The New Bern, Same as the Old Bern


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

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    So it goes. I agree, Iowa fiasco or not, that if Uncle Bernie had actually conjured a vast new young cohort of voters in Iowa they would be obvious- screw up in the caucus machinery or not. And since the only argument Sanders ever has seriously hung his hat on is that he’d vanguard in a new political revolution to solve the various problems he had no concrete answers for the absence of those new voters is devastating for his argument.Report

    • Avatar JS in reply to North says:

      Unfortunately, the paranoid style is pretty hefty among Sander’s most ardent supporters, at least online.

      Sanders doesn’t fail, he is only robbed.

      Which, to be honest, is literally my second biggest complaint about Sanders. Too many of his most vocal supporters appear to be conspiracy minded a**holes. Which really isn’t Sanders’ fault, but it’s hard to separate Candidate Sanders — whom I’ve never interacted with — and the hordes-of-shrill-Sanders-supporters clogging up every social media thread in America with variations of ‘We-was-robbed/We-is-being-robbed/Losing-is-impossible-only-conspiracy/Disagreement-is-elitist-shilling’ who I have, sadly, interacted with.

      That being said, my primary problem with Sanders is his age.

      In all honestly, I don’t even really care who wins the Democratic primary. It really doesn’t matter to me. My primary concern occupies the White House, and no one on the field — not even Bloomberg — could possibly be as damaging.

      I suspect, judging by the jumps as voters shift around candidates, that ‘Can/Will beat Trump’ is a pretty hefty decision point amongst primary voters.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to JS says:

        This has been my experience as well. That isn’t… directly… Bernie’s fault but he does periodically dip his toes into the “rigged” stuff and because of that I don’t think he gets to be absolved of this behavior. The wily old goat knows what his devotees lap up and he throws it to them from time to time.

        Obligatory note: If Bernie somehow manages to get the nomination I will vote for the wily old goat.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North says:

          Bernie’s running an aspirational campaign, but sometimes says things that let the cat outa the bag. In 2016 he said that as President he’d make college tuition free. Now, his followers hear that and think “yay, free school!”, and even more importantly, they hear it and think “yay, Bernie’s gonna stick it to the Capitalists”, but in reality Bernie knows, more than anyone else, that he’s not speaking aspirationally but flat out lying.

          He does stuff like that. It makes me not like his aspirational message as much as I otherwise would.

          I’ll vote for him too.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

            Yeah. I know what i prefer to hear; plans and details and discussions that admit the roadblocks. Bernie doesn’t do that. At this point i also know what i look for is not what most voters seem to want and Bernie gives people what they want. Simple solutions and no complexity. Good politics for this time. I’ll vote for him in the general even with his flaws.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

              Yeah, I don’t mind Bernie’s aspirational stuff. I mind the lying, and I mind the promise of achieving the impossible. Like, if instead of saying he’s going to institute Medicare for All on his first day in office he at least made noises that incremental progress is still better than none, I’d take his candidacy more seriously.

              But I think he’s still stuck in 2016, where he very consciously adopted extreme lefty positions for the specific purpose of pulling HRC to the left. He became his own caricature.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to North says:

          Sanders’ whole ideology is a conspiracy theory. His shtick is that we’re being robbed—that (((bankers and billionaires))) have rigged the economy to benefit themselves at our expense. The conspiracy theories about the election that Sanders’ followers are espousing are isomorphic to his conspiracy theories about the economy. He attracts that kind of person because that’s the kind of campaign he runs.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to JS says:

        gotta be real with ya here, I have seen far more people talking about how rotten and awful Bernie supporters are online than I’ve seen actual rotten and awful behavior by Bernie supporters online

        as in

        I haven’t seen any of the latter stuff

        and if you show me some then I’d want to see an example of how it is specifically Bernie’s message or attitude that caused it, rather than them just being the sort of person who’s like that anyway and they happen to be pro-Bernie

        oh and by the way

        if your attitude is “Bernie supporters are jerks, that’s why I don’t support Bernie” then maybe think about that next time you tell me someone saying “Democrats are jerks and that’s why I voted Trump” is a lie and they’re actually racistsReport

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Wait… turnout was *LOW*?

    Jesus. That’s an important story that is being hella overshadowed here…Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      Low? I dunno about low but it appears to have clocked in at roughly normal at the most.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

      Maybe what it means is that people intend to vote for Any Democrat and don’t really care who that is.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

        This is how I would spin it. “The fact that more people didn’t show up despite population increase and Donald Trump is a sign of how engaged our voters are. They don’t care if it’s Sanders or Yang or Biden or Warren or Buttigeig!”

        But before I’d put a paragraph explaining for how important it is for you to send them $20, I’d talk about how awful Republicans are for a paragraph or two.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

          I mean, when you read about the process of caucusing, it’s surprising that anyone turns up for those things at all. I wish they kept stats on how many people walked in, said ‘I’m here to vote in the primary!”, and immediately turned around and left once it was explained what was actually involved…Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

            I imagine that that’s true for every other caucus state *EXCEPT* Iowa.

            I have no doubt that caucusing is explained to kids in elementary school and the process is explained to them as one of the things that makes Iowa the best state to live in and, when you’re old enough, *YOU* will get to caucus *TOO*! I mean, Iowa is known for two things: having the first caucus and having ethanol subsidies.

            After this debacle, they’re going to get rid of the former and soon thereafter the latter.Report

  3. Avatar LTL FTC says:

    Carcetti – I mean O’Malley – ran in 16, not ‘08. Dang NYT.Report

  4. Avatar Jon Davies says:

    In the UK we had Jeremy Corbyn, the not so young Labour leader, who energised the youth vote in the 2017 election. He tried the same trick in 2019 and his party got taken to the cleaners by Boris Johnson and the conservative party.Report

    • We noticed. The old folks, at least for now, still decide elections in the States. See how long that holds up.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Jon Davies says:

      The recent Aschcroft poll of Labour defectors gave the following reasons for not voting Labour this time:

      Did not want Corbyn to be PM: 53%
      Did not believe Labour would be able to deliver the promises it was making: 40%
      Labour Party no longer represents people like me: 37%
      Wanted to get Brexit done: 30%
      Did not like the policies Labour was advocating: 26%

      Given how low Brexit scored, it would be an open question if Sanders would pose similar views for moderate Democrats.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to PD Shaw says:

        Also interesting to compare the above with the top five reasons Labour members gave for losing the election, in order:

        Media bias/
        Conservative lies
        Voters don’t understand what was at stake
        Voters are racistReport

  5. Avatar The question says:

    35% of caucus goers said this was their first caucus and youth turnout was higher than 2008 the reason turn out wasn’t higher overall is because old people didn’t show up which tells me that the people who are relying on the old people vote have an issue.

    I mean you can say he didn’t turn out his youth face and bigger numbers but he turns them out and empirically bigger numbers I’m sorry old people didn’t vote like they normally do.

    actually I’m not because I’m fairly certain that the more old people vote the worst Bernie does because I’ve got mine go fuc yourself is very prevalent among old peopleReport

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to The question says:

      Are you under the impression that your posting this reflects well on Bernie Sanders and his supporters?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Eh, there’s more economy in saying “Yikes! Not a good look, bro!”

        If we’re going to police heresy, we have to do a better job of pointing out that good people have an emotional response to seeing someone saying something problematic and that only bad people will look at the statements and whether they have a relationship to reality and then, from there, whether they’re true or false.

        Just go straight to the phrase that tells people that this is a moral argument.

        Hey! Question! Not OK!Report

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