Cory Booker and Eric Swalwell have two things in common: They're each polling in the low single digits in the 2020 Democratic primary race, and they're both male candidates in a party that just celebrated the "year of the woman," and whose hardcore base is positively fixated on identity hierarchies. Within a few hours of each other this week, both men announced that if nominated (tee hee), they'd magnanimously and generously select a female running mate:
"I will have a woman running mate." -- Cory Booker— Matt Viser (@mviser) April 24, 2019
SPOILER ALERT: I'm a white man.— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) April 24, 2019
I know where I can't speak to someone else's experience and I pledge to:
1?? Pass the mic
2?? Ask a woman to serve as VP pic.twitter.com/yz7hUB3bRA
These pronouncements prompted a deluge of criticisms from people asking why they wouldn't simply commit to empowering women by dropping their long-shot bids and endorsing a female competitor. Others sarcastically asked if any woman would do, highlighting the paint-by-numbers ham-fistedness of this pandering. But the medal for the strangest recent performance in the Identity Politics Olympics goes to the Women's March, whose national Twitter account offered this criticism(?) of Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
She didn't say those words, but she...is herself a woman of color, so...I don't know. Not woke enough, I guess. Although you'd think that a movement whose leadership is so steeped in anti-Semitic bigotry might be more forgiving of a candidate whose apologies for the Assad regime are legendary. Alas, the subtle contours of this collage of buzzwords and signaling are inscrutable, moving targets. We know how obsessive the professional Left, the activist Left, the media Left, and the social media Left (there's plenty of crossover, of course) can be about identity and 'diversity.' But as an elaborate Woke-off plays out within those circles, the overwhelming majority of Democratic primary voters don't appear to be tuned into the drama:
Diversity may be the byword for the 2020 field of Democrats, but it does not appear to be a priority in choosing a challenger to Trump according to the Monmouth University Poll. Most Democratic voters say race and gender are not factors in determining who should be the party’s presidential nominee...Race and gender do not seem to be important factors for Democratic voters when considering who the party should choose to run against Trump. Fully 87% say the race of the nominee does not matter. Just 5% say it would be better for Democrats to nominate a person of color, which is offset by 6% who say it would actually be better for the party to nominate a white candidate. Similarly, 77% say the gender of the nominee does not matter. Just 7% say it would be better for Democrats to nominate a woman, while slightly more (12%) say it would actually be better for the party to nominate a man.
Another recent Monmouth survey found that electability was the prized characteristic most Democrats are seeking in a nominee. That should, in theory, boost the latest (and possibly final) entrant into the 20-person field. Via FiveThirtyEight:
A big question is whether Biden's performance as a candidate over the next few months will reinforce, or erode, this perception that favors him. Regardless, as of right now, two straight white men in their 70's control an outright majority of Democrats' candidate preferences in national polling. I'll leave you with one of them getting jeered and booed by Woketown:
After getting called out for dodging specific questions about minorities, Bernie reminds the audience he "marched with MLK".— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) April 24, 2019
He wags his finger at them.
This is embarrassing.#SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/iOG1FthwLI