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As Biden Runs for Re-Election, Black Voter Disappointment Bubbles



President Biden began his campaign this week by vowing to “finish the job” he started in 2021. No one wants him to do this more than black voters.

Long the most loyal Democratic district, black voters revived Mr. Biden’s rocky South Carolina presidential campaign and sent him to the White House with his Senate-controlled party after two runoff victories in Georgia. In return, they hoped that the administration would outdo past presidents in trying to improve their communities, and they listened carefully to his promises to do so.

However, some of black voters’ most important political priorities — stronger federal protection from restrictive voting laws, student loan debt relief, criminal justice measures and police accountability — have failed or stalled, some due to Republican opposition. , and some because Democrats refused to circumvent the Senate’s decision. filibuster rules. These frustrations, voiced in interviews with more than three dozen black voters, organizers and elected officials in recent weeks, leave open the question of how enthusiastic the most important group of Democratic voters will be in 2024.

The interviews point to an emerging rift between elected black officials, who are almost equally praising Mr. Biden and predicting a high black turnout for him next year, and voters who are less confident.

“People are just tired of being tired,” said Travis Williams, a Democratic organizer in Dorchester County, South Carolina. “They are just tired of being tired and frustrated when our problems are never solved.”

Marvin Dutton, 38, an entrepreneur who moved to Atlanta in 2020 from Philadelphia, suggested that Mr. Biden needs to be “a little more sincere” rather than “indulge us when it’s time to vote.”

Mr. Biden’s bid for re-election and his new pledge to achieve his political goals for a first term has caused some speculation and frustration among black voters in the battlefield states. Many feel that the big promises he made to black communities did not materialize.

Democrats can be sure that if Mr. Biden is his party’s nominee, as expected, the vast majority of black voters will favor him over the Republican. But the question for the party is whether Democratic voters will show the same level of energy that led to Mr. Biden’s 2020 victory.

In his campaign statement, Mr. Biden made no secret of the importance of black voters in his re-election. Biden’s allies with the most airtime in his three-minute video, in addition to his wife, were Vice President Kamala Harris, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Reverend Al Sharpton.

“I found no lack of enthusiasm,” said South Carolina Representative James E. Clyburn, who was Mr. Biden’s most important black surrogate in 2020. “I just didn’t find it. And people keep saying it. But he’s not there.”

Friday, Mr. Clyburn’s annual fish fry, which features candidates and hundreds of South Carolina Democrats, offered an early look at that enthusiasm. The state party is preparing to hold the presidential primary first in the nomination process, a move Mr. Biden and Democrats say was made to give black voters more influence.

Biden’s allies say his administration has been successful for black voters, but he has failed to trumpet some of his successes. Since taking office, he has given billions of dollars to historic black colleges and universities and appointed more black judges to federal court, including Judge Jackson, than any other president. Black unemployment is at an all-time low. The economy, which black voters are most worried about, has recovered from the pandemic-induced doldrums, although inflation, which picked up last summer, remains steadily higher than it has been for decades.

“The president and vice president have made the issues that black Americans care about the most a priority, and they’re running to finish the job,” said Kevin Munoz, a Biden campaign spokesman. “The campaign will work hard to earn every vote and expand its winning 2020 coalition.”

But there is evidence of a decline in black voter turnout during the 2022 midterm elections, although the results were generally seen as encouraging for Mr. Biden and his party, despite the Republicans winning the House of Representatives.

The share of black voters in the electorate fell 1 percent nationally from 2018 to 2022, the biggest drop of any racial group, while the share of college-educated white voters increased, according to HIT Strategies, a Democratic polling firm. . .

It does not take a significant reduction in the number of black voters to change the outcome of elections in the most competitive states. In 2020, Mr. Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Wisconsin with less than 35,000 votes each.

The number of ballots cast for Democratic Senate candidates by voters in Wisconsin’s vast black-majority Milwaukee fell 18 percent from 2018 To 2022, while turnout in the state remained flat, according to Wisconsin voter data. If Milwaukee had given the Democrats the same lead in 2022 as it did in 2018, Mandela Barnes, Democrat, would have defeated Senator Ron Johnson, Republican.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson attributed the difference in part to efforts by Republicans in Wisconsin to make voting harder, especially after Mr. Biden’s narrow victory in 2020.

Mr. Johnson cited a number of Mr. Biden’s accomplishments for black voters: he appointed the first black woman, Judge Jackson, to the Supreme Court; he highlighted the creation of manufacturing jobs that were once the heart of Milwaukee but have been relocated overseas. And, Mr. Johnson added, black voters credit Mr. Biden for trying to make voting laws less restrictive, even if his efforts failed.

“They know that Joe Biden stood in the gap, stood up for them and fought to build an economy that benefited people of color, namely African Americans, and also fought against some of the hatred and discrimination against people of color and African Americans. Mr Johnson said.

Some black voters have said in interviews that their frustration with the pace of change Biden promised in 2020 has left them wondering if they will support him again or possibly skip the next election.

Jennifer Roberts, 35, has been a lifelong Democrat and was one of the black Georgians who helped elect Mr. Biden and Senators Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff. In 2020, she was confident that Ms. Harris, the first woman of color to serve as vice president, would use her past to advance policies for women of color, and “prayed for them to win.”

Three years later, Ms. Roberts’ view of Mr. Biden’s promises has changed. Her mother moved in with her due to rising rental costs in Metro Atlanta. Inflation has exacerbated the tow truck business she and her husband own.

Ms. Roberts now says she would support former President Donald J. Trump if he were the Republican nominee next year. What she wants, and has not yet received, is “tangible help” – and she believes that Mr. Trump’s economic policies could provide it.

“I understand that he tried,” she said of Biden. “When you don’t address things directly, when they don’t match what you’ve publicly stated, you can’t just sweep it under the carpet.”

In Philadelphia, Lamont Wilson, 45, an IT manager, voted for Mr. Biden in 2020 but said he hasn’t been inspired by any 2024 candidates so far. He said Mr. Biden “did a lot of good things” but fell short of his expectations.

Mr. Wilson said he hopes Mr. Biden “holds fast” to his promise to eliminate student debt – the president announced a $400 billion plan to write off up to $20,000 of debt for certain people, though the Supreme Court could block it . Black college graduates have an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college graduates. according to the education department.

Get rid of this debt and give people a chance, Mr. Wilson said.

Nocola Hemphill, an activist and state delegate in Winsboro, South Carolina, said she also heard black voters grumble about Mr. Biden. But she saw it as a form of responsibility, not evidence of a deeper problem.

“Everyone is unhappy with the administration,” she said. “And it’s not that we don’t want Biden to run. We just want to make sure he delivers on his promises.”

Younger black voters, like 19-year-old Evan Spann, a freshman at Morehouse College in Atlanta, are also hopeful that Mr. Biden will succeed. Mr. Spann said he would like to hear Mr. Biden’s specific plans for his second term.

“I think he needs to be told straight out what he’s going to do,” Mr. Spann said. “And then I think he should really show up and talk to us about it.”

Biden’s supporters say that while some black voters may be disappointed with the party, Democrats remain a safer bet than Republicans, who have opposed legislation protecting voting rights and reducing student loan debt advocated by black lawmakers and voters. In several GOP-controlled state legislatures, legislators have attempted to remove black history lessons from school curricula, banned books by black authors, and drafted congressional maps that restrict black suffrage.

The Democrats plan to underscore the reputation of the Republican Party on these issues.

“Black voters get it all,” Clyburn said. “And we’re going to spend a lot of time this year and next reminding them of who’s doing this.” At the same time, Democrats must win over voters who do not want to support the party again.

“It’s a tough conversation to go back into these communities and explain why we haven’t done criminal justice reform,” said Kevin Harris, former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus. “It’s a tough conversation to go into these communities and talk about why we didn’t get the protection we needed with the right to vote.”

He continued, “This is a tough conversation. But you still take it.”

John Hurdle provided a report from Philadelphia.

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Dominion V. Fox News libel trial begins this week



What does Fox say?

V letter filed by Foxthe company believed it aired allegations of voting machine rigging because they came from the incumbent and those close to him and were thus newsworthy.

“The incumbent’s attempt to challenge the election results and change the outcome of his re-election bid is newsworthy,” the document says. “Therefore, the media throughout the country and around the world widely covered and commented on the president’s allegations and trials.”

Fox claimed that “Fox News has lived up to its commitment to full disclosure and unbiased commentary,” adding that “some presenters were skeptical of the president’s claims; others looked at them hopefully; everyone recognized them as deeply informational.”

The network claims to have covered Dominion’s denials and given the company a chance to make its point.

“In short, Fox News has done exactly what the First Amendment protects: it has provided the public with access to newsmakers and critical information that would help foster an “uninhibited, active and wide open” debate about fast-moving events of unprecedented importance.” V litigation according to Fox’s lawyers.

Fox also argues that “the Dominion lawsuit is an attack on the First Amendment and the free press.”

Who is expected to take the position?

According to Associated Press, Carlson, Hannity and Murdoch are to testify. Many also believe that Pirro, Scott and former host Lou Dobbs will also take the position.

Can you watch it on TV?

No cameras will be allowed under Delaware court policy, and a judge recently denied media companies’ request to broadcast audio excerpts.

What are the possible outcomes?

If Fox loses, the company is likely to be stuck with big payouts, its stock price could suffer and its reputation damaged. Fox News claims that if it loses, the case would damage press freedom and the First Amendment.

“Free, vibrant American discourse depends on First Amendment protection for news gathering and press reporting,” a Fox Network spokesperson said in a statement. The newspaper “New York Times.

If Dominion loses, not only will it keep the media defamation bar extremely high, it could push Fox News and other networks into even more defamation in the future.

“If Fox misses one thing that it says is that there are limits to propaganda, to lies on TV… to misinforming your viewers,” said Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University. CNN. “If Fox wins, it kind of says otherwise, there are no limits.”

Whatever happens in the Dominion trial, this is far from the end of Fox News’ problems. in 2021, Smartmatic, a London-based global technology company, also filed a $2.7 billion libel suit. against Fox News and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Dobbs.

The lawsuit was filed after a series of false claims about Smartmatic voting machines and the 2020 elections were posted online. About a month ago, the New York State Supreme Court Manhattan gave the go-ahead to keep the Smartmatic business going.

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Finding compromised debt limit



The House of Representatives narrowly passed a Republican-backed bill to raise next year’s debt limit and force spending cuts. But Congress does not appear to be any closer to the bipartisan deal needed by the summer to expand the government’s borrowing power. David Lerman, Lindsey McPherson and Laura Weiss of CQ Roll Call are evaluating what could happen next in search of a compromise.

Show Notes:

The message “Seeking a compromise on the debt limit” appeared first on the roll call.

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Kim Yo-jong, sister of Kim Jong-un, insults Biden and criticizes the defense agreement with Seoul



SEOUL, South Korea. North Korean leader’s influential sister says her country will show more provocative displays of its military power in response to a new agreement between the US and South Korea to strengthen nuclear deterrence to counter the North’s nuclear threat, which she insists demonstrates their “extreme” hostility towards Pyongyang.

Kim Yo-jong also took a personal stance against US President Joe Biden, who said after a summit with South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol on Wednesday that any North Korean nuclear attack on the US or its allies would “lead to the fall of any regime.” took such action.

Biden’s meeting with Yoon in Washington came amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, as the pace of both North Korean weapons displays and joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises increased in a tit-for-tat cycle.

Since early 2022, North Korea has test fired about 100 missiles, including several demonstrations of ICBMs meant to reach the U.S. mainland and a number of short-range launches that the North described as simulated nuclear strikes on South Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to up the ante in the coming weeks or months as he continues to accelerate a campaign to solidify North Korea’s status as a nuclear power and eventually negotiate economic and security concessions to the US from a position of strength.

During their summit, Biden and Yoon announced new nuclear deterrence efforts that include intermittent docking of U.S. nuclear submarines in South Korea for the first time in decades and increased training between the two countries. They also pledged to plan for bilateral presidential consultations in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack, the establishment of a nuclear advisory group, and better exchange of information on plans of operations for nuclear and strategic weapons.

In comments released to state media, Kim Yo-jung said the US-South Korea agreement reflects the “most hostile and aggressive allied will to act” against the North and will place regional peace and security in “greater danger.”

Kim, who is one of her brother’s senior foreign policy officials, said the summit further reinforced the North’s conviction of the need to build up its nuclear weapons capability. She said it would be especially important for the North to improve the “second mission of nuclear war deterrence,” apparently referring to the country’s escalating nuclear doctrine, which calls for pre-emptive nuclear strikes across a wide range of scenarios where it might perceive its actions. leadership is under threat.

She criticized Biden for his scathing warning that North Korea’s nuclear aggression would lead to the collapse of her regime, saying he was “too prudent and irresponsibly bold”. However, she said that the North would not simply dismiss his words as “a nonsensical remark by a man in his dementia”.

“If you consider that this expression was personally used by the President of the United States, our most hostile adversary, then this is a threatening rhetoric that he should be ready for too big a consequence,” she said.

“The more the adversaries are determined to conduct nuclear war exercises and the more nuclear weapons they place near the Korean Peninsula, the stronger our right to self-defense will be exercised in direct proportion to them.”

North Korea has long referred to regular U.S. military exercises with South Korea as a rehearsal for an invasion, even though allies have described the exercises as defensive. Many experts say that Kim Jong Un is likely using his rivals’ military exercises as an excuse to advance his weapons programs, strengthen his domestic leadership and be recognized as a legitimate nuclear state to lift international sanctions on the North.

Kim Yo Jong did not elaborate on what actions the North plans to take. This month, her brother revealed that the country has built its first military spy satellite, to be launched on an unspecified date in what will almost certainly be seen by its rivals as a prohibited test of long-range missile technology. South Korean officials say the North may also be preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

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