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US Politics: Biden our time while Trump's on the stump

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30 minutes ago, Jeor said:

I actually think Trump would have a good chance of winning a debate. We're assuming that he has to play by the rules, i.e. be accountable for the deaths. However, I think Trump has a key advantage in the debates and that is that the rules don't apply to him (whereas Biden would play by them).

Trump's best chance of winning the debates is to be aggressive and continually attack, attack, attack. Hope that Biden stumbles or gets too loquacious (very likely) or meandering, and Trump will pounce on that and be "seen" as the dominant one. He'll ignore any of the Biden sallies, refuse to answer questions and say "squirrel" to everything, ignite the culture wars and then complain about how the media/moderator/etc are all biased left-wingers.

That's not going to win over the independents, but Trump's already lost them by now. So at best, Biden has little to gain from a debate, but if Biden stumbles or looks at any point like he's too old or has lost it, he has a whole lot to lose. The debate is a no-brainer for Trump. He can't lose any more than he already has - his faults and incompetence are incredibly well-known by now, there's nothing new to expose in terms of personal behaviour, everyone knows he's like this - and he has several hours on national TV to try and make Biden trip up.

Attacking Trump based on his boorish personality and unfitness for office has been done for the past three years and it hasn't significantly eroded his base. The only thing that's dropped his support is COVID-19 when people realise that it actually affects their own lives. The Dems need to attack the results and outcomes of Trump's policies and behaviour, not Trump himself. In a much smaller way, I think the Republicans made the same mistake with Bill Clinton. People were generally fine with a scoundrel, liar and adulterer in office as long as he "did a good job". Dems need to attack the "good job" bit, not the personality.

How will any of that help him? Strong negative opinions are already baked in about him as you said. Taking no accountability for anything can only make things worse, and behaving like a belligerent asshole will only work with his core base. I don't think many people outside of it would go for it, and it would just feed into the narrative Biden's campaign is going to go with which is he's unstable, inappropriate, unaccountable, and just plain dumb. He got away with that before because so many people hated Clinton, but Biden is not her. Given the zeitgeist, I think most people would find him to be even more disgusting than he already is.

Also, unrelated but still important, I saw a poll earlier (sorry, no source) regarding how Sanders supporters would vote. In 2016, 12% of Sanders voters said they would vote for Trump over Clinton. Just 4% said the same thing about Trump over Biden in 2020. Given how close the margins were before, that could make a huge difference.

The Bill example is both good and bad. Because yes, both had boorish, sexist flaws. But Slick Willy was suave. Trump is a clone going full in on the "racism and get your kids and then you sick" strategy. Not exactly a winner. If you wan't to argue that Biden has nothing to gain, fine. I think he could do damage, but I've always liked him outside of her personal space issues. Trump will possibly under preform his 2016 results, and the debates won't help that. And like you said, Bill had something to run on. What's Trump running on? A broken economy only helping the wealthy? A terrible response to a pandemic? Trade wars that haven't produced much, but have hurt the heartland gravely?  

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26 minutes ago, Jeor said:

And to add a little more - the Republicans seem better at attacking the policies on a personal level. They can scare people with "your taxes are going up" and "your free speech is being taken away" and "your job is being stolen by an illegal immigrant" and "the thought police are coming for you". Regardless of the accuracy (or not) of those claims, those sorts of things work because they're deeply personal things that affect individual people.

Republicans are typically better at messaging because their message is meant for scared idiots. Biden can soften those fears, especially since he's a moderate.

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In comparison, saying "Trump is a narcissist" and "Trump is a nasty, lying person" and "Trump is a friend of big business and lines the pockets of billionaires" doesn't move the dial as much (accurate though they are). You can agree to those statements without feeling affected by them. Far better for Democrats to get personal and say, "Trump is going to take away your healthcare", "Trump is going to deport you", etc.

As an aside, one strange part about modern American politics is that the people who don't trust politicians and the government because they lie and steal have decided the most obvious example of what they claim they hate.

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It's time for Democrats to get real and start properly attacking Trump and his policies, including doing scare campaigns. They work and there's no point in being sanctimonious about it.

They are. I'm just not sure how much of it you see half way around the world, especially when I suspect you spend a lot of time talking about your own government which has some interesting characters to say the least.

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15 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

I agree with all of this.  BUT, warm and kind as Biden is, it doesn't really come across on a debate stage as much as in a town hall setting. 

I think you are right that Trump will be angry.  Looking back at the 2016 debates recently I was astonished how comparatively coherent Trump was compared to now.  Did you see Hannity's face when Trump declared his "friend" announced he was "the most perfect person"? When you are making Hannity uncomfortable...

 

That's fair, he is much better in that format, but one of the three debates is that format. And yes, Biden will make mistakes and gaffes, you'll cringe, and if he was running against Romney, he'd have a serious problem. But his gaffes are nothing like Trumps. I'm pretty sure Biden would never to, not just admit, but volunteer, that he did something seemingly criminal to make an investigation go away or that self professed neo-Nazis are good people too. 

If the elections are fair, Biden should do quite well, and Democrats will retake the Senate, and not just with a 50-50+1 strategy. I mean shit, Doug Jones in AL of all places actually has a punchers chance of retaining his seat, and that should never be possible. 

20 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Reflecting their societal purview. Zero-sum exchanges to affirm existing status. Attachment to the strongest personality available proceeding savage curtailment of non-conforming elements until base values are no longer opposed. A true "walk or be left" ultimatum that substitutes personal agency with loyalty. A loyalty that brooks no independent thought, to say nothing of voiced dissent. Abdication of reality by Republicans should surprise only the uneducated. For they are, at their core, cowardly. The truly brave require no affirmations. Do not fixate on danger or insist upon their own supremacy. For true bravery is founded in self-belief. Welded to the soul by the strength of character. A thing unknown to sycophants and shirkers no matter how grand their delusions. 

I mean, you're not really wrong. 

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1 hour ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

What is there to actually debate?  Trump's proposed second term plan?  Attacking him on the crap he's pulled in the last four years?  There is no need to debate.  As long as Biden puts out clear and specific plans of what he wants to accomplish/fix, he doesn't need to spend time on a stage with Trump...

The one problem with Biden saying, "Thank you, no." is that the Trump side gets to claim Biden is afraid of debating Trump. The one thing the Biden camp could do is just not push for or talk about having debates. But I think the TV channels will want debates for their ratings. So I imagine they will have to happen, unless Trump refuses...mumble mumble have more important business to do mumble mumble...got rallys to attend to spread more COVID.

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Debates havent mattered much for a while now, and this is going to be the least mattering debate. It might change poll numbers, but all this will do is convince people who were already convinced of their choice that they're making the right choice, and might give them the courage to say so. But they were going to pull the lever that way anyway. 

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3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Did you forget his last round of performances? And he's only deteriorated more.Literally the only way he could win the debate is if he came out and took accountability for everything that's happened over the last year.

Want to put the chances at +/- 0 that that will happen? Because I'd take that bet if I'm the bookie. 

I think we're getting our wires crossed. Trump is a terrible debater hands down, but I could imagine a scenario where Trump is able to mitigate being a terrible debater by framing the terms of the debate beforehand, much like he did with Clinton in 2016. 

I absolutely think he's going to get trounced in the debates in the fall. But I can imagine a coronavirus-less world where Trump spends all summer screaming about Ukraine-gate or some shit, framing Biden on his terms, and getting the media to play along, like he did in 2016.

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I think it's pretty hilarious that out of all the candidates in the Democratic primary, Sanders supporters are more likely to back Biden over Trump than Klobuchar supporters. :rofl:

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44 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

I think we're getting our wires crossed. Trump is a terrible debater hands down, but I could imagine a scenario where Trump is able to mitigate being a terrible debater by framing the terms of the debate beforehand, much like he did with Clinton in 2016. 

But that didn't work. He got his ass kicked. 

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I absolutely think he's going to get trounced in the debates in the fall. But I can imagine a coronavirus-less world where Trump spends all summer screaming about Ukraine-gate or some shit, framing Biden on his terms, and getting the media to play along, like he did in 2016.

Yeah, but that isn't the actual world. And this is still part of the first wave. 

21 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

I think it's pretty hilarious that out of all the candidates in the Democratic primary, Sanders supporters are more likely to back Biden over Trump than Klobuchar supporters. :rofl:

How dare you! :P

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Triple post because y'all are boring right now.

I'm getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger, getting out of the market, and putting everything in a stable, liquid investment for like a year or so. It's looking increasingly likely that a v-shaped recovery is totally out of the cards, at least in the U.S., and a slow U.S. recovery will slow down world recovery.

Bars will likely be shut down indefinitely in the U.S., and restaurants will probably go back to delivery and pickup, and maybe outdoor dining in places with fewer cases. 

I'll be shocked if we actually have a football, baseball, or basketball season this year. So there go a lot of those service sector jobs that snapped back in June. On the flip side, it's looking like political considerations will blunt the upcoming stimulus at the worst time. The Fed can prop up markets for a while, but eventually companies will just straight up fail. I'm parking my money and looking for bargain buys.

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3 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

But that didn't work. He got his ass kicked. 

Yeah, but that isn't the actual world. And this is still part of the first wave. 

 

Oh yeah, he absolutely got torched. He just made it irrelevant because everyone just wanted to talk about him. He's trying that this year, but it's not working because of the pandemic.

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How dare you! :P

:fencing:

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With Biden being such an amazing strategist, it seems victory is guaranteed. I'm thinking I don't have to vote at all for this guy. I'll wait for a better candidate.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Triple post because y'all are boring right now.

I'm getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger, getting out of the market, and putting everything in a stable, liquid investment for like a year or so. It's looking increasingly likely that a v-shaped recovery is totally out of the cards, at least in the U.S., and a slow U.S. recovery will slow down world recovery.

Bars will likely be shut down indefinitely in the U.S., and restaurants will probably go back to delivery and pickup, and maybe outdoor dining in places with fewer cases. 

I'll be shocked if we actually have a football, baseball, or basketball season this year. So there go a lot of those service sector jobs that snapped back in June. On the flip side, it's looking like political considerations will blunt the upcoming stimulus at the worst time. The Fed can prop up markets for a while, but eventually companies will just straight up fail. I'm parking my money and looking for bargain buys.

This country never got out of its first wave. Once school starts, shit's gonna hit the fan. Even people I once thought were pretty even handed in their analysis are saying that schools should be open in the fall. We're already seeing rising cases again. When kids start getting covid, we may see a bigger regression than last spring. All these decisions about risking lives are being weighed against monetary concerns. This country isn't in decline, it's in a free fall.

Edited by Simon Steele

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13 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

This country never got out of its first wave. Once school starts, shit's gonna hit the fan. Even people I once thought were pretty even handed in their analysis are saying that schools should be open in the fall. We're already seeing rising cases again. When kids start getting covid, we may see a bigger regression than last spring. All these decisions about risking lives are being weighed against monetary concerns. This country isn't in decline, it's in a free fall.

That's the thing, is that schools really should be open in the fall. But Republicans are so politically opposed to funding a functioning government that they're going to turn opening the schools into High Schools of the Living Dead.

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4 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Republicans are typically better at messaging because their message is meant for scared idiots. Biden can soften those fears, especially since he's a moderate.

As an aside, one strange part about modern American politics is that the people who don't trust politicians and the government because they lie and steal have decided the most obvious example of what they claim they hate.

They are. I'm just not sure how much of it you see half way around the world, especially when I suspect you spend a lot of time talking about your own government which has some interesting characters to say the least.

Republican scare campaigns are meant for scared idiots, sure. But should the Democrats just say, "Who cares about those idiots who fall for it, we're not going to try and win them over with our own scare campaigns?" It seems like they'd be leaving a lot on the table. I really think some of those less educated white folk would be susceptible to Democratic scare campaigns as much as Republican ones.

In terms of how much they're doing it, yes, I'm halfway around the world, so I don't see it as much. But I do get cable so I see Fox News, CNN, CNBC and feel strangely compelled to watch it a fair bit, as well as a paid subscription to the NY Times and WSJ. I grant you it isn't quite tapping in the American zeitgeist on the ground, but from what I'm seeing I still feel there's plenty of room for Democrats to fight nastier. I'm not saying they should totally go over to the Republican playbook, but they've got to mix in some scary crap along with the more hopeful stuff. I'm sure Dems are already doing this, but they should be absolutely hammering Trump on trying to take everyone's healthcare away and not having any plan to replace it, for example.

Re: Australian politics, I can't quite tell if you're having a dig at me or not (it's okay either way!) but, on the whole, I'm reasonably happy with the Australian government compared to what's going on around the world (and that's not a dig specifically at the USA, there are others that come into it as well). Yes, there are things to complain about and silly politicians to spare over here, but that happens pretty much everywhere.

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Re: school openings, there are many voices on the left which support it as well:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/opinion/coronavirus-schools.html

https://slate.com/technology/2020/07/school-reopening-medical-case.html

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/7/1/21306816/coronavirus-pandemic-reopen-schools-economy-social-distancing

From personal experience (not in the US, but also in a country with rising number of cases), I have a teacher in my family who is very much part of the at-risk population: around 60 years old, missing a kidney, and not in best health. And yet she strongly supports reopening schools in the fall - she hates online teaching that much.

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7 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Oh yeah, he absolutely got torched. He just made it irrelevant because everyone just wanted to talk about him. He's trying that this year, but it's not working because of the pandemic.

:fencing:

Sure, but Comey probably played a bigger role than anything Trump did. Additionally, Trump's last ditch strategy was to go scorched earth on Hillary. She was an easy target for that. Biden isn't as much in normal times, and I don't think it will work at all this cycle given all of Trump's failures as president.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Gorn said:

Re: school openings, there are many voices on the left which support it as well:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/opinion/coronavirus-schools.html

https://slate.com/technology/2020/07/school-reopening-medical-case.html

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/7/1/21306816/coronavirus-pandemic-reopen-schools-economy-social-distancing

From personal experience (not in the US, but also in a country with rising number of cases), I have a teacher in my family who is very much part of the at-risk population: around 60 years old, missing a kidney, and not in best health. And yet she strongly supports reopening schools in the fall - she hates online teaching that much.

Don't the rights of those that don't want to die pretty much trump everyone else's desires? We're talking about opening schools, at the cost of old people dying that have nothing to do with schools. As a whole that is, there are exceptions. And just because one lone educator wants to risk death in order to teach in person doesn't mean much. It's a single person. And there are plenty of older and vulnerable educators that do not want to die.

Edited by Martell Spy

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10 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Sure, but Comey probably played a bigger role than anything Trump did. Additionally, Trump's last ditch strategy was to go scorched earth on Hillary. She was an easy target for that. Biden isn't as much in normal times, and I don't think it will work at all this cycle given all of Trump's failures as president.

Going further, the national media environment is just much less Trump friendly right now than it was in 2016.  Four years ago, he was a novelty, driving great ratings and networks like CNN were breathlessly covering his every outrage.  Now, people have real problems to worry about, and many of those problems are because of Trump.  It makes him calling out Bubba Wallace or blaming "liberal facism" for everything a lot less fun.  Thus Trump is finding it harder and harder to change the narrative.  The past month the dominant stories are COVID, race relations and unemployment.  None of those are fertile ground for Trump's easy answers, particularly because even low information voters see that Trump is a LOT more to blame for those problems than Biden. 

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The school situation is tricky. They really should be open. The lifetime impact of a lost or delayed year of education, especially early on, is enormous. Beyond education, schools are a huge source of social services for kids; meals, medical care, even a place to sleep. They were absolutely the first thing we should've been trying to figure out how to open, not bars and restaurants. 

Problem is, the situation is so fucked up right now, I don't see a way to safely have them up at all. I'm hopeful that most people will realize this, and realize that this problem is entirely the fault of this administration and the governors it enabled.

None of this had to be like this.

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6 hours ago, Jeor said:

Republican scare campaigns are meant for scared idiots, sure. But should the Democrats just say, "Who cares about those idiots who fall for it, we're not going to try and win them over with our own scare campaigns?" It seems like they'd be leaving a lot on the table. I really think some of those less educated white folk would be susceptible to Democratic scare campaigns as much as Republican ones.

You have to keep in mind, Republicans are much better at messaging than Democrats, and the latter specifically wants to make a long, detailed based argument. The former tends to just say whatever keeps them afloat.

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In terms of how much they're doing it, yes, I'm halfway around the world, so I don't see it as much. But I do get cable so I see Fox News, CNN, CNBC and feel strangely compelled to watch it a fair bit, as well as a paid subscription to the NY Times and WSJ. I grant you it isn't quite tapping in the American zeitgeist on the ground, but from what I'm seeing I still feel there's plenty of room for Democrats to fight nastier. I'm not saying they should totally go over to the Republican playbook, but they've got to mix in some scary crap along with the more hopeful stuff. I'm sure Dems are already doing this, but they should be absolutely hammering Trump on trying to take everyone's healthcare away and not having any plan to replace it, for example.

They have been for years. And as far as fighting nastier goes, the last thing you want to do is jump into the sewer with Trump. Don't fight the biggest troll of all time on his terrain. 

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Re: Australian politics, I can't quite tell if you're having a dig at me or not (it's okay either way!) but, on the whole, I'm reasonably happy with the Australian government compared to what's going on around the world (and that's not a dig specifically at the USA, there are others that come into it as well). Yes, there are things to complain about and silly politicians to spare over here, but that happens pretty much everywhere.

Wasn't a dig, just the bit of news I get from there (not as much as you get from here) suggests Australians tend to think their leaders are idiots, but that could just be selective editing. 

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