S3E34: democratic debate: a review

On today’s podcast we finally talk about the democratic debate held Tuesday on CNN. All the pundits, pontificators and news people have had their say, and now it’s my turn.

Topics include impeachment, medicare for all, jobs and the wealth tax.

There are issues with:

  • Warren and her inability to counter attack. 
  • What appears to be a slowing down of Joe Biden.  
  • Sen. Klobuchar and Mayor Pete’s lame health care plans and finally
  • Tulsi Gabbard’s bizarre answers to questions.

Those who shone, were Julian Castro and Andrew Yang.  The latter seemed to finally wake up and realize you can cut people off and you can grab the mic for yourself.   I was happy to see that.

Everyone else, Harris, Booker, ORourke and new comer Steyer, were just background noise. 

Take a listen to part one here:

The polls don’t lie

The day after the debate FiveThirtyeight released polling to see who won the debate.  While the pundits said Warren did not do well, the audience as usual, thought otherwise:

Both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar were relatively well-liked going in, but got even higher marks for their debate performance than their popularity alone suggests they should. In fact, Buttigieg received the third-highest debate performance grade.

Only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren scored higher, but their debate performances were more in line with their pre-debate favorability ratings. Joe Biden, notably, didn’t have that bad of an overall debate grade, but it was still a bit lower than we might expect given how well-liked he is.

We also asked likely Democratic primary voters how favorably they felt about each candidate both before and after the debate. Klobuchar and Buttigeg saw the largest jumps in net favorability (favorable rating minus unfavorable rating) — 3.2 points and 2.6 points, respectively. And among the polling front-runners, both Warren and Sanders’s net favorability ratings improved by more than 2 points, while Biden’s increased by a little over 1 point. Beto O’Rourke saw the biggest decrease in net favorability, dropping by 5.7 points, and both Gabbard and Castro fell sharply in voters’ eyes, too.

We asked respondents to estimate each Democrat’s chances of defeating Trump, from 0 percent… Biden was the candidate voters thought was most likely to beat Trump, on average. He still leads on that question after the fourth debate, but, as you can see below, Biden’s average rating dropped by almost 2 points. O’Rourke didn’t fare well either; his average electability rating fell be nearly 3 points — the most of any candidate. Klobuchar was the only candidate whose average score improved.

Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Pete do the best in these polls.  It’s not surprising.  They were the only two that were aggressively going after new frontrunner Elizabeth Warren.  The senator from Massachusetts has got to do better defending herself from them.

AOC and Omar Support Bernie.

I think Ilhan Omar announced her support for Bernie before the debate. Not surprising. I think Bernie’s call to action in 2016 is the reason why the Minnesota house member even ran for office.

Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, it is reported, will endorse Sanders at a rally this weekend.

These are much needed endorsements given the Working Family’s Party endorsed Warren.  The new Congresswomen of color are only half the squad tho.  And it is notable, Pressley and Tlaib have not endorsed anyone as of this posting.

That could mean, in the background, Warren’s team is strongly pushing the women for their support. I would imagine two black women supporting Warren could only help her with African Americans.  There has been reporting that Warren is growing her influence with African Americans.  Politico reports:

But if Biden’s firewall ever cracks — and there are some signs it’s softening in recent surveys — it will likely start with young black women, according to interviews with a dozen African American female organizers, lawmakers and activists who are heavily involved in the Democratic primary election or closely tracking the mood of black voters.

The current state of the race reminds LaTosha Brown, the cofounder of Black Voters Matter, of 2008. Black voters were behind Hillary Clinton unti Barack Obama won Iowa, when, Brown said, her “phone blew up.”

“Iowa is a template of what white people will do,” said Brown, whose group played a key role in rallying black voters to the polls in Democrats’ upset win in the 2017 Alabama Senate race. “And I hate to acknowledge it, but it influences how black people see a candidate, too.”

“So if [Warren] wins Iowa or New Hampshire, it’s a ball game changer,” said Brown.

Warren’s support among black women, according to Morning Consult, has inched up from 8 percent three months ago to 13 percent in a survey released this week. Biden currently has 42 percent support among black voters, the poll showed. Morning Consult is one of the few polls that provides breakdowns of their findings by gender and race.

What is also interesting, is this is another occasion where women are not supporting women. The squad is all female, yet half of them are going with a man over a woman.  I think it shows the enduring difficulty of women being called on to support women.

Biden slipping

Much as Sam Seder of the Majority Report predicted, Joe Biden appears to be slipping if this report in The Hill is any indication:

On Friday, the Biden campaign sent an email to its supporters fundraising off the fact that he’s behind his opponents in cash.

“I hate to say it, but our opponents are way ahead of us when it comes to money in the bank,” the Biden email says. “And on top of that, some of our opponents have boasted raising big bucks since Tuesday night’s debate. That could give them a huge leg up going into the next phase of this race. If we don’t pick up the pace here, we might have to make budget cuts that could seriously hurt our momentum in this primary,”

Democrats say a number of factors have weakened his stature, including verbal flubs and long-winded rambles and what they say is an inability to be consistent in taking the fight to President Trump.

Other Democrats say Biden has always been a weak candidate boosted by strong name recognition and his years as former President Obama’s vice president. They argue his centrist politics and elder-statesman status are a difficult fit with a primary electorate that is leaning progressive.

It will  be interesting to see how things move forward for Biden.  If the former Vice President ends up in third place, you know Trump will say it’s because of him.

Clinton v Gabbard

Hillary Clinton, today, seemed to have a problem with Tulsi Gabbard’s debate performance.   The former first lady and senator from New York seemed to think Russia was “grooming” Gabbard.

“I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary, and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” the former secretary of state told David Plouffe in his “Campaign HQ” podcast without providing evidence.

“She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

The Hawaii congresswoman attacked back via Twitter:

Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a …— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019

… concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and …— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019

… powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.

It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019

Biden tripped up

Here is the clip mentioned in the podcast from The Daily show regarding Biden’s flubs during the debate:

Senator Klobuchar, the Public Option and The Dignity Of Work.

In the podcast I reference links to website on the Minnesota senator’s history with the public option.  Here they are:

As far as the dignity of work, here are two links:

CBPB under attack

Coincidently, the consumer financial protection agency created by Elizabeth Warren is under attack by the courts.  The Supreme Court has agreed to see if the “structure” of the CFPB is constitutional.

The case was brought by a Selia Law firm that was accused by CFPB of potentially violating federal telemarketing laws. The federal organization tried to get information from the agency.  Seila said no and questioned the constitutionality of the law that created CFPB.

A court battle lead all the way to the US Court Of Appeals which did not find the structure of the organization an issue.  Selia appealed to the Supreme Court and not surprisingly the CFPB welcomed the court’s decision.

Why, not surprisingly?  Cause, Trump, Republicans and the current head Mick Mulvaney hates the organization and are trying to destroy it.  So who will speak on the behalf of the CFPB?

Also, as Amy Howe wrote for SCOUTSBlog:

The justices will not hear oral argument until early next year, but one justice – Brett Kavanaugh – has already tipped his hand. When he was still a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Kavanaugh dissented from a decision by the full court of appeals that rejected a similar challenge to the constitutionality of the CFPB’s leadership structure.

Characterizing the director’s authority as “power that is massive in scope, concentrated in a single person, and unaccountable to the President,” Kavanaugh agreed with the challenger that what he described as the CFPB’s “novel structure” violates the Constitution.

Shouldn’t Kavanaugh be force to recuse since he has already ruled on this case?

Oh well. This is why we need court reform people!