The Conservaliberaltarian Case For Abidin’ With Biden

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Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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  1. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Biden 2012 was a different guy. Remember when he slaughtered Paul Ryan? Good times.

    He seems to have slowed down a bit. He didn’t run in 2016 because his son died and Clinton cleared the way and, well, it was her turn and Biden just didn’t have his heart in it.

    I don’t blame him, mind.

    It’s just now I’m in a place where it seems that Biden’s heart isn’t in it and, at the same time, he’s older. Like, you know how you describe some older folks as “spry”? Like, say, Biden in 2012? He no longer comes across as spry. 2012 Biden was a spitfire. “Will he make it to 2020?” had an obvious question “HELL YES!”

    Will he make it to 2024? That answer is less obvious.

    Which brings my eye to Harris. Is she going to be good? “She can hardly be worse than Trump!”, some will argue. While true, it’s not exactly interesting. Maybe all the Democrats need is a big win in the House in 2020 and then they can redistrict, gerrymander, and use computers to help establish a permanent Democratic majority.

    Who cares if Republicans win in 2024 by running against a lightweight Harris? The House will be Blue Forever. And all other good things follow from that.Report

  2. Avatar greginak
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    says:

    Good piece. Well argued. Though i’m a liberal type so i would be inclined to agree with it. Still it’s focused on issues and serious stuff with good support.Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    “Donald Trump — who has five children by three wives;
    What does that have to do with anything?

    “boasted about sexually assaulting women and bursting in on teenage beauty contestants”
    No, he used locker room talk in a candid moment. And as every claim of his so-called abuse has been nowhere to be seen in the last four years, notwithstanding that the left would love nothing more than to have any even remotely believable claim to parade around as we run-up to the election, I can only call BS on this sad, run-down talking point. As opposed to the similar claims about Biden.

    “a corrupt venal man who has abused his wealth to silence critics and used government power to enrich himself”
    and no example is given. Not that it matters to the supporters of Biden, and the laptop run amok. But, during that shitshow of an impeachment, you would think there would have been shown a law or two that had been broken, something like that. But, alas. There wasn’t.

    “is the moral and spiritual leader of the nation.”
    And the most offensive line to a libertarians heart. No president is my spiritual leader. No president is my moral leader. The president, no matter who is in that position, is simply the hired help. A man or woman paid to run things, not unlike a butler.

    But, thank you. You have clarified my feelings in voting for him, as he has been a more than the adequate person to run things, as shown by the good economy, no wars of vanity, strong gains in Middle Eastern peace achieved without violence, and a decent showing in the Covidicy.Report

    • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to Aaron David
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      says:

      “and no example is given.” – I gave you a link to $8 million in taxpayer money that’s been shoveled into his businesses. And that’s just one example. And “the moral and spiritual leader of the nation” is a thing and his supporters believe.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Michael Siegel
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        says:

        No, you gave a link to a paywalled bit of opinion. And again, if there had been anything of substance to it, the Dems would have used it during the impeachment. It is kind of a hard wall on what is and what isn’t.

        I don’t particularly care what Trump’s supporters believe, especially in a pro-Biden piece. I care about your argument, your opinions. And I found them wanting. While I fully admit to being swayed by Trump and his successes*, I do want to read about other opinions. I simply found this paragraph to be the penultimate section of the opinion; and that was about Trump more than Biden.

        *being of the Hebrew persuasion, I deeply care about what is happening on this playing field. And that alone is enough to sway me. I worry how bad Biden would screw it up if he wins.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David
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          says:

          If there is something there the D’s would have used it, is not a proof of anything. If being impeached is the standard for doing something wrong then Obama, by your standard, was gold. Almost nothing wrong any prez has done has ever been wrong by this standard. Impeachment happens for a lot of reasons and is rarely used. That may be good or bad but isn’t the standard for bad.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to greginak
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            says:

            So, if nothing is used, it is proof of… something?

            O…K…?

            I mean, that some good logicing Lou!Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David
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              says:

              Check. Obama did nothing wrong ever since he wasn’t impeached. Droning people: aaron seal of approval.

              Trump was impeached so he is wrong on the Ukraine matter. Check.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to greginak
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                says:

                Oh, he did plenty wrong in my eyes, but nothing illegal. And one of the fun facts, as the R’s never impeached him, they never had a dividing line of what was considered a crime. They never said, “here are all the crimes we consider him guilty of” No, they left that open as it is good politics, and bad politics to bring charges you cannot prove. Like the Dem’s did.

                But Trump was impeached. Meaning the D’s thought what he did was so unforgivable that they couldn’t wait for the next election. But, when they had that opportunity, they couldn’t even find a law that was broken to charge him with. Nothing that could have bolstered their case.

                So, all those piss hookers, and Russians, and emoluments and so on, were just a hill of beans. Nothing in the end.Report

        • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to Aaron David
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          says:

          It is not a bit of opinion. It is documented fact that he has funneled $8 million into his own coffers. The reason it has only come out now is because the White House spent four years fighting public information requests into what they were doing and finally lost.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Siegel
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            says:

            Biden demanded a $10 million under-the-table payment from Chinese just for a meeting, which they got. They also took millions from Burisma, and laundered hundreds of millions for Russian oligarchs. The billion dollars in US aid to Ukraine, which Biden used for extortion to protect is illegal activities, just disappeared. The Ukrainians can’t find it. Some of it most certainly went to Biden or Obama’s national security advisor, who was the primary stock holder in the firm Burisma was using to launder their money.

            And of course Hunter got well over a billion dollars in Chinese government controlled investment money to play around with, even while they had him on video doing bad bad things.

            Trump wouldn’t walk across the street for $8 million. He gave up billions to be President. Unlike Biden, he didn’t enter politics to become extremely rich by selling out the working class to foreign interests.

            Biden and Kamala are taking a hard line on Israel. I’m sure they’ll being richly rewarded for it.Report

            • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to George Turner
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              says:

              Rudy Giuliani ranting and raving on Twitter does not constitute evidence. The billion dollars, for example, refer to the size of the target capitalization for a business related to equity fund he was distantly connected with and hasn’t made money off of.

              But keep trying.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Siegel
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                says:

                Yepper. Nobody in charge of a multi-billion dollar investment fund makes any money off it all. Nobody. Those stockbrokers and hedge-fund managers all just do it as a hobby.

                Get serious. Even if Hunter is lowballing his management fee at 1.5% (2% is normal), that’s $22 million a year he’s getting paid by the Chinese government entities that are letting the politically-connected crack-addict pretend to have a regular job.

                The e-mails on the laptop are real. They have been verified by multiple press outlets. Multiple people on those e-mail chains, at least two of Hunter’s own business partners, and the US government have verified them. In one quick check, the e-mail headers go to valid Burisma servers that are still in use. Those can’t be faked. The FBI has said they’re not part of any Russian conspiracy, and in any event the KGB cannot make Hunter take crack-pipe selfies or post videos on his Pornhub account.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Michael Siegel
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            says:

            No.

            What we have here is the latest version of Piss Hookers. Behind a paywall.

            We spent how many years investigating Trump, an investigation that spread way past its mandate of Russia? We have had how many claims of emoluments clause being violated?

            But I am supposed to believe in a report that is behind a paywall?

            “This time we got him!”Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    What is intriguing to me is how a lot of alleged Trumpists but still Democratic Party haters are grasping at straws to find something wrong with Biden. This is despite all evidence to the contrary. They aren’t even policy issues. They are taking what is bad about Trump and alleging it to Biden.

    In short, I like this essay but the OTers with right-wing sympathies are tripling down l. Motivated reasoning is a thing to behold.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Whenever someone observes something, the important thing to ask is “Why are they noticing that?”

      It doesn’t matter if it’s accurate or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s true from some angles even as it’s less true from others.

      The important thing is their motivation. Which is why we must question it.

      Also: Question timing. “Why are they only criticizing Biden now when they could have been criticizing him back when it would have done enough good for a progressive to win the primary?”Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Or it could be that I am correct and it is a good example of motivated reasoning combined with negative partisanship for all the wrong reasons.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          Saul, I was arguing a year ago that Biden would beat Trump back when you were still endorsing Warren.

          I still think that Biden gets the Blue Wall back and if Trump picks up a state, it’ll be a single state: New Hampshire.

          But that doesn’t mean that Biden is perfect.
          That doesn’t mean that Biden is above criticism.

          What’s the phrase?
          “Biden isn’t a silver bullet.”Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            Biden definitely deserves criticism. They all do. I went after Obama repeatedly.

            But what Saul is pointing to is not criticism. Its fact free ranting of the type that George often authors. And frankly its just so stupid. Biden does have stuff to be fairly criticized about, but that stuff doesn’t make make it to the level of whacko Saul is on about.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Have you looked at any foreign papers lately? They’re dishing lots of dirt about Biden, right on the front page. His reputation overseas is already garbage. He will not be “leader of the free world” because he’s damaged goods.

      For one small example, from the UK Sun

      It comes as reports claim that federal authorities had allegedly seized a second laptop belonging to Hunter Biden in a raid on celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow’s office earlier this year

      That laptop purportedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son was taken by the Drug Enforcement Administration in February, NBC News reported on Friday.

      Two sources told the news outlet that the laptop was taken when the feds executed a search warrant on Ablow’s office in Massachusetts.

      Ablow, a psychiatrist, had his medical license suspended after allegations he sexually exploited his patients, with the charges coming amid other accusations of professional misconduct.

      What foreigners are watching is the complete implosion of a politician embroiled in multiple and gigantic corruption scandals involving bribes, money laundering, drugs, sex trafficking, and child sex abuse. They’ve all seen prime ministers collapse and resign in disgrace before, or try to soldier on to a special election and bring their party a massive defeat, and this is what it looks like.

      Perhaps more worrying for Democrats is Hunter’s business e-mails where he discusses bringing other top Democrats like Cuomo, and lots of others, in on his schemes, telling his associates that they could make a whole lot more money with more heavyweights in on the deals. And from other leaks that are coming out, it looks like Cuomo may have been doing just that, selling state contracts for cash. If that’s the case, this scandal could grow to engulf a very large hunk of the top Democratic Party officials.

      The logic of the scheme is quite sound. The more top people they draw into the corruption, the more people they can use as leverage in deal making, and the more top people who will stop any investigations into that corruption. That’s likely why the Democrats, in a panic,, launched the impeachment probe a day after the FBI seized Hunter’s laptop, although they’d also gone into a tizzy upon finding out that Trump was encouraging foreign investigations into Biden corruption. If they weren’t themselves in bed with the schemes, they wouldn’t have cared.

      The thing Americans are going to soon ask is “If these foreigners were paying top Democrats unbelievable amounts of money, what were they getting in return? Is that why our factory shut down? Is that why Facebook and Twitter won’t let me ask about it? What are they hiding?”Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    Speaking of this, Trump tweeted he loves Texas because some Brownshirt cosplayers tried to run Wendy Davis in a Biden bus off the road.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Everybody has seen the videos. It was the Democrat vehicle that tried to run a Trump supporter off the road. The Trump supporter refused to run over anyone who happened to be in the emergency lane (a driver behind a bus cannot see the emergency lane), and ended up having to push the Democrat back into their own lane.

      The entire incident was being filmed from multiple angles by multiple sources. Democrats can lie all they want, but everybody can just watch the videos and see the truth as events unfolded. Youtube even has plenty of reaction videos where the hosts roar with laughter at the play-by-play.Report

      • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        You may have missed the part where they forced the bus into the left lane and the trialing vehicle tried to follow it.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Siegel
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          says:

          The bus was in the center lane for a while, then straddled the white stripes between the center lane and the right lane, and then got into the right lane. The black Trump truck was right behind the bus in the right lane. The white Democrat vehicle then tried to drive the black Trump truck off the road.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        Vehicle have political leanings now? What exactly is a “Democrat vehicle”?Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
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          says:

          A vehicle where the idiot lights won’t stop flashing.Report

          • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            Those “idiot lights” were flashing because the car was part of a damned convoy with the bus that the MAGAheads were trying to break apart at 65 miles an hour for absolutely no good reason at all. Quit rationalizing and justifying garbage behavior because you think you’ve some technicality in the narrative. Surrounding and slowing down a political opponents’ bus on the highway in some bizarre show of force is pointless, stupid and dangerous. The entire sorry episode was wrong.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Siegel
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              says:

              The white car was part of a convoy? Judging from the video, that vehicle was the only other Democrat on the road. Democrats tend not to leave the house very much except to go to Trump rallies.

              You see, only about half the people at many of the Trump rallies are Republicans. The rest tend to be split pretty evenly between Democrats and Independents. So when Trump has a rally where 58,000 people show up to cheer him on, about 14,000 of those are probably Democrats. That’s more Democrats cheering Trump, at just one of his countless events, than have attended all of Biden’s rallies, combined.

              And that says something. Trump supporters have been having mass spontaneous rallies all over the place, even in front of Joe Biden’s home in Delaware. They are loud and proud, and many say they’d die for Donald Trump. He’s leading a highly motivated army.

              In contrast, Biden supporters aren’t even willing to go down to a polling place to vote for him in person. They don’t go to his rallies. They don’t go to the airport to see him arrive. They don’t follow his campaign bus. By all appearances, none of them give two figs about him. He can’t lead anyone anywhere, because nobody cares enough to follow him. Maybe they’d show up if he offered free big screen TV’s, or the occasional washing machine.

              Biden supporters might tweet all day long, expressing their outrage as they always do, but they can’t even form a tiny little convoy, much less the huge ones that extend for countless miles, or huge marches right through Hollywood. If it doesn’t involve burning down their own cities, ransacking museums and libraries, looting neighborhood stores, and throwing Molotov cocktails at cops, they just don’t show up.Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq
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    says:

    I basically see everybody who refuses to vote for Biden and straight Democratic down ballot as complicit with the being a Trump supporter and supporting the increasingly authoritarian and white nationalist Republican Party. Biden may not fit your ideological priors but he is the vote if you support democracy in any shape or form.Report

    • Avatar Swami in reply to LeeEsq
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      says:

      Seriously? You are this blinded by ideology that you can’t come up with good reasons that good people could vote for either candidate? Or was this intended as some kind of sarcastic joke?

      Anyway, my point is that as intelligent people we should be open minded enough to grok why other people would have legitimate and benevolent reasons for voting the way they do. And I am saying this as someone who would never vote for Trump. I still can grasp why millions disagree with me.Report

  7. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    Their agenda, such as it is, is far more likely to be set by Joe Manchin than AOC.

    I think this is one of the best points in the piece. There’s a cult of catastroph-ism dominating the discourse that doesn’t do a lot of accounting for how the government works or the various actors with leverage. Which isn’t to say people shouldn’t care about bad actors or policies they disagree with but there’s serious distortion of what can happen in a single election cycle.Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Another point about Trump’s being dangerous in a way that previous presidents were not:his centralization of power in his own person.

    * Using the DOJ as his own personal legal strike force
    * Replacing independent IGs with lackeys
    * Firing the FBI director for disloyalty
    * His openly stated rationale for pushing Barrett onto the Court so quickly was so she could hand him the election (he no longer trusts Roberts).

    These are things dictators and would-be dictators do.Report

  9. Avatar y10nerd
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    says:

    I’d be curious for a post sometime after the election (maybe several weeks out) where people actually lay out what they see specifically as the unique characteristics of ‘woke identity politics’ that folks are opposing that makes it a unique thing. And that comes with specific examples or how this is playing out in real life, not just on Twitter

    Obviously, there’s James Lindays’ rantings on the internet about it being a religion (I say rant not because it’s bad but because…it was just sooooooooooo long). And like, within the broader belly of the ‘beast’, I have my own misgivings about how we talk about race, gender, sexuality, oppression in DEI circles – but I’m often left kinda askewed as to what people mean by all of this that isn’t just built up by twitter.

    (I write this because this is the 3rd or 4th pro-biden post that seems to hint plus the comment section)Report

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