Saturday, February 26, 2022

Not Exactly Clear

On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, the host (beginning at 28:22 of the video below) can be seen remarking

So let's talk about our new Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson.  I was surprised it took Biden a long time to come  up with the name. I guess he just want to go in and do his due diligence. She seems incredibly qualified. Yeah, I don't know why it to be such a big deal to say- you know, why he couldn't have just said "I'm going to look at everybody and then pick a black woman.

It's simple. As a candidate, Joe Biden said that he'd choose a black woman. He was nominated, then elected, with overwhelming support from black women. And black women are the base of the Democratic Party. The base. Maher continued

You know, because this way- this astounding poll- it was a reliable- seventy-six percent of Americans wanted Biden to consider all possible choices. They didn't like that, including only 28 percent of non-white Americans wanted Biden to consider only black women.

This is a problem, if it is a) true and b) respondents were reminded that Mr. Biden had pledged if elected that his first nominee for the Supreme Court would be a black woman. 

It's even worse than Maher indicated. In a survey of the "general population"  (18 years of age and over), respondents were asked whether

to fill the opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, do you think Joe Biden should: Consider all possible nominees (or) consider only nominees who are Black women, as he has pledged to do.

Maher's reference to the poll findings as "astounding" was not hyperbolic.  People believe not only that the President should considered more than black women, but that he should not have limited the choice even though he had pledged to do exactly that.

As Stephen Stills wrote over 55 years ago, "there's something here; what it is, ain't exactly clear." 

Staffing the Supreme Court and behavior of law enforcement are two different issues. Still, President Biden, determining it is past time for a black woman to be on the nation's highest court, implied that racial discrimination has stood in the way. A few months after he did so, millions of individuals protested the killing of young (mostly male) blacks, they strongly implied that racial discrimination was pervasive throughout law enforcement.

But was that really he message that was received? Less than two years after protests seemingly inspired by the notion that blacks have been treated as second-class citizens, the American people believe that a President should break his campaign promise of considering only black women to fill the impending vacancy on the Supreme Court.

There are two possibilities. Either the mood of the electorate has turned dramatically right on the issue of race or the black lives matter movement set off by the murder of George Floyd was far, far less popular than it seemed. What it is, isn't exactly clear, but it is a major problem for Joe Biden's Democratic Party.


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