Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Racist president continues attacks on Americans who disagree with him

Remember, the Trump base is smaller than you think.


*New Poll*Most Americans (59%) disagree with President Trump’s tweets about four Democratic congresswomen of color. Sharp partisan and racial differences define views.https://t.co/tUguqsKTVP pic.twitter.com/pkeRKq4Gnb

— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) July 21, 2019

Smart politics? Nah. From CBS:

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley are better known to Republicans than they are to members of their own party, and as with many members of Congress, many Americans are unfamiliar with them.

All have net favorable ratings among Democrats who do know them — particularly among Democrats who are liberal — and dramatically unfavorable ratings among Republicans. That adds up to their having net unfavorable views among the public as a whole, and in this, they are similar to more established leaders of both parties. Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy all garner net unfavorable ratings among Americans overall while being viewed more positively by members of their own parties.


But that is not the end of the story. We can do better than the mournful ask of the LA Times: “We shouldn’t rise to his bait, but how can we not? If we ignore him, we normalize his reckless behavior.”Take the bait or normalize Trump: these are NOT the only choices. Read on! 12/

— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) July 21, 2019


For CNN, never going live to a Trump campaign event — on the grounds that you will inevitably broadcast falsehoods if you do so — would be a plausible start. Again, take the bait or normalize the toddler are not the only choices. Suspend normal relations is a further choice. 14/

— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) July 21, 2019

OTOH from NY Times:

Trump Sets the Terms on Racial Division. Do Democrats Know What to Do?

Ryan Enos, a political scientist at Harvard University who has studied voters’ attitudes toward race, said that to the extent the president’s racial divisiveness is a political strategy, it could be an effective one.

“There are a lot of people who are uncomfortable with someone who covers her hair in Congress,” Mr. Enos said, referring to Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. “It is really an ethical and electoral issue, and if it works, that earns Trump another four years in the White House.”

Mr. Belcher, the pollster, was also skeptical of his party’s ability to meet Mr. Trump on his playing field.

“White progressives don’t understand race in this country and conservatives and Republicans do,” he said. “But they better learn, because Donald Trump is coming.”

Asked why he was pessimistic, Mr. Belcher laughed.

“Because I’m black,” he said.

Does the Times know how to cover it? In any case, you have to see Trump for who he is and not dance around it:


Demagogue. Racist. Un-American. We know what Trump is, now the Democrats have a choice: Fight him and everything he represents or become like him. My new @NYDailyNews op-ed: https://t.co/BvA6P6dEih

— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) July 21, 2019

And as for the best way to fight him:


32/ He is a white nationalist. He is an authoritarian. He and his cult are a threat to the future of the nation and world because of their hatreds. His movement betrays the country’s promise. THAT is the message that will drive turnout. Not debates over marginal tax rates…

— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) July 21, 2019



I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops. Trump’s challenge won’t be turning out blue-collar workers in Green Bay & Lancaster & Midland; it’ll be hanging onto suburbanites in Waukesha & Bucks & Livingston. https://t.co/0vCeRnh8ZY

— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) July 21, 2019


Coming here in 1976, a Jewish immigrant from what was then a hostile state (the USSR), I have never felt any less American than a Protestant whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Trump is now telling me and other immigrants otherwise. https://t.co/XCNH5ovxPi

— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) July 21, 2019

Reed Galen/NBC Think:

Justin Amash’s decision to leave the GOP reveals a truth Republicans don’t want to face

According to some critics, the smarter move would’ve been for Amash to fight from the inside. But even if Trump is defeated next year, what will taking back the GOP look like?

The real surprise in Amash’s move, if Twitter is to be believed, was the reluctance with which many never-Trump Republicans supported his decision. According to these critics, the smarter move would have been for Amash to fight for the party from the inside. Such thinking sums up two of the biggest misconceptions of conservative thinking that have taken root since Trump’s unexpected 2016 victory. The first is that once Trump is gone, these elite establishment Republicans will be able to take back the GOP. And the second is that the GOP is going to be able to return from whence it came.

It’s never going to happen.


Talk about the pot and kettle. Trump has ruined the GOP and owes scores of apologies to the American people. #TrumpApologyTour #JOKING #TheSquad https://t.co/WBTTkA9Uvq

— kathleenparker (@kathleenparker) July 21, 2019

Cass Sunstein/Bloomberg:

‘1984’ Comes to 2019

Those chants of “Send her back” exposed the Trump presidency’s Orwellian soul.

George Orwell’s “1984” is the greatest fictional account of authoritarian leadership — the most astute, the most precise, the most attuned to human psychology.

One of its defining chapters explores the Two Minutes Hate, which helps establish and maintain Big Brother’s regime.

As Orwell describes it, the Hate begins with a flash of a face on a large screen. It is Emmanuel Goldstein, “the Enemy of the People.” His is “a clever face, and yet somehow inherently despicable,” and also unmistakably foreign. It produces fear and disgust.

Goldstein defines disloyalty to the nation and (what is the same thing) the regime: “He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party’s purity.” Goldstein is responsible for heresies and treacheries of all kinds. He does not love his country.

In the first 30 seconds of the Hate, Goldstein’s voice is heard as he denounces the party and calls for freedom of multiple kinds. “He was abusing Big Brother,” and “he was advocating freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought.”

The result is to produce rage and fear in the audience, and to do so immediately. Goldstein is a serious threat. Wherever he is, he commands a kind of shadow army, a network of conspirators. He is the author of a terrible book, including all the heresies.


Most Interesting Finding in the CBS Poll: Where do you get campaign information?IowaSocial Media: 22, Friends & Family: 23New Hampshire Social Media: 21, Friends & Family: 28South Carolina:Social Media: 23, Friends & Family: 33

— Wyeth Ruthven (@wyethwire) July 21, 2019

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

New GOP panic about Trump’s racism reveals an ugly truth

You can locate a zone of plausible deniability, in which one can claim support for such policies on pragmatic, economic or “cultural” grounds, and not out of any desire to make the United States whiter. It’s precisely this zone that Republicans now seek to inhabit.

That’s why the GOP panic about the “send her back” chant is significant. It shines a floodlight into this zone and reveals why it’s so hard to credibly inhabit it.

Good thread:


Came across two descriptions of nationalism, from two liberal columnists, and I wanted to highlight a key difference. I’m extremely not a nationalist, but my antennae are up when we’re characterizing mainstream views and positions we’re already predisposed to strongly detest.

— Berny Belvedere (@bernybelvedere) July 21, 2019


He says the current hardline position on the right certainly is, and that prior historical manifestations of it in the US have also been, but nationalism per se, with its borders and immigration controls—features that are necessarily exclusionary—need not be racist or xenophobic.

— Berny Belvedere (@bernybelvedere) July 21, 2019

Andre M Perry/Brookings:

Racism is not a distraction; It’s policy

Policy encompasses written legislation, mandates, acts, and regulations in governments, institutions and businesses to influence behaviors. Those who charge that Trump’s bigoted vitriol is a distraction wrongly limits policy to those written, concrete forms. Policy also comes in the form of practice—regularly exercised procedures that are also used to influence behaviors. Many policies are unwritten or are implied through communicated rhetoric. Many voters make decisions and vote on racist rhetoric just as they would act on issues of foreign policy or social security.

Racism should never be diminished as a distraction—history shows well that the strategic deployment of bigotry is a default practice used to undercut democracy. Inserting nativist, xenophobic language has been the reliable prelude to codifying bigotry into law.


So disturbing from Trump‘s racist NC rally was the little girl behind POTUS who joined the “Send her back!” chant. His fascist movement is tearing America apart – and teaching our kids to hate. The time to end his immoral presidency is NOW. My new column https://t.co/8ZEcTlFGPr

— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) July 21, 2019

Dave Weigel/WaPo with one of the two important policies for Democrats to work out (the other is immigration):

The Democrats’ fault lines on health care

As usual, Sanders was outnumbered, in ways that will matter in the months to come. The AARP forums demonstrated how the entire party has shifted left since 2016; as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pointed out, the days of Democrats pondering cuts to Social Security were over. They also put most of the Democratic candidates loudly on record against Medicare-for-all legislation, warning that it would disrupt a system millions of Americans were happy with. Most of these Democrats, obviously, will not win the nomination; if a Medicare-for-all sponsor does win the nomination, the words said in Iowa could haunt them through November 2020.

The candidates divided into three groups: Implement Medicare-for-all and eliminate most private insurers; create a public option that would eventually be too hard for private insurers to compete with, leading in effect to Medicare-for-all; and create a public option with no expectation of Medicare-for-all. Here’s a basic breakdown of where the field stands after the AARP forums.


2. Reason #1 the Left/Moderate pseudo-division on health care coverage is frustrating: it is misleading. Many Democrats–I include myself in this category–would like to move to a national, universal and automatic health insurance system eventually.

— Eliot Fishman (@FishmanEliot) July 21, 2019


@eschor has a good look at the developing debate over how to pay for Medicare for All—aside from Sanders, the candidates aren’t all that clear on how they’d do it: https://t.co/ZGjN8wTz6h

— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) July 19, 2019

Robert B Doherty/Philly Inquirer:

Should health care policy be made by a show of hands?

During the first two Democratic presidential candidate debates held last month, NBC correspondent Lester Holt asked for a show-of-hands among the candidates who would support eliminating private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan. Only four candidates — Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — raised their hands. (Although Senator Harris later sought to clarify that she misinterpreted the question and would allow a very limited role for private insurance to cover services not included in a public plan.)

None of them should have raised their hands in my opinion, not because the debate over moving to a publicly-financed plan like Medicare isn’t important. It’s because the question can’t be fairly answered with a simple hands-up or hands-down response.

The answer depends on policy decisions, the details, and the politics.

It depends on what a Medicare-type public plan would cover and whether co-payments and deductibles would apply to covered services. There is little need for private insurance if the public plan covered just about everything, with no-cost sharing by the individual, as Senator Sanders’ Medicare-for-All bill proposes.


I suspect that the need to significantly raise taxes under Medicare for all — to cover everyone and compensate for no premiums, deductibles, and copays — will prove more controversial than the elimination of private insurance. https://t.co/3jfRhMcc64

— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) July 21, 2019

Leonard Pitts Jr/Miami Herald:

This land is OUR land, Donald Trump!

American politics has never seen a more chicken-hearted bunch.

But for all their cowardice, for all your cynicism, for all the fear some white people hold, you can count on the fact that the rest of us will not be denied, deterred or defeated. You are nothing we have not seen before. And still we rise.

It would behoove you, then, to get over the idea that this is your house and you can order the rest of us to leave. If we can go back where we came from, guess what?

So can you.


CBS Poll of Californians:Biden – 24%Harris – 23%Warren – 19%Sanders – 16%Buttigieg – 6% pic.twitter.com/3wxxM22zcX

— Vance Ulrich (@VanceUlrich) July 21, 2019

Colin McEnroe/Middletown Press:

The dividing line between Trump and The Squad

On the other hand, let us not forget the self-styled “Three Amigos,” also known as U.S. Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham. The “Three Amigos” was, of course, a comedy movie and it was way easier to say than One Upright Citizen and His Two Fawning, Easily Corrupted Coach Dogs.

McCain has left us. Lieberman — you can’t make this stuff up — was spotted last weekend speaking in Albania, along with Rudy Giuliani, at a meeting of Mujahedin-e Khalq, a cultish, celibate Iranian exile group.

Meanwhile, there is something wrong with Graham. We can all see that. I’m going with demonic possession until a better explanation surfaces. In the course of publicly telling Trump that he needs to tone down his tweets about the Squad, he called them anti-Semitic communists who hate America.

That resulted in an equally public rebuke from Meghan McCain, daughter of Amigo Numero Uno. Addressing (direct-to-camera) Graham from a perch on “The View,” which has somehow transformed itself into a latter-day “McLaughlin Group,” McCain told Graham he was no longer the man she grew up liking.

McCain said all this nastiness about foreign-born women of color had an especially sour taste because her adopted sister was born in Bangladesh and was subjected to racist taunts as a young girl. She noted that Graham, as a family amigo, had witnessed those hurtful zings but now appears comfortable spewing the same kind of venom.

And that was just the public part. Presumably Melania Trump will pull Graham aside at some point and remind him that her father Viktor Knav was a Communist party member back in Sevnica.


The Obama voters who didn’t show up in 2016 are generally progressive, but they’re on the whole *more moderate* then Clinton’s voters so there’s not some particularly obviously mobilization/persuasive tradeoff. https://t.co/4L1CNk92Pi pic.twitter.com/DfWQhNUeCw

— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 20, 2019

Gerard Baker/WSJ:

Kamala Harris Is Now the Candidate to Beat

The political news we should be talking about is the rise of the California senator

There’s not much doubt that the California senator has suddenly become the sensation of the primary season so far. In the space of a month she has traveled from the crowded middle of the distant second tier of candidates to, arguably perhaps, the front of the front. It’s difficult to recall such a sudden shift of fortunes in a primary contest absent an actual primary or caucus vote.

It’s not just the—always volatile—polling numbers. Ms. Harris has advanced significantly on multiple fronts since midsummer.

The polling speaks for itself. In the Real Clear Politics polling average, her score has almost doubled from around 7% before the first Democratic debate to just under 13%. But that national poll picture doesn’t fully capture the momentum she has established in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

It must be noted that she still trails Joe Biden in all the polls. But it’s not easy to find a thoughtful Democrat outside the Biden camp who sees an easy way for the former vice president to pull out of his free fall since his widely panned performance in the first debate.

The above is an opinion by a pundit. If you don’t like it, feel free to comment on it here, or contact the pundit. I thought it interesting it appeared in WSJ. This one’s (less surprisingly) in the Atlantic:


NEW from me – “I’m a Warren Democrat” and the distinctly 2020 movement that is starting to build around the Massachusetts senatorhttps://t.co/RlwwwAmPjj

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) July 21, 2019

From that CBS Battleground poll:


Probably two of the biggest strains among Democratic primary voters right now: wanting someone who can win against Trump, and wanting someone who can take it to Trump. The different answers here on first choice vs who’s strong get at that: https://t.co/Vpt0OKj2Lr

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) July 21, 2019


One of the most interesting findings: @KamalaHarris considered “Most Strong” among the Democratic presidential contenders in the new @CBSNews Battleground Tracker Poll: pic.twitter.com/NRSTaUgwOz

— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) July 21, 2019


YouGov/CBS News early state delegate estimate, based on polling and thresholds (though some of this is imaginary because you’d get knock on effects of earliest primaries).Left is June, right is July. pic.twitter.com/Y4ydgiGHSg

— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) July 21, 2019

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