Newsoriginalsstream Trump’s focus on race: Tactic or reflex?Mike Bebernes Editor•The 360 features diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories.Trump says he is the ‘least racist person’Speed read What’s happening: Over the past two weeks, the news has been dominated by coverage of President Trump’s attacks against a series of prominent liberal figures, all of whom are people of color. First he told members of “the Squad” to go back where they came from. He then described Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore district – a predominantly black neighborhood – as “rat infested,” and most recently he alleged that Rev. Al Sharpton “hates whites.”Democratic politicians and members of the media denounced the president’s comments as racist. Multiple polls indicate that the majority of the public agrees.Why there’s debate: Trump’s attacks have sparked disagreement over whether he’s deliberately stoking racial division as a political tactic. On Tuesday, the president himself said “there’s zero strategy” to his criticism of Rep. Cummings. Nevertheless, observers on both sides of the aisle see a calculated approach guiding his outbursts.A person close to his reelection campaign reportedly said, Trump’s rhetoric “definitely helps with white working-class voters.” Racial antagonism among white voters in key battleground states, some argue, was a major factor in Trump’s successful campaign in 2016. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said Trump believes “racism is a good political strategy.”Others say this line of thinking is a misguided way of rationalizing the president’s behavior. They argue that racism is a fundamental facet of Trump’s identity and predates his political aspirations by decades. Any electoral benefit stemming from his attacks is coincidental, they say, especially given evidence that he may be hurting his campaign by putting race center stage.What’s next: Whether it’s a deliberate strategy or just Trump being Trump, it appears likely that racial division will be a major element of the 2020 presidential campaign.Perspectives–Racial attacks are designed to shore up support with Trump’s base.“With little chance of increasing the president’s support outside of his base, the campaign knows their best chance to win is to motivate and hope to grow that support within populations of like-minded people. So, they are left with doing what they do best — hate and racism. And they will continue to double down until election day.” — Peter Wade, Rolling StoneThere is no strategy behind Trump’s racial attacks.–“He will undoubtedly run one of the most grotesque reelection campaigns of the post–civil rights era, but that is not to say that this week has been a preview of a deft, grand strategy. Instead, this was a confirmation of what’s been evident for the past several years, and what’s been known to Trump watchers for decades: The president is a bigot — maybe a lucky one, but a bigot all the same.” — Alex Shephard, New RepublicRacial grievances got Trump elected in 2016.“It’s time we simply admit the truth: President Donald Trump got elected because of his racism, not in spite of it.” — Montel Williams, USA TodayAttributing Trump’s actions to strategy protects those around him from facing reality.“There is always this need to attribute this master plan to Trump because otherwise you have to come to terms with the fact that he’s a blithering idiot.” — Campaign consultant Stuart Stevens to HuffPostTrump uses racial disagreements to push voters away from Democrats„Selling America on an agenda of banning Muslims and separating immigrants from their children is hard, but convincing some smaller subset of the Republican electorate that Democrats see Trump supporters as racists? That’s much easier, especially when Trump himself is constantly goading those same Democrats into calling him a racist.” — Jon Ward and Andrew Romano, Yahoo NewsFraming debates around race simplifies decision making for voters.“Many of Trump’s key supporters like Trump because he celebrates them; he celebrates whiteness. He reduces politics to a kind of tribalism that does not respond to facts or policy successes and failures, because it was never predicated on facts or policy to begin with. The mere perception that he is standing up for a frustrated band of white voters serves his purpose.” — Rich Benjamin, Los Angeles TimesTrump has always been racist.“Racism has been a running motif of Trump’s life, from his inheritance of a real estate empire that was sued for not renting to African-Americans, to his calls for the execution of the (innocent) Central Park Five, to his Obama birtherism, to his recent Twitter attack on four Democratic congresswomen, all people of color.” — Jeet Heer, The NationThe media’s willingness to call his language ‘racist’ changes the political calculus.“The fact that news accounts are straightforwardly describing Trump’s comments as racist suggest he’s moved into a dangerous place.” — Jonathan Chait, New York MagazineThe attacks may increase turnout in Democratic-leaning communities that stayed home in 2016.“By adopting the language of barroom bigots everywhere, Trump is narrowing his potential voter pool and incentivizing some key groups whose participation could be key, such as suburbanites in Michigan, minorities in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, and millennials who voted for the Green Party in 2016.” — John Cassidy, New YorkerTrump has come up short in his economic promises from 2016, so he’s leaning into racial grievance.“Whatever the role of Trump’s ‘economic’ populism in his victory, what’s left behind here is the crucial fact that Trump’s economic agenda isn’t energizing his base in the manner he needs. We know this due to the admission of Republicans themselves, and it’s illustrated by Trump’s own fallback on racism as a galvanizer.” — Greg Sargent, Washington Post Calling Trump racist solidifies his support with white voters.“Dems wind up not talking about they’re better policies plus they push working-class white GOP voters who don’t like Trump into his corner because most people don’t like being told they’re racist a—holes.” — Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair Trump is the culmination of biases that have been part of Republican politics for decades.“Trump is the Frankenstein made up of all the racist, xenophobic, hateful parts Republicans have deliberately used to appeal to their base. He’s not subtle. Now it’s pure, unadulterated, out in the open.” — Wajahat Ali, New York Times contributor Trump controls the political narrative by forcing race to the center of discussion.“This is the fundamental problem of Trump: he provokes by saying horrific things that cannot go unchallenged, but in challenging them, you rev up him and his base to double down in delight (and sincere belief) and horrify you more, which means you have to challenge it again, etc.”
— Julia Ioffe, GQ Fighting Trump on race is the key to a Democratic victory in 2020.“The President of the United States is a racist. And the Democrats need to make it an issue. They need to attack him as a racist. They need to nail every Republican to the wall. They need to make this an issue in 2020. If they don’t play hardball here, they will lose.”
— Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast The media is partly responsible for making racial attacks a successful strategy.“Many in the mainstream media quickly moved on from covering the despicableness of Trump’s comments to entertaining the possibility that his attacks were evidence of a high-level political strategy to sow division among Democrats in Congress. In doing so, the press is assisting in Trump’s attempts to rebrand his open bigotry as strategy and giving cover to a Republican Party that allows it.” — Timothy Johnson, Media MattersTrump is attacking the core ideal of America as a multiracial nation.“This is not about Omar anymore, or the other women of color who have been told by this president to ‘go back’ to their supposed countries of origin. It is about defending the idea that America should be a country for all its people. If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere. What Americans do now, in the face of this, will define us forever.” — Adam Serwer, The Atlantic Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in The 360? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Biden attacked by rivals over deportations under Obama
Lisa Belkin and Casey Darnell-Yahoo News• Protesters interrupt Biden’s response on deportation Joe Biden’s rivals in the Democratic presidential race went right at his strength at several points in Wednesday night’s Democratic debate: his record as Barack Obama’s vice president.Without directly attacking the popular former president, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio implied that Biden was complicit in the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants under Obama’s administration.“One of us,” Castro said pointedly to Biden, learned the lessons of the past.Asked about the record-high 800,000 deportations during Obama’s first two years in office, Biden said, if elected, he would not continue Obama-era immigration policies. Biden said it was “absolutely bizarre” to compare Obama-era policies to those of the Trump administration.In a separate exchange, de Blasio accused Biden of dodging the issue. “You were vice-president of the United States. I didn’t hear whether you tried to stop them or not using your power, your influence in the White House. Did you think it was a good idea?”Biden responded by praising Obama for deferring the deportation of so-called Dreamers (undocumented immigrants brought across the border as children and raised in the U.S.) and for proposing a “comprehensive plan for a pathway to citizenship.”Moderator Don Lemon of CNN turned to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to ask about support for free college for undocumented immigrants. But the candidates were not finished with Biden’s previous actions on immigration.“I don’t hear an answer from the vice president,” de Blasio said. “I asked the vice president point blank if he used his power to stop those deportations, he went right around the question. Mr Vice President.. did you say those deportations were a good idea or did you go to the president and say this is a mistake we should do it? Which one?”Julián Castro and Joe Biden. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Lucas Jackson/Reuters, Paul Sancya/AP)“I was vice-president, I was not the president,” Biden bristled. “I keep my recommendations in private unlike you.”lisaCastro, who wants to decriminalize crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, also traded barbs with Biden over the issue.Biden, who unlike his more progressive rivals wants to keep the law against entering the United States without documents (apart from asylum seekers) said he never heard Castro talk about immigration issues during cabinet meetings.Asked to respond to Biden’s attack, Castro said, „It looks like one of us has learned from the lessons of the past.”Castro argued that the only way to end the separations of migrant children from their parents at the border is to repeal the provision in federal law that makes such crossing illegal. Instead, he proposed that the federal government view illegal crossings as a civil, rather than criminal, offense.“The only way that we’re going to guarantee that these kinds of family separations don’t happen in the future is if we repeal this part of the law,” Castro said.After Castro remarked that the country needs politicians with guts, Biden said, “I have guts enough to say his plan doesn’t make sense.” Biden doubled down on his position that illegal border crossings should result in deportation, but quickly pivoted to President Donald Trump.“The only reason this particular part of the law is being abused is because of Donald Trump,” said Biden, referring to family separation. “We should defeat Donald Trump and end this practice.”Biden made the case for more legal immigration, saying it enables the United States to “cherry pick from the best of every culture.” The former vice president said he agreed with Castro that the federal government needs more employees to process asylum cases quickly.
Movimiento Cosecha@CosechaMovementBREAKING: Activists just interrupted @JoeBiden at the #DemDebate chanting „THREE MILLION DEPORTATIONS” and demanding that all candidates commit to stopping all deportations on day 1! #DignityNotDeportationhttp://dignityplan2020.com A New Vision for Immigrant Dignity It’s time to change the debate around immigration. The undocumented community is holding 2020 candidates to a new standard for immigrant dignity.dignityplan2020.com Biden’s response to a question about immigration policy was interrupted by protesters in the Detroit audience who shouted “3 million deportations” — apparently referring to deportations under the Obama administration. The group Movimiento Cosecha, an immigrant-led organization that oppose deportation, claimed on Twitter that it had organized the protests.
Navy Super Hornet jet crashes near Death Valley, search and rescue underway for pilot
(MORE: 16 Marines arrested at Camp Pendleton on charges ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses)PHOTO: In this Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, an FA/18E Super Hornet from NAS Lemoore flies through the area nicknamed Star Wars Canyon in Death Valley National Park, Calif. (Ben Margot/AP, FILE)Two pilots were flying a pair of planes on a training mission, but only one returned, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific commander Capt. James Bates said at a press conference on Wednesday. He said it remained unclear whether the pilot was a man or woman and what the pilot’s rank is, but said that the crash occurred 6 miles north of China Lake.Tim Cassell, owner of the Panamint Springs Resort nearby, said he got in his truck and drove up to the crash site.”I stopped my vehicle, got out and walked over to the edge and attempted to see if I could see any large pieces of the aircraft,” Cassell said. „I was unable to see anything other than a large blackened area, some of the bushes were still on fire. And there was smoke and then debris all over the ground around me.””The pieces of the aircraft were smaller than a dinner plate … and scattered over a large area,” he added.Patrick Taylor, a spokesperson for Death Valley National Park, said the park received a report around 10 a.m. PT from the Panamint Springs Resort that a military plane had crashed on the west side of Death Valley near Father Crowley Overlook in an area known as Star Wars Canyon.flynavy@flynavy At approximately 10:00 a.m PST an F/A-18E crashed near @NAWS_CL. Search-and-rescue efforts are underway. The area has been used for military training flights since the 1930s, Taylor said, and regularly attracts tourists who want to get a glimpse of military pilots in action weaving through the narrow canyon in maneuvers reminiscent of the Star Wars movie.Seven individuals on ground suffered minor injuries.They sustained burns, cuts and scrapes from shrapnel flying through the air when the jet crashed, according to KABC. The injuries were mostly to their backs, arms and legs as they ran away from the crash site, about 50 meters from where they were standing.The Father Crowley Overlook has been temporarily closed. Emergency responders from the park, military, and Inyo County have been dispatched to the scene.