Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: New York

The DNC Didn’t Screw Bernie–The Voters Did

The New York primary was an unmitigated disaster for Bernie Sanders. Polichart’s updated victory targets called for Sanders to win 54% of the vote and get 133 delegates. He got 42% and 108. This puts him 36 delegates behind schedule, and he still trails in the polls in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and California. Sanders failed to do better than the polling data in New York indicated he would do, damaging the comforting theory that polls in northern states underrate him. As regular readers know, I am very sympathetic to Sanders, but I cannot in good conscience mislead you about the realities of the political situation. In the last few days, many well-intentioned people have tried to make arguments that Sanders can still win or that Sanders would be winning if the DNC were not corrupt–I wish these arguments were true, but they’re not. Sanders is losing because most Democratic primary voters do not support him.

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Candidate Evaluations: George Pataki

We’ve got another name to add to the growing roster of presidential candidates–George Pataki. This means it’s time for another candidate evaluation, where we examine a US presidential candidate’s background, policy history, and explicit statements in an attempt to figure out whether the candidate would actually be any good at being president. We do this instead of focusing on electability or likeability, as is common in the mainstream press.

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Racial Unrest in America: The Michael Brown Trial is Not The Point

Yesterday, a grand jury decided not to indict white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. This has resulted in a mix of peaceful protest and rioting in Ferguson, as well as protests in many other major American cities. My Facebook feed is full to bursting with people declaring themselves to be for or against the grand jury’s decision. Unfortunately, I’m seeing many people get caught up in the details of arguing over whether or not the jury made the right decision. This myopic response distracts from the larger structural issue the United States needs to confront–implicit racism in American police forces and throughout American society.

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A Critique of Independence Movements

Lately I’ve been thinking about national independence movements, like those in Catalonia, Scotland, Kurdistan, and other such places. I’ve also been hearing about separatist movements in some US states—in these cases, subsets of individual US state populations are petitioning the government for the right to carve out smaller states out of the currently existent bigger ones, in order to move their state governments’ policies to the right. These US state petitions will go nowhere, however, because federal law requires that separatist states get approval from the states they are seeking to leave in order to become independent. This got me thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

Leave Anthony Weiner Alone

Once again I find myself writing about this topic, the tendency in democratic politics for candidates and officials of potentially substantial merit to be disqualified on the basis of sexual behavior. When last I ruminated on this subject, the individual under attack was David Petraeus. Today it is, for the second time, Anthony Weiner the former New York congressman who is attempting to resurrect his career with a run for mayor of New York City. The revelation is apparently that, sometime after Weiner resigned from congress, he sent another person sexually explicit photos. The condemnation has been seemingly near-universal, and, I would argue, near-universally misplaced.

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