The Monday Politics Thread is Running in Slow Motion to January

‘A huge catastrophe’: Democrats grapple with congressional and state election losses

There’s still a lot that’s not known about the 2020 election, but conversations — and finger pointing — have already begun as the party begins to take away some lessons.

For a long time, Democrats took as gospel that their future was secure as the country grew younger and more diverse, so long as they turned out those voters.

But turnout broke records this year and not only did Democrats fall short of their hopes, but Republicans ate into Democratic advantages with non-white voters they had considered part of their base.

Some worry that the party, once rooted in the working class but now run and funded largely by college-educated liberals, may be losing its touch with blue-collar voters of all races outside major metro areas.

“We’re such a Beltway party that we can’t even fathom that there are a lot of Mexicans in the (Rio Grande) valley who love Donald Trump,” said Chuck Rocha, a Texas-raised Democratic strategist who runs a super PAC focused on Latino outreach. “Biden won and that’s great, but everything underneath Biden was a huge catastrophe.”

White working-class voters started abandoning the party decades ago and some Latino and African-Americans, especially men without college degrees in more rural areas, followed suit this year, flipping a heavily Latino rural county in Texas red after it had voted for Democrats by a wide margin in 2016.

LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, said younger Black voters in particular were less connected to Democrats and that the party could not take them for granted moving forward. She noted that Trump made a concerted effort to attract them by highlighting his support for a criminal justice reform bill, even as his “law and order” message portrayed Black activists as violent extremists.

“He’s a walking hypocrisy, but Trump is a master at being able to give soundbites and tell people what they want to hear,” she said. “It was no different when it came to Black voters.”


Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump observers were breaking rules by constantly interrupting vote counters with questions and comments.

“That’s unacceptable,” he said. He said some of the Trump observers “clearly don’t know what they are doing.”

… At least one Trump observer was escorted out of the building by sheriff’s deputies Saturday after pushing an election official who had lifted her coat from an observer chair. Another Trump observer was removed Friday for not wearing a face mask properly as required.

AP News

Biden’s margin of victory widens as Trump’s subversion efforts grow more frantic

To succeed, Trump would need to bulldoze the Electoral College system. But for all the angst he’s sparked about a coup, the President doesn’t seem to have a plan so much as a shameless sense of entitlement to the White House. What he’s doing is exploiting loopholes and prying at technicalities to see if any of them will give.


‘They just don’t care.’ Anger toward COVID-19 deniers mounts as pandemic hits crisis

Since March, Laura McConnell has been living in the finished basement of her Kansas City home, away from her husband and stepson upstairs.
Her reason: Her husband thinks COVID-19 is fake news.

“I am married to someone who does not feel we should wear masks or social distance, or take any precautions. Very frustrating,” said McConnell, who sells school supplies for a living. “I understand. I’m sick of it too. I’m sick of wearing a mask. I want to go back to normal. But I think a lot of people are sick of it and are feeding off each other.”

Kansas City Star

Federal court strikes down conversion therapy bans in Florida

A divided federal appeals court on Friday declared unconstitutional two south Florida laws that banned therapists from offering conversion therapy to children struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a 2-1 decision, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with two therapists who said the laws in the city of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County violated their free speech rights.

Circuit Judge Britt Grant said that while enjoining the laws “allows speech that many find concerning — even dangerous,” the First Amendment “does not allow communities to determine how their neighbors may be counseled about matters of sexual orientation or gender.”

NBC News

Native Voters Played a Huge Role in the 2020 Elections

Indigenous people (American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians) make up 1.7% of the entire national population. There are 574 federally recognized tribes and 63-state recognized tribes in the United States. Bolstered by geography and the quirks of the Electoral College system, there is real power in the Native American vote, power enough to swing razor-thin margins in battleground states. In 2020, that power was poised to influence 77 presidential electoral votes in addition to Senate, House, and local races, according to the report From Protests to the Ballot Box and Beyond: Building Indigenous Power, by the Center for Native American Youth, Native Organizers Alliance, IllumiNative, and the University of Michigan. Native people know this and have fought for visibility by using their voice and building strong movements during this historic election.

It was therefore disappointing — but not surprising — to witness mainstream media fail to include Native American representation in the projected calculation of voting totals. Following the closing of the polls on Election Day, CNN displayed an exit poll that included the races of voters, such as white, Black, Latinx, and Asian. Another category labeled “something else” was left to cover the remaining 6% of respondents. Political science data has for too long erased Native American people, generally marking us as “other” or as an asterisk, simply because our population is seen as too small to make an impact. Being marked as “something else” further dehumanizes Native people and discredits our contributions to the political process.

Teen Vogue

Ben Carson Says Cocktail Drug Treatment for COVID-19 ‘Saved His Life’

It sounds like Carson was in pretty bad shape. From his Facebook:

I was extremely sick and initially took Oleander 4X with dramatic improvement. However, I have several co-morbidities and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill. President Trump was following my condition and cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life.

Carson says that he believes he’s now “out of the woods” and that he was blessed to receive some of the best treatment in the world.

“I am hopeful that we can stop playing politics with medicine and instead combine our efforts and goodwill for the good of all people,” the former neurosurgeon ironically added, given that Trump has played politics with COVID-19 from the very beginning of the pandemic.

The Root