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Garrett78's Journal
Garrett78's Journal
March 1, 2020

Once again, zero evidence of mischievous crossover voting having an impact

There's about as much evidence for substantial mischievous crossover voting in open primaries as there is for voter fraud in general elections.

Like voter fraud, mischievous crossover voting merely serves as a ready-made excuse for supporters of a particular candidate.

Still, I'm sure we'll be hearing the same preemptive excuse-making in another 4 or 8 years, as we do every primary season. Que será, será.

February 22, 2020

Bernie Sanders and Sanctions

Sanders has a history of supporting sanctions, but he has voted against certain pieces of legislation on account of not wanting to endanger the nuclear agreement involving Iran and Russia.

And then there's this:

The fact that Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voted against the so-called Magnitsky Act of 2012 imposing targeted sanctions on Russian oligarchs to punish the Putin regime for human rights abuses is often cited as “proof” by liberal conspiracy theorists that Sanders was somehow culpable in the Kremlin’s targeted effort to damage the candidacy of Hillary Clinton as part of their broader attack on the 2016 U.S. election.

What liberal conspiracy theorists won’t tell you is that Sanders was joined in voting nay by Carl Levin (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Jack Reed (D-RI) none of whom stand accused by anyone of being Russian stooges.

What liberal conspiracy theorists won’t tell you is that the Obama administration opposed the Magnitsky Act. The administration flip-flopped only after the sanctions were attached to a bill normalizing trade relations with Russia, hence the bill’s official name: The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 6156).

What liberal conspiracy theorists won’t tell you is that Sanders voted for a second, more robust version of the Magnitsky Act in 2015.

Much more at link.
February 22, 2020

I doubt Sanders was at liberty to say anything about the FBI briefing until it became public.

An FBI briefing of that nature would surely be classified. I don't know why anyone would expect the Sanders campaign to have made an announcement.

Candidates and members of Congress are told all sorts of things we never learn about, barring investigative reporting.

Russia is all about causing chaos, confusion and infighting. That's the objective. I'd suggest we not play along.

February 20, 2020

How large are the various groups of potential voters?

Specifically, of those who will or may vote Dem, how would you rank each group in terms of its size/likely impact?

1) First off, you've got the mass of Vote Blue No Matter Who/party faithful.

2) There's a lot of talk about "independents," but we know from multiple studies that the vast majority of them consistently vote a straight-party ticket (Dem-leaning indies vote Dem and Rep-leaning indies vote Rep). They're partisan but hate partisanship, as one article on the subject stated. They're also not as reliable voters (and quite possibly not as informed) as the party-affiliated.

3) Next, there's, I think, a pretty substantial number of folks who will either not vote or will vote 3rd party unless we nominate Sanders (or possibly Warren). They feel that the US is in desperate need of large-scale fundamental change. They, many of them young, feel disenchanted or downright pissed off. Like it or not, that's pretty evident.

4) As for "independents" who might be classified as true swing voters, I think they're definitely the smallest lot of the bunch that I've mentioned so far. It's also hard to say exactly why they might vote a certain way. Some claim that they'll support the most moderate option, but that's disputed by the following article, which suggests that "confused" would be a more apt description: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-moderate-middle-is-a-myth/.

5) Lastly, there are Republicans who could potentially vote Dem. Personally, I think that's a tiny and inconsequential fraction of the electorate.

We probably take a hit with one group by going after another. It's doubtful that we can get great turnout from each and every group. Sacrifices will be made, and one's perception of how large each group is would seem to dictate where one thinks sacrifices should be made.

February 19, 2020

"The Moderate Middle Is A Myth"

I've posted this here, but the following article deserves its own thread: "The Moderate Middle Is A Myth"

As the above link makes clear, self-identified "moderates," "independents" and "undecideds" are all over the map ideologically-speaking. And studies show that virtually all of today's so-called "independents" are very partisan but claim they hate partisanship. In fact, they're more likely to always be straight-ticket voters than the average party-affiliated voter of past decades. True swing voters are not that great in number, and it's a myth that they constitute some mass of ideologically-similar middle-of-the-roaders who will vote for whichever candidate is closer to the center. A lot of people and members of the media have become invested in that narrative and will undoubtedly dispute these findings (mostly with anecdotes and 'gut feelings' and tweets), but it just ain't the case. Anyway, here's a couple of key excerpts from the 538 piece linked above:

The upshot of all this is that if you’re a campaign trying to appeal to independents, moderates or undecided voters — or a concerned citizen trying to make sense of these groups in the context of an election — policy and ideology aren’t good frames of reference. There just isn’t much in terms of policy or ideology that unites these groups.11

Anybody who claims to have the winning formula for winning moderate, independent or undecided voters is making things up. Perhaps more centrist policies will appeal to some voters in each of these categories — but so will more extreme policies.12

And come election day, these potential swing voters may not ultimately care all that much about policy. They don’t tend to identify themselves based on ideology, and they don’t follow politics all that closely.

First, this is a really small group — only 2.4 percent of the electorate falls in all three buckets. And even this super small middle of the middle is … you guessed it … all over the ideological map. Rare as these voters are, anybody who talks about winning over undecided, independent, moderate voters should first address the question: which undecided, independent, moderate voters?
February 18, 2020

Why are people still talking about winning over Trump supporters?

How many times in the last 3 years have we heard predictions that Trump's approval rating will drop to Nixonian levels, that he's finally gone too far, that it's only a matter of time before his support collapses, that surely we'll win over large numbers of his supporters if only we do X and Y or nominate Candidate Z?

After 1 year, one could be forgiven for thinking that. 2 years is pushing it. After 3 years, I'd say that meets Einstein's definition of insanity.

It ain't gonna happen, folks.

No predecessor has had an approval rating even close to as steady as Trump's.

Are there people who voted for Trump who aren't going to vote for him again? Of course there are. Of course there are people who have come to regret their choice, or people who have changed their worldview. But that's not the same as thinking current Trump supporters will vote Dem because we nominate ABC instead of XYZ.

February 4, 2020

Yes, Iowa matters. No, Bloomberg is not a contender.

Caucuses are disenfranchising and should be banned. And we shouldn't start with 2 of the whitest states in the US. But those saying Iowa doesn't matter are being ridiculous. Generally speaking, Iowa and New Hampshire both have a big impact on the narrative. And narrative matters...it matters a lot. That said, last night's fiasco certainly dampens the impact Iowa will have this time around. And, with any luck, every remaining caucus state will go to a primary and we won't start with Iowa ever again. Not holding my breath, though.

Regarding all the Bloomberg posts, WTF! I don't care how much he spends, he will not end up with the most delegates. Not even close. Even if the nominee is neither Biden nor Sanders, I'm confident it won't be Mike fucking Bloomberg. Good grief.

February 4, 2020

2 winners tonight: the Republican Party and Joe Biden

Biden was probably going to finish 4th or even 5th, and the resulting narrative would have been devastating.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party must be positively giddy. The Democratic Party looks incompetent and conspiracy theories will lead to people not trusting the process.

December 14, 2019

The Republican Party: A Poem

The Republican Party

Decades of dog whistling and now a bullhorn
Social progress makes them forlorn

They foment and exploit all forms of bigotry
Without racism and sexism there’s no GOP

Science denial to the detriment of us all
Attacking young activists takes some gall

Pollute air and water to make more dough
Misinformation they do like to sow

Openly inviting foreign interference
Dictators given absolute clearance

Most criminal president the US has seen
Not draining the swamp but basking in a latrine

Synonymous they are with hypocrisy
Scandalized and pushing autocracy

Not patriots but warmongering profiteers
Feign budget concern while putting us in arrears

Race-based voter suppression and gerrymandering
Call them on what’s obvious and be accused of slandering

Media complicit with its corporate buyers
False equivalencies and equal time for liars

Gish gallop and the art of projection
Talking heads offer no real objection

Not just peeps with a view on government’s role
But horrible individuals owned by oil and coal

Wanting fellow humans to suffer and die
About universal health care they do nothing but lie

Citizens United allows for the stealthiest
Tax cuts for those already the wealthiest

Sensible gun control explicitly forbidden
Capitulation to the NRA not remotely hidden

Are you one of those supporting this atrocity?
Please rethink your abject callosity

Consider the future of your offspring
Resistance is needed against the right wing

The Republican Party’s the world’s greatest threat
But they can only win if millions abet

Garrett S.

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