Tuesday, June 25, 2019


How concerned is the right about Joe Biden's electoral chances? Concerned enough to run an ad against him more than a year before the general election:
Club for Growth, a conservative political group, will launch new attack ads against Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden targeting his past statements about race that will run during his first debate appearance next week.

The decision by Club for Growth to attack Biden is based on internal polling the organization conducted that was viewed exclusively by Reuters. The ad will air on MSNBC and NBC stations in Des Moines, Iowa, according to the organization....

Club for Growth’s poll found voters are less inclined to vote for Biden if they were told he previously had taken positions that include opposing slavery reparations and busing of school children as part of desegregation systems.
You can look at the poll results here. The ad hasn't been released, but the messages deemed "most effective" on race, according to the poll, are the following:
Joe Biden opposes reparations for slavery, saying “I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.”

Joe Biden has a troubled history of race relations. Biden even sided with southern leaders to oppose busing, a key
step to desegregating public schools, and ridiculed the idea that in order to learn, “your child with curly black
hair, brown eyes, and dark skin...needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.”
There are also messages that are presumably being saved for later, such as:
Joe Biden is anti-woman. As recently as 2015, Joe Biden said that “life begins at conception” and he even said that a woman should not have “sole right to say what should happen to her body.” Biden voted to allow states to
overturn Roe v. Wade and repeatedly voted to restrict federal employees’ access to reproductive care.

Joe Biden said gay people working for the federal government were “security risks” and Biden voted to ban same-sex marriage and ban gay Americans from joining or serving in the United States military.
Club for Growth wants to knock Biden out of the race early, on the assumption, presumably, that he's the hardest Democrat to beat. (I worry that Michelle Goldberg is right -- he's not a strong speaker and he's running an uninspiring campaign, which is not what we need against Trump.) But Biden does seem to have some Teflon, as Politico notes:
Biden remains the front-runner in national polls and in the four early states. And according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll taken several days after his comments about the racist lawmakers made headlines, his most recent flap isn’t hurting his chances in a significant way.

After hearing about Biden’s comments on working with multiple segregationists, 41 percent of likely primary voters said it would make no difference to them and 29 percent said they would be more likely to vote for him. Just 18 percent said they would be less likely to vote for him. The numbers were about the same for black voters: 30 percent said they would be more likely to vote for Biden, 20 percent said less likely and 27 percent said it made no difference.
I think Biden voters, like Trump voters, reject the process of trying to disqualify a candidate for words or deeds that go over certain lines. I'm sure they see it as "political correctness." Republicans didn't care if Trump said or did terrible things because they were sure he was going to be a mean sonofabitch on their behalf. Older Democrats (of all races) don't care about Biden's past positions or more recent gaffes because they think he's basically good-hearted. (In terms of decency, the parties want opposite things.)

I think Biden could beat Trump, but I think he could simultaneously weaken the Democrats' hold on the next generation of voters. I don't know what happens after that -- the young gravitate toward splinter parties? A genuine socialist party and maybe a white nationalist/Jordan Peterson party?

I'll back Biden if he survives the primaries, but I'd rather have another nominee, even if the Club for Growth is part of the reason he loses the nomination.


UPDATE: Here's the ad.

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