Wednesday, April 03, 2019

The Issue Might Not Be The Issue(s)


New York Times conservative syndicated columnist Ross Douthat recommends that Joe Biden be Joe Biden if he runs for the Democratic nomination for President. He believes that the Delawarean should take

ownership of his record: not defending everything, not avoiding all apologies, but arguing explicitly that some tough-on-crime policies were a necessary response to a destructive multi-decade crime wave, that some moderation on abortion should be acceptable in the Democratic Party and that the Ocasio-Cortezan turn on economic policy should be questioned or resisted. And, yes, defending his personal familiarity, hugs and nose-rubs and hair-kisses and all, and in the process questioning some aspects of #MeToo.

Otherwise, he argues,

in a primary where Biden is just an old white dude running away from his record, the party’s various moderate voters will almost certainly fracture and go to fresher candidates with cleaner pitches — to the Texan Jesus or the South Bend Meritocrat or the Mean Minnesotan or the Racial Optimist. (That would be Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker, respectively — none of whom are likely to challenge the Great Awokening directly, but all of whom offer something to Democratic voters wary of the left.)

To run the way I’m suggesting, on his record rather than against it, would exact a possibly extraordinary cost. Just to campaign this way would make Biden hated by many liberals in a way that would make today’s Twitter animosity look mild. To win the nomination this way would produce fury on a scale that far eclipsed the pro-Sanders anger in 2016 and guarantee a strong 2020 showing for Jill Stein’s grifter left (if not a more sincere alternative). And to lose the nomination this way — which would remain, obviously, a strong possibility — would ensure that Biden exited the stage of liberal politics not as an elder statesman but as a wrong-side-of-history bad guy.

Naturally I’d still like Biden to try it — not least because some of the party’s Reagan and Clinton-era compromises were Actually Good, and it would be good for today’s Democrats if a prominent Democrat defended them.

This is all very interesting but is little applicable to former Vice-President Biden's chance at gaining the nomination.  There is a reason that Democratic presidential aspirants are spending more time than ever before in South Carolina.

It's the same reason Democratic ad and communications strategist Danny Barefoot was in South Carolina a month ago on behalf of a Democratic hopeful (whom he definitively stated is not Bernie Sanders).  All of his tweets from the focus group he conducted are here and the most relevant are below:


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