The media cling to their Hillary Imperiled meme, regardless of facts. Also, right wingnuts want “civil disobedience” against workplace safety rules, and they don’t like one-man-one-vote. (More)

The New York Times’s Trip Gabriel and Patrick Healy insist:

Mrs. Clinton could face a credible challenge in the Iowa presidential caucuses [that] would rattle her shell of inevitability and raise questions about her strengths as a standard-bearer for an increasingly liberal Democratic Party.

But their story relies on attendance at a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders and comments from his supporters in Iowa. Only later do they mention the actual data:

Mrs. Clinton is far ahead in the polls, fund-raising and name recognition, however, and she is expected to continue to have a much more organized and sophisticated campaign operation in Iowa and nationwide than Mr. Sanders has.
But one reason the Clinton campaign may not be visibly breaking a sweat is that it is far ahead in building a network of organizers in Iowa, who are key to turning out voters in a caucus state. The campaign has 30 paid organizers around the state who are contacting Democrats at every level, from likely caucus attendees to local and statewide elected officials. The numbers are sure to grow as the caucuses approach.

Mr. Sanders has just two paid staff members so far in the state. “One of the problems we’re having is things are moving so fast our infrastructure hasn’t kept up with our political reality,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview. His Iowa director, Pete D’Alessandro, said he was planning to hire up to 30 paid staff members by midsummer.

The New Republic’s Brian Beutler goes further, citing data from the Huffington Post poll aggregator:

These are colorful details, but they tell us very little about the state of the race in Iowa. That’s probably because the story of Sanders’ surge…

…is complicated by one crucial caveat.

So far, Sen. Sanders is picking up support from Iowans who once backed Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Vice President Joe Biden. But Clinton continues to pull 58% among Iowa Democrats. Unless they’ve changed math since last I looked, that’s a majority.


Martin O’Malley thinks he has an answer … pitching to young voters:

O’Malley’s implicit argument seems to be that he is better equipped than Clinton to speak to a younger generation of voters who are firmly in favor of more accommodating policies towards undocumented immigrants and gays, and who have concluded that climate change is a real threat that requires a real response. Of course, O’Malley faces an immediate problem: Clinton mostly agrees with him on these issues. She has proposed to build on Obama’s executive actions shielding millions from deportation, and has pledged to defend all of his actions on climate.

And again, there’s that whole data thing. A March Zogby Pollmuch ballyhooed by concern trolls from the right – found Clinton with only 38% support among young Democrats. A much larger Harvard Institute of Politics poll of millennials found that 55% want a Democrat to win in 2016 and 47% of young Democrats support Clinton.


Vox’s Matthew Yglesias thinks the media need to accept the truth:

Quinnipiac is out with a new poll that confirms something the national media is loathe to admit, and that essentially never surfaces in their coverage of one of the most-covered people in the world today: Hillary Clinton is the most popular politician in America.
But the press hates to admit this. For Clinton, good news is never just good news. Instead it’s an opportunity to remind the public about the media’s negative narratives about Clinton and then to muse on the fact that her ratings somehow manage to hold up despite these narratives.

Yglesias offers some sample quotes, and adds:

This framing is not surprising, since, among journalists, Clinton is one of the least popular politicians. She is not forthcoming or entertaining with the press. She doesn’t offer good quotes. She doesn’t like journalists, respect what we do, or care to hide her disdain for the media. She feels that the right-wing press has tried to destroy her for decades, that the mainstream press got played like a cheap fiddle by the conservative press, and that even the liberal press was overwhelmingly hostile to her during her 2008 campaign.

To his credit, Yglesias then explains that most Americans share Clinton’s view of the Beltway media, and that the media’s loathing of Clinton is little more than navel-gazing:

At the same time, most of the “bad” narratives about both Clintons that exist in the media are essentially self-centered. From an impeachment grounded in Bill’s effort to keep an extramarital affair out of the newspapers to a scandal about an email server designed to keep the contents of Hillary’s messages out of the newspapers, the Clintons have continually run afoul of the press’s fervent desire to know everything.

But few regular people evaluate public figures on the basis of their level of cooperation with media inquiries.


Meanwhile, right wingnut Michael Barone says it’s time for “civil disobedience” … against workplace safety rules:

[In his latest book, Charles] Murray argues that these mistakes cannot be reversed by the political or judicial processes. The Court won’t abandon longstanding doctrines on which millions of people have relied. Congress, even a Republican Congress working with a Republican president, won’t repeal vaguely worded statutes that give regulators wide-ranging discretion.

State and local governments are just as bad. They pass laws protecting established businesses (notably taxi cartels) by restricting competition.

What is to be done? Citizens, says Murray, should be willing to violate laws that the ordinary person would instantly recognize as ridiculous. And deep-pocketed citizens should set up a Madison Fund, to subsidize their legal defense and pay their fines.
But regulators are actually thin on the ground, unequipped to deal with mass – and subsidized – civil disobedience. When a spotlight is shined on their tyrannical behavior, even courts will rebel.

Yep. After cutting agencies’ budgets to levels that may force shutdowns, wingnuts now urge – and intend to subsidize – lawbreaking on a massive scale. Their hope is that agencies will be too swamped to handle all the scofflaws and federal courts will tell the agencies to surrender.

So when people die because businesses don’t bother to maintain sprinkler systems and use fire stairs for storage, remember those business owners are just practicing “civil disobedience” … conservative style.


And speaking of conservative style, Edward Blum wants to do away with that pesky one-man-one-vote rule:

Edward Blum has been trying to take down “one person, one vote” – a tenet of modern voting rights law – since 1997. Last week brought him his biggest breakthrough yet, with the Supreme Court surprising many election law experts by taking up a redistricting case that has the potential to redefine “one person, one vote” and fundamentally alter how electoral districts are drawn nationwide.
The case, Evenwel v. Abbott, is a challenge to Texas’ state Senate redistricting plan, in which two Texas residents are asking the Court to declare unconstitutional the use of total population to draw districts of roughly equal size. They say that because they live in a district with a relatively high ratio of eligible voters, their vote is worth less than districts that have the same total population, but fewer voters, specifically due to the presence of Latino noncitizens.

Experts contend that if Blum’s side prevails it will mean redrawing districts to favor older, whiter, more rural voters at the expense of younger, minority, urban ones.

As one TPM commenter put it, “How very 3/5ths of him.”

FiveThirtyEight’s David Wasserman and Harry Enten explain why that would shift voting power from most-Democratic cities to mostly-Republican rural areas, but their colleague Leah Libresco notes that Blum’s rule would require a lot of … guesswork:

The plaintiffs are challenging the usual method (counting total number of people living in a district) and are asking that states use the total number of eligible voters instead. The trouble is, we don’t have robust statistics on the number of eligible voters. If the Supreme Court were to set new standards for districting, we would need to overhaul the nation’s statistics and surveys.

There are several problems. Previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions require districting to use actual census counts – not statistical estimates – and the census count doesn’t ask about immigration status. It also doesn’t ask about criminal convictions, let alone whether a person has had his/her voting rights restored. State laws on restoring voter rights vary widely, as do state laws on residency requirements for voter registration.

By the way, those undocumented immigrants pay taxes. So do people with past criminal convictions, even if their voting rights haven’t yet been restored. So do people who’ve just moved. I mention that because I remember reading something about “no taxation without representation” somewhere….


Good day and good nuts