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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Ken Cuccinelli plans to win by ignoring polls he doesn't like (43 comments)

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  •  That boring VA gov campaign (1+ / 0-)
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    The TV spot you link to is an excellent illustration of why EW Jackson doesn't present the easy target that many of us seem to take for granted will help our side win this election.

    The most the T MaC campaign thinks is useful to venture in attacking the bishop is to make a very standard, vanilla statement at the beginning about how our side doesn't waste time with a divisive ideological agenda.  They don't think it's wise to attack the bishop's expressed homophobia as, you know, hateful and hate-filled, it's just a time waster, a distraction from our side's jobs agenda.  

    They're probably right.  Even swing voters not themselves inclined to homophobia are likely to spot a bishop a good bit of theological animus towards homosexuals, because our side hasn't contested the conventional wisdom that homophobia is Biblical, agree with the Bible or not on this point.  Institutions that swing voters do not see as at all radical or extremist, like the Catholic church, are as homophobic as Bishop Jackson, even if their spokesmen tend not to be as colorful in expressing that animus.

    The T MaC people tried, just after the R convention chose the bishop, to goad him into attacking, specifically from a homophobic stance, with a press release on his choice.  The release attacked him specifically in terms of his being anti-gay.  

    Had the bishop responded by accusing the T MaC campaign of being run by and for gays, it would have been game on, and our side would be able to get traction from his extremism.  But the bishop wasn't goaded into doing or saying anything stupid.  He doesn't seem to be an Akin or a Mourdock.  His past extremist statements remain effectively a matter of his personal faith, and therefore pretty much immune from attack.

    The other side seems determined to keep this a boring campaign, and while that strategy might not work for them, it's undoubtedly their best shot.  

    And if our side's best shot is to stand four-square behind a jobs agenda, a talking point we stole from their side's frantic attempt to say absolutely nothing in order to keep this campaign as boring as possible (and which they stole from about a zillion prior campaigns equally engaged in a flight from the real world)...  Well, the other side might just pull this one out.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Fri May 31, 2013 at 06:38:09 AM PDT

    •  His homophobia aside (1+ / 0-)
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      His comments on race can be used to motivate AA turnout in the tidewater & NOVA. They need to be publicized, much more than the anti-gay stuff, IMO.

      •  He's against Planned Parenthood (0+ / 0-)

        He's a bishop.  He gets to be against not just abortion, but contraception as well.  Mainstream, boring, white bread Catholic bishops are against contraception too, and that doesn't seem to keep voters away from Catholic candidates, even ones who never let out a peep against the bishops.

        Yes, I'm sure there are black people who are offended, even deeply offended, by the rhetoric used to condemn Planned Parenthood, that it is worse for blacks than the KKK.  The bishop probably lost just about everyone who cares about the civil rights movement with that one comment.  But the people who care about the civil rights movement were all always going to vote anyway, and they were going to vote against the Rs anyway, bishop on their ticket or not.  

        The civil rights movement is history, the KKK is history, black affiliation with the Ds is history.  Sure, people who are paying attention care about the past, because we care about the future.  But everyone who is paying attention already always votes, and always votes D.  The trick for our side is to reach beyond just the people paying attention, to get to a majority.  What outrages us doesn't necessarily outrage that majority.

        The states must be abolished.

        by gtomkins on Fri May 31, 2013 at 07:26:17 AM PDT

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        •  In an off year (2+ / 0-)
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          gtomkins, stevenaxelrod

          It's all about getting the base out. If black voters don't turn out, we can't win. Period.

          And his comments are race were not just related to Planned Parenthood. He's made a cottage industry out of using racial rhetoric on a number of issues. And I can guarantee that race outrages far more people than homophobia does.

          •  What I've heard from the bishop on race (0+ / 0-)

            Planned Parenthood has killed more blacks than the KKK.  The Democratic Party, by creating a welfare state that allows blacks to remain dependent on govt hand-outs, keeps blacks in a perpetual state of bondage.  The bishop is going to lead an Exodus of blacks out of this bondage to the Democratic Party and the welfare state.

            Anything else?

            Anything about what I've listed racist on the face of it?  Demeaning to blacks?  Proceeding from the assumption that blacks are inferior, or leading to that conclusion? On the contrary, the bishop calls blacks to heroic action.

            To be sure, just what I listed is going to appear to anyone sensitive to identity politics as an outrage.  The bishop's basic shtick, of which the Planned Parenthood = KKK thing was just one particular instance of the liberal/D interest groups that supposedly keep blacks in bondage, is the same as Rand Paul's blather at Howard U.  It's the same stuff they've been selling since those non-existent welfare queens drove off in their Cadillacs.  The bishop's eco-political niche is to be "one of the good ones" to whites who want to keep believing this crap, but who by now have to have a black man spewing this stuff at them or even they have trouble denying that it's racist crap.

            So, sure, you could see how a potential black voter might be so deeply outraged by this "one of the good ones" shtick, that he or she is going to make it to the polls this year when maybe they wouldn't have absent the bishop.  But how do we turn that theoretical motivation of this or that individual, into whole bunches more of black voters going to the polls than would have otherwise?  How do we spread the word about the intent and broader meaning of the bishop's shtick on race?

            Are you going to call the bishop an Uncle Tom?  That didn't work even back before we knew it wouldn't work.  Blacks get to decide for themselves what policies to support, which party to support and what rhetoric to use in voicing their opinions.  How dare you or I demean a black man, reduce him to some cheap racial stereotype, for making any choices anywhere in that process?  Calling him "one of the good ones" is the same thing in substance, only less succinct and with less punch.

            You can argue against his public policy choices, that's fair game.  But this shtick of his doesn't have any public policy consequences.  There are no welfare queens out there beholden to the Ds for all the largesse the welfare state has showered on them.  That's been a myth all along.  No one's Cadillacs are going to be taken from them because they never existed.  Or is your plan that our side attack the bishop as anti-black because he wants to cut back on this non-existent generous welfare that so benefits black voters?  We would have to pretend that welfare is an actual substantive issue to make this attack, when it isn't, but when it, as a fake issue, favors the other side.  Oh, that and our attack on the bishop's Exodus idea means that we agree with the stereotype that blacks love welfare.  Race is a minefield, and minefields favor the defense.

            Look, the guy's black and he's a bishop.  As long as he's canny enough to not go on the offensive on either front, he's got a pretty solid defense against just about any wacked-out racial or religious views he may have expressed before he was the candidate.  We're not going to be able to attack effectively, we're gong to have to leave the identity politics outrage to black voters to figure out themselves.  

            The black voters who are paying attention are just like the rest of us who are paying attention -- we always vote and we always vote D.  The trick is to get everybody else to start paying attention -- and we can't do that in respect to the bishop's extremism, only the bishop can do that.  My take is that he's smart enough not to do that work for us.

            The states must be abolished.

            by gtomkins on Fri May 31, 2013 at 10:30:32 AM PDT

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            •  Um I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

              You don't find the suggestion that black voters support Democrats because they love welfare to be demeaning to blacks?

              I'm sorry, but what the fuck?

              •  Who cares what I find offensive (0+ / 0-)

                Sure, you and I find the idea offensive.  We've been paying attention.  We understand that there is no public policy debate here, that welfare benefits have never been generous enough to tempt anyone, of any sort of moral character or lack thereof, into wanting a lifelong dependence on it.  Unlike the majority that isn't paying attention, we know that welfare programs don't even come close to making up the north of 20% of the federal budget that polls tell us the majority imagines.  We know that this whole shtick is put out there solely to rile up white racists.  And we find it doubly offensive when it's some black man they dug up to spew this shtick this time.

                But I didn't think that what you and I found offensive was the point of this discussion.  You were telling me that there were all these black swing voters, or at least black sometimes voters, who were going to find the bishop's past comments so offensive that it will get them to the polls this year, when they would usually sit out an off-year

                I imagine that blacks who are paying attention are like the rest of us who are paying attention, they're already voting, and already voting D.  The bishop doesn't affect their vote.  He's just some buffoon.  They have about a hundred substantive reasons to vote against any R that far outweigh the bishop's nonsense.

                I don't see how you mount a campaign to get black sometimes voters riled up enough about the bishop to vote this year.  I imagine that they don't vote regularly out of a certain cynicism, the force of which cannot be denied, about the political process.  What sort of case do you make about the bishop that doesn't make the spectacle of this buffoon reinforce the already pretty well-founded belief that voting doesn't mean much?  People who aren't riled up enough about the hundreds of actual public policy differences between R and D that affect their lives to go out and vote, are going to be motivated to go to the polls because this year the Rs have gone too far?  They've added to their substantive injuries, the insult of nominating an LG candidate who's some buffoon straight out of Amos and Andy, only he's not the usual white guy in black face, but an actual black man putting on white face then putting black face over that?  You lost your audience two or three somersaults ago.

                Basically, you and I are outraged by a process problem.  The bishop is playing the white identity politics card of complaining about those lazy blacks.  But the sometimes voters don't care about the process, they don't care about the Southern Strategy, they don't care about Willie Horton, and they don't care about EW Jackson.  What they might actually care about is results.  What they might actually care about is getting a decent job.  They would probably care who wins the next election enough to vote if our side was actually offering real public policy changes that would reverse the trend to income inequality.  But what our side is offering instead, is a me-too pledge of allegiance to the same empty phrase of  a "jobs agenda" that Cuccinelli has already been using for a year in his eagerness to change the subject away from his own history of extremist statements and policy positions.

                No, wait, our side doesn't just have the "jobs agenda" that we hope to wrestle out of Cuccinelli's hands, we also have outrage over the bishop that we're banking on to hand this thing to us on a silver platter.  I wouldn't count on it.

                The states must be abolished.

                by gtomkins on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:45:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  You are giving Jackson too much credit... (3+ / 0-)
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      gtomkins, Aquarius40, stevenaxelrod

      Not sure if you are from Virginia, but his past statements are not playing well here with indies and moderates. Either Northam or Chopra will have an easy time with him.

      McAuliffe is using the Kaine/Warner strategy  of presenting himself as a  moderate problem solver. Against a partisan opposition that strategy works well for Democrats here.

      My take is McAuliffe is being viewed in an increasingly positive light..I know the polls don't quite show that yet, but many do not yet have an opinion about I think you will see them move in his direction going forward.

      •  I live in Fairfax (1+ / 0-)
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        The Rs were never going to win here anyway.  They could have chosen a revivified Abraham Lincoln to be their LG candidate, and just by having the R behind his name, the recent past statements and actions of their party would not play well with "indies and moderates".  Around here, that phrase means voters who actually always vote D, but want to maintain a contrarian and independent aura.

        My idea, of which there is no scientific proof, so feel free to disagree, is that among people really at all likely to swing both ways (politically!), the bishop gets a pass on anything he said before becoming a candidate, no matter how radical.  He's a bishop, and Americans take it for granted that really religious people tend to believe a whole lot of very extreme things that don't actually translate into radical or extreme action.  It is still the doctrine of the Catholic Church, for example, that Jews are all going to Hell.  That doesn't make Catholic candidates unelectable for their anti-Semitism, because even the most anti-anti-Semitic among us tend to give people a pass on purely theoretical theological beliefs, however ugly if translated into practice.

        So, sure, if the bishop starts saying similar to his past statements now that he's the R candidate, he makes people think this stuff is not just theoretical or theological to him, that he believes he needs to force this stuff in practice on the rest of us should the people of the Commonwealth be so unwise as to put him in a position of power.  But a white bread Catholic would get in just as much trouble for choosing his campaign for public office as the forum to discuss where people who reject Christ are going to end up in the afterlife.  The average Catholic politician manages to not excite people's fear that he or she doesn't recognize the difference between theology and public policy, and so far the bishop seems to be bright enough to emulate that approach.

        People like us who have already chosen sides tend to find even theoretical, theological expressions of the other side's views repellant.  But people who haven't chosen sides (and you have to be radically unwilling to pay attention to have not chosen sides by now), who might actually vote either way, tend to just tune out theology and theory altogether.  These people make a point of not paying attention to where ideas might lead.  

        The states must be abolished.

        by gtomkins on Fri May 31, 2013 at 07:58:08 AM PDT

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