dog whistle alert
August 11, 2020

Trump campaign Twitter account @TrumpWarRoom has tweeted and retweeted some questionable things in the past. Lately, it's been all systems go against former Vice President Joe Biden, who is set to oppose President Trump in November's election.

The latest effort to bring down Biden is a series of tweets that seem to claim Biden is pro-crime. In a blog post, the campaign points to Biden staffer's donations to bail funds amid the nationwide protests against police brutality. The campaign highlighted four alleged "regular criminals," all of them Black, who were supposedly freed from jail thanks to Biden.

The mugshots were posted alongside rhetorical questions like "Does Joe Biden regret his campaign putting women in danger?" The donations to the bail fund were made by individual staffers, not by the Biden campaign as a whole. Still, the post asserts the streets are now less safe "thanks in part to the Biden campaign."

The Trump campaign's strategy was quickly denounced as racist fearmongering. The Washington Post's Philip Bump pointed out that Biden himself is only loosely connected to the bailouts, and that it's not clear those pictured have been convicted of the crimes listed. Given Trump's insistence on respecting "due process," it seems like a significant oversight. Summer Meza

June 25, 2020

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) took to the Senate floor on Thursday to rail against a bill that would grant Washington, D.C. statehood, claiming its passage would be "an act of historical vandalism."

While speaking against the bill, Cotton labeled it as an attempt by Democrats to turn Washington's federal district into "little more than a gerrymandered government theme park" surrounded by a Democrat-controlled state.

The bill, which is set for a House vote on Friday, would denote much of the current district as the nation's 51st state, giving its residents elected representation in both houses of Congress. It would also preserve a capital district composed of federal buildings, which would be separate from the state.

While making his case against statehood, Cotton claimed Washington lacked the type of job diversity found in other, less-populous states, pointing to Wyoming as being "a well-rounded working-class state," despite having a much smaller population.

The senator also questioned whether Washington's current leadership could be trusted in a gubernatorial role, singling out Mayor Muriel Bowser and former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, both of whom are Black, which raised more than a few eyebrows. Marianne Dodson

October 16, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has secured three-fourths of the Squad. CNN's John King is unsure if that's good for him.

After Tuesday night's Democratic debate, reports indicated that three prominent and progressive freshmen congressmembers would endorse Sanders for president: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). But the CNN national correspondent soon questioned how other Democratic candidates would react to the news, particularly asking if they'd see the endorsement as "too far left," "too urban," or "too internet."

King on Tuesday described the Squad's endorsement as "an extension of" the "debate about not only who is going to lead the party, but where is the party going to go." These "fresher face[s]" will "certainly" help Sanders in some ways, King said, but it will also "have some of the other candidates" asking "is this too far left? Is this too uncompromising? Is it too urban, is it too internet?" Kathryn Krawczyk

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