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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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August 28, 2020


There is no doubt that this represents a difficult problem for the Democrats and the whole BLM movement. The latter group have mostly but not entirely condemned rioting and looting. But they have also opposed the police doing anything about it. I ran into an interesting Tweet today from Matthew Yglesias about the debate with colleagues and friends about the degree to which vandalism and looting should be seen as political activity. My answer to that was simply to offer a bet that not one of those friends and colleagues depended on a business to feed their families.

I do hate to beat a dead horse here but the risk parallels here were well illustrated by the Walker recall efforts in Wisconsin. Enthusiastic crowds consisted of people who we’re pretty much all dependent on government spending for their livelihoods, benefits and pensions. People who weren’t there included small business owners and farmers and non unionized employees and such. All the people in fact who weren’t going to benefit from increased government spending but were ultimately going to have to pay for it. The net result was that the recall failed. No minds were changed.

If the Democrats allow themselves to be boxed into a corner where they cannot respond to riots they will be handing Trump a very large hammer to be used on their own skulls.

Of course Biden himself has been condemning the looting and violence but apparently that message isn't resonating
Trump will win. One way or the other he will win.

No question. A poll out this A.M. is the first I've seen to give Trump a lead in MI.

Biden has to come out swinging hard against arson and looting. The place to do it would be Kenosha, accompanied by Sen. Harris. Then, amplify the message with a swing state ad campaign. Not a press release from his campaign.

If Joe delays his response much longer, the campaign could be lost before it truly gets underway. He already has waited too long, in my opinion.

This is exactly what I feared about Joe. Nice guy persona; terminally afraid of staking out a strong position on a controversial issue. If he doesn't learn from Hillary, he is doomed to her fate.

There must also be mention of the white supremacists who are the main instigators in the violence and subsequent looting and rioting from what were peaceful demonstrations. No mention at all of that cause. And the police doing nothing to stop armed vigilantes in Kenosha, actually embracing them, which resulted in protesters being shot - what do you thing is going to happen after that ? Can you imagine black men with guns in the street ? Would that be tolerated by the cops - who shoot black men in that back ? What a laugh. BLM can condemn the looting all they want but if outside forces push the buttons and only they get blamed then the whole game is stacked in only one direction, and welcome President Trump to another 4 years to do your thing. Enjoy America.

I agree with this. What is happening is complicated, and it is not at all clear who is doing the rioting at night in Kenosha.

But the message from Joe has to be straightforward and simple to understand, because that's all that voters hear.

"Rioting, looting, and arson are wrong. So is vigilantism. All of those will be punished while I am President, to the fullest extent of the law." Repeat about 10,000 times over a week to ten days.

Leave the fine points of the litigation for the debates, and stake a position on the correct side of the issue. Right now, he is ceding the issue to Trump.

Yes, you're absolutely right Ed. There needs to be constant, strong condemnation from JB about the issues. One broad message.

"But the message from Joe has to be straightforward and simple to understand, because that's all that voters hear."

You're absolutely right. Sometimes Democrats go into too much detail (even if it's good detail) and the message gets lost, especially in this day of 140 characters and sound bites.

You're right about the instigators and this has been going on since the very beginning. I watched CNN late into the first two nights of live coverage in Minneapolis, and I saw two separate events where white guys in hoodies and facemasks pulled hammers out of backpacks and broke out store windows. They would encourage looters to go in, then they put their hammers back in the bags and moved on. While a live TV camera was focused at length on one of these individuals on the second night, not one single reporter bothered to mention what we were watching.

Since then, even police representatives in other cities have pointed out that alt-right types were responsible for inciting arson, looting and other violence. Crickets from the media but the right has been running with protesters = looters messaging nonstop.

This is serious and Biden is dropping the ball.

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