The Obama Effect and why neoliberal Democrats are struggling
After Hillary Clinton unexpectedly struggled in the 2016 election with the black vote and the women's vote, Hillary's megadonors met with potential presidential nominee Kamala Harris during a trip to the Hamptons in 2017. Obviously the idea was to double-down on Identity Politics.
Two weeks after Harris announced her candidacy, she sent out this email.
"I need to be direct: right now, we are at a real risk of falling short of our February fundraising goals. I hope you will give me a moment to explain what these monthly fundraising goals mean — and why your support matters so much.
Where is all that grassroots support?
When you run on identity, rather than issues, you walk a fine line. In Harris' case, she's getting unexpected pushback from the black community.
She went on to criticize those who question her racial identity.
“I think they don’t understand who black people are,” Harris said.
Even I know not to try to tell black people who/what is black. That's not going to go over well.
Kamala Harris is doing Identity Politics wrong. If you don't believe me, then listed to her father.
“My dear departed grandmothers(whose extraordinary legacy I described in a recent essay on this website), as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”
Ouch! That's going to leave a mark.
In politics, when people elect a new president enthusiastically expecting that he will make some major positive change, but after some time realize that things are just as they used to be. The consequence of "obama effect" is being disappointed and feeling totally politically naive.
Harris' campaign is handicapped because too many liberals were betrayed in the previous administration. The Democratic establishment has yet to realize that many people have wised up to this game, and that includes the black community.
Radio host Tariq Nasheed is one of many vocal critics who view Harris as someone who seeks the black vote but doesn’t intend to deliver a black agenda. Nasheed drew attacks from Howard Dean with a viral tweet proclaiming Harris is taking a page out of the Hillary Clinton playbook on how to pander for black votes, “Kamala has pulled her hair back so she can show her “ethnic edges”, and she’s “dancing” to rap music.” Dean responded by lashing out, “STFU. She gets to do whatever she wants with her hair.”
...Some of the uproar over Harris has been so loud that even those in the mainstream media have begun to notice. YouTube host Black Authority tweeted, “The white media is now officially acknowledging that @KamalaHarris has a Black problem. The bottom line is you CANNOT say “Black lives matter” but then say, “Vote for Kamala Harris”...
That's because her terrible civil rights record matters. She can't get away with the stuff Obama did.
This video is from 2013 but it's still pretty disappointing to hear @KamalaHarris mock one of the slogans of the movement to end mass incarceration: "Schools Not Jails."
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) January 29, 2019
Martin says that a lot of African Americans won’t give another black candidate the same runway they gave to Obama. He calls it “The Obama Effect”.
Martin explains that there are a significant number of people including African Americans on Capitol Hill, black CEOs and small business owners, and black academics who were disappointed in the 8 years of Obama. There were things they wanted for the community but they stayed silent. Martin feels there’s regret about that now and people want to hear a specific black agenda before they are willing to invest.
...Tonetalks host Antonio Moore addressed what many see as a disturbing discrepancy between Harris’s treatment of people in the black community versus a white investment banker, “She knows how to prosecute black mothers and knows how to throw black prisoners out there to fight fires, but she was right there when Steve Mnuchin was facing jail time and what she said was, ‘It was a decision my office made’”.
People are beginning to realize that there are more identities than just race, gender, and sexual orientation. A black, female politician might identify with her wealthy elite class more than her race and gender.
In which case, her policies may not be significantly different than the policies of the rich, white male politician.
It’s not only politicians like Barack Obama and Kamala Harris who traffic in this most insincere form of paternalism, there is a whole cottage industry of black opinion leaders and gate-keepers who actively work against our... https://t.co/EUSvM7D53l
— Teodrose Fikre ✒ (@TeodroseFikre) January 30, 2019
If people start caring less about identity and more about policies, then the neoliberal Democratic establishment is in trouble.
Consider Joe Biden, who the Dem's center-right has been trying to convince us that we love.
Even the MSM can no longer pretend he has grassroots support.
CNN: Why Joe Biden shouldn't run for president
McClatchy: ‘Weaker candidate than Hillary’: Democrats cast deep doubt on Biden’s 2020 value
Fox: If Joe Biden runs, his presidency goes through Wall Street
2020 might be very interesting.