Archive for August, 2019

birtherism rears its ugly head

Monday, August 5th, 2019

The New York Times runs a profile of Tulsi Gabbard, and I’m having to do a bit of a hic-up on this one…

On the plethora of “first”s she would represent as president… The first woman,

the first Samoan, the first from Hawaii, the first surfer, the first vegan.

The first from Hawaii?  Is the New York Times going birther on us regarding Obama?
(Too bad we never got that President Kucinich to scratch that vegan itch.)

Elsewhere, Timothy Noah chimes in with a good word on Joseph Biden as battering against the left wing drift of the Democratic field — somewhere on immigration beggering back to Obama’s insistence for a kinder gentler deportation policy but indeed a deportation policy —  except he’s too old and said some old things at the last debate, so I guess we’re stuck on Buttigieg.  Just… checking in on the pundit class’s thinking for y’all.

new york times covers the 20 democrats debating

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

The New York Times’s coverage of the Democratic debates has David French putting in a good word for Joseph Biden — making a reasonably good point on the complicated nature of the politics of the past as judged by the present — something like though you do hold the Crime Bill of the Bill Clinton harshly, you have to understand — it was passed at a time of high crime, and if party members were in office at the time they would’ve been voting for it, and also you have to give some policy consideration to state governments.  Interestingly enough, the man who was propped up by some conservatives to take a bid for the presidency — hold the fort against Trump — cites “Obamacare” as a success, Biden would be building off of — as opposed to what I see in Reason magazine citing any Health care policy plan as a defacto acknowledgement of the failure of Obama’s Health care plan.  A bit contradictory to the magazine’s earlier pointing out that the Trump signed tax policy had a belated gutting of Obamacare… so where does that leave us?

David Brooks makes a bid for Marianne Williamson.  At least in terms of “spiritual rhetoric” as opposed to policy — tossing the idea that the centrist and liberal policy debate is all good and well, but everyone ends up a technocratic variant of Michael Dukakis.  The nation’s soul is at stake.  A curious gambit… a left winger would argue that a centrist Carter presaged a right wing Reagan to a more right-wing centrist Clinton than on to Bush and the horror of the right drift to Obama and now the fascist Trump, new norms normalized, so what we need now is high does of AOC style socialism.  Or… some argument along those lines.

During one exchange, for instance, after Mr. Biden rejected the idea that illegal border crossings should be decriminalized, Julián Castro, the former Housing secretary and mayor San Antonio suggested that Mr. Biden lacked “guts”.
Once more a false usage of a pejorative… Biden lacks guts for suggesting something short of the liberal policy of the audience he is speaking in front of?  I don’t understand.

And then there’s this…

and that Mr. Obama and President Clinton came from the center of the party.

… Clinton sure — though arguably you can say he came from the right of the party, but that’s not the frame of meanings that the paper has here.  On that part, Obama ends up fidgeting his way to the center or a tad to the left — terminology gets lost as you consider his first runs at political office and who he’s competing against, and then the amorphous cloud of running to win down to Indiana.