About Last Night, Super Tuesday Edition: Everybody Duck The Swinging Narrative

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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79 Responses

  1. DensityDuck says:

    “Sanders is underperforming his 2016 totals”

    A) it is 2020, not 2016, there are just a few differences between the two races

    B) in 2016 there were articles upon articles upon articles upon articles about how Sanders’s wins in this or that state were meaningless, now suddenly it’s vitally important that we all recognize how crushingly significant those victories were (and, therefore, how crushingly significant it is that they weren’t repeated)

    C) the article doesn’t actually show Sanders’s numbers from 2016, just talks about how they’re different now

    I also like how the article says that Sanders made a mistake by trashing the Democratic mainstream establishment, and then points out that his best performances were in states that were, um, “Democratic Partisan”, which kinda suggests that maybe trashing the Democratic establishment was a good move for the people whom he thinks he’s actually working for.Report

  2. LTL FTC says:

    That’s the thing about a front porch campaign, right? Let everyone else go after one another for nine months and then sit there watching everyone rise, fall and scrap with one another, safe in the knowledge that they’ll all come back home for dinner. Dems got the chance to act out all of their intra-party dramas and went with the placeholder anyway.

    Next, the fight for VP. Picking Biden was really half about trusting Biden and his people to pick a reasonable running mate. Not small-d democratic, no polling, 100% conjecture! Fun!

    Seeing the constituencies for Harris and Warren were much louder than they were numerous, is he still going to get boxed into Stacy Abrams? Maybe he’ll double down and pick one of the earlier candidates who never really got a shot because they didn’t fit 2019 media narratives: Hickenlooper, Bullock, Inslee? Or maybe a woman governor (or former governor) as a split-the-difference solution?Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Bloomberg suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden. I’m sad for Warren but Matt Y is probably correct, she is smart and sincere but seemingly only appeals to people who really liked school and were disciplined enough to get into and finish graduate school. This is not a big part of the population:


    But not even all of this. I still think Bloomberg saw Warren as a bigger threat than Sanders. It would be an interesting study to look at people with graduate degrees, what their field of study and occupations are, and whom their preferred Presidential candidate was. I suspect Warren did not do so well among MBAs especially in finance/venture capital (same threat level as Bloomberg saw) but probably did very well among people with graduate degrees in the arts and humanities and lawyers. I’m not sure about medical professionals, possibly better with primary care physicians and nurses than specialists.

    Maybe one day we can have a smart and articulate President (besides Obama) who sees the problems this country faces directly and knows how to fix them instead of offering half-assed measures designed not to rock the boat of the power interests. Not this year though.Report

    • There is a strong strand of really lazy commentary that lumps Sanders and Warren together when they are very different in important ways. Its really odd, and not that I might not have been guilty too when not thinking it through, but her and Sanders aren’t really compatible when you come down to a lot of what they want to accomplish, and more importantly how you would accomplish those things.Report

      • JS in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

        it’s not just pundits. Some of Sanders more ardent supporters on the interwebs were literally blaming Warren for staying in and “stealing” Sanders votes yesterday.

        There’s a few problems there. First, polls indicated Warren’s supporters second choices were 40% Sanders, 30% Biden, and 30% Other — and pretty much all the “others” quit and endorsed Biden. It’s quite possible Warren bowing out, even if she endorsed Sanders, would have worsened his results not improved them.

        Second, of course, Warren was splitting the progressive vote any more than Bloomberg was the moderate wing, so in terms of “splitting my natural supporters”, it seems quite a bit like a draw at best.

        As with any election where someone bets on the youth vote, that someone lost.Report

  4. LTL FTC says:

    Also, baaaaaaad time to have an election in WA. Hopefully they have a lot of mail in ballots.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    NPR was reporting about last night in Colorado.

    They pointed out that 120,000 people went to the Democratic Caucus in 2016. 1 Million Democrats/Unaffiliateds cast ballots in the New And Improved Democratic Primary.

    It took me a couple, maybe three, hours to caucus last time. Voting took less than 15 minutes.

    Is engagement up? Down? I have no idea!

    They also had an interview with a Pueblo Democratic Party HQ and talked about how Pueblo has long been a Democratic Stronghold but it went for Trump in 2016. What’s the current dynamic?, they asked. The Democratic leader pointed out that she doesn’t hang in any Trumpy circles before explaining some boilerplate about the future of the Democrats.

    Which is, apparently, Denver.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

      Which is, apparently, Denver.

      Denver’s not big enough. I would have said northern Front Range suburbs — from the north end of Douglas County to the Wyoming border. That’s three of the four US House seats the Dems hold. The lion’s share of a new eighth district will almost certainly be there in 2022. It’s the main reason I expect Cory Gardner to lose his Senate seat this year — things have gotten to where he won’t show his face in public up here.Report

  6. greginak says:

    You mean the Bloomberg/Clinton ticket isn’t going to be a reality?????

    It’s going to be a long time, if ever, before Bernie peeps can see the faults and problems with his campaign. Heck he could still win the nom. But so far they haven’t been good at being self aware or hard self examination. I’d actually like to see the Left become a real political force which they have started to be. Sadly they seem to be falling into the same failings they have kept the Left mostly useless for decades.Report

    • JS in reply to greginak says:

      As best I can tell, the faults and problems with Sanders campaign are pretty much the faults and problems of his 2016 campaign.

      He made no significant in-roads to AA voters, to name one large constituency he absolutely neglected. And again, he bet young voters could swing him over the top. You’d have thought, with four years, he’d have made some attempts to shore up his weaker demographics, some attempt to address the flaws in his 2016 campaign.

      He seems to have simply decided this time it’d work for sure.Report

  7. Michael Cain says:

    Question: Will a Senate committee run Biden (or perhaps Bidens) through one of those 10-hour grinder days of questioning?Report

  8. Oscar Gordon says:

    So, does Bloomberg mean we can all stop worrying about Citizens United?Report

  9. DavidTC says:

    So everyone’s just going to ignore the fact the race has consolidated around one individual who just had a heart attack and another who actually seems to have the early stages of dementia?

    Even if you utterly and completely ignore the problems here with policy and how it will translate into votes (I.e., one of them is an even tamer Obama who thinks working with Republicans is the goal, and the other keeps calling themselves a Socialist. But okay.), these are objectively bad choices, just because of age and health issues.

    It is, at this point, astonishing how far white male privilege is going, because neither of these people should be in the race, simply because they might not make it through four years. This isn’t, like, the fake ‘Hillary is deathly ill’ nonsense, these are legitimate concerns.

    But they both feel they’re entitled to be president, and won’t step aside for the good of the party and the nation.Report

    • InMD in reply to DavidTC says:

      Wait, all those black people in the south who voted for Biden are a sign of white privilege? The evil genius of the Man truly knows no bounds!Report

      • DavidTC in reply to InMD says:

        No, the fact that a lot of people are supporting a white man to take a position he probably shouldn’t take due to his age and current mental abilities is white privilege. It doesn’t actually matter who does that thing.

        You are aware that white male privilege is a _structural_ thing, right? It’s just where white men are given a lot more leeway than anyone else. Their mistakes don’t matter, or don’t say anything about them, anyone could make those mistakes, and at worst they need to learn from their mistakes and stop making them. Whereas mistakes by others reveal important character flaws.

        White men can even be given this leeway by Black people, who, like everyone else, have been taught this is how it works by society.

        Although what’s happening here is more that people in the media and politics who should be raising these concerns and making them public aren’t, or aren’t treating them seriously. It’s those people who are giving him white privilege, not the voters per se.Report

        • InMD in reply to DavidTC says:

          What patronizing drivel. They’re individuals with brains who voted a way you don’t like for their own reasons. Instead of wondering what it might take to convince them to join your side you come up with some silly theory of false consciousness that can’t be falsified. All to avoid interrogating your own priors.Report

          • veronica d in reply to InMD says:

            To say Biden has white privilege isn’t a criticism of black voters. If you want to know why black voters supported Biden, you can read what they say. For example,

            My read of the South Carolina vote is that black people know exactly what they’re doing, and why. Joe Biden is the indictment older black folks have issued against white America. His support is buttressed by chunks of the black community who have determined that most white people are selfish and cannot be trusted to do the right thing. They believe if you make white people choose between their money and their morality—between candidates like Sanders or Elizabeth Warren (who somehow finished fifth in South Carolina, behind Pete Buttigieg) and candidates like Biden and Michael Bloomberg—they will choose their money every time and twice on Election Day.

            Read the whole thing: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/biden-black-vote/

            Include the normal provisos. This is one man’s opinion, etcetera. But it’s something I’ve heard a lot from black-progressive Twitter.

            Nevertheless, Biden has white privilege. Obviously he does. Duh.Report

            • veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

              Here is a less overtly “lefty” take: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/28/my-nana-is-from-south-carolina-and-she-has-thoughts-about-the-primary-118105

              They feel like they know Biden, that they know what they’d be getting with him. And after fighting so hard for the right to vote — Nana included — older black voters have a pragmatic streak that Biden represents. The former vice president fits that mold.

              “Part of it is people recognize how important this election is and how having the right person that speaks to your values, but also that is electable. That’s driving a lot of people’s decisions. And so people are scared to make their own choice,” Isaac Devine said.

              To say Biden has white privilege is not dismissive of Isaac Devine or Nana. Their choices are pragmatic and grounded. They’re reasonable.

              But to see the role that race (and gender) play in electability isn’t condescending. It is obvious and important. It’s facile to argue otherwise.


              So, is it worth taking the risk on a more radical candidate? Is “shooting for the moon” (MfA) worth the risk of more Trump?

              That’s a very good question. Does anyone know a precise, algorithmic way we could determine the answer?

              I’ve seen wannabe Bayesian’s try to approach such questions with bad math, but it’s all nonsense. In the end, we go with our gut.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

              There are lots of Sanders and Warren supporters who like to argue that Black people are only supporting Biden because they know that white people are evil misogynist racists and they need to vote for a white man but really support our candidate.

              I do not buy any of this. I think that African-Americans support Biden because they really like him and want him to be President more than Sanders and Warren. Biden always had close ties with the African-American community. During the 1980s, he was a fierce opponent of Reagan’s friendly relations with Late Apartheid South Africa. He was instrumentally in defeating Bork and voted against Thomas. In his younger days he fought for fair housing in Delaware despite representing a lily white district. Plus, he was Obama’s loyal VP.

              Yet, you have all these white radicals of various stripes and certain African-American activists that argue that Biden is a secret racist despite all evidence to the contrary and that Black people really don’t like him. Repeat after me, you will never ever convince Black people that Biden is a secret racist because it isn’t true and Black people vote for Biden because they like Biden and believe he will be a fine President. It’s that simple.Report

              • greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

                “Revolution” works well for people who are absolutely sure they will win and get all they want from the revolution. There are reasons, good ones, for some people to not think revolutions will go their way. That the wrong powerful people will win any revolution.Report

              • veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I haven’t seen the “really support my candidate” part. That would be silly.

                Basically I ignore the more ranty “feel the Bern” types. They aren’t worth listening to.

                That said, the idea that many black voters find Biden safe and electable isn’t a stretch. It’s an understandable reflex, and given that my demographic group is as threatened by the right wing hate machine as minorities are, yeah, I get it.

                Anyway, the argument wasn’t about that. It is about the role that white privilege plays. The right wing mantra that “It can’t be white privilege because {black people}” is dumb as fuck. That’s what I’m saying.


                That said, it appears to be a simple fact that Biden was pretty racist as a young man. It also appears that black voters don’t care about that. Evidently, they trust that he has sufficiently changed.

                The Berners have made similar points about gay marriage. Myself, I think it’s valid. Consistently fighting for minority rights shows good character. It’s certainly worth something. Bernie gets props for that. He deserves those props. We should reward virtue.

                Supporting gay marriage now is valid and important, but it isn’t impressive. It’s checking off box on the list of minimum standards. Supporting trans rights, right now, is a bit more impressive, but still, it’s a minimum. It’s a requirement. It’s baseline to be worth consideration. (Bloomberg calls us “it,” not “she,” so fuck that guy forever.)

                It’s a judgement call. It’s a balance. There is no formula that will give you an answer.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

                What evidence do you have that Joe Biden was a particularly racist as a young person? There is nothing that indicates this at all. He has been pretty solidly for civil rights for his entire career even if he opposed bussing.

                Like, I’m legitimately confused why so many white leftists are convinced that Joe Biden is some sort of secret racist despite all evidence to the contrary.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I don’t think Biden is racist, I just think that Biden has always been willing to completely pause any sort of racial progress if he thinks it will slightly impact his career or the Democratic party as a whole.

                And because there are enough racists that this will always been true, in actual reality it means nothing ever changes.

                …actually, come to think about it, I think this way about Biden on every issue. Which is, interestingly, exactly how I think about Hillary Clinton.

                There is a certain subset of Democratic politicians that pose as ‘centrist’, but what they actually mean by that is ‘don’t want to, even hypothetically, do anything that would piss any Democratic voters off’. It’s not centrism as much as it is cowardice.

                Note I’m not saying all centrism is this. Just…there’s this ‘pragmatic’ cowardly version of it, where the only solutions they can come up with are those that no Democrat could possibly object to.Report

            • Damon in reply to veronica d says:

              ” a lot from black-progressive Twitter.”

              Well if that’s not a well representative sample of the black community I don’t know what could be. /snarkReport

            • DavidTC in reply to veronica d says:

              To say Biden has white privilege isn’t a criticism of black voters. If you want to know why black voters supported Biden, you can read what they say.

              Exactly this. The problem is that Biden is the obvious choice, and he’s the obvious choice because he’s the centrist old straight white man.

              Now, the _centrist_ part of that is a political thing. I’m not here to talk about either actual centrist voters, or people who have decided that a centrist is the best chance to win the election. That’s a completely political thing, people have opinions.

              And I don’t have a problem with the Democratic voters picking a safe centrist this election. I really don’t. I wish they wouldn’t, I think it’s wrongheaded, it’s operating in the fictional reality where swing voters exist, as opposed to elections being decided by enthusiasm resulting in turnout, but…okay, I get it.

              But Buttigreg was pretty damn centrist. So was Harris.

              But we somehow _ended up_ with the old (straight, which is the first time that’s been an issue) white guy. A little too old, in fact.

              And the exact same thing on the far end happened also. We ended up with the really old white guy there too, despite there being other choices there too.

              Some of this is the voters. A lot of this is the donors, and I don’t just mean the wealthy ones. A lot of is the party itself.

              And a lot of it is basic history. The reason that those two men are in the position they are in is that they got there back when people _like them_ were the only people getting elected. You get an occasional John Lewis, but most of the people who have been in politics long enough to ‘get a turn’ at the presidency are going to be old white men. (Hillary being a notable exception.)Report

              • Damon in reply to DavidTC says:

                Biden’s “privilege” is that he’s a rich political (which is redundant)…as are all the politicians at the national level, with a few exceptions) Rich folks of all colors have money, influence, and power.Report

              • InMD in reply to DavidTC says:

                You and veronica can talk around in circles with silly explanations all you want but it doesn’t convince anyone (except maybe the mental defective PoMo types you follow on twitter). He’s winning because he is getting the most votes, really in spite of the media and chattering classes. Neither of you have an ounce of evidence to support your assertions. All you’ve got is he’s old and white and he’s winning and I don’t like that! Must be a conspiracy of heteronormative geriatric supercalifragilisticexpialidocious white privilege in play! Please. Keep the magic words in the fantasy lands of Tolkien, Rowling, and Derrida.

                I know you guys really hate it, but people have agency. They aren’t always voting the way I’d vote but voting they are. If all these writers and activist types you keep citing actually knew anything, including about the people whose interests they supposedly understand, maybe they would actually have some success at winning them over to their preferred candidates. But they don’t because they don’t know jack.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to InMD says:

                I love how you’ve just randomly decided I’m saying people shouldn’t vote for Biden. I haven’t, at any point, said that. I also haven’t said his votes shouldn’t count, or whatever point you think you’re disputing by saying ‘he’s getting the most votes’.

                In fact, you’ve decided to pretend I’m talking _just_ about Biden (and not Sanders) because it allows you to imagine my problem is people voting for the centrist, and I’m quoting ‘activists’ or whatever. When I specifically said that wasn’t wasn’t what I was saying. Very explicitly. Or I wouldn’t be complaining about Sanders too.

                And I wouldn’t be saying ‘Why didn’t they pick Buttigreg or Harris?’.

                My problem literally nothing to do with any position of any Democrat. It has to do with the fact that, OF EVERY POSSIBLE POSITION, that position got filled by an old straight white guy. And, on top of that, they’re old straight white guys who probably shouldn’t be running for president at this point and at their age. But they’re just sure they deserve to be president, and damn anyone else.

                The claims you think I’m making aren’t the claims I am making. My claims are: There are serious medical concerns about both candidates, created by their age and things we know about, and those concerns are being completely ignored because of how people think about them…’presidential’, which really means ‘white straight older guy’.

                And I don’t have an ‘ounce of evidence’ to support…that Biden and Sander first got into politics at a time when being white and male and straight was basically the only people allowed into politics? Do you want a _cite_ for that?

                Regardless of if you completely disagree with any sort of white privileged existing in the modern day (Which is very wrong, but I don’t care enough to argue with people who don’t know that), you have to admit: The amount of Black people with national political careers going back to the 70s and 80s is rather low. Same with the amount of woman. And the gay people or Hindu or Hispanic people are…almost none.

                There’s _not_ a Black Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. There’s not a gay version. There’s…sorta one female version, Hillary Clinton, which is probably why the Republicans spent several decades destroying her.

                There’s a reason for that lack of anyone but old white men. It didn’t magically happen.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      I mean, seriously, yes, I’m a Warren supporter, but this isn’t that, as I honestly suspect that the actual _changes_ under Sanders would basically be Warren-type changes, that’s what is getting through Congress, so it really doesn’t matter who gets elected there.

      And as for the more conservative side, I’d honestly rather have Buttigreg than Biden, who I have basically the same sort of policy problems with, but at least I don’t worry about Buttigreg sundowning!

      This is just so stupid. These guys are only at the top because they are white men who got into politics way back when only white men were in politics, and thus have decades of ‘It’s my turn to be president’ to stand on. And I say this as someone who actually admires Sanders and what he’s done. But he shouldn’t be the Democratic nominee.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to DavidTC says:

        If Warren were elected, she would become the oldest President to take the oath of office. She’s too old also.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to PD Shaw says:

          It’s not an age thing, it’s a health thing. I’m not going to say someone can’t be president based on age.

          Biden is having trouble keeping things straight, and honestly has been in ‘often doesn’t seem to know what’s going on’ stage for quite a while. At this point, it look like he’s being ‘managed’ to put his best face forward, and…he _really_ should not be running for president.

          And Sanders literally had a heart attack five months ago. That…maybe that’s less important, I don’t know. Maybe he’s okay now.

          As far as I can tell, Warren is fine. I’m not aware of any health issues at all.

          And let’s not forget that women statistically live about 5 years longer than men. Warren might be the oldest person if she take office at 71, but Trump was a mere 6 years short his life expectancy at 70, whereas she’ll be a decade away. And that’s what we’re actually talking about: How long can these people function?Report

    • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      yeah but that has to translate to the general after the election, and disproportionately in certain battleground states. And that’s where I see problems as Biden’s Neoliberal economic philosophy was a main contribution to Hillary doing badly in many places (who exacerbated her economic policy problems by dismissing support in many of those states).

      We shall see.Report

      • JS in reply to Philip H says:

        The primary turnout motivator remains, as best I can tell, Donald Trump. He certainly was in 2018, and he wasn’t even technically on the ballot — but he was darn sure on most voter’s minds.

        I’m actually surprised Democratic primary turnout was so high. The real-life Democrats I know by and large had very mild preferences in the primary.

        They have very, very, very firm preferences about November, however.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to JS says:

          I really can’t remember a time when the President loomed so large over the evening news, and in everyday conversation.

          His show biz talent is knowing how to be outrageous and grab headlines and force himself into every conversation.

          But that also means that the election becomes a referendum on him. Not issues, not agendas or ideologies, but him.Report

  10. Zac Black says:

    Welp, Biden’s probably gonna win the nomination, so I hope you all are ready for four more years of Trump, because that’s what we’re getting.Report

    • greginak in reply to Zac Black says:

      Very meh. The election will be a toss up. People are imputing trump to be some master w/o evidence. Biden polls well against him fwiw. Clinton, with her famous popularity numbers and retail politics skill, beat him by 3 million votes. People seem like to like Joe so he’s got that going for him. I doubt trump can win the popular vote. The EV is what matters you say. Correct and that is a concern. But recall that winning the EV while losing the popular vote by 3 million is a hard shot to make. Betting on that same shot is possible but by no means a safe bet.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Zac Black says:


      I like you a lot but this seems more about emotion than facts in evidence. The truth is whoever is the Democratic nominee has about equal chances of defeating or being defeated by Trump in November 2020.

      Sanders campaigned on his promise to get the youth vote out and non voters out that failed. Even in South Carolina, a lot of first time voters went for Biden. Biden often beat Sanders among voters between 18-29 for African-Americans.

      Biden’s firewall is real and turn out was enthusiastic yesterday including key swing states.

      I think Biden and Sanders are both way older than is preferred. Biden is not as progressive as I would like. Sanders just had a heart attack. Both are likely to be one term Presidents if they win.

      But what is your evidence that Trump is going to defeat Biden and not Sanders besides really disliking Biden personally?

      Vote blue, no matter who includes Sanders and Biden. Staying home for the “socialist” is just as bad as staying home because it is Biden. This is going to be fought moreReport

      • veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Honestly, I would have stayed home for Bloomberg. But I have no problem voting for Biden, should he win the nomination. He’s not exciting, but Trump is literally a fascist. It’s really that simple.

        (Bloomberg is just a smarter Trump pretending to be a Democrat. I’m so glad that fucker is out.)Report

        • greginak in reply to veronica d says:

          Yeah, would never have voted for bloomers. To hell with him. Biden, sure he’ll get my vote. Heck every other Dem would get my vote except for gabbard.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to veronica d says:

          Whether I’d vote for Bloomberg is honestly an interesting question. I think I would.

          It’s basically ‘Would I rather have Trump or a normal Republican’, and the answer is: Obviously the normal Republican.

          Plus, I feel Trump is so obviously venal and corrupt that there needs to be a reputation of him regardless. We need the electorate to punch Trump in the damn face, just for the sake of history and the next president who feels like they can act like that.

          Honestly, at this point, I’d vote for basically anyone over Trump. Even people I thought were just as bad…as long as they weren’t _worse_.

          And it’s hard to figure out how Bloomberg would be worse policy-wise, and he almost certainly would be better in literally every other way.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        2016 really screwed up a lot of people’s ideas of how campaigns and elections work…even after the successes of 2017, 2018, and 2019.

        Now, Trump is some unstoppable electoral God who can only be defeated if Saint Bernard of Burlington assembles his army.

        In reality, recent polling has the General Congressional Ballot at D+10 or D+13 and in many ways, even though Hillary Clinton might’ve been a better President, Joe Biden is a better, more personable, candidate, even in his diminished state.

        Plus, the Right had 30 years to slander Hillary with so much BS that even the Left was repeating right wing slanders about her. A little harder to do with Biden, especially since most people like Biden, even now. Hell, Biden got tons of new voters in places like Virginia.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Jesse says:

          Saint Bernard of Burlington is good. Saint Bernie of Green Mountain works to. When I’m pissed at Warren fans wailing why nobody likes her, I call her Saint Warren of Arc.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Jesse says:

          But yeah, this thread is demonstrating that lots of people see Trump as the Unstoppable Alpha Male Election God that will rule us all forever. I’ve even had conversations in real life along these lines. Today.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Jesse says:

          I get Zac’s disappointment because I am part of the graduate school crowd that swooned for Warren. I also want substantial reforms that seem unlikely.

          But otherwise correct.Report

        • Urusigh in reply to Jesse says:

          A little harder to do with Biden? I’m curious, is it still a “right wing slander” when a foreign country does it? https://justthenews.com/accountability/political-ethics/ukrainian-court-throws-wrench-joe-bidens-2020-election-plans

          Biden’s corruption issues admittedly are on a smaller scale than HC and the CGI, but then so is literally everyone else’s, the guy is still exactly the same kind of creepy borderline sexual harrasser overly friendly with white supremacists serial liar with troubling financial relationships with allegedly corrupt Ukrainian interests that Dems constantly accuse Trump of being. Seriously, what attack line do you have left at that point?

          Hell, the precedent is now set for a Republican House to impeach President Biden over the Burisma scandal. I honestly don’t think it meets a reasonable bar for Impeachment (it’s corrupt, but more in an emoluments clause category than an impeachment category since it’s hard to demonstrate a direct harm to the nation from it), but the Dems drastically lowered that bar in their witch hunt against Trump and it’s at least more substantiated given that Ukrainian lobbyists were outright name-dropping Hunter Biden when trying to pressure the US State Department and Biden is on video openly bragging that he got the investigation quashed by threatening to withhold aid funds. What Trump was charged with, Biden has effectively already plead guilty to committing.

          Frankly, Sanders and Biden have both gotten the kid gloves treatment so far in terms of oppo research attacks and both of them look very vulnerable to those once the general starts. Even left-leaning outlets admit that “Middle-Class Joe”‘s net worth has closely tracked his political rise in ways that have nothing to do with his actual government paycheck. He’s a case study in precisely the stereotypical self-dealing ladder-climbing “soft corruption” career politician that all the populist energy is so against right now. Trump’s advantage there isn’t so much that his history isn’t equally muddy, it’s that Dems already spent all that ammo, most of the electorate is already locked in on how they feel about it so there’s not much scope to lower his current support, and quite simply Trump excels at that sort of mudslinging gutter fight.Report

      • Zac Black in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        “But what is your evidence that Trump is going to defeat Biden and not Sanders besides really disliking Biden personally?”

        – Biden’s political instincts are atrocious: he constantly told Iowa voters to “go vote for someone else,” and 85% of them did.

        – He tells millennials he has “no empathy” for them. He promises no change.

        – He is a serial liar who fabricates absurd details about his life story, like fictitious arrests and a history of civil rights activism. So again, there’s goes *that* advantage over Trump.

        – Bernie’s supporters, many of whom already dislike the party for working hard to stop Bernie in 2016 and the incredibly fishy Iowa caucus shenanigans, will simply give up on the Democrats. Millennials will leave the party in droves, feeling that their votes don’t matter. Some will probably support a third party candidacy. Others will argue that in the interests of pragmatism, they should still vote for a dishonest and weak candidate who says he has no empathy for them. Their appeals will mostly fail. The party will be riven with bitter conflict. Biden will have no clear message, no strategy. He will perform embarrassingly in debates with Trump, forgetting his words and seeming to wonder why he is even on the stage. (He will also have no good explanation for what his son Hunter was doing for that Ukranian gas company, which will be the subject of constant discussion.) Trump, being a bully, will seize his advantage and relentlessly mock Biden’s performance. Trump will (as he has before) talk a lot about how Sanders was “robbed” by a “rigged” primary, delegitimize Biden’s nomination, and stoke the intra-party conflict.

        In the end, Biden will look dazed and confused on Election Night, as Democrats wonder yet again how they managed to lose to Donald Trump of all people.Report

        • North in reply to Zac Black says:

          It’s possible, I wouldn’t say I’m 100% confident about Biden myself. But in the end it came down to Biden or Bernie.

          -Bernie’s political instincts are pretty shitty. He’s accomplished, basically, nothing in his decades of political career.

          -Bernie doesn’t argue or campaign, he shouts. As soon as he gets pushed back on he gets angry and shouts louder. If anyone thinks Bernie is going to shout his way out of the shit storm of attacks the GOP and Trump would unleash on him they’re insane. If anyone thinks Bernie can outshout Trump in a debate they’re delusional.

          -Bernie has been hiding his medical records basically the exact same way Trump did only he has the cherry on top of having had an honest to God(ess?) heart attack this year.

          -Bernie’s supporters are a serious concern and a really worrying element for the general but they’re millenials. They tend to not vote. So far they have failed to turn out for Bernie in the primary so we have no reasons to think they’d turn out for him in the general. Ya know who votes; middle aged and older voters and they remember the whole Socialism thing in a lot less friendly a manner than the young uns do. So if it’s a choice between Biden who depresses non-voting millenials or Bernie to enraged voting boomers? Eh, that’s unfortunately a choice that kind of points to Biden.

          Personally I’d much rather we didn’t have two very old white dudes duking it out for the nod but if it was a choice between that or Bernie? I’ll settle for Biden. I think he’s got better odds than Bernie.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Zac Black says:

          Hmm lets see…
          Bad political instincts, lack of empathy, serial liar…Yep, all proven, winning traits in American presidential politics!

          All Joe has to do now is start slurring his words, speaking incoherently, and he is a lock to win!Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Zac Black says:

      I’m joining Greg and my brother on this. Every Democratic President polls equally well against Trump and the fundaments look good for the Democratic Party. We won lots of special elections and the mid-terms big. We flipped governments and districts that voted Republicans since the Civil War. Democratic primary turn out was up since 2016. Its going to be a close election but I think every Democratic candidate is going to win the popular vote. The issue is the Electoral College. Polls indicate that rank and file Democratic voters like Biden just fine.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to LeeEsq says:

        “Every Democratic President polls equally well against Trump and the fundaments look good for the Democratic Party. ”

        You thought that as late as 4:30 PM on November 8th 2016.Report

        • Zac Black in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Precisely. Democrats are yet again underestimating Trump at their peril, because they still don’t understand why he won and why people like him, and it’s going to cost them the White House. Again.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Zac Black says:

            Hilary won the popular vote by 3 million in 2016. Another fact that seems forgotten. The New Democratic voters are suburban women, not working class radicals.

            Honestly, I suspect that if a computer showed Bernie supporters that their candidate would be defeated in 2016 just like Hilary was and also defeated in 2020, they would be in denial.

            Bernie is a good guy but he is also a 78 year old who just had a heart attack and used to write about women’s rape fantasies for alt-weeklies in Vermont. Get a grip man. He is not Johnny Unbeatable. I don’t think he would necessarily lose but I am cognizant enough to see the downsides.Report

            • Zac Black in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              I’m not saying I think he has no downsides. If he were the nominee, he very well could lose. But Biden *will* lose. Just like Clinton, and Kerry, and Gore. Candidates who inspire no real enthusiasm don’t win.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              Hilary won the popular vote by 3 million in 2016. Another fact that seems forgotten.

              Good lord I did forget that. WHY THE HELL ISN’T SHE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW!??!Report

              • greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                It is a salient fact when looking at what happened in that election. Without that and the obvious implications there isn’t anything to say. That doesn’t mitigate her errors and problems or the EC, but it is what it is. Horrible Hillz got 3 mil more votes that the most popular bestest prez ever.

                Going into 2020 with a guy people like, if it is Joe, suggests he could get even more of the pop vote. It’s already hard to win the EC while losing the PV, so that is a positive point for Joe ( if he is the nom)Report

              • Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                Dems in 2020: Let’s replay 2016 and *take our chances*.Report

              • greginak in reply to Stillwater says:


          • CJColucci in reply to Zac Black says:

            For 90% of Republican voters, there is nothing to understand. They are Republicans and voted for Trump because he was the Republican nominee. They will do it again, somewhat handicapped by a modest number of Republicans who just can’t bring themselves to do it again. As for the rest, I grew up among people who became Trump voters. They have always liked people like Trump and always will. How, exactly, you describe the reasons they like people like Trump depends on whether you, yourself, approve of those reasons, and nothing is to be gained at this point by interviewing random diner patrons every four years.Report

            • Philip H in reply to CJColucci says:

              I’m surrounded by a variety of Trump voters here in Coastal Mississippi and they generally fall into 3 categories:

              1. Republicans who vote Republican no matter who the Republican is because they are Republicans.
              2. Racists who like to punish people based on their skin color who finally found someone who lets them scapegoat blacks and hispanics the way the always have, but do so publicly now.
              3. Former Obama supporters who both bought into the notion that Hillary was more corrupt, and who believe the neoliberal economic ideal (with its focus on corporations over labor) was and remains the wrong way for America to go. This group includes a fairly sizable chunk of union people.

              Groups 1 and 2 are not likely to be swayed back left. Group 3 could well be, but not by another neoliberal, which Joe Biden surely is.Report

        • greginak in reply to DensityDuck says:

          The national polls of course were accurate.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Zac Black says:

      I can take four more years of Trump. Not so sure I can handle four more years of “bErnIE WOuLd HaVE won!” so here’s hoping Biden wins the general.Report

  11. Brent F says:

    Maybe the lesson in all of this is that the NYT should hand off the decision on who to endorse to that nice black woman who worked for them rather than the editorial board. Seems like she had a better finger on the pulse of the electorate.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Brent F says:

      Well, as journalism became an “elite profession” instead of one where ink-stained wretches work their way up from a newspaper route, their world-view and life-experience has become narrower and narrower. They’re still claiming to be experts who have the pulse of America, but you’d be better off relying on the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and Megan Markle for a sense of how British union miners and factory workers are going to vote.

      Almost every candidate pushed by the press pundits and opinion makers has crashed and burned.Report

  1. April 8, 2020

    […] the outcome of this election has been settled since Super Tuesday, but some will be surprised he did not go on to the convention. No doubt the current coronavirus […]Report