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Dem Primary Debate

Discussion in 'US Politics' started by Frank Underwood, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    Bloomberg is a former Republican who supported George Bush, the Iraq War, and John McCain. All of which Trump railed against, although they both support stop and frisk. Billionaire Bloomberg has seen a bump in the polls due to the money he's dumped into TV ads. I don't think it'll be enough to make him the nominee. If he is able to buy the nomination, Trump will likely crush him. Bloomberg and Trump play up their feud in public, but this photo reinforces what George Carlin said about the illusion of choice and elites being part of a big club:

    [​IMG]

    Journalist who found Bloomberg audio responds to CNN smears
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 12:23 PM
  2. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    This is a great article for people who like to concern troll about Bernie supporters:

    Why does the “BernieBro” myth persist? Because pundits don't understand how the internet works

    A misunderstanding of social media is driving media elites to keep pushing an easily disprovable stereotype

    The nature of punditry makes it hard to tell which myths media personalities earnestly believe in, and which they perpetuate in bad faith. Consider the "welfare queen," a villainous trope popularized by Ronald Reagan in stump speeches in the 1970s, and which never actually existed. Despite being a clear fiction, the idea was tantalizing both to politicians and pundits, and hence the welfare queen became embedded in culture. Pundits and politicians today still invoke the racist caricature, often through dog-whistles.

    Why do some myths persist, or remain uncorrected by the media, while others dissipate? The short answer seems to be that when they serve a media narrative, or play on existing stereotypes, they grow to possess a power that goes beyond fact or truth. To this list of indefatigable myths, one might add the pernicious "BernieBro" — so ubiquitous a concept that it has its own Wikipedia article. The self-explanatory neologism was coined by Robinson Meyer in an Atlantic article in 2015 before being distorted by the Twittersphere and the punditry — something that Meyer later came to regret, as he felt the term he reified suffered from "semantic drift."

    But that was five years ago, before we had as much data on Sanders' support base — which, as it turns out, should be sufficient to debunk the stereotype that Sanders' support base consists entirely of a mythic tribe of entitled, pushy young millennial men. To wit: young women make up more of Sanders' base than men. He polls especially high with Hispanic voters, far more so than with white voters; Hispanic voters also donated more money to him than any other Democratic candidate. Polls consistently show that nonwhite voters prefer him over the other candidates. Notably, the demographic group that likes Sanders the least is white men.

    Moreover, of all the candidates, Sanders has taken in the most money from women. Many of Sanders' female supporters bemoan how they are ignored by the mainstream press. "The 'Bernie Bro' narrative is endlessly galling because it erases the women who make up his base," writer Caitlin PenzeyMoog opined on Twitter. "To paint this picture of sexism is to paint over the millions of women who support Sanders. Do you see how f**ked up that is?"

    And yet. Even with all this demographic data on Bernie Sanders' support base, many intelligent pundits and politicians persist with the myth. How do they justify it? They just know, apparently. But specifically, they feel it on Twitter.

    Just one week ago, New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens published a column with the headline "Bernie's Angry Bros." The column did not contain a shred of the aforementioned demographic data about Sanders' support base, but rather was driven by a series of anecdotes supposedly proving his point about the irascible fans of the Vermont senator. Stephens' main evidence, aside from social media anecdotes, was a story about Sanders supporters getting angry during or after the 2016 Nevada caucuses, believing they had been rigged against their candidate. (The idea that people might grow angry at being disenfranchised is horrifying to Stephens, probably because he is a well-insulated upper-middle class pundit for whom political decisions have no real material impact on his life — unlike the people in Nevada he disparages.)

    The Daily Dot has a long feature listing pundits who have helped perpetuate the BernieBro narrative long after demographics showed his support base to be a multiracial, working-class coalition. Hillary Clinton apparently still believes that Sanders is tailed by a horde of "online Bernie Bros" who issue "relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women," as she said in a Hollywood Reporter interview just last month.

    What could compel otherwise intelligent people to perpetuate a false and harmful narrative that essentializes Sanders supporters and erases their real and diverse identities?

    Again, the answer to that is Twitter. Specifically, how Twitter is understood by journalists and pundits, and how it is wielded by angry people online.

    The skewed demographics of Twitter

    Twitter, unfortunately, informs the worldview of many of the country's most elite pundits, and some of its politicians too. Opinion columnists like David Brooks and Bret Stephens (both of the New York Times) are excellent examples of pundits who, at various times, seem to see the world as refracted through the bluebird's drinking glass.

    The problem is, Twitter is very much not a representative sample of the world. It is not a zeitgeist; it is not a cross-section of the population.

    It is hard to understand this, even for very smart people, because the corporation that runs Twitter tries very hard to make it seem like Twitter is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of every cultural and political conversation.

    But it is not true. However, the eponymous corporation behind Twitter profits from this perception of its platform as a zeitgeist. After all, the president is on it! Still, Twitter (the company) promotes this narrative of itself as where the conversation lives. They make money off of the lie that it is a representative cross-section of the world's opinions and thoughts.

    But a study of Twitter demographics say otherwise.

    Pew Research polls from 2019 found that about 22% of the US population is on Twitter, and 44% of users are in the 18-24 age range. Linger on that for a second: a substantial proportion of the people getting in Bret Stephens' mentions and making him upset may be scarcely older than children. Interestingly, Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine — a pundit with whom I rarely agree — is on the mark here.

    "It is hard to exaggerate the degree to which the platform shapes the minds of professional political observers," he wrote in a recent column. "Part of Twitter's allure to insiders is that it creates a simulacrum of the real world, complete with candidates, activists, and pundits all responding to events in real time. Because Twitter superficially resembles the outside world's political debate — it does, after all, contain the full left-to-right spectrum — it is easy to mistake it for the real thing."

    Here's another stat from Pew that helps explain why Twitter is non-representative, a fount of professional-managerial class opinions: Thirty-one percent of Twitter users in the U.S. make more than $75,000, though only 23% of the country makes that much money. Likewise, 20% of U.S. Twitter users make less than $30,000, though about 28% of the country makes that much. The social media site is skewed towards wealthier Americans.

    It's too bad there aren't as many statistics about who is active on the site. I've often suspected that people with white-collar office jobs and higher incomes (and thus more leisure time or computer time) are more steady tweeters, while those with manual labor jobs are not constantly perusing feeds and inserting themselves into the commentariat.

    Angry people and angry brands

    But the demographics of Twitter's user base only say so much about the site's distorted commentariat. There's also the question of how people behave online, and why they behave so differently than they do in real life. There is a psychological reason why even very nice people are more likely to behave like assholes online. It is called the online disinhibition effect, and it is a big source of misery from pundits who do not understand it. The combination of three factors — the anonymity and pseudonymity of being online, the lack of accountability, and the indirect nature of online communications — make it so that online communication is dehumanizing, and often cruel.

    Demographics and "real" users aside, Twitter — like most social media sites — has a huge number of accounts that aren't even individuals. A great deal of Twitter users are instead are brands, spam accounts or bots who behave like actual people.

    Because of this, getting in arguments with "people" on Twitter — or even just seeing Twitter as the so-called public sphere — is akin to arguing politics with a clown in a funhouse mirror. It is so heavily distorted — by corporate PR and marketing, by the way that people behave differently online, and even by powerful bad actors (whether state or individual) who can wield Twitter armies quickly and easily — as to be effectively useless as any sort of gauge of public opinion. It is a terrible place to gauge human behavior, or make broad pronouncements of what humans are like. And it's an even worse place to get a sense of a politician's support base.

    I have a modest proposal for my peers in the journalism world: I would like to propose that anyone writing about a Twitter "mob" of any political ilk be required to include the previous paragraph in an asterisk at the bottom of their story. We should all be forced to include a disclaimer to clarify that it is impossible to make any kind of quantitative assessment of human behavior on Twitter because of how deeply skewed it all is — by hackers, PR professionals, paid influencers, intentional government or corporate misinformation campaigns, and the way the online disinhibition effect makes people act.

    The reactionary mind at work

    After reading all this, someone with a personal story of a (purported) Sanders supporter being cruel to them online might still object. The Bernie Bro is real! This anecdote proves it.

    But to say "a single candidate's follower was mean, therefore I don't support this candidate's policies regardless of their actual political implications," is a rhetorical fallacy. There are definitely individual assholes out there. Likewise, assholes can believe in good causes, and nice people can support terrible causes. It is a reactionary mistake to oppose a candidate — who represents a set of specific political positions poised to help or harm different social classes — on the basis of another's individual behavior.

    That means that the normalization of the BernieBro also diminishes the experience of those who are bullied by other candidates' supporters. A video went around of an Elizabeth Warren supporter accosting two Sanders fans at the Iowa caucus; yet it didn't get a lot of play because it didn't reinforce existing stereotypes that we have about Warren's supporters. Plenty of stories about online bullying by other candidates' supporters are ignored because we lack a comparable stereotype to bundle them.

    It would be one thing if Bernie Sanders — or any popular politician — told their supporters to be angry and menacing and threatening online, and then that behavior was reified on Twitter and in real life. But that has not happened with Sanders, nor with anyone else among the current crop of Democrats. You cannot draw a line from Sanders' rhetoric to any of the stereotypes of BernieBros, because his rhetoric and voting records speaks to him being an egalitarian, a civil rights advocate and a compassionate progressive voice.

    Source: https://www.salon.com/2020/02/09/th...ndits-dont-understand-how-the-internet-works/
     
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  3. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    Krystal Ball: Why Bloomberg would surely lose to Trump
     
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  4. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    Democrats need to stop pretending they live in a dictatorship

    (CNN) -
    So far, 2020 has brought a dose of sobriety for the Democratic Party: the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump gained little viewership, while the President's approval ratings hit a personal record high. Even more troubling is the turnout in last week's Iowa caucuses. One would expect the prospect of voting out Trump to bring record-shattering numbers of energized Democrats to the polls. Instead, the turnout was lower than expected, an ominous sign for what's to come.

    This shouldn't be surprising. It's becoming clear that the fault lies neither in the White House nor in the American public, but in a troubling undercurrent at the heart of the Democrat-led resistance to the Trump administration. Unless we acknowledge and address this, we're looking at a repeat of 2016.

    In nearly every other use of "the resistance" -- from World War II to "Star Wars" films -- the term refers to individuals battling actual tyranny while actually risking their lives. People saving Jews in Nazi-occupied France didn't advertise their bravery. Harriet Tubman didn't walk around the South soliciting accolades. For them, being discovered meant being literally slain. For them, there were consequences.

    Conversely, Democratic resistance leaders have often accommodated Trump while simultaneously casting themselves as martyrs in primetime passion plays, appropriating historic tragedies and pretending they live in a dictatorship.

    In 2018, after Trump held a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, lawmakers and commentators compared the meeting to the Japanese slaughter of two thousand Americans at Pearl Harbor. Others went further, likening the Trump-Putin meeting to the Nazi pogrom of Jews on Kristallnacht.

    Last year, California Rep. Eric Swalwell invoked the Holocaust after the Trump campaign issued a memo telling television producers Swalwell and other members of Congress weren't trustworthy. It was pure trolling, malicious yet toothless. But that didn't stop Swalwell from comparing himself to Holocaust victims by referencing Pastor Martin Niemöller's "First they came for the..." poem about vulnerable groups targeted by the Third Reich. The need to explain why a powerful member of Congress in the greatest democracy in the world has nothing in common with Holocaust victims is one of the more depressingly unnecessary exercises of the past three years.

    The Niemöller poem resurfaced this week, when prominent Resistance member Benjamin Wittes tweeted "First they came for Comey, and I said nothing." Anne Frank huddled in an attic, then died in a Nazi concentration camp. James Comey was fired from the FBI and is currently raking in millions from book sales and speeches.
    Apparently to some people, those two situations are comparable.

    The performances aren't limited to Twitter. Last month, during Trump's impeachment trial, New York Rep. Jerry Nadler publicly called the President "a dictator" from the Senate floor. Again, it's hard to explain just how absurd and insulting this is, especially for someone like me, who came to the US as a refugee from an actual dictatorship.

    But perhaps the most telling encapsulation of these theatrics is the video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up Trump's State of the Union address. The problem with Pelosi's gesture is that last June, she and the rest of the House leadership bankrolled Trump's dark vision for America by approving the Senate's emergency funding border bill. Other than curtailing the amount toward building Trump's wall, the bill had nearly everything the president wanted.

    The House Democrats couldn't stop ICE's predations on vulnerable immigrants and asylum seekers. They couldn't negotiate delivering basic sanitation supplies to the camps. They couldn't even bring themselves to censure Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has a track record of spewing the same talking points as white supremacist terrorists.

    But they sure could preen during the State of the Union.

    Over the past three years, the US courts, human rights groups, media organizations and countless ordinary Americans have stood up to the White House's attempts to circumvent our democracy. But those actions stand in stark contrast to the cynical choreography of prominent resistance champions. And if words matter, and gestures matter, and actions matter, the answer to Trump requires a sober commitment to avoid meaningless words, gestures and actions.

    I remember the awful helplessness of living in refugee camps and praying for America to grant asylum to me and my family. Our living conditions were nothing like the horror today's asylum seekers are going through, but still, they gave me an appreciation of true versus empty acts. And it didn't take long to realize that the people who helped us the most, bragged the least while the ones who did little, bragged the most.

    Comparing America to a dictatorship didn't aid a single child in the camps. Ripping up the State of the Union speech didn't help the families huddled in terror of ICE raids, or millions of individuals deprived of food stamps by the Trump administration, or Jews and Muslims fearful of getting gunned down by terrorists. If tearing up pieces of paper is the best that powerful American Democrats can do, is it any surprise to see low voter turnout?

    If tearing up pieces of paper is the best we can do, we're in for a depressing November.

    Source: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/13/opinions/problem-democratic-resistance-trump-golinkin/index.html
     
  5. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    I hadn't heard that one. I'm not sure why she'd even want it at this point.
     
  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    As an outsider looking in the Democratic Party have never accepted the 2016 result. In fact they have set about undermining President Trump's occupation of the oval office from day one. First they blamed the Russians; as if the KGB were standing at every polling booth enforcing every voter to place the number 1 against Donald Trump. Surely that would stoke the citizens of America into action? No? Okay, let's try something else. Let's find anything, anyone to try and unseat the President by impeachment. Bugger! That didn't work either.

    The Democratic Party's actions over the last 4 years is simply galvanizing the right. They are playing right into the hands of The President and I predict a win for him this November. Who will The Democratic Party blame then?
     
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  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Not really, They were already galvanized.

    Trump voters are a reflection of what's wrong with America's psyche, and it was correct to impeach him -- not that I'm terribly fond of the woke left and/or the establishment Democrats.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    Trump's approval rating went up after his acquittal in the Senate, which Kyle Kulinski predicted would happen during the impeachment proceedings in the House. As Kulinski rightly pointed out, the Democrats could have made a much more substantial case for impeachment of Trump had they based it on war crimes and violations of the emoluments clause. Focusing impeachment solely on Ukraine further exposed the Democrats' belligerent foreign policy. Not focusing on Trump's more egregious offenses also showed that impeachment was retribution because Trump targeted Joe Biden. Prior to Ukraine-gate, Nancy Pelosi literally said Trump wasn't worth impeaching, despite his war crimes and emoluments violations.

    The Dems virtue signal about justice and democracy, but they only act when their own self-interest is threatened. From a policy standpoint, they actually support much of Trump's agenda.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020 at 6:47 AM
  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Only slightly. He's never gotten over 50%.
     
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