Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Last Call For The Full Ginsburg

The NY Times is quite upset that Justice Ruth Bader Ginburg would voice an opinion about Donald Trump being less than optimal for America if he were elected president.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling.

Three times in the past week, Justice Ginsburg has publicly discussed her view of the presidential race, in the sharpest terms. In an interview with The Times published Sunday, Justice Ginsburg said, “I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” joking that if her husband were alive, he might have said, “It’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

Earlier, in an interview with The Associated Press that appeared on Friday, when asked to consider a Trump victory, Justice Ginsburg replied, “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”

On Monday Justice Ginsburg doubled down, calling Mr. Trump “a faker,” who “has no consistency about him.” In that interview, with CNN, she added: “He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego.”

The basic argument is that stooping to the level of the late Justice Antonin Scalia and uttering political proclamations about the executive branch is beneath Notorious RBG, particularly when they involve an upcoming election.  I can see that point of view, but then Donald Trump exploded on Twitter today and basically proved Justice Ginsburg was correct.

Trump on Tuesday fired back.

“I think it’s a disgrace to the court, and I think she should apologize to the court,” he told the newspaper. “And I would hope that she would get off the court as soon as possible.”

He added, “I think it’s highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly.”

Now, can you imagine what thin-skinned Trump would dare to do if the Supreme Court ever ruled against his administration?

Pretty sure Justice Ginsburg made us all consider that this week.

A Whiter Shade Of Beyond The Pale

The narrative that Democrats have abandoned "working-class Midwest whites" who are now rallying around Trump because of "class issues" is the chosen narrative of the Village to explain away all of Trump's unfortunate support from the white supremacist movement in the US, but Nick Confessore over at the NY Times is at least acknowledging that this handwaving is, you know, a real problem for America right now.

Outside a former aircraft factory in Bethpage, N.Y., not far from a strip of halal butchers and Indian restaurants now known as Little India, a Long Island housewife who gave her name as Kathy Reb finished a cigarette on a spring evening. Nervously, she explained how she had watched the complexion of her suburb outside New York City change. “Everyone’s sticking together in their groups,” she said, “so white people have to, too.” 
The resentment among whites feels both old and distinctly of this moment. It is shaped by the reality of demographic change, by a decade and a half of war in the Middle East, and by unease with the newly confident and confrontational activism of young blacks furious over police violence. It is mingled with patriotism, pride, fear and a sense that an America without them at its center is not really America anymore
In the months since Mr. Trump began his campaign, the percentage of Americans who say race relations are worsening has increased, reaching nearly half in an April poll by CBS News. The sharpest rise was among Republicans: Sixty percent said race relations were getting worse. 
And Mr. Trump’s rise is shifting the country’s racial discourse just as the millennial generation comes fully of age, more and more distant from the horrors of the Holocaust, or the government-sanctioned racism of Jim Crow. 
Some are elated by the turn. In making the explicit assertion of white identity and grievance more widespread, Mr. Trump has galvanized the otherwise marginal world of avowed white nationalists and self-described “race realists.” They hail him as a fellow traveler who has driven millions of white Americans toward an intuitive embrace of their ideals: that race should matter as much to white people as it does to everyone else. He has freed Americans, those activists say, to say what they really believe. 
“The discussion that white Americans never want to have is this question of identity — who are we?” said Richard Spencer, 38, a writer and activist whose Montana-based nonprofit is dedicated to “the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent” in the United States. “He is bringing identity politics for white people into the public sphere in a way no one has.”

White folks as a whole are definitely not ready for an America where white people are no longer the cultural, social, historical, and legal default, so the goal is to square the circle and get them back on top again.  Here's the rub though, they always have been on top and still are in many way, just not as in many way as they were in say, 1956, 1976 or even 1996.

The country is still adjusting, and will be for some time.  But let's be real here, Donald Trump is empowering the forces that want to take us back to to 1956 in one fell swoop, and that can't be allowed to happen, and there are plenty of folks on the left who will be willing to help Trump do just that come November.

We'll see what comes from it.

Our Poll Arised Nation, Con't

Two polls out today showing the race for the White House going off in completely different directions.  First, Reuters is out with a new national poll showing Hillary Clinton with a major lead:

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton extended her lead over Republican rival Donald Trump to 13 percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, up from 10 points at the end of last week. 
The July 8-12 poll showed 46 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, the former secretary of state, while 33 percent supported Trump, a celebrity real estate developer. Another 21 percent did not support either candidate. 
That compared with 45 percent who supported Clinton and 35 percent who supported Trump in the five days to July 8. 
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has mostly led in the national online poll this year. The last time Trump came close to Clinton's popularity was in early May, when his last two rivals for the Republican nomination dropped out of the race and party leaders started to line up behind his campaign.

Trump, who is expected to become the official Republican nominee at the party's convention next week, has since lost ground in the poll as he struggled to refocus his campaign from the Republican nominating contests to the Nov. 8 general election.

The poll also shows Clinton breaking even on popularity, where Trump is mired in the upper 30's. That however is a far cry from the latest Quinnipiac swing state poll of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, showing Trump leading or tied with Clinton and Trump winning all three states when third party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson are factored in.

With a drop in grades on honesty and moral standards, Democrat Hillary Clinton loses an 8-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in Florida, and finds herself in too-close-to-call races in the three critical swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Clinton loses ground on almost every measure from a June 21 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. The Swing State Poll focuses on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania because since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.

The presidential matchups show: 
  • Florida - Trump at 42 percent to Clinton's 39, compared to a 47 - 39 percent Clinton lead June 21;
  • Ohio - Clinton and Trump tied 41 - 41 percent, compared to a 40 - 40 percent tie June 21;
  • Pennsylvania - Trump at 43 percent to Clinton's 41 percent, compared to June 21, when Clinton had 42 percent to Trump's 41 percent. With third party candidates in the race, results are:
  • Florida - Trump leads Clinton 41 - 36 percent, with 7 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 4 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein;
  • Ohio - Trump at 37 percent to Clinton's 36 percent, with Johnson at 7 percent and Stein at 6 percent;
  • Pennsylvania - Trump over Clinton 40 - 34 percent with 9 percent for Johnson and 3 percent for Stein.
"Donald Trump enters the Republican Convention on a small roll in the three most important swing states in the country. He has wiped out Hillary Clinton's lead in Florida; is on the upside of too-close to call races in Florida and Pennsylvania and is locked in a dead heat in Ohio," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Needless to say, at least one of these polls is badly, badly wrong.  If Reuters is correct, Hillary Clinton is on her way to an historic landslide victory, where a 13 point lead would end up giving her possible wins in previously safe, deep red states like Texas, Tennessee, Alaska, and even Kentucky, setting up a complete Republican wipeout in November that would totally reverse the last six years of GOP gains in Congress.

But if Quinnipiac is right, it's entirely possible that both national third party candidates may end up in double digits and give Trump the wins across the Rust Belt that he has to have in order to win in November and possibly putting other Rust Belt blue states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and even Illinois and Minnesota into serious contention for Trump and the GOP.  That in turn could relegate the Democrats to a regional coastal minority for the next decade.

The truth, dear reader, is somewhere in between, I suspect.  There's no way I believe that Clinton is ahead by 13 nationally, but there's no way I believe that Trump is ahead in Florida by five and PA by six points right now, either.  The Reuters poll is probably closer to the truth, but it's not nor will it ever be a double digit lead unless Trump completely crashes.

On the gripping hand, the new McClatchy poll showing Clinton ahead 42-39 while only getting 81% of the black vote, only 57% of Sanders supporters, and only 52% of the Latino vote is complete nonsense.

I suspect we'll have a clearer picture come August once the conventions are over.


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