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AvatarComments by JS*

On “Carnage: 6.6 Million in Initial Jobless Claims, 10 Million Two Week Total

Yeah! And those whiny bitches with cancer! Always "the chemo is awful" and "I might die" and "it costs a million dollars!"

What whiners! 100 years ago they'd have just died!

How dare anyone complain? And don't get me started on the poor, with their cell phones and refrigerators! Why 30 years ago, only the rich had cell phones! They're wealthy beyond the dreams of the 80s, and instead of celebrating they're all "I can't afford food" and "I can't afford medicine" and "I'm so poor and I'm one small problem away from homelessness" instead of "But I have this cool Nokia!"

On “Joe Biden: Staying Alive

"Look, defending a guy you didn’t pick because the Team you’re on *did* seems pretty cultish to me."

Defending him? Are you talking about my insistence that "we" is the correct grammar when referring to the collective decisions of a group I belong, or my claiming Joe Biden is literally the opposite of "cool", or when I claimed he wasn't a particular exciting candidate?

Or was it when I asked who was acting like Biden was "the second coming"? Expressing sketicism that anyone would be so enthusiastic about Biden is a weird defense...

Are you confusing me with someone else?


I'm really surprised he ran, to be honest. He's been fairly open he doesn't plan to run for two full terms, so his VP selection is going to be interesting.

It's fun to watch the conspiracy nuts claim he's gonna pick Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama though. Tickles me pink.

We had a huge field this year, with at least half a dozen serious candidates. But, like I've said since the beginning, this year wasn't about ideology or ideas or anything but "Who stands the best chance of beating Trump". And I can understand how many risk-adverse and cynical voters might think "Old white guy and former VP" as the top pick, as opposed to anything more unusual.

Made it a bad year for Sanders, although I've become more and more certain that Sanders is simply too set in his ways to ever win an election outside of Vermont. To many voters, the differences in healthcare plans or minimum wage plans or whatever just didn't matter.

I think after 2016, every female candidate was carrying a handicap called "What if she loses like Clinton did?" -- not something I think is that likely, as I doubt Comey plans to black swan another election and there's nobody out there who thinks there's no way Donald Trump could be President -- but I get the worry.

It was a bad year for someone new, or someone different. A good year, however, for a long-standing, familiar face. Someone who evokes the recent, and much more pleasant, past.

I think Joe Biden's strength in this election was specific to this election, and this one only. I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Gore or Kerry had tossed their hats in the ring -- would they have evoked the same "Oh god, a sane familiar figure who looks real electable" feeling?


"Dude, you’re in one. The cult of the Democratic Party."

Please, I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat.

If you think this mess is a cult -- dear god, we can't decide anything without six months of committee hearings, four protests, and one half calling the other half sellouts.


If only they had some sort of platform or something, you know?

Or even maybe there was some recent, urgent bit of legislation so you could see what they fought for in a time of crisis.

Sadly, we shall never know.


"I see no reason why you, as a Dem voter, should vote for the nominee simply because the majority of Dem voters picked that person."

What on earth makes you think I'm saying that?

This whole derail started because you objected to the use of the term "we" when describing who the Democratic party picked for their nominee.

As I am a member of the Democratic party, I used "we" because the group I am a member of made the selection. "They" implies I am not part of the group that, collectively, up and voted.

That you seem to have turned it into some demand to vote for Joe is....weird.

I don't care who you vote for, nor have I bothered to illustrate any reasons to vote for Biden in this thread. At no point have I been trying to convince you to vote for Biden.

I have, to date, done the following in this thread.

1. Stated I did not vote for Biden in the primary.
2. Stated that I am a Democrat, and did vote in the primary.
3. Stated that Biden is, effectively, the nominee.
4. Stated that, of the entire field, I am hard pressed to view anyone as less "cool" than Joe Biden.
5. Stated that, indeed, Joe Biden is not an exciting candidate.
6. Stated that I voted for Warren.
7. Laughed hilariously at the notion that the woke PC culture police are in some way an actual, effective group in the Democratic party. This is because "Joe Biden", the least woke PC Democratic politician I can think of, won.
8. Mocked Jaybird for linking to the Onion to try to claim/not-claim Biden is actually "cool".
9. Mocked the notion that "coolness" is actually any sort of criteria for a Democratic candidate, and doubly mocked the notion that the "elites" insist on it.
10. Pointed out saying "We picked Joe" is, in fact, the correct grammar for a member of the Democratic party to use when mentioning who the Democratic party picked, even if he voted for someone else.
11. Told you I don't care who you vote for.
12. Asked you who jhere, in fact, has gone from "Biden can't possibly win" to "Biden is the second coming".

Literally none of that is be canvassing for Joe. You seem to be certain I am, which might explain why you're saying weird stuff unconnected to what I'm saying.


Same here.

I mean I don't dislike the latest changes -- finally getting somewhere on healthcare after decades of trying, although I find a surprising number of people don't seem to understand how fundamentally difficult even a lackluster change like the ACA was, even though we're still literally litigating it 10 years later.

I'm happy with a long overdue raise to minimum wage, I'm on board with the expansion of LBGT rights, and the stepping away of the overly draconian drug laws.

But my 90s Democratic tendencies are apparently my desire to know how you're going to get it through Congress and how you're going to pay for it.


"Adding: what’s so bizarre about these discussions is neither you nor Saul nor Lee nor JS has conceded that there are *any* problems in the Democratic party. Not a single one! Every criticism is discounted or explained away."

Wait, were we supposed to be listing them? So far it appears we were pushing back on the frankly hilarious notion that the woke PC left carries so much weight that -- *snicker* JOE BIDEN won.


"but they didn’t make it through the liberal-cultural-politics-PC-meat grinder."

But Joe Effing Biden did?

You realize the fact that Joe Biden won is, in fact, absolute evidence there is no "liberal-cultural-politics-PC-meat grinder".

He was always a front runner, and only dethroned from that for the few brief weeks the media forgot Iowa, NH, and Nevada were not the end-all and be-all of America.

Dear god. I can understanding believing Democrats were beholden to the PC police before Joe Biden won -- although I would have laughed at you, because that whole "woke PC" crap exists pretty much purely on Twitter, so no one in the real world cares, but after Biden won?

Biden, currently polling 20+ points above Sanders everywhere in the primary? JOE BIDEN?


Yeah, me too. However, I think she was somewhat stuck and trying hard to break free from the pack. I don't know that she ever could, honestly.

But I liked her for the same reason I got infuriated with Sanders "I'll legalize pot via EO" claims (he can't, so he's either very wrong about some core President stuff or lying to me) or just sort of dismissed questions like "But, you know, Congress? Or how to pay for it" when it came to things like M4A"

I like my candidates with white papers, a pragmatic acceptance of the limits of their powers, and Plans B -Z when it becomes clear Plan A isn't going to fly.

I don't like vague promises and hand waving answers.

Makes my teeth itch. But that also makes me a distinct minority among Democrats. It was also why I was very skeptical of Obama for quite some time.

I was happy to see he chose to marry rhetoric with planning, and even picked a VP from a very pragmatic "I need someone who can wrangle Congress and has contacts there, and a lot of experience" viewpoint.


"JS, you’re making it harder for me to justify voting for Biden"

I wasn't trying. I don't care who you vote for. You claimed to observe a phenomenon here. I asked for some examples, since I don't recall many people saying "Biden couldn't win" and I know for damn sure few people consider Biden the second coming.

Which is fine by me -- I distrust cults. One reason Sanders always had a hard row to hoe with me. I don't buy into the "one great man" theory, and get really nervous when a movement seems predicated on a single point of failure.


Again, and I'm sad we have to go back to basic grammar, you do realize I have -- since the very first statement you objected to -- been speaking of "Democrats" as in "The Democratic party"? The party I'm a member of? And their, if as yet unofficial, nominee?

Yes, other people picked him. A majority of the members of the party I belong to, in fact. So when speaking of the party choosing someone, "we" is the correct use of the word.

We, the party, did chose him.

The Democratic party has chosen Joe Biden, yes? I am a member of the party? Therefore, I am part of the collective "the Democratic party" which means, yes, WE is correct. WE, the collective known as the Democratic party, held a big vote and Joe Biden won.

That doesn't mean every member voted for him, or even supports him. Nobody here is an idiot. We all know how votes work.


"See, this comment right here is a big problem which apparently *all* you partisan Dems have. You can’t hear. I have repeatedly said that I’m gonna Vote For Joe! even though I think the Democratic party is … hmmm, let’s say, ideologically adrift."

You're shifting the goalposts rather rapidly there.

Let me illustrate. The original quote "So you wrote an entire piece about how the Democrats were obsessed with coolness, and kept seeking it, but we picked Joe Biden"

"We", of course, refers to the proper noun there -- "Democrats".

The party did indeed chose Joe Biden, via direct vote. As a member of the party, "we" is appropriate. If I was not a Democrat, I would use "they" -- as in "They, the Democratic party I am not part of, chose Joe Biden".

If I was talking about subsets of the party that I was not a member of -- for instance, I am not AA so I might say "The AA primary vote shows they heavily preferred Biden".

But the bit you decided to complain about, I was speaking broadly of all Democrats -- and quite factually. Biden has won. He is the pick of Democrats. We, THE PARTY, have picked him.

I, in fact, voted for someone else entirely. That doesn't change the fact that he was the winner of the primary, and the choice of the party.

You complain I don't "hear"? You're certainly not listening to me.

By all means, feel free to complain about how your preferred candidate was not the preferred candidate of the majority. I do, as I note, sympathize. Neither was mine -- Biden was third on my list, at best.

But nebulous "they choose him". They who? "A majority of Democrats who weren't me?"

Welcome to the club. Who cares.


Warren was my primary choice, and then Pete after.

And yes, both were briefly popular -- but they both flamed out in short order. I don't tend to count a month of 20%+ plus numbers that then fall apart. She did outright murder Bloomberg. I still laugh at the rending of garments over him being allowed in the debate. Like leaving out someone polling in double digits was a good idea, and like he'd do anything but crash and burn.

As a resident of a ST state, I did get to actually vote for Warren -- which was an improvement over some years -- but everyone knew ST was her last primary election. Pete was already out, of course.

I liked Warren. Pragmatic, a planner, and detail oriented. Not all that charismatic and certainly not "cool".


So no quotes then?

No pointing to anyone here who went from "Biden will never win" to "Biden is the second coming"?



"You know what’s liberating? To be a Dem but refer to the people who voted for Joe as “they”. T"

So you're against Democracy when you don't win? Or are you planning to just leave the party?

I didn't vote for Biden, but I am a Democrat. We -- as in the party I am a member of -- picked him. I'm sort of used to that. My candidates rarely win the primary.

But I don't just grip about some nefarious "other" that's doing all the damage, that's one step away from muttering about "elitists" and "rigged primaries". Millions of my fellow Democrats preferred Biden.

So he won. So yes, "we" picked him.

He was not forced upon us by any process other than "pure democracy" in which we all got together and voted.


"My point remains that Democrats moved their policy preferences at the national level to the right (and thus away from labor) as they chased the corporate dollar donations in the 1980’s and beyond.T"

Certainly didn't have anything to do with quite a few absolutely electoral beatdowns, right? Those were immaterial. The absolute beatdown Nixon handed out, and then Ford only losing to Carter due Ford pardoning Nixon, then of course Reagan.....

Nah, man, had to be corporate dollars. There was certainly no massive shift in the American electorate or a lengthy series of Democratic defeats. And darn, certainly no lengthy Southern Strategy upsetting things either.


"e already lost one election to him, and he’s arguably the single worst human being American society has ever produced.

These elections shouldn’t even be close."

Oh, your problem is you're in denial about what a large chunk of Americans want, and are blaming Democrats for it.

Donald Trump is deeply popular with Republicans (90% approval). he has kept an overall approval rating of around 42% for years.

YOU make think he's the worst human being America has ever produced -- I happen to think something similar -- but if you sit there and pretend that that opinion is universal, that he's unpopular with everyone....well, you shouldn't be making political projections when you can't even understand the motives of a good 40% of the electorate.

Trump isn't popular with Republicans because of anything Democrats say or do -- it's because they like what he's selling, and he's on their team.


"Now they’re defending Joe as if he’s the second coming…."

Are they the same people? I'd love quotes from both before and after.

And am I one of them? Because I neither said Biden couldn't win, nor have I defended him as if he were the second coming. I mean if you think I am that's....well, let's say you must have a real low opinion of Christians.

Biden's...okay. I mean that's it. He's acceptable. He's sane, competent, and probably won't embroil us in weekly scandals and twice a month crisis. He's not going to change the world, he's not going to revolutionize anything. The biggest, single, literal change he will make is "not being Donald Trump" which honestly can be filled by any warm body that is not related to, by blood or marriage, Donald Trump.

His platform is, well, not terribly different than Clinton's, just updated for four years of Trump, and whatever comes out of the convention won't be that much different.

Indeed, Biden's enthusiasm levels are markedly low. His base of about 25% are enthusiastic, and nobody else is. Although judging by other polls, that's okay for his chances because they're very enthusiastic about Donald Trump. Specifically, voting against him.

So I'm eager to find who went from blasting Jaybird because he dared think Biden might win to praising Biden like Jesus come again. With quotes. And links.


"He’s sorry that he created this “Diamond Joe” character and thus making Biden accessible to folks instead of holding his feet to the fire."

So you're saying Joe Biden IS cool, because of The Onion? That the Onion made Joe Biden cool?

Did it make all the kids turn out for Diamond Joe? Big surprising surge in the youth vote?

Is that where you are now? Joe Biden really is cool, because the Onion? Proven by the fact that one of the Onion writers wished they'd done more on Biden than how uncool he was?


"I think her point was that a bunch of candidates who desperately wanted to be “cool” ran for the nomination and got way ahead of more competent candidates who didn’t bother pursuing coolness (the governors might be an example of that contingent)"

Which ones were that? I mean...if I squint, Pete maybe?

Warren definitely radiates anti-coolness. Steyner? Steyer? I can't even spell the guy's name, but definitely not cool. Gabbard, no. Bloomberg certainly no. Khlobacher -- not really. Yang? No.

Which ones were the "cool hip candidates" and how long did they last? Did they even make it to Nevada?


"Millions of Democrats voted for other people (me included) and in numbers big enough that we are not satisfied with the Party’s outcome."

And that's different then every other year how? I can't recall a candidate who won by such an overwhelming majority that someone couldn't claim that. Let's say...70% of the vote, say.

I mean outside of incumbents running for re-election.

So I'm a bit lost to your point. Are you arguing that, unless a candidate wins some unspecificed vast majority from the get-go they're illegitimate? Or can't claim the party stands behind them? Or should bow out? refuse the nomination?

That Democrats should just go "Oh, hey guys, nobody got like 70% -- or whatever number means there aren't "millions of democrats who voted for someone else" -- in the primary, so we'll just sit this election out"? Or have a revote? Like primary after primary?

We could do ranked choice voting, I'm a fan of that -- but you can pretty much approximate it by watching the shift in voting patterns after candidates drop out, which seems to show something like a 60-40 to 70-30 split in favor of Biden. So maybe 70% isn't enough?


FWIW, Biden was also my third choice.

My first and second were, strangely, not very popular. But I'm pretty used to that. I think my original choice has one a primary exactly once. And didn't win the general election that year.

I could have had a lot more fun if I'd realized that meant it was all rigged against me by shadowy elites, instead of me just not being in the majority.


We're not "stuck". Stuck implies no one wanted him.

That's the guy who won the primary on the back of support from core Democratic constituencies, in a very crowded field. A primary in which, I feel I must stress, every Democrat who wanted to got to vote for whom they wanted.

It turned out to be about 70% "some flavor of moderate/centrist". And of those 70%, they had what -- five choices? Six if you count Bloomberg?

It's weird people acting like Biden was somehow imposed upon the party, or stumbled into the room and claimed the winning ticket by accident, or like there was a loophole and because he was the only Democrat in the DC Hilton on the 3rd of February he got to be the candidate.

Sure, in a crowded field he seemed to only have about 20 to 30% support -- but as Pete and the rest of the moderates bowed out, that's grown to what -- 70%ish? Certainly pretty much all of Michigan, Florida, SC, and everything but Democrats abroad. He'd have probably taken California if it had been even two weeks later.

I'm just struggling to determine how a supposed desire for "coolness" resulted in Democrats rather overwhelmingly picking someone who was not, in fact, cool.

I mean you use the word "stuck" here, but does it fit?

I mean for someone who doesn't like him but plans to vote Democrat, I get the feeling -- you are stuck with him. But that's just you. Judging by the primaries and such, you're in a distinct minority.

And it gets doubly foolish if you start insisting the "democratic elite" had this weird cool requirement that resulted in them being "stuck with Biden" when they liked Biden in the first place.


Ah, so to wit -- you're just letting us know that the guy who satirized Joe Biden for being so uncool wishes he'd also satirized Joe Biden for other things?

Wow. What a great contribution to this conversation. It's super relevant and interesting.

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