Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Calendar Error

There may be no better indication of what is wrong with the Democratic Party (or at least the liberal street)  than this.

No, not the article, which is very sound, nor Chris Hayes' positive response to it. Instead, it's the comments of the liberal twitterati which, as usual, is obsessed with a four-letter word.

"Because you have always been a racist bro.Full stop. You dragged Hillary. You cannot bring yourself to support VP Harris. You love Bernie. Case Closed dude. it is dude isn't it?"

"Both IA & NH are 90% white. You find it “persuasive” that Bernie Sanders’ advisor (no agenda, right?) is trashing SC— a state more demographically representative of the Democratic Party? ..."

"I’ll save you all some time—Faiz doesn’t mention “Black voters” once in the piece."

"Faiz Shakir has done the almost impossible: Write an entire article about the Democratic primary process without once using the words “race” or “African-American.” It’s as if he saw nothing but a world of white voters yearning for socialism. Hey, BernieBro: Black Lives Exist."

"The piece literally comments (sic) Biden for choosing to move Nevada, Michigan and Georgia earlier because of their diversity And then recommends NC as an alternative to SC because it has a large Black population, but is actually a swing state."

Well, actually, diversity wasn't Faiz Shakir's rationale in applauding that portion of President Biden's plan to shake up the Democratic nominating process. It was because, if including New Hampshire

All four of these states have the distinction of being among the 10 closest states in the 2020 presidential election.

Why does it matter that general election battlegrounds are placed so early in the process? This is a Democratic team effort to invest in voter outreach, voter contact and voter enthusiasm at a much earlier stage, for a longer period, with more resources.

Shakir also recognizes that Iowa should be replaced as the state with the first contest- but not by South Carolina. Going first is a "special honor" and

South Carolina is not a battleground state: Mr. Trump carried it by double digits in 2020. It is way more ideologically and culturally conservative than our party and our nation. And the state is not trending in any way toward the Democratic Party.

Moreover, Shakir notes, launching the nominating process conveys a considerable economic advantage to the state and Iowa

has benefited greatly over the years from the high level of campaign spending and travel. Aware of the process’s economic power, many of our Democratic campaigns employed union-friendly hotels, restaurants and vendors when we were active in Iowa. Good luck finding that in South Carolina, one of the fiercest anti-union, anti-labor states in the country. In fact, South Carolina is already first in the nation at something that it shouldn’t be proud of; it is the lowest-density union state in America. It should thus never be in contention to be first on our calendar.

Good luck, Shakir, in getting center-left liberals, for whom "economic class" or "worker rights" might as well be a four-letter word, to agree that a state with a majority of its primary voters black shouldn't be given priority simply because of race.

The premise of the argument over South Carolina is that being first is most consequential in choosing a nominee.  I think, ironically, that South Carolina and its political class would benefit most by remaining third, but that's a distinctly minority opinion.

When President Biden recently sent his letter to the Democratic National Committee, he invoked the word "diversity" six times. However, South Carolina is not especially diverse. Its population is disproportionately African-American; it is not a state with a substantial number of Latinos, Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders, or American Indians/indigenous persons.  You would look to, among others, California, Nevada, and New Jersey for this, were that the intent.

Nor is South Carolina economically diverse, with 1.7% of its wage and salary workers unionized in 2021 while the national average was 10.3% (probably about 10.5% without considering S.C., which brings the average down).

There are several possible reasons Biden & Co. are promoting South Carolina: to give the President himself an (probably unneeded) edge in a re-election battle; to reward Jim Clyburn, without whom Biden would have had little shot of being nominated in 2016; to boost the Vice-President in her expected bid in 2028 (or in 2024 if the President bows out).

But it comes down to race, which Biden nearly acknowledged but won't, and which everyone realizes, but won't themselves acknowledge. 

The closest anyone comes to being forthright are the race-obsessed Twitter liberals who charge  Shakir and anyone questioning South Carolina's primacy with animus toward African-Americans. They seem to have forgotten that whites are not the only members of unions. Members of other ethnic groups also belong to unions, and blacks in greater percentages than whites.

Yet, that's not terribly important in today's Democratic Party, which could boast of its first decidedly pro-union President in a few generations. It could, but it won't. And this time, Joe Biden isn't helping.

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