Undebatably Wrong


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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130 Responses

  1. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    It seems to me that this illustrates the conflict between process fairness and outcome fairness. This was a completely fair process, but not necessarily a fair outcome.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      This is a neutral process, which is different from a fair one IMOReport

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I’m not sure I would call it neutral. As described, NBC’s process assumed that the top ten people by composite poll rating are all “equal”, then puts half of them in one pool and half in the other, despite the ratings covering a range — using the NYTime’s national average poll number from this morning — from 32% to two with <1%.

        Something like the process we use to do pool assignments based on ratings for fencing tournaments is neutral but constrained. One of the constraints is that the sum of the rating points in both pools must be close to the same. None of the methods commonly used would have put Biden and Sanders in the same pool.

        Even FIFA would be embarrassed by this result.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Seeding would have been too egalitarian for my tastes, but would have produced a better result even if the rankings were flawed.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            The top eight positions are the important ones; everyone that’s <1% can be handled simply and no one’s likely to take offense.

            Using this morning’s NYTimes’s national polling average, seeding the top eight gives Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar in one pool, Sanders, Warren, O’Rourke, and Booker in the other. Not a lot to complain about there.

            The usual first pass for building fencing pools would give Biden, Buttigieg, Booker, and Klobuchar in one pool, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and O’Rourke in the other. Harris/Booker flip between the two methods.

            I’d take the seeding over the fencing: the top two split, each pool has two of the top four, and three of the top six. And I’d take either over NBC’s lineup.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      They could have taken an approach that would have satisfied Bernie fans without this kind of risk.

      And it’s literally just dumb fucking luck that it ended up being Warren being stuck at the accidental kiddie table, not Sanders.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    Hmmm they might be able to balance it out by having Warren’s group go first.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    The alternative is to CLEAR THE FIELD by placing Warren with Biden, and as we all know, that is just not cricket.

    In all seriousness, this doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. Warren will shine in her group, whereas just lumped in with Bennet/Williamson/Yang etc she might have gotten lost.

    But either way, no one will get much traction until all the also-rans drop out and people start paying serious attention.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      My staid predicton is that the 5 person race will look pretty similar to the 20 person race in terms of who is where, because only five people are actually getting support and they’re mostly the people you would expect (except with Buttigieg in there and Booker/Gillibrand out)Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      There really are people saying it’s fixed, but not even the DNC is stupid enough to fix a debate and wind up with this nonsense.

      It is, however, entirely stupid enough to toss all the names in a hat and hope for the best.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      In all seriousness, this doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. Warren will shine in her group, whereas just lumped in with Bennet/Williamson/Yang etc she might have gotten lost.

      Yeah, that’s what I’ve been assuming. As Warren is mostly my preferred candidate(1), I figure her smashing everyone else on stage with her will promote her.

      Meanwhile, the other debate will clear at least one of the other frontrunners out of the way. (I hope it’s Biden.)

      1) I like candidates that actually _come up_ with stuff instead of just copying it, which several of the other frontrunners seem to be doing. And not even that, with Biden. We _know_ Warren has ideas, she just keeps churning out new ones and everyone scrambles to keep up with her.Report

  4. Avatar George Turner says:

    Isn’t this first debate being moderated by Rachel Maddow, who spent two years breathlessly explaining that Trump was a Russian intelligence agent and that the US government was controlled by Putin?

    It’s a good thing the Republicans aren’t having debates or they’d have to counter with Alex Jones.Report

    • Avatar Blather says:

      {“Blather” is a previously banned user and as such most of his comments are being removed and further ones will be deleted. He has my email if he wishes to discuss this further.}Report

      • Avatar JoeSal says:

        Maddow, ha, now your just shining us on.Report

        • Avatar JoeSal says:

          Well bless your pea pickin’ heart……. yall really do see nazis in every ink butterfly.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Well at first glance it looks like a Tea Party flag. Except it should be “I I” not “H” in the middle, and there’s a 14th star. Or possibly a dot over a symbol that isn’t an H.

          It’s custom (Google images doesn’t return a matching result for it, the closest being a Tea Party flag) but at first glance it looks like an H surrounded by 14 stars, which certainly is White Supremacist iconography. (Two Hs would be even more obvious, but perhaps too obvious).

          It’s undoubtedly just a coincidence, so I’m curious as to what meaning that flag has for Joe there. It’s not a stock image, so what’s the symbol in the middle. and why is it placed in the middle of Betsy Ross’ flag?Report

          • Avatar JoeSal says:

            Good lord, two attempts and yall are still at white supremacist. The social construct that leftwards fear the most. HahaReport

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              Did you stop reading halfway through? You know, how I ended it with:

              “It’s undoubtedly just a coincidence, so I’m curious as to what meaning that flag has for Joe there. It’s not a stock image, so what’s the symbol in the middle. and why is it placed in the middle of Betsy Ross’ flag?”

              So what’s it mean, Joe? That’s not a stock image, at least one Google image search turns up. What’s the weird symbol in the middle, and what’s it mean?

              I mean you choose it, right? What is it? The flag of your W40k clan? You just liked the look of a funky H? You thought it was something else?Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Wth dude, i been preachin’ here over nine years and yall don’t even know my preferred ideology enough to do a Google search on it.

                I’m giving ya a failing grade on social awareness.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Google doesn’t have you in one of those bubbles does it?

                I haven’t heard racist bigot pointed at me in awhile so I assumed you made it out.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Glyph had one that was of a woody the woodpecker. I didn’t know if that was trolling or humor.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                It’s amazing the lengths you’re going to avoid answering a simple question. Bear in mind, I never called it a white supremacist flag — I noted how it could appear to be one (the “H” symbol and, to a casual glance, the appearance of a 14th star) and then noted that it didn’t actually appear that it was an “H” and that the dot didn’t look like an extra star.

                I then asked what it was, as a simple reverse image search didn’t pull up anything close to it — except Tea Party flags, which had a different symbol.

                I then asked you what it meant, and you’ve replied four or five times without answering.

                So to sum up: I didn’t claim it was a WS flag. I pointed out how it could look like one at first glance. Then I asked what it stood for and why you chose it, since I couldn’t find it out trivially.You claimed at least two or three times that I called you a WS, which I have not.

                You have persistently dodged the question. Which is kinda weird, I’m gonna admit.

                I don’t have an avatar here, but I have chosen one in plenty of places — and I could explain why quite easily. I mean it was a choice I made, after all.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                I made no such claim that you called me a WS, which is weird that you think I did.

                The flag is a symbol for the Second American Revolution. The I I is overlayed with a symbol representing Individual Anarchy.

                The middle symbol is a A overlayed with a i

                That’s it.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                “Good lord, two attempts and yall are still at white supremacist. The social construct that leftwards fear the most. Haha”

                “Yall” is not singular. I say this as a Texan who has, in fact, grown up with the word. It is plural.

                Since exactly two people had responded, me defending you against that claim in fact, you can see the source of my confusion.

                FYI: The symbol design is awful. The overlaid “A” and “I I” makes it look like either a weirdly flat topped A or an H with a bar over it. The “I” is completely lost (it should have THREE bars not two, given where the dot is).

                I’d send that one back to the drawing board. Even after you’ve explained it, it still looks the minuscule a, made upcase for some reason, and shoved into a weird flat-top font. That’s on CLOSE examination (blowing it up). At the size of an avatar, it does look like a 14 star flag with an H at the center. (Which, I suppose, isn’t two Hs. So that’s something).Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                ‘Yall’ doesn’t support the claim that you called me a WS.

                Yall both mentioned WS in what you both where seeing.

                Yeah I figured you would say it was awful, that’s why I wasn’t interested in another debby downer critique that I didn’t ask for,.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Let’s let this one go, guys.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Amen brother.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Letting go of this means letting go. I will instruct you of actual white supremacy stuff next time as you appear very ignorant of them, and their origins.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                As stated, letting it go means letting it go.

                Thanks JoeSal.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        IT’S NOT ME.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David says:

      Ooo Ooo, can we Libertarians have Art Bell?

      Art Bell would be awesome, you can just picture him and McAfee going at it.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      As an aside, can you imagine a bigger insult and slap in the face to all the hard working journalists and anchors at NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, NPR, and CNN than to give Rachel Maddow, Rachel [random moniker] Maddow, the coveted, weighty, and incredibly important slot of hosting the first Democratic Presidential debate?

      It could end up biting the candidates badly if her questions are extremely biased, leading, and paranoid. “Given that Trump is a mind-controlled Russian operative who takes pee showers in Moscow, what is your stand on impeachment?” It would set them all up to either disappoint the far-left wing, or play along and create Republican ad fodder for the general election.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        As an aside, can you imagine a bigger insult and slap in the face to all the hard working journalists and anchors at NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, NPR, and CNN than to give Rachel Maddow, Rachel [random moniker] Maddow, the coveted, weighty, and incredibly important slot of hosting the first Democratic Presidential debate?

        Spring training & pre season games normally use second tier booth announcers.

        Eta – the exception is the NFL Hall of Fame game, but in that the audience also checks out after a quarter.Report

        • Avatar George Turner says:

          But this isn’t the preseason, this is the start of the playoffs. A candidate who fails to shine in the first debate, in a field that large, can probably just pack up and go home.

          And idiotic, bogus, or leading question can do that, and Maddow might be just the moderator to ask a lot of those.Report

    • Avatar Jesse says:

      Hugh Hewitt moderated one of the Republican debates in 2016.Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        Have you ever listened to Hugh Hewitt? He’s of the calmest people out there. He’s on the right, but in tone or analysis, he would fit right in at PBS or NPR.

        Unless you associate “left wing” with being a paranoid conspiracy theorist, there’s no problem finding serious left-wing journalists or serious right wing journalists. Alex Jones or Rachel Maddow could make Howard Stern seem like a serious pundit.Report

      • Did he ask a question about Alger Hiss? It’s his favorite topic.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      …have you ever watched Maddow?Report

  5. Avatar InMD says:

    Yea this is BS, and I almost wonder if it isn’t an overcorrection. The candidates with name recognition and even a little momentum ought to be together. I know it’s still early but I think it’s clear enough which are plausible. If one of the ‘uh…who?’ candidates takes off they can be moved up.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I’m sure it’s an overcorrection. The moves they pulled to clear the way for Clinton got us here.

      Once again, they’ll be able to say “well, we don’t want to do *THAT* again!”Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        It’s exactly the kind of harebrained mistake you make when you are absolutely determined to not make the kind of harebrained mistake you make last time.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    You say that Buttigieg deserves to be up there with Biden… I’m pretty sure that only a few months ago we’d have said that he’s more like Yang than Harris. (I mean, I agree with you. My hunch is that the Presidential Ticket will be (name)/Buttigieg. But a few months ago, he was just another “who?”. There is still an opportunity for that to happen to another candidate (with another of the “real” candidates getting Betoed).)Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      As described, the NBC process treated Biden and Yang as equivalent for pool assignment. That’s enough to know that this was a badly flawed process.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        As awful as the NBC process was, pretending that they’re not trying to rig the primary is the right play.

        I mean, it’s like boxing. You don’t have to fix the outcome if you can pick the opponents.

        The only thing you have to worry about is someone like Bernie Sanders pulling an Andy Ruiz Jr.Report

  7. Avatar J_A says:

    My hunch is that the Presidential Ticket will be (name)/Buttigieg.

    I wonder if we live in bizarro world, and Buttigieg owes his elevation to front runner just by virtue of being gay, something that would have doomed him four years ago.

    I actually like him. For starters he fits my desired profile: middle aged and not from the coasts. Besides that, I sort of like the little I’ve seen of him, better than the little I’ve seen of others. But I only found out that I sort of liked him by checking him after going “Holy cow, a gay candidate, well, that’s a first”.

    We truly live in a 15 minutes of fame world. I guess the first Catholic candidate went through the same process. To exist, you first need to be noticed.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      If they go with (name)/Buttigieg and (name) isn’t Booker, Harris, or Biden, they may set a new record for low black turnout. Biden has that potential too, depending on whether the press will admit his role as a key architect of throwing millions of black men in prison for drug offenses while letting upper class whites off with a slap on the wrist.Report

      • Biden currently lead the field in AA support by a lot, nearly 30 points better than next closest candidate. That might change, but for now there is no data to support your assertion.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Yeah. I mean African-Americans are far-and-away the biggest reason that Biden’s in such a good place right now. The notion that Donald Trump is going to create problems for him there is… uhh… not credible at the present time.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Right now it’s pretty much all name recognition, and Biden’s (by virtue of being Obama’s VP) has both a lot of name recognition and undoubtedly a lot of good will, especially among AAs, in the bank.

          I deeply suspect he won’t hold onto it. He was a great choice for VP, but won’t do well int he limelight.Report

          • I’m on the record here, more than once, in thinking Biden the current idea is going to have a collision with the Biden the reality before too awful long. Two things give me pause 1) folks so desperate to beat Trump they probably will overlook anything if they think he can get the job done in November 2) there isn’t a daunting candidate in this group, at present, that would be the obvious choice if he falters, which gives him some wiggle room.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              Whenever I start having second thoughts about Biden, I remember #2. There’s no one else I look at and think “that could be the one”. Warren comes closest but not presently seeing it.Report

              • Warren couldn’t muster a run against Hillary Clinton, who lost to a first-term unknown Senator then was beaten by New York tabloids favorite real estate figurehead for 30+ years. We seem to forget that part of her story.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I keep thinking of Warren’s wealth tax proposal and flinching. If we’d created that after Microsoft, Amazon and Google would be in other countries.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                Most investment would be in other countries. With a wealth tax, a wealthy American or corporation would have to be an idiot to put money in stock or bonds because the wealth tax would directly subtract from the rate of return, so they’d be better off stuffing their money in a mattress or hiding it in the Cayman Islands.

                If enacted, it would make 1929 look like a booming year.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        SCENE: Somewhere in Black America, Generic Black Family sits down to watch TV;

        Father: “Say, lets watch Fox News to tell us what is happening in our lives! I hear they really have their finger on the pulse of the ‘hood!”

        Mother: “Yeah, I hear that Biden fellow is locking up a bunch of black folks- I’m thinking maybe Trump is the one for us! I heard it straight from Diamond and Silk!”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Those of you who had Chip in the “first to impersonate black people” pool for this election cycle, please come down to Central in order to collect your winnings.Report

        • Avatar George Turner says:

          And if Corey Booker starts successfully hammers Biden as the architect of Black Lives Don’t Matter, how will Biden recover in November?

          You’d have Trump who is pardoning blacks who’ve been given onerous prison sentences for minor crimes, working with Kim Kardashian and black leaders on the issue. You’ve also have Trump who has brought about the lowest black unemployment rate in decades.

          And then you have Biden, who crafted the 100 to 1 penalty difference between crack and powder cocaine. When George HW Bush proposed massive increases for law enforcement and more prisons, cops, and courts to deal with the drug crisis, Biden said

          “Quite frankly, the President’s plan is not tough enough, bold enough, or imaginative enough to meet the crisis at hand,” Biden said in a televised response to Bush’s speech. “In a nutshell, the President’s plan does not include enough police officers to catch the violent thugs, enough prosecutors to convict them, enough judges to sentence them, or enough prison cells to put them away for a long time.”

          That’s from Jacobin Magazine’s article on Biden’s crime policy, in which they call him the Mass Incarceration Zealot.

          Jacobin Magazine is a Democratic Socialist quarterly.

          But surely Trump would never use something like that against him in the campaign. Surely!Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            If Jacobin were representative of leftward sensibilities, Biden wouldn’t be in the top five much less the top spot.

            But both he and Harris have been hit with this and in neither case has it seemed to have had an impact.

            This is the part where he does remind me of Trump. Whether this or the girl’s brothers, it all reeks of “THIS is going to be the thing that takes him down!!!” Support for segregation didn’t bring him down. That’s a really high bar for subsequent displays of old-schoolery.Report

            • Avatar George Turner says:

              True, but it is gambling that the attacks never resonate when it might be that most of the people who would find his positions offensive aren’t really aware of his old positions, or that he was gleefully responsible for much of their pain and suffering. Absent that realization, people would think that his positions couldn’t have been bad or Obama wouldn’t have picked him as VP, no?

              But once people start paying attention, mightn’t they even think that a party that would even nominate Biden can’t have their interests at heart? If they have a long look, or Trump makes it an issue (and the press can’t NOT act like a puppet on his strings), it might be a huge demotivator come November.

              I think Biden’s current advantage is that he seems likable, grounded, and sane compared to some of the lily white latte-sipping hippy activists in the field, which is why many feel he’ll sweep the South on Super Tuesday.

              Or he might continue to be viewed as a safe continuation of Obama’s legacy, causing no real concerns or voter drop off at all.

              I think much of how it plays will be decided in the early debates, with so many other candidates trying to seriously wound him, and one of the risks is how fast the modern PC #meToo type movements can, at the drop of a hat, slay anyone at the top of their game. For an example, look how quickly Al Franken went down, or how fast Beto started apologizing for being Beto.

              The level of outrage makes me think this cycle will have an unusual level of volatility in that regard.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                “What’s The Matter With Compton”?

                When we see people acting against what we think is their interest, it’s only because we don’t understand what their interest really is.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                “Ah, I see where you’re going Chad. So the black community probably views millions of blacks in jail as kind of as a public service, like we’re giving them free college tuition.”

                *sips on an iced cinnamon dolce latte and nods sagely*Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                You know that at the time those measures had pretty strong support from African Americans, right?

                Who do you think the victims of violent crime were back then?

                And how the hell am I pointing this out to a conservative?Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                Well, maybe Joe Biden should go back and run for President in 1988.

                They asked for more law and order, and Joe Biden gave it to them good and hard.

                The question isn’t whether they were right then, the question is how they might feel about it, looking back, come fall of 2020.

                Is he “the man” they were fighting all this time?

                I point this out because a whole lot of blacks couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary because of her stances back in the 80’s and early 90’s, invoking the specter of “super predators” and such.

                Both the Clintons and Biden felt that Democrats were viewed as too soft on crime, and that it was hurting them at the ballot box. (See Dukakis.) So they jerked the wheel and corrected hard in the other direction.

                Many a political career has foundered because of a past stance that was on the completely opposite end of the swinging political pendulum. Imagine Dick Cheney trying to run in 2020, arguing that “Well at the time, everyone in Congress was for war in the Middle East.”

                So the question is whether other candidates might bring up Biden’s key role in mass incarceration policies, and whether those attacks will resonate in our current BLM atmosphere (the other end of the pendulum swing) and become his albatross.

                Whether anyone does or not will probably be a cold political calculation. Will they get more votes in the primary by attacking cops, and will that cost them votes in the general by appearing soft on crime?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                My guess is that they are not going, for the most part, to care that much that he was wrong all those years ago because they can remember why he was wrong.

                The Bernie wing tried these attacks against Clinton in ’16 and they just didn’t work with the audience we’re talking about.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                Bernie could give blacks a reason not to vote for Hillary, but failed to give them a reason to vote for a Vermont socialist.

                Yet it may have had a profound effect. Black voter turnout in the modern era has only had two major declines, and both are named “Clinton”. In 2016 it dropped by 7%, or 756,000, from the 2012 numbers. It was lower than it was in 2004 or 2008.

                Pew Research article with charts.

                The other prior steep decline was in 1996, Bill Clinton’s second term, after he’d rolled out all kinds of harsh criminal punishments that mainly hit the black community. There’s an academic paper on it, saying that black voters were apathetic because Clinton was no better than Bob Dole or Jesse Helms regarding race and crime.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                This is what I meant in my first comment.

                Does anyone imagine that the average black person needs a lecture from white conservatives (or liberals for that matter) on mass incarceration or the dug war and its affect on their lives?

                There is a long tradition of white people talking about black people, or to black people, but rarely with black people.

                And even more rarely, listening to what black people themselves have to say.

                A corollary is to search out and find that one black person who says things that comfort white people, and amplifying their voice as the Authentic Negro.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Well, maybe Joe Biden should go back and run for President in 1988.

                George, it is weirdly scary how much I am agreeing with you in this discussion. Everyone else is right that no one cares about Biden’s policies back then at the moment, but that’s literally because the media hasn’t started talking about them out yet, because none of the candidates have brought it up on the stage, which…they will. At this debate.

                My one disagreement is I don’t think it’s much of a political calculation for someone to bring it up. General elections are won by either getting people excited by the candidate they like, or disgusted by the other one. It’s entirely turnout.

                And none of the people who _would_ vote Democrats are going to be upset that ‘Candidate X, in the Democratic primary, complained about a mass incarceration system that Biden helped set up’.

                Honestly, I’m not even sure that’s something even the Republicans would normally use as an attack. I see them more complaining about the Democrat candidate being ‘BLM supporting’ than ‘How dare they bring up Biden’s history!’. But that specific attack is going to happen regardless of whether not they mention Biden…in fact, it probably would happen to Biden also! Any attacks on the Dem candidate will be about their present positions, not attacks based on _their_ attacks on Biden for his _past_ positions, which is just…a silly and convoluted thing to try to explain. Why would Republican voters even care about Democrats previously attacking each other?

                In a normal election, I mean. _Trump_ will obviously use it as an attack, how they attacked that great guy Joe Biden, who had great ideas about being tough on crime and cleaning things up, and did he ever tell you about the time he paid for a full page ad demanding the death penalty for a bunch of black kids that later everyone said were innocent, but they weren’t innocent, he could just tell they were bad kids by looking at them…etc, etc…Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                Well, I think Booker has the least risk in launching the first attack.

                Hypothetical line: “To those of us in the black community, you know, we often talk about how the man is holding us down, throwing us in jail, and how we have to fight the man. *points at Joe* Well that’s the man!”

                Other candidates could do it, but if their delivery is off, the attack could boomerang and make them look like they’re crassly trying to exploit someone else’s suffering for their own self-advancement, opening them up to accusations of cultural appropriation and the like.

                *Imagines two liberals with valley girl accents sitting in a Malibu Starbucks arguing about which one has a deeper understanding of growing up in Compton.*

                Biden could also knock one out of the park with his reply, talking about his efforts, working with Bill Clinton, to save a generation of at-risk black children from falling prey to a culture of inner city gangs and drugs and violence, and then going on in a heart rending two minute monologue about black families in Chicago that would bring even Obama to tears.

                Or we might get the gaffe ridden Joe Biden who completely blows it, making him seem suddenly unelectable, and throwing the race wide open again.

                It might not happen in the first debate, but conditions are ripe for it. If there is such an attack, hopefully it will happen at least somewhat organically. I think the worst possible case for the DNC and the media is if one of the moderators launches it out of nowhere, causing everyone to think that the powers-that-be are putting their thumb on the scales again.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Yeah I keep seeing this out of the RWM and conservatives in general and it seems to have become a really common thing over the past couple decades. The right wingers have pushed their branding and campaign messaging so hard they’ve actually convinced themselves (and only themselves) that it is actually true. What do you MEAN Jacobin isn’t representative of liberals in general and Democrats in particular? What do you MEAN Biden, a centrist, is the reflexive choice of most Democratic voters? What do you MEAN the super online social justice set commands, AT BEST a fifth of the party? It’s endemic to the argumentation and discourse conservatives push everywhere. They lay out this assertion that Liberals have gone off the deep end and the Dems have gone super left as if it’s utterly obvious then go kookier from there.
              I mean you certainly can find liberal very online people who do the same thing regarding the right but A) they’re kind of kookie and B) the right did just go an elect Trump as the leader of their party and President.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                The GOP spends decades doing everything it can to alienate people of color (especially African Americans), but the prevalence of politically moderate and conservative beliefs is basically independent of race.

                This means that the moderate/conservative wings of the Democratic Party are disproportionately non-white.

                This isn’t 100% of the story, but, “White Democrats tend to be more liberal than African American or Hispanic Democrats,” should be your baseline expectation.Report

              • Avatar J_A says:

                This isn’t 100% of the story, but, “White Democrats tend to be more liberal than African American or Hispanic Democrats,” should be your baseline expectation.

                I agree with what @pillsy is saying but I also think that there’s a disconnect between what Republicans and Democrats call conservative and liberal.

                What Rod Dreher published The Benedict Option, it was pointed out to him that the Black Church and the black communities built around those churches were a successful example of the Benedict Option, and he didn’t need to go look for them in small villages in the Apennines.

                His answer was twofold: first, that he didn’t know anything about Black Churches (is not like there are any in Louisiana, for goodness sake); the second was that black churches were not small-o orthodox. They didn’t reject the sexual revolution strongly enough, and were polluted by the prosperity gospel heresy. Hence, whatever the black community called Church, and being conservative, all he saw was heresy and libertinism running amok.

                The GOP’s definition of a conservative includes a long list of red lines (sexual liberation, drug war, authority, taxes, welfare, education, science, and, recently, real American-ism) which end excluding a lot of actually conservative individualsReport

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      It doesn’t hurt him, but he owes his elevation mostly to being a young, moderate, safe-seeming guy who is basically a blank slate, and playing those cards well.

      As opposed to Beto, who didn’t really do the same.

      Partly because Dems want to believe that they have a good chance at winning statewide office in Texas but are like, “LOL Indiana.”

      Even though Indiana is actually much more in reach.Report

      • Avatar J_A says:

        Partly because Dems want to believe that they have a good chance at winning statewide office in Texas but are like, “LOL Indiana.”

        Probably because every single large city in Texas votes heavily Democratic (and carry the local offices; there’s not a single Republican in any elective office in Harris, Texas largest county), while rural Texas (hundreds of very small communities) vote hard Republican in the 90s percentile.

        Probably in Indiana the distribution of voters’ ideology is less skewed, and there’s less space between the median Republican voter and a moderate Democrat, though, of course, Mayor Pete’s South Bend is still an outlier.Report

  8. Avatar Jesse says:

    Also, there’s no way Biden picks a white dude, even a gay white dude as VP. If Biden’s the nominee, Harris is the most likely VP.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      The first three names that come to mind attend white men, but there’s not no way. I can totally see him doubling down and nobody is gonna stop him. If say 40% chance easy.Report

      • Avatar Jesse says:

        If something happens and he wins 50%+ in all 4 early states and is basically the nominee after ST, maybe, but I still doubt it.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          I think any scenario in which he wins the nomination pretty cleanly is one where he gets to name whoever he wants. At that point, it’ll be a matter of persuading him to pick a woman or a minority. I don’t know how persuadable he is. (not written in a skeptical tone – I really don’t know).Report

  9. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I guess I’m the contrarian on this because I think the process at this point (at least 6 months before any actual votes) is good enough, and that this debate sort helps Warren. It won’t help either Harris or Mayor Pete, just depending on how the night flows. I doubt if anyone but Biden can actually be hurt by these debates (which is why frontrunners always try to avoid debates as much as practical)Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I am not sure this is true:

    1. She is the star of the first night which might get most of the viewers.

    2. She gets to let others beat up Biden first.

    3. She gets to basically give her stump speech on TV to millions who haven’t heard it yet.

    She just surpassed Bernie for second place in some polls as Biden continues his slow downward spiral. Voters who are paying attention now are liking her policy creds.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Kinda how I see it.
      And like Kolohe, I don’t see a lot of drama or consequence to the lineup.

      There are a lot of moving pieces aside from this one night. I think there will be a few calling it quits afterward.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon here a bit.
        This move helps make the DLC look especially even handed.
        Warren gets to be basically alone with a number of other candidates who haven’t taken off*. Unless they all gang up on her that’s basically an opportunity for her.
        Warrens’ debate is happening first which quite possibly will mean higher ratings for her.
        The debate with Biden et all has a serious risk of being a blood bath. Warren may benefit enormously simply from not being involved and if some of the other candidates kamikazi Biden then Warren will benefit even more from not having been on screen while it went on. Her reactions can be measured and deliberate rather than off the cuff.
        I see Wills’ points about Warrens positioning but I think over all it’s not a terrible position for her to be in.

        *Though I’m still hoping against hope that Amy will take off somehow in the debate.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          I think Warren has up to this point been building momentum. I think this undercuts that. If the ratings between the two are comparably good and stay comparably good throughout, though, then that part of my argument is probably wrong.Report

          • as we were just talking to our friend Patrick on Twitter about, there is real danger here for her. If she dominates there will be quite a bit of “well, she was supposed too” and if she doesn’t it’ll be “well, she can’t even beat the JV team.” She wont win a lot of ground on the 27th but she could lose, and lose a lot if not very careful.Report

    • Avatar Blather says:

      {“Blather” is a previously banned user and as such most of his comments are being removed and further ones will be deleted. This one is being left up for threading purposes.}

      I think Saul has excellent points. Warren may see more benefits from this. Biden will have to deal directly with Sanders, who has no chance in a general election and whose role was always as a scold before he started believing his own hype.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      1. This could be true. We’ll see how the ratings shake out. I’m especially interested in seeing who watches past the first fifteen minutes. Ratings would be better if there were at least one other notable candidate (besides Beto, if we count him). I think Beto may actually be helped by being on that debate. He kind of needs a reboot while she needs to be building her momentum.

      2. This is neither here nor there, but it’ll be interesting to see how much time they spent going after Biden. My guess is not much.

      3. Yeah, but it’s going to be broken up by everyone else on the stage. Just because she’s the biggest candidate doesn’t mean she’s going to get all the talking time.

      (4.) Biden is where he was throughout the months of March and April. Down from May, but I wouldn’t quite call it a spiral yet. More just a regression to a pretty favorable mean (though I’m sure he’d prefer Sanders as #2 instead of Warren as #2, though that too is still up int eh air).Report

      • 1) It is no secrete here that I am skeptical of Elizabeth Warren, but it seems to me she is the worst possible person for Beto to have to be on stage with. She’s hanging her hat on policies and details and he is a vapid nothingness of platitudes. Warren, if on message, will starkly contrast to that and could very well embarrass him, though the fragment format should offer Beto some cover since he won’t have to talk for longer than 90 seconds at a time.

        2) I suspect the Orange team will concentrate on who is there, Warren, and Trump more than Biden. Purple team will be different with him on stage.

        3) true

        4) I’m still curious if Warren rising pulls more from Biden or Sanders. The former would be real momentum and is a much bigger deal than the latter, which would be more of a reshuffling than a surge.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          Biden I think is going to start to take more hits from being Joe Biden. I don’t think his keep boys away from your sister comment helped this week.

          The other option is that Democrats want to get rid of Trump so badly that they will forgive nearly anything.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            I think the “Keep boys away” is mostly a made up thing by Very Online People. Normies just don’t respond to it with their antennae up the same way. “You’re going to need a baseball bat to keep the boys away (when she gets older)” is something I get a lot.

            The main thing that has given me pause about Biden is the Hyde thing. And even then, it’s not because of his positions on the issue in particularly but because of the handling of the issue. It gives a very “He’s not being good at this” that I remember from HRC and he doesn’t have the margin for error that she did (in the primary). He does have divided opposition, though, which may help. He also has good choice in opposition (though so did she).Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Well of course she did; she chose it.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                One of my convictions that has not changed (and I complained about it even at the time though I supported her) is that clearing the field for her was just a bad decision all around.

                Having a vigorously contested primary isn’t bad for the winning campaign. It’s good for it!Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Part of me wants to write a piece about the Hyde Amendment and a smarter piece of me would rather slam my hand in a car door.Report

            • Avatar pillsy says:

              And even then, it’s not because of his positions on the issue in particularly but because of the handling of the issue.

              Well you probably agreed with one of them!

              But yeah that was definitely the kind of flub he can only make so many of. And having the issue come up again and again is probably not the best thing for his campaign (or really any campaign).Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck says:

              “I think the “Keep boys away” is mostly a made up thing by Very Online People. Normies just don’t respond to it with their antennae up the same way. ”

              Like, if you want to understand what normies consider OK, look through the greeting-card aisle at the grocery store. Yeah, that’s cranked up to eleven, but truth is revealed in what is parodied and how…Report

        • I not only pay attention to what he says but have written several times on him and done quite a bit of research on the man. He is vapid nothingness of platitudes. Your comments on Buttigieg speak poorly of you.Report

  11. Avatar Pinky says:

    I’m wondering who picks up steam as a result of the Orange debate. Warren isn’t charismatic enough to dominate over the others. At least one person is going to be able to take advantage of the opening. Booker and O’Rourke are both drama queens, but they sorely lack substance. Castro might be able to make a move, but I doubt it.

    My guess is de Blasio. Not for the long haul, but for a couple of weeks. Then, who knows, if he could get one positive article in the press. Breaking the top 6 only takes 5% of the vote, and that’s almost 5% more than he’s getting currently, but the press is probably looking for the “next big thing” story, and they’re just lazy enough to play up someone they’ve been reading about in their NY papers.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Whichever Dem is the first to throw something at DeBlasio will probably sew up the nomination right there.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Yeah but not even his own states liberals can stand de Blasio. The only reason the man is running is because he’s utterly delusional and because he’s term limited for Mayor. He’s not going to get another 1%, let along 5% *knocks on wood*.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        I keep hearing that. But look at the lineup for the Orange debate, and tell me who else could emerge. That is such a terrible lineup. Now, I’ll admit that I don’t know what the average Democrat is looking for – or even members of my own party, based on 2016. But Delaney, Inslee, Klobuchar, and Ryan aren’t going to appear viable. I’m going to assume that Gabbert and Castro are unacceptable to Democrats. Booker and O’Rourke are off-putting in the same way; they’re going to look equally desperate and cancel each other out. The press would love to run a “Warren Wins” headline, I’m sure, but if anybody’s got a shot at “also did unexpectedly well”, I think it could be de Blasio. He speaks fluent socialist, and only has to look palatable for 1/10 of two hours. And again, I’m not hearing “Hail to the Chief”; I’m only talking about a couple-weeks bump.Report

  12. Avatar George Turner says:

    One problem they might have is that with ten candidates, no candidate will get much time. The format is more suited to sound bites, rehearsed stump pitches, and zingers. That favors a different set of skills from a smaller debate where candidates have time to expand and explain their positions in long form.

    If I wanted to ease that issue, and show that there’s absolutely no bias, I would have four debates of six candidates each (accommodating 24 candidates instead of 20), and have the candidates grouped by alphabetical order to show there is no hidden thumb on the scale.Report

  13. The orange debate should be Boehner vs. Trump.

    Purple: Prince vs. Marie Schrader.Report