Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Landslides Are Best Left for Songs, and Other Fleeting Hopes

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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85 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    HM1: To be very slightly fair, I know some Democrats who also think nominating Bernie is a going to lead to Nixon in 72 or Mondale in 1984 style defeats. I think this is very wrong though. There are also freak outs about Bernie from Chait and Saletan in the Democratic pundit sphere. There is something about Sanders that makes his fans and his detractors kind of nuts.

    For better or for worse, Sanders and Warren are the only nominees who take the concerns of younger voters seriously. In this case, younger means under 40. But Sanders dominates among younger voters who were truly fucked over by the recession and also those who were never interested in party politics. This morning I saw a poll asking supporters of various candidates if they would vote for the Democratic nominee for President even said nominee was not their preferred choice. 90 percent of Warren supporters said yes, only 53 percent of Sanders supporters said yes. This is better than the 50 percent of Yang supporters who said yes. To me, this shows Warren to be a Democratic candidate and Sanders to be something of his own making. His fans put a messiah aura about him, just like Trump’s fans. He is somehow the only person who sees all the ills and knows all the cures. That being said, Sanders would be more hamstrung by a Democratic congress than Trump is by his lackeys in the Senate.

    There might also be tactical advantages in ignoring younger voters like Biden largely does. Iowa is today, we will see the results.

    I make the same assumptions as you though. The demographics of the United States are too different and Trump is too hated for a Trump v. Sanders race to lead to a huge Trump victory. I can’t picture a world where NY, MA, CA, HI, OR, WA, NJ, CT, RI, IL, DE, CO, VT, Maine, NM go Republican just because of Sanders especially considering Trump.

    To be honest and maybe this is because I am not a joiner, I don’t get Bernie Sanders messiahism. “Sanders cannot fail, he can only be failed” is just as bad as “Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed” or every god damn love poem to Reagan that conservatives like to do. Yet for a large part of the under 35 or so set, Bernie might as well be treated as a messiah type figure who will make everything a stable full of unicorns and ponies that happen not to shit.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I can’t picture a world where NY, MA, CA, HI, OR, WA, NJ, CT, RI, IL, DE, CO, VT, Maine, NM go Republican just because of Sanders especially considering Trump.

      I have a very important question for you:
      Can you imagine a world where Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton in Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin?Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

        Or a Socialist winning Texas?Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

        Isn’t FL the linchpin though? Have to win FL to put MI/WI/PA in play. Even then, the Dems only have to win a single toss-up state. Further, if they win FL, they could lose MI/WI/PA with a win in *either* NC or AZ.

        If I were Dems, my big question would be who wins FL. Trump won 49% – 47.8% (+113k votes)

        Really, its hard to see how the Dems lose… but I have a few ideas on how they will try.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

          From my recollections of 2016, I think that I always thought that FL would go for Trump and MI, WI, and PA would go for Clinton.

          (Wait, apparently, I thought that WI and PA would go for Trump? what was I smoking…)

          Anyway, if asked to play with the 270 to Win map for Biden, I start with 2016 and start flipping red states. Maybe I flip NH from blue to red. Maybe I don’t. I don’t know if I flip Florida or not.

          If asked to play with the map for Bernie… I don’t know where to start. Not with the 2016 map, that’s for sure.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

            Good point about Sanders… I have no idea either.

            Biden is currently +2 against Trump in FL… in the flipping 2016 states game, still think FL is the key state… everything hinges off of which way FL is going.

            Of course, the official strategy of each party should be to win all the states… but, you know…Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Really, its hard to see how the Dems lose

          I think I found the flaw in this reasoning: it assumes Democrats are minimally competent rational political actors. 🙂Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

        I did in 2016.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

        I can imagine a world where a lot of states like NY, MA, WA, NJ, CT, RI, and DE go Republican if Sanders is the nominee. All the big investment firms, and all the medium size investment firms, and all the small investment firms, and everyone who owns a business, are going to look at Sanders, look at Cuba and Venezuela, and dump an unbelievable amount of money into the campaigns of anyone who isn’t Sanders. They’ll buy so much airtime that prime time TV will look like one big infomercial.

        Recall Hillary’s secret Wall Street speeches, where she had a very different message than for everybody else. The core of her party is bought, and knows to stay bought, because everybody makes out like bandits by just giving some lip service to reforms and regulations. Trump is willing to swing a hammer, as he did on ending the exemptions for state taxes, but he’s also focused on driving the economy to new heights, which is also making everybody rich. Even Warren’s “Wall Street reform” is a wink-wink, nod-nod kind of thing, like two wolves conspiring over a sheep.

        If Sanders actually won, and other branches didn’t manage to neuter him into irrelevance, then when his term was over there wouldn’t be a viable Democrat party for anyone to worry about, because it would have gone as badly as all the other revolutionary socialist movements, most of which are now only remembered because they’re still derisive historical epithets.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

          George, I don’t trust the business owners to know how to write a persuasive ad against Bernie.

          “If Bernie Sanders is elected, he will put Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey out of business!”

          “If Bernie Sanders is elected, major insurance companies will go bankrupt!”

          “If Bernie Sanders is elected, Wall Street will be run out of town on a rail!”


          • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

            I think they’ll focus on “If Bernie Sanders is elected, he’ll put you out of business.”

            He can’t even understand why we have more than one type of deodorant. In a society where consumer choice is king, he is the blind man.

            There’s been a lot of hand wringing about him lately, as the more centrist and establishment Democrats (who love them some corporate donors) wonder whether Bernie bros are a potential disaster that will split the party , either from itself or from the mainstream, similar to having a dominant European left-wing party (Labour, Christian Democrats, etc) splinter off into democratic socialists, greens, eco socialists, independent socialists, socialist workers, social equalitarians, free Democrats, reform Democrats, and farmer trade unionists.

            Our election system horribly disadvantages such break ups, but hard-core believers often don’t care about results, just sticking it to the man and voting as a form of group identity and virtue signalling before everybody wises up again.

            In any event, yesterday the Rolling Stone had an interesting article on what’s going on in the heads of Democrat voters, as best as anyone can guess.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

              Sure, you can think that, but Business Owners seem to have turned really stupid in the last couple of decades.

              I am not confident that the richest man in the world who refuses to pay his workers for mandatory standing in line as they’re wanded as they leave for the day has his finger on the pulse of what will resonate with The Common Man.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Nate Silver is saying the polling is getting weird.

    Which tells me that the only thing we know is who probably isn’t going to be in 3rd Place? Maybe?


  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    HM1: Can we vote for the giant squid?Report

  4. Oscar Gordon says:

    HM2: From what I heard, Mayor Pete was at the bottom of the list, and the pollster was having trouble reading the poll questions on their tablet, so they had zoomed in a bit and Pete got cut off.Report

    • I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but you are going to scrap the whole thing — plus prime time CNN coverage — over that? Even if it did happen, there would have to be more too it than that. Might be wrong, but that’s a lot of dined on crow for a simple error if that’s the case, and I’m not sure it helps your standing or perception.Report

  5. Oscar Gordon says:

    HM3: This


  6. Pinky says:

    Is it just me, or is “Landslide” a boring song? It was poignant when it was re-released live, but Fleetwood Mac has been coasting on sentimentality since the 1970’s.Report

  7. Marchmaine says:

    [HM3] Hmmn, let’s see if we can navigate this.

    If I know someone who
    – Thinks Trump is immoral
    – Advised against supporting Trump for both his immorality and projected incompetence
    – Didn’t vote for Trump
    – Continues to advocate against Trump (if not against some portions of the agenda)
    – Is pro-impeachment (though thinking it was poorly done)
    – Is looking forward to voting for a niche third party
    – and who thinks dancing can be “sexy”

    Can that person think the camera work was gratuitously lascivious and unnecessary given the milieu?

    Asking for an hypothetical friend.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine says:


    • Jesse in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Given the milieu was the halftime of a sport where grown men were attempting to give each other concussions, to win said sports game, I fail to see why somebody shaking their ass is worse than the violence everybody was watching for hours – but this is America, where an 8 year old seeing a boob is the end of the world, but where marketing them violence on the daily is A-OK.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jesse says:

        – Is looking forward to voting for a niche third partyReport

      • Pinky in reply to Jesse says:

        I figure that anyone who wanted to watch football watched the game, and anyone who wanted to watch a strip show watched the halftime. You knew what you were getting. (Me, I watched a little of the game and none of the halftime.) But I bet more people saw more sexualization than they expected than saw more violence than they expected.

        Also, the players wore more protective gear than the singers.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

          “The dream of True Equality will only be realized when professional football players wear crop tops and assless pants!”

          And honestly, J Lo on the pole had both my wife and I saying out loud “How did she do that?” followed by “she’s 50 years old!” It was the best superbowl haftime show I’ve seen.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Jesse says:

        you’d think that of all the shows you’d expect to be all-ages, the Super Bowl halftime show would be one, and yet here we are having to content-screen it, and bitter, bitter little men like Jesse are telling us that we’re Not Allowed To Have An Opinion because suddenly they care about football.Report

  8. dragonfrog says:

    [Hm3] Interesting all the superbowl half time show outrage seems to be about the butt shakery, and none about the Latinx kids i cages.Report

    • Pinky in reply to dragonfrog says:

      Why would anyone complain about that?Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

        American conservatism, in a nutshell.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

        Because “Latinx” erases actual Latinos and Latina people by imposing linguistic imperialism into language that contains its own syntax and is obviously intended to be spoken by people using the English language’s ‘x’ rather than the Spanish one.

        Or, as one of the Latino POCs I know put it: “The guy who came up with that was a pendejx.”Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Pinky says:

        “Shut up and dance for us” type objections, I guess? I dunno, I thought it interesting. Maybe the people who didn’t like it thought it wiser to pretend they hadn’t noticed it?Report

        • Pinky in reply to dragonfrog says:

          Like I said, I didn’t watch it. I expected bad music and near-nudity, but I’m not stunned that there was a political message tossed in as well. I usually don’t make a “shut up and ___” comment, because I don’t listen to celebrities’ opinions. Anyway, I didn’t want to see them dance, and I’d rather that they “shut up” musically as well as politically, and there’s a button on my remote that took care of that.

          The halftime show didn’t create the conditions that led to the US policy, and it didn’t create the US policy, nor did it enlighten anyone on US policy, so there’s nothing about the halftime show that affects the discussion of US policy. It was sleazy, though, so people have complained about that.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to dragonfrog says:

          The old double standard at play. People are upset at the women for wearing nude colored body suits with flashy bits over the flashy bits, and then dancing in a manner that is not a square dance, but no one bats an eye at the half naked male backup dancers.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    The only political twitter account worth following weighs in:


  10. Saul Degraw says:

    The very rough reporting I have seen so far states that Biden is underperforming in areas where he should be doing well so far and that Warren and Sanders are doing quite well. No idea on Buttigieg.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The Real Clear Politics main page is tracking it, but I’m not sure how it’s sourced and how frequently it updates.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Fundamentally, I think there are two types of candidates, and two types of voters who vote for them: establishment and populist. If one establishment candidate outperforms (Buttigieg), then another (Biden) has to underperform. Buttigieg isn’t taking votes away from the populist candidates, and Sanders and Warren aren’t getting any votes from people who’ve already grown the hell up.Report

  11. Aaron David says:


  12. Jaybird says:

    CNN explains it all:


    • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

      Damn DNC trying to screw Bernie.Report

      • George Turner in reply to InMD says:

        You don’t know that. Nobody knows that, and nobody will know what happened until the Iowa Democratic party lets Biden’s legal team approve the caucus results, as he’s asserted and as is proper when these kind of things happen. The results might be garbage or they might show a Biden victory. We probably won’t know until sometime tomorrow once all the right people have been paid off or threatened.Report

  13. Saul Degraw says:

    This is a fucking shitshow.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I think Jeb! might’ve won it. Obviously these people shouldn’t be trusted with, well, anything that’s remotely important.

      I wonder if I can convince them to water the corn fields with Brawndo? It’s got electrolytes.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Why don’t these people understand that defeating Trump is more important than petty little squabbles?

      Why don’t they understand that this is important enough to do right?