Debatable: The Slog in South Beach Part 1

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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102 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    You should have called this post the South Beach Debate.Report

  2. LeeEsq says:

    Tulsi Gabbard, the Palin of the Douchebro Left, demonstrates that many morons confuse non-intervention in Russian imperial adventurism with real actual peace.Report

  3. The big winner last night was Trump. The biggest Dem on the stage embraced abolishing private insurance, making taxpayers pay for abortions and decriminalizing illegal immigration. If they keep that up, it’s four more years of Trump.

    Delaney, Booker and, to some extent, Klobuchar, were the only ones I was even remotely warm to.Report

    • North in reply to Michael Siegel says:

      I don’t know if that’s good news for Trump at all. If this debate indicates that Warren is taking aim at Bernies supporters it’s good news for Biden and thus terrible news for Trump because it increases the odds that a centrist candidate (Biden chiefly) will win the overall nod. I am inclined to think it’s an error for Warren. Yes she can co-opt Bernies’ voters but Bernie is unlikely to drop out, ever, and he’ll have enough money to go to the finish regardless. So unless Warren wipes him out, which is unlikely, then she and he will split the pool of lefty voters which leaves a huge opening for Joe or another Centrist candidate to have the center lane of the Dems to themselves and the centrist lane is much much bigger and has many more voters than the lefty lane.
      If I were Joe’s strategists I’d be awfully pleased by the direction Warren is taking. If I were a Trump strategist I’d have been hoping that Warren went after Biden in absentia and tacked to the center.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Michael Siegel says:

      As my brother would say, your elephant undies might be showing. The polls currently show that any Democratic candidate beating Trump because of his deep unpopularity. The Republicans and Foxravda are going to spin the most centrist of candidates as the second coming of Marx-Leninism-Maoism anyway.Report

      • George Turner in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I think polling is going to produce mostly garbage this cycle. In some polls, Trump’s favorable numbers are as high or higher than when he won in 2016, yet almost simultaneously polls show he loses to any virtually unelectable opponent by ten or fifteen points.

        It only takes a small percentage of the population to hide their feelings or intentions to render polls almost meaningless. For example, if 5% of people who will vote for Trump won’t confess it, and say they’re supporting the Democrat, the polls will be off by 10%.

        After years of demonizing Trump supporters, vast numbers of them will not tell a stranger that they’re going to vote for him. Many won’t even tell their spouse. The same problem has been showing up in European polling.

        Looking at other metrics, such as fundraising, is also fraught with difficulties.

        It may be an election where all the smart reporters write two different sets of headlines so they’re covered no matter which way the votes go.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

          “I’m so famous, my name is a household word!”
          “Yeah, but do they use it in front of the kids?”Report

        • North in reply to George Turner says:

          I dunno, it seems unlikely that Trump will be gifted with an opponent with rolling issues like HRC had; nor does it seem likely he’ll be able to coax his FBI director to drop some kind of bombshell for his opponent a couple weeks before the election; nor is it likely that his opposition will ignore or overlook the Midwestern states that gave him his fingernails’ breadth margin of victory.

          So I think polling may be more predictive than you think. Especially as the polling, even in 2016, was pretty much spot on. It was the people interpreting that polling into predictions who created the Hillary is inevitable narrative when the polling showed a tight race with an HRC popular vote edge (which is exactly the result we got- the popular vote margin was simply not located in politically efficacious states).

          Either way, I’d say Trumps campaign manager has a tougher road to victory than whomever his opponents will have. Though obviously in these polarized times with an incumbency advantage and the economy so far not crapping out it’s far from a slam dunk.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to North says:

            As far as I can tell, Trump might not be gifted with an opponent like Clinton, but he has been gifted with an opposition party leadership that demonstrated inability to tell that Clinton was an opponent like Clinton.

            If the Democrats nominate Jane Johnson (NOT A REAL CANDIDATE SO PLEASE DON’T DEFEND HER AGAINST THIS BEING A PERCEIVED ATTACK AGAINST HER) and Jane starts doing Clintonesque things, one of the things that needs to be done first, before anything else, is diagnosing this.

            The party leadership needs to be able to say “this is a mistake that needs to be addressed”.

            And I’m not sure that the party leadership is capable of doing that.

            I will grant that Clinton is not running and that is a good thing for Dems… but they thought that her running was a good thing for them last time.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

              And *THAT* relies on an assumption that Clinton was so bad that Trump would have beaten her despite how bad he is.

              If Trump is actually pretty good at this, and the Democrats can’t tell that he’s good at it, then that is another problem that the Democratic Leadership has that they don’t know that they have.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                Trump is really, really good at this. Jeb!, the inevitable nominee, was roadkill. Trump crushed a vast line of seasoned and experienced Republican senators and governors who could easily go toe-to-toe with any of the 2020 Democratic candidates.

                It would be interesting to see how Biden, Harris, or the rest would do against Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, Rudy Guiliani, or Rand Paul.

                But they’re running against the candidate who utterly crushed all those prominent, skilled, and well respected politicians.

                As someone recently quipped upon seeing Joe Biden’s official announcement, the line for the bathroom at the previous Trump rally had more people than Biden’s entire crowd.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

                My main thought in 2016 as I looked at the Republican field was that it was a bunch of guys who probably wouldn’t make a bad Republican vice-president.

                Jeb! was the only one who, on paper, wouldn’t be a bad President but… well, we’re not using his last name, are we? The moment we write that down, we see why he wouldn’t be a good name on the ballot either.

                As I look at the Democratic Field… I see a lot of people who wouldn’t make a bad vice-president. The exceptions are… Biden? Warren? Um…

                And both of those guys are Northeastern Democrats… the ONE type of candidate that Republicans have been able to reliably beat at a National Level in the modern era.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                If Trump is pretty good at this you wouldn’t know from the numbers. He managed to get elected with assists from an enormous number of unusual interventions on his behalf and even with those assists only won by a hairs’ width. Then he got blown out in 2018 and hasn’t accomplished much of anything during his first term. I mean maybe you can make the eleventh dimensional chess explanation but I think the fluke explanation has a lot more basis in reality.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                I wasn’t aware that he ran again in 2018.

                Was that the election right after the Republicans utterly failed to pass anything for border funding? Yes, I believe it was.Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                Yes, we agree Trumps been remarkable unproductive at producing anything except a constant stream of scandals and disgraced cabinet officers. Perhaps that had something to do with his party’s wipe out in 2018 when running on a message of “Support Trump, reelect his republican Congress”.Report

            • North in reply to Jaybird says:

              My goodness Jay that’s a total canard! Clinton won the nod in 2016 on her own in a very unique to HRC way (that no other candidate lacking her history could ever repeat) and party leadership couldn’t have stopped her unless they were possessed of a time machine to go back in time to 2008 or at least 2012 or forward in time to December 2020.

              Let’s suppose your hypothetical Jane Johnson won the nomination and started doing… err.. Clinton things… whatever those are? Running a leisurely campaign? Not polling her blue wall states? Something bad anyhow. Well it’s too late, at that point, for Leadership to do much of anything because Jane Johnson is already the nominee. Other than maybe complaining at her and her campaign manager on the phone party leadership can’t do squat.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to North says:

                “…and started doing… err.. Clinton things… whatever those are?”

                Wearing pantsuits, birthing Cthulhu, wearing Lee Presson smiles, stumbling…Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                All the canards from 2016 were shattered.

                If it is true that Hillary Clinton was the Titanic and Trump the iceberg, then this election should be in the bag.

                Just get a captain who knows where Trump is.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                All true, all irrelevant to your assertion. Hillary getting the nomination was absolutely not about the Dem Party leadership soberly agreeing she was the best bet for 2016 and it says very little to nothing about their decision making. Hillary clinched that nominee over the course of eight years of grueling party logistical work earning gratitude and a reputation as a formidable candidate so that, by the time 2016 came up, she had virtually cleared the field. If the party leadership or anyone else would have wanted to block her they’d have had to travel back in time to at least 2012, or ideally 2008 and when they’d arrived in either of those years their warnings would have seemed cruel, petty and vindictive and probably disregarded.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                So we’re in a place where the Democratic Party Leadership could not change course after 2008 *EVEN IF THEY WANTED TO*.

                If the Democratic Party Leadership had a course yesterday and they wanted to change course tonight, after the 2nd debate, would they be able to?

                (My assumption is that I don’t know that they could.)Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh I suppose they could have if they’d wanted to harm their chances in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Obviously they didn’t want to and were right not to.

                They don’t have HRC in the field anymore. The method she used to get the nomination was open only to her with her history and her record. The field we’re looking at is proof that there isn’t an HRC figure in play.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I guess 2010 and 2012 could have gone worse for the Democrats.

                Coulda rained.

                But I’m still stuck between Hillary Clinton being 90% of a Perfect Storm and Hillary Clinton being 33% of a Perfect Storm (or somewhere in the middle there) and not knowing what the percentage is strikes me as a bad thing.

                If (almost) everything was entirely her fault, then the Democrats are poised for victory and they haven’t done a dang thing. Whew! (But if that is a thing they’re saying to make themselves feel better, they’re squeezing the trigger on the gun currently pointed at their own foot.)

                If she had a role, but everything else worked out to be against her, then the Democrats need to take the everything else that was happening a lot more seriously because those dynamics are still out there. (But if that is a thing they’re saying to make themselves feel better, they’re squeezing the trigger on the gun currently pointed at their own foot.)

                Now, I don’t know which it is so I’m not going to be a whole lot of help here but I *DO* notice when the general consensus is something like “it’s not my fault! It’s somebody else’s fault! Even if something was my fault, I was justified in it being my fault! It’s somebody else’s fault!” and I know that that is a recipe for it happening again.Report

          • George Turner in reply to North says:

            Hillary was such a flawed candidate that it makes comparisons difficult. Nobody has her negatives (except perhaps for de Blasio, but then he has a black son, which, surprisingly, is a qualification for the Presidency, but only for white people). Yet I think she would clearly have mopped the floor with anyone running in 2020, due to the passionate support she had, her presence, etc. The only person who could beat her in a primary, and did, was Obama.

            In comparison to Obama and Hillary, the entire 2020 field seems to be undercards. But one may start to shine, and whoever wins will have the media’s unapologetic support, whereas they’ll double down on the already over-the-top anti-Trump bias.

            One of the worries for tonight’s debate is that Biden might be the best shot for victory in 2020, but his opponents might fatally damage him in their own attempts to stand out.Report

            • North in reply to George Turner says:

              I remember when the arguement was that the Dems had noone to run for the nomination at all and the lack of many candidates was a sign of weakness, now suddenly the proliferation of candidates is a sign of weakness. The verbs and nouns change but they’re always a sign of Democratic weakness. Funny that.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                Democrats had a ton of potential candidates in 2016, but virtually none of them were willing to challenge Hillary. Heck, there were two terms worth of Obama officials who sat it out.

                Martin O’Malley, who was so out of touch that he probably didn’t have the DNC’s phone number, and Bernie Sanders, who wasn’t even a Democrat and has only a vague connection to Earth, were the only two.

                None of them even took the bet that the FBI would actually be honest and indict her for the long list of crimes involving mishandling classified intelligence.

                The party was rotting from the head down, much like the Soviet Politburo.Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                You left out her child prostitution ring through the pizza parlour and the Vince Foster murder. Oh she probably travelled back in time and murdered Elvis and helped Trump found his gifting charitable foundation and University as well.Report

  4. J_A says:

    Please, please, OT editors, please include a trigger warning before any link to Vox.

    Next time my lawyer will be talking to your lawyer


  5. Aaron David says:

    The bottom line in all of this hullaballoo is that no one, absolutely no one, broke out. Every attempt comes out as canned (Klobacher) or false (The Dork of O’Rourke). Or simply uninspired (Warren.) The rest are just fillers, and yes that includes Booker.

    Some will say that the D’s are too fractured to unite, and this debate gives that impression. But it was the kids’ table, we shall see what tomorrow will bring.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Aaron David says:

      There are two different kinds of breaking out. One is in the debate, the other is in the polls.

      Maybe no one should break out in a debate. A candidate should have already announced his policies. He can only gain ground through his presentation. That’s either going to be through his gravitas or some stunt. I guess it’s ok if someone demonstrated that they’re “presidential”, but how often does that happen? We may be at a point where people get a boost for being unpresidential.

      Breaking out in the polls can be the result of a good debate performance, but it also typically involves good control of the post-debate spin. Either voters are going to have discovered someone they didn’t know about, or they’re going to view that person in a better light. A pack mentality sets in, kind of an Overton window of candidates. When we talk about first-tier and second-tier candidates, we’re really mapping out the Overton window. That said, I don’t think any spin that takes place before tonight’s Part 2 will have much impact.

      Oh, and there’s another way that a person can break out in the polls during/after a debate, which is when the leading candidate collapses in a way that he can’t spin out of. Tonight has more candidates who are polling well, so that could happen.Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Pinky says:

        I agree that no candidate should be introducing themselves at the debate. If you aren’t already out there, you are only a boat anchor. But the presentation and the corresponding spin are both signs of being a contender. And everyone failed last night. The way I see it, Warren was put there to shine amongst the rough, but she can’t pull it off.Report

  6. North says:

    I was pleased with the debate overall. The substantive candidates and the moderate ones did decently to well. The more vacuous, fringe and minor candidates did poorly (with the exception of De Blasio). It was substantive, policy oriented, civil and mature for the most part and makes me pretty content with being a Democrat. I’m especially pleased that Trump didn’t dominate the subjects- they focused on what they’ll substantively work on for the country which is excellent.
    Warren clearly is making a play for Sanders supporters. If Warren continues to eat Bernie alive that’s a huge improvement in the candidate pool.
    There wasn’t a huge breakout moment for a lot of the candidates which is also good since that should help accelerate the winnowing process.
    I’m gonna directly contradict Aaron: the candidates agreed on almost all the issues. That’s not too fractured to unit, it’s the opposite. Their respective supporters should have very few difficulties supporting an alternative candidate if their preferred candidate is eliminated.
    Also, a note, as an Amy Partisan I thought Klobuchar did fine. I grant that fine isn’t going to get her the gold ring but I think she’ll be able to stay in the race and we’ll see if she can make progress as the winnowing starts.Report

    • Pinky in reply to North says:

      When you talk about the winnowing, do you mean before Iowa? She’s from a neighboring state, so you’d have to figure that she’d need a substantial showing in that caucus to keep going. She’s probably got a tighter timetable than anyone else in that regard.Report

      • North in reply to Pinky says:

        I’m more thinking the first handful of states up to super Tuesday but I’m more than willing to admit that Klobuchar will have an awfully hard time carrying on if she doesn’t register at all in Iowa. I would hope that a significant number of the candidates in the field currently don’t make it even to Iowa.
        Once the debate standards tighten up I expect there should be some significant winnowing among those who don’t make the stage.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    My prediction: people who inclined to claim they think Trump is horrible but are even more inclined to never give Democrats credit for anything will say Trump is the winner.

    I saw a lot of this happen in 2018 as well right up to the mid-terms. There were lots of people who were confident in their predictions that the Democrats would blow it and the House would become even more GOP. They were dead wrong of course and the Democrats received a 40-seat wave. It could have been bigger but the Democrats were stymied by partisan gerrymandering (which just got a 5-4 nod from the Supreme Court on the Political Question doctrine).

    But there still seems to be a cohort of people who are stuck in thinking “Democrats can’t do anything right” and will insist anything a Democratic politicians does is good for Trump. I’m not saying that 2020 is going to be a sure-thing for Democrats but Trump is really unpopular and shows no signs of getting more popular.

    I find this group rather psychologically curious because they show the power of partisanship. They claim to be anti-Trump and not-conservative but they drank all the Kool-Aid about Democrats/liberals being out of touch elitists and that Kool-Aid throws fully through them.

    As to the winners and losers of the debate, this is still months away from the first primaries and caucuses and we are just culling the herd of candidates.

    Delany and Gabbard and maybe Beto had their moments in the sun. They will probably not be at the next round of debates. Same as De Blasio, Klobachur, and Inslee. Yang is also going to be gone soon.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I think a lot about the people MLK talked about in the Letter From Birmingham Jail, the moderates who nominally opposed segregation but always found reasons to oppose active measures against it.

      Like I have said a few times, every unjust structure exists because it retains a powerful base of support, not just from those who it actively benefits, but those who derive a passive benefit.

      And this group is pretty large now in America. It extends from the David Frums and Mitt Romneys who tut tut about the vulgar Trump, to the but-her-emails Democrats to the heighten-the-contradictions Michael Tracys.

      What they all have in common is the absence of any harm from the Trumpists. No one is ever going to lock them up, they all will enjoy a juicy tax cut, and if the homeless people in their neighborhood just mysteriously get whisked away somewhere never to be seen again, well, property values will go up.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        I don’t think all of these people benefit per se from Trump’s policies or Herrenvolk white supremacy. I think it is a combination of things:

        A. There are lots of people who might not support or vote for Trump but they have loved ones who do and they grow uncomfortable with the outrage being directed at Trump supporters especially because of his immigration policies. I see this as a kind of special pleading.

        B. For many decades voting Republican was just the kind of default option for most white people with some exceptions. Many of those exceptions had some kind of status that made them aware of not being fully part of the majority like being Jewish, LBGT, or possibly physically disabled. Since a lot of politics is tribal in the ways that sports are, lots of people learned to treat and see the Democrats as the team they are never supposed to root for. This is politics as the Dodgers and Giants rivalry with more serious consequences and plenty of people come to blows over sports games.

        C. Right-wing media was very successful in portraying the Democratic Party as being the party of well-to-do and kind of out of touch snooty elitists. There is an element of “if only the czar knew” here.Report

        • CJColucci in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          It’s worth remembering that there is no mystery about why 90-some percent of Trump voters voted for Trump. They are Republicans. If some of them have aesthetic or moral objections to Trump, they may stay home or waste a vote to salve their consciences. But whatever they may think about what Trump is, they don’t have much of a problem with what Trump does, so they can’t be reached. The only portion needing some explanation is six figures worth of voters in a handful of states.Report

          • Mike Dwyer in reply to CJColucci says:

            My boss voted for Trump. I asked him if he was planning on doing it again and he said probably because it was all about SCOTUS (specifically abortion). I hypothesized that Ginsberg is forced to retire in 2 months and Trump manages to seat another conservative justice. The court is now secured for the Right for a generation. Could he then not vote for Trump? He said sure, he would probably vote the Constitution party.

            So that is what we are dealing with from one angle. My brother, is a staunch team Red guy but I think he is going to vote 3rd party because he hates Trump. My FIL is a Reagan Republican and will likely vote for whomever the Dems nominate as an FU to Trump, even though it will probably be a wasted vote in KY. So all of that implies a little wiggle room for Dems among registered Republicans, but not much.

            I still think there are a lot of people in the center willing to pull the blue lever, myself included, but it would have to be the right candidate because on the Center Right, there isn’t much trust there.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Given that none of the people in your group would vote FOR any Democrat seems to indicate that there really aren’t any “gettable” votes there.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                There are potentially plenty of votes to be had, but most have been forgone by past positioning.

                Trump tapped into deep seated feelings about people getting screwed over by rich coastal elites, bad trade deals, etc, and he also went after political correctness directly. Either party could have easily taken and owned those issues, but neither was making a move.

                Regarding attacks on coastal elites, the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders approach is focusing on Wall Street and big banks. Unfortunately their solution seems to be socialism or national socialism, where they pick the winners and losers, which is a recipe for stagnation and corruption.

                Ryan tried to grab the issue and run with it but turned it into his personal train wreck as he attacked the Democratic party for blowing the opportunity.

                Biden is wooing union folks but the question remains as to whether people in the heartland will believe him, since they’ve been screwed over by decades of Democrats evincing support of the working class, promising that free trade will be good for them in the long run. They turned to Trump because they were sick of what Obama and Biden delivered.

                More recently, heartland folks have been derided as a bunch of deplorables who were just too dumb to get new jobs, which is a wound primarily inflicted by Hillary. Empty promises followed by a slap in the face is not a winning strategy, but anyone who would staunch the economic bleeding would still draw wide support.

                Some of the candidates are targeting big tech monopolies, which is part of the central/coastal conflict, putting to focus on certain coastal bad actors that are causing everyone some concern. That would resonate, but since those bad actors are completely in the tank for Democrats, it creates an obvious trust issue because the politicians most benefiting from the abuses are the least likely to really stop them.
                But the Republicans have anything either, other than Trump’s constant denouncements, so the anti-Zuckerberg, anti-Google vote might still be up for grabs.

                As for political correctness, Obama could step in and stop it with a sonorous lecture about learning to get along and not flying off the handle at the slightest pin-prick, and then make the spoiled college kids feel guilty about their histrionics over some racially insensitive salad dressing in the student union when fatherless black kids are being shot in Chicago. And he’d be free to do it because it’s not like any of the SJWs are going to switch parties.

                But at present, it doesn’t look like any of the candidates have enough of a lead, with the possible exception of Biden, to take any such stance in a primary because the perpetually outraged are a huge driver of energy and enthusiasm.

                So although Trump seems to be taking much of the working class vote, especially in the heartland, that’s a voting block traditionally owned by Democrats. His attacks on trade deals are likewise an area where Democrats normally dominated, since it was the corporate big wigs who stood to gain.

                I suspect that Democrats have gone so bonkers with Trump hatred that they attack anything he does, even when he’s stealing their issues. Instead of stealing those issues back, the firebrands on the left have been disowning them.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                IIRC, Hillary won the working class.

                You sort of make my point.
                There is no coherent policy for Trumpists, its all feelings and moods and mostly, tribal affiliation.

                E.g. They hate wealthy elitists, but oppose any sort of policy which may harm them.

                So there really isn’t any possible strike zone for any Democrat to find, because operationally, the dealbreaker issue is “being a Democrat”.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                She won working class blacks and Hispanic, perhaps, but she lost big among working class whites.

                New York Times article: Why Trump Won the Working ClassReport

              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                You keep making my point.
                Hillary won the working class as a whole, but because most of them were not white, Republicans consider them irrelevant.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “There is no coherent policy for Trumpists, its all feelings and moods and mostly, tribal affiliation…”

                I hate to tit for tat here, but c’mon Chip. That exact statement also applies to the SJ Left.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Like, Elizabeth “A Policy Proposal For Every Problem” Warren?Report

              • Depends on how you define “working class”… it’s most often defined by education level in which case Trump won them with a majority. However, if we define it as “Lower middle class and upper lower class” then Clinton did (though not by a wide margin, and probably not with a majority) and if we define it as “Anyone below middle class” then Clinton won more handily.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to George Turner says:

                Unfortunately their solution seems to be socialism or national socialism, where they pick the winners and losers, which is a recipe for stagnation and corruption.

                Bernie’s wall street tax would force the entire industry to move off shores within a year or so. BATS proved that about 10+ years ago and his proposal is to BATS what Godzilla is to a mouse.

                Warren’s wealth tax, if enacted against Microsoft via time travel, would have forced Amazon, Google, and Facebook to be created or flee off shores long ago.

                I didn’t vote for Trump last time but these kind of candidates and economic insanity can convince me to vote for him.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                What is Trump’s solution to “people getting screwed over by rich coastal elites”?

                Because this coastal elitist is off in my electric car with a COEXIST bumper sticker to get a soy latte, all paid for with my sweet tax refund.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What is Trump’s solution to “people getting screwed over by rich coastal elites”?

                Much hot air, sound and fury.

                I.e. he’ll do nothing but run a reality show. Which is BY FAR a superior solution over burning elements of the economy down so we’re all equally poor.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Do the rubes in flyover really buy his schtick, or are they in on the game show?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Do the rubes in flyover really buy his schtick, or are they in on the game show?

                Beats me. I’m not a “feelings” kind of guy.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:


                Re-read my comment. I’m 99% sure my FIL will vote Democrat. I’m open to it . I have lots of friends that, like me, voted 3rd party in 2016 because they couldn’t stomach either candidate. I’m simply suggesting you all could get a lot of our votes if you don’t choose an extreme candidate next year.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                How many Mike Dwyers do you think exist?

                Well, that is testable and quantifiable.

                There are at least 6 moderate centrist Dems running, from Biden to Swallwell to Moulton; None of these guys could remotely be described as radical or left wing.

                These guys are probably the closest thing to a centrist America has to offer.

                If there was a statistically significant number of potential swing Trump voters, we would expect to see these guys peeling off some of his support.

                Any indication this is happening? Like, any at all?

                From what I can see, Trump is holding on to about 90% of his 2016 voters.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                From what I can see, Trump is holding on to about 90% of his 2016 voters.

                If you make a bad choice, then you can admin you did or you can deny.

                Voting for team blue would mean admitting it was a bad choice.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The election is 17 months away. They just finished the first debates an hour ago. Can you give it a minute?

                As for me. I have a few still on my list. I suspect a lot of Centrists like me are also still watching.Report

              • Trunwill in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                10% is a lot of people.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Trunwill says:

                If there was a statistically significant number of potential swing Trump voters, we would expect to see these guys peeling off some of his support.

                Any indication this is happening? Like, any at all?

                I’m not sure any of that applies to the primaries are over. I mean, if there was real support for centrists, wouldn’t Jeb have peeled off a bunch of HIllary supporters to take the lead?

                Also, Swalwell isn’t a centrist, he’s fringe, or at least I hope he is. He wants to use nuclear weapons to kill gun owners.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Trunwill says:


                So all the Democrats have to do to capture the Jeb Bush supporters is nominate someone like Jeb Bush.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What we’re really just saying is nominate a moderate and you will draw plenty of additional voters from the middle. That you, Jesse, etc find that distasteful is telling.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                There are no moderates in the current Dem field?Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Did I say that? There are several – pick one of them.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                There are no moderates in the current Dem field?

                The better question is whether a candidate can go through the Dem nomination process and remain a moderate.

                Biden had to swing sharply to the Left on Abortion because he had so many bricks thrown at him. He’s not done yet.Report

            • CJColucci in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              I hate Trump and would gladly vote for the Democratic candidate if the party nominates a Republican, Part 8,657.Report

              • Jesse in reply to CJColucci says:

                “Why won’t Democrat’s basically turn into center-right Republicans, to get the votes of voters who basically had no issues with all the horrible things Republicans have and continue to do on the down low for the past 30 years, they’re just mad Trump is doing it loudly and without the right dog whistles, thus making them uncomfortable to be Republican’s in public.”

                Here’s a simple truth – a Democrat can win in 2020 without winning a single vote of anybody who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jesse says:

                Yeah, weird how the Jeb Bush/ Mitt Romney voters who get sneers from the GOP base are the ones who are supposedly the vast silent majority.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to CJColucci says:

                Dude, I would have voted for Hillary in 2016…if it wasn’t Hillary. I would have voted for four more years of Obama over either of them. Most of us would love a Blue Dog but someone even a bit left of them would be okay.

                If you guys have a boner for a SJ progressive and you can get one nominated, kudos I guess. As previously noted, you will absolutely be giving Trump another four years , which sucks, but you will also be strengthening the Center, so that’s cool i guess.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Name three.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to CJColucci says:

                If the election was today I could vote for:

                Hickenlooper (although he is losing me fast)

                Is that enough for you?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I don’t believe you, and I don’t believe too many other people here believe you either. If they haven’t made themselves unacceptable by now, they will soon enough, once anyone pays enough attention to their policy proposals. Unless the basis for your support is that they don’t come from big blue coastal cities and have “real Amurican” affects.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                You can’t play the game that way.

                “Name three.”
                “Not good enough!”

                I mean, seriously.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Says who?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Well, it communicates that the point is not to have the question answered. It’s to provide the opponent with an opportunity to say something that will let you pounce on them.

                Like, you’re communicating that you’re not arguing with a person but with a person who exists in your head and you’re getting pissed off that they’re not syncing… and choosing to keep arguing with the person in your head rather than with the person who is actually typing words for you to read.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                I wasn’t aware that one had to accept the answer to one’s question and not probe further. To some delicate natures that may constitute “pounc[ing],” but I think Mike can handle disagreement. As for the substance of the disagreement, I have already laid that out. If anyone disagrees, I’m happy to engage. I won’t be whining “Mommy, he punched me back.”Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to CJColucci says:

                I have no problem with disagreement CJ. But you aren’t disagreeing, you are calling me a liar. I can’t prove a negative, so how do you suggest this conversation continues?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I don’t know that you’re a liar. In fact, I don’t think you are. I think that you think you think what you say you think. It’s just that, for reasons I’ve already laid out, I don’t think that you do think what you think you think.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to CJColucci says:

                I already have a credentialed psychiatrist in my rolodex so I think I’m going to pass on the pro bono offer…but thanks anyway.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                You don’t have to accept the answer of your interlocutor.

                But if you issue a challenge (“if you like Tupac so much, name three of his songs!”), you have to accept that your interlocutor may, in fact, rise to your challenge.

                (You can’t say “you just googled best Tupac songs!” after they name three of his songs. If you’re not going to accept their answer no matter what it is, you should at least have enough dignity to issue a challenge that makes it easy for you to argue that they failed to meet it.)Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Why should I make it easy on myself? And I’m perfectly willing to accept an answer. I have laid out why I don’t accept the one I got. No one has to accept my reasons, but I gave them.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                You can make it as easy (or as tough) on yourself as you’d like.

                But if you prefer arguing with the idea in your head to the person who is typing words for you to read, you have a choice between telegraphing that and *NOT* telegraphing that and telling people “I don’t believe you” when they rise to the challenge you throw up telegraphs that.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I do believe you, but it only goes to show that if a Hickenlooper is the acceptable Dem, then this potential crossover is already a non-Trump voter.

                So losing that vote would mean a pickup for a third party, or maybe a stay at home.

                But choosing a Hickenlooper over a Warren would lose ten Dems for the sake of this one crossover.

                There are not going to be any Trump- [Democratic nominee] crossovers.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “But choosing a Hickenlooper over a Warren would lose ten Dems for the sake of this one crossover.”

                Would it though? Where would they go? It seems to me that anyone that plans to vote D today is going to vote D no matter who they nominate, right? With Trump on the other side of the aisle I can’t imagine would-be Democratic voters would go third party on (relatively) minor policy disagreements.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                If the GOP nominated William Weld, where would the Trump voters go?

                The same people who find Hickenlooper acceptable, would likely find Weld acceptable.
                Meaning Weld could probably pick up a lot of centrist Dems.

                Na Gah Happen.

                Hickenlooper is closer to his party base than Weld, but neither of them is close enough to get the nod.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                In order for Weld to get nominated, it would seem that a majority of GOP voters already made their choice. I also think a lot of right-leaning Dems would choose Weld over a Warren or Booker.

                So if the Dems nominate a Hickenlooper or other moderate, vs Trump I would expect the opposite dynamic to happen. As I have mentioned, the dynamic I mostly see with my friends is hoping the Democrats give them someone they can vote for so they don’t have to go 3rd party again.

                I have only voted for a major parties once since 1996 when I voted for the first time. I probably should have voted for Obama in 2012 but got hung up on a couple of issues. I think there are a lot of moderates in the same boat, wishing either major party would give them someone they could really get behind and constantly being disappointed.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Exactly. There’s no coherent political outlook that would make any of these Democrats acceptable to anyone who was a Trump voter or Trump-curious. Of course “coherent political outlook” is the qualifier. If you aren’t working from a coherent political outlook, and many people aren’t, you can make a case for these candidates based on cultural signaling — non-coastal white folks of seemingly traditional religious belief that you might want to have a beer with.Report

              • George Turner in reply to CJColucci says:

                I’d go for Gabbard.

                A more important question is still up in the air. If ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz jumps in as an independent, what happens?

                Is he the go-to third choice for Mike Dyer or Mike’s boss? Or do a whole bunch of centrist Democrats, uncomfortable with a far left candidate, go for him?Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          B. If the Republicans were this popular among ordinary White people, the Democratic Party would have done even worse after 1968. Its true that no Democratic President won the majority of the white vote after 1968 but there were enough white people who voted Democratic to give us seats and offices in local, state, and federal government.Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    Hopefully when those folks Googled her they discover her panache for dictator enabling

    I think the official term is “objectively pro-dictator”.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

      or possibly “dic-adjacent”.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

        It’s weird. I can’t be the only person out there who thinks “Man, was *I* wrong about Iraq!”

        And the people who were right about it? I can’t imagine why they’re not screaming “THIS IS JUST LIKE IRAQ!”

        I can only assume that politics is the mind-killer and it’s not about being right or wrong and just about asserting one’s own side.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

          It’s not such a surprise to me that Democrats aren’t making such a thing out of that, when you consider that in 2016 we had one candidate who’d strongly supported the Iraq War, engineered support for armed overthrow of the Libyan government, tried like hell to get US military forces involved in Syria, and considered it a personal achievement that they were involved in the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden…and the other candidate was Donald Trump.Report

        • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

          Dems generally including the progressive wing are not particularly anti-war. They just have different slogans.Report