By Robert A. Vella
Democrats and Super Tuesday
Self-hatred is a pejorative characterization of persons who are judged to hold members of their apparent identity group to a higher standard of behavior than those not in that social group. In academia, the term is generally taken to mean an internalization of the prejudices of a dominant culture against a subculture by members belonging to that subculture. – Wikipedia
Democratic candidates and voters keep insisting that their top priority is defeating President Trump in November and that the party will unify beforehand. What they are not saying is exactly how those two goals will be achieved; and, that’s their big problem heading into today’s potentially pivotal Super Tuesday primary elections in 14 states. If Democrats delude themselves into believing that the decades-long loathing between neoliberal centrists and egalitarian progressives will magically disappear when former president Barack Obama takes the stage at the national convention in July, then they will have laid the foundation for yet another depressing electoral defeat. To give themselves a good chance for victory, these two opposing factions must learn to accept each other and focus their combined strength on the real adversary – the megalomaniacal and dictatorial Donald Trump along with the corrupted Republican Party. The Democrats’ older establishment must accept the legitimate concerns of working people who have been hard hit since the Reagan years, and younger populists must accept that the change they seek requires a lot of determination and patience; and, above all, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) must allow the voters to decide who will be the party’s presidential nominee.
According to numerous polls conducted since last summer, a clear majority of voters are committed to supporting the eventual Democratic nominee no matter who that is; but, there are stubborn factions on both sides of this ideological divide who are refusing to make that commitment. Corporatists, such as media talking-head Donny Deutsch, have publicly stated they would rather see Trump reelected than Bernie Sanders becoming president. Conversely, some Sanders supporters have expressed an unwillingness in the polls to support Joe Biden or any other centrist candidate in the general election. In a recent MSNBC interview, host Brian Williams responded to activist Michael Moore‘s citation of 75-90% marginal tax rates on the highest incomes from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s (a period of sustained economic growth which created the most prosperous middle class in history) by absurdly asserting that “that isn’t capitalism.” Another MSNBC host, longtime fixture Chris Matthews. abruptly resigned yesterday on-air after a slew of controversial and ridiculous statements such as comparing Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940. These are poignant examples of the rhetorical warfare preoccupying both camps in the Democratic Party. Substantive debate over the issues is healthy. Hyperbole and demonization is not; and, if it continues, one of these factions will be alienated before November reducing the potential Democratic voter turnout.
Against a smaller but fervently loyal Republican Party (to Trump), a disunited Democratic Party has virtually no chance to win the Electoral College in the 2020 election. So, I urge all readers to push back against this self-destructive internal schism. United we stand, divided we fall.
A parade of establishment Democrats began coalescing around Joe Biden on Monday, an attempt to bolster the former vice president and stall Sen. Bernie Sanders’s ascent as voters in 14 states prepared to cast ballots Tuesday, the most consequential day of the presidential nominating contest.
On a day with cascading developments that rapidly recast the presidential race, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) dropped out and rushed to join Biden at his rally in Dallas on Monday night. In a visual symbol of Biden’s attempts to consolidate the moderates in the party, former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg — who dropped out Sunday night and who had an intensely frosty relationship with Klobuchar — also scrambled to get to Texas and endorse Biden.
Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who ended his presidential bid in November, joined Biden on stage at the end of the Dallas rally — and concluded a speech by inviting him for dinner at a nearby Whataburger.
“Look, we are taking on the establishment. And I fully understand — no great surprise to me — that establishment politicians are not going to endorse us,” Sanders told reporters in Salt Lake City, just minutes before the news broke that Klobuchar was ending her campaign and planning to support Biden.
“The establishment will rally around the establishment candidate,” he said. “That’s the simple reality.”
Democratic voters across the country will make their choices for president known on Super Tuesday, when 14 states vote and more than 1,300 delegates are at stake.
The polling has seen Bernie Sanders, who won big in Nevada’s caucuses last week, and Joe Biden, who dominated in South Carolina on Saturday, running one and two.
Chris Matthews, the long-running host of “Hardball” on MSNBC, announced Monday that he is resigning from the program, an abrupt exit prompted by a series of recent gaffes and controversies.
Matthews, 74, made the announcement at the start of his weeknight program. His resignation is effective immediately, MSNBC said.
Matthews has been a familiar commentator on cable news for a quarter century, and his departure — which Matthews called a retirement — was a surprise. He appeared for about two minutes at the start of his 7 p.m. program and effectively signed off on his television career.
Matthews apologized last week for comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders’s victory in the Nevada Democratic caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France.
He also was criticized for a skeptical interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last week. Matthews asked Warren why she believes a female employee who sued former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg accusing him of telling her to “kill” her unborn child.
SEATTLE —The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus rose to six on Monday, and patients were being treated in at least 15 states, deepening fears about the outbreak’s rapid spread and the medical, psychological and economic toll it will exact on the United States.
Four deaths announced Monday and two others this weekend all occurred in Washington state, the center of the nation’s most serious outbreak. Eight of the state’s 18 cases, as well as four of the deaths, are linked to the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Wash., and at least 50 other residents and staff members have reported coronavirus-like symptoms. King County leaders declared a state of emergency, and health officials said they are trying to figure out how far the outbreak has expanded into surrounding counties.
Nationwide, the number of cases topped 100, and U.S. officials used increasingly dire language, even as they sought to push back against waves of panic and misinformation online.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that public health officials are operating in “uncharted territory” as they combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 90,000 people across 73 countries and territories as of Monday evening.
The virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica since it was first identified in December last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Medical workers are now battling deadly outbreak clusters in South Korea, Iran and Italy, while other countries are working furiously to avoid a similar fate by readying public health authorities, alerting their citizens and enacting travel restrictions to affected areas.
To date, there have been 172 deaths reported outside mainland China, raising the global death toll to 3,115.
LOS ANGELES — Doctors and nurses say they are alarmed by reports that multiple health workers in the United States have been sickened by a deadly coronavirus and that hospitals and other health care facilities appear to have become hot spots for the spread of infections.
As state and local public health offices scramble to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, they do so against a backdrop of years-long budget cuts, leaving them without the trained employees or updated equipment to adequately address the virus’ growing threat, former public health officials say.
U.S. officials are pressuring airline executives to turn over the email addresses and phone numbers of international passengers as the Trump administration tries to track who may have been exposed to the coronavirus, according to five people briefed on the situation.
A White House lawyer and former counsel to the House Intelligence Committee under Devin Nunes has been named senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, the latest instance of President Donald Trump elevating a trusted loyalist to control the intelligence community.
Michael Ellis, a deputy to White House lawyer John Eisenberg, started in the role on Monday, according to a senior administration official and a former national security official. Ellis left the counsel’s office so won’t be dual-hatted with his new job.
Ken Cuccinelli said he will not leave his post as acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security following a federal judge’s ruling that he was illegally appointed to lead a department agency, a position that helped qualify him for his current role.
A federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that Cuccinelli, who was acting director of the 19,000-person USCIS from last June until January, did not meet the requirements in the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 to have the job. The judge’s decision deemed Cuccinelli’s policy changes invalid, teeing up new legal troubles for the Trump administration.
Newly released Commerce Department documents show “efforts of senior Commerce officials to monitor and potentially interfere in Census Bureau” decisions, according to the groups who successfully sued the Trump administration over the citizenship question.
The groups are suing the Trump administration over the decision to ask whether the person responding to the Census is a US citizen, which critics believe would depress the response rate to the survey. President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the question would not be asked on this year’s Census after the Supreme Court ruled against the administration.
The 1,400 documents were not handed over prior to the trial, and the groups that sued the federal government, including New York State, say that harmed their case. Those groups also say omissions remain.
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel held a significant lead in his third electoral showdown with the former army chief Benny Gantz, but fell short of an outright parliamentary majority, after more than 90 percent of votes had been counted on Tuesday morning.
The tallies showed Mr. Netanyahu, who faces trial in two weeks on felony corruption charges, coming within two seats of winning a record fifth term in office and breaking the political logjam that has paralyzed Israel for more than a year.
Vote shares fluctuated dramatically all morning, and some ballots — from soldiers and diplomats — may not be counted for several days. But at 10:30 a.m. television networks projected Mr. Netanyahu’s right-wing and religious coalition would win 59 seats in the Monday election, two shy of a majority in the 120-member Parliament.
A United Nations (U.N.) panel investigating the conflict in Syria has, for the first time, accused Russia of direct involvement in war crimes for the “indiscriminate” bombing of civilian areas.
The U.N. report from the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, published Monday, covered the period between July 11, 2019 and January 10, 2020, with a focus on attacks by “pro-government forces” on civilian targets. It warned that people in the country continue to face “unprecedented levels of suffering and pain” after nearly nine years of conflict.