2016 was an election cycle in which Trump’s margin of victory was one of the narrowest in U.S. history. It came down to about 78,000 votes in three states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s hard not to wonder, then, how the decrease in turnout among black voters might have affected the outcome. In Michigan, where 14 percent of residents are black, Trump won by 10,704 votes of 4.8 million cast. In Pennsylvania, he won by 44,000 of 6.2 million cast — with blacks making up more than a tenth of the population. Clinton wins those states, and the 2016 race is essentially a tie.
MSNBC brought this gem up again because today Barack Obama was giving a speech that indirectly criticized Trump. While Obama gave a good speech, he still was playing by the norm that former presidents do not attack their successor. Therefore, Trump got the Voldemort treatment from Obama. And Obama’s embrace of this norm has brought up frustration with activists in the party:
Some Democrats feel rudderless since their presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost in November 2016 after a bitter and at times vicious election campaign. Defeated and tarnished, she has largely stepped back. Obama, too, slunk off into the shadows to give space for a new hope to emerge from the party and take the lead. Abortively, it seems.
Now, with the midterms looming, there is a sense of urgency that someone with gravitas and credibility steers the party through the next political fight this fall to land Trump with a bloody nose—and that someone should be Obama.
“There’s fucking no one else,” an unnamed Democratic strategist told The Hill. “Bill Clinton is toxic, [Jimmy] Carter is too old, and there’s no one else around for miles.”
Now, Obama has essentially told the donors, “Stop waiting for a White Knight to Save You!”
Obama is correct that Democrats have to stop wanting to fall in love with their candidates, BUT these are not normal times. Obama hates to be a fighter, but we as Americans need fighters for our democracy. Obama needs to help Democrats energize voters, and I don’t think the Voldemort Treatment for Trump will cut it.
- Why do I bring some of this up? Because I got to see the difference between a Democrat who has some fight in him and another who is trapped by norms on MSNBC today: Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
I have no links yet, but Rachel interviewed both for what Congress could do about Trump’s treason. Senator Murphy acknowledged realism that Republicans treat Democrats like Lucy does with Charlie Brown and the football. From what I inferred, Senator Murphy thinks we should focus on retaking Congress in order to stop Trump. Senator Blumenthal, on the other hand, blathered on about “bipartisanship” and getting help from Republicans.
I think even Rachel was frustrated with Blumenthal acting like Charlie Brown.
P.S. I did give money to Amy McGrath and Beto O’Rourke today. I’m not flush with cash, but I felt McGrath and O’Rourke are willing to fight. And I want to reward and support Democrats who show some fight.
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