Let’s just look at it this way.
First, Joe Biden is about as popular with swing voters and Republicans as Jimmy Carter, who they basically consider to be the antichrist incarnate. He was a laughingstock during the Obama administration, playing Ralph Wiggum to Barack’s Lisa Simpson.
Second, unless he were to do something absurd and find a Republican female as a vice presidential pick (Susan Collins? God help us…), his public promise to play to the neoliberal feminist crowd will blow up in his face. Elizabeth Warren and Stacey Abrams certainly are more humane than Nancy “Let Them Eat Ice Cream” Pelosi but they also have years of Limbaugh-style racist and sexist baggage. (Obviously it is not their fault that the soft white nationalist talk radio crowd has been making mockeries of the pair for so long, duh.) But in terms of just basic arithmetic, the misogyny in this country is so rank and powerful that every female Democratic politician on the national stage is pilloried as an infanticide-minded lunatic. I’m sorry but face it, It’s Frank’s world and we just live in it…
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Third, the Republican Party has spent the past two decades destroying our electoral system (which was not much to brag about in the first place). Gerrymandered redistricting, electronic voter booths that leave no paper trail, the strip-mining of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court, Voter ID laws, disenfranchisement via mass incarceration, the list is as long as it is disturbing. This was demonstrated brilliantly by the Stacey Abrams-Brian Kemp gubernatorial contest in 2018. The mind-numbing naiveté of liberals and progressives about this is equally awful. The Democratic Party has done absolutely nothing at all of merit to stop this, mostly because this state of affairs consolidates the power of the most reactionary elements in the party. It is not an accident that Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have been so useless in the past four years, that’s intentional negligence so to hinder the social democratic insurgency congregated around Bernie Sanders.
Finally, consider this. If you cut down the sum total of ballots cast in a national election, which is what the Republicans are setting up shop to do, it becomes much easier for them to claim not just a majority but an actual mandate. When Reagan pulled that off in 1980 and ’84, there were still many more people voting who have since been disqualified. Now the allowed voter pool is majority white, middle class, and miserable owing to Democratic-sponsored austerity following the 2008 crash. Trump is going to run to the left of Biden on COVID-19 economic bail-outs (see ad below), Social Security, Medicare, and foreign policy.
That builds a coalition of retired voters who can be pretty politically-ambiguous outside of their own entitled shell of existence, small business owners, and libertarian-leaning isolationists. Add to that Rust Belt voters who will be reminded for months about Biden’s connection to NAFTA and we begin to see a viable bloc under construction. And when the potential Democratic coalition by contrast is made up of people who have been intentionally disenfranchised by systemic Republic efforts, Biden’s grasp of victory seems farther away.
Compounding this is a recent announcement that came over the wire regarding the Affordable Care Act via a friend Lauren Niedel:
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s office just confirmed that if you are on the ACA or any State equivalent health insurance like HEALTH SOURCE RI and you are getting additional $600 for unemployment – THAT WILL COUNT TOWARDS YOUR FAMILY INCOME!
This is critical so if you are single and your max is $48,000 and with this additional $600/wk and you go over by even $1.00 – YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY BACK ALL SUBSIDIES!!
This has not been publicized … BE VERY CAREFUL —
THIS IS FOR RI – Other states could possibly be different.
Annual Income Guidelines for Cost-sharing Subsidies and Tax Credits (January 2019)
Family Size Tax Credit Income Limit (400% FPL)
For those who unclear, Thomas Frank pointed out in his postmortem of the 2016 vote that many, many swing voters cast a ballot for Trump because of ACA premium hikes in the weeks before the election.
I loathe the prospect of being Cassandra here. I absolutely hate everything that Trump has done regarding undocumented workers and their children. I’ve spent the past few years supporting people opposing his white nationalist minions in ICE.
I also was born at night, but not last night.
Responsibility for this is all on the heads of the Democratic Party. Never let them be forgiven for as long as their miserable shill souls continue to walk this planet.