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    Frontrunning campaigns typically do less stuff than the rest of the candidates’ because they don’t have to and it’s less risky that way, but Biden’s campaign is extreme even by that standard. It really makes me wonder why anybody would work for Biden 2020. Because the only reason to avoid having the candidate have any real interaction with anybody ever is because he sucks, and if they’re doing it, then that means they know he sucks. But why drag yourself out of bed to spend countless hours for somebody who sucks? Only so many years we get on this planet. Why spend them building a phony image of Joe Biden as an iron-jawed leader while at the same time keeping him as cocooned as possible, just hoping that this desperate strategy lasts until the primaries are over?

    I don’t get it.

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    The reason(s) why she doesn’t are open to interpretation but the stance itself is not. She’s made about half a dozen different cases against doing it up to this point, including this new one?that a political process (impeachment) could block the normal enforcement of the legal process when Trump leaves office. It’s a fairly insulting case to the intelligence of pro-impeachment Democrats but all of the others she’s made have been well poked through, so I guess we’re getting a little desperate now. I mean, if the political and legal processes do in fact impact upon each other, then let’s just have the D.C. Police arrest him now. Wasn’t that basically the holdup in the first place?

    I suppose she thinks that moderates will reward her for stepping on the libs’ dream, just as Hillary Clinton did. Just as Biden would.

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    Can it really just be Rob Portman and Lisa Murkowski? This list is about two years old but it’s not as though there are a ton of new Republicans in federal office since then, and given how brutal 2018 was for the GOP the only new ones are ones representing safe Republican districts. So probably not anybody there. But almost all of the federal Republicans on that list either retired or lost re-election last year. Which means that (apparently) the only two Republicans in all D.C. who currently support same-sex marriage are a guy who almost certainly wouldn’t be doing so if his son weren’t gay, and a woman who voted against RyanCare and Kavanaugh and probably doesn’t want to admit to herself that she doesn’t really fit into her party anymore.

    I’m sure, though, that Joe Biden will slap some backs and Mitch McConnell will support ENDA when it gets brought to the floor. Man what a failed presidency we’d be ordering up for ourselves if he gets in.

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    Yeah, not great prescience in this particular flattery sesh. Onto new stuff:

    • It goes without saying that this is Trumpian cynicism at its highest, perhaps even greater than his pretended dovishness in 2016. Whether or not you think that Clinton’s crime bill sucked–which it did, and the bill that was supposed to cement Clinton as “tough on crime” wound up being a soft on crime albatross that did a ton of damage to real people–the notion that Trump is somehow better than Biden on these issues is ridiculous. That said: it’s not as though Democrats need to keep nominating people whose entire careers were defined by DLC tough-on-crime bilge. Plenty of other options out there. Continuing to nominate people with unacceptable baggage and then hoping that they apologize enough for the baggage and convince people that they’ve learned from that baggage (which they probably haven’t) continues to strike me as inferior to just nominating somebody without that particular baggage. Call me crazy.
    • Atrios is 100% correct here. I wouldn’t put the amount of people inspired by Biden’s campaign at 0, my guess is that a good number of Catholic Democrats are pretty pumped about him because they were the only people on Earth pumped about Kerry in 2004. I remember because I was there. (Also, isn’t it kind of crazy that JFK is still the only Catholic president?) Still, 6k people in Philadelphia (pop. 1.5 million, nearly all of whom are Dems) kind of illustrates the inspiration problem perfectly: the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to run against a president who has never broken 45% in the polls should be a hotter ticket, one would think. He’s not exactly Obama in New Hampshire.
    • Biden’s topping the polls means that he doesn’t have to make himself as available, thus allowing him to continue topping the polls in a vicious circle. His campaign seems to realize that the more he’s out there, the worse things get for him. Biden is Biden (i.e. an impulsive man prone to saying damaging things, improvising too much, and losing the point), but given the aforementioned dynamic he can get away with this for awhile. But eventually the MSM gets mad if you don’t let them get on that tire swing. If he keeps himself too aloof, the coverage is going to get bad, fast. But the more he talks, the more he reminds people of who he really is: a second-tier former senator who never led anything. It’s almost like he’s not a good candidate who’s being kept afloat by a campaign that on the one hand is fully aware that he sucks, but that otherwise is in the same denial that he is about many things.
    • Biden’s proposal on education isn’t going to get anybody’s pulse racing, but it’s fine, and on brand in that it’s incremental and addressing issues that aren’t controversial–until the bill gets proposed and his Republican friends say that Biden’s going to issue kids gay fornication manuals. Count on it! This is interesting though: “[Biden] said nothing in his plan about teacher or school accountability ideas that animated the Bush and Obama administrations but irritated teachers unions. During the town hall, Biden voiced skepticism about charter schools, which won significant support under Obama. The former vice president said some charters work, but he said he does not support federal money to back for-profit versions.” If Joe fucking Biden doesn’t want anything to do with the privatizers then I think they’re done, at least among Democrats. (Also some relevant local news on charters here. People think California is ultra-left wing but what it really is is ultra-Democratic, with a Democratic Party that belongs to wealthy people and is basically Clintonian on most issues. If the anti-charter bill passes, that’s a super ominous sign for the charter/voucher brigade as well.)

    And by the way, the Howard Schultz campaign seems to be dying quietly. As if it would go any other way. I’ll never forget the time when he called us un-American for thinking that he should pay more in taxes, as part of his healing campaign of national unity.

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    Almost forgot to mention it: most people think the Supreme Court is mainly making decisions based on politics! Which, no duh, but the sooner it filters down, the sooner we can crack its malign power. And because I have to say it: in the abstract, a body that identifies laws that violate the Constitution but that the Congress won’t repeal–a sort of tribune body standing up for the little guy–sounds good, except for the problem that the Supreme Court has played the opposite role for most of its existence, as the body that slowly takes away the rights of ordinary folk and buttresses the higher classes. It was meant to be that way: the Founding Fathers gave us the presidency (decided by the Electoral College, which in theory would override the passions of the masses), the Senate (initially elected by state legislators, i.e. by other politicians who originally were all rich elites, and not you) and the Supreme Court (a body whose decisions are unreviewable with the only exception being passing a Constitutional amendment, a difficult thing to do most of the time and under the present circumstances, impossible). What we got was the House of Representatives. Some prize, that gerrymandered beast. We are getting closer to fixing the Electoral College, we partly fixed the Senate (though it still sucks and should be abolished), but the judiciary is the last bastion of the Founding Fathers’ overall malignant hatred of democracy (with some exceptions, of course). That Democrats really have no appetite for engagement on these issues is more likely due to so many of them being lawyers who don’t want to limit the power and prestige of their profession, but there’s only so far that the Roberts Court can push, even with this crew.

    As for the obvious retort: judicial independence is a principle but one that cuts both ways. If the majority of SCOTUS justices are not making independent judgments but are making them purely based upon ideological and partisan reasoning, then they cannot take refuge behind the principle of judicial independence.

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    I’ve been reading?The Emerging Democratic Majority, the book that launched Democrats’ overconfidence and complacency during the Obama era (and even a bit beyond). Turns out that the book’s argument was much more nuanced than the version that filtered down to me, which was that Democrats were imminently going to have an unbreakable majority, it’s just fate, and Republicans will be forced to moderate to continue to exist. The book says none of this and lays out preconditions to be met (which never were) and caveats galore. As with?The Party Decides, the media took a carefully made case and blew it up into dogma that wasn’t actually true, so they covered Trump as spectacle because he couldn’t win (no elected endorsers!), and instead spent their time mooning over penis size obsessive Marco Rubio. Pretty sure that their dumbed-down emerging Democratic majority thesis did more damage because it manifestly influenced strategy on both sides despite being a lie.

    I’ll discuss this more later. Anyway, the book does have an interesting frame: “progressive centrists” is how the book labels the Bill Clinton/Mark Warner type of politician, which makes sense because in a world where Joe Biden can assert himself to be the most progressive politician in the race, the words evidently now mean the same exact thing. It’s basically just saying “Democrat” now.

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    Local Newspapers are pretty irreplaceable:

    The Chronicle ended up favoring the kitchen-sink approach and now that the records are starting to trickle in, we’ve started learning about individual cases, In Walnut Creek, an officer kept his job after mishandling dozens of reports. In Antioch, a sergeant lost his job after leaking info to a gang member, among other things. An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy who was charged with severely beating a suspect in a San Francisco alley in 2015 had previously been involved in a pair of fatal shootings.

    All this stuff came to light because of a new law that took effect this year, which made all of these records newly transparent. This is to say nothing of the SFPD’s recent bid to make the J. Edgar Hoover FBI look like principled Constitutionalists, or the endless police-involved shootings of black teenagers.

    Not great.

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    May out soonish (maybe, but maybe she’ll still hold the office till we’re all dead), Boris goes in, Brexit goes on. And on.

    There are, of course, poor Brexiteers as there are poor Trumpers but the giveaway that both are privileged undertakings is that the people behind them are happy to keep the identity fires raging forever and ignore any other business. Brexit in any workable form would require compromise and making choices but the hardliners would apparently be happy to argue about it for 50 years than have to actually do that.

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