Opinion | How to Foil Trump’s Election Night Strategy – By Jamelle Bouie – The New York Times

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Opinion Columnist

Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

“There’s no mystery about what President Trump intends to do if he holds a lead on election night in November. He’s practically broadcasting it.

First, he’ll claim victory. Then, having spent most of the year denouncing vote-by-mail as corrupt, fraudulent and prone to abuse, he’ll demand that authorities stop counting mail-in and absentee ballots. He’ll have teams of lawyers challenging counts and ballots across the country.

He also seems to be counting on having the advantage of mail slowdowns, engineered by the recently installed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Fewer pickups and deliveries could mean more late-arriving ballots and a better shot at dismissing votes before they’re even opened, especially if the campaign has successfully sued to block states from extending deadlines. We might even see a Brooks Brothers riot or two, where well-heeled Republican operatives stage angry and voluble protests against ballot counts and recounts.

If Trump is leading on election night, in other words, there’s a good chance he’ll try to disrupt and delegitimize the counting process. That way, if Joe Biden pulls ahead in the days (or weeks) after voting ends — if we experience a “blue shift” like the one in 2018, in which the Democratic majority in the House grew as votes came in — the president will have given himself grounds to reject the outcome as “fake news.” “

Opinion | The Sanders Foreign Policy Advantage – By Jamelle Bouie – The New York Times

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By Jamelle Bouie
Opinion Columnist

Feb. 21, 2019, 24c

Image   Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont leaving a news conference after the final Yemen Resolution vote in December.
Credit     Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times

Bernie Sanders’s most prominent message is economic, organized around a critique of capitalist inequality, an indictment of the ultrawealthy and a call for expansive new social programs. It helped propel him to a strong second in the 2016 Democratic primary campaign and has returned as the marquee message for his 2020 campaign, which he announced on Tuesday with a promise to “complete the revolution.”

Unfortunately for his 2020 campaign, Sanders is less distinct on economic policy than he was in 2016. His rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination have either embraced broad ideas like Medicare for all or unveiled their own: Elizabeth Warren’s universal child care proposal; Cory Booker’s plan to drastically reduce housing costs; Kamala Harris’s LIFT Act, which would build on the earned-income tax credit and create a new monthly cash payment for most middle-class households.

But Sanders isn’t without an advantage. If in 2016 his foreign-policy thinking was underbaked, then in 2019 he stands as one of the few candidates with a fully formed vision for American foreign policy. It’s one that ties his domestic focus on political and economic justice to a larger project of international cooperation and solidarity, anti-authoritarianism and promotion of democratic values. It’s a vision that rests on the conviction that progressive politics must continue past the water’s edge.

Sanders articulated the substance of his foreign policy views in two speeches: one in 2017 at Missouri’s Westminster College — speaking from the stage where Winston Churchill delivered his “Iron Curtain” speech — and one last October at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

via Opinion | The Sanders Foreign Policy Advantage – The New York Times

Opinion | The False Promise of the Moderate Democrat – By Jamelle Bouie – The New York Times

By Jamelle Bouie
Opinion Columnist

Feb. 7, 2019, 23
Credit
Timothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“There’s something odd about the self-described moderates and centrists considering a run for president. If “moderation” or “centrism” means holding broadly popular positions otherwise marginalized by extremists in either party, then these prospective candidates don’t quite fit the bill.

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax on the nation’s largest fortunes is very popular, according to recent polling by Morning Consult, with huge support from Democrats and considerable backing from Republicans. But Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York who has flirted with running for president as a moderate Democrat, rejects the plan as an extreme policy that would put the United States on the path to economic ruin. “If you want to look at a system that’s noncapitalistic, just take a look at what was once, perhaps, the wealthiest country in the world, and today people are starving to death. It’s called Venezuela,” he said during a January trip to New Hampshire. He is similarly dismissive of the idea of “Medicare for all,” warning that it would “bankrupt us for a very long time.”

Likewise, Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia, has staked out ground as a moderate politician, even as he opposes similarly popular ideas. A substantial majority of the public favors proposals to greatly expand college access or make it free outright. In a January op-ed for The Washington Post, McAuliffe dismissed “universal free college” as a misuse of tax dollars. “Spending limited taxpayer money on a free college education for the children of rich parents badly misses the mark for most families.”

And let’s not forget Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks chief executive who might run for president as an independent, who characterizes himself as a “centrist” despite holding positions that have little traction among the public as a whole. “We have to go after entitlements,” he has said, referring to the unpopular idea of cutting Social Security and Medicare to shrink the federal deficit.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comment.

Opinion | Trump’s Wall of Shame – By Jamelle Bouie – The New York Times

By Jamelle Bouie
Opinion Columnist

Jan. 24, 2019, 1267
Credit
Guillermo Arias/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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CreditCreditGuillermo Arias/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
This is Jamelle Bouie’s debut column.

“The wall of Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency has always operated both as a discrete proposal — an actual structure to be built under his leadership — and as a symbol with a clear meaning. Whether praised by its supporters or condemned by its opponents, the wall is a stand-in for the larger promise of broad racial (and religious) exclusion and domination.

It’s no surprise, then, that some Americans use “Build the wall” as a racist chant, much like the way they invoke the president’s name. And it’s also why, despite the pain and distress of the extended government shutdown, Democrats are right to resist any deal with the White House that includes funding for its construction.

That’s not to say there aren’t practical reasons for Democrats to resist the proposals on hand. The president calls his most recent bid a major compromise, but its headline provision — protections for immigrants covered by either Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Temporary Protected Status — are short-term and limited. It also puts a cap on the number of Central American migrant children and teenagers who can receive asylum, requiring them to apply in their home countries, while also eliminating automatic court hearings for minors who arrive at the border in order to streamline the deportation process. Together with its $5.7 billion for “the wall,” it’s less a compromise than a near capitulation to the president’s vision for immigration policy — a vision he could not get through Congress when he had Republican majorities in both chambers. A border wall also just won’t work — erecting a barrier does nothing to solve the political conflicts and economic pressures that drive migration to the United States.

Agreeing to this deal — or any deal beyond a straightforward bill to end the shutdown — would only validate the president’s extortion tactics, adopted after conservatives pressured him at the end of last year to reject a so-called clean bipartisan bill to fund the government. To agree to wall funding in these circumstances would guarantee a repeat performance the next time President Trump wants to secure a legislative “win” without the difficult work of negotiating with Congress, much less his opposition.
But the paramount reason for resisting this deal, and any other, is what it would mean symbolically to erect the wall or any portion of it. Like Trump himself, it would represent a repudiation of the pluralism and inclusivity that characterizes America at its best. It would stand as a lasting reminder of the white racial hostility surging through this moment in American history, a monument to this particular drive to preserve the United States as a white man’s country.In fact, you can almost think of the wall as a modern-day Confederate monument, akin to those erected during a similar but far more virulent period of racist aggression in the first decades of the 20th century. Built as shrines to white racial dominance as much as memorials for any particular soldier, they were part of a larger, national drive to uphold white supremacy against what one nativist thinker termed a “rising tide of color.” “
David Lindsay:
Welcome Jamelle Bouis. Well done. Fabulous explanation. Best I’ve heard in explaining this damned nusissance of a wall.