The cultural divide and Biden’s candidacy

I have no idea as to who will win the Democratic nomination. Right now Biden leads pretty much everywhere, though his competition is gaining on him in Iowa. He remains the betting odds favorite.

Regardless of how he does, reactions to what he does is telling. Consider this action:

Predictably…this action grated on certain types of women (liberal, highly educated feminists)

And does NOT bother other types:

Yes, there IS a divide, even among women who do not like Trump, at all….even among those who would flip off a Trump building. One of these flat out told me: “those feminists simply do not speak to me.”
And yes, at my job I work with a lot of the “woke” feminists who appear to be on a hair trigger for any hint of “sexism” and, in my personal life, I am good friends..dear friends who see asymmetries between men and women as just part of life. Many are ok with it..even embrace it.

And, IMHO, Joe Biden will be much more popular with the second type of Democratic woman. And the first type of Democratic woman is NOT in the majority. And I think that Democrats need to understand this..not understanding it could be fatal.

Note: I do NOT share the author’s confidence in Elizabeth Warren, though…well, that is a topic for another post. There is much I like about her; it is her show-biz skills and “ability to attract previously disinterested voters” that cause me concern, as does her tepid approval rating in Massachusetts. (49 percent approval via Morning Consult; Jan 2019) And she isn’t doing that well in her state in the candidate polls, currently trailing Joe Biden by 12 points 22-10.

But..Warren is turning some heads with her “policy first”..”I’ve got a plan” for that, and these plans are not only policy plans, but “how I plan to move it through Congress” plans.

And Paul Krugman has some interesting things to say (sent out in a newsletter to NYT subscribers …it has not appeared as an article as yet so I am reproducing it here:

More than six months ago, I wrote a column titled “Elizabeth Warren and her party of ideas,” in which I described Warren as the closest modern equivalent to the role once played by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a serious intellectual turned influential politician. The article was, in effect, a plea for the news media to tone down the traditional obsession with “likeability” — the modern version of “a guy you’d like to have a beer with” — and pay attention to candidates’ policy proposals.
To be honest, I fully expected the column to be a tree falling in the forest, where nobody could hear it. And for the next few months, my pessimism seemed justified. In fact, many pundits seemed to have written Warren off. Nevertheless, as Mitch McConnell famously complained, she persisted.
And something strange has happened: Bit by bit, policy proposal by policy proposal, Warren has been clawing her way into the position of a major contender. People are showing up at campaign rallies wearing “Warren has a plan for that” T-shirts. There has also been a startling shift in the media narrative, with a spate of articles — most recently in today’s Times — marveling at the way Warren’s wonkiness has become a defining, popular piece of personal branding. Pundits are even starting to say that her policy earnestness makes her … likable.
Will she actually get the nomination? Could she win if she did? I have absolutely no idea. Neither, by the way, does anyone else.
But there is one point I think even the somewhat bemused pro-Warren punditry is missing. There’s a reason, beyond being smart and well-informed, that Warren is able to come up with so many interesting policy ideas. Namely, there is a huge gap between what inside-the-Beltway opinion considers serious policy and what actual policy researchers have to say. This creates what I think of as the Great Wonk Window: a surprisingly wide range of policy areas where a politician can be simultaneously radical by conventional political standards and solidly grounded in expert analysis.
One example is taxation of the rich. Conventional wisdom is still obsessed with the notion that taxing high incomes and/or giant fortunes will have dangerous effects on incentives. Actual experts in public finance have, however, long argued that substantially higher top-end taxation is justified — and Warren devised her wealth-tax plan with help from Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, superstars in the field.
Another example is child care, where there is a large body of evidence that investments in child care pay back significant dividends in both the short run — by helping mothers remain employed — and in the long run, because well-cared-for children grow up into more productive adults.
So as I said, there’s a surprisingly big window for politically radical but economically sound policy. And Warren clearly both knows that this window exists and is trying to use the resulting opening to promote her agenda.
Whether she or anyone else will manage to climb through that window remains to be seen. But opening the wonk window is, at least potentially, a really big deal.

Author: oldgote

I enjoy politics, reading, science, running, walking, (racewalking and ultrawalking) hiking, swimming, yoga, weight lifting, cycling and reading. I also follow football (college and pro), basketball (men and women) and baseball (minor league and college)

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