When it rains, it pours, and the Democrats are sopping wet at the moment. Last week, I wrote up my analysis of how the president's Supreme Court selection and subsequent confirmation process is likely to play out. I still believe that analysis is sound, but one wrinkle that has emerged is the unpopularity of Biden's preemptive announcement that his nomination decision will explicitly discriminate on the basis of sex and race. I debated this point with Juan Williams last week, and he said he thought my thinking on the matter was wrong, and possibly even racist. My argument, as we highlighted here, was that excluding all potential picks except a narrow band of people based upon their genitalia and skin color was a bizarre, backwards, and unseemly way of going about the vetting process. And it very much looks like the vast majority of the American people share my general thinking on this question:
New ABC News/Ipsos poll says the majority of Americans do not want Pres. Biden to pick his #SCOTUS nominee solely on race.??— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD) January 30, 2022
76% want Biden to consider all possible nominees.
23% want Biden to stick w/ his campaign pledge to only nominate a Black woman.https://t.co/BLZqnxIXrl
Some on the Left aren't taking this news well at all, concluding that the poll is fake, and/or that a super-majority of Americans must be racists -- unlike them, of course. They support racial discrimination because they're "anti-racist," you see. A 2019 Pew survey found large majorities of Americans, including people of color, are opposed to race being considered as a factor at all in college admissions. This is a healthy view, in my opinion. And if people oppose race as a factor in that context, it would follow that they're turned off by race and sex being the top initial factors Biden is using ahead of lifetime appointment to the top court in the land. Again, I still believe the nominee is likely to sail through with relative ease for various reasons, but Biden has already placed himself on the wrong side of a 75/25 issue -- cementing the correct perception that his governance is about leftist pandering. If Biden were seen as a sensible, unifying moderate, his political fortunes might be rather different right now. But he's repeatedly made governing decisions out of fear of the left-wing base that he defeated in his primary, and he's paying the price. This is just another piece of evidence to that effect.
So what could and should be a clean win on SCOTUS for POTUS may well be at least partially marred by his overt racial and sex-based discrimination. All he had to do was say that he was seeking the best possible nominee, then announce the selection a qualified black woman. But because of the Left's identity fixation, he reverse engineered it, and that is looking like a turn-off to most voters. Incidentally, because the Court currently has an 'affirmative action' case on its docket, which deals with race and college admissions, I recommend this piece by John McWhorter arguing that race should not have a place in this realm:
It’s not that I’m opposed utterly to affirmative action in the university context, admitting some students under different grade and test score standards than other students. I just think affirmative action should address economic disadvantage, not race or gender...I don’t want that admissions officer to consider that, perhaps here and there, someone, somewhere, underestimated them because both of their parents aren’t white. In the 2020s, that will have happened so seldom to them, as upper-middle-class persons living amid America’s most racially enlightened Blue American white people, that I’m quite sure it will not imprint them existentially any more than it did me, coming of age in the 1970s and 1980s. I don’t want the admissions officer to consider my children’s “diversity.” ... “Diversity” has become one of those terms (and ideas) that makes us feel cozy inside, like freshly baked blueberry muffins and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” But how would you feel about looking a Black undergraduate in the eye and saying, “A lot of the reason we wanted you here, on our campus, is your differences from most of the other students and the life lessons they can learn from them”?
Meanwhile, more strong disarray vibes in this story:
NEW: DNC Chair Jaime Harrison at odds with White House— Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) January 29, 2022
Harrison so isolated and frustrated he's considered leaving before midterms, sources tell us.
White House frustrated Harrison isn't doing more in his role
w/ @jonallendc and @Lauren_V_Egan https://t.co/5bV4KTYzRM
Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison is frustrated, isolated and trapped in a job he long thought he wanted, according to party insiders, a dynamic driven by escalating tensions with the White House over his role...The limits of his influence are a source of agitation for Harrison, according to several people who have spoken to him. At the same time, he’s not flying to meet with donors or visiting DNC headquarters...NBC News spoke with more than two dozen current and former DNC officials, White House officials, fundraisers, donors and Democrats in touch with the White House, who nearly universally described a strained relationship between the White House and Harrison.
Harrison raised more than $100 million en route to losing to Sen. Lindsey Graham by 10 points in 2020. The party saw a young person of color with strong fundraising potential and made him party chairman. And now, everyone involves is disenchanted and frustrated. A big part of the problem? The young Harrison, in his mid-40's, is hyper cautious on COVID and therefore won't travel to do his job:
He’s not flying to meet with donors or visiting DNC headquarters. Instead, since he first took the post a year ago, Harrison has mostly stayed in his home state of South Carolina, according to people familiar with his schedule, as well as people who frequently see him around town. That has been a major point of consternation for the White House...Harrison is characterized as not only having demonstrated a misunderstanding of his duties but as too reluctant to travel beyond Columbia, South Carolina, where he lives with his wife and children...Harrison assumed a role that necessitates high energy, constant phone calls, video sessions and travel, but he has instead rendered himself nearly irrelevant by rarely leaving his hometown, more than a dozen sources said. Several sources said Harrison has complained of being cut out of tasks or briefings that previous DNC chairs may have viewed as more operational and would have delegated.
His decision to stay closer to home has been a source of frustration to the White House, which would prefer him to have a more public-facing role, several people with knowledge of the dynamic said. Citing Covid and his young kids, he isn’t flying cross-country to Los Angeles or to New York to woo donors, they say. He’s also not spending time at DNC headquarters in Washington, which is open to staff on a voluntary basis and where visits could help boost morale for those who are going into the office during the pandemic. The criticism presents a certain irony: the same Biden operation that was criticized in 2020 for not letting its chief principal travel enough is now criticizing the frequency of travel over another chief principal in the party. Harrison's sensitivity to protecting himself and his family from the virus was on display during a 2020 campaign debate against Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., when he brought a plexiglass divider to separate himself from his adversary...Harrison’s critics contend it has been difficult to get him to leave the state even for big moments.
How perfect that the Democratic Party's national chairman is harming the party's ability to raise money and win because he's in the grips of COVID paranoia. In that sense, he's very much in touch with a large element of the Democrats' Very Online base. But it's not working out well writ large, in the real world. A fitting microcosm. But maybe the Democrats won't really need traditional hard cash, given their massive reliance on the sort of evil dark money that they loudly pretend to oppose. The New York Times explodes the risible Dems-against-dark-money myth once and for all:
For much of the last decade, Democrats complained — with a mix of indignation, frustration and envy — that Republicans and their allies were spending hundreds of millions of difficult-to-trace dollars to influence politics. “Dark money” became a dirty word, as the left warned of the threat of corruption posed by corporations and billionaires that were spending unlimited sums through loosely regulated nonprofits, which did not disclose their donors’ identities. Then came the 2020 election. Spurred by opposition to then-President Trump, donors and operatives allied with the Democratic Party embraced dark money with fresh zeal, pulling even with and, by some measures, surpassing Republicans in 2020 spending, according to a New York Times analysis of tax filings and other data. The analysis shows that 15 of the most politically active nonprofit organizations that generally align with the Democratic Party spent more than $1.5 billion in 2020 — compared to roughly $900 million spent by a comparable sample of 15 of the most politically active groups aligned with the G.O.P. ...Democrats’ newfound success in harnessing this funding also exposes the stark tension between their efforts to win elections and their commitment to curtail secretive political spending by the superrich.
The truth, of course, is that Democrats love money in politics -- their own side's money, that is. One key Democratic figure mentioned in the Times story is elections lawyer Marc Elias, who presents himself as a warrior for democracy, but he's just a sharp-elbowed partisan who uses democracy buzzwords to couch his work in furtherance of his tribe's power. It's not subtle. And in response to the Times story, he threw a revealing tantrum:
The mask slips so very easily. pic.twitter.com/FWxkUlJQbH— Jeff B. is *BOX OFFICE POISON* (@EsotericCD) January 30, 2022
Some real underpants gnomes going on here— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) January 30, 2022
1. Make it easier for elected officials to evade public scrutiny
3. Voting rights
Striking. Democratic lawyer, father of notorious dossier dirty trick, is angry about NYT story on Democrats' dark money. So angry he says it's time to 'revisit' protections of freedom of the press.https://t.co/UyOgm6kj3l— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 30, 2022
Elias deleted the tweet and engaged in some damage control, but his impulses belie his primary motivation: Power, not democracy. And against the backdrop of Bill Maher once again noting how alienating the Democrats have become to a wide array of Americans, I'll leave you with a few pieces of support for his general thesis:
He called political opponents Bull Connor two weeks ago. https://t.co/HdMeQlxCGz— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 29, 2022
Randi Weingarten deleted this tweet pic.twitter.com/uiurFjYy0K— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) January 29, 2022
Insult the electorate and the electorate's intelligence some more. See how that goes.