SocraticGadfly: On to Nevada/South Carolina

February 10, 2016

On to Nevada/South Carolina

Not a lot to say on the Democratic side, other than warning about repeated spinning, even the #WarOnSanders, to ramp up, if but subtly, in days ahead.

Bernie crushed Clinton, including having a double-digit margin of victory among women; in fact, he won every demographic except senior citizens and the rich. That includes winning among Democrats, not just independents. So much for Gloria Steinem, Madeleine Albright, Rebecca Traister, Katha Pollit and many other gender-feminist types playing the solidarity/token card. Yet, I'm sure we'll have part of the MSM spinning on even that. (On cue, post-NH, Pollit is doubling down on stupid, and doubling down on Steinem.)

What next? That rumored staff shake-up for Chez Clinton is surely coming up, along with more spin from John Podesta to deny that's what happened.

In a quick turnaround (Debbie Wasserman Schultz trying to hide Clinton's loss?) the next Democratic debate is already on Thursday, and not in Las Vegas, for the Democratic caucus there, but Milwaukee, for some bizarro-world DNC reason.

Dems caucus there on Saturday, Feb. 20, then primary in South Carolina a week later.

Real Clear Politics has no fresh polling in Nevada. In South Carolina, Clinton has a big lead, but already in the last month, Sanders has gained about 10 percentage points and Clinton's lost the same. Old Nevada polls (as in late 2015), without trendlines, show a 20-point gap, but that was before some Hispanic Democrats started to #FeelTheBern out in the desert.

Finally, a bit of bizarro world on Facebook. (It was on the stream of a person who normally posts as "public," so I can blog about it.

A young black Clinton supporter commented on the thread of a person, a Facebook friend of mine and of his, though this Clinton supporter is not a friend of mine, about, well, this:

As a black man I have this to say: Black people have themselves to thank for going to prison due to drug use. Black people tend to heavily concentrate themselves in areas where drug use is high. This is a fact. Police will go to areas where drug use is highest. This means that more black people are going to be going to jail for drugs. Nobody is making black people do drugs.

I said that national drug rates were even by ethnicity. When that didn't satisfy him, I said that he was ignoring largely white "hillbilly heroin" in Appalachia and meth in the Midwest and South, as well as national drug use statistics. I added the line about Clinton and her "superpredators" in the 1990s doing more damage to minority communities than drugs themselves. I also rhetorically asked if blacks chose to cluster themselves that way.

As Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow," puts it, Clinton doesn't deserve black votes, but many African-Americans? "It seems we're eager to get played again," Alexander says.

Part of the damning story is not just the incarcerations themselves, but how the Clintons (sic, if she's the campaign manager of their team) made it harder to get jobs or into college after prison, as Alexander shows they did.

Riffing on a famous, perhaps somewhat stereotyping, yet certainly with grains of truth, phrase about "self-hating Jews," I almost said the same to him. I didn't, but I was tempted. It's true, and no, sir, ignorance is no excuse in this case, especially if you're using a picture of Clinton as your Facebook icon.

Especially since he has images of Bill Nye and other theoretical symbols of skepticism. 

I did poke him with a sharp stick in another way, telling him that of New Hampshire Dems who said honesty was important, 91 percent went to Sanders. Maybe he's poor, and that's the self-loathing? I'm trying to still be charitable.

At the same time, Sanders voted for the 1994 crime bill too.

Moving on .... 

The GOP? Other than Trump doing better than my expectations, it did about as I figured.

Since, for it, South Carolina comes before Nevada, Trump doesn't get a lot of immediate bounce. His supporter's P-bomb might have been OK in the Granite State, but I have a feeling it will come back to hurt him in the Palmetto State.

Related? He's going to get the cat-belling on his past pro-choice stance. And, about all the candidates have incentive to do that, now. Given that he surprised many, including me, with the depth of his support, he's a targeted man, now, and this is the issue for South Carolina.

The next GOP debate is at 8 p.m. Central on Saturday, Feb. 13, in Greenville, South Carolina. Trump is currently leading in polls, but I can't believe that's going to stand up.

Kasich, with his surprising second-place finish (surprising in its margin) may do his best to stay above the fray. Kasich also, for New Hampshire voters, seemed the best "establishment" alternative. But Marco (Rubio) Polo, after his New Hampshire cratering, has no choice but to go on the attack.

Jeb!, if he's smart, rides in Rubio's wake with some "me-too" shots. He and Kasich will probably get most of the Christie backers, though some could go Trump.

On the other hand, the three, plus Cruz, may play Alphonse-and-Gaston with each other, each waiting for the other to draw Cruz's ire. The debate is being hosted by CBS, so there's no Faux News type angle to play to the Religious Right and do the candidates' dirty work on Trump for them.

Overall, New Hampshire was glass half-empty, glass half-full for Bush. He finished ahead of Rubio, with enough incentive to stay in through the Florida primary in mid-March, if nothing else. On the other hand, he couldn't quite catch Cruz, which would have given him a real boost.

Christie, by his words Tuesday night, sounds like he'll withdraw. And he has.

I'm also assuming Fiorina and Carson have the brains to drop out. She has; no word yet from America's First Black Pharaoh.

The GOP primaries in South Carolina on Feb. 20, then caucuses in Nevada just three days later. That too could hurt Trump. His sprawling populism probably plays halfway well out there, but the short turnaround might not.

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