Last week, the DNC allowed 20 of the 25 candidates to debate -- there are 25 candidates running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. The polling post-debate is slowly coming in and things do not look good for former Vice President Joe Biden who had been the press proclaimed front runner prior to the debate.
the biggest argument for joe biden (versus, say, a top-tier woman nominee) is basically already being neutralized.
Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren make steep gains in a CNN poll conducted after the first Democratic debate, while former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead shrinks. https://cnn.it/2Nr3ehV
Many elements of the press have taken to attacking Kamala Harris post-debate for her exchanges with Joe.
Is it race that's prompting the attacks on Kamala?
Possibly. Possibly it's also -- or just -- the fact that the press is a bunch of cry babies and they didn't get their way. But there's something else we can look at from last week.
Kamala called Joe out on his immigration record and on his stances on busing and other issues. The response has been some members of the press have attacked Kamala.
Who attacked Julian Castro?
Kamala and Joe were on the debate stage Thursday night.
The nigh before, Julian went bitchy and attacked Beto O'Rourke. There was no real substance to Julian's attack. He couldn't properly convey what he wanted to say about immigration. He stumbled repeatedly the next day in post 'victory' interviews. By Saturday, he had finally found a way to speak clearly.
But on Wednesday night he attacked Beto and that's all it was, a bitchy attack.
Did the press respond with cautions, warning or condemnations?
They celebrated him. They lied -- they lied -- and claimed it was a defining moment, one that elevated Julian to a higher status.
So a man attacks another man and it's time for applause. But Kamala carefully calls out Joe's record and the press responds with tut-tuts.
Is it race? Possibly. It's also very possible that the press -- like so much of the world -- thinks it can order women around.
Repeating: Attacking made Julian a serious candidate in their eyes, it was a defining moment and now he was going to see a huge surge.
Reality: He didn't.
Trina pointed that out last night ("The great Julian Castro wave never came").
And let's be really clear on what happened. It wasn't just Julian attacking Beto onstage. It was the euphoric wave of applause from the press that followed for 24 hours -- non-stop. They applauded that moment, they brought him on every show you could think of and applauded the moment, they treated with kid gloves and basically whored for him.
He had 24 hours of non-stop publicity -- all applauding.
And it did nothing.
It didn't do one damn thing.
Julian was a loser before he took the stage and he remains a loser. There was no bump in support for him. What the press sees and what the public see are often very different things.
"What difference, at this point, does it make!"
We were at that hearing. Go back to that day's snapshot and you'll see I didn't applaud that moment. The press did. They thought it was case settled. It was not. They loved the drama of it. Politicians have to be very careful about drama. It was a stupid thing to say. Bill, a natural politician, would never have spoken in such a manner. Hillary was not a natural politician. That remark followed her around and still does.
The press was so thrilled to see Julian go bitchy that they assumed everyone else would be.
It didn't play well in the debate and, as we noted, the attack on Beto could be an attack on the viewers if the viewers didn't understand what Julian was saying (and Julian did a very poor job of articulating his point). It also looked bitchy and bratty.
When we spoke to voters in New Hampshire that day, they were very clear that they found Julian juvenile and worse.
He did not help himself at all.
But the press, to this day, has not offered him any cautions or advice.
Kamala conducted herself in an appropriate manner -- no surprise there, she's been in court rooms most of her life and knows how to frame an argument.
But the press -- a systematically sexist institution -- felt the need to lecture, hector and advise her. I believe the key reason is in the "her."
We've already noted last week that the debate moderators (male and female) needed to take a look at their own actions because they repeatedly hushed women but rushed to reward men who interrupted.
Sexism was at play in the debates and it certainly has been at play in the coverage of the debates.
Every one of the six women -- Kamala, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Amy Kloubuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand -- conducted themselves professionally and came off presidential. The embarrassments? Time again, it was the men who did not appear ready to be on that stage -- Joe Biden, Tim Ryan, John Hickenlooper, Julian Castro, etc. As Ava and I noted on Sunday:
Over two nights, 14 men stood on the stage. Only six women were present.
But every one of those women -- Tulsi, Marianne, Elizabeth, Kirsten, Amy and Kamala -- used their limited time wisely and came off presidential.
Andrew Yang? Why the hell was he even on the stage? He'd later whine that his mike was muted by NBC but even when he did speak, he said nothing of real value. John Hickenlooper came off like a crazed psycho -- sweaty face and all. His remarks came off like he was threatening to take the Democratic Party hostage if it didn't move back to the center-right ASAP.
To get on that stage, everyone had to work. But it was fairly clear that the women had to work harder to make it onto that stage and maybe that's why they came off prepared and ready.
The men were an embarrassment. Not all of them, but so many of them. Why is it that the press didn't run with that?
Again, the press is an institution with built in systematic sexism.
Now people can criticize Kamala -- or any candidate -- and that's fine. They can go after her and that's fine too. Where it becomes a problem is if they go after Kamala for things that they don't go after a male candidate for.
On Wednesday night, Julian attacked Beto and was praised non-stop by the press for doing that. On Thursday night, Kamala calmly called out -- you can even say "rebuked" -- Joe Biden's record and elements of the press expressed 'concern,' outrage and felt the need to advise her.
The pigbois and girls came out for Kamala. Original pig boy (how does he still have a job?) Ross K. Baker took to USA TODAY to 'educate' Kamala. I'm sorry, a 54-year-old woman doesn't really need you to explain the 70s to her. She was born in 1964, she lived through them. In fact, Ross, maybe this is one of the many times you shut your damn mouth and listen because she lived through them as a woman of color and she's talking about what she experienced.
Please note, in Wednesday's debate, US House Rep Tim Ryan stated that the Taliban attacked the US on 9/11.
I'm sorry, Ross, where was your attempt to educate Tim? In fact, the entire press pretty much looked the other way but if anyone sported ignorance and needed education, it would have to be Tim.
A woman needs 'educating' for expressing what she saw and lived through but a man who doesn't know the basics of one of the worst events in US history gets a pass?
Again, the press is systematically sexist.
By the way, none of this is an endorsement of Kamala. I don't know who I'm supporting yet. This is about basic fairness. I'm not a fan of Kamala's and she wouldn't be my first choice but I'd probably be able to vote for her. But I'm not talking here about my personal fave or who's really groovy,, I'm talking about fairness and how the media is getting away with sexism.
No one wants to have that discussion?
Fine. In 2008, a number of us devoted significant time and energy to calling out sexism and the Debra Messings and Patty Arquettes didn't give a damn. Then in 2016 -- where much less sexism was at play -- they were Christopher Columbus wanting to inform the rest of us of the new world they'd discovered. Yes, that world already existed before Chris, Debra or Patty stepped foot on it. (And in fairness, let's note that the women in 2008 calling out the sexism included Cher. She didn't suddenly discover it in 2016. She was there calling it out when it mattered.) So maybe in eight years we can talk about the sexism that was thrown at Kamala?
Maybe not, as Cat Power sings.
Turning to Iraq, REUTERS insists today:
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sought on Monday to curb the powers of influential Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim militias, a politically risky move apparently aimed at placating the United States.
Did he? How did he do that?
Two weeks after the first of several unclaimed attacks on bases in Iraq hosting U.S. forces and on a site used by a U.S. energy firm, Abdul Mahdi issued a decree ordering militias to integrate more closely into the formal armed forces.
Is that what he did -- emphasis on "he"? Because not everyone agrees that this is an Adil creation.
In other words, that particular dress has been on the floor for several years already.
The following sites updated: