Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Living in interesting times

It's the bits dropped in between the cracks that are so interesting:

Obama’s strong standing in recent weeks. CNN last month timidly suggested, “there’s some evidence that the public is viewing Obama … more fondly.” The first clue? Obama’s approval rating hit a three-year high of 53 percent, according to Gallup. (He boasts a staggering 66 percent approval rating today among voters 18-29.)

It's that last sentence I'm interested in.  Well, that, and this:

"I'm seeing a sense of apathy," she said. "I mean, the young people, they're out there, and they're not reading anything. I talked to young people all the way out here from Massachusetts and not one of them was registered to vote. Not one of them knew anything about this process. I called about 700-800 people a day, I had people who didn't even understand the electoral process. Donald Trump, for heaven's sake, is running for president and he didn't understand the electoral process.

"It's hard work. My elbow hurts so bad. I don't understand what's happening. There were so many people who weren't going to vote. And the Trump people, they were all so rude. The response all of us were getting from the Trump was just bizarre. They were rude. It was just animalistic."

Especially if you match this up with something really silly, like this:

2. Sanders will pick up a huge number of what would otherwise be Trump votes in states where voters are still able to register for upcoming Democratic primaries, or are able to cross over and vote in the Democratic primary due to being a registered independent.

Sanders’ vote share in nearly every upcoming primary and caucus just increased, though we don’t know by how much. In some instances, it could be a substantial bump, given that there’s no strategic reason to cast a vote for Donald Trump anymore — now that the Republican National Committee has officially declared him the presumptive nominee and a John Kasich dropout is likely imminent. (emphasis in original)

I'm sorry to say that fearless political pundit is listed as an Assistant Professor of English; but I couldn't resist tossing that quote into the salad.  But, you see, every day I read how Sanders is bringing in YUGE numbers of "independents," who are all Millenials because we all know all Millenials are "nones" and they hate all organizations and orders and parties, but they still VOTE and they deserve to be heard and they shouldn't have to deal with your RULES, MAN!, and your ways of thinking and your ORGANIZATIONS! because that is just so bogus, man, and so uncool!  And if they don't stop talking like characters in bad '60's TV dramas I'm gonna take hostages soon.  Because, honestly, the more I hear from these wildly independent Millenials who are gonna lead the revolution,  MAN!, the more I hear the echoes of the worst excesses of the '60's; the stuff that led to the Red Brigade and the SLA and violence in the '70's that we seem largely to pretend now never happened (hey, the '70's as all disco and the BeeGees, right?).  Not that I'm expecting '70's violence redux, but at this point I won't be surprised, we seemed so determined to relive the '60's all over again, pretending it is new and different this time because American youth have a much sense of history and longevity as fruit flies.

When they aren't, as that English professor who thinks it's a compliment, turning from Trump to Sanders back to Trump because:  why not?

But are they, is my question?  Yes, Sanders' support is overwhelmingly young people; but how overwhelming, really?  It hasn't won him the nomination, nor is it going to (that race is over).  Obama has a 66% approval rating among 18-29 year olds, which is supposed to be Sanders' wheelhouse, and Clinton is supposed to be Obama on steroids (poison, IOW).  And GOP youngsters aren't interested at all, which would seem to indicate Trump won't be pulling the Young Republicans to the ballot in November (or if he does, there won't be many of them).

So maybe the problem is the people on the internet who think they are the "real world", when they are a tiny fraction representing nobody but their own opinions.

Josh Marshall disagrees with me; he thinks Sanders has brought in new voters who are here to stay.  My memory goes back further than his (I still remember when 18 year olds got the vote; for that we got Nixon re-elected, Carter, then 12 years of Reagan-Bush, before Clinton.  What, IOW,  changed?), but we agree on this:

The key in my mind is whether Sanders continues to push his arguments about a rigged system against the Democratic party itself, which he's very much been doing. Making ambiguous remarks that in various ways suggest that Clinton didn't clearly win the majority of votes and delegates is toxic. Pretending that Super Delegates are going to overrule the primary process and make Bernie the nominee is only a recipe (hard to believe not at some level intentional) to build up a deeper sense of grievance and embitterment against Clinton's candidacy and the Democratic party itself. 
If Sanders' voters don't stay, that resentment isn't real (they dissolve back into the majority of Americans who don't vote; status quo, ironically enough).  If they do stay, do we get a Tea Party of the Left?

O happy happy joy joy.....

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