also particularly impressive how well Warren explains her prolific policy ideas and how they work together as the means to an ends... not just a bunch of arbitrary individual proposals. She truly is rather unique in that respect. :)

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Sanders, like Warren, also has put out detailed plans for what he hopes to accomplish. Bernie's plans are almost always the most comprehensive and sweeping of all.

    Yep. Bernie is doing that thing he did last presidential election wherein he waited for his female opponent to release her ideas, and then he mirrored said ideas and claimed her's didn't go far enough.

    He just released a plan that would forgive just about all student loan debt, which (of course) goes farther than everyone else would.

    Which Elizabeth Warren obviously already had a plan for that! :)

  19. [19] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [17] Kick

    Ezra Klein asks Warren if she's got a plan for getting her plans done gotten. Spoiler Alert: Yup.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/12/18652215/elizabeth-warren-interview-2020-democratic-primary-policies

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Bernie is who he always has been, which is one of his strengths. He's the guy pushing for a "political revolution," meaning radical changes in the "rigged system" to benefit the many rather than the wealthy few.

    Oh, I beg to differ. Bernie isn't who he has always been; he is now one of those "millionaires and billionaires" he has spent multiple decades whining and moaning about. Big difference. Repeat after me: Mustn't criticize millionaires, mustn't criticize myself, mustn't criticize millionaires....

    This stands in contrast with Joe Biden and all the other Democratic candidates who favor more moderate and less ambitious solutions to the nation's problems.

    "Less ambitious solutions"!? You say you want a political revolution? America's Founding Fathers already did that for the exact reason that they were none too happy with the caprice of kings and queens and therefore quite deliberately structured our government's system of checks and balances and incrementalism in order to limit how much power any one person/political party could wield.

    While not as sweeping, exciting, and revolutionary, perhaps the policies of the other candidates can be nevertheless appreciated as realistic versus the type of sweeping revolutionary reform on paper that hasn't got a snowball's chance in Hell of being passed through the Senate.

    Just saying. :)

  21. [21] 
    Kick wrote:

    Joe Biden

    Never heard of him. :)

  22. [22] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula

    It made me think of the VERY UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT during that committee hearing where Mark Meadows trotted out his black female staffer (or whatever she was) to "prove" he isn't racist and he ended up appealing to John Lewis to defend him; Lewis dutifully did.

    Except it was Chairman Elijah Cummings... during Mikey Cohen's testimony regarding Hair Dick Tater.

    Rep. Rashida Tlaib: You used a black woman as a prop. Racist!

    Rep. Mark Meadows: You're a racist for calling me a racist! I have a black friend. Help me, Elijah!

    [Paraphrasing, of course.]

    Bottom line: As abhorrent as everyone seems to claim that racism is, it's being exploited an awful lot by multiple politicians in order to push a narrative. Biggest offender is Donald Trump and the demonization and fear and smear tactics of "the other" he's been exploiting for years in the exercise of white identity grievance politics to the gullible sheeple who spew it back on this forum as if on cue.

    Democrats regardless of race should avoid lowering their rhetoric to Donald Trump's level. Just saying. :)

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I knew she didn't know who John Lewis was.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I mean, is, of course.

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    Charles Brown, Esq.
    17

    Ezra Klein asks Warren if she's got a plan for getting her plans done gotten. Spoiler Alert: Yup.

    I read a few questions of the interview. Really great interview. I must finish this later.

    I too have a plan... to vote for whichever Democrat survives the primary season, and I have a feeling that Elizabeth Warren will be right in the thick of things. She's beginning to leave Bernie Sanders in the dust, but then Bernie isn't a Democrat. :)

  26. [26] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [25] Kick

    I too have a plan... to vote for whichever Democrat survives the primary season...

    My name is Carlos Z. Maron, and I approve this message.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    It looks like I spoke too soon when I declared the Democratic field for was complete, as we now have yet another entrant -- Joe Sestak --

    Why does that name sound familiar???

    Booker, of course, is black, giving him a certain moral standing to lead the charge against what Biden said.

    The fact that he uses his color as a political bludgeon proves Booker has NO moral standing..

    Which he did last week, after the South Bend police shot and killed a black man, with no body cameras recording the incident.

    Because that's how the technology was designed.. But the FACTS clearly show that it was a good shoot..

    Buttajig just used this as an excuse to get off the campaign trail because his butta was been handed to him...

    Elizabeth Warren

    Lie-awatha... Faux-cohauntes...

    That says it all about Elizabeth Warren...

    You don't mention the American Indian scandal.. You can bet others will...

    But Biden just came off of a very bad week, and even before his chummy comments about white supremacist senators of the 1970s, his polling numbers have been sliding.

    Who could have POSSIBLY predicted that!??

    Oh.. Wait.. :D

    So far he's been able to do that on the campaign trail,

    Because he hasn't been ON the campaign trail...

    So that's my ultimate take on the field entering into the first debate round. If there is a breakout moment or two, it might redefine the race for fourth or fifth place, maybe as high as second or third. But at least initially, Biden will still be the frontrunner next week, as the post-debate polling comes in.

    Pretty decent assessment..

    And it's really nice to see a commentary that barely mentions and doesn't even bash President Trump once..

    Impressive..

    Now, to the comments and we'll see if that impressiveness holds...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Everything Senator Booker has said about 'Biden's bad examples has been a lie.

    "Every thing that guy just said is bullshit... uh Thank you."
    -Vinny Gambini's Opening Statement

    :D

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    my take, for what it's worth, is that these men happen to know biden personally, and take his words at face value. biden has always fought for civil rights, so they recognize that whatever gaffes he may have uttered, they know biden is on their side of the struggle. booker isn't exactly being disingenuous, but he is being opportunistic and trying to inject himself back into the presidential conversation, at the expense of biden, who he too knows didn't really do anything wrong.

    Your take is worth quite a bit.. And NOT just because it totally agrees with my assessment as well! :D

    Booker is simply being an opportunistic weasel and Karma, in all her infinite wisdom.... will remember..

    "Hay, I don't want to be the materialistic weasel of the group, but... You think we'll get hazard pay??"
    -Rockhound, ARMAGEDDON

    :D

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for Booker being opportunistic - well isn't it peachy of you to feel that way! Nice old white guy didn't do anything wrong, but younger black man is an opportunist when he reacts to something old white guy says that disturbs him. Old white guy's feelings are legit; younger black man's feelings aren't sincere. And you know this how?

    Great job, Paula.. Play the race card against THE most mellow and reasonable guy here...

    YEA... THAT goes over well.. :eyeroll:

    As I have always said.. If hysterical Democrats didn't have the race card, they would have no cards at all..

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Senator Booker's feelings were hurt by what he presumed Biden said, then perhaps he should have reached out to Biden in private. If Booker had done that, then there wouldn't have been three columns condemning Biden for things he didn't say.

    Exactly.. If it was legitimate butt-hurt, Spartacus could have talked to Biden in private..

    And THAT'S how JL (and everyone else who can actually think for themselves) knows that Booker was not being sincere..

    He used his allegedly butt-hurt as a partisan bludgeon with which to beat his political opponents with...

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Press: Democrats form circular firing squad

    Democrats, get ahold of yourselves. It’s still early in this silly political season, but you’ve already gone off the deep end. There are so many presidential candidates, some of whom have no idea why they’re running, but all of whom are so desperate to get any attention whatsoever and so hungry for a headline, they’ll seize any opportunity to invent a phony excuse to stab another Democrat in the back. With the willing help of the breathless, clueless, political media.

    Witness the latest tempest surrounding Joe Biden, whom 22 fellow Democratic candidates piled on top of, accusing him of being, if not outright racist, then at least insensitive, unprincipled, old-fashioned, or just plain old. And cable TV abetted their cause with endless stories about Joe’s latest gaffe.

    This whole flap is total rubbish. And any candidate who took part in it, or any reporter who relished inflating it, should lose his or her political license.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/450127-press-democrats-form-circular-firing-squad

    Well, I am sure glad that Democrats are able to have differing opinions on how they best solve problems without having to resort to name calling and insults.

    Cuz Democrats would be in REAL trouble if that wasn't the case.. :eyeroll:

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    And there would have been no 25-year renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 1982 if Biden and Kennedy had been unwilling to work with Eastland and Talmadge.

    You have to wonder. What would Harris and Booker prefer? Are they suggesting that, given the opportunity to pass the most important piece of civil rights legislation, Biden and others should have said: We are so perfect, we will never work with, nor will we ever seek or accept the votes of, anybody who doesn’t agree with us 100 percent? We’ll wait till Alabama and Mississippi elect somebody we agree with 100 percent? That may make the purists feel good, but it’s a recipe for political disaster.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not supporting Joe Biden for president. At the moment, I’m not supporting anybody. Who knows? Biden may be the nominee, he may not. But I do know this: What Americans want to hear from every Democratic candidate is what their plans are to move this country forward and how they plan to beat Donald Trump. They’re wasting their time taking cheap shots at Biden, or anybody else.

    Will Dumbocrats listen??

    500 thousand quatloos says NOPE...

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they will get sent back, more importantly, they may not make it."

    Hard truth about the southern border issue..

    Anyone who brings their children to the border is SOLELY responsible for the fate of the children..

    PERIOD...

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democratic presidential candidates are scaring off Never Trumpers. Big mistake.

    Never Trumpers would probably accept creeping or trotting liberalism. But Democratic presidential candidates are pledging liberalism at a full gallop.

    Democratic presidential candidates keep raising the stakes, particularly on the economy, making the choice for Never Trump Republicans and independents increasingly difficult.

    For purposes of this column, let’s define Never Trumpers as people who are center to center right on policy, so there is a lot that Donald Trump has done as president that they like.

    They nevertheless find his behavior, as president and as a candidate, abhorrent. And his impulsive and erratic conduct of the nation’s business, internationally and domestically, a threat to stability and tranquility.

    The Never Trumpers can be divided into two camps. There are those who are truly anyone-but-Trump. They regard removing Trump from office as the highest political objective and will cast tactical votes accordingly.

    I think their numbers are probably pretty small. The larger group could be described as anyone-but-Trump-within-limits. This group may very well decide the election.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/06/23/2020-election-democratic-candidates-scaring-off-never-trumpers-column/1524745001/

    The facts on the ground are simple...

    Democrats NEED Trump voters to win..

    Attacking and demonizing Trump voters is NOT the way to get Trump voters to your side...

    Result: President Trump, 4 more years...

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why the Dems Will Never Win Back Trump Voters
    Their cartoonish image of the President’s base dooms them to failure.

    https://spectator.org/why-the-dems-will-never-win-back-trump-voters/

    This is why Democrats don't stand a chance in 2020...

    Because they believe only the polls that say what they want to hear and simply CANNOT conceive that the polls would be a lie..

    That's what happened in 2016 and ya'all are gonna be in shock from disbelief when it happens again in 2020..

    Don't worry.. I'll be around to soothe ya'all's butt hurt...

  37. [37] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Ho-hum.

    That's aboot all you can expect from the "big" debates.

    Just a bunch of hoes humming the tunes provided by their big money contributors.

    Preceded and followed by the media speculating on how the two minute answers to mostly unimportant questions will effect the votes of the few that will actually change their votes based on the "debates".

    Ho-hum.

    I do not look forward to the day when the result of the Democrats offering the same old bullshit and the media offering only the same binary choice will have us looking back to how things were not as bad as the present when Trump was president like many look back now to when GWB was president.

    So it's not just ho-hum- it's so dumb.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Consumer confidence drops to lowest level since September 2017
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/consumer-confidence-drops-to-lowest-level-since-september-2017-140725759.html

    Hysterical screams that it's all President Trump's fault in 3..... 2...... 1......

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democratic bigwigs fear debates will devolve into horror show
    The prospect of taking on a sitting president after a months-long internal bloodbath is keeping many Democrats up at night.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/25/democrats-2020-debates-1378848

    "We call this, 'The Freak Show'.."
    -Brent Spiner, INDEPENDENCE DAY

    :D

  40. [40] 
    Paula wrote:

    [22] Kick - YES - my bad - Elijah Cummings in the hearings. Yet another older black man who felt he had to rescue the ego of the offended white guy who was beyond oblivious in that episode. Sorry - these hearings and events are blurring together but I watched it when it was happening and it was icky.

    Those of you defending Biden by alleging Cory Booker was lying or politicking are just making it worse - proving that old white guys, especially wealthy, influential etc. owgs, can always fail UP - while you feel perfectly comfortable assailing the honesty & credibility of owg-detractors who, in the world of rich white male privilege, have to PROVE everything while the white guy can just assert his pov and have it accepted.

    If you want to defend Biden, defend him. But, in an effort to emphasize your deep faith in Biden some feel the need to attack his critics with spurious nonsense and that's on you. It's bullshit. None of you know what Cory Booker thinks or feels but suddenly you're mind-readers.

    We need to beat DJT but we also need to recognize we'd never have gotten to DJT if GOP hadn't gone to the bad while Dem leaders enabled them. Biden is a perfect example of that kind of Dem which is another reason why he's the wrong man for the job at this time.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you want to defend Biden, defend him. But, in an effort to emphasize your deep faith in Biden some feel the need to attack his critics with spurious nonsense and that's on you. It's bullshit. None of you know what Cory Booker thinks or feels but suddenly you're mind-readers.

    Funny how you are a mind-reader when it comes to President Trump...

    EVERYTHING you complain about, you are also guilty of..

    We need to beat DJT but we also need to recognize we'd never have gotten to DJT if GOP hadn't gone to the bad while Dem leaders enabled them. Biden is a perfect example of that kind of Dem which is another reason why he's the wrong man for the job at this time.

    Democrats are able to have differing opinions on how they best solve problems without having to resort to name calling and insults.

    Heh

    Like dynamiting fish in a barrel

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Those of you defending Biden by alleging Cory Booker was lying or politicking are just making it worse - proving that old white guys, especially wealthy, influential etc. owgs, can always fail UP - while you feel perfectly comfortable assailing the honesty & credibility of owg-detractors who, in the world of rich white male privilege, have to PROVE everything while the white guy can just assert his pov and have it accepted.

    Police release more than 1,000 files from Smollett probe
    https://apnews.com/286a6b6e2de249a3b611d6c896d1dd6f

    Geeee... How could ANYONE not accept Booker's version of events.. :eyeroll:

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:
  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    ‘THINK OF THE FANTASIES’ CNN cuts to ad break after Trump sex assault accuser E Jean Carroll calls rape ‘sexy’
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9369184/cnn-ad-break-trump-accuser-rape-sexy/

    Gee How could ANYONE doubt the accusations of the hysterical Trump/America haters??

    :eyeroll:

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again... I have to ask..

    But in politics, as in life, a person's strength also can be a weakness, a principle on display again this past week as Buttigieg left the campaign trail to confront the angry aftermath of a police-involved shooting in his hometown. The maelstrom began in the early morning hours June 16 when a police officer on patrol was called to the scene of a man who, police say, was breaking into automobiles near downtown South Bend.
    According to the official account, when Sgt. Ryan O'Neill arrived, he discovered Eric J. Logan, 54, reaching into a car. Logan told O'Neill that the car was his, but the officer saw a purse under his clothing. When the officer approached, he says Logan produced a knife and advanced on him in a threatening way. After several warnings, O'Neill fired a fatal shot.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/24/opinions/buttigieg-south-bend-shooting-axelrod/index.html

    What IS the problem here???

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here is a debate question I'd like answered:

    As POTUS, would you show leadership by ending the horrific treatment of migrants in US custody - including the outright abuse of children, some of whom have already died - by immediately pressing for the passing of legislation that would provide ALL of the resources needed by the appropriate agencies responsible for the care and welfare of these people?

    As of today, Democrats in Congress have done NOTHING to prevent another child from dying while in the care and custody of US officials.

    What are the chances of that question being asked or discussed here?

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, the Democrats' answer for their inaction on this critical issue - unless, of course, they don't mind too much having migrant children die in the hands of US officials this side of the border - is that they don't trust President Trump.

    Well, they had better come up with a better answer than that over the course of the next two nights and beyond.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    As POTUS, would you show leadership by ending the horrific treatment of migrants in US custody - including the outright abuse of children, some of whom have already died - by immediately pressing for the passing of legislation that would provide ALL of the resources needed by the appropriate agencies responsible for the care and welfare of these people?

    And what do you think would happen if it got around that the US was giving away free food and board and money, in essence taking care of ANYONE who shows up at the border.. NO QUESTIONS ASKED>..

    Why doesn't Trudeau get on the airwaves and announce that Canada will take ALL those who show up at the US border...

    You don't seem to comprehend what you are advocating for is Open Borders..

    A country that has no border ceases to be a country..

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No one is advocating for open borders and everyone understands that your immigration system - all of it - needs reform.

    But, there is currently an emergency at your border that threatens the death for more children.

    You can't be American and not want to remedy that right now and work the rest out later.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, the Democrats' answer for their inaction on this critical issue - unless, of course, they don't mind too much having migrant children die in the hands of US officials this side of the border -

    OF COURSE Democrats don't "mind" too much..

    They proved that during the Obama administration when illegal immigrant criminals, including children, died on HIS watch.....

    It's only an issue NOW because it's a POTUS with a '-R' after their name..

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Be reasonable, Michale, or I'm done here.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, there is currently an emergency at your border that threatens the death for more children.

    Yunno.. That's funny..

    **President TRUMP** said there was an emergency at the southern border and Democrats laughed and ridiculed the claim..

    You can't be American and not want to remedy that right now and work the rest out later.

    A Border Wall *WILL* remedy the situation.. But a wall doesn't get Democrats more illegal voters, so they are against a wall..

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, stop posting that children died while Obama was in office.

    No migrant children died while Obama was in office.

    Before children starting dying in US custody under the uncaring Trump administration, no immigrant child had died since it happened during the Bush administration.

    So, let's start with the facts, Michale.

    This is a topic that I hope Chris tackles soon.

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Be reasonable, Michale, or I'm done here.

    I am never anything but reasonable...

    The problem is one of reality vs political preference...

    Countries MUST have borders or there won't be any country..

    Borders MUST be enforced or there is no sense in having borders..

    How about this for a rational solution??

    Criminals stop violating our laws??

    The US is one big house and we have people breaking into that house by the millions..

    And it's your suggestion that we should not only LET people continue to break into our house, but we should actively SUPPORT them and REWARD them for doing it.

    How, exactly, is that "reasonable"??? It's anything BUT reasonable..

    But hay.. Trudeau can fix it all.. Just announce that Canada will take in ALL illegal immigrants.. I am sure the US will even foot the bill to transport all illegal immigrant criminals from the southern border to the northern border..

    Viola' Problem solved..

    Can be any more reasonable than that...

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, stop posting that children died while Obama was in office.

    No migrant children died while Obama was in office.

    That is factually not accurate and I have already posted several times that MANY children died at the southern border while Obama was POTUS..

    Do you HONESTLY believe that no minor died on the southern border in the EIGHT YEARS of the Obama Administration??

    Before children starting dying in US custody under the uncaring Trump administration, no immigrant child had died since it happened during the Bush administration.

    That is factually not accurate...

    So, yer claim is children ONLY died at the southern border before AND after the 8 years of the Obama Administration??

    Is THAT what you are saying??

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    A Border Wall *WILL* remedy the situation.. But a wall doesn't get Democrats more illegal voters, so they are against a wall..

    A wall won't stop children from being abused or from dying tomorrow or the next day or the next month or year in the richest country on earth,
    or however long it takes to build your precious wall.

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    That is factually not accurate and I have already posted several times that MANY children died at the southern border while Obama was POTUS..

    Chris needs to put a stop to these false claims.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    A wall won't stop children from being abused or from dying tomorrow or the next day or the next month or year in the richest country on earth,

    It will stop them from being killed by Trump's "incompetent" immigration policies...

    Chris needs to put a stop to these false claims.

    He can't.. They are not false...

    July 7, 2016 12:00AM EDT

    US: Deaths in Immigration Detention
    Newly Released Records Suggest Dangerous Lapses in Medical Care

    (Washington, DC) – Newly released United States government records summarizing investigations of the deaths of 18 migrants in the custody of US immigration authorities support a conclusion that subpar care contributed to at least seven of the deaths, Human Rights Watch said today.

    The death reviews, from mid-2012 to mid-2015, reveal substandard medical care and violations of applicable detention standards. Two independent medical experts consulted by Human Rights Watch concluded that these failures probably contributed to the deaths of 7 of the 18 detainees, while potentially putting many other detainees in danger as well. The records also show evidence of the misuse of isolation for people with mental disabilities, inadequate mental health evaluation and treatment, and broader medical care failures.
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/07/us-deaths-immigration-detention

    Precious Obama has more blood on his hands than President Trump..

    But Obama gets a pass because he has a -D after his name..

    Check with world health organizations and see how many died under Obama...

    It's ONLY an issue now because it's Trump..

    :^/

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

    US: 20 Years of Immigrant Abuses

    Under 1996 Laws, Arbitrary Detention, Fast-Track Deportation, Family Separation

    Over the last two decades, Human Rights Watch has documented how these laws rip apart the families of even long-term legal residents via the broad swath of criminal convictions considered triggers for automatic deportation or detention.

    The following Human Rights Watch reports document harm caused by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/25/us-20-years-immigrant-abuses

    ALL of this happened under Obama...

    Where was the hysterics??? Where was the sympathy?? Where was the finger pointing???

    NO WHERE to be found...

    So, please.. Don't expect me to take seriously all ya'all's claims....

    Because nothing is happening now that didn't happen under Obama..

    And no one here said squat about it then...

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    NONE OF THOSE DEATHS WERE CHILDREN KEPT IN INHUMANE CONDITIONS AT THE BORDER.

    NONE WERE CHILDREN!!!

    STOP THE LIES, MICHALE!

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That is not to say that the Human Rights watchdog didn't document many human rights abuses in your immigration system over the course of the last few decades.

    But, please, refrain from making false statements about 18 children dying under the Obama administration. The situation under the 1996 immigration laws, particularly after 9/11, is bad enough with your lies.

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Forget about who the president is or was, just don't let any more helpless and abused children die in your custody.

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:
  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Forget about who the president is or was, just don't let any more helpless and abused children die in your custody.

    That's easy...

    Just tell the parents not to expose their children to such a dangerous journey...

    The responsibility for the deaths of those children, either under President Trump or Obama rests fully, completely and unequivocally on the parents..

    President Trump is not responsible for the bone headed and murderous decisions of the parents, any more than Obama was...

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ALL of this happened under Obama...

    False, again!

    Those laws were passed long before Obama. Hopefully, in 2021 a President Biden can work with the other side in Congress to pass better immigration laws that protect all concerned.

    Hopefully, there won't still be children dying on this side of your southern border because nothing is more important than preventing more of these deaths.

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, the Obama administration didn't let any migrant children die on their watch on their side of the border.

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even worse than children deaths, Obama placed children with known child traffickers...

    Did the Obama Administration Place Immigrant Children With Human Traffickers?
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/did-obama-administration-children-human-traffickers/

    All of this anguish is SOLELY because of HHPTDS... Nothing that has happened is unique to the Trump Administration..

    Although I don't think President Trump used child traffickers as Obama had...

    The southern border IS a mess.. There are no 2 ways about it.. Which is why the Democrats claim that there was no emergency on the Southern Border was completely inexplicable...

    But it was the same under Obama.. To put the blame SOLELY on President Trump is disingenuous and does not acknowledge the facts and the reality..

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, the Obama administration didn't let any migrant children die on their watch on their side of the border.

    As I have shown, this is not factually accurate..

    But, let's say for the sake of the argument, that no CHILDREN died...

    Does that make the dozens and dozens of deaths under Obama OK????

    It's a documented fact that deaths in ICE custody have FALLEN under President Trump from Obama levels..

    Even if it IS a fact that no one under 18 died under Obama (totally bogus), does it matter???

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Those laws were passed long before Obama.

    It's not the point WHO passed them..

    The point is they were the law of the land under Obama and Obama followed them.. And illegal immigrants died..

    You can't give Obama a pass for obeying the law and demonize Trump for the same thing...

    Well, you can.. But I will call you on it.. :D

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I read that last link of yours and the situation has been horrible for many decades, including under the Obama administration and getting much worse under Trump who favoured strict adherence to the laws that has resulted in the emergency situation at the border today with regard to migrant children.

    As your link cites, thousands of migrant children remain unaccounted for since Trump took office and there is no indication from current officials that those children will ever be found and reunited with their families.

    That is unacceptable.

    It's hard to fathom that the United States of America can get a grasp on this issue. It's why the promise of America that Joe Biden so often speaks about will remain elusive.

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Democrats and Republicans won't be worth their own salt if they cant fix this with enlightened policies and laws that both protect the border and reaffirm the values that America purports to stand by as leader of the free world.

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    I read that last link of yours and the situation has been horrible for many decades, including under the Obama administration and getting much worse under Trump who favoured strict adherence to the laws that has resulted in the emergency situation at the border today with regard to migrant children.

    I submit things are getting BETTER under Trump and the facts bear this out..

    But the fact that you are seeing with open eyes that no one administration is at fault for what's going on at the border is a huge step so I am happy as a clam.. :D

    Democrats and Republicans won't be worth their own salt if they cant fix this with enlightened policies and laws that both protect the border and reaffirm the values that America purports to stand by as leader of the free world.

    DO the people who are violating our laws, who are "breaking into" our house...

    Do they have any culpability???

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's change the subject ...to Iran!

    I actually like what Trump is saying about Iran at his little presser right now in the oval office.

    As I'm listening to his conciliatory words on Iran I can't help but think that he could have gone well beyond the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) to deal with the leadership of Iran and all those hateful chants of 'Death to America', their missile program, their destabilizing efforts in the Middle East, etc, etc.

    But, pulling out of that deal isolated the US from its European allies and preventing further progress on Iran. I actually think that if Trump had played his cards more strategically, he would have left the deal in place and engage Iran on all of the other issues that the JCPOA left out.

  74. [74] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (71)-
    Don't hold your breath.

    As the SOP for both parties is to NOT solve problems and only tinker around the edges treating symptoms so they don't have come up with new issues to campaign on and have an excuse to make a mockery of what the values of America are supposed to be, it is a good side effect of a bad issue that there is finally an issue that will bring you to my position that neither party is worth it's salt.

    But do you really have to let it play out when you must know how it's going to end- or more accurately how it's not going to end?

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    You watch the DIVERGENT series???

    Divergent
    Insurgent
    Allegiant

    ???

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No.

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's change the subject ...to Iran!

    Hokay..

    Bomb, bomb, bomb... Bomb bomb Iran
    -Sung to the tune of BARBARA ANN

    :D

    I actually like what Trump is saying about Iran at his little presser right now in the oval office.

    That's what I like about you.. You CAN give credit where credit is due.. :D

    The problem with the JCPOA is it gave too much leeway to Iran and not enough monitoring or punitive measures available to the allies..

    You can discount Europe's and Russia/China's support of it because they had ulterior motives..

    Only the US's motives were pure and President Trump recognized the deal as the bad deal it was..

    As you are found of saying.. Iran is a card.. And it needs to be dealt with..

    Appeasement and billions in cash is NOT the way to do it..

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [74],

    Biden is your last best hope to change that dire situation.

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You really must learn to stop worrying about the bomb and love the JCPOA. Ahem.

    It had so much potential for more engagement with Iran and Trump may have been just the one to move forward with it.

    But, not now. Trump doesn't think strategically and one day it will mean the end for him.

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden is your last best hope to change that dire situation.

    While that may or may not be true, it's becoming increasingly clear that the Democrat Party is not going to give him the chance...

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    You really must learn to stop worrying about the bomb and love the JCPOA. Ahem.

    Heh That brought a smile to my face.. :D

    It had so much potential for more engagement with Iran and Trump may have been just the one to move forward with it.

    It takes a sincere partner and Iran, as the #1 state sponsor of terrorism, is not that partner..

    Why else do you think they attacked those oil tankers???

    But, not now. Trump doesn't think strategically and one day it will mean the end for him.

    Actually, President Trump is the ONLY one who IS thinking strategically..

    Iran is the #1 destabilizer in the region..

    They must be dealt with or there can be no peace in the region..

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The problem with the JCPOA is it gave too much leeway to Iran and not enough monitoring or punitive measures available to the allies..

    Actually, there was quite a lot of monitoring, more than for any other nuclear agreement on the planet. Punitive actions were sufficient.

    The best thing about the JCPOA is that it kept Iran from producing or acquiring a nuclear weapon for 25 years. Iran was complying and the deal allowed time for a lot things to happen if handled astutely by the US and its allies.

    The JCPOA provided an excellent opportunity for diplomacy to win again!

    Trump almost destroyed that opportunity. If war breaks out, then that will be a crying shame that didn't need to happen.

  83. [83] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    President Trump is the ONLY one who IS thinking strategically..

    You do realize that only you and a small handful of Republicans believe that.

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It takes a sincere partner and Iran, as the #1 state sponsor of terrorism, is not that partner..

    It could have been but, we may never know now.

    Why else do you think they attacked those oil tankers???

    I will remind you that Trump pulled out of the deal first.

    This president doesn't know how to deal with Iran and he probably doesn't know any of the history between Iran and the US. His ignorance and unwillingness to learn will also do him in.

    One can argue with conviction that would not have happened if the JCPOA was still being upheld by the US and if more US sanctions were not imposed after the pullout.

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    "If you had enough to save one person, and your choice was between a healthy child and a sick old man, who would you choose?"

    "I wouldn't choose."

    "Good! Now they're both dead."
    -ALLEGIANT

    Reality has given President Trump a horrible choice in the Southern Border...

    President Trump has chosen to put America and Americans first..

    It's a horrible choice, but it was what he was ELECTED to do...

    Doing nothing?? The worst possible choice...

    "Failure to make a decision is a decision in itself. And it's invariably the wrong decision.."
    -Captain James T. Kirk

    It's the parents and the illegal immigrants who are choosing their fate...

    They bear the ultimate responsibility..

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    It could have been but, we may never know now.

    No.. As long as Iran is the #1 state sponsor of terrorism.. As long as it's goal is to "wipe Israel from the map"???

    It NEVER would be or could be a sincere partner...

    I will remind you that Trump pulled out of the deal first.

    Which does not excuse the Iranian attack on the oil tankers in the SLIGHTEST...

    This president doesn't know how to deal with Iran and he probably doesn't know any of the history between Iran and the US. His ignorance and unwillingness to learn will also do him in.

    Actually, he is the ONLY one who DOES know how to deal with Iran..

    Appeasement NEVER works..

    Europe should have learned that lesson in 1939...

    Apparently, President Trump needs to give them a refresher..

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    You do realize that only you and a small handful of Republicans believe that.

    You DO realize yer in a fantasy world where polls 500 days out have ANY kind of relevance...

    Right??

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The JCPOA was not appeasement and I am done here.

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    The JCPOA was not appeasement and I am done here.

    Not by itself....

    Obama thru in a couple billion dollars...

    THAT's appeasement... Pure and simple..

    Iran is the #1 state sponsor of terrorism..

    And Obama decided to fund them...

    and I am done here.

    Toodles... :D See ya tomorrow..

  90. [90] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Reality has given President Trump a horrible choice in the Southern Border...

    As long as Iran is the #1 state sponsor of terrorism.. As long as it's goal is to "wipe Israel from the map"? It NEVER would be or could be a sincere partner...

    Who else? Mexico, Venezuela, Canada? Trump views the entire world as a place where terrible choices have to be made. That's why we go and get leaders who see other choices - that take the chances necessary to having a world without war.

  91. [91] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    40

    Kick - YES - my bad - Elijah Cummings in the hearings. Yet another older black man who felt he had to rescue the ego of the offended white guy who was beyond oblivious in that episode. Sorry - these hearings and events are blurring together but I watched it when it was happening and it was icky.

    No apologies! It was creepy, wasn't it? No surprise either that "poor" Mr. Meadows genuinely seemed hurt by Ms. Tlaib's charge of racism, despite the fact that Mr. Meadows doesn't see himself that way, even though it is indeed Mr. Meadows who has been caught on video many times during the 2012 election season promoting the birther narrative, talking and laughing about sending President Obama "back to Kenya," following the lead of the head cheerleader for birtherism by the name of Donald J. Trump.

    How fortunate for Mr. Meadows reelection prospects too that he is from North Carolina where he and his ilk have been making it harder for minorities to vote and where judges struck down the election maps and described as unconstitutional and gerrymandered with "almost surgical precision."

    "Poor" Mr. Meadows. Why would anyone think him a racist for using a black woman as "living proof" that Mr. Trump isn't a racist? Patton was Trump's employee and supposed to prove he wasn't racist despite everything else he's said and done proving otherwise.

    Those of you defending Biden by alleging Cory Booker was lying or politicking are just making it worse - proving that old white guys, especially wealthy, influential etc. owgs, can always fail UP - while you feel perfectly comfortable assailing the honesty & credibility of owg-detractors who, in the world of rich white male privilege, have to PROVE everything while the white guy can just assert his pov and have it accepted.

    Oh, Mr. Biden certainly stuck his foot in his mouth by even bringing it up, and it's certainly not a good look, but then Mr. Booker is quite fond of speaking the same word, which I have been told can be used in a "loving manner." If you're asking for an immediate apology for a word you're tossing around on a regular basis, that is the definition of political opportunism. Just saying.

    If you want to defend Biden, defend him. But, in an effort to emphasize your deep faith in Biden some feel the need to attack his critics with spurious nonsense and that's on you. It's bullshit.

    I don't think we're attacking Biden's critics any more than you are attacking Mr. Lewis and Mr. Clyburn for defending Mr. Biden.

    None of you know what Cory Booker thinks or feels but suddenly you're mind-readers.

    I know he says "boy"... a lot. If it's so horrible as to demand an "immediate apology" and is hurtful to so many African Americans to hear it, then I'm just saying that Mr. Booker has a funny way of proving that.

    We need to beat DJT but we also need to recognize we'd never have gotten to DJT if GOP hadn't gone to the bad while Dem leaders enabled them.

    No one enabled them. Regardless of Party, it's high time that voters began being honest with ourselves and finally admit that the people who voted for Trump are the ones who knowingly put a bigot in the White House... and move forward from there. :)

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Who else? Mexico, Venezuela, Canada?

    You really put Venezuela in the same category as Canada and Mexico??

    "Yer crazier than I thought.."
    -Princess Leia...

    Trump views the entire world as a place where terrible choices have to be made.

    Which is INFINITELY better than people like you who believe singing KOMBAYA is all that is needed..

    . That's why we go and get leaders who see other choices - that take the chances necessary to having a world without war.

    And yet, President Trump chose NOT to go to war with Iran..

    And yet you STILL attack him...

    Do you see how 1 dimensional your thinking is??

    You see how you have become nothing but a caricature of hate and loathing???

    Yer like Neil.. He castigated, attacked and demonized Trump for being a warmonger..

    Then, when President Trump felt the casualties were too high and another way might be better, Neil attacking him for that!!

    Ya'all haters are a joke... You only have ONE IMPERATIVE...

    HATE.....

    It's sad...

  93. [93] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    52

    A Border Wall *WILL* remedy the situation..

    There is already a border wall there. Try harder.

    But a wall doesn't get Democrats more illegal voters, so they are against a wall..

    Illegals can't vote, and lying proves only your propensity to fabricate.

  94. [94] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar

    Even though it's not illegal for migrants to come to America seeking asylum, it is very convenient that Michale believes that "criminals" have no one to blame except themselves.

    This will naturally apply equally to:

    *Donald Trump, also known as Individual 1
    *Trump's fixer/attorney Michael Cohen, prison
    *Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort, prison
    *Trump's friend Roger Stone, indicted

    That'll do for starters. :)

  95. [95] 
    Paula wrote:

    So, speaking of Dems who don't "get it" - the story in Oregon, where the Dem Gov, having to deal with Repubs there walking out earlier this year, gave up some Dem priorities in exchange for the Oregon Repubs PROMISING there would be no more walk-outs.

    Then the Repubs walked out again AFTER threatening to shoot police and getting militia idiots roused up - then started backing down on the shooting part when they realized the militia traitors CAN'T WAIT TO START SHOOTING. But they remain walked-out. I believe the Dem Gov has now backed down.

    So the lying thugs win again while the "reasonable" Dem and the majorities that voted for Dems get shafted by the minority.

    This is what Dems have got to stop doing. Experience shows clearly Republican promises are garbage.

    You can't work with liars - all you do is give things up today, then get screwed again later.

    And Dems must stop normalizing and/or minimizing the fact that their GOP counterparts cannot be trusted on any level.

  96. [96] 
    Paula wrote:

    [91] Kick: Yes on Cummings/Meadows; no on Cory Booker, no on enabling.

    Re: Booker. First, Joe Biden made the gaffe. A gaffe is something that causes a negative reaction. Booker reacted, the same way I and many others immediately reacted (long before I read Booker's or any of the others' responses). Biden's "how dare he" was a stupid response that compounded the gaffe. Other people leaping to Biden's defense by denigrating Booker instead of dealing with Booker's (and others' points) look like they're in denial while Biden looks like a blowhard who can't admit he's ever wrong.

    Turning this into a "Booker can't say word-one about this incident because, in other contexts he used the word "boy" is disingenuous and misses the point. The point wasn't about a specific word, it was about Eastland's entire history of denigrating black people which is absolutely real and abhorrent - and Biden's seeming inability to recognize that he received different treatment from Eastland and THAT (the different treatment) shouldn't be bragged about. Thus Biden is tone-deaf (or a fool) to keep using that guy as a good example of "reaching out".

    As for enabling, as I wrote about Oregon [95], Dems do it and need to stop. Yes, GOP is responsible for what GOP does, but Dems DO have power, have had power, and will get power again and how they respond to GOP abuse matters. Coz, guess what? You and I DON'T have the power to stop them. It's the job of our representatives.

    Continual failure to respond adequately is a problem. Continuing to underplay, normalize, minimize is a problem. All of that empowers the Repubs and allows them to do yet more harm.

    Enabling is a thing. Too many Dems do it. It needs to stop. And telling people "all you have to do is vote them out" when the GOP turns around (after losing the majority) and jams a hammer in the engine like in Oregon and Dems say "gee, what a surprise!" is NOT, I repeat NOT, convincing.

    We need to vote in Dems - but after we do, Dems need to step up.

  97. [97] 
    Paula wrote:

    We need to vote in Dems - but after we do, Dems need to step up.

    Which means we need to screen out Dems who tell us up front THEY WON'T step up.

  98. [98] 
    Paula wrote:

    This: "Which means we need to screen out Dems who tell us up front THEY WON'T step up."

    should not have been italicized.

  99. [99] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    96

    Re: Booker. First, Joe Biden made the gaffe. A gaffe is something that causes a negative reaction. Booker reacted, the same way I and many others immediately reacted (long before I read Booker's or any of the others' responses). Biden's "how dare he" was a stupid response that compounded the gaffe. Other people leaping to Biden's defense by denigrating Booker instead of dealing with Booker's (and others' points) look like they're in denial while Biden looks like a blowhard who can't admit he's ever wrong.

    Pointing out that a politician is being an opportunist isn't exactly what I'd call "denigrating." It's generally what they all do when they see an opportunity because that's what makes the polls move. I like Cory Booker, but I will call him out when I believe he's made a mistake, which I do believe he did when he demanded an "immediate apology" for what Cory described as using language that is hurtful to "so many Americans." Like I said, it's very disingenuous for any politician to demand an apology from another and then in his next major speech he uses that same language.

    Turning this into a "Booker can't say word-one about this incident because, in other contexts he used the word "boy" is disingenuous and misses the point.

    Did I do that? Nope. Booker can say lots of words about the incident, and he is correct to call out Joe on his gaffe; Biden makes a lot of gaffes and should be called out whenever he does by Booker or anyone else. He really stuck his foot in it this time. However, Booker demanding an "immediate apology" because Joe supposedly hurt so many Americans with his word choice is a bit disingenuous in my opinion.

    Perhaps it's just my background and my crew and the crowd we run with... the "sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us" group. Every single person of color I asked about it described Joe Biden in terms such as "what was he thinking" but also thought Booker was overblowing it in spectacular fashion. Calling Joe out on it is perfectly fine. Demanding an immediate apology on behalf of Americans who are in pain because of such language use? Please.

    I was watching the South Carolina speeches with a group of people, and when Cory tossed out that "horrible" word a few days after demanding an apology for it, you should have seen the looks on their faces, and my buddy stood up and said, "I am hurt and demand an immediate apology. How dare he!" Sarcasm on his part, of course.

    The point wasn't about a specific word, it was about Eastland's entire history of denigrating black people which is absolutely real and abhorrent - and Biden's seeming inability to recognize that he received different treatment from Eastland and THAT (the different treatment) shouldn't be bragged about. Thus Biden is tone-deaf (or a fool) to keep using that guy as a good example of "reaching out".

    You don’t joke about calling black men "boys." Men like James O. Eastland used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity, and frankly, I’m disappointed that he hasn’t issued an immediate apology for the pain his words are dredging up for many Americans. He should.” ~ Cory Booker

    The pain his words are dredging up for many Americans? Biden explaining how he can work across the aisle with assholes is being overblown into a victimhood whine fest. My opinion. It was dumb for Biden to say it, but Cory Booker's request for an "immediate apology" for "pain" was based on Biden's use of language that Cory Booker frequently uses himself, making it a very hard sell that Biden's language was so offensive/painful... just my opinion. Reminds me of that time you were admonished by other posters regarding "common decency" and they repeated your words over and over and over. Hard sell.

    As for enabling, as I wrote about Oregon [95], Dems do it and need to stop. Yes, GOP is responsible for what GOP does, but Dems DO have power, have had power, and will get power again and how they respond to GOP abuse matters.

    As you have also said many times before, no one has to enable the Repubs.

    We need to vote in Dems - but after we do, Dems need to step up.

    Well, you'll get no argument from me there. :)

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    No.

    You should.. So many parellels to what is happening in the here and now.. :D

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    But they remain walked-out. I believe the Dem Gov has now backed down.

    I do believe the Democrats ALSO walked out of a Texas government house and left the state..

    Funny.. You didn't seem to mind it then...

    :eyeroll:

  102. [102] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    When candidates take big money to finance their campaigns they are telling us up front they will not step up.

    It is not in their campaign promises, those are all promises to step up that historically have been mostly empty promises.

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