Sunday, June 19, 2016

Last Call For Causing Trouble

I'm not surprised at all by this BuzzFeed article on Bernie's supporters planning on both mass disruptions and getting arrested at the Philly convention next month.  If this sounds like Occupy tactics, there's a reason for that, as some of the same people behind those protests 8 years ago were talking the same kind of disruptions while gathered at the People's Summit conference last week.

The People’s Summit conference, sponsored by the National Nurses United — a progressive union that backed Sanders to the hilt during his run for president — is aimed at uniting all elements of progressivism into a single effort that exerts pressure on the Democratic Party and its presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. Mourning Sanders’ loss and imagining what might have been was one part of the conversation.

Another saw older, established progressive leaders urging Sanders’ youth legion to stick together and try to achieve Bernie’s political revolution through more conventional means like influencing the Democratic Party platform and working in the grassroots for like-minded down-ballot candidates.

In the basement of the Lakeside Center, where the Summit was held, some of those younger Sanders supporters prepared for what they called “direct action” — loud, consistent, and perhaps disruptive protest outside the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Several dozen of them attended a training on how to march, how to follow a chant, how to defy police orders to disperse by sitting and locking arms in what’s called a “human chain,” and how to conduct themselves when the police stepped in and physically removed them.

Trainers wearing fake badges waded among the chanting and human-chained “protesters,” pulling them apart, putting their hands behind their backs, and leading them away.

The simulation was for what training leaders called “a blockade,” but they stressed blocking busy intersections or other disruptions may not be what the final protest plan looks like. “Direct action,” said participants in the training, is non-violent and peaceful.

Thousands of Sanders supporters have already signed a Facebook petition promising to protest the Democratic convention. Many of those gathered at The People’s Summit expected those protests to include police stepping in. Rumors of police efforts to push protests back from the convention site or other efforts by the authorities to quiet the Sanders uprising abounded in the training session.

Here's the thing: as with Occupy, what is this supposed to accomplish, exactly?  Yes, you're upset about Hillary, you wanted Bernie Sanders as the candidate, and you're planning on getting kettled on purpose.  But what will that actually do?

It's not going to make Bernie the candidate.  It's not going to stop Donald Trump.  It's not going to help liberals win local and state races, and it's not going to help get rid of Republican control of the House and Senate.

It's your protest, and lord knows that there are plenty of things on this Earth worth protesting.  But protests have to be followed up by action, and that's what I'm not seeing.

“They’re going to arrest people, period, end of story. So we just want to prepare ourselves,” said Cassidy Turner of San Diego. “We’re not going to be violent, we don’t really have a reason to get arrested but it’s going to happen. So we want to prepare ourselves.”

The Great White Dope

The Village is starting to catch on that "Clinton is really the most hated candidate in history" is only true among white men, and gosh, they're not the total electorate anymore, are they?

The RealClearPolitics poll average now gives Clinton a lead of almost six percentage points over Trump, a marked shift from a month ago. Perhaps even more telling is that every poll on the RCP list that was conducted entirely in June showed Clinton leading. That’s a change from May, when several polls showed Trump leading narrowly.

Given the terrible two weeks Trump has gone through, it is no surprise that the trend line also indicates that Clinton’s lead is widening. The last four polls on the list — all completed in the past week — put her lead at 12, nine, five and six points. Four polls completed earlier in June showed her with leads of three, four, eight and three points.

Clinton is not approaching 50 percent in any of these head-to-head polls. With one exception, she is below 45 percent, hardly impressive. But Trump has not broken 40 percent in any of the past seven polls listed on the RCP average. Overall, the average of the recent polls puts Clinton at 44 percent and Trump at 38 percent. 

So where is this "majority hates Clinton too" narrative coming from?  White guys, of course.

When the electorate is divided into different population groups, it is even clearer how much trouble Trump has created for himself. Trump’s base during the primaries was among white, working-class voters. But it has become apparent that his real base is among white men. Among white men without a college degree, he’s in positive territory. Among white women without a college degree, he’s not.

Overlooked, perhaps, is Clinton’s image deficit among whites, particularly among white men. Just 23 percent of white men view her favorably, compared with 75 percent unfavorable. But she counters with strongly positive numbers among nonwhites, who are 2-to-1 positive about her.
All of this has put Republicans on edge about November. Trump is frustrated that leading Republicans have not all coalesced behind his candidacy, but without some change on his part, he could be an island of his own in November. Fear of a Clinton presidency remains the lone rationale for many Republicans who otherwise recoil from remarks Trump has made lately. 

White men really hate Hillary Clinton.  Everyone else really really really hates Donald Trump.  The two are not equal, which is why Clinton is looking more and more like a runaway winner in November as Republicans are starting to come around to the fact Trump is their Barry Goldwater.

Running For The Hills

Senate Republicans are realizing a bit too late that Donald Trump as their party's presidential nominee is going to cost them control of the Senate in a big, big way.

Senate Republicans are deeply concerned that Donald Trump will cost them their majority, despite private assurances from leaders that voters opposed to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee will split their ballots.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll published last week shows Trump’s unfavorable rating has hit new a high, with 7 out of 10 respondents nationwide viewing him negatively.One Republican senator facing a competitive re-election said he and his colleagues are “very concerned.”

“There’s deep, deep concern,” he added.

Republicans have to defend 24 seats while Democrats only have to protect 10. Six of the vulnerable GOP seats are in states that President Obama won in 2008 and 2012.

Almost every day, Republican senators see new evidence of Trump’s lack of mainstream appeal.

Major companies such as Wells Fargo and UPS, which sponsored the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa, are skipping this summer’s event in Cleveland.

“There’s a lot of anxiety out there,” said a second Senate Republican. “People are trying to figure out what’s going on in the political climate, what it means to us, to me. There’s anxiety.”

Yet there’s a growing sense of resignation that not much can be done to change their presumptive nominee.

At a meeting of Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters Wednesday, Trump didn’t even come up for discussion, according to two lawmakers who participated.

What profiles in courage. We'll just pretend he doesn't exist.  Maybe Republican voters are dumb enough to go along (they did nominate Trump after all, so there's ample evidence right there to support that theory) but I don't think most of them are going to take the repeated Trump slights very well.

Ticket splitting works both ways, after all.  I'd like to see polling on Republicans who plan to vote for Trump and not their local Senate incumbent as opposed to Republicans who won't vote for Trump, but will back their GOP senator's seat defense.

Odds are that those numbers are relatively equal, I would think.  But there are also Republicans who I think will stay home completely or worse (for the GOP) vote Hillary.

That number I'm betting will be larger.

Sunday Long Read: Two Women And A Subaru

I learned quite a bit from this Priceonomics story about Subaru, a company that very much led the way for LGBTQ equality in the 90's when they discovered their most avid and dependable vehicle owners were lesbians.

How do you advertise a car that journalists describe as “sturdy, if drab”?

That was the question faced by Subaru of America executives in the 1990s. After attempts to reinvigorate the company’s declining sales with a sports car and a hip, young ad agency failed, they turned to their niche marketing strategy.

“That was and still is a unique approach,” says Tim Bennett, who worked as Director of Advertising. “I’m always amazed that no one copied it.” Instead of fighting every other car company over the same demographic of white, 18- to 35-year-olds living in the suburbs, Subaru would target niche groups of people who particularly liked Subarus.

In the 1990s, Subaru’s unique characteristic was that the company increasingly made all-wheel-drive standard on all its cars. When Subaru marketers went searching for people willing to pay a premium for all-wheel-drive, they identified four core groups who were responsible for half of the company’s American sales: teachers and educators, healthcare professionals, IT professionals, and “rugged individualists” (outdoorsy types).

Then they discovered a 5th: lesbians.

“When we did the research, we found pockets of the country like Northampton, Massachusetts, and Portland, Oregon, where the head of the household would be a single person—and often a women,” says Bennett. When Subaru marketers talked to these customers, they realized these women buying Subarus were lesbian.

“There was such an alignment of feeling, like [Subaru cars] fit with what they did,” says Paul Poux, who later conducted focus groups for Subaru. The marketers found that lesbian Subaru owners liked that the cars were good for outdoor trips, and that they were good for hauling stuff without being as large as a truck or SUV. (In a line some women may not like as much, marketers also said Subaru’s dependability was a good fit for lesbians since they didn’t have a man who could fix car problems.) “They felt it fit them and wasn’t too flashy,” says Poux.

Many of them even felt an affinity with the name.

‘Subaru’ is the Japanese name for the Pleiades, a six-star constellation. When Kenji Kita, the CEO of Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, chose the name in 1954, he chose it to represent how six Japanese companies had merged to form Fuji Heavy Industries. But in English, the constellation is also known as the Seven Sisters—the same name as a group of American women’s colleges.

And so Subaru went after lesbian car owners with fervor, introduced domestic partner benefits for workers long before that was "cool" and worked to target clever ads to the people who already loved their cars.

In other words, it made social, economic, and business sense, long before the era of social media and targeted advertising.

Imagine that.
Related Posts with Thumbnails