We begin this Super Bowl Sunday with Cornell Belcher writing for The New Republic that Democrats need to lean into making a pitch to voters of color.
I am not saying Democrats shouldn’t compete strongly for this or any cohort of voters. Even improving their margin among white working-class voters by a few percentage points can make an important difference in a close election (and these days, they’re all close). But what I am arguing for is time and resource decisions based on reality, not romanticism. Let’s look at the data.
In 2016, according to exit polling, Democrats lost noncollege white voters by a staggering 37 points. But surely with a working-class white candidate whose roots go back to Scranton, Pennsylvania, at the top of the ticket, they made significant inroads with this important cohort in order to win, right? Wrong. On his way to winning a 51 percent majority of the vote, Joe Biden lost working-class white voters by 35 points in 2020, according to the exit polls. And in the 2022 midterms, when Democrats were able to defy history and turn back the much-predicted red wave, House Democratic candidates still lost white working-class voters by 34 points.
You don’t have to be a statistician to see the trend here. We must be clear-eyed about reality, especially in the face of Donald Trump’s success at manipulating the politics of racial grievance. It’s time to lean heavily into the changing face of the American electorate that has propelled the party’s successes and historical breakthroughs since 2008.
So, President Joe Biden is old and forgetful. Number 45 is old and forgetful and a monster (with all due respects to monsters) and wants Russia to fire at NATO countries and repeated his call to deport millions of Latinos. Bibi Netanyahu is on the same ol’ same ol’. Got it.
We are going to do it nice and easy today.
of Jurist notes that a federal judge has struck down the Louisiana state House and state Senate maps because the maps are in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
A federal judge in Louisiana struck down Louisiana state House and Senate districting maps Thursday for violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and diluting Black voter power in the gulf state. Federal District Judge Shelly Dick ordered the maps redrawn but did not give a quota for the number of majority Black districts the state needed to add instead citing the plaintiffs proffered evidence that six black majority seats in the House and three black majority seats in the Senate could be added. No timeline was given for the new maps to be redrawn but Judge Dick ordered the state be given a “reasonable amount of time” to do so.
The underlying case, Nairne v. Ardoin, alleging the state’s 2022 redistricting plans violated the VRA was first filed in March of 2022. The case languished in the courts pending the US Supreme Court’s decision in a similar voting rights case in Alabama, known as Allen v. Milligan. After the Supreme Court found an Alabama map violated of the VRA and upheld existing principles undergirding the judicial system’s analysis for racial gerrymandering, the Louisiana case was unpaused and went to trial in November 2023.
The plaintiffs specifically attacked Louisiana’s maps for engaging in “cracking” and “packing” districts to dilute Black voter power and ensure a Republican super-majority in the Louisiana legislature. Conversely, counsel for then-Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, defended the maps and attacked Section 2 of the VRA as unconstitutional. In a court filing, Ardoin said that the acts “inherently race-based remedies as applied to the facts in this matter…were not congruent and proportion…to authorize race based redistricting indefinitely.”
Samantha Chery of The Washington Post reports about the firing of a culture reporter at a South Florida television station for sounding “very Latino.”
Last week, South Florida’s WLRN terminated Carlos Frías and two producers on his team and canceled “Sundial,” a 6-year-old show about local arts and culture that has been replaced with an extra hour of nationally syndicated programming.
The shake-up has caused a wave of upset from the Florida Keys to Miami to Palm Beach — a region where Frías, who is Cuban American, has been a longtime voice in the cultural scene. Some South Florida groups have voiced their opposition
to the sunsetting of “Sundial” — including one anchor who reportedly quit the radio station in solidarity with Frías.
Station executives defended the cuts as a necessary trade-off. “The change was made to focus more resources on WLRN’s award-winning newsroom, mainly boosting news stories for daily newscasts and features, along with bolstering the expansion of digital stories,” WLRN’s vice president of news, Sergio Bustos, the station’s daily news and live programming director, Caitie Muñoz, and its vice president of radio, Peter Maerz, said in a statement.
Bustos said no one at the station was able to comment based on advice from legal counsel.
Sophia Saifi and David Shortell of CNN report on the election chaos in Pakistan which has everyone declaring a win and everyone forming a coalition.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, independent candidates won 98 seats so far, with 22 seats still unclaimed. The majority of the independents are affiliated with Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz party (PMLN), headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which had been favored to sweep the polls, has so far won the second-most seats with 69. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has the third-most with 51 seats.
None of the three major parties of the country will win the necessary 169 seats to have a majority in parliament and, therefore, will be unable to form government on their own, leaving it unclear who will be picked to be the country’s next prime minister.
In a speech released Friday, an AI-generated version of Khan claimed victory in the election and called on his supporters to “now show the strength of protecting your vote.”
Ken Bensinger and Kellen Browning of The New York Times report on the prevalence of right-wing and MAGA commentary in sports talk nowadays.
The Super Bowl may be the one event that can bring Americans of all stripes together, but the chatter about it — and of sports in general — is increasingly fracturing along partisan lines. A growing number of sports pundits and personalities are eagerly blending sports and politics, taking advantage, like other media, of a thriving market in partisanship.
For the most part, this class of sports commentators largely lives on the right side of the political spectrum, where they have become loud and influential voices reaching an audience that often tunes out traditional coverage of politics. (Analysts suggest audience demographics explain at least part of the rightward tilt of these shows. Sports talk listeners skew male, just like Republican voters.)
Among those jumping into the political pool is Stephen A. Smith, an ESPN fixture who makes frequent appearances on Fox News and hosts an independent podcast where he has recently complained about Mr. Biden’s handling of the economy and the war in Ukraine. “Trump is on the verge of getting re-elected, because when he was in office, there was a flourishing economy,” Mr. Smith said this week.
The trend may be a product of the rise of all sorts of commentary in sports media, as once-dominant highlight shows have been rendered largely obsolete by viral clips on the internet, said Travis Vogan, a University of Iowa professor who studies sports media.
Stephen A. Smith needs to stick to insulting the Dallas Cowboys and Jason Whitlock.
For the record, I don’t like this trend and if it were liberal politics showing up on sports commentary shows, I would not like it either. (Keith Olbermann was always pretty good at keeping the two separate.)
The point at which politics intersects with the sports being discussed is fair game (and sports is almost always political in that respect). I tune into these sports commentators to tune out politics.
Finally today, The Grammarian of The Philadelphia Inquirer tries to decipher everyone else’s grammar, so why not Taylor Swift’s?
Will Taylor finally reveal the true grammar and punctuation behind her music?
For years, fans have debated the meaning of ambiguous punctuation and pronouns in her songs. For someone who has built a career combining unbounded talent with immense relatability, Taylor Swift is a bit of a grammatical enigma.
Perhaps no song has inspired more grammar debate than “Hits Different” from Swift’s Midnights album, which made history at the Grammys this week for making her the first artist to win four album of the year awards.
“I felt you and I held you for a while,” she sings on the track. “Bet I could still melt your world/ Argumentative, antithetical dream girl.”
Who is the “girl” whom the narrator refers to: “I” or “you”?
Implied punctuation follows world, but exactly what kind of punctuation is a mystery. And are there words that Swift is leaving out for the sake of poetry? The answers conceal a crucial meaning behind the song: Is the narrator addressing the “argumentative, antithetical dream girl,” or is she herself the dream girl?
Try to have the best possible day everyone!